Foreign visitors to HCMC now need 4 Covid tests in quarantine

By Thu Anh   May 5, 2021 | 07:55 pm PT
Foreign visitors to HCMC now need 4 Covid tests in quarantine
A nurse walks inside a facility used for centralized quarantine in HCMC, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Nguyen.
HCMC has increased from three to four the number of Covid-19 tests people arriving from abroad must take before leaving quarantine.

Now they will be tested on the first, fifth, 10th and 14th days.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of its Department of Health, said at a meeting on Wednesday with the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, "This is to serve the early detection of infection ... inside the quarantine facilities and limit the likelihood of cross-infection."

While the government has mandated that visitors must be tested at least twice, the city has so far set its own higher requirements.

In the past week at least three people were diagnosed with Covid after completing the 14-day quarantine and testing negative twice or thrice.

On Wednesday evening the Ministry of Health extended with immediate effect the mandatory quarantine from 14 to 21 days for both foreign arrivals and those who come into contact with patients.

Earlier that day it also doubled to 14 days the self-isolation period at the address people register with authorities.

On April 29 a man in HCMC's Binh Tan District was diagnosed with the disease after the city had gone 75 days without local transmission.

He is from the northern province of Ha Nam, the current Covid epicenter, and was visiting relatives in the city when he tested positive.

He had come into contact with a man who had returned from Japan and was found to be infected after completing the 14-day quarantine.

The latest wave, which began on April 27, has seen 64 Covid infections in 10 localities, including 14 each in Ha Nam and Vinh Phuc provinces and 27 in Hanoi.

Of them, 35 are linked to hotspots in Ha Nam and Vinh Phuc, and 22 to Hanoi's frontline Covid fight facility, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

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