Vietnam reports nine more COVID-19 infections as outbreak spreads to Hanoi

HANOI (CNA) – Vietnam reported nine more new COVID-19 infections yesterday as the country’s first outbreak for nearly two months spread to Hanoi, the capital, where the ruling Communist party is currently holding its key five-yearly congress.

The new cases, including one in Hanoi and eight in the nearby Haiphong, Hai Duong, Quang Ninh and Bac Ninh provinces, brought the total number of cases in the outbreak that began on Thursday to 93, the Ministry of Health said.

One of the first two cases recorded on Thursday was exposed to an individual who had tested positive in Japan for the more contagious United Kingdom (UK) variant. The ministry said it was still analysing gene sequences to determine if the new patients had contracted the new variant.

The total number of cases recorded since the coronavirus was first detected in Vietnam a year ago stands at 1,651, including imported cases, with 35 deaths.

The ministry said the case in Hanoi is linked to an airport worker in Quang Ninh province who tested positive on Thursday along with 83 others, the first locally transmitted cases in the country for 55 days and the biggest single-day outbreak so far.

Women cross a street in Hanoi. PHOTO: AFP