Vietnam quarantines commune of 10000 over coronavirus

Henrietta Brewer
February 14, 2020

The rural commune of Son Loi, in the northern Vietnamese province of Vinh Phuc, 44 km from Hanoi, is home to 11 of the 16 coronavirus cases in the Southeast Asian country, including a threemonth-old baby.

'As of February 13, we will urgently implement the task of isolation and quarantine of the epidemic area in Son Loi commune, ' said a health ministry statement. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

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The locking down of the commune of Son Loi, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Hanoi, is the first mass quarantine outside of China since the virus emerged from a central Chinese city late past year.

Checkpoints have been set up around the six villages that make up Son Loi, said an AFP team on the outskirts of the area in Binh Xuyen district.

A troubling new front opened abroad as Vietnam placed 10,000 people under quarantine after six COVID-19 cases were discovered in a cluster of villages - the first such lockdown overseas.

Health officials wearing protective suits sprayed disinfectant on vehicles by the checkpoints.

Sixteen people in Vietnam have tested positive for the virus.

The drastic measures have been imposed after a sixth case of the virus was confirmed in Son Loi today, in addition to five who were already infected.

Vietnam declared a public health emergency over the epidemic on February 1 and has banned all flights to and from China, where almost 1,400 people have died from the virus.

It also suspended new tourist visas for Chinese nationals or foreigners who had been in China over the past two weeks.

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