COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 18th May

8 new COVID-19 cases were spotted in Vietnam over the weekend, all of which were imported cases. This brings the total COVID-19 patient count in the country to 320, with the number of active cases sitting at 60.

Domestically, though, Vietnam continues to report no new infection in the community this morning. So far, the country has stayed clear of community transmissions for 32 consecutive days.

8 imported COVID-19 cases

Vietnamese returning to the Cần Thơ International Airport from Singapore on 24th April
Image credit: Cần Thơ Hôm Nay

With 8 new COVID-19 patients reported amongst Vietnamese returning from abroad since Friday, Vietnam now has a total of 320 cases reported since the pandemic first began.

The most notable of the 8 new cases is Patient 315, a 39-year-old man from Tân Châu District, Tây Ninh Province – which sits next to the border with Cambodia. According to the Ministry of Health, the man had been staying in Cambodia since January before illegally returning on 2nd May via an unmonitored trail. He then took a motorbike taxi to his aunt’s home in the same district.

Upon the aunt’s request, he reported his retun to a local police station and was quarantined the next day. At the time, he tested negative for the virus. The result of his second testing on 15th May, however, came back positive. 17 other people who had close contact with him have also been isolated and are under close monitoring. So far, there have not been any reports of new cases associated with this patient.

The remaining 7 patients were all passengers on government-facilitated flights returning from various countries including Russia, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates. They, alongside all other passengers, were all quarantined immediately upon landing, so there is no risk of anyone spreading the virus to the community.

32 days without community transmissions

With preventive measures carried out in public areas across the entire country, Vietnam has not seen a case of community transmission for 32 days.
Image credit: Trường Tiểu học – THCS – THPT Newton

Given that all new COVID-19 cases since 16th April have been overseas returnees, Vietnam has gone 32 days without community transmissions.

Only 60 cases are still active in the country at the moment, of whom 14 have tested negative at least once. The only remaining critical patient – a British pilot who is in need of lung transplant – has also tested negative 5 times.

Vietnam’s main focus currently is to contain infections among citizens returning from abroad. Addressing concerns about the rapid increase in the number of imported cases, Dr. Trần Đắc Phu, senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center, said that with the current regulations – where all overseas arrivals are subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period – it shouldn’t be a threat to public health.

Luggage of overseas arrivals being disinfected
Image credit: Vân Đồn International Airport

Still, he warned about people who were crossing borders illegally through unmonitored trails to avoid health checks, as was the case with Patient 315, and urged everyone to stay on high alert and adhere to preventive directives issued by the government.

“As long as we keep up the good work, there won’t be a second wave. Even if there is, it should only be in small clusters that can be easily contained,” he said.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 update, 18th May

Even though life in Vietnam has returned to returned to a semblance of normalcy, the global fight against COVID-19 is far from over, so we mustn’t let our guards down.

Always remember to wear a mask when you go out and wash your hands regularly to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community as a whole!

For more COVID-19 stories and updates, check out:


Cover image adapted from: Cần Thơ Hôm Nay, Trường Tiểu học – THCS – THPT Newton

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