The outpatient, 71, suffering from cancer, lives in Vinh Phuc province, a neighbor of Hanoi.
He shuttled between Vinh Phuc and Hanoi from March 11-19 for check-ups at the Oncology Department of Bach Mai hospital.
During the treatment, he got meals from the hospital’s canteen which has seen a number of people exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19.
Having a high temperature, he was admitted to the General Hospital of Vinh Phuc province on March 28, and later tests by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology showed he had contracted the deadly virus.
The other patient, 17, is a Vietnamese freelance worker in Thailand. She stayed with one of her friends who was later found to have carried the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On March 18, she took a car from Bangkok (Thailand) to Cha Lo border gate of Quang Binh province (central Vietnam) and was placed in quarantine at a quarantine camp in neighbouring Ha Tinh province.
The young worker first tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the Ha Tinh Centre for Diseases Control and the results were later confirmed by the Naional Institute of Hygiene Epidemiology.
As of 06.00am on April 4, Vietnam has recorded 239 cases of the coronavirus, with no fatalities reported.
A total of 86 patients have fully recovered and received discharge from hospital. The remaining 153 patients are being treated at health facilities across the country, with about one third testing negative for the virus.
At present, the capital city of Hanoi tops the list of epidemic-affected localities with 107 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases closely linked to the outbreak at Bach Mai hospital has hit 44. Most of the infections (27) work for Truong Sinh Co. Ltd., that has catering services for the hospital. Other cases are nurses, patients, relatives and caregivers of the patients, and community-acquired cases.
Getting tough on social distancing
At a Government meeting on April 3, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked for strict implementation of his order on social distancing from April 1 to April 15. Residents are required to stay indoors as much as they can. If they want to go out for food or medicine, they are required to wear face masks and stay 2m away from other people at all times.
As the number of infections keeps rising, the PM asked the Ministry of Health to draw up scenarios and be well prepared for worst-case scenarios. He welcomed businesses that volunteer to manufacture ventilators in Vietnam.
The PM requested that localities work out detailed plans for stockpiling daily necessities, curbing market manipulation, ensuring social security and strictly dealing with quarantine dodgers.
He reminded localities of the epidemic prevention and control work to be intensified at nursing homes, drug detox centres and detention camps.