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HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM - Vietnam's government is on a global vaccine shopping spree in hopes it can stem a surge of COVID-19 infections without resorting to more lockdowns like those that have already set back the economy and angered an increasingly frustrated public. Like many of its East Asia neighbors, Vietnam is experiencing some of its highest infection rates since the pandemic began early last year, registering more than 2,000 new cases in a day for the first time earlier this week. It recorded 2,383 new cases on July 12, the fifth consecutive day of record highs. However, public patience is wearing thin with the sort of restrictions that helped to keep three earlier waves of infections in check. After almost 50 days of lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, even those who once supported the government unconditionally began to question the way Vietnam has been fighting the pandemic. Some are also questioning whether an all-out battle against the virus is necessary, given that Vietnam is reporting far lower mortality rates from COVID-19 than many countries with more advanced health care systems. The nation's official figures show only 130 deaths from more than 30,000 cases a mortality rate of 0.4% compared to 1.8% in the United States. Previous lockdowns have taken a toll on the economy. Vietnam's General Statistics Office this month reported that 12.8 million people aged 15 or older were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the April-June period of this year...Read more

VOA News | Friday, July 16, 2021
Vietnam Shops for Vaccines in Hopes of Avoiding More Lockdowns