As many as 667 suspected COVID-19 cases were discovered in Ho Chi Minh City from 6:00 am Thursday to 6:00 am Friday, the municipal chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a meeting on Friday afternoon.
The striking number, which marked a record amid the ongoing virus wave in the southern metropolis, included 637 cases in centralized quarantine facilities and locked-down areas and only about ten community-based cases with the sources of transmission remaining unknown, according to Phong.
Giving more details to Phong’s announcement, Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said that 99 cases were detected in the sealed-off areas and 538 cases in quarantine facilities.
Fourteen cases were tracked through screening at hospitals, one case of occupational exposure -- a paramedic working at the Medical Center of Binh Thanh District, one via expanded testing, two post-quarantine cases, two imported cases, and the remaining ten are still under investigation.
Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the Ho Chi Minh Center for Disease Control, said that 68 percent of COVID-19 patients being treated in the city are asymptomatic, while only 1.3 percent exhibit severe symptoms.
According to Dung, the virulence of COVID-19 will reduce after times of transmission.
After that, the spread of the disease persists, but an infected person sufferes no or very mild symptoms.
Dung thus suggested the municipal authorities consider the protection and treatment for only at-risk groups with underlying diseases, instead of every COVID-19 patients, in the next phase.
The at-risk groups will be vaccinated against COVID-19 and given other precautions, while those with no or mild symptoms can be treated as common patients with normal flu, according to Dung’s suggestion.
Before that phase, Dung emphasized, the local medical authorities will continue tracing tasks and handle infections as quickly as possible.
Vietnam had documented 14,435 COVID-19 cases as of Friday afternoon, with 5,759 recoveries and 74 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
The country has recorded 11,111 local infections in 47 provinces and cities, including 2,343 cases in Ho Chi Minh City, since the latest outbreak began on April 27.