A Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam’s largest city of Ho Chi Minh has driven the Vietnamese government to test all residents for the virus. While infections in Vietnam have remained low, a new cluster linked to a religious mission has been reported in the city and what a local officials call a “very dangerous” new variant was recently found in the country.
Since the start of the pandemic, Vietnam has reported a total of 7,000 Covid-19 infections and 47 coronavirus-related deaths. The country has reported a spike in cases over the past month with the latest outbreak infecting at least 125 people involved in a Christian mission. Those nearest the mission have already been tested and are currently in lockdown.
Officials say they plan to test all of the city’s 13 million people, at a rate of 100 thousand a day, an ambitious testing campaign set to take about 4 months. In addition to testing, new social distancing measures will be enacted throughout the city for the next 15 days, starting today. Shops and restaurants are closed, religious activities are suspended.
All events that gather more than 10 people in public are banned city-wide, but the city is considering to lower the number of people to just five.
Vietnam has been commended for its rapid handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, quickly closing borders, quarantining, and testing everyone who entered the country. Contract tracing and testing were far-reaching.