Three Vietnamese nationals have been infected with the novel coronavirus (nCoV), increasing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to five, according to the Ministry of Health.
A health ministry representative cited the information from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology at a meeting held in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon.
Two of the three newly confirmed patients, who tested positive for nCoV that caused an ongoing outbreak in China and globally, are residing in Hanoi while the other hails from the north-central province of Thanh Hoa.
All three had recently returned to Vietnam on the same flight after attending a vocational training program in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first nCoV infection was reported in December 2019.
Before the three cases in Hanoi and Thanh Hoa, two Chinese nationals had tested positive for nCoV in Vietnam last week, with one of them having been cured.
But both of them, who are father and son, are still under treatment at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.
The health ministry representative said on Thursday afternoon that among the three new coronavirus patients, the Thanh Hoa local is quarantined for treatment at a provincial hospital, while the two Hanoians are being treated at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases 2 located in the Vietnamese capital.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health, however, advised people not to be alarmed by the news.
On the same day, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also signed a decision to establish a steering committee for prevention of acute respiratory infection caused by the new strain of the coronavirus.
The committee is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.
Vietnam is among more than a dozen countries and territories with confirmed infected cases, as the pneumonia outbreak has killed 170 people in China and infected 7,819 around the world.
There have so far been 97 suspected cases in Vietnam, with 65 having tested negative for nCoV and 32 still in quarantine as of Thursday, according to the health minsitry.