The editorial board of Viet Nam News, the English-language newspaper of the official Vietnam News Agency, has announced it will suspend its daily print edition for 16 days after a reporter in Hanoi had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The suspension will begin on Tuesday, March 31, and last until the end of April 15, the newspaper announced in a statement posted to its website on Monday.
“The decision became imperative once one of our staff tested positive for the [novel coronavirus] yesterday,” the post reads.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced 14 new cases of COVID-19, including T.H., a Viet Nam News reporter.
The 43-year-old woman had conducted an interview with a former French ambassador to Vietnam on March 12. The diplomat was diagnosed with the disease on March 26.
She is the first reporter to have come down with COVID-19 in Vietnam.
“Many of those who have come into contact with her at our office will now have to stay isolated either at health centers or their homes,” the statement continues.
“It has thus become impossible for us to bring to you the print, hardcopy version of [Viet Nam News],” the newspaper said in its statement, adding that readers’ print subscription will be automatically transferred to the next 16 days.
The reporter in question reportedly visited the newspaper’s headquarters on the tenth floor of a building at No. 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street in Hanoi immediately after her interview with the former ambassador on March 12.
She was in contact with a number of colleagues that same day.
The building and her residence in Cau Giay District were disinfected by Hanoi authorities on March 27.
A temporary lockdown was imposed on the newspaper’s headquarters at noon on Sunday and briefly lifted on the same day.
Viet Nam News is an English-language daily published by the Vietnam News Agency, the official news service of Vietnam.
Its daily print edition was first published in 1991.
Vietnam has confirmed 194 cases of COVID-19 infections to date, with 25 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital.
No deaths attributed to the disease have been reported in the country.
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