COVID-19 tally increases to 2,347 with 18 new cases in Hai Duong on February 18 hinh anh 1Collecting samples for COVID-19 test (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi, (VNA) – Eighteen cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the past 12 hours to 6pm on February 18, all in the northern province of Hai Duong, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The national tally reached 2,347 including 755 locally-transmitted cases since January 27.

During the day 25 patients were given the all clear, raising the total number of recoveries to 1,605. The death toll remains at 35.

A total 144,071 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide.

Hai Duong - Vietnam's current largest COVID-19 hotspot - had basically managed to put under control five big outbreaks by February 18, said the provincial steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.

The five outbreaks are in Chi Linh and Hai Duong cities, Cam Giang and Nam Sach districts and Kinh Mon township.

The province has implemented strict lockdown measures since February 16 with 949 control stations set up across the province to monitor entry and exit.

The northern locality has as of February 18 recorded 558 COVID-19 patients in 75 out of 235 communes and wards in all of its 12 district-level localities since January 27./.