Saigon mosque closed after followers' contact with Covid-19 patient

By Huu Cong   March 18, 2020 | 01:55 pm GMT+7
Saigon mosque closed after followers' contact with Covid-19 patient
The Jamiul Islamic mosque in Phu Nhuan District, HCMC, is closed after a prayer session was joined by a man later confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus, March 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

A Saigon mosque was shut down Tuesday after six people who prayed there came into close contact with a Covid-19 positive Vietnamese man.

The Jamiul Islamic mosque in Phu Nhuan District was closed down per an order from the Saigon Department of Health. Six people in a prayer session were determined to have come into contact with a Vietnamese native of Ninh Thuan Province who returned from Malaysia and became Vietnam's 61st Covid-19 patient.

They are now quarantined at a medical camp in Can Gio District.

The head priest and his family members who manage the mosque and live on its premises have been quarantined in their home.

Authorities have asked the head priest to suspend all services and inform the Muslim community in the area to pray in their own homes. The mosque has been disinfected.

The Jamiul Islamic mosque has around 170 regular followers and is also the Office of the Islamic Community of Ho Chi Minh City.

"Patient 61" is member of the Muslim community in Ninh Thuan's Van Lam 3 Village, Thuan Nam District. The man went from Ninh Thuan to Saigon on February 26 and flew to Kuala Lumpur on February 27, where he participated in a religious event with around 16,000 people from February 27 to March 1. He returned to Saigon's Tan Son Nhat Airport on March 4 and joined a prayer session at the mosque on March 4 and 5.

He left for Ninh Thuan on the night of March 5.

Local authorities started monitoring his health on March 12 after discovering that he came back from Malaysia, a Covid-19 hotspot in Southeast Asia with 673 infections and two deaths.

On March 15, he had a sore throat and high fever and was admitted to Ninh Thuan General Hospital. His samples later tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Vietnam has confirmed 68 Covid-19 cases so far, with 16 having been cured and discharged.

"Patient 67," is a 36-year-old native of Ninh Thuan who had accompanied "Patient 61" on the Malaysia trip. He is being treated at the Ninh Thuan General Hospital.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 167 countries and territories, claiming nearly 8,000 lives.

 
 
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