HANOI (REUTERS) - Vietnam’s health ministry on Saturday (Aug 1) reported 40 new coronavirus cases, taking the total infections in the country to 586, with three deaths.
Most of the new cases are linked to hospitals in the resort city of Danang, where the country last week detected its first locally transmitted infections in more than three months.
A third death was reported on Saturday and all three fatalities were in Danang.
The health ministry said up to 800,000 visitors to Danang have left for other parts of the country since July 1, adding that more than 41,000 have since visited three hospitals in the city.
Vietnam has also detected new coronavirus cases in other cities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with links to Danang, a tourism hot spot.
Authorities in Danang are building a 1,000-bed field hospital to ease the burden on the city’s hospitals, four of which are under lockdown following a series of cases there.
On Thursday, Hanoi started mass coronavirus testing, shut bars and nightclubs, banned large gatherings and urged tens of thousands of domestic travellers to report to authorities. By noon on Friday, 21,732 people had been tested in the capital, the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control said.
Dr Kidong Park, World Health Organisation representative in Vietnam, told Reuters in an e-mailed statement that Vietnam had been preparing for the possibility of wider community transmission, after the country reported its first case in January.
“The government has always been determined to ensure that its people are protected from Covid-19 by keeping the country’s relatively low number of cases and controlling the transmission within the community,” he said.