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Vietnam reports record 12,920 new COVID-19 cases, 356 deaths

Vietnam reports record 12,920 new COVID-19 cases, 356 deaths

A Vietnamese soldier delivers food in a strict lockdown area amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, on Aug 24, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

HANOI: Vietnam's health ministry reported a record 12,920 new COVID-19 infections and 356 deaths on Friday (Aug 27).

Most of the cases were in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbouring industrial province of Binh Duong.

Vietnam has recorded more than 410,000 cases and 10,000 deaths to date.

On Thursday, the government said it is expecting 50,000 coronavirus infections in Binh Duong, adding that 2,000 troops, 50 mobile medical stations and 15 ambulances will be deployed to the province.

The Southeast Asian country has already deployed soldiers to the streets of Ho Chi Minh City to help enforce the country's strictest movement curbs yet which prevent people from leaving home, even for food.

Ordinary residents who need to travel in the event of a medical emergency can still do so, but the military has taken over the distribution of food in most parts of the city.

Provincial authorities are preparing for a worst-case scenario within which cases could exceed 150,000, the government said in a statement on its website. The number refers to a contingency plan, and is not a projection.

Binh Duong is home to production facilities for dozens of major firms, including South Korea's Kumho Tire and Tetra Pak, the world's largest food packaging company. The province also hosts a string of suppliers for Samsung Electronics and Pegatron, a key supplier for Apple.

It is one of Vietnam's largest recipients of foreign investment after Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

After successfully containing the pandemic for much of last year, Vietnam has been battling a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.

The country has one of Asia's lowest inoculation rates, with just more than 2 per cent of its 98 million people fully vaccinated as of Thursday.

Italy will send Vietnam 801,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via the COVAX Facility, the Vietnam news agency reported.

The batch of vaccine is expected to be delivered in early September.

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Source: AGENCIES/jt

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