COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 6th August 2020

Vietnam has recorded 45 additional COVID-19 cases since our last update yesterday. Except for one imported case returning from Russia in July, all have been community transmissions associated with the COVID-19 cluster of Đà Nẵng.

As one of the new patients lives in Hanoi and was moving around freely for several weeks before being discovered, authorities have deemed it necessary to raise the city’s alert level.

One COVID-19-related death was also confirmed this morning, adding to Vietnam’s total death tally of 9 people.

45 new cases since yesterday

Image credit: National Hospital of Tropical Diseases

In its daily update early this morning, the Ministry of Health confirmed 4 new COVID-19 cases, including 3 people from Đà Nẵng’s adjacent province Quảng Nam who have had close contact with other COVID-19 patients, and a 42-year-old man from Hanoi who visited Đà Nẵng from 14th to 17th July.

Yesterday evening, 41 other cases were also announced, including 1 Vietnamese citizen repatriated from Russia and quarantined on arrival, 34 Đà Nẵng residents, 4 tourists from Lạng Sơn Province and 2 tourists from Bắc Giang Province who recently visited Đà Nẵng.

Of the 34 Đà Nẵng residents:

  • 14 have had close contact with previous patients linked to the Đà Nẵng Hospital.
  • 10 are patients at the Đà Nẵng Hospital.
  • 7 have visited the Đà Nẵng Hospital to take care of sick relatives.
  • 1 is a medical worker at the Đà Nẵng Maternity and Paediatrics Hospital.
  • 1 is a police officer on guard duty over a convicted person who was receiving treatment at the Đà Nẵng Hospital.
  • 1 lives in Liên Chiểu District, Đà Nẵng.

On the other hand, the one death reported this morning is Patient 651, a 63-year-old woman from Quảng Nam Province. Before contracting COVID-19, she had suffered from different and multiple health problems including type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

With the latest numbers, Vietnam’s COVID-19 case total since the beginning of the pandemic is 717. 381 cases have been declared recoveries, 327 patients are still receiving treatment, and 9 have died.

Hanoi raises alert level

Image credit: Tiến Minh

Following a meeting of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control yesterday evening, Mr. Nguyễn Đức Chung, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi, asserted that the threat of COVID-19 infections in Hanoi is high and deemed it necessary to raise the city’s alert level.

Hanoi has identified 94,000 people who returned from Đà Nẵng since 8th July. Mass testing has been done on 80,000 individuals, however, quick test kits used in this method only have an accuracy rate of 60-75%, which means there is still the potential of infected people living in the community right now.

“We are not at the point of having to practice social distancing yet, but raising the alert level is necessary,” Mr. Chung said, citing the latest COVID-19 case discovered in Hanoi as an example of the threat. The man was asymptomatic for 19 days after he came back from Đà Nẵng and didn’t show a positive result when tested with a quick test kit.

Hanoi is currently classified as a city with a “low risk” of COVID-19 infection. Raising the alert level by one level on the scale means Hanoi will be considered “at risk”. According to Directive 19 from the government, public gatherings of more than 20 people are not allowed in cities deemed at risk of COVID. Citizens are urged to stay home as much as possible and carry out preventive measures such as wearing masks if they do have to go out.

Since 1st August, Hanoi has suspended all non-essential businesses such as bars, karaoke parlors, and other activities that can gather more than 30 people.

Đà Nẵng’s makeshift hospital is completed

Image credit: Ministry of Health

As we reported earlier this week, Đà Nẵng authorities have been working to build a makeshift hospital at the Tiên Sơn Stadium to accommodate the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

The hospital is now completed and is ready to be put into operation. It has a capacity of 700 patient beds, which can be expanded to 1000 should the need arises.

This makeshift hospital will serve different purposes depending on how the situation develops. If Đà Nẵng continues to witness spikes in COVID-19 cases, it’ll help treat patients to ease the burden off of other hospitals. If not, it’ll become a quarantine facility for people who have had close contact with COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 in Vietnam, update 6th August 2020

Even though we are still seeing increases in the number of COVID-19 patients on a daily basis, this has been expected by the authorities.

The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control has assured us that the situation is still under control as most of the new cases can be traced back to the Đà Nẵng Hospital. The government has proven that it can handle the pandemic, so for now, let’s keep ourselves updated on the latest directives and adhere accordingly.

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Cover image adapted from National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and Tiến Minh

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