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Outbreak in Khanh Hoa as Vietnam confirms sixth case of new coronavirus infection

Saturday, February 01, 2020, 11:40 GMT+7
Outbreak in Khanh Hoa as Vietnam confirms sixth case of new coronavirus infection
An isolation area at the Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Photo: P.S.N. / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health on Saturday announced an outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa as a local woman was confirmed as the country's sixth case of infection on the same day.

L.T.T.H., a 25-year-old woman from Van Ninh District, tested positive for the killer virus in both tests conducted by the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang and the Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, the provincial People’s Committee said on Saturday.

Result of the second test came in from the Nha Trang institute on Friday, it added.

H. works as a receptionist at a hotel in Nha Trang, the capital city of Khanh Hoa, where two Chinese guests who were the first confirmed new coronavirus-infected patients in Vietnam had stayed last month.

The receptionist was in close contact with the two Chinese men, Li Ding, 66, and his son Li Zichao, 28, during the two guests' stay at the hotel on January 16.

Li Ding was visiting from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the nCoV first surfaced in December 2019, while Li Zichao lives in Vietnam.

Li Ding started to have a fever on January 17, while Li Zichao developed similar symptoms on January 20.

The father and son were confirmed as the first cases in Vietnam to be infected with the nCoV on January 23, with the latter having recovered as of January 27.

Khanh Hoa authorities said in a report that H. first developed coughing and fever symptoms on January 18.

Her fever was eased while coughing remained after taking two doses of medicine bought from a drugstore.

She was sampled by the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang and the Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi City on January 24, and has been quarantined at the Khanh Hoa Provincial Hospital for Tropical Diseases since January 27.

The Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the namesake south-central Vietnamese province. Photo: Phan Song Ngan / Tuoi Tre
The Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the namesake south-central Vietnamese province. Photo: Phan Song Ngan / Tuoi Tre

The 25-year-old woman is currently in good condition, free from fever and coughing, Khanh Hoa authorities said.

People who had come into close contact with H., including her colleagues at the hotel and family members and relatives whom she visited over the Lunar New Year holiday, between January 16 and 27 have been told to immediately inform authorities on any flu-like symptoms, the provincial administration said.

They are also being monitored for any signs of 2019-nCoV infection, it added.

The Khanh Hoa Provincial Center for Disease Control had previously instructed the hotel staff to thoroughly clean the surfaces of hotel rooms, public areas, tables, floors, door handles, and elevators at the premises with the disinfectant Cloramin B.

Khanh Hoa, which receives a large number of Chinese tourists every year, was still isolating 23 people for suspected 2019-nCoV infection as of Friday.

With the newly confirmed case in Nha Trang, Vietnam has recorded a total of six nCoV-infected cases, including two Chinese and four Vietnamese. One of the Chinese patients have recovered and now tests negative to the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, there have so far been 93 suspected cases in the Southeast Asian country since the outbreaks in China, with 65 having tested negative for nCoV and 28 still in quarantine as of Saturday, according to the health ministry.

The total number of deaths from the coronavirus epidemic in China had reached 259 by the end of Friday, while the total number of confirmed infections accumulated to 11,791, state broadcaster CCTV said, citing numbers from the country’s National Health Commission. 

More than 130 cases have been reported in at least 25 other countries and territories, with Russia, Britain, Sweden, and Italy all reporting their first cases on Thursday or Friday, Reuters reported.

The World Health Organization declared on Friday that the coronavirus epidemic in China now constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

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