Covid-19 test sample collection at a factory in HCMC. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has approved a Ministry of Health proposal for issuing a two-week stay-at-home mandate in 16 southern cities and provinces - PHOTO: VNA
HCMC – As southern Vietnam is struggling with the widespread reemergence of Covid-19, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has approved a Ministry of Health proposal for issuing a two-week stay-at-home mandate in 16 southern cities and provinces, with many of them in the nation’s southern key economic zone.
The PM cited the unpredictable trajectory of Covid infections in these cities and provinces, and the protection of people’s health in the wake of fast community spread of the coronavirus as the key reasons for the decision he made today.
The mandate, in line with the PM’s Directive 16, is applicable to HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Can Tho, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tien Giang, Long An, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Hau Giang, An Giang, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.
Among the 16 cities and provinces, there are three – HCMC, Dong Nai and Binh Duong – currently practicing social distancing in line with Directive 16. Therefore, the PM said, the 13 other provinces can choose when to apply the shelter-in-place order, but not later than July 19.
When their own shelter-in-place orders expire, HCMC, Dong Nai and Binh Duong can decide on an extension in line with the PM’s latest decision depending on the development of the pandemic.
HCMC has got prepared for an extension of the social distancing mandate which has entered its ninth day today, said deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Phan Van Mai. The city, the country’s economic center, has seen a steady spike in new daily cases since the fourth coronavirus wave began on April 27.
This morning Vietnam reported 2,106 new Covid cases, with 2,105 of them locally infected and one imported, taking the national total to 46,292. Of the locally transmitted cases, HCMC had 1,769 cases, which sent the total in the fourth Covid wave to 25,682.
Some other southern provinces also reported a surge in new infections, such as Binh Duong with 124, Dong Nai with 43, Vinh Long with 42, Dong Thap with 41 and Ben Tre with 34.
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