Phu Tho’s hospital authorised to perform SARS-CoV-2 test hinh anh 1Illustrative image. (Source: VNA)

Phu Tho (VNA) – The Ministry of Health on March 17 authorised the laboratory of the General Hospital of the northern province of Phu Tho to perform tests for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has caused respiratory illness in 68 people in Vietnam so far.

As the virus continues spreading in the country, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Bui Minh Chau has requested all local departments and agencies as well as districts to intensify preventive measures against the epidemic.

Local authorities must strengthen checks and management of people returning from abroad and tourists in the province and actively identify those who are suspected of carrying the virus or in close contact with infected cases, so as to timely place them under quarantine or medical surveillance.

All overseas returnees and visitors must be required to fill out health declaration forms and have their health examined while those who fail to comply with this order must be given strict penalties.

Phu Tho has reported no COVID-19 case to date. Seven suspected cases have been put into quarantine at the provincial general hospital, six of whom already testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 in their first test.

Meanwhile, three other people, two returning from China and one from the Republic of Korea, are being quarantined at the provincial military school. About 450 people travelling from the virus-hit areas or in close contact with infected patients are under self-quarantine.

Vietnam has reported 68 confirmed cases so far as of March 18 noon, with the latest patient being a 41-year-old US citizen living in the central city of Da Nang.

The man, whose wife is a Vietnamese, went abroad last month and travelled through many countries like India, Spain, Morocco, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands.

He has been kept in quarantine at arrival at the Da Nang International Airport./.