HCMC – HCMC has brought the recent Covid-19 outbreak under control, especially the infection cluster at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, with no new cases detected over the past week.
Data from the HCMC Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC) showed that the city has done nearly 40,000 Covid-19 tests since January 30, with test results released within 24 hours to meet the demand for large-scale contact tracing.
The airport is still monitoring the temperatures of staff and passengers, and maintaining anti-coronavirus measures to protect the health and safety of passengers.
On February 5, the coronavirus resurged in HCMC after a long lull as the city detected the country’s 1,979th Covid-19 patient who was working as a baggage handler at the HCMC-based airport. But no original source of infection has been found since then.
The city immediately did aggressive contact tracing to stop community spread. As a result, eight more luggage handlers at the airport were found to have the coronavirus and 26 close contacts of these luggage handlers were infected with the disease as well, bringing the total number of infections linked to the Tan Son Nhat airport cluster to 35.
HCDC said that the speedy Covid-19 testing and contact tracing effort is the key to the city’s success in putting the outbreak under control.
The city initially suspected that the new infection might have started from a group of luggage handlers of the Vietnam Airport Ground Services Co. Ltd (VIAGS) at the airport.
Therefore, the city carried out a second round of Covid-19 tests for all VIAGS employees and their family members, with a total of over 5,400 samples collected and tested. Thanks to this aggressive move, the city found four more coronavirus cases including three VIAGS employees and one family member.
The city also did over 12,800 tests for those coming to the places where the latest coronavirus patients visited, and fortunately all the test results returned negative.
The risk of the virus resurging in the community is still high as the city has a big population and a vibrant economy.
Between February 11 and 14, the city collected 9,480 samples from people in high-risk places for testing, such as local wet markets, bus stations, industrial parks’ neighborhoods, but found no positive cases.
HCDC advised local residents to stay alert for Covid-19 even though the latest outbreak is under control.