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Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa ready to declare end of COVID-19 epidemic: health ministry

Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 11:54 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa ready to declare end of COVID-19 epidemic: health ministry
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at a government meeting on measures against the COVID-19 epidemic in Hanoi, February 17, 2020. Photo: Viet Dung / Tuoi Tre

The south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa is now eligible to declare itself free of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) after having recorded no new patient for 30 days, the Ministry of Health stated on Monday.

Khanh Hoa, home to the tourism hotspot of Nha Trang City, reported its first patient, a 25-year-old hotel receptionist who had interacted with two infected Chinese men, on January 17.

The province has since detected no other case.

The receptionist was discharged from the hospital on February 4 after recovering from the disease.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said at a government meeting on measures against the current COVID-19 epidemic held in Hanoi on Monday that Khanh Hoa has proficiently fought against and kept the disease under control.

Deputy PM Dam tasked the Ministry of Health with instructing Khanh Hoa authorities to complete documents to declare the end of the COVID-19 epidemic in the province.

The north-central province of Thanh Hoa will be also eligible to end its epidemic status if no new cases are recorded in the next five days, according to the health ministry.

Thanh Hoa’s only patient so far is a 25-year-old woman who was among a group of eight workers recently returning from the central Chinese city of Wuhan - ground zero for the COVID-19 outbreak.

She had been under treatment since January 24 and was discharged on February 3 after making a full recovery.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a decision declaring the acute respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, now named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, an epidemic in Vietnam on February 1.

The scope of the epidemic was identified in three provinces of Khanh Hoa, Thanh Hoa and Vinh Phuc.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends a government meeting on measures against the COVID-19 epidemic in Hanoi, February 17, 2020. Photo: Viet Dung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends a government meeting on measures against the COVID-19 epidemic in Hanoi, February 17, 2020. Photo: Viet Dung / Tuoi Tre

Vinh Phuc has reported 11 patients so far, including five in the group of workers returning from Wuhan City.

It has only been five days since Vinh Phuc confirmed its last case, the 50-year-old father of one of the workers who also infected her mother, sister, cousin, and neighbor.

Vietnamese localities are eligible to announce the end of their epidemic status if there are no new cases reported in the previous 28 days and preventative measures against the disease have been properly deployed.

The novel coronavirus disease, which is called COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has killed 1,873 people and infected over 73,400 globally since it first surfaced in Wuhan City of China’s Hubei Province in December 2019, according to the South China Morning Post.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.

Among them, seven have fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital.

As of Monday afternoon, six other COVID-19 patients were also ready for discharge from hospitals across the country, according to the health ministry.

Vietnam was lauded by the WHO to have responded well to the COVID-19 epidemic in a statement released by the organization on Saturday.

While the U.N. health agency spoke highly of Vietnam’s ability to address urgent public health issues, it also urged the Southeast Asian country to stay on high alert and be ready to respond should more infections be detected.

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