Vietnam’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge, with Friday’s confirmed number of infections going as high as 17,428 - the highest daily tally since the pandemic hit the country last year.
The Ministry of Health reported Friday evening that Vietnam’s overall coronavirus infections have now reached 410,366.
The latest patients consist of 19 imported ones, and 17,409 domestic infections detected in 42 cities and provinces. Of the domestic cases, more than 6,600 were detected in the community.
HCMC led the country in the number of new cases again with 5,383, followed by Binh Duong (4,187), Dong Nai (996), Long An (454), Tien Giang (312), Danang (202), Tay Ninh (132), Khanh Hoa (131), Quang Binh (125) and Dong Thap (122).
MoH also announced a total of 386 fatalities today, taking the death toll to 10,053.
A total of 10,126 patients were given the all-clear, bringing the number of recoveries to 198,614.
Meanwhile, the country’s vaccination campaign continues to make progress. The number of vaccine doses administered is nearing 19 million, with about 2,235,000 people fully vaccinated.
Binh Duong expecting cases to blow up
Binh Duong, considered to be one of the most economically promising provinces in Vietnam (even surpassing HCMC’s economic output in 2020), has now become a major COVID-19 hotspot, with its daily cases sometimes exceeding HCMC.
As of Friday, the province already recorded 94,745 infections and 750 deaths. It comes second to HCMC, which has 199,483 cases and 7,965 fatalities.
The provincial People’s Committee on Tuesday said that it is expecting to see cases rise by at least 60% or 120,000 by early September, as mass testing is ramped up.
Chairman Vo Van Minh said Binh Duong has already prepared enough medical equipment to treat COVID-19 patients. But he admitted that the province needs help from the Ministry of Health to strengthen its medical workforce. The province is also asking the health ministry to speed up vaccination efforts for the two million people living in high-risk areas.
The industrial hub, home to huge industrial parks and large-scale investments, is currently under strict lockdown measures.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh already asked the local authorities to consider transferring residents of high-risk areas in military camps to ensure they follow social distancing rules.
The towns of Tan Uyen, Thuan An, Di An and Thu Dau are considered high-risk areas in the province.
Prime Minister Chinh said all residents of the province need to continue following health and safety protocols for the next two weeks for economic activities to restart. He further noted that the government is expecting Binh Duong, HCMC and other COVID-19 hotspots to end the outbreak by September 15.