[Hanoi 23rd Reuters]–On the 23rd, the Vietnamese government dispatched troops to carry out a strict lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city that is the source of the new coronavirus epidemic.
The country has a cumulative total of 348,000 infected and at least 8277 dead. Infection was suppressed for most of last year, but the number of infected people is now the highest ever. In Ho Chi Minh City, which accounts for the majority of infected and dead people, and the surrounding industrial areas, the number of infections has increased rapidly due to the Delta strain epidemic since late April.
The Vietnamese government introduced restrictions on movement in Ho Chi Minh City in early July, but said that the spread of the infection could not be stopped and the enforcement of the restrictions was insufficient.
The government announced on the 20th that it will tighten lockdown from the 23rd of this month, banning going out including food purchases, and explaining that the military will support the citizens.
Later, the plan was amended to allow food purchases in some areas, but then turned around and banned altogether, disrupting supermarkets with panicked customers over the weekend.
According to witnesses, soldiers were delivering food to civilians on the 23rd, and state media is showing images of armed soldiers checking documents at checkpoints.
According to the Ministry of Health, Ho Chi Minh has a cumulative total of 176,000 infected and 6670 dead, with 50% of the country infected and 80% dead.
The government has dispatched 14,600 doctors and nurses to Ho Chi Minh and neighboring states in recent weeks to ease the tight medical system. Mild or asymptomatic patients are required to be quarantined at home.
Reuters told Reuters that residents of Ho Chi Minh City had delivered rice, meat, fish and vegetables from the soldiers.
The government announced on the 20th that it will release 130,000 tons of rice from its national stockpile and deliver it to Ho Chi Minh City and other areas.
Only 1.8% of the population has been vaccinated in the country.