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Church mission in Vietnam faces criminal charges for covid outbreak

by Press Association
VIETNAM.jpg - Banner image

A church mission in the city of Ho Chi Minh is facing criminal charges for "spreading dangerous infectious diseases" after at least 145 cases of coronavirus have been linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission. 

It has been reported the churchgoers did not follow proper distancing and mask-wearing restrictions during an event where they sang and chanted in a small space. 

Pastor Phuong Van Tan and Vo Xuan Loan, the leaders of the church mission, have been accused of organising activities at the church with poor health protocols. They are currently in hospital with covid-related health complications and have not been put under arrest. 

The city district of Go Vap, where the church is based, has been locked down and all religious events have been banned nationwide. 

As a consequence of the outbreak, Vietnam plans to test all nine million inhabitants of Ho Chi Minh for coronavirus and has imposed more restrictions to deal with a growing Covid-19 outbreak.

People in the city are only allowed to leave home for necessary activities and public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned for the next two weeks, the government announced.

State newspaper Vietnam News said the city authority is planning to test its entire population with a testing capacity of 100,000 samples per day.

Some recent patients in Vietnam were infected with a hybrid of the virus variants first found in India and the UK, the health minister said.

Vietnam has vaccinated one million people with AstraZeneca shots.

It has a deal with Pfizer for 30 million doses to be delivered later this year.

It is also in talks with Moderna that would give it enough shots to fully vaccinate 80% of its 96 million population.

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