Eighth nCoV case confirmed in Vietnam returns from China’s Wuhan

Monday, 2020-02-03 10:31:42
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Cao Bang health sector is actively isolating and treating people with fevers and coughs amidst the prevalence of nCoV. (Photo: NDO/Minh Tuan)
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NDO – A female worker in the northern province of Vinh Phuc has tested positive for the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (nCoV), becoming the 8th nCoV-infected case in Vietnam so far.

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The information was confirmed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MoH) on Monday (Feb 3) morning, stating that the female patient residing in Binh Xuyen District, Vinh Phuc Province joined a delegation (including eight workers) on a training course in China’s Wuhan City, the point of origin and centre of the nCoV epidemic. Three other workers in the group who underwent the training course in Wuhan City were also found to be positive for nCoV on Jan 30.

Up until now, Vietnam has recorded eight positive cases of people infected with nCoV, including the latest case in Vinh Phuc, two Chinese nationals (a man and his son, with the son already in the recovering phase.) The other positive cases include three Vietnamese citizens returning home from Wuhan, a Vietnamese receptionist who was in close contact with the two Chinese patients mentioned above, and an American citizen who came to Vietnam after a layover in Wuhan.

The female patient in Vinh Phuc and her seven colleagues were sent to Wuhan for training by Japan-invested Nihon Plast Co., Ltd. and returned to Vietnam on China Southern Airlines flight CZ8315 on Jan 17. They are part of the same team of the three patients who were previously identified as positive with nCoV.

On Jan 31, a MoH’s task force inspected the outbreak in Binh Xuyen and took samples from the female patient then immediately proceeded to put her into quarantine and isolated treatment. Currently, the patient is being quarantined at Dong Anh Central Tropical Diseases Hospital in Hanoi and her health is in stable condition.

By 7:30 am on Feb 3, 17,387 people have officially been recorded as suffering from the acute respiratory infections caused by nCoV, with 362 deaths, of which 361 fatalities were reported in mainland China and the one remaining death in the Philippines.

Given the complicated situation of the nCoV epidemic, Vietnam is urgently carrying out various epidemic control measures. On Feb 2, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed the Official Letter No. 156 /CĐ-TTg on strengthening the prevention and control of acute respiratory infections caused by nCoV, urging for limiting crowds and stopping all festivals in localities that have announced nCoV outbreaks. Schools are also taking time off during this critical time of the outbreak of the virus.

All classrooms, libraries and campuses in Hoang Dieu Primary School in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District were sprayed with disinfectant on February 1, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh)

At least 36 cities and provinces nationwide have decided to temporarily close their schools from February 3 in an effort to stem the spreading of the virus, following PM Phuc’s instruction to give students a temporary break over the concern surrounding the novel virus. A total of 137 universities and colleges have also announced to extend the Lunar New Year holiday for one or two more weeks.

On Feb 2, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs issued an urgent notice asking companies in Vietnam to suspend receiving Chinese workers who return from infected areas in China after the Lunar New Year holiday. Those who have already arrived in Vietnam must be quarantined and monitored for 14 days, the notice says. Industrial parks, processing and economic zones across the country have been told they must also halt granting new working permits to foreigners from infected areas. The ministry also recommended to temporarily postpone the departure of Vietnamese guest workers in countries reporting nCoV infection.

The National Super Cup 2019 has also been postponed because of the nCoV outbreak. The Vietnam Football Federation has decided to cancel the tournament’s opening match between Hanoi FC and Ho Chi Minh City FC on February 7, stating the match will be held on February 21 or March 1 instead.

On Feb 2, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam, Head of the National Steering Committee for Prevention and Control of Acute Respiratory Infections caused by nCoV, inspected the disease prevention and control in Quang Ninh Province. The delegation checked the special quarantine area in Mong Cai City and the immigration area at Mong Cai International Border Gate. A local special isolation hospital is in its final process of being completed, with a capacity of 500 beds, to provide isolated treatment to patients.

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (far left) inspecting the prevention and control of pneumonia caused by nCoV at the Mong Cai International Border Gate in Quang Ninh Province on February 2, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Quang Tho)

The deputy PM asked local authorities and functional units to welcome Vietnamese people who have been to China to do business to now to return home, before going through quarantine to not let the pathogens spread throughout Vietnam.

According to a quick report from Mong Cai City authorities, by 2 pm on Feb 2, the city has isolated 105 people returning to Vietnam from China.

On Sunday afternoon, a delegation from the MoH led by Deputy Minister Do Xuan Tuyen inspected the prevention and control of nCoV in Lang Son Province. The delegation checked the work at Dong Dang International Railway Station, Huu Nghi International Border Gate and Dong Dang Regional Clinic in Cao Loc District. Vice Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People’s Committee Duong Xuan Huyen reported that up until now Lang Son has not recorded any cases of nCoV infection. Since it has a long border with China, Deputy Minister Tuyen proposed Lang Son to set up inspection and supervision teams, while its rapid response teams must be available 24 hours a day when an outbreak occurs.

Hospitals in Da Nang City are monitoring 22 suspected cases of nCoV infection, including one Chinese and 21 Vietnamese. Currently the health of most of the patients has stabilised, while some cases have a mild fever. On the morning of Feb 2, the People's Committee of Da Nang City hosted an environmental cleaning campaign and distributed leaflets to encourage local citizens to prevent and fight nCoV.

Da Nang leaders inspecting the prevention and control of nCoV spread at Da Nang International Airport. (Photo: Da Nang Centre for Disease Control).

On Feb 2, Thai Nguyen Provincial Party Standing Committee held a meeting on the prevention and control of diseases caused by nCoV, requesting the local agencies to closely monitor cases at risk of nCoV infection to avoid spreading throughout the community.

Vinh Phuc Province has organised a training course to guide the diagnosis and treatment of acute respiratory infections caused by nCoV for commune health stations and village health workers in Binh Xuyen and Tam Duong districts, where two people were infected with nCoV. By Feb 2, all agencies, units, schools and crowded areas in Tam Duong and Binh Xuyen districts were sprayed with disinfectant.

Nam Dinh Provincial People's Committee has issued a document instructing the People's Committee of Nam Dinh City and related units on postponing the opening of the 2020 Tran Temple Festival in Loc Vuong Ward, Nam Dinh City, which is expected to open on the night of Feb 7.

Spraying and disinfecting procedure through a quarantine post in Quang Lam Commune, Dien Bien Province’s Muong Nhe District. (Photo: NDO)

On Feb 2, the Vietnam Railways said that it is considering suspending the operation of Vietnam - China international transit train against the complex development of nCoV epidemic. The railway industry has deployed spraying disinfectant and epidemic prevention at transport stations such as Dong Dang, Lao Cai and Gia Lam.

Facing the high risk of nCoV spreading, on Feb 3, the border guard station at Mong Cai International Border Gate and the Quang Ninh Border Guard generously donated 10,000 medical masks to the Dongxing City’s border and immigration station in China’s Guangxi Province.

A policeman in Dak Lak Province distributes free medical masks to people traveling by coach on Ho Chi Minh Highway. (Photo: NDO)