Over 1,500 children orphaned by Covid-19 in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam soldiers deliver food into strict lockdown areas amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. - Reuters

HO CHI MINH CITY, Sept 17 (dpa): Education officials in Ho Chi Minh City are seeking help from local authorities to look after 1,517 orphans who have lost one or both parents due to Covid-19.

The latest wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam's biggest city stands out as the deadliest of the entire pandemic and has directly affected the lives of students and teachers, the Department of Education and Training said in a report.

According to the latest statistics, 10,073 high school students and 3,386 teachers have contracted Covid-19, while 1,517 students have been orphaned, the report said.

To support the orphaned children, city authorities said Thursday they will search for their relatives. If none can be found, they will ask volunteer families to care for them or take the children to the local social protection centres.

Despite reporting 5,300 cases and 189 deaths respectively on Wednesday, Ho Chi Minh City has eased restrictions in recent days.

The southern metropolis, which is easily the worst-affected area in Vietnam, has recorded more than 315,000 local infections in the last six months, accounting for about half of the country’s 645,000 community transmissions since the fourth wave began on April 27.

Vietnam has reported 16,186 coronavirus-related deaths during the pandemic, accounting for about 2.5 per cent of all those infected with the coronavirus.

As of September 15, Vietnam had administered a single Covid-19 vaccine dose to more than 31 million people, out of a total population of 98 million.

With only 6 per cent of its population fully vaccinated, Vietnam has one of the lowest immunisation rates in Asia. - dpa

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