Hai Phong isolates six localities as novel coronavirus inflicts mayhem

By Phan Anh, Giang Chinh, Le Phuong   March 10, 2020 | 02:30 am PT
Hai Phong isolates six localities as novel coronavirus inflicts mayhem
A section of Tran Van Lan Street, Hai Phong, northern Vietnam, is barricaded, March 8, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh.
Two communes in northern Vietnam port city Hai Phong have been put under lockdown, bringing the total to six, the city chairman confirmed Monday.

Viet Hai and Gia Luan Communes in Cat Hai District would be put under lockdown as one of Vietnam's 32 Covid-19 patients, a 66-year-old British woman, visited both areas on March 5 after landing at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport on March 2, said Nguyen Van Tung, chairman of Hai Phong People's Committee.

The British tourist was one among 10 infected foreigners on the Vietnam Airlines VN54 flight with 26-year-old Nguyen Hong Nhung, Vietnam's 17th and Hanoi's first Covid-19 patient. The British woman is under quarantine in central Hue and currently in stable condition.

The lockdown started on Monday but the authorities have not decided when it would end.

Additionally, Cat Ba Island of Cat Hai District, about 20 km from the coast and a popular destination, would stop receiving tourists beginning Tuesday to prevent the disease from potentially spreading, said Tung. Checkpoints would be erected at Cat Hai ports and entry points from Tuesday for the same purpose, he added.

Previously, Hai Phong had already put four residential areas under lockdown after several locals were found to have traveled on the same VN0054 flight with Nhung. The localities are Tan Lap Street in Duong Kinh District, Tran Van Lan Street in Hai An District, Trai Village in Thuy Nguyen District and Alley 132 of An Da Street in Ngo Quyen District.

Over 4,500 people across these areas have either been forced to stay put or have had their movements restricted to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19, with barricades and checkpoints erected to control exit and entry.

As of Monday, 42 people, either on the VN54 flight who returned to Hai Phong or those who were classified to be at risk of infection in the city, have tested negative for Covid-19. Seven are still waiting for their test results.

Vietnam has recorded 33 cases of Covid-19 infection so far. Of the 17 active cases, 13 shared the same flight from London to Hanoi on March 2.

The global death toll has reached 4,028, mostly in mainland China, followed by Italy (463), Iran (237) and South Korea (54).

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