Two COVID-19 patients linked to Buddha bar in Ho Chi Minh City, who had previously been given the all-clear from the respiratory caused by the novel coronavirus, have tested positive again, a local health official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday night.
The two new relapse cases are a 52-year-old man from Brazil, who is identified as Vietnam’s patient No. 124, and a 25-year-old man from the UK — the country's patient No. 235.
Both were diagnosed with COVID-19 after going to Buddha bar in District 2 on March 14, when a Saint Patrick’s Day party was thrown there.
At least 19 people who could be traced back to the party have caught the disease, making the facility the biggest cluster of infections in southern Vietnam to date.
The latest additions bring the total number of relapse cases that can be traced to Buddha bar to five, out of the city's six total cases having retested positive for COVID-19 after making full recoveries.
According to a leader of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, the two foreign men were declared recovered from the disease and released from the hospital on April 14.
However, they tested positive again after completing their 14-day quarantine period following the hospital discharges.
Earlier, three other recovered COVID-19 patients connected to Buddha bar — patients No. 151, 207 and 224 — also retested positive for the virus.
Another relapse case in Ho Chi Minh City is patient No. 92, a 21-year-old overseas Vietnamese student returning from France, who had been discharged from the hospital on April 14 but tested positive again on Thursday.
|A man guards the entrance to a sealed-off apartment building on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, May 1, 2020 after COVID-19 patient No.92, who lives there, suffered a relapse. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
An apartment building on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 1, where patient No. 92 lives, has been placed under lockdown while at least 92 people linked to the patient have been sampled for COVID-19 testing. All 92 results have returned negative for the virus.
All of the six relapse cases in the southern metropolis are currently being isolated and treated at a COVID-19 field hospital in Cu Chi District.
Apart from these six patients, only one patient — a 43-year-old British pilot who was the first infection detected at Buddha bar — remains under treatment in Ho Chi Minh City, out of the metropolis’ total infections of 54.
On Saturday morning, Vietnam announced no new COVID-19 case.
The national tally of infections has remained at 270 since April 24, when two imported cases from Japan were confirmed.
There have been no new infections among the community in Vietnam since April 16, while 217 patients have recovered.
Of the 53 active patients, 14 are relapse cases.
No death related to the disease has been reported in the country.