Hà Nội has launched quick testing for coronavirus. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Authorities are unable to determine the source of the COVID-19 outbreak at Bạch Mai Hospital, making the risk of community transmission high, a top health official has said.
Trần Đắc Phu, a senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre under the Ministry of Health, said it’s unknown who first transmitted the virus in Bạch Mai Hospital.
With community transmission of the deadly coronavirus confirmed, he said strictly practising social distancing was now of the utmost importance.
“People have to act responsibly, co-operate, continue with physical distancing and stay at home,” he said.
Bach Mai Hospital is a hotspot for the virus with the number of cases connected to it at 43, 27 of them employees of Trường Sinh Company which provides services to Bạch Mai Hospital.
For other coronavirus hotspots in the country, authorities have been able to track down the sources and monitor all close contacts. But in clusters where the source of transmission can’t be identified the risk of spreading the virus further in the community is very high, Phu said.
On Thursday, Hà Nội City People's Committee requested the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to urgently contact all patients who are Truong Sinh Company employees to clarify their travel history and close contacts since March 10 to organise quarantine and isolation.
Việt Nam had recorded 100 cases of COVID-19 in the country up to March 22, yet the figure rose by 127 within 10 days. The total cases by Friday morning is 233.
According to the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 disease prevention and control, the growth rate of COVID-19 cases in Việt Nam is much slower than in other parts of the world, largely thanks to the country’s decisive early action to slow the spread of the virus.
While Việt Nam still has the pandemic under control, Phu emphasised the next two weeks would be crucial in the battle against the virus. — VNS