Vietnam reported 17 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday in the largest daily jump in infections since the outbreak began, bringing its total tally to 288, health officials said.
All 17 new patients are Vietnamese returnees and being quarantined on arrival. Zing News, a local media reported.
Of the new cases, six are male and 11 female. One of the patients is a newborn boy and the rest are between 20 and 58 years of age.
According to a report by VNExpress, the new patients are among 297 Vietnamese repatriated from the UAE on Vietnam Airlines flight VN0088 on Sunday. The flight landed at Can Tho Airport in the Mekong Delta and all passengers were quarantined at a university dorm in the nearby Bac Lieu Province.
The 17 infected are now treated at the Bac Lieu General Hospital. Crew members on the flight have also been quarantined.
Vietnam has gone 21 days straight without any infections caused by community transmission. Of 288 cases, 233 have recovered and discharged from hospitals.
Starting Thursday, Vietnam lifts all social distancing restrictions on transport services including bus, taxi, aircraft and train. But all passengers are still requested to wear face masks.
On Wednesday, the Steering Committee on the Prevention and Control of Covid-19 spearheaded by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam suggested the government gives the green light for non-essential businesses and services, except bar and karaoke, to resume operation.
The committee concludes that for now, what needs to be done most is to tighten control on all arrivals from abroad, given that the condition inside Vietnam has been “stable.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 212 countries and territories, and reported deaths have reached more than 264,100.