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Ho Chi Minh City seals off entire apartment block, alley as COVID-19 cases suspected

Saturday, August 01, 2020, 15:48 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City seals off entire apartment block, alley as COVID-19 cases suspected
The entrance to Block 2B of Thai An 2 Apartment Building in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City is locked with plastic tape August 1, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have placed a whole block of an apartment building in District 12 and an alley in Tan Phu District on lockdown as two people living there are suspected of being COVID-19 positive after returning from Da Nang, the country's outbreak epicenter.

Health workers and functional forces are now guarding the entrances to block 2B at the Thai An 2 apartment building on Nguyen Van Qua Street in Dong Hung Thuan Ward, District 12.

The ward’s chairman Lam Quan Minh Vuong said the lockdown has been in place since 9:00 pm on Friday.

A 49-year-old woman living alone in an apartment on the sixth floor of block 2B, returned to Ho Chi Minh City on July 28 after visiting her sick mother at Da Nang General Hospital in the namesake central city.

Da Nang is now Vietnam's COVID-19 epicenter where the majority of 116 local infections since Saturday last week are reported.

The woman presented herself at the local authority and was sampled for COVID-19 testing on Wednesday, with the results still pending.

Block 2B is one of the two blocks of Thai An 2 apartment building, with 15 floors and 116 apartments housing 328 residents.

The sixth floor comprises eight apartments with 21 residents.

Residents on the seventh and fifth floors of the block have also been sampled for COVID-19 testing while disinfection works were also carried out in the area.

Meanwhile, all residents in the apartment block are asked not to leave, with foods and necessities being supplied to them by functional forces.

Authorities sample residents at block 2B of Thai An 2 apartment building in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, August 1, 2020. Video: Dan Thuan - Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre

A 100-meter section at the end of alley No. 20 on Ho Dac Di Street in Tay Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District was also sealed off on Saturday morning.

According to a brief report by the district’s health center, a 42-year-old man living at a house in the alley traveled to Da Nang with his wife and two children from July 17 to 25.

The four people returned to Ho Chi Minh City on the flight VN119 on July 25.

They then stayed at home and only came into contact with their housekeeper for the next two days.

A driver drove the four-member family to the local health center to report their travel history and be sampled for COVID-19 testing on Tuesday.

The man mostly stayed at home on Wednesday although he broke self-isolation on Thursday and Friday, when he hung out at a café with a friend between 8:00 and 9:00 each morning.

The suspected patient is now quarantined and treated at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases while the three people who came into contact with him, including the housekeeper, the driver and the friend, were sent to a quarantine camp in the district.

Twenty-six people related to the case have been sampled for testing as of Saturday morning.

Functional forces also reported the cases of his wife and children — who are now in the Central Highlands of Dak Lak — to the provincial Center for Disease Control.

A section of alley No.20 on Ho Dac Di Street in Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City is fenced off August 1, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A section of alley No. 20 on Ho Dac Di Street in Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City is fenced off, August 1, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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