Making news

Vietnam detects first Omicron case

The first case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been detected in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The carrier is a man who arrived in Hanoi from the United Kingdom. The patient was immediately quarantined after he landed in the country, and has not had any contact with the public.

The Central Military Hospital 108 in Hanoi on December 19 received the patient, who landed at Noi Bai International Airport the same day, and a rapid COVID-19 test returned a positive result. The man was transported from the airport using a specialised vehicle to a quarantine facility at Hospital 108.

The hospital has also collected a specimen from the patient and confirmed the infection using RT-PCR.

Following the health ministry’s order to conduct genomic sequencing of foreign arrivals infected with SARS-CoV-2, the hospital on December 20 analysed the man’s specimen using a sequencer made by Oxford Nanopore Technologies and he was suspected to have contracted Omicron variant but it was not conclusive due to the many deletion mutations of the variant.

A day later, the hospital again conducted genome sequencing for the patient and confirmed he was carrying the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).

The MoH will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic in general and the possibility of Omicron infections in particular. The ministry recommends people strictly comply with COVID-19 prevention and control measures and be fully vaccinated.

In response to the detection of the first Omicron case, the Hanoi People’s Committee has sent an official dispatch to the People’s Committees of districts and relevant agencies regarding the implementation of pandemic prevention measures toward immigrants.
Accordingly, all passengers who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine or have recovered from the disease have to monitor their health at residence, hotels or guest houses for three days. They are not allowed to leave their residence. They must take the SARS-CoV-2 test on the third day since arrival and continue to have their health monitored for 14 days if the results turn out negative.

Those who have not been inoculated or not fully vaccinated will be quarantined for seven days after arrival. They have to undergo the COVID-19 tests on the third and seventh days since arrival and be quarantined for 14 days if the test results are negative. Passengers who are under 18 and those over 65 will be quarantined with their caregivers.

All immigrants have to follow the MoH’s 5K message and keep a safe distance./.