Vietnam recorded its first death from COVID-19 on Friday after winning plaudits worldwide for one of the most successful national responses to the pandemic.
The country of 96 million had gone 100 days without infection before an unexpected cluster of new cases of unknown origin surfaced in the resort city of Danang a week ago. The Health Ministry on Friday reported 82 new infections, 26 of which were imported, marking the country’s biggest single-day jump. On Thursday, Hanoi started mass COVID-19 testing. By noon on Friday, 21,732 people had been tested in the capital, the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control said. Around 21,000 tested negative, it said.
Hanoi on Thursday also banned large gatherings and urged tens of thousands of domestic travellers to report to authorities. It shut bars and nightclubs, extending those closures to street food stalls and karaoke lounges from midnight on Friday.
Patient 428, a 70-year-old man who appears to have contracted the disease in Danang, died on Friday, the official Vietnam News Agency said. The most recent cases were linked to three hospitals and two clinics in Danang, according to the Health Ministry, which overnight sent a task force of health experts to the city.