Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been advised to implement stricter measures, including enforcing isolation where necessary, in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Taking part in an online meeting with the respective leaderships of the nation’s five centrally-run cities on March 29, the PM requested that both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City ensure that resources, particularly food supplies, remain stable in all circumstances and steps are taken to deal with any market manipulation.
Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi has been placed in a complete lockdown after
The PM noted that tracing and isolating those who have come into close contact with positive cases is an urgent matter.
The request comes after 122 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the two cities, making up two thirds of the country’s overall total.
Most notably, Hanoi tops the list of epidemic-affected localities with a total of 77 confirmed cases, followed by Ho Chi Minh City with 45 cases, including 10 patients who have been subsequently discharged from hospital.
As one of the nation’s largest general hospitals, Hanoi-based Bach Mai hospital has reported a cluster of cases since the first signs infection were detected several days ago. At present, 25 people linked to the hospital, including medical workers, have gone on to test positive for the COVID-19 with the number expected to rise in the near future.
The Ministry of Health decided to impose a strict lockdown on the entire hospital on March 28 in an attempt to stop the further spread of the virus.
A similar picture is also emerging in Ho Chi Minh City where 13 people have been infected with the virus following a visit to Buddha Bar.
Faced with a high risk of a community-acquired infection spreading, local residents have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible to protect themselves from infection. As a result, the government has ordered the closure of all non-essential services and banned gatherings of up to 20 people.
Indeed, several cities have begun to impose fines on those who refuse to wear face masks when in public.As of March 30, the country has recorded 194 positive COVID-19 cases but no fatalities. A total of 25 cases have gone on to be discharged from hospital after making a full recovery, whilst a number of other patients who have since tested negative for the virus are expected to be released in the coming days.