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Vietnam reports 1st-ever COVID-19 death after new outbreak

Vietnam reports 1st-ever COVID-19 death after new outbreak”

The Health Ministry said a 70-year-old man died after contracting the disease while being treated for a kidney illness at a hospital in the coastal city of Da Nang.

The patients are aged between 27 and 87 and all are patients or employed at Danang's hospitals or their relatives, it added.

The Vietnam government has started mass coronavirus testing in the capital Hanoi, locked down tourist spots, banned gatherings in its economic hub and urged tens of thousands of domestic travellers to report to authorities on Thursday, as the country scrambled to contain the new spread of the virus. Vietnam had not seen new domestic infections since mid-April until last weekend, when a person in the city tested positive.

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the country's Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, said there are at least six other elderly patients with COVID-19 now in critical condition.

The task force includes 65 health experts who had previously helped fight coronavirus at other epicentres in Vietnam, the ministry said. But a week ago an outbreak began at Da Nang Hospital.

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.

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Experts worry the actual number of cases could be far higher.

It reported its first case in late January.

Vietnam on Friday reported its first-ever COVID-19 death as the Southeast Asian nation struggles with a renewed coronavirus outbreak after 99 days without any cases. More than 53,760 people are now quarantined at health centres or at home.

In addition to what public health experts said was a "textbook" pandemic response, Communist-ruled Vietnam had earned global praise for its openness and transparency.

Since then, cases have been confirmed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.



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