Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam orders virus lockdown in HCMC



Vietnam orders virus lockdown in HCMC

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A banh mi seller rides past the 19th century French colonial-styled Saigon City Hall in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on June 29, 2020. The city has emerged as the epicentre of the latest virus wave in Vietnam. AFP

Vietnam orders virus lockdown in HCMC

Nine million people in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) have been ordered into lockdown, state media said on July 7, as the commercial hub struggles to contain Vietnam’s most serious Covid-19 outbreak so far.

Beginning in the early hours of July 9, residents will be mandated to stay at home for two weeks after 8,000 cases were recorded in the city during the latest virus wave.

Prior to this outbreak, which began in late April, fewer than 3,000 cases had been recorded across Vietnam.

Although virus clusters have appeared up and down the country, including in the northern industrial provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, home to factories supplying Samsung and Foxconn, HCMC has emerged as the epicentre of the wave.

HCMC mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong on July 7 said the city was “facing challenges in controlling” the pandemic, according to state-run news outlet VNExpress.

“To quickly control the Covid-19 pandemic, Ho Chi Minh City is determined to be tougher,” he was quoted as saying as he announced the lockdown.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam told HCMC authorities earlier that it was “time for us to accept sacrifices to ensure long-term development”.

Residents will be allowed to leave home only to buy food or medicine, state media said.

At least 10 cities have suspended their airlinks with HCMC, formerly known as Saigon, and panic buying was reported on July 7 as three major wholesale markets were shut down.

More than 80 infections have been recorded at the city’s Chi Hoa jail, affecting both guards and inmates, state media said. Gunshots were heard from inside the prison on July 6, though it remained unclear what had happened.

Vietnam was once a model for virus containment due to its extensive contact tracing and strict quarantines, but it has struggled to procure and roll out vaccines.

According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam, which has a population of close to 100 million, has administered under four million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

The country has said it wants to reach herd immunity by the end of this year or early in 2022. It is developing its own vaccines, and has ordered millions of doses from abroad.

The US on July 6 said it had sent Vietnam two million doses of the Moderna vaccine – part of an initial 80 million doses that President Joe Biden has pledged to allocate worldwide.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple