Ten days ago, The Wall Street Journal released an article entitled “Asia Suffers Outbreaks Where COVID-19 Had Seemed Beaten” and unfortunately, it’s true in Vietnam.
The country is currently experiencing a record high in new COVID-19 cases. Authorities are locking down small alleys and even entire streets, closing businesses, and curbing tourism to stop the spread. On May 25, Vietnam recorded the highest number of cases in one day, 441.
After successfully containing the coronavirus in the past months, the country is now battling an outbreak that is spreading more quickly. Vietnam health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus, a mix of the Indian and UK COVID-19 variants that spreads quickly by air.
“After running gene sequencing on newly detected patients, we have discovered a new variant that is a mix of India and UK ones,” Nguyen Thanh Long was quoted as saying.
Since the latest outbreak broke, nearly 3,600 people have been infected in 31 of its 63 cities and provinces, accounting for more than half of the country’s total infections.
As a result, from May 28, Ho Chi Minh City authorities have ordered the suspension of most non-essential services including restaurants, beauty parlors, barbers, spas, tourism sites, museums, walking streets, night markets, and parks. Restaurants that do operate will only be allowed takeaway and delivery services. Moreover, HCMC has suspended international inbound flights from May 27 to June 4 in a bid to contain the outbreak.
Meanwhile, after eight days of no new local infections, Da Nang authorities now allow taxis, ride-hailing cars, and motorbikes as well as two-wheeler delivery services to resume operations from May 28.
As of today, Vietnam has 6,396 coronavirus cases, with 47 deaths.