Vietnam put its entire southern region in a two-week lockdown starting midnight Sunday, as confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 3,000 for the third day in a row.
The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City metropolis, the country’s financial and economic hub with over 35 million people — nearly a third of Vietnam’s population.
Officials say they have to act as the number of infections reached nearly 50,000 since the outbreak reemerged at the end of April after several months of no cases being recorded. Most of the 225 COVID-19 dead — 190 of them — have occurred since April.
Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the surge, had already announced a full lockdown a week ago, after dozens of cases were reported in late May. The city now accounts for most of the cases in the country with over 2,000 daily.