Jan 29, 2021 / 08:00

Covid-19 in Vietnam: Local transmissions rise, field hospitals set up

High alert has been turned on in Vietnam again together with the lockdown of a city shortly after community transmission found.

New locally-transmitted infections are on the rise and have been reported in five northern provinces namely Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh and Hanoi after the first cases found two days ago.

 New local infections prompt traveling restrictions. Source: Tuoitre

As of January 29, the total new local transmissions of the new coronavirus hit 91, mainly in Hai Duong and Quang Ninh. All the new cases are related to these outbreaks.

Senior health expert Luong Ngoc Khue from the Ministry of Health (MOH) said this Covid-19 outbreak is the largest since SARS-CoV-2 found in Vietnam.

High alert turned on

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has asked authorized agencies to set up three field hospitals in Hai Duong to support the testing and treatment in the locality.

So far, affected cities and provinces are put on high alert while other localities nationwide are warned of transmission risks after Chi Linh City in Hai Duong was placed in lockdown on January 28 and the closure of Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh on the same day.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Head of the National Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control. Photo: VGP 

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said in a meeting with the MOH on January 28 that any locality actively decides whether the lockdown or social distancing measures will be taken depending on the situation.

“We need to prepare for the worst scenarios to be active in all contingency,” said Mr Dam who is Head of the National Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

He requests local authorities to “keep hospitals safe at all cost” to ensure safety for health workers and patients amid the widespread transmission.

The deputy PM asked localities to strictly abide by masking rule in public.

Seriousness

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue said the coronavirus variant found in new local cases in Vietnam is highly infectious and shorter incubation period.

Earlier, local health officials revealed that the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first discovered in the UK has been spreading in Vietnam.

For that reason, Mr Khue said it’s necessary to take precautionary measures one level higher by closely following the country’s Covid-19 response method which is based on the “classifying – quarantining – testing – treating” approach.

So far, sources of the newly-local transmission in northern Vietnam remain unidentified.

Different localities are taking aggressive contact tracing to quarantine suspected people as quick as possible.

Dr. Truong Huu Khanh at Nhi Dong 1 Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, said risks of the variant come from various sources like airports, illegal immigrants, and quarantine zones.

Since the new cases found on January 27, top government leaders including the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, and the health minister summoned dozens of urgent meetings, including overnight sittings.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked related bodies to ensure sufficient supplies for the fight against the pandemic.