HÀ NỘI — Twenty five out of 33 people in close contact with Hà Nội’s first COVID-19 patient have tested negative for the virus, according to the latest reports from the municipal Department of Health at an urgent meeting on Saturday morning.
The remaining eight, including the patient’s driver and uncle, have also been tested by the municipal Department of Health. The results of these tests have not yet been confirmed.
The department has drawn up a list of 90 other people who have been in close contact with the 33. All will be tested for the virus.
The department is working with Nội Bài International Airport to collect information about passengers and crew members on the same flight as the patient to implement follow-up prevention measures.
Chairman of Hà Nội’s People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung said more preventive measures were needed at Hồng Ngọc Hospital where the patient had a check-up and asked relevant agencies to follow up on the health status of those this in close contact with the patient so quarantine measures can be put in place.
A section of Trúc Bạch street where the patient lives is sterilised on Saturday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
The health department said flight VN0054 that the patient took to back to Việt Nam had 197 passengers and crew members on board. Eight people – her father, uncle, cleaners and a driver – had close contact with her at home.
Eighteen people at Hồng Ngọc Hospital had contact with the patient.
All of these people have so far shown no symptoms of fever or coughing, according to the department.
The female patient, residing on Hà Nội’s Trúc Bạch street, tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on March 6 after returning from Europe and has been quarantined at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.
Disinfectants have been sprayed at the patient’s house, Hồng Ngọc Hospital and houses of people in contact with her.
All 22 households with 176 people living on Trúc Bạch street where the patient resides have been put under quarantine, according to Hà Nội's Party Committee Secretary Vương Đình Huệ at an urgent meeting held in Hà Nội on Friday evening.
Trúc Bạch street where the patient lives was sterilised on Saturday morning.
This is the 17th COVID-19 infection case in Việt Nam. The previous 16 patients have been successfully treated and discharged from hospital.
Hà Nội has decided to close schools of all levels in Hà Nội until March 15 after the city reported the first case of COVID-19, according to Chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung.
The national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control has sent an urgent official dispatch to the Ministries of Public Security and Transport, and the People’s Committee of Ha Noi, asking them to investigate and deal with any possible outbreaks related to the newly confirmed patient in the city.
The Ministry of Public Security was requested to instruct relevant units to verify addresses of passengers on flight VN0054 and inform local authorities so as to quarantine these people and monitor their health in line with regulations.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport was asked to direct competent units to provide the list of passengers on the same flight as the patient to monitor their health and conduct quarantine as needed.
The Ministry of Transport was also urged to sterilise relevant aircraft and areas where the patient had been or used services at Nội Bài International Airport to prevent the spread of the virus.
The steering committee requested the Hà Nội People’s Committee to coordinate with units of the Ministry of Public Security to investigate and make a list of people in close contact with the confirmed patient, including the aircrew and passengers on flight VN0054 and ground staff at Nội Bài airport to quarantine and monitor their health.
Those in close contact with the patient must be quarantined at medical establishments while their samples and samples of the patient’s family members must be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for testing, the steering committee said.
The municipal People’s Committee must thoroughly sterilise the houses of the patient and neighbouring families as well as vehicles used to transport the patient and other related offices and areas, if any. — VNS