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First Covid-19 case in Vietnam since April

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PHOTO: The Straits Times

Health authorities in Vietnam today reported the first first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in nearly 100 days, in a country whose swift and draconian lockdown won international praise for controlling the spread of the disease. “Patient 416”, a 57 year old retired man in the central city of Da Nang, is the first case of local transmission since April 16.

The Ministry of Health says local health officials have tested 105 people known to have been in close contact with him. Authorities say the man took his mother to a hospital days before, after showing symptoms of the sickness, but gave no confirmation of how he was infected in a country where the virus appeared to have been stamped out for several months.

“The patient is currently on ventilator support due to respiratory failure. He didn’t go out of the city and only stayed at home to look after his grandchild and interact with neighbours. He didn’t make contact with strangers.”

International flights remain extremely limited with a 2 week mandatory quarantine for visitors to Vietnam. But Da Nang has been packed with local tourists returning to its beaches and restaurants since Vietnam lifted its internal lockdowns.

Despite sharing a long, ungovernable border with China, Vietnam has recorded just 416 virus cases, including the latest from Da Nang. Vietnam has not recorded a single death from Covid-19.

Communist officials were quick to lock down the country after the virus emerged in China, with a rigorous state quarantine and contact tracing system swiftly put in place. Analysts say the tough virus response has saved Vietnam’s economy as foreign investment and local consumer confidence starts to bounce back.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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