Hanoi conducts rapid Covid-19 testing at wholesale markets

By Tat Dinh, Gia Chinh   April 18, 2020 | 05:45 am PT
Hanoi conducts rapid Covid-19 testing at wholesale markets
A trader has his body temperature checked at Ha Vy wholesale market in Hanoi, the largest poultry market in northern Vietnam, April 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Traders and shoppers who come to wholesale markets in Hanoi have to undergo testing for Covid-19, starting Saturday.

At a Friday meeting of the city’s Steering Committee for Covid-19 control and prevention, Hanoi People's Committee Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung called for rapid testing in some of the wholesale markets, including the Nga Tu So Market in Thanh Xuan District, Long Bien Market in Ba Dinh District, Hoang Mai Fruit Market in the namesake district, Ha Vy Poultry Market in Thuong Tin District and several seafood markets.

Some of the markets are the largest of their kinds in northern Vietnam, each gathering hundreds of traders every day.

"The test results will compile important data for assessing transmission rate in the area," Chung said.

From April 18, Hanoi will also test nearly 1,900 residents of Dong Cuu Village in Thuong Tin District, where a 36-year-old woman was confirmed infected Tuesday.

People who bought fever medicines at pharmacies have been told to submit medical declarations and have their samples tested for free.

Dr. Khong Minh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC), said that expanded testing at markets and crowded places is "mainly to find the probability factor to predict the Covid-19 pandemic situation." The people to be tested are frequent traders and owners of shops in the markets.

Tuan said all people involved in the outbreak of Bach Mai Hospital, linked to 46 cases, and Ha Loi Village of Me Linh District, linked to 13 cases, have basically been tested as of now. The Hanoi CDC is adding and training staff to improve on its testing abilities in order to collect about 5,000 - 6,000 samples per day, he said.

As of Saturday evening, Vietnam has recorded 268 Covid-19 cases, of which 201 have recovered and been discharged. Hanoi has recorded the highest number of infections in the country with 132 cases, but the capital city has not recorded a new infection in the past three days.

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