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11 New COVID-19 Cases Found In Đà Nẵng, City Under Lockdown For Two Weeks

COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 28th July

After Vietnam’s first case of COVID-19 community transmission after 100 days was confirmed in Đà Nẵng last Saturday, more infections continue to be reported in the community. Yesterday evening, the Ministry of Health announced 11 more cases in the central city.

Against the threat of a new wave of infection, the authorities have implemented emergency measures to curb the spread of the disease. Starting from today, Đà Nẵng will enter a citywide social distancing period for 2 weeks.

11 new cases in Đà Nẵng

11 patients were reported in Đà Nẵng yesterday evening
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Image credit: Vietnam Government Portal

The 11 new infections are all associated with the Đà Nẵng Hospital, where Patient 416 and Patient 418 – the first two COVID-19 community transmissions in Vietnam after 100 days – are being treated. Among these 11, 7 were patients who visited the hospital for the treatment of various other health problems, while the other 4 are medical staff.

With the new development, Vietnam’s total COVID-19 patient tally since the start of the pandemic is now 431.

Đà Nẵng enters citywide social distancing

Barriers have been erected around Đà Nẵng as the city enters social distancing
Image credit: Cổng Thông tin Điện tử thành phố Đà Nẵng

After the first community transmissions were confirmed in Đà Nẵng, the city immediately carried out preventive measures such as closing its doors to tourists and ordering non-essential businesses to shut down. Now, with more cases reported and the original source of infection still unidentified, authorities are taking more drastic steps to contain the virus.

Yesterday, the People’s Committee of Đà Nẵng issued a document ordering 6 of the city’s 7 districts, including Hải Châu, Thanh Khê, Sơn Trà, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Cẩm Lệ, Liên Chiểu, to be put under social distancing according to Directive 16 from the government. The social distancing period began at 12AM today and is expected to last 15 days.

More specifically, residents living in Đà Nẵng are requested to stay at home at all times save for essential trips to buy groceries, visit hospitals, or other emergencies. Public gatherings of more than two people are banned.

All businesses except those providing essential goods and services such as food, medical supplies, and petrol are temporarily shut down. Malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores are only allowed to sell groceries, and food stalls must sell takeaway only.

Buses and other forms of public transport in Đà Nẵng have ceased operating. Interprovincial buses and trains passing by the city are not allowed to stop to drop off or pick up passengers. All flights going to and from Đà Nẵng are suspended as well, though authorities are working on measures to support tourists stranded in the city.

Directive 16 was implemented throughout Vietnam in April and proved to be effective in containing the novel coronavirus. Following the nationwide social distancing period, Vietnam enjoyed 100 days without a new infection in the community.

Doctors set out to repatriate COVID-infected Vietnamese citizens from abroad

Doctors from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases setting out for Equatorial Guinea
Image credit: National Hospital of Tropical Diseases

The new cases discovered domestically have not deterred Vietnam from its effort to support its overseas citizens, however.

As we reported before, Vietnam has spent weeks preparing for a special flight to repatriate 219 construction workers from Equatorial Guinea, as 120 of these have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 while several others are suffering from other diseases.

Early this morning, doctors from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi – which has treated the majority of COVID-19 patients in northern Vietnam – set out to Equatorial Guinea from Hanoi’s Nội Bài International Airport with protective gear and other medical equipment ready to support the passengers on their way home.

The repatriating flight is expected to return at noon tomorrow. All passengers and cabin crew members will be quarantined at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases on arrival.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 situation, update on 28th July 2020

Having to stay at home for several weeks is indeed a major inconvenience, but reality has proven that the method is greatly effective in flattening the COVID-19 curve. So, for now, Đà Nẵng residents need to do their part to ensure the safety of the entire Vietnamese population by adhering to the government’s Directive 16.

Meanwhile, the rest of us should also remain on high alert as thousands of people from all over Vietnam have visited Đà Nẵng in the past month. For now, let’s all take precautions and wear masks in public to protect ourselves and others.

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Cover image adapted from Vietnam Government Portal and Cổng Thông tin Điện tử thành phố Đà Nẵng

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