The number of deaths and COVID-19 infections in Vietnam is still increasing sharply, despite the blockade measures that have been applied for many months.
Vietnam will deploy its military forces in Ho Chi Minh City and ban people from leaving their homes, authorities said on August 20, as the country’s largest city moves to drastic measures to do in a bid to slow the rising death rate caused by the corona virus.
Vietnam’s toughest directive comes amid a sudden spike in the number of deaths and infections, despite the weeks-long blockade measures in the economic-commercial center of the country. These 9 million people are the epicenter of the outbreak with the highest number of deaths in Vietnam.
“We ask everyone, wherever they are to stay, not to go out. Every house, company, and factory must be a fortress against the virus,” said Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the city’s anti-COVID-19 agency, on June 20.
The government said it was preparing to mobilize the police and army to enforce the blockade and provide food for the people.
Police with loudspeakers drove around residential areas on August 20 to instruct people to follow the regulations and ensure that food supplies would be provided.
The Defense Ministry plans to send out 1,000 military medics and medical equipment by the end of the week, according to a military document seen by Reuters.
The state-controlled media reported that on June 20, the government also extended restrictions in the capital Hanoi by 15 days.
News of the worsening COVID-19 crisis hit the Vietnamese stock market on August 20, with the index closing down 3.3%.
Vietnam is said to be quite slow in producing vaccines.
As of the end of April, Vietnam is still considered one of the most effective epidemic prevention countries in the world, with 35 deaths and just over 2,900 infections as of May 1.
However, this has increased to more than 312,000 cases and 7,150 deaths, with about half of the infections and 80% of the deaths in HCM City alone.
Half of HCM City people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But at the meeting at the end of August 19, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also asked the authorities to conduct mass testing there.