Vietnam on December 31 morning confirmed 14 more Covid-19 cases with the Omicron coronavirus variant on four different flights from South Korea and the US to the central city of Danang.
Deputy Director of the central province of Quang Nam's Department of Health Nguyen Van Van announced that the infected passengers landed in the Danang International Airport, tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival, and were sent to quarantine facilities in Quang Nam which borders Danang.
Staffs at a research laboratory in Hanoi are arranging Covid-19 testing samples. Photo: The Hanoi Times
Among the patients, eight were on flight VN99 from the US and three on flight VN417 from South Korea that both landed on December 24. Two others were on flight VN417 from South Korea on December 23 and one on flight QH9451 from South Korea on December 21, Van said.
He added that the 14 patients’ testing samples were sent to the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, whose genetic sequencing results that arrived on December 30 confirmed that they were infected with the Omicron strain.
Vietnam confirmed the first Omicron infection on December 28, a person arriving in Hanoi from the UK on December 19 and has been quarantined upon arrival at the 108 Military Hospital in the capital city of Hanoi.
There were 165 people on the same flight with the first Omicron-infected patient. However, Hanoi has not recorded any more Covid-19 cases with the Omicron variant, the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said after sending 22 testing samples to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for genetic sequencing, to proactively monitor and detect the Omicron variant.
Director of the Hanoi Department of Health Tran Thi Nhi Ha told The Hanoi Times that Covid-19 samples in high-risk areas and sending them for gene sequencing is a routine activity in all localities, in accordance with the direction of the Ministry of Health since the appearance of the Omicron variant.
Omicron, first identified in late November, has raised fresh alarms due to its high number of mutations and higher transmissibility in the world.
Around 100 countries and territories have detected the variant, including many in the Asia-Pacific like Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.