Hieu Dinh / AP
HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam announced a 15-day shutdown in the capital Hanoi starting Saturday when a surge in coronavirus spread from the southern Mekong Delta region.
The lockdown order, issued Friday night, prohibits more than two people from gathering in public. Only essential government offices, hospitals and businesses can remain open.
Earlier in the week, the city suspended all outdoor activities and ordered the closure of non-essential businesses following a spike in cases. On Friday, Hanoi reported 70 confirmed infections, the highest in the city, part of a record 7,295 cases in the country in the past 24 hours.
Nearly 5,000 of them are from Vietnam’s largest metropolis, southern Ho Chi Minh City, which has also extended its closure until Aug. 1.
In the latest wave of COVID-19 since April, Vietnam has recorded more than 83,000 infections and 335 deaths.
A meeting of the National Assembly that opened in Hanoi on Tuesday with 499 delegates is anticipated, although it was reduced to 12 of the original 17 days.
Delegates have been vaccinated, are regularly tested for coronavirus and travel in a bubble, and are isolated in hotels, according to the National Assembly.