|Hoà Vang Hospital, Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy of the hospital|
HÀ NỘI — The southern province of Long An has reported its first Omicron case while the central city Đà Nẵng logged three more, bringing the national tally to 35.
The first-ever Omicron case in Long An was a Chinese expert working for an enterprise in Đức Hoà District who arrived in Việt Nam via Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City on Bamboo Airways flight number QR970 on December 25, 2021.
He was quarantined at Happy 2 Hotel in Bến Lức District, and received negative COVID-19 test results two days later.
The PCR test results on December 31 however returned positive and the specimens were sent to HCM City Pasteur Institute for genomic sequencing, where it was confirmed on January 10 that the patient was infected with the Omicron variant.
During the transportation from the airport to the quarantine facility, he came into contact with two medical staff, who all wore protective gear and maintained a safe distance, while the car had separating glass between the passengers and drivers.
The drivers and the medical staff all tested negative for the virus later. The patient has also been cleared of the virus, without any symptoms of fever or coughing.
He will remain under medical observation for a further 21 days still.
The central city of Đà Nẵng late Tuesday announced the detection of three Omicron cases.
Dr Tôn Thất Thạnh, director of the central city's Centre for Disease Control, said that the three Omicron infections were found in arrivals from Malaysia.
They were among four COVID-19 cases found on two flights from Malaysia to the city on December 23 and 24.
On the suspicion that there might be Omicron cases, the city’s health authorities moved the four cases from the No.1 COVID-19 field hospital in Liên Chiểu District to the Hòa Vang Hospital for treatment, and carried out stricter surveillance and testing for Đà Nẵng’s airport staff who were present when the Malaysian flights touched down and the passengers’ entries were processed.
All four specimens were sent to Nha Trang Pasteur Institute for genomic sequencing, and the institute on Sunday said three out of four cases were carrying the Omicron variant.
After treatment, all three cases have tested negative for the virus and were discharged on Monday (January 1, 2021), according to the municipal health department.
They remain under observation at home.
Phạm Trần Xuân Anh, deputy director of Đà Nẵng Hospital, said Omicron was more contagious but it was not clearly known if Omicron cases would be more likely to progress into severe diseases compared to other variants.
He urged people to get fully vaccinated, along with the booster shot.
So far, all 35 Omicron cases detected in Việt Nam have been foreign arrivals who were quarantined on arrival after testing positive for coronavirus.
In order to prepare for treatment of COVID-19 cases, Đà Nẵng is urgently completing the facilities for the No.2 COVID-19 field hospital, also in Liên Chiểu District, with a 2,000-bed capacity, and getting ready to activate it when needed.
While home treatment of asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 cases is carried out, the city is also preparing quarantine facilities to receive cases during spikes to relieve pressure at medical facilities. — VNS