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Five Omicron cases in HCMC test negative

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Five people who entered HCMC from abroad and were found to be infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have tested negative, according to the city’s health authority.

The HCMC Health Department has sent a report about the five Omicron-hit cases to the Ministry of Health and the HCMC government, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

According to the report, these five arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC between December 21 and 23. They include four Vietnamese citizens and one Turkish flight attendant.

The HCMC Pasteur Institute then collected their samples for Covid testing and genomic sequencing. The results showed that they tested positive for the Omicron variant. However, all of them then tested negative on December 31, with stable health condition, the city’s Health Department said.

The department asked the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) to make a list of passengers who boarded the same flights as these five cases and send it to the HCMC Pasteur Institute to serve tracing efforts.

HCDC also has to inform hotels, where passengers linked to these people are under quarantine, of the issue and monitor their health condition.

The Tan Binh District Medical Center was told to coordinate with the relevant hotels to quarantine all of their staff, including 136 of the Holiday Inn Hotel and 120 others of the Park Royal Hotel, and passengers currently under quarantine at the hotels. They will be tested for Covid if they develop any symptoms of the disease.

Earlier, Phan Van Mai, chairman of the municipal government, announced the five cases of the Omicron variant at a Covid-related meeting held in the city yesterday, December 31.

He added that more cases linked to this new variant could be detected in the city in the upcoming time.

Mai asked the departments, agencies and local authorities to continue ramping up efforts to control the pandemic, especially given the presence of the Omicron variant in the city. District 1 and other localities were told to direct competent agencies to intensify patrols and encourage people to practice anti-virus measures and to ensure large gatherings are not held during the New Year holiday, the Lunar New Year, or Tet holiday.

The city’s chairman also asked the HCMC Health Department to closely monitor and detect in time new cases linked to the variant, and handle them in line with the city’s Covid-response scenario. Thu Duc City and districts across the city must ask the grassroots authorities to manage people entering the city from abroad in accordance with new regulations.

Speaking at the meeting, Tang Chi Thuong, director of the city’s Health Department, said a flight transporting around 600 passengers from abroad was scheduled to land at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC in the coming days.

Since January 1, 2022, the Health Department will grant QR codes to facilitate the health declarations of people entering the city from foreign countries. However, as fully-vaccinated people entering Vietnam are exempt from the quarantine mandate and only need to self-monitor their health at home after arrival, local authorities were asked to closely monitor those coming to the city from overseas.

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