Vietnam certain Covid-19 cases will not rise to 1,000

By Viet Tuan   March 27, 2020 | 08:00 pm PT
Vietnam certain Covid-19 cases will not rise to 1,000
Doctors put on protective gears at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, March 24, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said the Covid-19 patients tally will not reach 1,000 if prevention measures continue to be strictly followed.

It takes an average of nine days for the number of cases to increase from 100 to 1,000 based on global statistics, except in Japan where it took 28 days.

Vietnam could have topped 1,000 by March 31 based on this, but it was not going to happen "because its measures are very effective."

"We have and are controlling the outbreak points well, even going into potential ones and wiping out the disease immediately."

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said outbreak points like Son Loi Commune in the northern province of Vinh Phuc and Truc Bach Street in Hanoi had been controlled efficaciously by the authorities. Both areas were locked down after a few cases of Covid-19 were confirmed.

Other outbreak points are also well under control, Long said.

At Bach Mai Hospital, one of the largest in Vietnam which has been linked to at least eight patients, the authorities have isolated three units - the Heart Institute, the Department of Neurology and the Center for Tropical Diseases, along with personnel working there, he said.

The Ministry of Health has isolated 573 staff, patients, students, and caregivers at the hospital who came into contact with the confirmed cases.

It has also directed Covid-19 tests to be done by Sunday for the nearly 4,000 medical staff and 1,000 patients at the hospital.

The hospital also ordered its personnel to close their private clinics. Patients who are being discharged after treatment will be tested for Covid-19 and monitored by local medical officers at home.

In HCMC, Long said, the outbreak at Buddha Bar in District 2 has been major. At least 13 people who were at a party at the bar on March 14 have tested positive, with a Vietnam Airlines pilot being the first. Fifty nine others have tested negative, while the results of 26 other people are still awaited.

Some 153 people who came into direct contact with the confirmed cases have been quarantined.

Long said outbreaks caused by a 55 year-old man in HCMC's District 8 who returned from Kuala Lumpur and by a woman who returned from Washington D.C. to Phan Thiet in south central Vietnam have been zoned and isolated. Hundreds of families have been tested and authorities are still searching for suspected cases.

Local quarantines would become more commonplace and would be operated by the police, officials from the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control said at the meeting. The Ministry of Public Security will coordinate with the Ministry of Health for this task.

According to the committee, Vietnam has not employed fast testing and instead been using test kits developed by the Vietnam Military Medical University and Viet A Technologies company and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). It has set up a treatment roadmap and ensured there is enough stock of medicines needed for Covid-19 treatment. Doctors and other medical staff at lower levels are being trained by the Ministry of Health to treat mild cases, the committee said.

Vietnam has 169 confirmed Covid-19 cases so far, with most of the active ones being people coming from Europe and the U.S. and others who came into close contact with them.

Among them, three are in critical conditions and 20 have been discharged from hospitals.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 199 countries and territories so far, claiming over 27,000 lives.

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