Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed 7,307 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, a new daily record.
Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the country’s fourth and worst outbreak, recorded 1,611 cases. Binh Duong and Long An reported 571 and 379 new cases, respectively. Other domestic infections were found in: Dong Nai (184), Tay Ninh (176), Dong Thap (98), Tien Giang (58), Ba Ria – Vung Tau (58); Ha Noi (56), Khanh Hoa (51), Quang Ngai (26), Binh Thuan (24), Can Tho (24), Ninh Thuan (18), Phu Yen (15), Dak Nong (8 ), Tra Vinh (6), Binh Dinh (6), Binh Phuoc (4), Hau Giang (4), Bac Ninh (4), Vinh Phuc (3), Lam Dong (2), Ca Mau (2), Ha Tinh (2), An Giang (2), Bac Giang (2), Hoa Binh (1), Quang Nam (1), Kon Tum (1).
The new infections bring the national tally to 81,678, more than 79,000 of which are locally-transmitted.
With the number of new cases rising by the day, Ho Chi Minh City will have its social distancing measures extended until August 1. The next days will be vital for the city’s outbreak management. The current outbreak has already hit the manufacturing industry with the closure of several factories over the past weeks. It has also further pushed the city’s poverty line, leaving many jobless.
Stricter measures in high-risk areas
HCMC authorities will start banning people in high-risk areas from leaving their homes, to further reduce virus transmission.
The city, which was enjoying relatively loose social distancing measures before the April 27 outbreak, has now recorded over 48,800 cases — more than half of the national tally.
Residents inside locked down areas will not be allowed to make direct contact with those around them, and will only be permitted to leave their homes in case of medical emergencies. They can, however, buy essential food products twice a week.
In areas identified as high-risk, going out will be entirely prohibited. Residents will have food supplies and other necessities delivered directly to their doors.
Suspension of non-urgent production facilities
All production facilities and sites that are deemed non-urgent, such as construction and transport projects, will be temporarily shut down.
Banks and stock market facilities will be allowed to operate minimum operations to provide essential services.
Food businesses, as well as pharmacies, water-electricity-gas suppliers will be allowed to operate. Traditional markets must install plastic shields that would separate vendors and buyers.
Postal services, telecommunication, waste collection, funeral services and transportation of essential goods will be permitted, granting strict social distancing rules are complied. Government institutions will have to divide shifts among their staff.
The government has warned that any violation to the policies intended to curb COVID-19 in severely-hit HCMC will be fined. Several checkpoints have been set up around the city, only allowing entry of vehicles traveling on official purposes or have been approved for transporting goods.