Jul 17, 2021 / 21:21

Vietnam imposes partial lockdown on 19 southern cities, provinces

Nineteen cities and provinces in the south account for one-third of Vietnam’s population and 75% of the country’s Covid-19 infections.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has decided to impose a 14-day partial lockdown on 19 southern cities and provinces as the number of Covid-19 cases hit a new record high on July 17. 

 Authorities at a Covid-19 checkpoint. Photo: Kinh Te Do Thi

Localities that are subject to the restrictions include Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Can Tho, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tien Giang, Long An, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Hau Giang, Bac Lieu, An Giang, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Cau Mau, and Kien Giang.

“The decision was made due to the complicated pandemic situation with an aim to put people’s health first and foremost," read the PM’s order.

The restrictions, under the Government’s Directive No. 16 / CT-TTg on urgent measures to prevent and control the Covid-19 pandemic, set out Vietnam’s strongest measures yet for social separation and keeping distance between people and communities.

Local residents cannot leave their homes, except for essential trips and work such as buying food, foodstuff, pharmaceuticals, and other essential goods and services, in addition to emergencies such as medical examination and treatment, natural disasters, and fires.

The southern localities must closely follow the directive with a focus on the sufficient supply of medical equipment and health workers, special care to severe patients, social security, and welfare.

The Government’s leaders called for self-reliance and national solidarity among the people and businesses, their support to the move, and limited going out when unnecessary.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at a meeting on July 17. Photo: VGP 

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is head of the National Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, directs the implementation of the restrictions.

Regarding the supply of essential goods, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that the ministry had prepared all scenarios to ensure sufficient supply. “We have fully prepared essential necessities,” he said.

“We have worked closely with Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces to transport goods to places where the restrictions applied and to the most needed places for people to access easily,” Hai affirmed.

He called for the people to stay calm and trust the authorities’ direction without hoarding goods.

So far, all six southeastern cities and provinces and 13 cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta are affected by Covid-19. The aforementioned localities cover an area of 50,000 square kilometers with a population of more than 35 million people.

On July 17, Vietnam recorded an unprecedented spike in the daily infections with 3,705, the third consecutive day having more than 3,000 cases per day.

As of July 17, Vietnam has confirmed 47,848 infections, including 10,308 people recovered, and 225 deaths.

To date, Ho Chi Minh has topped affected areas in terms of infections with 26,699, Binh Duong 2,299, Dong Thap 1,219, Tien Giang 731, Long An 698, and Dong Nai 682.

The number of Covid-19 infections in the 19 southern cities and provinces accounts for 75% of the country’s total cases.

 Vietnam's Covid-19 infections. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu