Vietnam has officially implemented social isolation in Danang city for tourists since July 27’s midnight. Tourists will not be able to enter Danang within the next 14 days.
After nearly 100 days having no cases of infection in the community, from July 25 to the end of July 26, Vietnam had a series of new cases, including cases in the central city of Danang and province of Quang Ngai.
At the meeting on the morning of July 27, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked Danang to implement social isolation according to Directive 16. He said that the movements of the past few days show that the new virus has invaded very strongly. Infected people have to be under ventilation as soon as discovered. Mr. Phuc emphasized: “We must have a decisive attitude, otherwise we will fail in this anti-pandemic campaign.”
However, Mr. Phuc was still wary of not using the word “blockade” and stating: “Unnecessary services must be stopped. We haven’t used the blockade of Danang city yet, but there must be a level of social isolation.”
On the morning of July 27, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control held a meeting to implement pandemic prevention. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the Steering Committee, chaired the meeting. Many experts recommend that in advance of the spread of diseases in Danang, it is necessary to organize social separation, rational blockade of outbreaks; not blockade at all but partial blockade.
In fact, through epidemiological analysis, the cases are related to 3 facilities: Danang Hospital, Danang Hospital C, and Orthopedic Hospital. They are located on one land lot.
Regarding the blockade of three hospitals in Danang, the Ministry of Health leaders said it would apply the same as the previous Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi. At the same time, the minitry will support the most in terms of resources to effectively organize isolation, tracing, treatment, testing, zoning, stamping out, etc.
A special point to note is that cases in Danang were infected with the new virus strain which spreads quickly.
Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the results of the virus genetic analysis from patients showed that this is a new strain emerging in Vietnam (previously Vietnam had discovered 5 different strains of SARS-CoV virus -2).
This strain has a faster spread than the previously recorded strains. However, there is no evidence to determine whether the virulence of this virus has increased compared to the previous strains.
It is still not clear the link between the four new cases. The first new case, the patient No. 416, began showing symptoms on July 20. More than 100 people in close contact with this patient were tested, all of them negative.
Of the remaining three new cases recorded over the weekend, a 17-year-old went home on public transport from Quang Ngai to Hospital C in Danang to look after relatives.
It is not clear from where the four people were infected, or whether their transmission was related to each other. The uncertainty about the source of the disease makes people fear that there will likely be a new wide-spread outbreak in the city.
Up to the evening of July 27, the new outbreak of Danang has detected 11 more cases, including seven patients and four health workers of Danang Hospital. All 11 cases are residents of the city.
Another worrying problem is the newly recorded cases of severe changes.
According to the report of the Subcommittee on treatment, the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 pandemic prevention, the situation of the patients No. 416 and No. 418 has all changed dramatically.
Specifically, patient No. 416, the first case discovered in Danang in this time, 57 years old, with a history of mediastinal cyst (tumor in the chest) had surgery two years ago. This man had been sick since July 17 with a cough and fever. On July 20, the patient was examined at C Hospital in Danang with mild fever symptoms, X-rays with inflammatory lung lesions.
On July 23, the patient was transferred to Danang Hospital after the positive result of SARS-CoV-2 test. Only 2 days after admission, the patient’s health condition was serious.
According to the assessment of the Subcommittee of Treatment on July 25, the patient was with respiratory distress, mild purple head, had severe complications of progressive respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The patient was assigned ECMO on the night of July 24.
Doctors predict the indicators and functions under control, but the disease is very serious, the risk of death is high, needing mechanical ventilation and continuous dialysis as well as ECMO for a long time.
This is the 3rd COVID-19 patient in Vietnam to have an ECMO intervention, after the patients No. 19 and No. 91.
In addition, the patient No. 418, 61 years old, has also many underlying diseases, currently has complications of respiratory failure, acute heart failure kidney damage and is under mechanical ventilation. The Treatment Subcommittee report also stated that the patient No. 418 had a history of type II diabetes, hypertension. This man had been sick since July 11. After 7 days without relieving fatigue, coughing up white sputum, difficulty breathing, the patient was hospitalized. Local media quoted doctors as saying that his functions were in control but had a high prognosis, the ability to continue mechanical ventilation and dialysis for a long time.
The domestic situation became tense when the outbreak re-emerged in Danang, the most famous tourism city in Vietnam.
Statistics of passengers booking through airlines on July 27-31, Vietnam Airlines Department estimates that 80,000 people are stuck in Danang.
VnExpress newspaper noted that on July 26, Vietnam Aviation Administration granted licenses for Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways and Jetstar Pacific to increase 17 return flights to Danang to relieve passengers. Vietnam Airlines changes larger aircraft to carry more passengers.
In order to relieve a large number of passengers, the Department of Transport sent a written request to the Ministry of Transport on July 26 allowing the maintenance of normal flights from this city to localities for at least the next 4 days (July 27-31).
Director of the Aviation Department of Vietnam Dinh Viet Thang said that tourists who were trapped in Danang could run out of money and lack of accommodation.
The leader of the Aviation Department said that the department had set up a plan to create an aviation bridge, requesting airlines to increase the maximum flight to Danang in their capacity, including flying at night to relieve passengers from the city.
However, many people are concerned that rushing people out of Danang could pose a risk of infection nationwide. About 80,000 people from all parts of the country were removed from Danang without testing. If any of these people were infected, the spread of the disease would be terrible.
Until late on July 27, the Ministry of Transport has just decided to stop all flights to and from Danang from 00 AM of Julu 28 to serve the requirements of social distance. Accordingly, all domestic flights carrying passengers to/from Danang within 15 days from 0 Amoff July 28 will have to cease operations. Domestic flights that do not stop in Danang still operate normally.
In the evening of July 27, the airlines also received the direction of the Aviation Department to increase the aircraft to take passengers out of Danang before 0 AM of July 28. Plan to increase flights must send urgently to the Passenger Transport Department of the Aviation Department to handle.
The outbreak appearing in Danang is not surprising to the public as this coastal city in the Central region is one of the typical localities to record many cases of Chinese illegal entry.
On July 11, Danang City Police announced that the police force at 39 Duong Tu Giang in Ngu Hanh Son district discovered 4 Chinese people illegally entering Vietnam. Subsequently, on July 16, police forces continued to inspect the administrative of East Sea Hotel 55-57 Loseby Street, Son Tra District, finding 27 more Chinese who also entered the country illegally.
On the afternoon of July 18, the authorities of Quang Nam province, located close to Danang, also discovered a group of Chinese living in a residential area in Dien Duong ward, Dien Ban town. According to authorities, 4 people were detained on the spot and then the remaining 17 were arrested in Hoi An City.
A group of Chinese who illegally entered Quang Nam declared that they were smuggled into the country by road. Authorities say the possibility is an illegal border crossing and a “middleman” holding all their passports.
On the afternoon of July 26, the Danang Police said that they had arrested a Chinese person in a ring which has smuggled Chinese people to illegally enter Danang and Quang Nam.
In other developments, on the morning of July 27, the Highway Traffic Control Patrol Team No. 1, the Road Traffic Control and Patrol Guidance Department (Traffic Police Department) carried out the patrol control on the Noi Bai – Lao Cai expressway. Accordingly, the police arrested 5 Chinese who illegally entered Vietnam. They are from Guizhou Province, crossing the border nearly 4 hours by boat to Lao Cai.
Earlier, on July 17, the border guard station of Long Binh border gate, An Phu district, An Giang, said the border guard had detected three cases of illegal entry, deporting and taking to isolation 11 people. At the border post, they claimed to have illegally entered Cambodia from Vietnam.