A medical worker tests novel coronavirus samples in a lab in HCMC, April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
A Vietnamese woman returning home from Britain has been found to be infected with the new, more contagious coronavirus strain.
She was among a group 305 passengers returning to Vietnam by Vietnam Airlines flight VN50 that landed in Can Tho on December 22.
On arrival, they were sent to quarantine facilities in Can Tho and the nearby provinces of Vinh Long and Tra Vinh and HCMC.
On testing two days later six of them were found to have Covid-19, four in Vinh Long and two in Tra Vinh.
The infected samples were sent to the HCMC Pasteur Institute, Vietnam’s leading epidemiology facility, for genetic sequencing, and it confirmed that one of the patients, a 44-year-old woman, was infected with the SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01 (Variant of Concern, year 2020, month 12, variant 01) first found in Britain and said to be 70 percent more transmissible than the old one.
The woman, who has had high blood pressure for 10 years, is now in stable condition.
She is undergoing treatment at the Tra Vinh Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital for a sore throat, slight fever and cough but does not have breathing difficulties.
Her husband in the U.K. has also tested positive for novel coronavirus.
Earlier 33 countries reported finding the variant since Britain first reported it on December 8.
Vietnam has had 1,474 cases of Covid-19 and 35 deaths so far and has gone one month without local transmission.