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Covid-19 Cases Multiply in Mekong Delta as More Return From Southeast Region

While Vietnam's overall COVID-19 situation has improved dramatically in recent weeks, a few provinces are seeing record numbers of new cases.

Tuoi Tre reports that Ca Mau and Soc Trang, both in the Mekong Delta, are seeing COVID-19 surges after tens of thousands of people returned to their hometowns from the Southeast Region once lockdown ended.

Ca Mau, for example, recorded just 369 community infections from April 27 to October 1. However, over 1,100 cases have been announced since the start of this month, as over 30,000 people originally from the province returned from Saigon, Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

Soc Trang, meanwhile, has seen over 40,000 people return from outbreak hot spots post-lockdown, and has recorded an average of over 200 new daily cases in recent days.

These cases are largely contained to quarantine centers or individual homes, as people arriving in these provinces are subject to self-isolation regulations, but officials rush to expand treatment capacity in response.

According to the news source, all makeshift hospitals in Ca Mau have been activated, while some hospitals are being dedicated to COVID-19 patients. The province's current virus treatment capacity is over 1,700 beds, while case numbers are expected to continue rising.

Saigon, which has seen plummeting daily case totals and is in the process of closing field hospitals, has sent four doctors, two nurses, 1,000 folding beds, 11,000 medical masks and 5,000 instant noodle boxes so far to Ca Mau to aid the pandemic fight.

In Soc Trang, nearly 2,000 people are currently being treated for COVID-19, while US$833,000 will be spent to build new treatment facilities amid rising cases. Neighboring provinces have sent 10 doctors and 60 nurses to Soc Trang, while 100 medical students from Can Tho are helping with vaccinations in the province.

Other provinces in the delta are also facing new cases. Zing reports that 50 F0's have been detected at a seafood company in Bac Lieu in the past 24 hours, with another 48 cases detected among people returning from Saigon and its neighbors.

Nationally, the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases is 3,424, down from 3,851 a week ago. As of this writing, 18.5 million people are fully vaccinated, making up 19.2% of the population, according to data from VnExpress.