Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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Updated on August 4, 2021 7:38 PM

Hanoi Tightens Restrictions As COVID Clusters Spread In Vietnam

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HANOI – Vietnam’s capital Hanoi urged its citizens to stay home starting Monday and ordered a halt to all non-essential services due to new clusters of COVID-19 infections in recent days, authorities said on Sunday.

The city, which had already halted indoor restaurant service and closed lounges and gyms, also halted rail and bus passenger services to and from the southern provinces that have seen the largest increases.

Hanoi has seen only more than 400 cases since May, compared to more than 50,000 across the country, but authorities had already imposed restrictions in various parts of the city after new outbreaks were discovered.


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Vietnam has managed to keep coronavirus cases relatively low due to targeted mass testing and strict contact tracking, border controls and quarantine measures, but new clusters of infections in recent weeks have raised concerns among health officials.

“This outbreak is not the same as the previous ones,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at a meeting on COVID-19 prevention on Sunday. “We are preparing and prepared for the worst and worst scenarios.”

Strict restrictions were previously introduced in southern parts of the country, where three-quarters of recent infections were detected.

The country’s civil aviation authority on Sunday ordered domestic airlines to suspend flights to and from the south until at least August 1.


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Long said the Health Ministry had sent 2,000 ventilators and tens of thousands of its most skilled health workers to the south. The worst affected areas would also be prioritized for around seven million rapid COVID test kits arriving in Vietnam next week.

Daily COVID-19 cases in Vietnam reached a new record of 5,926 infections, bringing the total cases to 53,830.

The Southeast Asian country also recorded an additional 29 deaths from July 4 to July 17, bringing its total death toll from COVID-19 to 254. Those deaths were initially unreported due to technical errors, the Health Ministry said. (Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Philippa Fletcher)


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