Another 41 patients of Covid-19 were confirmed in Vietnam Wednesday evening, with 40 linked to Da Nang, where a local lockdown is now in place and one imported case, raising the country total to 713, according to Health Ministry.
According to the Health & Life news report, the latest cases include 34 persons in Danang city, 04 persons in Lang Son Province, 02 persons in Bac Giang Province and 01 repatriated person.
Vietnam has registered 713 COVID-19 cases in total, with eight deaths as of today.
The country had gone 100 days without community transmission until the virus resurfaced on Jul 25 in Danang. More than 200 people have since been infected, with the majority in Danang.
The coronavirus spread to at least many other cities and provinces, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where entertainment venues are closed and gatherings restricted to prevent infections.
New COVID-19 strain with higher infection rate
Vietnam is mobilizing to contain the coronavirus in Danang, as the strain detected in the country’s tourism hub appears more transmissible than previous versions, health authorities say.
“Results of gene sequencing showed that this is a new strain that entered Vietnam,” Nguyen Thanh Long, acting health minister, said Sunday. “Mutation has increased susceptibility, leading to high rates of infection.”
Long spoke at a meeting with Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
“The infection rate is about five and six people, compared to the older strains with the rate of 1.8 to 2.2 people,” he said. The rate equates to how many people contract the virus in a period of time after having close contact with an infected individual.
The genome analysis was conducted by CDC Vietnam, local doctors and the Pasteur Institute in Vietnam.
Shortage of rapid test kits
On Tuesday, Hanoi said it lacked the rapid testing kits needed to continue mass screening of cases amid the new outbreak.
Most of Tuesday’s new cases were linked to Danang, the health ministry said, adding there were more than 133,000 people undergoing quarantine, about 80 per cent of those in their homes.
According to Reuters, more than 88,000 people have returned to Hanoi from Danang since Jul 8, but only 70,689 were tested, authorities said, with two positive cases.
The gap is due to a shortage of rapid testing kits used to screen thousands of residents at a time, according to state media.
Hanoi medical institutions and hospitals have been assigned to boost testing capacity.
Rapid tests can diagnose a blood sample in minutes but are prone to inaccuracies. They are used to identify potentially positive cases that are confirmed using the more accurate, swab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.