Authorities in Vietnam's Thai Binh Province have enforced social distancing rules in all of its districts since 12:00 pm on Thursday after local health officials confirmed five cases of coronavirus infection in the community within just a few hours.
The Thai Binh Party Committee convened an urgent meeting on Thursday to address the current COVID-19 situation.
All five cases can be linked to an infection cluster at the Dong Anh District branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a central-level facility that treats COVID-19 patients in Hanoi.
The five cases were positive for the pathogen during their first tests, according to the Thai Binh Center for Disease Control (Thai Binh CDC).
They have recently visited the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases as either patients or caretakers.
Health workers in Thai Binh are scrambling to perform contact tracing and detect direct and indirect contacts of the confirmed patients.
All K-12 students in the province have been told to stay home until further notice, starting Thursday.
Since 12:00 pm on Thursday, Thai Binh has been put under a province-wide social distancing mandate, which includes a ban on public gatherings of 20 people or more, a halt to all non-essential service and businesses, as well as suspension of all cultural, sports, and entertainment activities.
The province urged official and grassroots monitoring groups to detect threats of COVID-19 transmission early.
|A sign in front of a household in Thai Binh Province reads ‘self-isolation zone.’ Photo: Khanh Linh / Tuoi Tre|
According to Thai Binh CDC, the five patients have traveled to multiple destinations during the last few days.
N.T.A., 34, from Hung Dao Village of Kien Xuong District, arrived at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on April 21 to take care of his father, who was staying at Room 501 in the hospital’s department of infectious diseases.
A. then boarded a bus at Hanoi’s Giap Bat Bus Station at around 5:00 pm on Tuesday to head home.
On Wednesday morning, A. went to Thai Binh Province’s social security office to file paperwork.
He reported himself to a local medical facility at 2:20 pm the same day after being informed about a COVID-19 case that stayed in the same hospital room as his father.
His test result turned out positive on Thursday.
Initial contact tracing efforts detected eight direct contacts and 13 indirect contacts of A., while 14 passengers who were on the same bus from Hanoi to Thai Binh as the patient are still being inspected.
Meanwhile in Thai Thuy District, three other cases were detected, including N.T.N., 70, from Hong Dung Commune, P.T.D., 38, N.’s daughter from Thuy Quynh Commune, and C.T.V., 45, from Hong Dung Commune.
Earlier, N. and D. were treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Disease before being transferred to the Thai Binh Lung Hospital.
Both tested positive for COVID-19 around 4:00 pm on Thursday and are receiving treatment at Thai Binh General Hospital.
V. also spent time at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases before being sent to quarantine at Thai Thuy District’s medical center and received a positive test result at 5:00 pm on Thursday.
The patient is now being treated at Thai Binh General Hospital.
The remaining case has been identified as T.T.H., 44, from Tam Quang Commune of Vu Thu District, whose husband was a patient at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. H. has been sent to Thai Binh General Hospital for treatment.