Vietnam's Ministry of Health announced two local COVID-19 infections on Thursday morning, one of whom had had contact with a patient already testing positive in Japan after leaving the Southeast Asian country over a week ago.
The two patients were the first domestic cases to be confirmed since December 2, according to the health ministry’s data.
They were registered in Hai Duong and Quang Ninh Provinces, both located in northern Vietnam.
Patient 1,552 is a 34-year-old Vietnamese woman working for Vietnam Poyun Electronics Co. Ltd. in Hai Duong.
She had come into contact with a woman who left Vietnam for Japan on January 17.
That woman tested positive in Japan on Tuesday for the new variant, 70 percent more transmissible, that has raged in the UK recently.
Patient 1,552 was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday evening.
She is being treated at the Dong Anh District branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.
The other patient is a 31-year-old Vietnamese employee at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh.
He had a fever, dry cough, and sore throat so he went to the hospital for a check-up.
The man was tested for the novel coronavirus and the result returned positive at the Quang Ninh Center for Disease Control on Wednesday evening.
He is isolated for treatment at the Dong Anh District branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the Vietnamese capital.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam demanded at a meeting on Wednesday night that aggressive contact tracing be conducted to contain the new infection chain within ten days.
Vietnam has documented 1,553 coronavirus patients as of Thursday morning, with 1,430 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.