HCMC – While the latest Covid-19 outbreak in many parts of the Mekong Delta has shown signs of abating, two of the delta’s provinces, Soc Trang and Ca Mau, have emerged as the biggest coronavirus hotbeds in the region.
The spike in new cases is attributable to migrant workers who have been returning to their hometowns in droves, especially to Soc Trang and Ca Mau, from virus-hit cities and provinces, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.
According to the provincial health authority of Ca Mau, during the fourth wave of infections from late April till October 1, Ca Mau reported only 369 positive cases, one of the lowest case counts in the delta. However, since October 1 when mobility restrictions were relaxed in HCMC and other neighboring southeastern provinces, the province’s case count has exceeded 1,000.
By October 16, Ca Mau recorded 1,122 cases in total, with most of them coming from virus-hit areas. Data from the province showed that more than 30,000 people have returned home from Covid-hit provinces.
Similarly, around 40,000 people have returned to Soc Trang from HCMC and the southeastern provinces. Many of the returnees were found infected with Covid and were quarantined upon arrival. Over the past few days, the province’s daily new cases have reached around 200, even up to 271 on some days.
According to the Soc Trang Health Department, the province had reported 3,338 cases as of October 16. Tran De District accounted for the most, with more than 1,000 cases linked to a fisheries company in Tai Van Commune, followed by Vinh Chau Town with over 700 cases and My Xuyen District with nearly 500 cases.
In response to the worsening Covid situation, Soc Trang has set up and upgraded Covid field hospitals. Earlier, it proposed the central Government’s Covid task force provide support for the province’s response, said Tran Van Lau, chairman of the provincial government.
In Ca Mau, the authorities also put many field hospitals into operation and raised the province’s Covid alert to the highest level.
Nguyen Van Dung, director of the Ca Mau Provincial Health Department, forecast that new infections would continue to soar and the province would urgently need assistance.
HCMC and some provinces in the delta have sent medical supplies and healthcare workers to these two provinces to help cope with the spread of the virus.
The Mekong Delta’s provinces now have low vaccination rates due to vaccine supply shortages.