Hanoi [Vietnam], January 19 (ANI/Sputnik): Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City has identified the country's first cases of the Omicron coronavirus strain in people who have not traveled abroad, media reported.
According to the Vietnamese VnExpress news outlet, three COVID-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City were confirmed on Tuesday to be infected with the Omicron variant.
Local authorities are currently testing people who have had close contacts with those infected, the media said.
According to VnExpress, a total of 73 cases of the Omicron strain were reported in the country, 70 of those infected people arrived from abroad.
The first case of the Omicron infection was detected in Vietnam in late December last year.
The Omicron strain was first detected in South Africa in late November. The strain contains more mutations in the spike protein -- 32 -- than all previous variants, meaning that it could hamper the body's immune response and spread more easily. (ANI/Sputnik)