HANOI, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam reported 48 new COVID-19 cases from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time Tuesday, including 43 locally transmitted and five imported, raising the total confirmed cases in the country to 3,537, according to its Ministry of Health.
The community infections were all reported in lockdown areas in northern and central localities. They include 21 detected in the northern Bac Ninh province, 12 in the northern Bac Giang province and four in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, among others.
Most of the cases are contacts of previously confirmed patients or linked to the clusters of infections in the localities.
The northern COVID-19 hotspot Bac Ninh province, where around 120 cases were reported in the past days, has put into operation two field hospitals with the capacity of 300 beds each since Tuesday.
Amid rising fear over a widespread outbreak, the Vietnamese capital Hanoi banned gatherings of more than 10 people and suspended all meetings and non-essential events starting from Tuesday, and ordered certain food and beverage places in high-risk areas to close until further notice.
As many as 2,618 patients have so far recovered, and nearly 67,900 people are being quarantined and monitored, the health ministry said.
As of 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, Vietnam has recorded a total of 2,098 domestically transmitted infections, including 528 detected in 25 localities since the start of the latest outbreak on April 29.
On Monday, Vietnam recorded 125 new community cases, the highest daily number observed since the pandemic first hit Vietnam early last year, according to official data.