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Vietnam hamlet with nearly 1,600 people isolated after girl tests positive for COVID-19

Monday, March 23, 2020, 19:31 GMT+7
Vietnam hamlet with nearly 1,600 people isolated after girl tests positive for COVID-19
Students wear face masks during recess at a school in Ben Tre Province, Vietnam in this picture taken before the province implemented school closure due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

An entire hamlet with nearly 1,600 residents in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has been fenced off after a girl returning from Malaysia tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday.

The People’s Committee in Ben Tre Province on Monday decided to isolate Thua Loi Hamlet, home to 480 households with 1,588 people after a resident, 17-year-old M.T.N.T., was infected with the virus.

She is Vietnam's 123rd COVID-19 patient.

According to Ngo Van Tan, director of the provincial Department of Health, T. traveled from Malaysia to Ho Chi Minh City on March 17.

She then caught a long-haul bus operated by Cong Tao Bus Lines, alongside with 12 other passengers, from the southern metropolis to Binh Dai District in Ben Tre on the same day.

After getting off the coach, T. was taken home by a friend.

The girl had self-quarantined at home until she tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday morning.

She is now being treated at the medical center of Binh Dai District.

Her mother has been quarantined and is having her health closely monitored.

The local administration has called on all people who had close contact with T. to report themselves to competent authorities in order to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 341,500 and killed more than 14,700 globally as of Monday evening, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Vietnam has confirmed 123 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, with 17 having already been discharged from the hospital.

No death from the disease has been reported in the country so far.

Vietnam only started quarantining all incoming travelers on March 21.

The country has barred entry to all foreign nationals, including people of Vietnamese origin and their relatives who hold visa exemption documents, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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