Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long reports at the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo

The complete shutdown of the country’s biggest cluster in Son Loi Commune, Vinh Phuc Province, had proven to be effective and had helped stop the virus from spreading, a national steering committee set up to deal with the outbreak announced on Monday. No new cases had been detected in the cluster since the 11th patient tested positive on February 13.

According to the Ministry of Health, seven out of the 16 patients in Vietnam had fully recovered and had been discharged from hospital. The remaining nine cases were still being monitored before their release.

An American Vietnamese patient in HCM City had tested negative twice but had still been hospitalised for monitoring due to pre-existing health conditions.

Two patients from the Vinh Phuc cluster also had their tests return negative twice but were being monitored at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

The youngest patient in Vietnam – a three-month old infant – is being treated at the National Paediatrics Hospital in Hanoi. She has tested negative once since being hospitalised, and her mother has been given the all-clear.

According to health experts, a patient who tested negative twice for the coronavirus could be declared fully recovery.

The death toll from the new coronavirus – officially labelled COVID-19 last week by the World Health Organisation – had reached 1,775 globally while the number of people infected topped 71,000 as of Monday.

The deadly virus that originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan rapidly spread to 30 countries and territories, including Vietnam, which declared a public health emergency in Thanh Hoa, Khanh Hoa and Vinh Phuc.

The steering committee said it had been 30 days since the patient in Khanh Hoa recovered, and no more cases had been discovered. It had already passed the required period of 28 days since the last recovery with no new infections to officially end the public health emergency in the province.

Thanh Hoa, meanwhile, is in its 23rd day.

The Ministry of Health said at the meeting that it was assisting Khanh Hoa with paperwork to officially announce an end to the emergency.

The health ministry and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also proposed a ban on travellers who had arrived from or passed through outbreak zones for 14 days prior to arriving in Vietnam. Those that somehow got through must be put in quarantine for 14 days.

Cruise ships that reported infections were also considered outbreak zones.

Speaking at a government meeting in Hanoi on COVID-19 yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday said Vietnam is doing very well in the fight against the acute respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, including the repatriation of its citizens.

Hailing effective efforts by localities in the fight with support from the Ministry of Health and relevant authorities, the Government leader highlighted that Vietnam is home to a safe and attractive environment for tourism, business and living.

He pledged the determination by the government and localities for more resolute activities so as to reach the socio-economic goals and targets set for this year, despite the ravaging epidemic.
“That determination and responsibility have by this moment remained unchanged,” he said.

Calling on investors and businessmen to stay consistent with their plans, he said the Government will ensure the best environment for the business and daily life of the people and investors coming to Vietnam. Ministries, authorities and localities must take measures to ensure the people’s travel, production, business, and safety, he said.

He called on the people to place their trust on and support to the Government in the fight against the coronavirus, and ordered the Ministry of Information and Communications and concerned authorities to deal with the spread of wrongful information on the epidemic in a serious and timely way. — VNS

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