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Vietnam communists accept religions' olive branch as COVID rages

Catholics and Buddhists mobilize health workers to help Ho Chi Minh City cope

Father FX Nguyen Duc Dai leads an Easter Sunday mass in Huu Bang parish, an area of Son Loi, which was previously quarantined due to the coronavirus.    © Reuters

HANOI -- Vietnam is now counting on support from religious groups to help Ho Chi Minh City through its worsening COVID-19 outbreak, a sign of desperation from the Communist Party of Vietnam-led government that rarely hobnobs with the old foe of Marxism.

More than 1,000 Catholic nuns and priests as well as Buddhist monks with medical skills have taken part in a government program to combat the pandemic as the death toll rises sharply in the country's largest city.

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