All residents who share a floor of an apartment block in Ho Chi Minh City with a recovered COVID-19 patient who had recently had a "weak positive" retest have tested negative for the novel coronavirus, according to the Vietnam General Department of Preventive Medicine.
The patient also tested negative again on Monday.
All samples taken from people living on the 12th floor of Block D at the Pham Viet Chanh apartment buildings in Ward 19, Binh Thanh District on Monday have returned negative for COVID-19, the General Department of Preventive Medicine announced on Tuesday morning.
The mass sampling, which was ordered by the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control to prevent the transmission of the virus, took place after the retest of a recovered COVID-19 patient living on the same floor had returned positive.
The 20-year-old patient 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 Ho Chi Minh City.
The recovered patient was then sent to a quarantine center in Binh Thanh District for 14 more days after being discharged from the hospital, as per regulations.
The patient has lived in his apartment at the Pham Viet Chanh condo for the week.
Health workers have tested the person for the pathogen regularly during this time. One of the tests yielded a “weak positive” result on June 20.
But the student’s retest on Monday came back negative for the virus.
All family members of the patient have also had the same results.
The health ministry has advised people not to be too worried about the case, as there have been other recovered patients who retested positive for the coronavirus after leaving the hospital, but they cannot transmit the pathogen.
Patients retesting positive after having beaten COVID-19 are not infectious, according to Nguyen Van Kinh, former director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.
The retests simply detect the inactive fragments of the virus, Kinh added.
Vietnam has reported 355 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday morning, with 335 recoveries and zero deaths, according to the health ministry’s statistics.