The Ministry of Health has confirmed that a 29-year old Vietnamese woman in the central city of Da Nang tested positive for COVID-19, raising the total number of infection cases in Vietnam to 35 on March 11.
Quarantined area at a hospital in Binh Thuan Province, where the 34th patient is treated.
The newest patient is a salesperson at a Dien May Xanh electronics supermarket in Hai Chau District, Da Nang City.
She had direct contact with two British nationals, who have been identified as the 22nd and 23rd COVID-19 patients in Vietnam, in the supermarket at about 18:00-19:00 on March 4.
The woman was confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 at 6:30 on March 11. She is being treated at Da Nang Hospital.
Also on March 11, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Tien Hong said the two above-said British tourists are under monitoring at Da Nang Hospital and in stable health.
Of the 35 COVID-19 cases in Vietnam so far, 16 were discharged from hospital after their complete recovery.
As of 7am Wedensday, more than 118,493 COVID-19 patients had been reported in 104 countries and territories around the world. China had 80,756 patients in all of its 31 provinces and cities. More than 4,261 fatalities had been reported worldwide, with 3,136 in China, according to the Ministry of Health.
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Nearly 70 railway staff quarantined for Covid-19 virus fear
Up to around 70 railway workers have been quarantined after serving on trains which had British Covid-19 patients or those facing risk of viral infection.
On March 4, a British couple who were passengers on Vietnam Airlines' VN0054 from London to Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport took a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. The two later tested positive for Covid-19.
According to Phung Thi Ly Ha, deputy general director of Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company, the couple stayed in a separate carriage and did not have any contact with other passengers.
Ha added that the female staff who served the couple had been quarantined and tested negative for the virus. Besides, roughly 20 other staff on the train were isolated at their home for 14 days.
On March 6, a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai Province also transported four other British visitors who were also the passengers on the flight VN0054.
The four are now being monitored in Lao Cai and tested negative for the virus.
However, to ensure the safety, the male staff who served these people and around 20 others working on the train have also been isolated at their home.
Meanwhile, two trains on the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route also carried some British passengers on March 5-6. They also sat on the flight VN0054.
As a result, many staff serving on the trains have been quarantined.
To date, up to 13 people on flight VN0054 have been tested positive to Covid-19, including 11 foreigners and two Vietnamese.
Nearly 1,900 people complete quarantine period in Hanoi on Tuesday
As many as 1,893 people who were identified to have contact with COVID-19 infected patients and their families in Hà Nội will leave concentrated quarantine centres today after having completed their quarantine period.
The city’s Military High Command announced the development on Monday at the meeting of the city’s steering committee on COVID-19 prevention and control.
Twenty-eight South Koreans will also be allowed to return to their home country.
The city’s Military High Command received and sent 3,697 people who were under quarantine due to COVID-19 to quarantine centres.
All 2,240 samples that have been taken tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
Hoàng Đức Hạnh, Deputy Director of the department, reported that as of 3pm on Monday, the city had had no fatalities.
Regarding the reports of the lockdown of the Metropole Hotel in Hòan Kiếm District where British tourists had stayed, a representative of the district said that authorities sterilised the hotel and another at 12 Nguyễn Quang Bích Street.
On the afternoon of Monday, the two hotels resumed normal operation, and Metropole Hotel has not been on lockdown as reported, the official confirmed.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung said at the meeting that all of the COVID-19 infection cases in Hà Nội have been tracked down, with no community transmission detected thus far.
Given new challenges, the official called for greater efforts to complete the list of those people who have been in close contact with the infection cases.
All overseas working trips by the city’s officials must be cancelled unless they get approval from the Prime Minister, and unnecessary conferences should be scrapped or scaled down, Chung requested.
The municipal Department of Health and the Hanoi-based National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology will admit first-generation patients to ease overloading at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Also on Monday, Hà Nội City’s health department proposed the municipal People’s Committee to fund meals for people who are under quarantine due to COVID-19. It was proposed that each of them would be given VNĐ80,000 per day.
The rate will be maintained until the Government decides on financial assistance. By this morning, Việt Nam has confirmed 33 COVID-19 cases, 16 of them have fully recovered.
Border guards overcome difficulties to prevent COVID-19 from spreading
Despite the hard work, severe weather and food shortages, border guards in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai are working hard to stop COVID-19 from spreading.
The guards in Chung Chải B Village often have dark rings around their eyes due to the hard work they carry out day and night.
If they catch anyone entering Việt Nam illegally, the border guards team ask them to wear medical face masks and spray their luggage and clothes with disinfectant.
After taking their details, the guards then take them to a nearby medical station for quarantine.
The Chung Chải B Border Guard Station sits high in the mountains, about 30m from the border. The weather there is inclement most of the time, and to reach the station, the guards must travel through villages and fields inhabited by the Pa Dí ethnic minority group.
Due to long and difficult roads, each team works on three-day shifts.
During a break, Senior Lieutenant Lương Văn Linh tends to vegetables in his garden.
“We will be stationed here for a long time so we grow our own vegetables to supplement our meals,” he said.
Soldiers at the Bản Lầu Border Station in Cốc Lầy Village, Lùng Vai Commune, Mường Khương District also share the same hardships.
Lieutenant Colonel Ngô Minh Đức said the weather was harsh and had been very cold this week, but had quickly changed, which was affecting their health.
Đức’s house is about 40km from the station, but he has not been home for two months due to his busy work.
“The epidemic is serious. I’m homesick, but I still need to complete my duties,” said Đức.
Đức’s team has six members tasked with keeping a close watch on about three kilometres of the border frontier in Bản Lầu and Lùng Vai communes. The area is remote so they must prepare their own food, which often includes wild forest vegetables.
Vương Văn Long, a member of Đức’s team, said: “Despite the hard work and deprivation, we will overcome these challenges to fulfill our task”.
Provinces and cities tighten Covid-19 screening and classification at medical facilities
The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has asked provinces and cities to tighten the screening, classification and isolation of COVID-19 patients at medical facilities across the country on Tuesday.
The move is in response to the continuing development of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in over 100 countries and territories worldwide, especially new transmission sources and cases detected recently in Việt Nam.
It is forecasted that there will be an increase of new suspected cases coming to hospitals for health check-ups, according to the committee.
The committee asked provinces and cities to take screening measures at medical facilities by setting up signs and classifying patients at its gates and treating people with symptoms of suspected COVID-19, like fever, cough or breathing difficulties.
Medical facilities are requested to arrange staff to screen and classify patients before they enter the examination faculty, absolutely do not allow patients with clinical and epidemiological symptoms of suspected COVID-19 to enter the waiting room with other patients.
District and higher level medical facilities are urged to arrange specific areas and closely manage COVID-19 suspected or positive cases.
State and private medical clinics are requested to record and report information of suspected cases to the provincial centres for disease control and prevention or health department for timely measures of management, quarantine and isolation.
They are also suggested to promote communication and education measures to strengthen the community’s awareness on Covid-19 prevention and help people obeying screening and classification measures at medical facilities.
As of 7am today, more than 113,900 COVID-19 patients had been reported in 103 countries and territories around the world. Nearly 4,000 fatalities had been reported worldwide, with 3,119 in China. Việt Nam has reported 32 cases and no fatalities of Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Health. VNS/VNA/Dtinews/TP/VNN
Compiled by Q. Khuyen