HCMC – The Ministry of Health confirmed the first infection with the Omicron coronavirus variant in Vietnam this morning, December 28.
The infected male passenger arrived from the UK through the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on December 19.
Upon arrival, the man was found to be positive for Covid-19 through a rapid test and was transported to the quarantine center of Military Hospital 108 where he was confirmed positive for the coronavirus in a RT-PCR test.
Through genetic sequencing using the Oxford Nanopore technology, the hospital confirmed that the man was infected with Omicron (B.1.1.529).
“The Ministry of Health has informed the Government of the case,” Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said.
The highly transmissible Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa in late November. It is more contagious than the Delta variant, which is currently dominant worldwide, and other variants.
On November 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated Omicron a variant of concern. This decision was based on the evidence presented to the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves; for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes.
Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron compared to other variants of concern.
Up to now, Omicron has been detected in more than 100 countries worldwide, including some countries in the Asia-Pacific such as Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.