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'Random' COVID-19 case, diagnosed after road accident, sparks hunt for visitors to Hanoi hospitals

Saturday, April 04, 2020, 10:25 GMT+7
'Random' COVID-19 case, diagnosed after road accident, sparks hunt for visitors to Hanoi hospitals
Border guard officers wearing face masks cook during their shift amid the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has issued an urgent notification on tracing visitors to a number of places in Hanoi and the neighboring province of Ninh Binh who might have come into contact with a patient having caught the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The patient, a 64-year-old Swedish man, is the 237th infection case confirmed in Vietnam.

He was diagnosed with the disease on Friday after being hospitalized for a traffic accident. His source of infection remains unknown.

He had been to different places in Hanoi and Ninh Binh before his hospitalization.

The man entered Vietnam from Cambodia via Moc Bai Border Gate in the southern province of Tay Ninh in December 2019. He had traveled across Vietnam before returning to Hanoi in March.

From March 11 to 21, he stayed at Ngoc Anh Hotel at 38 Luong Van Tuy Street in Ninh Binh Province.

On March 21, he departed from Ninh Binh at 9:30 am for Hanoi on a limousine coach.

On March 21-22, he stayed at Canary Hanoi Hotel at 4 Vu Huu Loi Street in Hai Ba Trung District.

Between March 22 and 31, he stayed at Star Hotel at No. 2, Alley 25, Lam Du Street in Long Bien District.

On March 26, he was involved in a traffic accident and was sent to Hanoi French Hospital in Dong Da District in an ambulance. He returned to Star Hotel afterward.

On March 31, he started having a nosebleed and had an examination at Duc Giang General Hospital in Long Bien District before being transferred to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Cau Giay District.

The patient was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on April 1 and admitted to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh District.

The health ministry thus requested visitors to the aforementioned places during the mentioned timeframes to immediately contact local centers for disease control and prevention for guidance on health monitoring and have their health checked.

This is the tenth urgent notification issued by the health ministry regarding COVID-19 to date.

As of Saturday morning, about 90 medical employees who came into contact with the patient or those in touch with him, including nearly 60 from the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, 22 from the Hanoi French Hospital and over ten from Duc Giang General Hospital, have been placed under quarantine and sampled for COVID-19 testing.

Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said on Friday the case of the Swedish national means there is a possibility that there are other undetected positive cases in the community in the Vietnamese capital, imposing risks of community spread.

“Hence, all those places he had visited in Tay Ho District, Long Bien District, [and the three hospitals in Hanoi] have to be reviewed for quarantine as all [the people there] are considered F1 cases,” Chung said.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 239 cases of new coronavirus infections, with 86 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospitals as of Saturday morning.

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

Hanoi has reported 103 cases, 38 of whom have recovered.

The Vietnamese capital city began fining those leaving their house without a justifiable reason on Saturday as Vietnam is undergoing 15 critical days of nationwide social distancing from April 1 to 15 to stall the transmission of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, there have been 11 infections in Ninh Binh, with one of them having been successfully treated.

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