A further 1,612 new COVID-19 cases, including 1,600 local cases and 12 imported infections, were recorded on the evening of July 17, with Ho Chi Minh City registering the highest number of infections with 2,786 for the whole day.
The latest domestic cases comprise of 1,017 in Ho Chi Minh City, 139 in Dong Thap 134 in Long An, 78 in Khanh Hoa, 64 in Dong Nai, 33 in Da Nang, 30 in Phu Yen, 23 in Ria - Vung Tau, 15 in Tra Vinh, 13 in Hung Yen, 13 in Hanoi, Gia Lai, Binh Thuan, An Giang, Ha Nam (five each),4 in Dak Nong, Hai Phong, Binh Phuoc, Quang Ngai (three each), Bac Ninh, Can Tho (two each), and one each in Bac Giang, Lang Son, Ninh Thuan, and Vinh Phuc.
Of the new cases, 1,279 were detected inside areas in quarantine or under lockdown.
July 17 also saw the nation document a total of 13 imported cases in Ho Chi Minh City (8), An Giang (2), Hanoi (2), and Kien Giang (1).
Currently, the country has recorded 45,884 domestic infections and 2,020 imported ones. The number of infections reported since the fourth COVID-19 wave hit the country in late April amounts to 44,314.
On the same day, as many as 292 coronavirus patients were declared to be clear of the virus, taking the total recoveries to 10,312.
At present 12 localities have gone two weeks without any new local infections in the community.
Amid increasingly complicated developments with regard to COVID-19, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh signed a dispatch on July 17 to agree to apply social distancing measures under Government Directive 16 across 16 southern provinces and cities. This will be done for a period of 14 days in an effort the halt the rapid spread of the virus among the community.
This comes after Ho Chi Minh City, alongside Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, enforced Directive 16.
The time for the enforcement will be decided by chairpersons of the provincial People's Committees, but must be taken no later than 0:00 a.m. on July 19.