Vietnam confirms first case of Omicron variant infection
An entrant returning from the UK was confirmed by the Ministry of Health on December 28 to be the first Omicron case recorded in the nation.
According to information provided by the country’s infectious disease surveillance system and a preliminary report produced by the 108 Military Central Hospital on December 19, the Central Military Hospital 108 received one case of the variant.
The confirmed case is a passenger who was onboard flight QH9028 from the UK to Vietnam who then landed at Noi Bai International Airport on the evening of December 19.
After receiving a positive rapid test result for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the passenger was transported from the airport to an isolation area specifically for COVID-19 cases at 108 Military Central Hospital.
Following this, the Department of Molecular Biology of the Hospital then conducted a test for SARS-CoV-2 by using the RT-PCR method, with this also giving a positive result.
With the patient being a passenger returning from the UK, a place where many Omicron infections have been detected in recent times, the Hospital on December 20 carried out sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome by using Oxford Nanopore (ONT) technology to report a suspected result of Omicron infection.
However, as the Omicron strain contains up to 36 mutations within the protein spike, including some point mutations, deletion mutations in this sequencing time remain unclear. Therefore, the hospital continued to take samples on December 21 as part of re-sequencing.
The hospital's gene sequencing results indicate that the patient was infected with the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
This marks the first infection case of the Omicron variant recorded in the country, although the entrant was quarantined and promptly managed after entry.
The Ministry of Health is therefore continuing to keep a close watch on the pandemic situation, as well as the possibility of infection with the Omicron variant in the nation.
It also recommends that people strictly comply with COVID-19 prevention and control measures and get themselves fully inoculated.