Vietnam on Wednesday declared the infectious COVID-19 disease a nationwide epidemic, local media reported.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed the official declaration widening social distancing measures to stem spread of the deadly infection which has killed over 42,000 people globally.

The decision was taken after more imported cases of coronavirus were reported in the country, daily Vietnam News reported.

The South East Asian country has 212 cases of coronavirus. At least 58 people have recovered form the disease.

The decision requires health quarantine, monitoring of affected areas, mobilization of resources in society to fight the disease while extending

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