Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's most populous city, is preparing to test all of its 13 million residents for the coronavirus after a steep rise in community transmissions.
The southern metropolis is expecting to carry a mass testing programme that will see 100,000 tests each day, city chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said during an emergency meeting on Sunday, according to online newspaper VnExpress.
The news follows an announcement made earlier on Sunday that Ho Chi Minh City will implement a two-week period of social distancing on Monday for the first time since April 2020.
The decision was made after the city found over 100 new virus cases, linked to a Christian mission cluster that first emerged on May 26, with the source of transmission unknown.
Citywide restrictions ban gatherings of 10 people or more outside of workplaces and hospitals and enforce a two-metre social distancing rule.
Vietnam has been praised for its response to the pandemic, yet after a month without any community transmission of the virus, local transmission cases emerged again on April 27, with over 4,000 cases reported since then.
The Ministry of Health on Saturday said it had detected a new COVID-19 variant comprising characteristics from both the British and Indian strains of the virus.
Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam's minister of health, said the new hybrid variant, which is highly transmissible through air, was detected through genetic sequencing on COVID-19 patients in Vietnam.
Vietnam has officially recorded 7,107 coronavirus cases and 47 deaths since the pandemic began.