Vietnamese province reimposes stay at home order in coronavirus battle

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Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hai Duong province

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam on Monday reintroduced stay at home measures in the northern province of Hai Duong after it reported dozens of COVID-19 cases there every day since a new outbreak last month.

Having stayed clear of the virus for nearly two months, Vietnam was back on high alert after the government confirmed its first community infections in Hai Duong on Jan. 28.

The province, where 499 COVID-19 infections have been detected, will be under lockdown from midnight on Tuesday until further notice, the government said.

The capital Hanoi is also on alert after a Japanese man who had arrived in Vietnam recently died due to respiratory failure and was found to have been carrying the virus, state-run Voice of Vietnam reported.

Vietnam on Monday reported 40 new COVID-19 infections, including two of the Japanese man's immediate contacts.

Health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said in a statement the viral load detected in his body was "very high" indicating he had caught it outside quarantine and implying there was an undetected cluster in Hanoi.

Thanks to a centralised quarantine programme and an aggressive contact-tracing system, Vietnam had managed to keep its coronavirus tally to 2,269 cases, with 35 deaths and nearly 155,000 people being under quarantine.

The government said it had completed all the paperwork needed to receive around five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Angus MacSwan)