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Vietnam Announces First Two Coronavirus Deaths as Cases Rise

2020-07-31 -- Two Vietnamese patients infected with the deadly coronavirus died Friday–the country's first two deaths since COVID-19 entered its borders in January, according to an announcement from health authorities.

Vietnam has been among the most successful countries in tackling COVID-19, with only 546 confirmed cases among its 95 million people–a record that was attributed to effective contact tracing, strict quarantines, and early testing enforced by an authoritarian government.

The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Control and Prevention said the two deaths were patients 428 and 437 in Vietnam.

The 428th patient was a 70-year-old man from Hoian city's Minh An ward in Quang Nam province. The patient had multiple comorbidities and died Friday morning.

The cause of death was said to be a myocardial infarction, and the patient also suffered from hypertension, heart failure and end-stage chronic renal failure. Heart and respiratory failure had also taken hold due to his COVID-19 infection.

Meanwhile, patient 437 was a 61-year-old resident of Hoa An ward in Danang city's Cam Le district. The patient died Friday afternoon from septic shock, multiple organ failure, stopped breathing as a result of pneumonia onset by COVID-19, which also caused chronic renal failure and gout.

Last weekend Vietnam suspended all flights and travel by train or bus to or from the coastal city of Danang for 15 days following a surge of at least 18 new cases in the coastal city.

Prior to the Danang outbreak, the country had gone 99 days without any new confirmed infections.

Following the deaths, the Ministry of Health sent an urgent announcement advising those who had recently visited hospitals in Danang or who were aboard Vietnam Airlines flight 166 from Danang to Hanoi on the morning of July 25 to contact their local health clinics for further consultation.

Reported by RFA's Vietnamese Service. Translated by Huy Le. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

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