15,000 associated with virus-hit Hanoi hospital test Covid-19 negative

By Vo Hai   April 9, 2020 | 01:00 am PT
15,000 associated with virus-hit Hanoi hospital test Covid-19 negative
A medical staff in Hanoi takes samples of a woman linked to Bach Mai Hospital for Covid-19 test, March 31 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Over 1,000 medics at Bach Mai Hospital, Vietnam’s largest Covid-19 hotspot, alongside 14,000 others tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of the Centers for Disease Control in Hanoi, said over 15,400 people had their swab samples taken for Covid-19 testing.

Among them were over 3,100 inside Bach Mai Hospital, including 1,100 medics, with the remaining being patients treated at the hospital.

Meanwhile, over 12,000 hospital visitors have been asked to undergo Covid-19 testing.

All showed negative Covid-19 results after one to three tests, Cam said.

Bach Mai, one of Vietnam’s largest hospitals, has become the country’s largest infection hotspot. At least 45 Covid-19 cases linked to the hospital have been confirmed, including 27 employees of Truong Sinh Company, which supplies food and logistic services to the facility.

Authorities in Hanoi have urged all districts and neighboring localities to locate those associated with the hospital for quarantine and gather samples for Covid-19 testing to ensure each visitor to Bach Mai is monitored.

Localities have listed over 52,000 people related to the hospital, of which over 4,300 were inpatients.

Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said after 10 days of lockdown, the coronavirus outbreak in Bach Mai has been well controlled.

All Truong Sinh Company employees were in the hospital between March 10 and 28 and didn’t go out, which helped reduce the risk of community transmission, he added.

Chung ordered relevant agencies to look for and carry out Covid-19 tests for 9,000 people who have visited or looked after inpatients and outpatients at Bach Mai. In addition, the city is also calling on drivers who picked up guests at Bach Mai between March 10 and 28 to supply health declarations and undergo Covid-19 testing.

As of Thursday, Hanoi has recorded 102 infections, the highest in the country.

Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of Hanoi’s Department of Health, said new confirmed cases have complicated travel schedules, so there will be a high risk for community transmission in the coming days.

The Health Ministry stated Wednesday the epidemic has entered the third stage in Vietnam, defined as community transmission with more than a few locals infected and the source of transmission yet to be identified.

Vietnam’s Covid-19 count remained at 251 by Thursday morning, the first time the country has stayed clean for 24 hours in over a month. 126 patients have been discharged from hospital.

A 15-day social distancing campaign launched April 1 remains in effect. During this period, people have been told not to venture outside their homes except for essential reasons like buying food and medicine, emergencies, working in factories, production facilities or business that involve trade in essential goods and services.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected 209 countries and territories, and claimed more than 88,500 lives.

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