Hanoi locks down major hospital as COVID-19 cases surge

 Hanoi authorities have locked down a major hospital on the front line of treating Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients after staff and patients tested positive for the virus, the said on Wednesday.

The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, which has been responsible for dealing with every COVID-19 case in Vietnam since the beginning of the pandemic, closing its doors to newcomers as of Wednesday and stay locked until at least May 19.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health said the hospital had so far tested 827 people at the facility.

Every member of staff at the facility be tested for COVID-19.

From around 300 results returned so far, at least 14 individuals tested positive for COVID-19, including two medical staff, eight patients and four family members.

Authorities have also shut down schools, bars and karaoke parlours in Hanoi and several other provinces as of Tuesday as Vietnam battles its first wave of COVID-19 cases via community transmission in over a month.

Vietnam has confirmed community transmissions of COVID-19 in the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh , along with the provinces of Ha Nam, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai and Hung Yen.

The cases are linked to a 27-year-old man who returned to Vietnam from Japan on April 7, and a Chinese expert entering the nation for work, both of whom tested positive after finishing  a mandatory two-week quarantine.

Vietnam has officially recorded 2,9 Coronavirus cases and 35 deaths.(dpa/NAN)