Update: 16:19 | 29/01/2021
The Ministry of Health has called on Hai Duong Province, now the coronavirus epicenter, to quickly set up three field hospitals to cope with the surging number of cases.
Health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the first would be built at the Chi Linh Town medical center with 200 beds, modern equipment and an intensive care unit.
The hospital is scheduled to open on Friday.
Chi Linh Town's medical center in Hai Duong Province, which is set to turn into a field hospital for Covid-19 patients, January 28, 2021.
The second one will come up at the Hai Duong Medical Technical University and the ministry has instructed its department of health environment management to immediately find solutions for waste disposal there.
The third will be established at the Hai Duong Sports Stadium. The equipment used at the Da Nang field hospital during the outbreak there in July last year will be transported to the stadium.
The ministry fears the new outbreak in Hai Duong, 57 km from Hanoi, could be worse than the one in Da Nang, with the number of infections rising quickly soon.
Hundreds of medical experts have been dispatched to Hai Duong, where 84 people tested positive for coronavirus, all employees of Taiwan-owned Vietnam Poyun Electronics Co., Ltd. in Chi Linh.
A 34-year-old woman working for the firm flew to Japan last week and tested positive there for the coronavirus variant that originated in the U.K. and is believed to be 70 percent more contagious than other strains.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered F1, or those who were in close contact with people testing positive, to be quarantined for 21 days instead of the usual 14 since the involvement of the U.K. variant of the virus.
The company has around 2,300 workers and health authorities have so far taken samples from 2,100 for testing and are continuing to contact trace, including in Hanoi.
Vietnam has had 1,651 cases, including 100 in the latest outbreak.
Chi Linh, home to 220,000 people and many industrial parks, has been locked down for 21 days, while other parts of Hai Duong have in place social distancing.
The latest outbreaks come just two weeks before Tet, Vietnam's biggest and most important festival, an occasion for family reunions that will see millions travel home.