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Saigon tests whole apartment floor as recovered COVID-19 patient has ‘weak positive’ retest

Monday, June 29, 2020, 23:22 GMT+7
Saigon tests whole apartment floor as recovered COVID-19 patient has ‘weak positive’ retest
People are pictured at Block D of the Pham Viet Chanh apartment buildings in Ward 19, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 29, 2020. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City authorities on Monday took samples from all residents on a floor of an apartment block where a recovered COVID-19 patient whose retest had returned positive lives.

All households on the 12th floor of Block D at the Pham Viet Chanh apartment buildings in Ward 19, Binh Thanh District was subject to the sampling for COVID-19 tests, Bui Thi Hong Que, chairwoman of the ward, said in a notice issued the same day.

The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCMC CDC) had ordered the sampling to prevent the transmission of the virus, Que said.

A recovered COVID-19 patient lives in Block D of the Pham Viet Chanh apartment buildings, Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the HCMC CDC, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday evening.  

The patient, 20, is an overseas Vietnamese student who returned to Vietnam from France on May 24, according to the Ministry of Health.

The student was quarantined upon entry and tested positive for the novel coronavirus on May 25.

The patient was declared free of the virus on June 9 after treatment at a hospital in the city.

The recovered patient was then sent to a quarantine center in Binh Thanh for 14 more days after being discharged from the hospital, as per regulations.

The patient has lived in the Pham Viet Chanh apartment buildings in the past six days.

Health workers have tested the person for the pathogen regularly during the time. One of the tests yielded a “weak positive” result on June 20.

The health ministry said on Monday that recovered COVID-19 patients who retest positive are not infectious.

They cannot transmit the pathogen because their body simply contains the remains of the coronavirus after recovery, Nguyen Van Kinh, former director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, once said.

The retests simply pick up the remains and fragments of the virus during the body’s elimination process, Kinh added.

Vietnam has reported 355 COVID-19 cases as of Monday night, with 335 recoveries and zero deaths, according to the health ministry's latest figures.

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