Vietnam province to quarantine 15 Chinese workers

By Pham Linh   January 31, 2020 | 05:30 pm PT
Vietnam province to quarantine 15 Chinese workers
A part of the Binh Son District Medical Center in Quang Ngai's Dung Quat Economic Zone. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh.
Quang Ngai industrial parks have been asked to quarantine 15 Chinese employees for 14 days to test and treat Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections.

The workers have just returned Vietnam after coming home for the Lunar New Year holiday. They will be quarantined, tested and treated in a facility that belongs to the Binh Son District Medical Center, according to a directive issued Friday by the vice chairman of the central province, Dang Ngoc Dung.

The facility is located in the Dung Quat Economic Zone, where a majority of the province's foreign workers are employed.

According to the management boards of the Dung Quat Economic Zone and other industrial parks in the province, Quang Ngai currently has 33 companies employing 593 foreign workers, 491 of them Chinese nationals working for 14 companies. Currently six of the companies that employ 286 Chinese workers have resumed operations following the Lunar New Year holiday.

Provincial authorities have also instructed the management boards to stop receiving Chinese workers returning from infected areas in China, and to quarantine those that have already returned and monitor them for 14 days. Those suspected of being infected with the coronavirus need to be reported immediately for further isolation and treatment to prevent it spreading.

At a meeting held Friday between Quang Ngai's Department of Health and leaders of companies that employ foreign workers, clarifications were requested on the timing of the quarantine from the department. The companies were also asked to provide frequent updates on the status of foreign workers, especially Chinese nationals.

A representative of the Hoa Phat Dung Quat Steel JSC. said the currently has about 10,000 workers, including 308 Chinese nationals. Sixty of the 308 Chinese workers returned to China for the Lunar New Year holiday, but none of them has come back to work due to an exit ban by the Chinese government.

The company therefore requested that the management board of the industrial park to set up a quarantine zone for foreigners so as to facilitate monitoring and make regular body temperature checks easier. This would, in turn, enable early detection and timely treatment, the company representative said.

Hoa Phat Dung Quat Steel has proactively taken several measures against the coronavirus, including installing five infrared thermometers at all entrances, spraying disinfectant, handing out free medical masks to workers and working closely with local medical centers to handle any infection detected, the representative said.

Quang Ngai authorities have instructed the provincial Health Department to prepare sufficient quantities of medicines, supplies, equipment and allocate enough human resources to be ready to handle any coronavirus infection case that is suspected or detected.

The department has also been tasked with preparing quarantine zones; developing plans for screening, testing, diagnosing, receiving and treating infected patients; establishing rapid response teams to deal with infected cases and publicizing the hotlines of facilities capable of receiving, isolating and treating infected patients.

Meanwhile, Quang Ngai's Department of Tourism  has been instructed to ask hotels, motels and other accommodation businesses to monitor travelers from infected areas within the first 14 days of them entering Vietnam, and the Department of Education and Training has been tasked with disseminating information on preventive measures related to the coronavirus infection to students, teachers and other school staff.

After originating in Wuhan City of Hubei Province in mainland China two months ago, the nCoV has spread to 25 other countries and territories, infecting nearly 12,000 people and claiming 259 lives.

As of Friday afternoon, five people in Vietnam, two Chinese nationals and three locals, had tested positive for the nCoV.

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