Vietnam eases virus curbs, Russia tightens

·2-min read

Vietnam's largest city is set to come out of lockdown after nearly three months of curbs while a coronavirus surge in Russia has caused authorities to more strictly enforce restrictions.

People in Ho Chi Minh City will be able to leave their homes on Friday but the government will still enforce physical distancing measures and travel in and out of the city will be controlled.

The Delta variant infected 770,000 people and killed more than 19,000 in three months in Vietnam, with Ho Chi Minh City accounting for the majority of deaths.

Vietnam is speeding up vaccinations by prioritising big cities and squeezing the shots into a shorter time-frame to get both doses into more people.

Almost half of Ho Chi Minh City's adults have received both shots while Vietnam's overall vaccination rate is low.

Russian authorities are tightening up the enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus-related deaths.

Several shopping centres are facing a temporary shutdown because customers hadn't worn face masks, inspectors from the city administration said on Thursday according to the Interfax news agency.

On Thursday, Russia registered another record number of COVID-19-related deaths within 24 hours.

According to official figures, 867 people died after contracting the virus - the highest number to date.

Russia, a country of 146 million, has been recording high daily death numbers for months.

The official overall death tally stands at more than 207,000.

However, the number of unreported cases is thought to be high.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the country's current vaccination rate is not high enough.

"We probably need to explain more actively that vaccinating saves lives," he said.

About 50 million Russians, or 34 per cent of the population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine so far.

Doctors in Moscow are now to receive a bonus for every person they vaccinate against COVID-19.

They will be paid an additional $US2.60 ($A3.60) for every adult between 18 and 60 years, and $US5.50 for everyone over 60 willing to get the jab.

with AP

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