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Hanoi quarantines entire police unit after officer admits contact with COVID-19 patient

Thursday, April 09, 2020, 13:38 GMT+7
Hanoi quarantines entire police unit after officer admits contact with COVID-19 patient
Health workers disinfect Ha Loi Village in Me Linh District, Hanoi, where Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 243 resides, April 8, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An entire ward-level police unit in Hanoi has been quarantined after its deputy chief announced that he had been in close contact with a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient.

All 19 members of Bac Tu Liem District’s Dong Ngac Ward police unit are currently being isolated in a centralized camp where they are awaiting the results of their COVID-19 tests, Tran The Cuong, the district’s chairman, said at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The quarantine was enforced after the unit’s deputy chief admitted that he had met with the country’s patient No. 243 for a meal and some drinks before returning to the ward police station and participating in a unit-wide meeting.

Patient No. 243, a 47-year-old man from Ha Loi Village in Me Linh District, most likely caught the disease when he took his wife to Bach Mai Hospital – Hanoi’s largest COVID-19 cluster with over 40 related cases – for a health check on March 12.

He was sampled on April 4 and the result came back positive on April 6.

Prior to his diagnosis, the man had attended a wedding ceremony and a death anniversary, both held in Ha Loi Village.

He also visited Phuc Yen General Hospital in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, the Hanoi Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Quang Ba Market in Tay Ho District, and Me Linh Flower Market in Me Linh District.

All 10,872 Ha Loi Villiage residents are currently under lockdown, while the Ministry of Health attempts to track those who may have had close contact with the patient.  

According to Cuong, authorities have identified 269 individuals in Bac Tu Liem District who had contact with patient No. 243. 

Eight of the 269 have been designated as F1 cases, a label given to those who have had direct contact with a COVID-19 patient. 

Sixty-four of the 269 are F2 cases – people who had contact with the F1 individuals – and 197 are people who had contact with the F2 individuals, Cuong elaborated.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 1.5 million people and killed more than 88,500 globally as of Thursday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Almost 331,000 people have recovered from the disease.

Vietnam has confirmed 251 total COVID-19 cases, with 128 having recovered. 

The country has yet to record a death from the disease.

No new cases have been recorded in the Southeast Asian country in the past 24 hours.  

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