Medical workers at an isolation centre at Đà Nẵng General Hospital. Three people including two British tourists and a local woman tested positive for COVID-19. — VNS Photo Võ Dũng
ĐÀ NẴNG — The central city has asked the Ministry of Health for permission to report new COVID-19 cases so it can respond more quickly to the pandemic.
Vice chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Lê Trung Chinh said this would help the city isolate areas as soon as samples test positive for SARS-CoV-2 from the laboratory of the city’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
He said the city now had to wait for the ministry’s announcement on COVID-19 cases, even on samples from the CDC’s lab.
Chinh said the city needs to implement very urgent action in isolating and tracking those in close contact with COVID-19 patients.
The city’s CDC said its lab had tested 139 cases, of which three samples tested positive for COVID-19 between March 6-9. The three positive test results from Đà Nẵng’s CDC were then sent to Nha Trang Pasteur Institute for reconfirmation, providing the same results.
According to the ministry’s report, Đà Nẵng had three cases of COVID-19, including two British tourists who were on the same flight as Hà Nội’s first COVID-19 patient and one local woman who was in close contact with them.
The city had collected 194 medical samples of people in both direct and indirect contact with the two British tourists and the local woman (patient 35), and 126 samples tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 as of March 11.
Vice director of Đà Nẵng General Hospital, Nguyễn Thành Trung confirmed that 10 medical workers, who treated the city’s third COVID-19 patient (patient 35), were among samples testing negative.
He said the medical workers and negative tests will be isolated for 14 days.
The two British patients are in good health at the city’s General Hospital, a doctor from the hospital said.
More than 1,100 people have been put under quarantine at isolation centres and are all in good condition. Up to 447 others were isolated at home.
A total of 259 samples tested negative for COVID-19.
Local residents and the city’s journalism association have raised VNĐ320 million (US$14,000) in cash, as well as masks and hand sanitiser for doctors and medical staff working at seven hospitals and isolation centres.
Meanwhile, central Quảng Nam Province also asked the ministry for permission to announce COVID-19 outbreaks in provincial territory, as the province recorded two cases by March 11.
Vice director of the provincial health department, Nguyễn Văn Văn, said the outbreak announcements would help local people be aware of COVID-19, thus boosting prevention measures.
Văn said isolation is the best solution for COVID-19, while cleaning hands and the environment will help as well.
A total of 40 tourists, who were on the same flight as the 17th COVID-19 patient, and seven others on a trip to Hội An, were kept at isolation sites, and 39 samples tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
A British patient was taken from Hội An to Huế for further treatment on March 10.
The province had isolated 424 people – who had direct communication and close contact with the two COVID-19 patients – at medical centres and at home.
The province also banned all boat trips travelling from the mainland to Chàm Islands, off the coast of Hội An, the Old Quarter in Hội An and other destinations to avoid crowds. — VNS