The Ministry of Health confirmed 36 more domestic coronavirus cases in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, all traced to a registered religious sect.
The cases were linked to Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation based in Go Vap District, the health ministry said in a report.
This sect was given a permit in 2006, Nguyen Duy Tan, head of religious affairs at the Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations, said on Thursday.
The patients live in District 12, Binh Thanh District, Go Vap District, Tan Binh District, Tan Phu District, Hoc Mon District, Nha Be District, and district-level Thu Duc City, the municipal Center for Disease Control said in an epidemiological investigation the same day.
Twenty-nine of the patients are Revival Ekklesia Mission followers while seven were their direct contacts, the center elaborated.
Health authorities are in the dark about this cluster’s source of infection, as contact tracing and targeted lockdown have been underway since its detection.
The cluster was first uncovered when a woman came to a local hospital for a check on her respiratory symptoms on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health announced one virus-related death and 227 local infections nationwide on Thursday.
Bac Giang Province, an epicenter in the north, recorded 128 of the transmissions.
Vietnam has been fighting the COVID-19 pathogen’s re-emergence since April 27, with 3,255 community cases having been reported in 30 out of 63 provinces and cities.
Bac Giang has reported 1,648 patients in this ongoing fourth wave, followed by Bac Ninh Province with 676, Hanoi with 351, Da Nang with 155, and Vinh Phuc with 89.
Forty-four patients, including the said 36 infections, have been recorded in Ho Chi Minh City during the current bout.
Yen Bai, Quang Ngai, Dong Nai, Nghe An, Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien-Hue have logged zero additional domestic cases for two weeks.
Vietnam has detected 6,316 cumulative COVID-19 cases, including 4,824 local infections, since the virus first hit the country on January 23, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.
Forty-six patients have died, most having suffered critical pre-existing health problems.
The nation confirmed 106 community cases in the first wave from January 23 to April 16, 2020, 554 in the second from July 25 to December 1, 2020, and 910 in the third from January 28 to March 25, 2021.