Ho Chi Minh City and 18 southern localities with continue social distancing under Directive 16 for another 14 days given a surge in Covid-19 infections.
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A lone ambulance vehicle on Vo Van Kiet Boulevard in downtown HCMC, July 26, 2021. Photo: VnExpress
The 18 localities are Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and 13 Mekong Delta localities Can Tho, 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, according to a decision issued by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 31.
The 19 cities and provinces are home to around 35 million people or more than a third of the country's population, VnExpress said.
Loal authorities have to urge residents to “stay where they are” and “not to leave their neighborhood from July 31 until the social distancing order ends."
Localities that have better controlled the pandemic after a period of social distancing can consider easing restrictions on certain areas, while others can consider adding more restrictions, if necessary, PM Chinh said.
Directive 16 requires people to stay home and only go out for basic necessities like buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses allowed to operate.
People must keep a distance of at least two meters. No more than two people can gather together in public apart from work, schools or hospitals. The majority of public transportation will be shut down and there will be no travel between localities.
A Covid-19 checkpoint in HCM City. Photo: Thanh Nien (Young People)
HCM City and Dong Nai began their two-week social distancing periods on July 9,, with both localities extending their orders until August 1 as the number of daily infections have shown little signs of abating. Meanwhile, Binh Duong began applying social distancing in certain areas on different dates since late last month.
Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the Mekong Delta began their two-week period on July 19.
Many of the southern localities have added night movement ban besides the directive's restrictions.
The southern region, particularly HCM City, is carrying the brunt of the worst coronavirus wave to ever hit Vietnam. Cases have been rising steadily over the past few weeks, with the southern metropolis recording numbers in the thousands.
Da Nang, Hoi An impose social distancing
A road in the suburbs of Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam province. Photo: VNA
The central city of Da Nang and Hoi An ancient town in central Quang Nam province also began social distancing orders under Directive 16 from 6pm on July 31.
Da Nang hopes the stringent orders will help to break the rapid rise in infections, with 65 new cases were detected on July 31, Viet Nam News reported.
The city plans to set up ‘green zones’ at living quarters and factories where zero infections have been identified, to help maintain production and ensure a healthy environment in wider, protection areas.
At least seven traditional markets and one residential area in Son Tra district has either temporarily closed or been locked down already.
Markets will reduce the number of stores by half, and shoppers will be allowed to enter on a staggered system to ensure distancing.
Each market will open for seven hours per day, four hours in morning and three hours in the evening, instead of 14 or 16 hours as before.
The city’s health department has called for voluntary support from retired doctors and nurses as well as senior students from medical universities to help with the mass vaccination programme starting in August.
It is hoped at least 20,000 people will be inoculated each day.
Meanwhile, Hanoi has applied social distancing since July 24 as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19./.
A street in Da Nang. Photo: VNA
The Ministry of Health reported 4,564 new cases of Covid-19 in the 13 hours to 7 pm on July 31, including 4 imported ones, bringing the day’s tally to 8,624.
On the day, HCM City logged 4,180 new cases; followed by Binh Duong (2,075), Long An (544), Dong Nai (456), Khanh Hoa (335), and Dong Thap (146). The capital city reported 46 cases.
The number of patients given all clear was 3,250, raising the total of recoveries to 38,734.
The treatment sub-committee of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced that there were 145 Covid-19 deaths in six cities and provinces between July 19 to 30.
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