Vietnam’s number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases ascended to 163 after the Ministry of Health confirmed ten new patients on Friday evening, including three foreigners who had visited a bar in Ho Chi Minh City.
Among the ten additional patients are four imported cases, three traced back to an infected person at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, and three foreign nationals who were in close contact with a patient at now-closed Buddha Bar&Grill in District 2.
The foreigners include two Brazilians and a Briton.
They all came to the bar on March 14, when a 43-year-old British pilot was there.
The pilot then tested positive for the virus twice on March 18 and March 20.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities have managed to track 155 people who had visited the bar on the same day as the pilot, according to the local Center for Disease Control.
At least twelve patients have been linked to this bar.
Among Vietnam’s 163 patients, 20 have fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital.
As of Friday, the country has quarantined 57,104 people who were in close contact with confirmed patients and returned from virus-hammered foreign regions, 28,464 of them isolated at home.
Vietnam is stepping up its fight against COVID-19, trying its best to keep the patient count under 1,000 in the next two weeks.
The government has banned meetings or events that gather more than 20 people into the same room, while gatherings of ten or more people outside of public offices, schools, and hospitals are prohibited as well.
The country has closed bars, pubs, clubs, massage parlors, karaoke lounges, online game centers, restaurants, and schools to help curb the virus spread.
Religious services and other activities that gather from 20 people at religious, faith, and worshipping establishments are ordered to be thoroughly halted.
Travel restrictions are now in place between localities while the country has tightened border controls, barring foreign arrivals.
Citizens are advised to stay home and maintain a minimum distance of two meters when outdoors under necessary circumstances.