A Hanoi man who had tested positive for COVID-19 almost two months after being cleared of the novel coronavirus retested negative on Monday, according to the Ministry of Health.
P.N.M., 21, is a student and he first exited the hospital on September 17 after having recovered from the respiratory disease, ministry said.
His latest real-time PCR test returned negative for the virus at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi on Monday. One day earlier, his first positive test using the same technique proved positive, almost two months following the student’s hospital discharge.
M. arrived in Vietnam from Russia on August 10 and had his second COVID-19 test return positive at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi on August 25, according to a report by the municipal Center for Disease Control.
The patient was treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases from August 25 to September 17.
The student tested positive once and negative for six consecutive times at the hospital before his discharge.
The patient stayed home for two more weeks, wearing a face mask when he had contact with his family and girlfriend during this period.
He resumed his study at Hanoi University following the two-week home isolation, sitting two meters apart from his classmates during lectures. He went home after school and never visited public places.
On November 7, the student went to Hanoi Transport Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a viral fever. He was then allowed to go home for self-care.
On Saturday, he went to the same hospital after developing a fever of 39 degrees Celsius.
His sample was taken for a real-time PCR test, the result of which came back positive for COVID-19 at the Vietnam National Children's Hospital in Hanoi on Sunday.
The municipal Center for Disease Control has identified at least 25 people who had close contact with the student. Further contact tracing is underway.
Authorities are not sure if this is a reinfection, at a time when Vietnam has gone 75 days without any community transmission.
"In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected."
Further tests will be conducted on M., according to the health ministry.
The ministry announced 21 recoveries on Monday, taking the total to 1,124.
Vietnam has confirmed 1,283 coronavirus cases, including two imported ones on Monday, with 35 virus-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest data.
The Southeast Asian country 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.