Coronavirus hit commune set to lift lockdown

By Gia Chinh   March 2, 2020 | 01:31 am PT
Coronavirus hit commune set to lift lockdown
A medical staff sprays disinfectant on a man's hands at a checkpoint in Son Loi Commune, Vinh Phuc Province, February 20, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Son Loi Commune in Vinh Phuc Province will return to normal starting Wednesday after a lockdown clamped over the novel coronavirus is lifted.

It has been over two weeks since Vietnam's last Covid-19 patient was detected in the northern province.

Military, police and medical personnel will soon stop manning the 12 disease control checkpoints in the commune, which is located in Binh Xuyen District, Vu Viet Van, Deputy Chairman of the Vinh Phuc People’s Committee, said Monday.

The commune had became the Covid-19 hub in Vietnam with seven confirmed infections, prompting the lockdown.

"As of now, measures to fight the disease in Son Loi have proven to be effective even beyond the standards set by the Ministry of Health. For example, while the ministry has requested a quarantine duration of 14 days, Son Loi would have been isolated for 20 days as of tomorrow (Tuesday)," he said.

"In the last 20 days, no new infections have been found in Son Loi. Those who suffer from chronic diseases and use long-term medications are also taken care of," said Nguyen Tuan Minh, director of the Binh Xuyen Medical Center, adding that the center has sent 30 medical teams to perform daily health checks for each household.

Even after the lockdown status is lifted, Binh Xuyen District would still send medical workers to monitor the commune, on alert for any new infection, Minh said.

Son Loi Commune was locked down on February 13, the same day that a 50-year-old man in the commune was confirmed to be infected with the Covid-19 causing virus. He had contracted it from his 23-year-old daughter, who had returned from China’s Wuhan City in January. The man was the 16th and last Covid-19 infection case detected in Vietnam so far. He was discharged from the hospital on February 26.

Twelve disease control checkpoints were set up in the commune and manned round the clock, checking whoever went in and out. Son Loi authorities also got the area disinfected, informed residents about the virus and the disease it causes, and prevented food, animals, plants and other things potentially capable of spreading the virus from getting out of the commune.

Vietnam has recorded 16 novel coronavirus infections of which 11 cases were in Vinh Phuc. All the patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

The global death toll of the disease has reached 3,057, mostly in mainland China, followed by Iran at 54, Italy at 41 and South Korea at 26.

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