By Hoai Nam – Translated by Kim Khanh
By Hoai Nam – Translated by Kim Khanh
“Patient 2950” and “Patient 2951” are F1 cases of Covid-19 patients linked to a Ha Nam man who returned from Japan and tested positive after completing his two-week centralized quarantine in Da Nang City.
With the two new infections, northern Ha Nam Province, around 60 kilometers from Hanoi, has recorded 18 patients since Thursday.
Six other cases, numbered from 2957 to 2962, are female staff of Sunny Dong Son bar in Phuc Yen Town of northern Vinh Phuc Province. They came in close contact with five Chinese experts of Trung Bac A Minerals JSC, four of whom were confirmed positive for the coronavirus after returning to China.
Vinh Phuc has identified 92 F1 cases, 178 F2 cases and 57 F3 cases of the six patients. 104 people in Vinh Phuc have been isolated, of which 10 are isolated in the Hanoi-based National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and the remaining in medical facilities of the province.
The eight new patients are being treated at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.
After entering Vietnam, the Chinese experts were sent to Nhu Nguyet 2 hotel in Yen Bai Town for 14-day centralized quarantine from April 9 to 23. They had their samples taken for coronavirus testing thrice, with all results negative.
After completing their centralized quarantine period, the group was handed to Trung Bac A Company and continued to have their health monitored for 14 days at Bao Yen Hotel in Nghia Lo Town, Yen Bai Province under supervision of local medical staff.
Vu Hien Hanh, vice chairwoman of Yen Bai, said the experts had voluntarily left their hotel and visited many localities like Lao Cai, Vinh Phuc, Lai Chau and Yen Bai provinces, all in northern Vietnam, from April 23 to 25.
On April 28, they returned to China through Huu Nghi border gate in Lang Son Province.
The resurgence of community transmissions came as Vietnamese are undertaking the four-day holiday that began on Friday, seeing top tourist destinations in Vietnam overrun by holiday crowds .
Vietnam’s Covid-19 tally of 2,962 cases to date includes 2,549 recoveries and 35 deaths.
The patients in Vinh Phuc Province contracted the virus from a group of Chinese experts over the weekend. The virus has been identified as the B.1.167 variant, a “double mutant” strain.
This marks the second time that the B.1.167 strain has been found in Vietnam but the first among community transmissions.
Patients at the current community transmission hotspot in Ha Nam, meanwhile, have been infected with the B.1.1.7 variant from the U.K.
Vietnam first recorded the Indian strain B.1.167 eight days ago in a group of Indian experts. They had been quarantined upon arrival at the Nhu Nguyet 2 hotel in the northern province of Yen Bai and transmitted the virus to a male receptionist working at the hotel. Such cases are not considered community transmissions.
The three patients in Vinh Phuc with the Indian virus strain are among six female staff of a bar who contracted the virus after coming into close contact with five Chinese male experts.
The experts had arrived in Vietnam early April and had also been quarantined at the Nhu Nguyet 2 hotel from April 9-23, during which time they tested negative thrice.
After completing their quarantine, the men began working at the Trung Bac A Company in the province and continued to have their health monitored for 14 days at another hotel by local medical staff.
However, the experts left their hotel and visited many localities in northern Vietnam from April 23 to 25. On April 28, they returned to China through the Huu Nghi border gate in Lang Son Province. Four of them have since been confirmed positive for the virus by Chinese authorities.
The group has so far led to 15 infections in Vietnam – 14 in Vinh Phuc and one in Hanoi.
The B.1.617 strain contains two key mutations called E484Q and L452R, which have been found separately in other variants but not together in a single strain. These mutations have been found to make the virus more transmissible and to be less susceptible to neutralizing antibodies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, although an earlier version was spotted in October 2020.
The WHO has described it as a “variant of interest”, suggesting it may have mutations that would make the virus more transmissible, cause more severe disease or evade vaccine immunity. Other strains with known risks, such as those first detected in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa, have been categorized as “variants of concern,” a higher threat level, Reuters reported.
The Indian variant has been found in at least 17 countries so far.
Until April 29, Vietnam had gone over a month without local transmissions. Since then, 36 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed, 35 of them related to people who had completed the mandatory quarantine, including the group of Chinese experts in Vinh Phuc and a man in Ha Nam. The remaining patient is a man in the central city of Da Nang whose transmission source is yet to be identified.
According to the Foreign Trade Department of Thailand, the rise was mainly driven by trade with Malaysia and rising demand for Thai rubber.
Of the total, exports from Thailand valued at 226 billion baht, up 20.5 percent from the same period last year, while imports rose 17.7 percent to 158 billion baht, resulting in a trade surplus of 68.4 billion baht during the reviewed period.
Trade with Malaysia, including transit trade, saw the highest value of 146 billion baht, up 26.7 percent, followed by Laos, up 34 percent to 144 billion baht.
The department said the border trade value of Thailand with its four neighbouring countries in the quarter amounted to 223 billion baht, up 9.57 percent.
Meanwhile, the transit trade with other countries, including Singapore, Vietnam and southern China, totaled 161 billion baht, up 36.1 percent, it added./.
After taking on a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in November 2019, the Level-2 Field Hospital No 2 had to extend its stay, scheduled for one year, to nearly 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties that came with it.
A total of 20 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on May 2, including 12 imported entrants, and 8 community infections in the northern provinces of Ha Nam and Vinh Phuc, according to the Ministry of Health.
The 12 imported cases, all Vietnamese citizens, returned home from Japan, Russia and the Philippines, and were immediately put in quarantine upon arrival.
The two local infections detected in Ha Nam were connected with F1 contacts of the cluster of infections originating from the initial patient in Dao Ly commune, Nhan Ly district, Ha Nam province.
The six remaining domestic cases in Vinh Phuc are female staff of a karaoke facility in Vinh Phuc’s Phuc Yen city who came in close contact with a Chinese expert detected to carry the coronavirus after returning to China. They were all transferred to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi for COVID-19 treatment.
The nation has so far registered a total of 2,962 coronavirus infections, including 1,595 locally-transmitted cases and 1,367 imported ones.
Among the overall figure, a total of 2,549 coronavirus patients have been declared free from the virus, while fatality count related to COVID-10 remains unchanged at 35.
Furthermore, 72 of those still receiving treatment have tested negative for the virus at least once, with most of them reporting negative results.
In addition, more than 40,560 people who are currently in quarantine nationwide after having close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions.
Vietnam has so far documented a total of 24 new local cases since April 29. Most of the new cases are linked to the initial patient in Dao Ly commune, Nhan Ly district who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Ha Nam after finalizing his mandatory two-week quarantine in the central city of Da Nang where he tested negative three times.
To prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus pandemic, all schools in Ha Nam will be closed from May 3-9 following the recent discovery of further positive COVID-19 cases.
The Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee also urged all departments, agencies, organizations and local administrations in the province to intensify the enforcement of pandemic prevention measures, including the suspension of events gathering large crowds such as weddings, parties and meetings.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the northern province of Ha Nam province, regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in Dao Ly commune, Ly Nhan district, as many 3,088 people had their sample taken for coronavirus testing, with 2,976 having been tested.
The results showed that, there were 12 samples positive for SARS-CoV-2, 2,847 negative, and 112 waiting for results.