Three more people in HCMC have been confirmed to be infected with the Omicron strain, including a woman returning from the U.S.
Gene sequencing results have confirmed that the woman who entered Vietnam on Jan. 7 had contracted the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus, doctor Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the city’s Department of Health, said Monday.
The U.S. entrant is a 41-year-old Vietnamese woman, who flew from the U.S. and landed on Cam Ranh Airport in central Khanh Hoa Province on Jan. 7 on flight BN5409.
Among her two infected contacts, one is a 25-year-old man who lives in District 11 and works in Binh Thanh District, and the other is a 29-year-old man who works as an ER doctor at a hospital in the city and lives in District 11.
Earlier, three people in HCMC who had a meal with the U.S. entrant in the city had got Covid-19 and had been confirmed to have been infected with Omicron on Jan. 19, making them the first community cases of the strain in Vietnam.
They are a 35-year-old living in Binh Chanh District, a 31-year-old in District 11 and a 48-year-old in Go Vap District.
The U.S. entrant had received three Pfizer vaccine shots, was quarantined at a hotel in Nha Trang upon arrival. On Jan. 5, one day before she flew back to Vietnam, she had tested negative.
While staying in her hotel in Nha Trang, she tested negative again on Jan. 9. The next day, she flew from Nha Trang to HCMC on the VN1345 flight. She was received by the three relatives at the airport and all four of them ate at a restaurant before going home.
On Jan. 13, the woman began to cough and had a sore throat. Her relatives also had similar symptoms the next day, and their samples were sent for testing. The three relatives’ results returned positive on Jan. 15, and the woman’s on Jan. 16.
The patients in HCMC have been vaccinated with at least two vaccine doses and are in stable conditions.
Doctor Chau recommended that everyone continues to follow all protocols and guidance on Covid-19 prevention, regardless of their vaccination status.
Those protocols, including wearing a mask, disinfecting hands, and keeping distance are the way to avoid any type of coronavirus variants, he said.
Until now, Vietnam has reported 139 cases of Omicron. Of them, five are locally-transmitted cases and all are in HCMC, and the rest are imported.
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