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Special task force sent to Vĩnh Phúc as 16th coronavirus patient confirmed

Update: February, 13/2020 - 13:24

HÀ NỘI — A special task force and two working teams will be sent to the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc from Thursday (February 13) to help with the fight against the acute respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Health has said.

Deputy Minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên said the national steering committee for prevention and control of acute pneumonia caused by COVID-19 has set up a special task force to work on the prevention and control of the epidemic in Vĩnh Phúc Province.

The teams will work round-the-clock from February 13, assisting in zoning off high-risk areas and environmental hygiene, as well as medical treatment, he said. 

A health official spray disinfectant in a classroom in northern Vĩnh Phúc Province. — Photo courtesy of the provincial Department of Education and Training

Vĩnh Phúc is one of the first localities in the country to confirm cases of the virus. By Thursday, 11 cases of COVID-19 infection have been confirmed, including nine in Bình Xuyên District, one in Tam Đảo District and one in Tam Dương District. 

The latest case to test positive for coronavirus on Thursday was a 50-year-old man in Sơn Lôi Commune, Bình Xuyên District in Vĩnh Phúc Province. He is the father of a 23-year-old patient among eight Vietnamese workers sent to Wuhan for training last November and confirmed positive for the virus in January.

The patient, as well as other family members, had been quarantined. During the quarantine period, the patient showed no symptoms of fever, coughing or breathing difficulty.

Earlier, the 49-year-old mother and 16-year-old sister of the patient were infected with the virus and are being treated at a local health centre.

Tuyên said the priority was zoning off and quarantining affected areas to stamp out the epidemic.

Seven checkpoints have been set up along all roads of the affected areas. Vehicles must be sprayed with disinfectant to prevent the virus from spreading, he said. 

All activities with large crowds have been suspended and schools will be shut until February 22. 

A public awareness campaign has been launched to encourage people to regularly wash their hands and wear medical masks, while schools, hospitals, households and residential areas are being disinfected.

From February 13, the province will zone off and quarantine affected areas in Sơn Lôi Commune, Bình Xuyên District, for 20 days. 

As of Thursday, the death toll from the coronavirus has climbed to 1,363, nearly all of the fatalities in China, and total confirmed cases worldwide surpassed 60,100. — VNS


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