Vietnamese authorities have dispatched the armed forces to enforce the strict lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s largest, with the military in place to deliver food to people and monitor movement.
Ho Chi Minh City’s total blockade commenced on Monday in a bid to curb coronavirus cases in Vietnam’s economic hub, after the government on Friday instructed all of the city’s residents to “stay put.”
Vietnam’s armed forces have been tasked with ensuring that its 13 million-strong population receives food while its citizens are under a strict two-week lockdown that prohibits them from leaving the house, even for grocery shopping.
Video footage on Twitter purported to show the military running food packages to homes in the large city, while other images were uploaded displaying the contents of the delivery next to a bag reading “Vietnam People’s Army.”
The military has also been deployed to monitor citizens traveling around the city at checkpoints. Other teams are in place to ensure that civilians are respecting social-distancing measures, according to local media.
Despite imposing strings of restrictions and a stay-at-home order in the country’s economic sector, Ho Chi Minh City has been hard hit by coronavirus cases, making it the nation’s Covid epicenter. On August 19, the metropolis recorded over 4,400 coronavirus infections, representing more than 40% of the nation’s total daily tally.
Earlier this month, Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, dubbed Ho Chi Minh City’s high death toll as “the most pressing issue.” Out of Vietnam’s 8,666 Covid-related fatalities, 7,010 deaths are from that city.
Vietnam, praised in the past for its containment of the 2019 coronavirus during earlier phases of the pandemic, has been battling an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant since late April. Since the spring surge of infections, 354,355 coronavirus cases have been registered in the South-East Asian nation out of its overall tally of just over 358,400.
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