|Pupils of a primary school in Ho Chi Minh City have their body temperature checked before entering the classroom
Life has gradually returned to normal across the country after the government’s social distancing measures were lifted three weeks ago. Street traffic became busy as seen in the pre-epidemic times, while many business and catering services resumed operation.
Schools reopened to receive students from a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Though the disease is under control, students are advised to wear face masks and wash their hands with soap or disinfectant solution before entering the classroom. So are people who want to go to work, go shopping or do outside physical exercises.
As of May 13, Vietnam has recorded a total of 288 coronavirus cases, with 252 cases having recovered and received hospital discharge. The remaining 36 patients are receiving treatment at centrally- and locally-run health facilities. Most of them are in stable health condition.
Three relapse cases were discharged from Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi field hospital on May 12. They are Brazilian citizens who are closely linked to Buddha Bar, a coronavirus hotspot in HCM City.
The most critically ill patient, the British man dubbed as patient 91, who was also linked to the Buddha Bar hotspot, remains in the intensive care unit. The 43-year-old patient, a Vietnam Airlines pilot, had a CT scan of the damaged lungs on May 12 and leading doctors continued to evaluate the possibility of a lung transplant.
Health authorities say although Vietnam has passed 27 days without new community infections, those who have a cold, a high temperature or a cough are closely monitored at health facilities.
Currently, Vietnam tests nearly 2,000 people every day. To date, 275,000 samples have been tested, with 288 cases detected, mainly in the concentrated quarantine facilities. The infection risk within the community is believed to be very low.
However, the infection risk from external sources remains high as hordes of Vietnamese citizens residing in coronavirus hit countries are returning to the homeland. To prevent the spread of the disease, all returnees are transferred to concentrated quarantine facilities for medical surveillance for 14 days and samples are taken for testing at least twice a day.
There are no special drugs or vaccines against COVID-19, and the disease is expected to last for months, even years.