The Latest: Vietnam calls in army for strict virus lockdown

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Medical workers take swab samples from people in Vung Tau city, Vietnam Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. Vietnam's government said it is sending troops to Ho Chi Minh city to help deliver food and aid to households as it further tightens restrictions on peoples movements amid a worsening surge of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam’s government says it is sending troops to Ho Chi Minh City to help deliver food and aid to households as it further tightens restrictions on people’s movements amid a worsening surge of the coronavirus.

The army personnel will be deployed to help with logistics as the city of 10 million people asks residents to “stay put” for two weeks starting from Monday, a report on the government website said Friday.

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The move comes as Vietnam, which weathered much the pandemic with very few cases, recorded more than 10,000 new infections and 390 deaths on Friday. Ho Chi Minh City accounted for 3,500 of those infections.

“People must absolutely stay put, isolate from each other, from house to house, from community to community,” Prime Minsiter Pham Minh Chinh said.

Ho Chi Minh City has had strict coronavirus measures in place since June, including banning gatherings of more than two people in public and only allowing people to leave home for essential matters like buying food or going to work in certain permitted businesses. Under the new measures, people in high risk areas cannot leave home at all.



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SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco has become the first major city in the nation to require proof of full vaccination against the coronavirus for people to dine inside restaurants, work out in gyms or attend indoor concerts.

Restaurants and bars posted signs and added extra staff Friday to begin verifying people’s proof of vaccination before allowing them in.

The new rule goes beyond New York City, which only requires people to be at least partially inoculated for a variety of indoor activities.

Local business groups in San Francisco have supported the new vaccine mandate, saying it will protect their employees’ and customers’ health and keep them from having to limit capacity indoors.


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is calling for school districts to require masks and says she is considering declaring an emergency as hospitals strain to handle increasingly young COVID-19 patients.

Kelly said that “we really want people to understand that this is no fooling around.”

The latest health department data shows 154 coronavirus clusters in schools, with a total of 1,889 cases.

Kelly noted that schools in other states have shut down completely over outbreaks. She says that until a coronavirus vaccine is approved for children under age 12, using masks can help curb the spread of infections.

The governor said more COVID-19 patients were admitted to Kansas hospitals Wednesday than any other single day during the pandemic and ICUs are at 100% capacity at six of the state’s largest hospitals, with two-thirds of the beds going to COVID-19 patients.


ST. LOUIS — New COVID-19 hospital admissions in St. Louis are reaching winter surge levels and southeast Missouri hospitals are under strain due to a surge in coronavirus cases and a rise in deaths.

On Thursday, hospitals in St. Louis reported admitting 100 patients with COVID-19 — the most since Jan. 16. A total of 585 people were hospitalized, including 25 children. Twelve of the children are younger than 12 and not eligible for a coronavirus vaccine.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Southeast Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau has increased more than 50% in the last week and a half.


BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is calling on parents to take seriously the coronavirus risks for children and to ensure students wear face masks.

Schools that resumed classes this month already have reported more than 5,300 students and 750 employees who have tested positive for the virus. Those numbers are expected to grow larger.

Edwards has enacted a statewide mask mandate that includes schools. That has prompted angry outcries from some parents who argue they should decide whether to put a mask on their children.

The governor said Friday: “Transmission is very high. Simply put, we cannot keep our schools open or our kids safe today without masks.”


SANTA FE, N.M. -- Dozens of health care workers and state employees have protested New Mexico’s mandate that they get a coronavirus vaccine.

Nurses, hospital clerical workers and state prison guards joined about 150 people at the state capitol Friday to demonstrate against the requirement.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered state workers to get vaccinated earlier this summer. A public health order issued this week expands the mandate to private industry workers in sensitive areas such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools.

Under the order, only certain workers can decline vaccines if they submit to weekly virus testing. Some unvaccinated hospital workers say their employers will fire them in the coming weeks.


HONOLULU — Sports teams at the University of Hawaii will open the fall season with no fans in the stands at home contests.

Honolulu officials notified the university that fans won’t be allowed at season-opening events due to the state’s current surge in coronavirus infections and hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

The university said Friday that a decision to host fans will be re-evaluated in coming weeks.

The decision applies to all fall sports, including football and women’s volleyball and soccer.


ORLANDO, Fla. — The mayor of Orlando, Florida, is asking residents to stop watering their lawns and washing their cars for a least a week, saying water usage needs to be cut back because of the recent surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said said Monday that the liquid oxygen and other supplies ordinarily used to treat the city’s water have been diverted to hospitals for patients suffering from the virus.

The city-owned utility says it typically goes through 10 trucks of liquid oxygen a week but its supplier recently said it would be cut back to five to seven trucks a week to accommodate hospitals.

The utility says about 40% of the city’s potable water is used for irrigation so any strains on the water supply will be greatly reduced if residents stop watering their lawns, washing their cars or using pressure washers.

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