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No new community COVID-19 infection detected for 19 consecutive days

by NDO05 May 2020 Last updated at 17:24 PM

A health worker provides intensive care to a COVID-19 patient at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.
A health worker provides intensive care to a COVID-19 patient at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

VTV.vn - Vietnam recorded no new COVID-19 infections in the community on Tuesday morning (May 5), marking 19 days in a row since April 16 without any new cases, announced the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Over the past 19 days, Vietnam detected only three new cases, which were all entries from abroad. They were isolated immediately upon their arrival to Vietnam.

Among the total 271 cases, 221 patients have been given the all-clear so far, with the two latest recoveries (Patients 166 and 170) announced on Monday afternoon.

The remainder are being treated at medical facilities nationwide and most of them are in stable condition. Among them, ten have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus once and 11 tested negative twice or more.

Five more patients are expected to be discharged from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases Base 2 in Hanoi this morning, following their full recoveries. Among them is an 88-year-old female patient from Hung Yen Province with complicated underlying diseases. She is among the three seriously ill COVID-19 patients in Vietnam.

Regarding the death of a man from the northern province of Ha Nam last Friday who had previously been given the all-clear for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Monday that he died of liver cirrhosis, not COVID-19.

The 64-year-old man, known as Patient 251, first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on April 7 and was treated at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi until April 17 when he was discharged, following four negative test results. He then was transferred to Ha Nam Province General Hospital for continued treatment of his underlying conditions. The patient was first admitted to his local hospital for treatment for liver cirrhosis, exhaustion and severe gout on March 20.

After the patient died, Ha Nam General Hospital conducted a SARS-CoV-2 test that returned negative. The man also did not have any symptoms of lung damage caused by COVID-19.

The MOH met early on May 4 and determined that the man had not died due to contracting the coronavirus. To date, Vietnam has reported 271 infections without any deaths.

There are 25,625 people who have had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered the country from pandemic-hit countries that are currently under quarantine at hospitals, concentrated quarantine areas, or at home.

Regarding an outbreak in Ha Loi Hamlet, Me Linh Commune, in Hanoi’s outlying district of Me Linh, it is expected that the medical blockade which has been in place since April 8 will be lifted from the village at 00:00 on May 6.

According to Hanoi Health Department, up until now, Me Linh District has spent 19 days without any new infection cases. Over the past five days, the district detected six suspected cases in Ha Loi but all have provided negative test results.

Starting from Monday, Hanoi allowed local schools to welcome back students after a three-month break to prevent COVID-19 transmission. The municipal Department of Education and Training has set up six working missions to join with local authorities in inspecting the implementation of regulations on the disease prevention and control.

At a meeting of the Hanoi Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Monday afternoon, Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung of the Hanoi People's Committee warned that, as the disease risk is still high, local people should not subjective.

In Hanoi, all infection cases have recovered, but they must continue to be isolated at home for 30-35 days and provide regular samples, Chung required, asking the Hanoi authorities to quickly detect any suspected cases for timely isolation while preparing adequate medical supplies for the long-term fight against the epidemic until there is a mass vaccine.

Also on Monday, the Ministry of Science and Technology hosted a meeting with leading institutes and vaccine and biological drug manufacturers in Vietnam to discuss the research and production of a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

The meeting aimed at concretising the directions of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam in assigning the ministry to preside and coordinate with the MOH and other relevant units and enterprises to conduct research and production of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The participants said that producing a COVID-19 vaccine is very difficult, especially when there are unclear issues related to the immune response to COVID-19. To date, there are about 100 COVID-19 vaccine research units in the world with many different technologies, of which eight vaccines have been clinically tested on humans. Research and production of a vaccine must follow a very strict process, requiring huge costs and long-term research.

In Vietnam, the MOH’s Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 has gained initial success in studying a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Right after the first COVID-19 case was reported in the country in January, the company partnered with the UK’s University of Bristol to conduct research on the vaccine.

Blood test samples on mice, which have been carried out over the past two weeks, will be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for evaluation.

Experts have also said that it is possible to conduct several stages in parallel to shorten the time of research but still ensure safety for humans. Researching and producing vaccines in general, especially a COVID-19 vaccine, requires the participation and coordination of many organisations and units, in which businesses and vaccine producers must be given administrative priority.

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