Vietnam’s coronavirus infections up by five to 174

By Le Nga   March 28, 2020 | 03:38 am PT
Vietnam’s coronavirus infections up by five to 174
Medical staff go into the quarantine area at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi's Dong Anh District, March 24, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Five more Covid-19 cases, three related to Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital and two returnees from abroad, have raised Vietnam’s tally to 174.

"Patient 170" is a 27-year-old man living in Kim Son District in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

Early this month he worked on a plaster ceiling at a new urban area in Hanoi’s Gia Lam District. He came into direct contact with four people and a construction supervisor. He then had no symptom.

On March 14-15, he went home as his father was ill. He stayed at home and did not go out at this time. On March 20, he and two of his uncles hired a car to take his father from the Ninh Binh General Hospital in Ninh Binh to the Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi.

Around midnight the same day, his father was taken to the emergency department of the hospital. The man and his father stayed in the area for one hour and a half to two hours. Then, his father was transferred to the gastroenterology department on the third floor.

From March 20-22, he bought rice five times at counter No.1 of the Bach Mai Hospital’s canteen. On March 22, he took a motorbike taxi from the hospital to the Giap Bat bus station. He got on the bus at 9:30 a.m. and arrived home at noon. That evening, he developed a fever (38.5 degrees Celsius) and was taken by his wife to the public hospital in Kim Son District the next (March 23) evening.

He tested positive for the novel coronavirus for the first time on March 25 and the result was confirmed again Saturday.

"Patient 172" is a daughter-in-law of "Patient 133," a 66-year-old woman from Lai Chau Province in northern Vietnam who was confirmed positive on March 24 after getting a heart ailment treated at the Bach Mai Hospital for three weeks. She took care of her mother-in-law for 23 days. She is asymptomatic and is being monitored.

"Patient 174," who came into contact with many people as an employee of the Bach Mai Hospital canteen, developed high fever and a cough with white sputum two days ago, but had no runny nose or body ache.

So far, 12 infection cases have been linked to the Bach Mai Hospital, one of Vietnam’s largest. Earlier Saturday, the 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.

The two remaining cases are those returning from abroad.

"Patient 171", a resident of District 10 in Ho Chi Minh City, is a student in the U.S. She flew to Vietnam and transited in the Philippines before landing March 13 at Tan Son Nhat airport. She was asymptomatic on arrival and has now been taken to the Cu Chi Hospital.

"Patient 173" is a woman lives and works in Moscow who returned home on March 2. She was transferred to an isolation area at the FPT University in Thach That District, Hanoi. After showing symptoms of high fever, cough and body ache, she was hospitalized.

The Health Ministry statement did not reveal the flight or test details of the two returnees.

Of Vietnam's 174 confirmed Covid-19 cases so far, 21 have been discharged after treatment, including three in Da Nang Friday and a British man in Hue on Saturday morning.

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 27,200 people in 199 countries and territories.

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