Two real-time PCR tests on a South Korean expert who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Japan after departing Vietnam last month have come back negative, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control.
He tested negative on Friday and Saturday with the real-time PCR technique, the center said on Sunday, noting that these results do not negate his previous positive quick test late last month.
Those who were in close contact with the South Korean expert thus have to continue their 14-day centralized quarantine in Vietnam.
On October 24, the South Korean left Ho Chi Minh City for Japan.
His saliva sample was taken for a rapid antigen test after he landed at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba the same day.
The result returned positive for the novel coronavirus. Japanese authorities then notified the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control of this case.
A probe showed that the man works for a Japanese company in Hanoi.
He entered Vietnam on July 29 and finished his mandatory quarantine in Hanoi on August 16, all his COVID-19 screening tests returning negative.
The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control’s latest epidemiological investigation showed that he had not come into contact with any COVID-19 patient before.
After the quarantine period, he visited some other provinces and cities in Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City from August 16 to October 24
The man had not conducted any conclusive real-time PCR test in Vietnam before leaving for Japan.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities have identified and quarantined his direct and indirect contacts who have all tested negative for the virus.
Vietnam reported zero new coronavirus cases on Sunday.
The country’s tally has reached 1,180 patients, with 1,063 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
No community transmission has been recorded in Vietnam in the last two months.
Vietnam began denying entry to foreign nationals on March 22 but the government allows foreign experts, skilled workers, investors, and diplomats to enter the country on a case-by-case basis, subject to mandatory quarantine.
Though international commercial flights are now suspended, charter planes to the country have been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.
Vietnam currently charges international arrivals for quarantine.
It provided the quarantine service for free in the past.