Hanoi has recorded its first case of Covid-19 community transmission case with the Omicron variant, health authorities announced on January 26, urging people to increase their vigilance due to the threat from the variant.
Vu Cao Cuong, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said the capital's first Omicron community transmission case is a hotel employee who has made contact with foreign entrants infected with the variant.
The employee has been quarantined at the hotel and there's no risk of further infection in the community, Cuong said, affirming that the Omicron patient is now in stable health condition.
Medical workers analyze a new coronavirus infection sample at a laboratory in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son
The deputy director noted that Hanoi has recorded an Omicron community infection, thus, the risk for the variant to spread among the community is possible.
"The community needs to raise their vigilance against Omicron, not gathering at crowded places, especially during Tet holiday, and getting fully vaccinated, as the Covid-19 pandemic’s evolution continues to be severe, with the emergence of the new and more contagious Omicron variant in the country," Cuong stressed.
He added that the Hanoi Department of Health has instructed the healthcare system to strengthen surveillance in order to timely detect any abnormal signs of an outbreak and find out any new variant early.
Hanoi has recorded 14 Omicron infection cases so far, 13 of whom were imported cases. The capital city has recorded over 118,000 Covid-19 patients in the fourth coronavirus wave since April 27, 2021.
As many as 98% of Hanoi's adult population have received at least two Covid-19 vaccine shots. More than 74% of the country's population of 98 million have received at least two vaccine shots, according to the health ministry.
Vietnam has also launched a booster vaccination drive, with authorities pledging that all adults should get the additional vaccine shot by the end of March 2022.
The country had previously detected more than 160 cases of the highly transmissible variant among quarantined people entering Vietnam from overseas, including five community transmission cases linked to a US entrant in Ho Chi Minh City.
The health ministry has repeatedly warned since late last year that the risk of Omicron spreading in Vietnam is high and once it happens, it could lead to an overwhelmed health care system because it is more contagious than the Delta variant.
As per the Vietnamese Government’s requirements, all incoming people into Vietnam will undergo rapid tests at airports, and those returning a positive Covid-19 test will have their sample undergo genomic sequencing.