Vietnam quarantines more people over coronavirus fears

By Staff reporters   January 31, 2020 | 04:36 pm PT
Vietnam quarantines more people over coronavirus fears
A staff at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi enters an isolation room for passengers suspected with the new coronavirus, January 31, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
Vietnamese localities have quarantined dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese citizens for coronavirus tests over the past two days.

Two Chinese nationals were isolated and sent to a Hanoi hospital Thursday afternoon after showing signs of high fever on arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport. They had come in from the central province of Quang Nam.

Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of Hanoi's Health Department, confirmed that the two had been taken to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases for observation.

Health officials in the northern port city of Hai Phong have quarantined a Vietnamese woman and her son after they showed symptoms of high fever when they flew from Ho Chi Minh City to Hai Phong Thursday.

A representative of the Hai Phong Health Department said Friday that Vo Thi Thanh Tuyen, 21, had a body temperature of 37.7 degrees Celsius, but was not coughing. Her 17-month-old son had low fever, purple lips and looked fatigued.

Between January 5 and 18, they had traveled to Nanning, Shandong and Guangzhou that have been hit by the deadly new coronavirus outbreak before returning to Ho Chi Minh City.

In Khanh Hoa Province, home to the popular resort town of Nha Trang, 13 people, including seven Chinese tourists, have been quarantined pending tests for the coronavirus infection tests.

All the quarantined patients are in stable condition, but must be closely monitored and await the test results, said Le Tan Phung, deputy director of the province’s Health Department.

A general hospital in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre said a Chinese worker has been quarantined pending virus test results.

Zhang XiaPeng, a 46-year-old worker at the Giao Long Industrial Park in Chau Thanh District, had gone home in China's Shanghai to celebrate the Lunar New Year and returned to Ben Tre Wednesday. A day later, he was hospitalized with high fever, cough, headache and sore throat.

Vietnam has so far recorded five confirmed cases of infection: three Vietnamese returning from Wuhan and two Chinese nationals.

In total, the Health Ministry said the nation had quarantined 97 people as of Friday, of whom 32 remain isolated pending test results.

The Vietnamese government has deployed various measures to combat the virus, including halting all flights to coronavirus-hit areas, suspending visas for visitors from those regions and quarantining Chinese workers returning to Vietnam after Tet.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global public health emergency on Thursday.

The virus has spread from mainland China to Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, the U.S., South Korea, France, Germany, Canada, Vietnam, the UAE, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, the U.K., Russia and Spain.

Chinese authorities said 259 people had died as of Saturday morning out of more than 11,000 confirmed cases of the disease.

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