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Vietnamese mother, sons testing positive for COVID-19 in Australia infected outside Vietnam: IHR NFP

Saturday, March 13, 2021, 10:54 GMT+7
Vietnamese mother, sons testing positive for COVID-19 in Australia infected outside Vietnam: IHR NFP
Medical officers of Hai Phong City in Vietnam conduct COVID-19 testing for direct contacts of the two new transmission cases in the late hours of March 10, 2021. Photo: Hai Phong Portal

The Vietnamese and Australian medical authorities have determined that the Vietnamese mother and her two sons who tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia after leaving Vietnam had not caught the pathogen in the Southeast Asian country, but maybe during their flight.

N.T.L.H., 49, and her two sons, 18-year-old T.D.H. and 11-year-old T.G.M, all of whom hail from northern Hai Phong City, tested positive for the novel coronavirus after their flight from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport landed in Australia on March 1.

Earlier, the three people stayed in the transit lounge at Changi International Airport in Singapore from 4:00 pm February 28 to 9:00 am March 1.

Following reports of the cases, Hai Phong authorities have cordoned off, fumigated, and performed an epidemiological investigation at the house of the infected mother and sons on Nguyen Cong Tru Street in Le Chan District, Hai Phong City.

Meanwhile, medical forces in Hai Phong rolled out contact tracing and isolating measures.

As of 11:00 am Friday, all of 45 residents labeled as high risk and 16 direct contacts of the patients had tested negative for the coronavirus.

At the same time, the National International Health Regulations Focal Point (IHR NFP) also informed that according to the Australian side’s genetic sequencing results, the virus strain that the trio caught was the South African variant known as B.1.351.

The B.1.351 virus variant has not been detected in the community in Vietnam to date. 

The country only recorded one foreign expert, who was quarantined upon his entry into Vietnam, infected with this strain at the end of December 2020.

In addition, the Australian side also recorded two more passengers on the same flight with H.’s family from Singapore to Australia infected with this virus variant. 

Therefore, it is highly likely that these patients were infected with the virus during their flight from Singapore to Australia, not in Vietnam.

The Australian side has continued to work with Singaporean medical authorities for more information about the strains of coronavirus that have been documented in Singapore.

Vietnam recorded no new case of COVID-19 on Saturday morning.

The national tally stood at 2,550 infections, with 2,086 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.

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