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Vietnam's capital to extend COVID-19 curbs as new clusters emerge

Vietnam's capital to extend COVID-19 curbs as new clusters emerge

FILE PHOTO: A woman wears a protective mask as she exercises on the street amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 31. REUTERS/Thanh Hue

HANOI: Vietnam's capital Hanoi will extend COVID-19 restrictions until Aug 22, its health ministry said on Friday (Aug 6), after authorities warned of new clusters of infections detected in the city of more than 8 million people.

Hanoi has in the past two weeks ordered people to stay at home and halted all non-essential activities, but a three-fold rise in infections has prompted the city to extend the current curbs, due to end on Saturday.

The city reported 116 new cases on Friday and has recorded 2,184 cases since the pandemic began, official data showed.

While the numbers are still low, authorities are wary after the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus has helped drive up infections across the country to more than 193,000 cases.

"The risk is still high with the continuous detections of new clusters of infections, many of which have unidentified sources," the ministry said following Hanoi's announcement of the extended restrictions.

Nationwide, about a third of Vietnam's 63 cities and provinces are under strict coronavirus curbs as the country struggles to get on top of its worst outbreak so far.

The ministry reported 8,324 new infections on Friday, up from 7,244 cases on Thursday. It reported 296 additional coronavirus deaths on the same day, raising the country's death toll to 3,016.

Just 820,000 people have been fully vaccinated in Vietnam, or less than 1 per cent of the country's 98 million population, according to official data.

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Source: Reuters/gs

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