COVID-19 in Vietnam, update as of 20th March 2020

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread and is a growing global concern, but so far Vietnam has proven that it has things under control. While we are seeing surges of thousands of new COVID-19 cases globally, the Southeast Asian country has been able to keep the daily number to single digits per day so far – registering only 9 new COVID-19 cases since our last update yesterday. The total number of cases is sitting at 85 as of the time of writing.

As the entire country, from the government to businesses and individuals, contributes to the national health effort, the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) has come up with nano-silver face masks that offer users protection against the virus and are also antibacterial and water-resistant. Meanwhile, a 4-star hotel in Ha Long has been offering free accommodation and food to quarantined tourists.

9 new COVID-19 cases reported in one day

covid 19 in vietnam mandatory testing at airport
Mandatory testing at the Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi
Image credit: @nalanyavas

9 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded on 20th March 2020. In addition, starting from 15th March, Vietnam has made it mandatory for arrivals from COVID-19 hotspots such as the US and Europe to be quarantined and tested. Most of these new cases are people quarantined under this new regulation whose test results were confirmed to be positive yesterday.

Cases 77 and 78 are two students returning to Hanoi from the UK, a 25-year-old female and a 22-year-old male. They arrived in Hanoi on 17th March on two different flights. They are now receiving treatment at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and are under stable condition.

Cases 79 and 80 are a 48-year-old woman based in Bạc Liêu province and her 18-year-old son. They arrived in London on 15th March.

Case 81 is a 20-year-old male from Kom Tum province. He returned to Vietnam from Paris on 15th March.

Case 82 is a 16-year-old female based in District 5, Hồ Chí Minh City. She traveled with her mother from London and arrived in Vietnam on 15th March.

Case 83 is a 50-year-old American woman residing in Bình Thạnh, Hồ Chí Minh City. She was in Phuket, Thailand in the first half of March and took a flight from Istanbul, Turkey to return to Vietnam on 15th March.

Cases 84 and 85 are two male students based in Hanoi who were studying aboard in the UK. One is 21 years old and the other 20. They returned on the same flight on 18th March.

Nano-silver masks invented in Vietnam

covid-19 in vietnam nano silver masks
Face masks being produced by Vinatex
Image credit: Vinatex

As the demand for face masks spikes, The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) has introduced a new 3-layered mask, with the outermost layer featuring silver nanoparticles and the inner ones made of antimicrobial fabrics. The shape has also been optimized for better comfort during extended use.

Vinatex has affirmed that the masks are effective in blocking respiratory droplets the wearer might encounter while coming in close contact with COVID-19 patients. Its additional antibacterial properties will guard against bacterial infections, but provide no added protection against viruses such as coronaviruses or influenza viruses.

Currently, the new masks are available for sale at several outlets throughout Hanoi at a price of VND70,000 (~USD2.98) per pack of 5. You can find them at:

  • 67 Ngô Thì Nhậm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
  • 460 Minh Khai, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội
  • 221B Khâm Thiên, Đống Đa, Hà Nội
  • 25 Bà Triệu, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
  • 57B Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

Quarantined tourists treated generously, netizens jelly

Image credit: Phương Kéc

With the COVID-19 situation being as volatile as it is, local authorities in popular tourist destinations such as Hạ Long, Huế, and Hội An have had to quarantine tourists at risk of having contracted the virus. However, they have taken measures to ensure these tourists can enjoy the best comfort possible.

Since yesterday, Vietnamese Facebookers have been drooling over pictures of lavish food portions that tourists quarantined at a 4-star hotel in Hùng Thắng District, Hạ Long City are being treated to. Under the directives of Quảng Ninh province’s authorities, another hotel in the area has also been offering free accommodation to 157 visitors coming from Korea, Russia, and the US since 1st March.

Image credit: Phương Kéc

Understandably, netizens are delighted by this act of generosity. “Now I want to be quarantined,” many jokingly commented.

Read our other article to learn more about life in quarantine in Vietnam.

COVID-19 in Vietnam

It is inspiring to see that the Vietnamese government is going out of its way to give tourists the hospitality they rightfully deserve as guests of the country, even in these trying times.

For more COVID-19-related stories, check out:

Cover image adapted from: Vinatex, Phương Kéc

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