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Vietnam reports first Covid-19 death after months of successful curbs

HANOI – Vietnam recorded its first death from Covid-19 on Friday after winning plaudits worldwide for one of the most successful national responses to the pandemic.

The country of 96 million had gone 100 days without infection before an unexpected cluster of new cases of unknown origin surfaced in the popular central resort city of Danang a week ago.

The health ministry on Friday reported 82 new infections, 26 of which were imported, marking the Southeast Asian country’s biggest single-day jump.

On Thursday, Hanoi started mass coronavirus testing.

By noon on Friday, 21,732 people had been tested in the capital, the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control said. Around 21,000 tested negative, it said in a statement, without elaborating.

Hanoi on Thursday also banned large gatherings and urged tens of thousands of domestic travellers to report to authorities. It shut bars and nightclubs, extending those closures to street food stalls and karaoke lounges from midnight on Friday.

Late on Friday, Hanoi authorities said restaurants and supermarkets could remain open but must implement social-distancing measures.

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