This morning, February 3, the Ministry of Health confirmed that a 29-year-old female patient, a worker returning from Wuhan, China was positive for nCoV, bringing the total number of infection cases in Vietnam to 8.
The patient from the northern province of Vinh Phuc, was one of the eight workers returning from Wuhan on the same flight. Previously, three of them were identified as suffering from the acute respiratory infections caused by nCoV. These people have been isolated and treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Department of Tropical Medicine of the General Hospital of Thanh Hoa Province.
This is a case of "close contact with high-risk cases", the Ministry of Health said.
Currently, the patient is being isolated at the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital’s branch in Dong Anh district, Hanoi and is in stable condition.
In terms of epidemiological history, the patient and 7 other Vietnamese people, who were sent to Wuhan, China for training by the Nihon Plast Co., Ltd, based in Vinh Phuc. She returned to Vietnam on January 17 on Southern China’s flight CZ8315.
The patient moved from the Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi to her company in Vinh Phuc by the company’s bus. There she joined a company meeting, which included the other 7 Vietnamese people who also returned from Wuhan. After that she came home with a colleague on a company bus.
The patient’s samples were positive for nCoV virus, tested by Realtime RT-PCR, at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
In Vietnam, 8 have been people identified with coronavirus infection and one of them has recovered. The number of suspected cases - including those who showed signs of fever, coughing and returning from the epidemic areas - was 92 by February 3 morning, of which 65 had negative nCoV testing results. The rest have been quarantined.
The seven previous cases consist of two Chinese (a man and his son, with one already recovering), three Vietnamese returning from Wuhan, one Vietnamese who is a hotel receptionist having close contact with the two infected Chinese nationals, and a Vietnamese American man who transited at an airport in Wuhan.
As of February 3 morning, the nCoV-caused disease had been reported in 27 countries and territories with 17,387 confirmed cases (17,205 in China), including 362 deaths (361 in China and one in the Philippines).
At least 20 cities and provinces nationwide have decided to temporarily close schools from February 3 in an effort to stem the spreading of the virus.
The move was made following Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s instruction to give students a temporary break over the concern about the novel virus.
A total of 137 universities and colleges have also announced to extend the Lunar New Year holiday for one or two more weeks.
The National Super Cup – THACO 2019 has also been postponed because of the nCoV outbreak. The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has decided to cancel the tournament’s opening match between Hanoi FC and Ho Chi Minh City FC on February 7. It said the match would be held on February 21 or March 1 instead.
On February 2, companies in Vietnam were asked to suspend receiving Chinese workers who return from infected areas in China after the Lunar New Year holiday, following an urgent notice issued by the Minitry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Those who have already arrived in Vietnam must be quarantined and monitored for 14 days, the notice says.
Industrial parks, processing and economic zones across the country must also halt granting new working permits to foreigners from infected areas.
PM urges stronger efforts against nCoV
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has emphasised the need to reduce mass gatherings as Vietnam is ramping up efforts to cope with the threat of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
In recently-issued Notice No. 156/CD-TTg on intensifying the prevention and control of the virus, the Government leader asked nCoV-affected provinces to stop all festivals, even ongoing ones, and close schools.
The notice was sent to relevant ministries and People’s Committees of centrally-run cities and provinces, after the declaration of the acute respiratory disease caused by 2019-nCoV an epidemic in Vietnam on February 1 by the PM.
In the notice, PM Phuc required the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with competent Chinese agencies on countermeasures and the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in China via the international border gates of Huu Nghi in Lang Son province, Lao Cai in the namesake province, Mong Cai in Quang Ninh province, Tay Trang in Dien Bien province and Thanh Thuy in Ha Giang province.
The ministry is also asked to coordinate with the Ministries of National Defence and Public Security to facilitate the repatriation of Chinese nationals.
The Ministry of National Defence is instructed to join hands with concerned ministries and border provinces to closely monitor the exit and entry of passengers at border gates.
The Health Ministry needs to coordinate with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Defence and Public Security, and relevant provincial People’s Committees to quarantine Vietnamese returning from China for 14 days, the PM said.
Other tasks include stepping up nCoV prevention drills and preparing necessary medical equipment and medicines.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was assigned to review the number of Vietnamese labourers in China, and report it to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, National Defene, Public Security and Health, and localities in order to chart plans in case the labourers need to be repatriated, while guiding localities and businesses that employ Chinese labourers to take countermeasures.
Medical stores that hike up prices of health equipment and those who spread false information about the epidemic must be strictly punished, including legal proceedings if necessary, in line with the law.
PM Phuc asked localities to instruct people to wear face masks at public areas and on transport means and disinfect community places, especially schools, markets, supermarkets, coach and railway stations, and apartment buildings./.