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Vietnam locks down 7,600-strong town bordering China because of COVID-19 patient

Vietnam locks down 7,600-strong town bordering China because of COVID-19 patient

Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 15:32 GMT+7
Vietnam locks down 7,600-strong town bordering China because of COVID-19 patient
An aerial photo of Dong Van Town, Dong Van District, Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Quang / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Vietnam started locking down a town of over 7,600 people, located along the border with China, on Wednesday morning after a girl was diagnosed with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) last week.

The town is Dong Van, administered by the namesake district in Ha Giang Province, where health workers and many other people were in contact with the patient.

The lockdown will be maintained until further notice, Pham Duc Nam, chief of office of the Dong Van District People’s Committee and People’s Council, told local media on Wednesday afternoon.

The patient, 16, is being treated at the Dong Van District General Hospital, Nam said, adding that 20 medical workers, who live and work around the town, were in direct contact with her.

“Many of her relatives also came into close contact with the girl so we decided to seal off the whole town for safety reasons,” he elaborated.

Nam is self-isolating at home as he was exposed to her close contacts, the official said.

The 20 medical workers have tested negative for the novel coronavirus so far, he noted.

“We made careful preparations before enforcing the lockdown so there won’t be any dearth of food and commodities,” Nam asserted.

“Food and goods will be sent to the town’s entrance where vehicles will take them inside.”

The girl was confirmed to be Vietnam’s 268th patient on April 16. She is a member of the Mong minority, one of the country’s 54 ethnic groups.

She lives in a remote village near the border with China.

This is the first and only COVID-19 case to have been recorded in Ha Giang, the northernmost province of Vietnam.

Ha Giang officials have identified 140 people who were in either direct or indirect contact with the patient.

Reports said that three of her brothers work menial jobs across the border.

Dong Van Town measures almost 27,500 hectares in area, with more than 7,600 people.

Vietnam has reported 268 infections to date, 222 of whom have recovered.

No virus-related death has been recorded in the Southeast Asian country.

Vietnam has taken drastic measures to curb the COVID-19 transmission, willing to isolate large communities because of confirmed cases.

On April 7, authorities locked down a village of over 11,000 residents in Hanoi after detecting a patient there. The lockdown is scheduled to end on May 6.

A similar large-scale lockdown was also imposed on a commune, home to 10,600 people, in northern Vinh Phuc Province from February 13 to March 4, after five people in the locality had been sickened by the virus.

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Tuoi Tre News


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