Japanese passenger transiting in HCMC tests Covid-19 positive

By Le Nga    March 4, 2020 | 07:41 am PT
Japanese passenger transiting in HCMC tests Covid-19 positive
Specialists sanitize an aircraft at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on February 4, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
A Japanese passenger who transited in HCMC before flying home on a Vietnam Airlines flight has tested positive for Covid-19.

The passenger, whose identity has not been revealed, took the VN814 flight operated by Vietnam Airlines from Cambodia’s Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday before taking a connecting flight on the same airline to Japan.

After landing at Japan’s Nagoya Airport, the passenger showed symptoms of high fever and was taken to local hospital. Tests showed that he was positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.

At the Siem Reap airport, the patient had checked-in to Nagoya, and so did not have to stop at the transfer counter at the Tan Son Nhat Airport. The passenger entered the Class C business room at 10:30 p.m. to wait to board the connecting flight VN340.

After dropping off passengers at Nagoya airport, the Vietnam Airlines plane returned to Tan Son Nhat Wednesday afternoon as flight VN341 with 73 passengers and 12 crew members on board. All crew members and 51 passengers entering Vietnam on the flight were quarantined. The remaining 22 passengers who were transiting en route to other destinations were isolated further pending procedures for their connecting flights.

The plane was also disinfected. Two security staff of the airport and six service personnel in the C-class business room have also been quarantined because they’d come into close contact with the infected Japanese passenger.

There were 67 passengers and six crew members on board the VN814 flight from Siem Reap. Six passengers, one Vietnamese, three French, one Australian and a Filipino, disembarked in HCMC while the 61 others continued onward to other countries by connecting flights.

The Filipino returned home the next day, Wednesday, while authorities are looking for the other five to quarantine them.

The travel itinerary of the infected passenger during his stay in Cambodia is being clarified by Vietnamese authorities in coordination with Japan.

Japan had recorded 230 infection cases as of Wednesday with 12 deaths, including six on a cruise ship docked at a Japanese port. In Vietnam, all 16 infections recorded so far have been discharged from hospital.

The global death toll has reached 3,202, mostly in mainland China, followed by Italy (79), Iran (77) and South Korea (32). The U.S. has reported nine deaths.

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