A man in the central city of Da Nang has been confirmed as Vietnam’s 416th novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, becoming the country's first case of community transmission in 100 days.
The confirmation was made during a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Saturday morning.
The 57-year-old man in Da Nang’s Lien Chieu District had previously tested positive for the virus three times and a fourth test was also conducted on Friday.
The result of his fifth test by the Hanoi-based National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology came back positive on Saturday morning.
It is unclear how the man, who has not traveled outside Da Nang for over a month, contracted the virus.
105 people in close contact with the patient have been tested for the virus. All of their results have come back negative.
The Center for Disease Control in Da Nang City is currently conducting further contact-tracing and zoning people that had close interaction with the man for more testing, the committee said.
The committee added that mass screening will be conducted in at-risk areas in Da Nang, using quick test kits made in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, PM Phuc has advised people to stay calm.
Authorities previously decided that flights bringing Vietnamese back from other countries as well as those carrying overseas experts to Da Nang will be redirected to other airports to minimize risks of transmission.
Prior to the confirmation of patient No. 416, Vietnam had not recorded a local transmission of COVID-19 since April.
However, there have been a number of illegal border-crossing cases involving Chinese nationals discovered by Vietnamese police recently.
The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has thus requested the Ministry of National Defense to beef up control in border regions and closely monitor small and open trails to prevent illegal entries into Vietnam.
The committee also asked the Ministry of Public Security to regularly screen for any case of illegal entry and pay attention to construction sites, companies, education venues, hotels, and guesthouses.
All Vietnamese localities are also requested to encourage local people to notify the authorities immediately if they detect any cases of people illegally entering the country.