Restaurants to close in largest Vietnamese city amid new Covid outbreak, World News

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest and most populous city in Vietnam, on Friday ordered the closure of restaurants accepting dine-in customers and restricted a range of activities amid a new Covid-19 outbreak in the southern metropolis.

Beauty parlours, tourist sites, libraries, night markets and parks were among the services ordered to close starting from Friday, with public gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people and homestay services also closed, reports DPA news agency.

The decision was made after the city found 36 new virus cases linked to a Christian mission cluster that emerged a day earlier with unknown sources of transmission.

There were particular concerns due to a large number of exposure sites.

Ho Chi Minh City airport also stopped receiving foreign arrivals from Thursday, though the airport will still operate outbound flights.

Vietnam has been praised for its response to the pandemic, yet after a month without any community transmissions of the virus, local transmission cases emerged again on April 27 and, on May 15, Vietnam recorded its first Covid-19 death in eight months.

The new cases are linked to a 27-year-old man who returned to Vietnam from Japan on April 7, and a Chinese expert entering the country for work, both of whom tested positive after completing their mandatory two-week quarantine.

Since then, Vietnam has recorded over 3,000 cases, bringing the total coronavirus caseload to 6,356 and 46 deaths since the onset of the pandemic in January last year.

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