COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 26th July 2020

On Friday, public concerns skyrocketed in Vietnam as a 57-year-old man living in Đà Nẵng tested positive for COVID-19 when he visited a local hospital for a health check-up.

By yesterday morning, he was officially recognized as the 416th COVID-19 patient Vietnam has had since the beginning of the pandemic, and the first community transmission in the country after 99 days.

This morning, another case was confirmed in Đà Nẵng, prompting the authorities to implement quick preventive measures. Starting from 1PM today, all non-essential businesses in the city have been ordered to shut down.

1 new community transmission

A 61-year-old man in Đà Nẵng has been confirmed as the second COVID-19 community transmission after 99 days
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Image credit: Bệnh viện Đa khoa Thành phố Cần Thơ

In its COVID-19 update this morning, the Ministry of Health reported that a 61-year-old Vietnamese man living in Hải Châu District, Đà Nẵng City has been confirmed as Vietnam’s Patient 418, the second case of community transmission in the city after 99 days.

The man lives with his wife and daughter and did not travel outside of Đà Nẵng in the past month. He started showing symptoms of coughing and fever on 11th July and had visited several clinics before being hospitalized at the Đà Nẵng Hospital, where he tested positive for COVID-19. His source of infection is unclear at the moment.

Patient 416 and Patient 418 are currently quarantined at the Đà Nẵng Hospital for treatment and both are in bad health condition. Patient 416 is now relying on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – an external life support system that replaces the functions of the heart and lungs. Patient 418, meanwhile, has to use a ventilator.

Non-essential businesses to close in Đà Nẵng

Preventive measures at the entrance to a hospital in Đà Nẵng
Photo taken in April 2020 by The Smart Local Vietnam

Against the threat of a potential new wave of infection, Đà Nẵng’s authorities have been quick to react. This morning, the People’s Committee of the city issued a new document, according to which all festivals, religious events, sports events, and other public gatherings of more than 30 people will be temporarily suspended, and the city will stop accepting tourists starting from 1PM today.

Non-essential businesses such as cinemas, karaoke parlors, bars, dance clubs, or cosmetic spas have also been ordered to shut down until further notice.

Hotels, restaurants, public transportation, historical sites, and natural attractions are still allowed to operate, but must implement preventive measures such as equipping their staff with masks, measuring customers’ temperature on entry, maintaining safe distances, and providing sanitizers.

The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control has also submitted a document to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, suggesting that he puts Đà Nẵng under Directive 16 for 15 days starting tomorrow.

Initially issued on 31st March, Directive 16 instructs people to stay at home at all times except for essential visits to hospitals, grocery stores, and other emergencies. Public gatherings of more than 2 people would also be banned under this directive.

At the time of this writing, there is no confirmation as to whether this suggestion will be carried out or not.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 situation, update on 26th July 2020

After over 3 months enjoying a normal life free of COVID-19 in Vietnam, many of us might have been lured into a false sense of security. But now, with the threat of a second wave imminent, let’s keep updated on and adhere to the government’s directives for everyone’s health and safety.

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Cover image adapted from Bệnh viện Đa khoa Thành phố Cần Thơ and The Smart Local Vietnam

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