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Covid-19 cases linked to religious sect cluster in HCMC rise to 211

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HCMC – The HCMC Department of Health this morning, June 1, announced 11 new Covid-19 cases linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission infection cluster in Go Vap District, raising the total number of cases linked to the religious sect to 211.

At a meeting of the municipal steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control this morning, director of the department Nguyen Tan Binh said the 11 new cases have yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Health, the local media reported.

The number of Covid-19 cases linked to this hotspot will certainly continue increasing in the coming days, Binh added.

The first person related to the religious sect to show symptoms of Covid-19 was the wife of a pastor, who traveled to Hanoi from April 23 to 29. On May 13, she developed a cough, fever and sore throat.

The Revival Ekklesia Mission declared that 20 members participated in its meetings, in line with the city’s anti-pandemic regulations. However, the city found that the religious sect had 55 members.

Of them, 40 have tested positive for Covid-19 and the results of the rest have yet to be worked out. Their meetings were held in a narrow space of only 40-50 square meters.

More than 3,000 F1 cases of the 40 patients have been found and over 2,000 have tested negative.

Twenty of 22 districts in HCMC have reported Covid-19 patients, with Go Vap making up the most at 52. Only Districts 11 and Can Gio have yet to have Covid-19 cases.

Due to the Revival Ekklesia Mission hotspot, Go Vap District is practicing social distancing. However, the district this morning allowed vehicles to pass through some Covid-19 checkpoints due to severe traffic congestion at the checkpoint areas.

This is the second time that checkpoints have been removed for a while as a large number of residents go to their workplaces in the mornings. Yesterday, May 31 morning, the district also let residents pass through the checkpoints.

Late last night, 10 checkpoints in the districts were reinstalled. The district authorities also came up with solutions to control the pandemic while facilitating residents in other districts to pass through Go Vap.

However, serious traffic jams were seen at many checkpoint areas this morning.

Residents have to show the identity papers and employment certificates of their companies and agencies to pass through the checkpoints. However, the job takes up too much time due to a huge number of residents, causing multiple difficulties for officials at the checkpoints.

The huge volume of people completing procedures at the checkpoints has raised concerns over the risk of virus transmission.

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