Testing starts to determine genetic sequence of positive case in Hai Duong
Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long informed a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on August 14 about developments which have taken place in relation to the outbreaks in Da Nang, areas of nearby Quang Nam province, and the latest infections in Hai Duong.
Most notably, Acting Minister Long raised concerns over the appearance of a cluster of cases in Hai Duong, adding that an investigation into the entire epidemiological history of patient 867 indicates that the individual was possibly infected within a three to five day window around July 30.
“The worrying thing is that the restaurant where the patient works is a crowded place, while staff are almost all not wearing masks. Therefore, Hai Duong city’s decision to impose social distancing order under Government Directive 16 is absolutely correct to control this outbreak,” the acting Minister of Health said.
In line with this action, the Ministry of Health will assist Hai Duong to localise and stamp out the epidemic, with a particular focus being placed on mass testing.
With regard to the outbreak in Da Nang, the acting Minister of Health said that there remains a number of places that need to continue to be placed under strict control. The current signs are that Da Nang will be able to bring the epidemic under control by the end of the month, but all locations must be closely monitored alongside the continued enforcement of pandemic response measures.
Furthermore, as many as 38,000 samples were taken for testing in Quang Nam province, although the sampling rate remains slow in both localities. Indeed, the period of time when suspected cases have their samples taken and when they receive their test results is often between seven and 10 days, potentially resulting in the faster spread of the disease.
Moreover, the nation will no longer be able to enjoy any “peaceful space” in the near future as the epidemic will likely occur in many areas, especially moving towards the winter and the spring which have favourable weather conditions for diseases to spread easier.
It therefore remains necessary to raise public awareness regarding the proper implementation of counter measures, such as wearing face masks in public, using hand sanitizer, keeping a safe distance, and avoiding large gatherings, Acting Minister Long noted.
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