Vietnam on Thursday recorded 8,162 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections to 1,000,897.
Among the new cases, 1,185 were found in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial capital and the epicenter of the fourth wave of coronavirus. With 443,815 infections, HCMC accounts for nearly 45% of Vietnam’s national tally.
Aside from HCMC, the latest cases were record in Dong Nai (930), Tay Ninh (656), Binh Duong (615), An Giang (595), Tien Giang (417), Kien Giang (399), Dong Thap (352), Bac Lieu (291), Binh Thuan (237), Ba Ria-Vung Tau (185), Ca Mau (181), Dak Lak (162), Vinh Long (159), Ha Noi (154), Long An (130), Khanh Hoa (128), Tra Vinh (121), Binh Phuoc (108), Ha Giang (97), Bac Ninh (68), Hau Giang (68), Ben Tre (64), Binh Dinh (63), Phu Tho (61), Dak Nong (60), Nam Dinh (59), Can Tho (55), Lam Dong (54), Thanh Hoa (49), Gia Lai (43), Quang Ngai (41), Hai Duong (26), Thua-Thien Hue (41), Ninh Thuan (35), Nghe An (32), Quang Nam (27), Bac Giang (26), Quang Ninh (24), Lang Son (20), Quang Tri (18), Phu Yen (16), Dien Bien (15), Quang Binh (15), Hung Yen (14), Da Nang (13), Ha Tinh (9), Thai Nguyen (5), Vinh Phuc (5), Kon Tum (4), Ninh Binh (4), Son La (4), Ha Nam (2), Tuyen Quang (1), Hoa Binh (1) and Yen Bai (1), according to the data released by the Ministry of Health.
A further 84 COVID-related fatalities and 1,894 recoveries were reported.
As of Thursday, Vietnam has already administered over 95.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
HCMC in "new normal"
HCMC was under a strict lockdown for more than four months, after the city government placed the city of 12 million people under Directive 16 in July. The city was then recording more than 5,000 cases daily. After the government’s stringent efforts — closing down all non-essential businesses and banning everyone from going out — the city was eventually able to lift the lockdown on October 1.
The hustle and bustle immediately returned to the city, as people flocked into parks, shopping malls, coffee shops, restaurants, and other public spaces.
As the city relaxed more restrictions, it relied mostly on the increasing number of vaccinated people. Daily OVID-19 cases gradually slowed down.
But in recent days, HCMC has seen its cases rising once again. On Wednesday, HCMC reported 1,414 new cases — its highest in three weeks.
Experts, however, explained that the HCMC is now classified as a medium-risk city, and that the increase in the number of cases was already expected as the city reopened and restarted full economic activities.
In an interview with VnExpress, Dr. Truong Huu Khanh, an advisor for the Children’s Hospital 1, said that as long as the cases “don’t turn severe or fatal thanks to vaccinations, it would help the city achieve herd immunity.”
"If Covid-19 patients still turn critical or die after vaccination, we need to carefully evaluate the type of vaccine that was used, its effectiveness, the time between two shots and other factors to formulate plans for COVID-19 booster shots," Truong told VnExpress.
Other experts warned that not abiding by COVID-19 preventive measures may ruin all of Vietnam’s efforts to win against the pandemic.
As Ho Chi Minh City and the whole of Vietnam navigate the “new normal”, the national government recently issued new safety guidelines and approved vaccination for kids aged 12-17. It also continues to strictly implement 5K — khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering) and khai bao y te (health declaration).