HANOI: Vietnam’s health ministry on Friday (Jul 31) reported 45 new COVID-19 cases linked to a recent outbreak in the central city of Danang, marking the highest daily increase since the first cases emerged in the country in late January.
The new patients, with ages ranging from 27 to 87, are linked to four hospitals and a hotel in Danang. Total infections since the virus resurfaced last Saturday have reached 93, the ministry said in a statement.
Vietnam has registered 509 cases of the virus in total, with no deaths. The country had recorded 100 days without a locally transmission case before the reemergence of the virus.
READ: Vietnam says every city, province now at risk of COVID-19 infection
Vietnam began mass coronavirus testing in the capital Hanoi, banned gatherings in its economic hub and urged tens of thousands of domestic travellers to report to authorities on Thursday, as the country scrambled to contain its first outbreak in more than three months.
Text messages were sent to all cellphones used by the country’s 95 million people, urging anyone who visited the popular coastal city of Danang in July to come forward, after a new wave of the virus spread to six cities and provinces in as many days.
Hanoi’s ruling body started the testing of 21,063 residents who recently returned from Danang, a central holiday getaway that has been a big draw for domestic travellers since restrictions were eased.
The southern commercial centre Ho Chi Minh City followed Hanoi on Thursday in shutting entertainment venues and banning gatherings after two people tested positive among 18,000 residents who were recently in Danang.
READ: Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to COVID-19 outbreak
The latest response is in line with a centralised quarantine programme and aggressive testing and contact tracing system that saw Vietnam lauded for keeping its coronavirus tally to just 509 cases since late January, with no fatalities.
A strict lockdown has been imposed in Danang and passenger flights halted for 15 days.
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