Soc Trang Province in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region on Sunday evening recorded its first local coronavirus case in the ongoing round of infections.
The infected case was V.V.L., a 36-year-old farmer in My Xuyen District.
L. had traveled to the Binh Dien wholesale market in Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province with a business acquaintance named Phuc between June 30 and Saturday morning. Binh Dien has been identified as a major cluster in the city.
He took a passenger bus from Ba Ria - Vung Tau to Soc Trang on Saturday morning.
The man slept during the entire trip and only remembered that the driver and assistant were about 30 to 40 years old and wearing yellow T-shirts.
L. got off the passenger bus at Tra Men Bus Station in Soc Trang City at around 5:00 pm on the same day and hailed a motorbike taxi to Phuong Chau Soc Trang International Hospital to be tested for COVID-19.
A security guard at the hospital told him to return the next morning as the hospital had run out of rapid COVID-19 test kits.
L. then asked the previous motorbike taxi driver to take him to a motel in My Xuyen District. He came into direct contact with the motel’s receptionist.
He asked his wife via a phone call to bring a motorbike to the Soc Bung Bridge on Saturday evening. The couple did not come into direct contact.
L. rode the motorbike to Phuong Chau Soc Trang International Hospital on Sunday morning and tested positive for the coronavirus with a rapid test conducted at a screening area right outside the hospital’s gate.
He was taken to a temporary isolation room at the hospital for a second rapid test, the result of which was also positive.
A third test performed by the Center for Disease Control of Soc Trang Province using real-time RT-PCR methods also showed a positive result.
Soc Trang authorities have found 12 medical staff and 16 visitors at Phuong Chau Soc Trang International Hospital.
They have also fetched five people at the motel in question, who had come into direct contact with L., and the motorbike taxi driver, who transported the patient from the bus station to the hospital and motel.
Authorities in Ca Mau Province have issued a notification looking for passengers traveling on the same bus, numbered 69B-00.631, as L. from Ba Ria -Vung Tau, passing through Soc Trang, to Ca Mau on Saturday.
L. was the first local infection reported in Soc Trang in the ongoing coronavirus wave, which broke out in Vietnam on April 27.
The country has recorded 16,833 local infections, including 6,209 in Ho Chi Minh City -- the highest number documented in a single Vietnamese locality so far -- and 13 in Ba Ria - Vung Tau ever since.
The national caseload stood at 20,261 infection as of Monday morning, with 7,891 recoveries and 86 deaths.
Most of the virus-related deaths were recorded in older patients with underlying health conditions.