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Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City introduces 2 weeks of COVID-19 distancing measures

Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City introduces 2 weeks of COVID-19 distancing measures

FILE PHOTO: Vinhomes Central Park and Landmark 81, Vietnam's tallest building are seen from the Saigon river in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yen Duong

HANOI: Vietnam's business hub Ho Chi Minh City will begin social distancing measures for 15 days starting from May 31 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the country's government said on Sunday (May 30).

The city has seen a spike in cases related to a religious mission that has recorded at least 125 positive tests, accounting for most of the city's infections, according to a government statement.

"All events that gather more than 10 people in public are banned city-wide, but the city is considering to lower the number of people to just five," the government said.

Go Vap district, where the Revival Ekklesia Mission is located, will be under full restrictions, and people there will not be allowed to go out unnecessarily, the statement said.

Ho Chi Minh City on Friday shut down shops, restaurants and other services, and suspended religious activities until further notice, the city said in a statement.

People 60 or older were encouraged to stay home, it also said.

READ: Vietnam detects hybrid of COVID-19 variants from India and UK

After successfully containing COVID-19 for most of last year, Vietnam is now battling an outbreak that is spreading more quickly.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus, a mix of the strains from India and the United Kingdom that spreads quickly by air, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

Nearly 3,600 people have been infected in 31 of its 63 cities and provinces since late April, accounting for more than half of the country's total infections.

Vietnam has registered 6,396 coronavirus cases as of Saturday, with 47 deaths.

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Source: Reuters/jt

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