Hospital related Covid-19 cases take Vietnam total to 179

By Le Nga    March 29, 2020 | 07:52 am GMT+7
Hospital related Covid-19 cases take Vietnam total to 179
Bach Mai Hospital is isolated starting Saturday after more infections linked to it were confirmed. Photo by VnExpress.

Five new infections, four of them related to Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital, have taken the national Covid-19 tally to 179.

Sixteen infections linked to the hospital, which was isolated starting Saturday, have been detected to date. This is one of the largest sources of Covid-19 infection in the country, the Health Ministry confirmed Sunday morning.

Four of the new patients, numbering 175 to 178, are employees of the Truong Sinh Company, which provides food and other logistic services to the hospital.

Patients 175 to 178, a 57 year-old man and three women aged 38, 49 and 44 respectively, have come into contact with many people at the Bach Mai Hospital on Giai Phong Street, Dong Da District.

So far seven Covid-19 patients have been linked to both the Truong Sinh Company and the Bach Mai Hospital.

Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor at the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center, said experts had initially believed health workers were the only source of infection at the hospital, but test results showed otherwise.

There are signs of a second line of infection from patients and their relatives who take care of them at the hospital, Phu said at a Saturday meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

"Our further epidemiological investigations find that a more dangerous source of infection could be the staff of food and logistics service providers and people who earn a living taking care of patients. The latter might move from one hospital to another," he added.

Earlier Saturday, the Bach Mai Hospital suspended admitting new patients and has been isolated. Nearly 5,000 staff and patients at the hospital have been ordered to take Covid-19 tests.

"Patient 179" is a 62-year-old resident of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District who returned to Vietnam March 18 on Emirates flight EK394. The person, whose gender has not been revealed, was quarantined in the central province of Thanh Hoa on arrival.

Tests by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi have showed the passenger has contracted the virus, but is in stable health.

Of Vietnam's 179 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 21 have been discharged after treatment, including three in Da Nang Friday and a British man in Hue on Saturday.

Many of the currently active cases are Vietnamese nationals returning from Europe and the U.S. and foreigners coming from the same regions.

Starting March 22, Vietnam has suspended entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers and halted all international flights from March 25.

Only Vietnamese nationals and foreigners having diplomatic and official passports such as business managers, experts and high-skilled workers will be allowed to enter the country at this time, and all entrants will be quarantined for 14 days.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 30,000 people in 199 countries and territories.

 
 
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