Nine foreigners were confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday, taking Vietnam’s total to 30 so far, with 16 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital last month.
The foreign patients include seven from the UK, one from Mexico, and one from Ireland, according to the Ministry of Health.
Four of them are staying in the northern province of Quang Ninh, two in the northern province of Lao Cai, and two in the central city of Da Nang.
The other, tracked in the central city of Hue, is healthy and shows no sign of a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
Their ages range from 50 to 74 years old.
The nine traveled with Vietnamese ‘patient No. 17’ N.H.N. on the flight VN0054 from London to Hanoi.
Their plane, operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines, landed at Noi Bai International Airport in the Vietnamese capital on March 2.
N. tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday, after she had been through immigration without a fever.
The 26-year-old woman had traveled to Lombardy (Italy), Paris (France), and London (England) before the flight back to Hanoi.
Her chauffeur and aunt, who had close contact with her, caught the virus after taking N. to the hospital for testing in a car.
Vietnam has confirmed 30 positive novel coronavirus cases so far, including 11 on the flight VN0054, the two catching the virus from patient No. 17 in the car, and one Vietnamese returning from South Korea.
The other 16 – thirteen Vietnamese, two Chinese nationals, and one Vietnamese American – had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.
Patient No. 17 was confirmed after Vietnam had reported no infection since February 13.
Ten localities in Vietnam have recorded COVID-19 cases so far, namely Ho Chi Minh City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vinh Phuc Province, Thanh Hoa Province, Ninh Binh Province, Quang Ninh Province, Hanoi, Lao Cai Province, Da Nang, and Hue City in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
The patients in Ho Chi Minh City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vinh Phuc Province, and Thanh Hoa Province have walked out of the hospital free of the virus.
The London-Hanoi flight carried 201 passengers, of whom 48 are Vietnamese. They have traveled to different provinces and cities in Vietnam upon their arrival in Hanoi.
Vietnamese authorities are tracing the passengers on board the flight.
The flight crew and those in contact with the patients have been isolated.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 105,800 people and killed more than 3,600 globally, according to statistics.