Local people shopping at Emart supermarket in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (8 Aug 2020)

Vietnam reported its first local transmission of COVID-19 in nearly three months on Monday (30 Nov), with officials scrambling to prevent a wider outbreak in the country’s most populous city.

The communist nation was applauded earlier this year for controlling the pandemic with strict restrictions on movement, extensive quarantine measures and a robust track-and-trace regime.

But late on Monday the health ministry announced that that it had detected coronavirus in a 32-year-old man in Ho Chi Minh City, a relative of a Vietnam Airlines flight attendant who tested positive on the weekend.

“A temporary lockdown has been made on locations (in the city) where the patient had visited,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that dozens of people in contact with the latest case had been put under quarantine.

Vietnam has recorded just 1,347 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths across a country of 95 million.

Life has almost returned to normal in the country over the past almost three months, despite a summer outbreak centred on the beach resort city of Danang that put health authorities back on high alert.


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