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Vietnam to test imported food packaging for COVID-19: health ministry

Vietnam to test imported food packaging for COVID-19: health ministry

Friday, November 27, 2020, 10:47 GMT+7
Vietnam to test imported food packaging for COVID-19: health ministry
A woman is subject to a temperature check at a shopping mall in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam will test samples taken from food packages imported from coronavirus-hit countries for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health said in a notice this week.

The health ministry on Tuesday sent a dispatch asking the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, and People’s Committees in centrally-administered provinces and cities to tighten control of foods imported from countries battered by the novel coronavirus.

The world is still struggling with the virus while some nations have detected coronavirus particles on frozen food packaging, the health ministry said in its dispatch.

Vietnam is facing a high risk of virus transmission even though it has well contained the pathogen.

Thus the ministry insisted that the relevant agencies keep a close watch on foods, particularly frozen ones, shipped from virus-struck countries and territories.

Such agencies are requested to test imported food packages for COVID-19 and report results to the health ministry.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said during a teleconference on Tuesday that imported food is a potential source of coronavirus infection.

The coronavirus can survive for a very long time on frozen food products, Minister Long underlined.

Vietnam has confirmed 1,331 COVID-19 patients, with 1,166 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the health ministry.

The Southeast Asian country has gone nearly three months without any infection in the community.

The Southeast Asian country began denying entry to foreign nationals on March 22 but the government allows foreign experts, skilled workers, investors, and diplomats to enter the country on a case-by-case basis, subject to mandatory quarantine.

Though international commercial flights are now suspended, charter planes to the country have been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.

Vietnam currently charges international arrivals for quarantine.

It provided the quarantine service for free in the past.

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