Soc Trang and Ca Mau Provinces have become the new COVID-19 hot spots in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta after welcoming a large number of residents who returned from virus-hit localities.
Ca Mau was among the Mekong Delta localities with the least cases, recording only 369 local infections from April 27 to October 1, according to the provincial Department of Health.
However, the local tally exceeded 1,100 cases from October 1 to 16, with most of the new patients coming from virus-hit locales.
Statistics showed that more than 30,000 people have returned to Ca Mau from such hotbeds as Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai Province, and Binh Duong Province since October 1 following the relaxation of COVID-19 movement restrictions nationwide.
Similarly, over 40,000 people have returned to Soc Trang Province from Ho Chi Minh City and some southeast provinces.
The province has been logging an average daily count of 200 over the past days, the provincial health department stated.
As of October 16, Soc Trang had documented over 3,300 local transmissions in its 11 districts, towns, and cities, most of whom were from virus-hit areas or in direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
Boosting treatment capacity
To cope with the rising infections, authorities in Ca Mau have put into operation all makeshift hospitals and implemented pandemic prevention and control measures at the highest level.
Some hospitals will also be turned into COVID-19 treatment facilities to raise the province’s capacity to more than 1,700 beds, said Nguyen Van Dung, director of Cau Mau’s Department of Health.
Dung predicted that the number of patients will continue surging in the coming time, adding that the province will need assistance from other localities and the central government.
Ho Chi Minh City has so far sent four doctors and two nurses while providing 1,000 folding beds, 11,000 medical masks, 175kg of disinfectants, and 5,000 boxes of instant noodles to the southernmost province.
In Soc Trang, about 1,980 people are being treated for COVID-19 at local healthcare facilities, according to chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Lau.
Local authorities have activated many field hospitals and planned to invest VND19 billion (US$833,000) in the construction of new COVID-19 treatment facilities, Lau continued.
Ten doctors and 60 nurses from other provinces have been mobilized to Soc Trang, while nearby Can Tho City has sent 100 medical students to assist the vaccination progress.
Ho Chi Minh City has supplied vehicles designed for mobile COVID-19 testing and 10,000 biological products required for conducting the tests.
Vietnam had recorded 864,053 COVID-19 cases as of Monday afternoon, with 791,844 recoveries and 21,194 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
The country has reported 859,372 local infections in 62 out of 63 provinces and cities since the fourth wave began on April 27.