Vietnam News

Vietnam seeks to boost testing as coronavirus cases hit record

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Vietnam reported a record in new coronavirus cases on Thursday and prepared to conduct mass testing on half of the population of its biggest city, as it tries to contain its biggest outbreak so far.

Most of the 713 new cases were in Ho Chi Minh City, the southern economic hub of 9 million people, about half of which authorities are aiming to test before Tuesday next week.

The city plans to introduce home quarantine for suspected cases, which could be replicated nationwide, the health ministry said, a shift in strategy that until now has relied on centralised centres often run by the military.

Vietnam has so far reported only 17,576 cases of COVID-19 and 81 deaths, most of those since late April.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said it was crucial to try tackle the spread now, or risk economic damage.

“The outbreak will continue, with more cases found in the community, in industrial parks, in crowded areas and could spread further into a larger outbreak,” Long said.

Vaccine supplies would increase from this month, he said, with about 30 million doses would likely arrive in the third quarter.

He said the government plans to vaccinate 70% to 75% of the 98 million population by the end of this year or early next year. Around 200,000 people in Vietnam have so far been fully vaccinated.

Reuters – July 1st, 2021

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