Vietnam Records First COVID-19 Death

Residents wait to be tested at a makeshift rapid testing centre in Hanoi

The country of 96 million had gone 100 days without infection before an unexpected cluster of new cases of unknown origin surfaced in the popular central resort city of Danang a week ago.

Vietnam on Friday reported its first-ever COVID-19 death as the Southeast Asian nation struggles with a renewed coronavirus outbreak after 99 days without any cases.

The capital, Hanoi, has started mass coronavirus testing, shut bars and nightclubs, banned large gatherings, and urged tens of thousands of domestic travellers to report to authorities as the country scrambled to contain the fresh spread of the virus.

The Thanh Nien newspaper said a 70-year-old man died after contracting the disease while being treated for a kidney illness at a hospital in Da Nang.

The patients are aged between 27 and 87 and all are patients or employed at Danang's hospitals or their relatives, it added. More than 90 cases connected to the hospital have been reported in the past week. All have other underlying illnesses.

The health ministry has since confirmed the death.

Vietnam recorded its first death from COVID-19 on Friday after winning plaudits worldwide for one of the most successful national responses to the pandemic. The death is a jolt to the country that had won global praise for its handling of the pandemic-it acted aggressively before its first confirmed case by, among other things, closing its borders. "We must be responsible for the entire community". As the number of case continues to increase, Da Nang has tightened security and set up more checkpoints to prevent people from leaving or entering the city, which has been in lockdown since Tuesday. The city on Friday began setting up a makeshift hospital in a sports auditorium and doctors have been mobilized from other cities to help.

Ho Chi Minh City plans to test 18,000 Da Nang returnees.

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