Vietnam’s PM Warns Nation Has Only Weeks to Avoid Major Outbreak

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned the nation during a cabinet meeting today that it needs to move quickly to curtail the novel coronavirus outbreak that began in the coastal city of Danang last month to prevent it from reaching a “major scale,” according to a post on the government’s website.

The “early August period” is a decisive time to tamp down the outbreak, Phuc said, according to the government’s website. Ho Chi Minh City’s disease control center forecasts the virus outbreak will continue rising and spread quickly, according to the agency’s website.

Vietnam is testing all residents of Danang, the city at the center of a coronavirus outbreak with 1.1 million people, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. More than 1.4 million people had traveled to the coastal city since July 1, and returned to their home provinces and cities, while about 42,000 people had visited three hospitals where most of the infections occurred, the government said yesterday.

The financial hub of Ho Chi Minh City recorded three cases after testing nearly 24,000 residents as of Monday out of 36,754 who said they visited Danang in the past month, its center of disease control said. Hanoi has quick-tested nearly 68,000 people who returned from Danang as of Sunday, according to the city’s government, which said an estimated 83,937 of its residents had been in the coastal city since July 8.

Officials in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have ordered bars to close and a suspension of large gatherings.

The nation’s tally is now 621 cases, including 242 under treatment and six deaths, according to the health ministry.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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