An alley in Ward 7, District 6, HCM City went under lockdown as a resident here tested positive, one of the four belonging to small community cluster of four cases in the city in late November, early December.  — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hang

HCM City CDC said since December 2, the city has not recorded any new community COVID-19 cases and lifted lockdown for areas related to a small cluster of four local coronavirus cases earlier this month, which happened as a result of a quarantine breach.

Prior to the incident, which has been put under control, Vietnam had gone nearly three months without new community cases.

The index case of this transmission event was identified as a 28-year-old Vietnam Airlines’ flight attendant who returned to the country after a flight to Japan on November 14 and was quarantined at the airline’s facility for crewmembers in HCM City’s Tan Binh District for four days.

He was then allowed to self-quarantine at home after two negative COVID-19 tests, but later tests returned positive during the time he was at home but failed to avoid mixing with a close friend and went out in public, becoming Vietnam’s COVID-19 Patient No.1342 and No.1,347, respectively.

The flight attendant’s friend was an English teacher, who spread the virus to two others – including a one-year-old baby boy and one of his students.

HCM City Police on December 3 said they would criminally charge the flight attendant for “spreading a dangerous infectious disease to people".

The incident resulted in the temporary closures of several schools and universities, along with entertainment and service venues in the southern city.

On December 7, the city reported that 861 close contacts of the four COVID-19 patients, as well as 1,400 contacts of these 861 people, all tested negative for the virus. 

Continued monitoring

HCM City CDC said the locality currently has 2,142 people in centralised quarantine, and 77 others are self-quarantining at home or other types of accommodation.

HCM City’s health authorities will continue to require 14-day quarantine for all foreign arrivals as per national regulations and continue to monitor people who have completed quarantine in other localities before heading back to the city.

At the same time, the city’s health authorities will keep up supervision of the COVID-19 protocol compliance of quarantine hotels, hospitals, and district and ward-level centralised quarantine facilities.

The working schedule of foreign experts – who can enter Vietnam without having to quarantine if they are on a short-term (less than 14 days) trip and have produced proof of a negative coronavirus test – will also be scrutinised, the city’s CDC said.

Regarding the medical surveillance of post-discharge COVID-19 patients, the city has 10 people being monitored.

HCM City CDC urged people to continue wearing face masks in public, cover their mouths and noses in cases of coughing and sneezing, not spit in public, frequently wash their hands, and avoid large gatherings.  VNS

Health Ministry holds urgent meeting after domestic COVID-19 case found

Health Ministry holds urgent meeting after domestic COVID-19 case found

The Ministry of Health on November 30 convened an urgent meeting with relevant agencies, and Ho Chi Minh City Health Department representatives to direct the swift implementation of all epidemic prevention measures