As Vietnam’s swine flu count rose to 763 on Wednesday, fears began mounting the virus will begin sweeping through high-rise office buildings in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Of the 60 new cases confirmed on Wednesday, one patient is an employee at the Vigracela building in Hanoi and another works at the Petro Vietnam Tower in HCMC.
The infected patient from the Vigracela building, a Chinese citizen, is believed to have caught the H1N1 virus while visiting the Viettel Telecom building in Hanoi on Monday.
Employees in the Viettel Telecom building have been wearing face masks since one of their colleagues was diagnosed with swine flu on Monday.
At the PetroVietnam Tower in HCMC’s downtown Le Duan Street, a 31-year-old employee tested positive to swine flu on Wednesday.
He is believed to have contracted the disease after coming into contact with a colleague who had just returned from abroad. The colleague is now in quarantine at HCMC’s FV Hospital.
Eleven of 33 employees who work in the same office in PetroVietnam Tower as the confirmed swine flu patient have been allowed to work from home. All other employees have been wearing masks since Wednesday.
The HCMC Economic University also confirmed the first cases of swine flu – a student who came into contact with a confirmed patient who returned from overseas.
So far, five education institutions in HCMC have been closed to try to stop the virus from spreading.
Of Vietnam’s 60 new cases on Wednesday, 54 cases were in the south, three in the Central Highlands, two in the central region and one in the north.
So far, 389 of Vietnam’s 763 cases have been released from hospital. None of Vietnam’s swine flu cases have yet proved fatal.
According to information posted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Wednesday, the influenza A (H1N1) virus has been confirmed in 168,895 people in 145 countries, resulting in 1,012 fatalities.