We report on the public health response generated by an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that occurred during March 2020 at Bach Mai Hospital (BMH) in Hanoi, northern Vietnam's largest hospital complex. On March 18, a total of 3 distinct clusters of COVID-19 cases were identified at BMH. Diagnosis of the initial 3 COVID-19 cases led to contact tracing, symptom screening, and testing of 495 persons and limited quarantine of affected institutes or departments. When 27 staff members in the catering company tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the entire BMH staff (7,664 persons) was put under quarantine. Contact tracing in the community resulted in an additional 52,239 persons being quarantined. After 3 weeks, the hospital outbreak was contained; no further spread occurred in the hospital. Rapid screening of cases, extensive testing, prompt quarantine, contact tracing, and social distancing contributed to prevent community transmission in Hanoi and northern Vietnam.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2; Vietnam; contact tracing; coronavirus; coronavirus disease; outbreak; pandemic; quarantine; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; testing; viruses; zoonoses.