Vietnam reports biggest jump in COVID-19 cases, mobilises health team

Residents wait to be tested at a makeshift rapid testing centre in Hanoi

Vietnam reports first virus death after months of successful countermeasures

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health said today, Saturday, that up to 800,000 visitors have left Danang, the epicenter of the new Corona virus outbreak in Vietnam, to other parts of the country since July 1.

Of the 28 new cases reported Saturday, 20 are from Da Nang hospitals and six are from local community transmissions in the city.

Vietnam has recorded three deaths, the health ministry said in a statement.

Vietnam has detected new coronavirus cases in other cities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with links to Danang. Across the country, authorities are rushing to test people who have returned home from the coastal city.

Vietnam recorded its first death from COVID-19 on Friday after winning plaudits worldwide for one of the most successful pandemic responses to containing the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The South-east Asian nation now has 590 virus cases, including 214 under treatment and three deaths.

Eight other cases are either relatives of patients being treated at Da Nang Hospital or came into close contact with the positive cases, including a two-year-old boy who was in contact with Patient 509.

The patient, a 70-year-old man, died in the central city of Hoi An almost three weeks after being admitted to hospital with serious underlying conditions, according to state media.

The task force includes 65 health experts who had previously helped fight coronavirus at other epicentres in Vietnam, the ministry said. All of the country's 116 local transmissions from July 25 have been linked to Da Nang. The new locally transmitted infections bring the total amount of COVID-19 cases nationwide to 558.

Health authorities have started mass testing in the capital Hanoi to stop the spread.

Yesterday the city began setting up a makeshift hospital in a sports auditorium and doctors have been mobilised from other cities to help. Its pedestrian streets, adorned with lanterns, were empty and nonessential services and gatherings were banned.

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