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Vietnamese factory worker found carrying UK coronavirus variant following arrival in Japan

Vietnamese factory worker found carrying UK coronavirus variant following arrival in Japan

Thursday, January 28, 2021, 11:26 GMT+7
Vietnamese factory worker found carrying UK coronavirus variant following arrival in Japan
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health convenes an urgent meeting in Hanoi, January 27, 2021. Photo: Ministry of Health

A female factory worker who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Japan on Tuesday after leaving Vietnam over a week earlier has been found carrying a coronavirus variant originating in the UK, with the source of her infection still unknown.

The 31-year-old woman left the northern Vietnamese province of Hai Duong for Osaka, Japan on January 17 and tested positive for the mutant coronavirus strain on January 26, the Ministry of Health quoted Japanese authorities as saying during a meeting on Wednesday evening.

She had previously worked at an industrial park in Hai Duong. 

Her direct contacts have been quarantined for coronavirus testing.

The coronavirus mutation, which is said to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the old one, was first discovered in the UK in mid-December and has so far spread to over 70 countries.

Vietnam first detected the strain in a 44-year-old woman returning to Vietnam from Britain who was quarantined upon arrival and confirmed positive for the virus on December 24.

Regarding the worker in Hai Duong, competent authorities have not been able to identify the source of her infection.

The health ministry will continue working with their Japanese counterparts for further updates on the case.

On Thursday morning, the health ministry confirmed two local COVID-19 infections, one of whom had been in contact with the factory worker.

The patient, the country’s 1,552nd case, is a 34-year-old Vietnamese woman working for Vietnam Poyun Electronics Co. Ltd. in Hai Duong.

The other patient is a 31-year-old Vietnamese employee at Van Don International Airport in northern Quang Ninh Province.

The man had a fever, dry cough, and sore throat so he went to the hospital for a check-up. He was tested for the novel coronavirus and the result later returned positive.

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.

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