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Coronavirus Update: 121 Confirmed Cases, Including 3 Medical Staff; 3 More Recoveries

Over the weekend, Vietnam's Covid-19 case total surged past 100, while foreigners were banned from entering the country.

Tuoi Tre reports that on Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced 19 new cases, the largest single-day tally in Vietnam since the outbreak began. Fortunately, most of these individuals had been quarantined upon arrival in the country.

However, the newspaper adds that case 100 is a 55-year-old man who attended a religious event in Malaysia and was asked to self-isolate at home upon returning to Vietnam on March 3. However, he prayed at the Jamiul Anwar Mosque in Saigon's District 8 five times each day on March 4–17, breaking isolation. He was tested on March 18, and his results were confirmed on Sunday.

Two other cases in Saigon are British nationals who live in District 4 and had previously traveled to Malaysia. They were also at Buddha Bar in Thao Dien on March 14, the same night as the British pilot who previously tested positive. 

This morning, the health ministry announced three more cases, bringing the national total to 116. One of the three is a doctor working in the emergency ward at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi. He is the first doctor to test positive in the country, following two Hanoi nurses who became the first infected medical workers in Vietnam on Friday.

The other two are Vietnamese nationals who returned from Europe and were quarantined upon arrival.

As this was being written, five new infections were announced, raising the total to 121. Both Case 117 and 118 are Vietnamese nationals who had been in Cambodia and were quarantined in Tay Ninh upon returning through the Moc Bai border gate.

Case 119 and 120 are an American and a Canadian. The former had a history of traveling across Southeast Asia; he landed in Saigon on March 15 from Indonesia and has been going to work, eating out, visiting the gym at various venues in Saigon until symptoms appeared on March 19. He tested positive a day later. The latter has been in Vietnam since early February but came in close contact with Case 91 at Buddha Bar in District 2.

Case 121 is a Vietnamese national who returned on March 19 via Japan. He has been in quarantine since landing.

In better news, two British nationals, patients 24 and 27, have tested negative for Covid-19 twice and are expected to be discharged from the tropical diseases hospital in Hanoi this week. They would be the 18th and 19th recoveries among Vietnam's coronavirus cases.

The first recovery of the second wave of infections was Case 18, a Vietnamese national who returned from South Korea; he was discharged on March 20.

Meanwhile, over the weekend the Ministry of Health designated 19 additional medical facilities as Covid-19 testing sites. As of Monday afternoon, 17,148 people had been tested nationwide.

Globally, the number of reported cases is 339,259, with 14,706 deaths. These figures are growing rapidly in countries like Italy, the US, Spain, Indonesia and Thailand.