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Vietnam detects 82 fresh locally transmitted cases after two-month lull

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HCMC – Vietnamese health authorities on January 28 reported 82 new cases of Covid-19 in Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces shortly after the confirmation of two locally-infected cases in these two northern provinces, ending a two-month lull of the local spread of the coronavirus.

Of them, 72 cases are in Hai Duong and 10 others are in Quang Ninh. These cases by community transmission ended Vietnam’s 57-day streak of reporting no new locally-transmitted cases.

Speaking at an urgent meeting held on January 28, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam ordered the local authorities of Hai Duong, Quang Ninh and the relevant agencies to ramp up efforts to fight the highly infectious disease.

The head of the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control stressed that safety must be ensured for health workers and those working at the frontlines as the 1,552nd Covid-19 case in Hai Duong was linked to another case, who tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus upon her arrival in Japan as reported by the Japan side.

Following the confirmation of two fresh locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19 in Quang Ninh and Hai Duong provinces, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc convened an urgent meeting this morning, January 28, at the National Convention Center where the 13th National Party Congress is conducting its fourth working day.

The meeting was also attended by three Deputy Prime Ministers, namely Vu Duc Dam, Trinh Dinh Dung and Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son and other high-ranking officials.

Yesterday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam chaired two urgent meetings with health officials from the Health Ministry and the two provinces over measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Deputy PM Dam requested that Quang Ninh immediately implement contact tracing, deploy Covid-19 control measures and regularly update the Health Ministry about the situation.

Moreover, he asked the authorities of Hai Duong to step up efforts to complete contact tracing and bring the disease under control within 10 days. The Health Ministry will provide optimal support for the two virus-hit localities, he added.

The Ministry of Health on January 28 announced two fresh Covid-19 cases in the northern provinces of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, the first locally-transmitted cases in the country since December 2.

The patient in Hai Duong, 34, is a female worker of Vietnam Poyun Electronics Co. Ltd. in Hung Dao Commune of Chi Linh City. She was in close contact with another woman who tested positive for Covid-19 after she arrived in Japan on January 17, the local media reported.

Her blood sample was taken for Covid-19 testing and the result came back positive on January 27.

Meanwhile, the patient in Quang Ninh is a 31-year-old man. He resides in Hong Ha Ward of Halong City and is an employee at the Van Don International Airport.

He had a fever, dry cough and sore throat, so he went to the hospital for a check-up.

The man tested positive for Covid-19 at the Quang Ninh Center for Disease Control on the evening of January 27.

Both patients are now being quarantined and treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh District.

After being informed by Japan about a Vietnamese worker from Hai Duong Province testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Osaka, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on January 27 sent a working team to the province to assist the local authorities in deploying urgent measures to control the pandemic.

The working team is led by Associate Professor Dr Tran Nhu Duong, deputy head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, who has experience in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in various hotspots in 2020 such as Son Loi Commune of Vinh Phuc Province’s Binh Xuyen District, Binh Thuan Province and Danang City. Two leaders of the General Department of Preventive Medicine and the Health Environment Management Agency under the Ministry of Health also joined the team.

The team will coordinate with the local authorities to employ solutions to control the pandemic in line with the prime minister’s direction, Minister Long said.

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control, convened an urgent meeting with the relevant agencies.

At the meeting, he said that since the Lunar New Year, or Tet holiday, is approaching, measures to control the pandemic must be stricter. Hai Duong must mobilize all resources to control the pandemic within 10 days.

The Ministry of Health will provide maximum support to the province, the deputy prime minister noted, adding that the province must be on high alert and ensure the highest safety for frontline forces as the infected case in Osaka involved the new Covid-19 variant, which may be 70% more transmissible than the old one and has been confirmed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide.

Meanwhile, the source she got the disease from remains unknown.

Quang Ninh must also deploy Covid-19 prevention and control measures in line with regulations of the Ministry of Health and regularly report the situation to the ministry.

At the meeting, Long said the ministry on January 28 would continue sending experts from Bach Mai Hospital, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Hanoi University of Public Health and the Hanoi Medical University to Hai Duong to support the Covid-19 testing.

The ministry asked the Hai Duong Medical technical University and the Hai Duong Central College of Pharmacy to appoint officials and students to participate in the pandemic prevention and control in the province.

Moreover, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases was required to support Hai Duong to establish a treatment system in the locality. Only critical cases will be sent to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

Following the meeting, Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen went to Hai Duong to directly monitor the pandemic control work.

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