Vietnam began a new spate of social distancing restrictions in Ho Chin Minh City on Monday in an effort to curb a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. The new measures will be in effect for fifteen days. Local authorities said they would conduct city-wide Covid-19 tests in the business hub with testing capacity at 100,000 samples per day. Police manned new checkpoints, and students vacated a dorm to make way for a 6,000-bed field hospital. Compounding concerns is the discovery over the weekend by Vietnamese officials of a ‘very dangerous’ combination of the Indian and UK variants which spreads quickly by air.
The total number of cases in Vietnam has more than doubled in the past month alone. In the north of the country factories supplying global tech firms like Apple and Samsung are operating below capacity because of outbreaks according to industry sources. State media said four thousand factory workers were screened and vaccinated for the virus before returning to production lines on Monday..