First Omicron infections in community reported in HCM City hinh anh 1COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Three first infections of SARS-CoV-2's Omicron variant have been found in the community in Ho Chi Minh City, the municipal Department of Health announced on January 19.

All three Omicron cases are linked to a Vietnamese woman whose name was given as N.T.N.P., born in 1981 and with an address in ward 17, Binh Thanh district.

P. had previously received three doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but tested positive for the coronavirus. The genomic sequencing results are not yet available.

P. entered Vietnam on January 7, 2022 after she had a negative PCR test in the US on January 4 on flight number BN5409, which landed at Cam Ranh International Airport in central Khanh Hoa province. She was quarantined in a separate room at a hotel in Nha Trang city.

She was tested for COVID-19 again on January 9, and the results showed negative for the virus.

On the afternoon of January 10, she took a Vietnam Airlines flight (VN1345) to HCM City, and was welcomed by three relatives – a man named K. (born in 1987, residing in Binh Chanh district), a woman named H. (born in 1976, Go Vap district), and a woman named T. (born in 1991, district 11) – at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. P., K. and H. had dinner together at a restaurant then returned home.

On January 13, P. started coughing and had a slight sore throat. The next day, all three relatives showed symptoms and went for medical examinations. Their specimens were sent to Hospital 30/04 for analysis, after the SARS-CoV-2 positive status was confirmed, the hospital forwarded the specimens to the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases for genomic sequencing on January 15.

On January 16, Hospital 30/04 also confirmed P. was infected with the coronavirus.

On January 18, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases said all three relatives were infected with the Omicron variant, while the results for P. are still pending. All the four patients are in stable health condition.

The HCM City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) is conducting contact tracing and testing all those who had close contact with the Omicron cases.

HCDC has closely supervised quarantined people entering the country from overseas and performed genomic sequencing of positive COVID-19 test results to detect the Omicron variant.

Community rapid testing will be performed at residential areas with a surge in infections, and genomic sequencing of positive COVID-19 test results will be conducted to detect Omicron variant-infected cases in the community, according to HCDC.

So far, HCM City has reported 30 imported Omicron infections./.