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UK citizen becomes latest COVID-19 patient traced to Buddha Bar in Saigon

Wednesday, April 01, 2020, 18:32 GMT+7
UK citizen becomes latest COVID-19 patient traced to Buddha Bar in Saigon
Health workers are shown in protective clothing at a field hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A Briton tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week, becoming the latest patient linked to a major novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cluster at a bar in Ho Chi Minh City, the municipal Department of Health revealed on Wednesday.

The new patient is 25 years old and he came to Buddha Bar & Grill at No. 7 Thao Dien Street, District 2 on March 14, Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the department, said during a teleconference.

He was in contact with patient No. 91, a 43-year-old British pilot whose test returned positive twice on March 18 and March 20.

The 25-year-old was isolated at a collective quarantine zone on March 25 and his sample came back negative one day later.

On March 29, he was tested for the second time, with results returning positive for the virus.

This is the 16th case related to the bar, considered the biggest cluster in southern Vietnam at the time.

The health department proposed during the teleconference that authorities release people who have finished a 14-day isolation period, with their health being carefully checked before any discharge.

Those isolated over links to the bar will be subject to closer monitoring before their release.

City authorities will carry out an inspection of local hospitals in order to ensure safety for healthcare workers.

Checkpoints will be established to monitor movement at entrances to the city and export processing zones.

Vietnam has confirmed 212 infections, with 63 having fully recovered.

The 25-year-old British patient is not included in this count, pending an official announcement from the Ministry of Health.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the country’s epicenters.

The capital has discharged 27 of its 85 patients from the hospital while 15 of 49 cases in the southern city have fully recovered.

The central government is trying its best to stall the virus spread and keep the patient count under 1,000 cases for as long as possible.

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