|Extensive testing has been stepped up in major cities and provinces to early detect suspect cases in the community
Of the total, 34 cases were detected in Da Nang, four in Lang Son, and two in Bac Giang. One of the new cases is a Vietnamese returnee from Russia.
Forty locally acquired cases, aged 1 to 75, are closely linked to Da Nang coronavirus hotspot. They include 10 patients and 7 patient caretakers at Da Nang Hospital, 14 people who had contacts with COVID-19 patients, a medical worker at Da Nang Maternity – Pediatrics Hospital, and a policeman.
Notably, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread to Lang Son and Bac Giang after six cases were detected in the two northern provinces. They had all returned from Da Nang, a famous tourist destination in central Vietnam.
As a result, the new COVID-19 outbreak has now been reported in 11 cities and provinces across the country since the first such case was confirmed in Da Nang on July 25.
Da Nang, the epicenter of the outbreak, is the hardest hit locality, registering 192 cases. It was followed by Quang Nam (46), Ho Chi Minh City (8), Lang Son (4) Dak Lak and Quang Ngai (three each), Ha Noi, Dong Nai and Bac Giang (two each), Thai Binh and Ha Nam (one each).
At an online meeting with health directors of all 63 cities and provinces on August 5, acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long raised concerns about the complex development of the epidemic this time, saying the virus has muted and has spread more rapidly with many clusters of infections reported. He asked all medical centres to be well prepared to respond to the worst case scenarios.
“Never before has the Ministry of Health dispatched leading specialists and doctors to Da Nang, Quang Nam and other central localities to help them stamp out the outbreak,” he said. “We should be well prepared if the virus spreads on a large scale.”
By 6pm August 5 Vietnam had recorded 713 coronavirus cases, including 381 cases who have since gone on to make a full recovery, and eight fatalities.
More than 120,000 people have been placed in quarantine for medical surveillance in hospitals, quarantine facilities and private homes.