COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 20th August

One new COVID-19 case was discovered in Hanoi’s E Hospital yesterday evening, prompting authorities to immediately shut down the hospital to contain the virus.

A popular religious site in the city has also been ordered to close its doors after it witnessed a massive spike in the number of visitors on the first day of the seventh lunar month.

So far, Vietnam has recorded a total of 994 COVID-19 patients, of whom 435 are active.

Hanoi hospital shuts down following discovery of new COVID-19 case

The E Hospital in Hanoi being disinfected last night
Image credit:

The latest COVID-19 case in Vietnam was reported by the Ministry of Health in its daily update this morning to be an 87-year-old man from the northern province of Phú Thọ. On 12th August, he traveled to the E Hospital in Hanoi for a health checkup after showing symptoms of a fever and stomach pain. Here, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and hospitalized the next day.

The man had his sample taken for COVID-19 testing on 18th August, which came back positive yesterday evening. Immediately following the discovery, the hospital was shut down and disinfected. Save for emergency cases, no visitors were allowed to enter.

According to reports, the patient did not leave his place of residence in the past month, and none of his immediate family members have traveled to known COVID-19 clusters. His source of infection is still under investigation. The man has now been transferred to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases for treatment, and 50 of his direct contacts have also been quarantined.

The Ministry of Health also announced 4 new COVID-19 cases yesterday evening. These are:

  • 2 women from Đà Nẵng aged 25 and 37, who are medical workers at the Family General Hospital and the Đà Nẵng Hospital respectively.
  • A 34-year-old man from Quảng Nam whose wife was previously confirmed positive for COVID-19. The wife was a patient at the Đà Nẵng Hospital.
  • A 40-year-old man from Hải Dương City who had close contact with previous patients. His infection is linked to a local restaurant that has become the biggest COVID-19 cluster in the city.

So far, Vietnam has had 994 COVID-19 cases, of whom 435 are active.

Religious site in Hanoi ordered to close to prevent large crowds

The Tây Hồ Temple, a popular religious site in Hanoi, witnessed a major spike in the number of visitors yesterday
Image adapted from: Hồ Tây – Phủ Tây Hồ 

Yesterday also marked the beginning of the 7th lunar month. In Vietnamese belief, this is the month of the “hungry ghosts”, where bad things are more likely to happen. As a result, locals have a tradition of flocking to religious sites – especially on the 1st and 15th day of the month – to pay their respects, hoping to alleviate any bad luck.

Also yesterday, the Tây Hồ Temple, one of the most popular religious sites in Hanoi, faced an overwhelming input of visitors, many of whom fail to carry out preventive measures such as wearing masks. Realizing the potential threats of the virus spreading in such crowded environments, authorities have ordered the temple to close its doors to visitors.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 situation, update on 20th August

While visiting religious sites to pray for good luck in the 7th lunar month has become a custom for Hanoians, sensitive times such as these call for us to be flexible. With Hanoi recording a new case of unknown origin, let’s refrain from big gatherings to protect ourselves and the community.

For more stories, check out:

Cover image adapted from and Hồ Tây – Phủ Tây Hồ 

Enjoying The Smart Local Vietnam? Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for more stories like this.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.