Vietnam records first Covid-19 death

No deaths until now.

Belmont Lay | August 01, 2020, 12:58 AM

Vietnam has recorded its first Covid-19 death.

State media reported on July 31 that the deceased was a 70-year-old man from the central city of Hoi An.

The country has kept a clean sheet by maintaining zero fatalities ever since the Covid-19 outbreak occurred.

No new infections had been reported for more than three months before an outbreak was reported in the nearby popular resort of Da Nang in the last week of July.

Some 80,000 people had to be evacuated.

The new cases ended the 99-day streak of no community transmission.

Locals visited resort

Tens of thousands of tourists from across the country were in the city of Da Nang at the time, as the coronavirus threat was believed to have passed.

The government initially closed the city to visitors, before ordering a total local lockdown on July 29.

Since July 25, 93 cases linked to Da Nang have been reported.

Restrictions are also being reintroduced in many other cities and provinces.

Vietnam has reported just 509 cases in a population of around 97 million.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned every province and city in the country following the outbreak in Da Nang: "We have to act more swiftly and more fiercely in order to control the outbreak."

First death reported after some time

BBC reported that mainstream Vietnamese newspapers cited "coronavirus" as the main cause of the man's death, but the story was initially deleted from most of the country's state media websites.

The story only appeared again on their websites as the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control confirmed the news.

The deceased elderly man was the said to have "died of heart attack, kidney cancer, high blood pressure and other severe diseases while positive for coronavirus", BBC reported.

Speculation was that the government found it difficult to announce the first death for fear of public embarrassment.

Vietnam is now pursuing an aggressive prevention strategy to contain the virus.

Many quarantine facilities have been set up with all means and resources to treat every patient mobilised.

Vietnam lauded previously

Vietnam acted before it even had confirmed cases, which was unlike many other countries.

It closed its borders early to almost all travellers, except returning citizens.

Anyone entering the country must quarantine in government facilities for 14 days and undergo testing.

No new local transmissions were reported since mid-April as a result.

Vietnam was also praised for the care it was able to offer a Scottish pilot who spent two months in a coma after developing Covid-19.

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