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Ho Chi Minh City health department convenes urgent meeting with hospitals given 2 new COVID-19 cases

Tuesday, December 01, 2020, 11:29 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City health department convenes urgent meeting with hospitals given 2 new COVID-19 cases
Students have temperature checks at Hoa Binh Elementary School in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: T.Thuong / Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health will organize a telemeeting with 129 hospitals on Tuesday afternoon after two locally-transmitted cases have been confirmed in the city in the past two days.

This teleconference is meant to discuss pandemic control measures in medical settings, the health department said.

This is an “important and urgen” meeting to be attended by directors, vice-directors, and other high-ranking personnel of 129 hospitals across Ho Chi Minh City, the department noted.

Health officials confirmed two local coronavirus infections in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday and Monday.

The first was documented on Sunday at a quarantine facility operated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines.

The Vietnamese patient, numbered 1,342, was born in 1992 and works as a Vietnam Airlines flight attendant, according to an epidemiological investigation.

The flight attendant came into contact with his colleague, patient 1,325, at a Vietnam Airlines-operated quarantine facility at 115 Hong Ha Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City when he was staying there from November 14 to 18.

He tested negative for the virus twice so he was allowed to self-isolate at his rented house at P305, 3rd Floor, 50 Bach Dang Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District.

He had contact with three people, including his mother, a male friend, and a female friend, at his rented house.

The male friend, who has a registered address in Ward 3, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City, once came to stay with patient 1,342.

The flight attendant retested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. The Ministry of Health announced his infection on Sunday.

Authorities immediately quarantined his three contacts for testing.

The male friend, who is a 32-year-old Vietnamese teacher of English, was confirmed as patient 1,347 and Vietnam’s latest on Monday.

He taught English at KEY English Center at 59 Nguyen Ba Tuyen Street, Ward 12, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City from November 18 to 25.

He also taught at another branch of the English center in District 10 and visited a coffee shop and karaoke parlor during the same period.

Both patients 1,342 and 1,347 are being isolated for treatment at a field hospital in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has quarantined and taken samples from 235 people who had direct and indirect contact with the two patients while locking down the locations they once visited.

Authorities have also shut down the Vietnam Airlines-operated quarantine facility for disinfection, with those quarantined there to be relocated to a centralized facility in Cu Chi District, the national government said in a post on its verified Facebook account on Tuesday.

Vietnam has logged 1,347 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday morning, with 1,179 recoveries and 35 virus-related fatalities, according to the health ministry.

Before patient 1,347's diagnosis, the country had gone 88 days with zero domestic infections.

The Southeast Asian nation began denying entry to foreign nationals on March 22 but the government allows foreign experts, skilled workers, investors, and diplomats to enter the country on a case-by-case basis, subject to mandatory quarantine.

Though international commercial flights are now suspended, charter planes to the country have been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.

Vietnam currently charges international arrivals for quarantine.

It provided the quarantine service for free in the past.

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