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Austria, Germany, Vietnam virus cases rise

Daily registered coronavirus cases have hit record highs in Germany and Austria as new infections hit a two-week high in Vietnam.

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate on Monday hit its highest level since the pandemic began with a seven-day incidence rate of 202 cases per 100,000 people, according to health authorities.

The previous highest incidence rate was in the midst of the second coronavirus wave on 22 December last year with 197 infections per 100,000 people.

In Austria, the seven-day incidence rate also hit record levels on Monday with 633 infections per 100,000 people and health authorities reported 8178 new cases in the last 24 hours.

In response to the increase in coronavirus cases, the Austrian government imposed stricter restrictions on the non-vaccinated population affecting access to bars, restaurants, cultural or sporting events.

A recent negative COVID-19 test will no longer be enough for non-vaccinated people to access venues.

The World Health Organisation warned last week that Europe had become the epicenter of the pandemic again, accounting for 59 per cent of cases globally.

Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 250 million on Monday as some countries in eastern Europe also registered record outbreaks.

Vietnam reported nearly 8000 coronavirus cases on Monday – the country’s highest daily tally for the past two weeks, officials said, warning that more cases will appear in coming days if people fail to comply with the regulations.

The country recorded 7988 new cases across 55 out of 63 provinces, an increase of 323 cases compared with Sunday, the health ministry said in a report, adding it recorded 67 deaths.

Ho Chi Minh City is still the worst-hit location with 1316 cases followed by provinces around Ho Chi Minh City.

Nguyen Huy Nga, a former health ministry official, attributed part of the problem with spreading the disease to people leaving Ho Chi Minh City to get to their home provinces after the city cancelled a lockdown and then returning to the city for work.

The ministry called for people to wear face masks, use disinfectants and maintain safe distances to minimise the disease’s spread.

Vietnam was repeatedly praised for its response to the pandemic last year.

But it failed to contain the virus’ spread early this year, leading to the current COVID-19 wave.

Since then, the country has recorded about one million cases and nearly 23,000 coronavirus-related deaths, which accounts for about 2.5 per cent of all those infected with the coronavirus.

As of Monday, Vietnam had administered a single COVID-19 vaccine dose to 61 million people out of a total population of 98 million.

Nearly 30 million people, or less than 30 per cent, are fully vaccinated.

with reporting from EFE and Reuters

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