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Over 5,300 new infections recorded

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health reported 5,376 new Covid infections this evening, October 3, in HCMC, Binh Duong, and 37 other provinces and cities nationwide, as the pandemic has over the past several days shown signs of abating.

Among the new patients, nine were imported cases, while the 5,367 remaining cases were locally transmitted, down 110 cases against yesterday.

HCMC and Binh Duong as the two biggest hotspots saw a decline in new cases, by 262 and 234 to 2,461 and 1,283, respectively. Meanwhile, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Dong Thap recorded a hike in cases, rising by 315, 34, and 29 to 824, 54, and 35 cases, respectively.

Besides, 114 more deaths linked to the coronavirus were reported in the day, with 79 cases in HCMC, and 20 cases in the neighboring province of Binh Duong, which is the lowest level in a single day over the past two months. Since early August, except for three days when data on the death toll was not available on August 7, 21 and 31, the daily number of fatalities has hovered over 300 before being reduced to around 200 since mid-September.

The ministry also confirmed 28,859 new recoveries the same day, sending the country’s total recoveries to more than 690,000 cases.

In the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, a 150-bed Covid treatment hospital was put into operation today, including 30 ICU beds for severely ill patients, 60 beds for moderately ill patients or those having underlying medical problems, and the rest for mildly ill or asymptomatic ones. Also, 131 medical workers, mostly dispatched from the Soc Trang General Hospital, will take part in treating patients at the hospital, according to the provincial Department of Health.

The provincial health authority also gathered available medical equipment of local hospitals in the province and work out plans to purchase more essential equipment, personal protective equipment and other medical materials, with a total investment of nearly VND72 billion.

Speaking at a ceremony to open the Covid treatment hospital, Huynh Thi Diem Ngoc, vice chairwoman of the provincial government, said Soc Trang reported its first case in the latest outbreak on July 4. Up to now, it has recorded more than 1,300 cases, including some 870 recoveries and 22 fatalities.

The Covid situation in the province has been brought under control and the province is returning to the new normal. However, as HCMC and other southern localities are also easing mobility restrictions, the demand of local residents for returning home remains extremely high, resulting in a high risk for Covid transmission. Therefore, the province’s healthcare system should be updated to cope with the situation.

Over the past three days after mobility restrictions were relaxed, dozens of thousands of people flocked to their hometown in southern localities by motorcycles. Therefore, the healthcare system and quarantine facilities in some southern localities could be overwhelmed by a large number of returnees.

In response to such huge arrivals, Tran Van Lau, chairman of the Soc Trang Provincial government, and authorities in 12 other localities in the delta, this afternoon proposed the prime minister’s special task force suspend allowing citizens to return home for 15 days.

During the suspension period, these localities would make careful preparations and take care of the residents that had arrived home earlier.

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