Three Covid-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City have been confirmed to be infected with the Omicron strain, making the first community Omicron cases in Vietnam.
The Apr 30th Police Hospital in District 5 said Wednesday that the patients came to a private clinic for health checks with symptoms including running nose and sore throat.
After they were found positive for the novel coronavirus via rapid testing, the clinic sent their samples to the hospital for PCR confirmation tests. Staff at the hospital detected genetic abnormalities in the samples and sent them to HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases for gene sequencing. The results on Tuesday afternoon confirmed they were infected with the BA.1 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant.
The three patients are a 35-year-old in Binh Chanh District, a 31-year-old in District 11 and a 48-year-old in Go Vap District.
Local authorities are locating the infected area and taking samples of those that have come into close contact with the three patients for testing.
The three patients have raised Vietnam’s number of Omicron infections to 73. The previous 70 cases were all foreign arrivals quarantined upon entry.
The Ministry of Health had warned late last year that the risk of Omicron spreading in Vietnam is high and once that happens, it could overload the healthcare system as it has been confirmed to be more contagious than Delta.
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