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53 hospital employees quarantined after attending funeral in Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, March 26, 2020, 14:15 GMT+7
53 hospital employees quarantined after attending funeral in Ho Chi Minh City
A sign is seen in front of a quarantine area in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Over 50 administrators and staff members at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have been quarantined after attending a funeral where family members of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient were present.

A source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper confirmed on Wednesday that 53 administrators and staff members of Binh Chanh District Hospital had been sent to a quarantine camp in Hoc Mon District after having attended a funeral held for the father of a senior doctor at the infirmary on Monday.

The doctor’s nephew, 26-year-old H.T.H., had returned to Vietnam from the United States on March 10 and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24.

Although he was not present at the funeral, the patient had been in close contact with his family members, including the senior doctor.

The People’s Committee in Binh Chanh District is cooperating with the city’s Center for Disease Control in tracking all of the funeral’s attendees.

A probe by Tuoi Tre found that H. had visited several locations and been in contact with many people since his arrival in Vietnam, though he claims he wore a face mask during every interaction.  

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 468,300 and killed more than 21,100 globally as of Thursday morning, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Vietnam has confirmed 148 COVID-19 cases, with 17 having already been discharged from the hospital. No deaths related to the disease have been recorded in the country.

The Southeast Asian country had quarantined 44,955 people who either had close contact with confirmed patients or arrived from epidemic-hit areas as of Thursday morning, according to the Ministry of Health.

Over 26,000 of those in quarantine are being kept at home.

Health workers in Vietnam have carried out 30,548 COVID-19 tests to date, with 30,400 returning negative results.

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