08/01/2020, 09.45
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Vietnam reports first two victims of Covid-19, as Da Nang outbreak spreads

by Ngoc Lan

The myth of the country with zero victims collapses after months of targeted pandemic management. The epicenter of the disease is the tourist and commercial heart in the center of the country with 93 infections. The sick are aged between 27 and 87. Identified, and isolated, over 6,000 people who have had contact with the infected.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - In Vietnam, the myth of the containment of the new coronavirus pandemic has collapsed, with the first two victims and a spike in infections in the last seven days.

The epicenter of the epidemic is the coastal and tourist city of Da Nang in the center of the country. According to official data, the toll is 93 Covid-19 infections from July 25 to 31.

In detail, 79 cases originated in Da Nang, one in Quảng Ngãi province, eight in Quảng Nam province, one case in Dak Lak province, three cases in Hồ Chí Minh City and two in Hanoi; all of these derive from the single outbreak of Da Nang.

In the central Vietnamese city, the nation's tourist and commercial heart, hospitals and clinics have analyzed 4,519 samples in the last week. Of these, at least 79 tested positive for new coronavirus and affect people aged 27 to 87.

Initial reports reveal that the infections concern patients, relatives and visitors of a Da Nang hospital, from which the infection would have originated; a part of the patients, which tested negative, was isolated from the other departments affected.

In response to the emergency, on the evening of July 30, the local administration decided to set up an "emergency hospital" (bệnh viện dã chiến). The Ministry of Health has also created a "headquarters that represents the front line" in the fight and containment of the pandemic in the city.

As of July 30, the authorities had identified at least 6665 people who had had contact with patient 1 and patient 2; of these, at least 6018 ended up in isolation centers. These are doctors, relatives of the sick, employees, security guards and also the staff of the canteen of the orthopedics and rehabilitation clinic. In addition, 4405 other people are detained in areas of "concentrated isolation", "medical centers" in the districts, or at home.

In the last three months of May, June and July, around 82 thousand people visited Da Nang city for work or entertainment. At the moment, the outbreak of the pandemic is located in the orthopedics and rehabilitation department of the Da Nang hospital, while the authorities are strengthening the work of tracing possible contagions. To date, the maximum capacity is 7 thousand daily tests.

Local witnesses tell AsiaNews that hundreds of students from Da Nang University of Engineering and Medicine and Hue Pharmacy contributed to the prevention and control of the pandemic that broke out in the center of the country.

The Ministry of Health has sent 10 ventilator units, often used to counteract the effects of Covid-19 on the lungs. "At the moment - explains a source - patient 0, at the origin of the outbreak, has not yet been identified. Da Nang is one of the most important cities in Vietnam, but where did the virus come from?”.

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