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Vietnam to retest foreign experts who completed quarantine upon arrival

Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 15:00 GMT+7
Vietnam to retest foreign experts who completed quarantine upon arrival
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control’s meeting in Hanoi, February 15, 2021. Photo: VGP

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday afternoon ordered the healthcare sector to perform additional COVID-19 tests on all foreign experts who had arrived in Vietnam and already completed their quarantine period.

The direction came as two people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus after coming into close contact with a Japanese expert who had been confirmed as a COVID-19 patient following his death at a hotel in Hanoi last weekend.

The deceased Japanese man was later recorded as an imported COVID-19 case.

“We are yet to conclude foreign experts as the source of infection, but there are clearly issues we must be aware of,” PM Phuc said in his conclusion at the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control’s meeting on Monday afternoon.

Vietnam has closed its borders to foreign visitors since March last year and only allowed entry to certain people like international experts and diplomats who will be quarantined upon arrival.

Experts who test negative for the coronavirus by the locality where they completed the mandatory quarantine can be allowed to work locally.

At Monday afternoon’s meeting, Phuc directed localities and health sectors to continue to closely and thoroughly review cases of close contact with COVID-19 patients who entered the country illegally, conduct speedy tracing, and carry out large-scale testing and medical isolation.

The government chief also directed localities and the health sector to more closely manage isolated areas to prevent cross-infection and resume drastic measures as in the early days of epidemic prevention and control but with flexibility.

The prime minister agreed to cancel festivals and religious activities with large gatherings. 

On the other hand, school and studies shall be carried out, whether online or not, according to the specific situation in each locality.

People must strictly comply with the 5K requirement, which stands for 'Khau trang' (face mask) - 'Khu khuan' (disinfection) - 'Khoang cach' (distance) - 'Khong tu tap' (no gathering) - 'Khai bao y te' (health declaration) in Vietnamese, by the Ministry of Health.

Offices, agencies, factories, and production establishments must strictly implement epidemic prevention and control measures.

Particularly, factories and enterprises must have plans for COVID-19 prevention and control before resuming production. 

Authorities must beef up inspection, check, and strictly handle violations.

Vietnam has documented 2,271 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday morning, with 1,541 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

A total of 679 local infections have been recorded 13 provinces and cities since January 28, when Vietnam was hit by a new wave, including 501 in Hai Duong Province, 59 in Quang Ninh Province, 34 in Hanoi, and 36 in Ho Chi Minh City

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