Ho Chi Minh City officials have barricaded a residential area after a recovered COVID-19 patient who lives there retested positive.
The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control has identified six people who had direct and indirect contact with the patient in question.
The patient, 27-year-old T.D.C., lives on Thoai Ngoc Hau Street, Hoa Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District, the center said.
The Hoa Thanh People’s Committee has thus locked down 17 households in the neighborhood, isolating and sampling 52 people for COVID-19 testing.
The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control said on Thursday that it had detected a recovered patient retesting positive for the virus.
C. had tested positive for the pathogen in Equatorial Guinea, a Central African country.
The man arrived in Hanoi on July 29 on board a flight that carried 217 Vietnamese returnees from the African country. They were all quarantined upon landing.
He was isolated for treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the capital city.
The patient was allowed to go home on August 14 after having tested negative for the virus three times. He was then required to continue self-isolating at home as per regulations.
|Police and militia officers guard a neighborhood in Hoa Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City after a recovered COVID-19 patient who lives there retested positive. Photo: Ngoc Khai / Tuoi Tre
He kept testing negative on August 16 and 17 before retesting positive on August 18.
The patient has been taken to a field hospital in outlying Cu Chi District for treatment in normal health, with no signs of a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
Vietnam's Ministry of Health requires that recovered coronavirus patients be quarantined at home or other facilities and have their health monitored for 14 days since hospital discharge.
Such patients who retest positive are not infectious, Nguyen Van Kinh, former director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, said in May.
Vietnam has confirmed 994 coronavirus cases, with 533 recoveries and 25 virus-related deaths as of Thursday afternoon.
One patient died on August 12 after having tested negative for the virus four times.
Most of the fatalities suffered critical comorbid conditions, including renal failure, cancer, and hypertension.
Vietnam has sealed the border to foreigners since March to prevent COVID-19 spread but the country grants exemption to foreign experts and skilled workers who are to be quarantined upon arrival.
The Vietnamese government has arranged for many flights to take home citizens stranded in other countries over virus-related travel restrictions.