Behind barricades: Vietnam battles enemy virus

Vung Tau, Vietnam, Sept. 22 (BUS): Roadblocks and barricades make the streets of this South Vietnamese city look what they did during the war that ended nearly 50 years ago. But this time, the battle against the raging coronavirus is on.

In Vung Tau, just outside Ho Chi Minh City, streets were closed and checkpoints set up to control the movement of people. Barbed wire, door panels, steel panels, chairs and tables are among the materials used to fencing alleys and insulating neighborhoods, the AP reports.

A port city of half a million people, Vung Tau has not been affected by COVID-19 for most of the pandemic. Life lived as usual until the first case was recorded in late July and the delta variant began to spread in the southern region.

Ordered a quick shutdown. The white-sand beaches of the city, which were crowded with tourists, were emptied and closed. Residents are being asked to stay at home and can only go out on the streets for necessities once a week.

“Fighting this epidemic is like fighting the enemy,” this is the mantra that Vietnamese authorities repeat whenever they address the public about the epidemic these days, calling on people to join the fight by “staying where you are wherever you are.”

The situation is the same for half of Vietnam’s population, who are also under a lockdown order to fight the country’s worst outbreak to date.

The government hopes to slow the rate of infection, reduce pressure on the health care system, and allow more time to vaccinate more people.

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Only 6.9% of Vietnam’s population is fully vaccinated.

In just over four months, the virus has infected nearly 700,000 people and killed more than 17,000, according to the Health Ministry. Almost all of the deaths were from this latest wave.

RAE

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