Ho Chi Minh City authorities are getting in touch with local celebrities who attended high-profile fashion events in Milan, Italy and Paris, France to ask them to seek health checks because two Vietnamese attendees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The municipal Department of Health has requested the Department of Culture and the Department of Information and Communications to help identify and encourage the celebrities to visit local medical facilities to have their health checked.
The request was signed by Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the city’s health department, and sent to its counterparts on Monday afternoon.
In the document, the municipal health department said that many Vietnamese celebrities who are residing in Ho Chi Minh City attended crowded events during the Milan Fashion Week in Italy from February 18 to 24 and the Paris Fashion Week in France from February 24 to March 3.
N.H.N., a resident in Hanoi who was confirmed as Vietnam’s 17th COVID-19 patient on Friday, and her older sister were also present at those events.
The older sister, who lives in the UK, tested positive for the new coronavirus before N did.
The Ho Chi Minh City health department thus asked its fellow departments to reach out to and encourage those celebrities who could have interacted with N. and her sister at those events to immediately contact local medical facilities to receive health checks and preventive instructions.
At least 12 other COVID-19 cases confirmed over the past few days in Vietnam have been traced to the Hanoi woman, including her chauffeur and aunt, who drove her to the hospital.
Meanwhile, over 100 people in the Southeast Asian country have been placed in quarantine for interacting with N. or with those who had close contact with her.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 110,000 people and killed more than 3,800 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has so far confirmed 30 infections, including 18 Vietnamese, two Chinese nationals, one Vietnamese American, seven British citizens, one Mexican, and one Irish national.
Sixteen of the patients had recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.
Patient No. 17 was confirmed after Vietnam had reported no new infection since February 13.