Ho Chi Minh City authorities on Tuesday afternoon confirmed one more member of a Vietnamese group who made an illegal entry into Vietnam from Cambodia last week has tested positive for COVID-19.
The case stayed in the city’s District 9 before being detected, said Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.
He was one of six Vietnamese citizens who illegally crossed the Vietnam-Cambodia border on December 24.
Officials identified and found him in District 9 on Monday evening.
He has gone to work at a local copper foundry since entry, the man said.
Four members of the group have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far, with the remaining two having tested negative once.
Patient 1,440 is in treatment in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long while patient 1,451 is being treated in Ho Chi Minh City.
The health ministry has yet to register the other two positive cases, both detected on Tuesday, as it only gives daily updates on patient counts at 6:00 pm.
The Vietnamese group left Myanmar on December 15 and arrived in Thailand one day later, according to an epidemiological investigation.
The six stayed at a hotel in Mae Sot, a city in western Thailand, until December 22.
On December 23, they came to Cambodia. The six went on to travel to Vietnam.
When they approached the Vietnamese territory, they hired a seven-seater car to illegally cross the Vietnam-Cambodia border and get to Ho Chi Minh City on Christmas Eve.
Two of the six left the group to move to the Mekong Delta the same day while the rest stayed in the city.
The family of one of the six in Vinh Long Province reported him to local authorities upon his arrival.
Health workers then tested him for COVID-19 immediately and the result returned positive at the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute on December 26, leading to the detection of the other cases.
Authorities are conducting aggressive contact tracing to isolate the patients’ contacts in accordance with well-established pandemic prevention protocols that have helped Vietnam quickly suppress any flare-up and keep the virus at bay so far.
Vietnam has confirmed 1,451 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday afternoon, with 1,318 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, the health ministry said.
The Vietnamese 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 stem coronavirus spread.