Vietnam says it will test all 9 million people in its commercial hub for COVID-19.
The authorities also imposed more restrictions on Monday to deal with a growing coronavirus outbreak in the sprawling city.
According to the new measures, people in Ho Chi Minh city will only be allowed to leave home for necessary activities. Also, public gatherings of more than ten people are banned for the next two weeks, a government announcement said on Monday.
Ahead of the latest restrictions, the city, also Vietnam’s largest, closed down non-essential business last Thursday when cases started to rise.
The city authority plans to test its entire population with a testing capacity of 100,000 samples a day, according to state newspaper Vietnam News.
The newspaper also reported that police had filed a case on Sunday against the couple who head a Protestant church mission for “spreading dangerous infectious diseases,” citing poor health protocols applied at the premises.
At least 145 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported with links to the Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Protestant sect. The city district of Go Vap, where the church is based, has been locked down.
Vietnam’s central government in Hanoi has since banned all religious events nationwide.
Since the end of April, a surge in COVID-19 has spread to 31 municipalities and provinces in Vietnam with over 4,000 cases, almost double the total number that the South Asian nation reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday that some recent patients in the country were infected with a hybrid of the virus variants first found in India and the UK
The Associated Press reports that Vietnam has vaccinated 1 million people with AstraZeneca shots, and has a deal with Pfizer for 30 million doses to be delivered later this year.
The communist state is also in talks with Moderna that would give it enough shots to fully inoculate 80% of its 96 million people.