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‘Stay home’: Vietnam companies tell employees amidst novel coronavirus scare

Saturday, February 01, 2020, 08:55 GMT+7
‘Stay home’: Vietnam companies tell employees amidst novel coronavirus scare
An attendant wears a mask while interacting with customers at a ticket booth in Hoi An Ancient Town, located in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam. Photo: B.D / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese companies have adopted measures to shield employees from the infection of the novel coronavirus (nCoV), including advising employees to work from home.

Ho Chi Minh City-based Sendo, an e-commerce retailer backed by local tech giant FPT Group, said on Thursday that staff who recently returned from the nCoV epicenter of Wuhan City in China or have been in contact with travelers from the Chinese city have to declare their risk of exposure with the firm’s human resources department.

“Such employees are required to work from home for at least 14 days from the date of their return from Wuhan or from their last interaction with travelers from Wuhan,” Sendo said in a memo.

“After that period of time, a medical statement from your doctor [that you’re clear of any flu-like diseases] is required before you can return to the office,” the memo reads.

Sendo also asks that any employee who has flu-like symptoms should seek doctor’s advice immediately and avoid going to the office.

Likewise, Vietnamese entertainment and social media firm VNG Corp has allowed employees returning from virus-hit areas, including China, the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, and the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, to work from home for two weeks before going back to the office.

According to a memo by VNG, the reception of foreign visitors at its offices will be limited while employees are advised to suspend nonessential trips, especially to high-risk areas.

“Individuals with flu symptoms should stay home and seek medical treatment,” the company said in a memo.

An attendant wears mask while interacting with a customer at a ticket booth in Hoi An Ancient Town, located in the central province of Quang Nam. Photo: B.D / Tuoi Tre
An attendant wears a mask while interacting with a customer at a ticket booth in Hoi An Ancient Town, located in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam. Photo: B.D / Tuoi Tre

Some companies in Vietnam are even taking extra precautions.

For example, Bach Kim Toan Cau Construction Company is taking the temperature of every worker upon arrival at its office in Ho Chi Minh City.

Its employees are also forced to put on protective masks before entering the office.

Other companies operating in fields that require daily interaction with customers, such as retail, are also providing staff with face masks and hand sanitizers, along with hygiene and health guidance.

The flu-like coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, and was first identified earlier this month, has resulted in 259 deaths in China, according to Reuters.

More than 11,700 people have been infected in China, and more than 130 cases reported in at least 25 other countries and territories, with Russia, Britain, Sweden, and Italy all reporting their first cases on Thursday or Friday.

In Vietnam, three Vietnamese and two Chinese nationals have been confirmed with the nCoV infection, with one having recovered as of Saturday.

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