Vietnam says origin of Danang coronavirus outbreak hard to track as cases rise by another 34

A health worker collects a blood sample from a resident at a makeshift rapid testing centre in Hanoi on Aug 1.
A health worker collects a blood sample from a resident at a makeshift rapid testing centre in Hanoi on Aug 1.PHOTO: AFP

HANOI (REUTERS) - Vietnamese authorities said on Sunday (Aug 2) that they were finding it hard to track the origin of a fresh coronavirus outbreak that began in the central city of Danang and has infected around 200 people in recent weeks. 

“In Danang, there are many sources of virus, and there are still many infections out there in the community,” a government statement said of the city, a popular tourist hot spot with a population of 1.1 million.

The country reported 34 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 620. The death toll rose by two to five, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the strain of the virus detected in the new outbreak is a more contagious one. 

He said with the new strain, each infected person could infect about five to six people compared to 1.8 to 2.2 people in the previous period. 

The authorities have taken a series of “unprecedented measures” to fight the outbreak in Danang, including the mobilisation of several hundred military school students to help with contact tracing and collecting test samples, the government said in its statement.