Wuhan virus: Vietnam says two Chinese citizens in Vietnam confirmed to have coronavirus

Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son putting on a protective suit before entering an isolation area to visit the first two cases of the new coronavirus infection in Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on Jan 23, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

HANOI (REUTERS, AFP) - Two Chinese citizens in Vietnam have tested positive for coronavirus but are in "good condition, Vietnam's health ministry said on Thursday (Jan 23).

The outbreak has killed 17 people and infected more than 630 in China and authorities around the world are working to prevent a global pandemic.

"The ministry of health will continue to monitor for suspected symptoms at airports in Nha Trang and Danang where, many Chinese visitors arrive," deputy health minister Nguyen Truong Son said in a ministry statement.

"All visitors from infected areas will be closely tracked and must undergo health checks".

A Chinese man living in Ho Chi Minh City was infected by his father, who travelled to Vietnam on Jan 13 from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

The father was hospitalised on Jan 17 with a high fever, days before his son showed symptoms, health officials said.

Both were quarantined and tested positive for the coronavirus.

"The patients have shown signs of good recovery, (their) fever has reduced and they can eat now," Dr Nguyen Ngoc Sang said on Thursday at a meeting at Ho Chi Minh City's Cho Ray hospital.

Vietnam's Deputy Health Minister urged all precautions to avoid any further spread.

"We should immediately test any suspected cases so that we can detect (the disease) more quickly. We don't want it to spread to the public," Mr Nguyen said at a meeting attended by reporters.

Vietnam shares a long porous border with China and welcomes millions of visitors a year from its northern neighbour.

Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the United States have all reported confirmed cases of the new virus after it first emerged in China on Dec 31.

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