Making news

Hanoi ramps up efforts to contain COVID-19 spread

 Hanoi is promoting epidemiological investigation to identify the persons having contact with its first COVID-19 case, confirmed on March 6, and localising areas with infected patients.

The city reported the first infected patient on late March 6 and this is also the 17th case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in Vietnam. The 26-year-old woman had visited her sister in the UK, then travelled to Italy and France, and returned to Hanoi on March 1 on flight VN0054.

Three others in Hanoi having contact with her were tested positive for COVID-19 on March 7 and 8, raising the number of cases in Vietnam to 21.

The 18th patient is a 27-year-old man in Ninh Binh province returning from the disease-hit Republic of Korea.

At a meeting of Hanoi’s steering board for COVID-19 prevention and control on March 8, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy predicted more positive cases who had direct contact with the 17th patient.

He said the most important now is to conduct epidemiological investigation to identify those having direct and indirect contact with the first patient in the city, stressing that this is the decisive factor in containing the spread.

Quy noted over the last 40 hours, the steering board has worked around the clock to deal with new developments of the outbreak in a timely manner. All relevant information has also been publicised.

All areas that have COVID-19 cases need to be disinfected, the official said, asking the departments of health and finance to prepare infrastructure at a higher level so as to make timely response when necessary.

At the session, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said the city has clarified the sources of infection of the confirmed cases, as well as persons having close contact with them. Quarantine has been carried out as soon as they were identified, and all have been put in quarantine.

Health of the four patients is improving, and none of them are in critical condition, he added.

Chung said to actively prevent coronavirus infection, authorities will publicise all the places the patients have lived and gone to so that people can avoid those areas. The city even considers a suspect case resifinh on Lang street in Dong Da district as a new patient so as to quarantine people having contact with this person and disinfect this area.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered ministers, heads of ministerial-level and Government agencies, along with leaders of provinces and centrally-run cities to review all plans on foreign trips and consider suspending those visits to focus on the fight against COVID-19.

Among the 21 confirmed cases in Vietnam, 16 have fully recovered./.