Vietnam reports new case of COVID-19 linked to Malaysia mosque event

Vietnam reports new case of COVID-19 linked to Malaysia mosque event

People wear protective face masks to protect themselves against coronavirus while driving along Lon
FILE PHOTO: People wear protective face masks to protect themselves against coronavirus while driving along Long Bien bridge in Hanoi, Vietnam March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI: Vietnam has confirmed an additional case of coronavirus linked to a mosque event in Malaysia, its health ministry said on Wednesday (Mar 18), bringing its total number of cases to 67.

The latest known patient, a 36-year-old man, returned to Vietnam on Mar 4 on VietJet flight VJ826 from Kuala Lumpur.

The man, identified only as "Patient 67", attended a 16,000-person mosque gathering in Kuala Lumpur and is the second patient in Vietnam linked to the event, the health ministry said in a statement.

Patient 67's home village was also placed under lockdown for 28 days from Tuesday night.

READ: How mass pilgrimage at Malaysian mosque became COVID-19 hotspot

READ: Vietnam to halt issue of all visas in coronavirus battle

Vietnam on Tuesday announced it would suspend the issue of new visas for all foreign nationals to curb the spread of coronavirus in the Southeast Asian nation.

"The government sees the visa suspension policy as an effective measure to constrain the rapid spread of the virus, given many countries are now at high risk of infection," the state-run Nhan Dan newspaper said.

"It's temporary. The restriction will be in place for 15 to 30 days," it added, without saying when the ban would take effect.

Hanoi has denied entry to visitors from Europe's Schengen visa-free area and Britain from Sunday, and ordered mandatory quarantine and testing for all arrivals from virus-hit areas.

The government has advised Vietnamese to call off large gatherings and ordered them to wear masks in public places.

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Source: Agencies/nc

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