The first patient with Omicron in Vietnam was discharged from hospital on January 2 after two weeks of treatment, according to the Hanoi-based Military Central Hospital 108.
The hospital, where the patient was treated, said he was put under quarantine for two weeks but did not show any symptoms during the isolation.
He tested negative on January 1 and after leaving hospital will be under close monitor at home, the hospital added.
The patient is a Vietnamese man who arrived in Hanoi on a flight from the UK on December 19 and returned a positive rapid antigen test done at the Noi Bai International Airport. He was put under quarantine immediately.
A medical staff is taking genetic sequencing on the Omicron variant in Hanoi. Photo: Linh Chi
Using Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ sequencer, the hospital’s genetic sequencing on December 21 confirmed he was infected with the Omicron, or B.1.1.529 variant.
After his discharge, the hospital will continue to coordinate with the recovered patient's family to monitor and manage his health at home, ensuring the safety of the community.
Following Hanoi, central Quang Nam Province was the second locality affected by the new variant with 14 infections announced on December 30.
The number of Omicron cases in Vietnam has increased to 20 so far. All arrived from abroad and have reportedly been asymptomatic or mild cases. The latest five Omicron carriers detected in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) have tested negative after five days or a week.
Omicron, first identified in late November, has raised fresh alarms due to its high number of mutations and higher transmissibility. The variant has now been reported by more than 110 countries and territories, including many in the Asia-Pacific like Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
The HCMC authorities have announced new medical protocols for the isolation of international arrivals for early detection of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
This medical protocol was released after five Omicron cases were detected among the passengers entering Vietnam through the southern city’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport from overseas between December 21 and 25.
Under the protocol, people entering Vietnam from abroad through Tan Son Nhat International Airport must install the PC-COVID app on their smartphone and using it for registration.
Otherwise, they are required to make such registration at https://antoan-covid.tphcm.gov.vn to get the QR code.
A man is undergoing a rapid test for the novel coronavirus at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC. Photo: Tien Dat
They must make a health declaration every day on the PC-COVID app. If they do not take self-isolation at home, the owner of place where they stay must create a QR code for making declaration.
The airport authority has arranged a separate area with full equipment for passengers to create their personal QR code upon arrival.
People who come to the airport to pick up passengers should not travel in the same vehicle with the incoming people, and the latter must wear mask and keep distance from others while going home or to hotels.
All pandemic prevention measures must be complied with during the transport, with the vehicles discouraged from stopping along the way.
Passengers will have PCR tests on the third or seventh day depending on their immunity status, and, if testing negative, they will be required to monitor their health for another 11 days. Though free to move around, they should avoid large gatherings and crowded places.
Those with negative results will be monitored until the end of the 14th day after their entry date, while those found positive will be taken to a designated field hospital and their samples will be sent to the HCMC Pasteur Institute for genome sequencing to detect the Omicron variant.
If the quarantined are minors or aged 65 and over, pregnant women, or people with underlying health conditions, they may be accompanied by a caretaker who has been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 for no longer than six months.
Vietnam, with a population of around 98 million, had documented over 1.7 million Covid-19 cases as of January 3, with nearly 1.4 million recoveries and more than 32,600 fatalities, since the pandemic hit the nation in early 2020, the health ministry reported.
Health workers have administered more than 152.2 million vaccine doses since vaccination was rolled out nationwide on March 8, and 90.4% of the country’s adult population had received two vaccine shots by January 1, the ministry said.