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Vietnam detects 12 coronavirus cases imported from South Africa, US, UK

Thursday, December 24, 2020, 23:03 GMT+7
Vietnam detects 12 coronavirus cases imported from South Africa, US, UK
This image shows a room where volunteers are monitored after they are injected with a Vietnamese-made vaccine in Hanoi. Photo: Viet Dung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health announced 12 imported COVID-19 cases on Thursday, all but one being Vietnamese repatriates from the U.S. and UK.

Seven of the twelve patients are treated in Hanoi, four in Vinh Long Province, and one in Da Nang, the health ministry said.

One of the new cases is a 25-year-old South African expert who arrived in Hanoi on board flight QR976 via Doha, Qatar on December 19.

She was quarantined upon landing in the capital and tested positve for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

She is being isolated for treatment at the Dong Anh branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

Of the remaining 11 Vietnamese patients, four returned from the UK while seven were repatriated from the U.S.  

Vietnam has confirmed 1,433 coronavirus cases as of Thursday night, with 1,281 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health’s statistics.

Thirty-five virus-related deaths have been recorded so far, most having underlying medical conditions, including 31 in Da Nang, three in Quang Nam Province, and one in Quang Tri Province.

Vietnam is quarantining 16,226 people who either had close contact with infected patients or entered the country from pathogen-hit regions.

The Southeast Asian nation has arranged for over 260 repatriation flights to bring back 73,000 citizens from 59 countries and territories around the world, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, told reporters in Hanoi on Thursday.

The government allows entry to skilled workers, experts, diplomats, and Vietnamese repatriates, who are all subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival, although it still closes the border to international arrivals to stall coronavirus spread.

At least 20 volunteers have been immunized with a Vietnamese-made vaccine in the first phase of its clinical trial this week.

Forty others will join the human test of the Nanocovax jab in the comming days.

The second phase, aimed at assessing the immunogenicity of the vaccine, is expected to take place in April 2021 with at least 400 volunteers from 12 to 75 years old.

The final phase will begin in August and require at least 1,500 volunteers from 12 to 75 years old.

Should tests go as planned, the jab will be manufactured and made available for local residents in late 2021 or early 2022.

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