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Four more COVID-19 cases linked to Buddha Bar in Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 22:25 GMT+7
Four more COVID-19 cases linked to Buddha Bar in Ho Chi Minh City
Health workers are seen in protective clothing in Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Four more patients, including three foreigners and a Vietnamese, were traced to a Ho Chi Minh City bar where an infected British pilot also visited this month, as Vietnam’s Ministry of Health announced 11 new cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Tuesday evening.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally has climbed to 134 following the announcement.

A Brazilian and two South Africans were confirmed to be among the new set of patients.

They all came to Buddha Bar&Grill at No. 7 Thao Dien Street in Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City on March 14, when a 43-year-old British pilot also visited the bar.

The pilot tested positive for the virus on Friday last week. Three other bar goers were diagnosed with the disease later.

A Vietnamese waiter at the bar was also announced as a COVID-19 patient on Tuesday, taking the total cases linked to the bar to eight, including seven foreigners.

Among the 11 new patients are three Vietnamese tourists whose flight from Spain, with transit time in Russia, landed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Sunday.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 134 cases of new coronavirus infections, with 17 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by Friday last week.

No death related to the disease has been recorded in the country.

The Vietnamese government has said the next two weeks is the decisive stage in their suppression of the COVID-19 epidemic, with resources to be focused on detecting cases early, isolating them and their contacts, limiting cross infection, and managing to treat patients.

The government has restricted mass gatherings while telling people to avoid going out if not necessary and to wear face masks when outdoors.

Vietnam presently requires all arrivals to be isolated in collective quarantine camps for 14 days -- the advised incubation period of the virus.  

The country has barred entry to all foreigners and demands all entrants declare their health status.

Passengers are required to fill out health declaration forms when traveling on long-haul buses, trains, tourist boats, and domestic flights.

Restaurants and entertainment places such as bars, pubs, clubs, massage parlors, karaoke lounges, and online game centers have been closed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s busiest metropolis.

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Viet Toan / Tuoi Tre News

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