Five new positive cases have taken the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in Vietnam to 44, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.
The five are all linked to patient No. 34, a Vietnamese woman returning from the U.S. early this month.
The five are residents of Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, located in south-central Vietnam.
Their samples were taken on Wednesday and returned positive one day later.
The patients are two, 13, 28, 47, and 59 years old.
Patient No. 34 was confirmed as Vietnam’s 34th COVID-19 patient on Tuesday.
She left Vietnam for the U.S. on February 22 and came back to Vietnam on March 2.
She transited Incheon International Airport near Seoul, South Korea, and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar during her respective departure and return flight trips.
Her return flight landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on the morning of March 2.
The woman was admitted to the Binh Thuan General Hospital on Tuesday morning and tested positive for the novel coronavirus there.
She is currently quarantined and treated at the hospital.
Patients No. 40, No. 41, and No. 42 had close contact with patient No. 34 while patient No. 43 closely interacted with patient No. 38, who is her daughter-in-law.
Patient No. 44 came in close contact with patient No. 37, who is patient No. 34’s employee and was diagnosed on Wednesday.
Patients No. 36, No. 37, and No. 38 were confirmed on the same day after having close contact with patient No. 34.
Sixteen of 44 COVID-19 patients in Vietnam had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.
Patient No. 17, a 26-year-old Vietnamese woman, was diagnosed on Friday last week after the country had reported no infection since February 13.
The woman arrived in Hanoi on March 2 on board a flight carrying 216 passengers and crew members from London.
At least a dozen infected people, mostly Britons, have been linked to this woman, who had visited Milan and Paris before entering Vietnam.
Media reports say that she has two passports, British and Vietnamese, and seemed to hide her history of travel to France and Italy, where there are COVID-19 outbreaks, to dodge quarantine when carrying out immigration procedures at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
Vietnamese authorities are tracing the passengers and have isolated those involved, including the crew members.