Thousands in contact with HCMC Covid-19 cases test negative

By Le Phuong    December 6, 2020 | 10:09 pm PT
Thousands in contact with HCMC Covid-19 cases test negative
The quarantine area at HCMC's Children Hospital where a community transmission case is being treated, December 2020. Photo courtesy of HCMC's Children Hospital.
More than 3,200 people suspected to have come into contact with HCMC’s four latest community transmissions have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The city has since gone five days without recording any new community transmission of the Covid-19 causing virus.

The city has placed under supervision 861 cases of first generation infections (F1), 1,400 F2 and 1,002 others, including students and teachers, after contact tracing for the four patients.

They have all tested negative for the novel coronavirus, the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control announced Monday morning.

HCMC is currently treating 33 Covid-19 patients, including 29 imported cases who’d been quarantined upon arrival.

A 28-year-old Vietnam Airlines flight attendant has been identified as the source of transmission in HCMC's latest Covid-19 outbreak.

After he was confirmed positive on November 29, the city tracked down everyone who’d come into close contact with him for isolation and testing.

Through contact tracing, the city identified three other infectees: a teacher who had visited the attendant when the latter was quarantined at home, the teacher’s nephew and one of his students.

Thousands of people, including teachers and students who’d came into indirect contact with the four patients, have been asked to quarantine themselves at home and their samples taken for testing.

As of Monday, 2,185 people in HCMC are quarantined at centralized facilities and 3,251 at home.

With all contacts showing negative results and the city going five days without new community transmissions, many schools in HCMC have allowed students to return to classes after closing for nearly one week.

Municipal health authorities have stepped up supervision of flight crews of international flights and expanded testing of high-risk people to prevent further community transmissions of the novel coronavirus.

The flight attendant had returned from Japan on November 14, and was quarantined for four days at a Vietnam Airlines facility in Tan Binh District. He breached rules and visited another quarantine area, where he contracted the virus from a colleague who had returned from Romania.

After two tests returned negative, he was allowed to go home and isolate himself. But he violated the rules of self isolation and had contact with his mother and two friends, including the teacher who stayed with him for a few days.

The flight attendant also left home to eat out and attend classes at a university.

He has been suspended from his job and faces possible dismissal, while Vietnam Airlines will be inspected for compliance with Covid-19 prevention regulations, quarantine processes and supervision at quarantine facilities.

HCMC police have opened a criminal investigation into his breach of Covid-19 quarantine protocols.

Vietnam’s current Covid-19 tally stands at 1,366, including a 54-year-old Libyan man diagnosed Sunday evening.

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