'Be very, very anxious': Nation's alarming Covid surge a warning to Australia

·3-min read

Australia has been warned that surging Covid-19 cases could just be the beginning, with fears the country could follow Vietnam's spike in infections, as the Delta variant continues to spread.

Vietnam recorded 5,926 new Covid cases on Monday, the highest number recorded since the pandemic began. A month earlier daily cases were 264 on June 18.

With speculation that Vietnam is 'losing control', parallels are being drawn between the country and Australia's growing outbreak.

"This is not good," emergency GP Dr David Berger Tweeted. "Vietnam losing control. When Vietnam loses control Australia should get very, very anxious."

A man rides a bicycle with a mask on during a surge of Covid infections in Vietnam.
Vietnam has seen an alarming surge in infections in recent weeks as the Delta variant spreads. Source: Getty

Similarities between NSW and Vietnam's outbreaks

Like Australia, Vietnam managed to curb their first wave of Covid. However, after long periods of no cases, they are experiencing surges in Covid cases due to the highly transmittable Delta variant.

They also have a low vaccination rate. According to Reuters, Vietnam has vaccinated 2.2 percent of the country’s population, while 11 percent of Australia's population is vaccinated.

University of Western Australia epidemiologist Dr Zoe Hyde says the nation had successfully managed to suppress the virus on three occasions during the pandemic but was struggling to handle the highly infectious strain now plaguing many countries around the globe, including Australia.

"Vietnam has had one of the best responses to Covid-19 in the world. But what worked before is not working against the Delta variant," she warned on Twitter on July, 5.

"But what worked before is not working against the delta variant," she continued. "Take note, NSW, before it’s too late."

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Vietnam is also reportedly imposing new restrictions as it deals with its worst Covid-19 outbreak to date, with the entire southern region (nearly a third of the population in lockdown) in a two-week lockdown that began midnight Sunday.

"Vietnam is struggling because what they relied on last year, which was rapid testing and tracing and selective lockdowns," Burnet Institute Epidemiologist Michael Toole told the ABC. "[That] just isn't going to work this time because the virus is spreading too quickly,"

NSW records 78 new cases

NSW recorded 78 locally acquired cases on Tuesday, down from the 98 reported on Monday.

27 were in the community for the entirety of their infectious period, with 11 partly in the community while infectious.

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