Hanoi military chief: Do not quarantine people in hotels, not enough medical workers

By Hoang Thuy, Viet Tuan   March 23, 2020 | 06:55 pm PT
Hanoi military chief: Do not quarantine people in hotels, not enough medical workers
A group of people arrive at a quarantine zone at a resort in Can Gio District, HCMC, March 21, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Vietnamese should not be quarantined in hotels since there are not enough medical workers to monitor them, the military’s Hanoi High Command has said.

The process of quarantining people returning from outbreak areas has run into difficulties recently since the command faces a shortage of medical personnel, Nguyen Quoc Duyet, its commanding officer, said at a meeting Monday.

"We don't have enough medical workers to visit hotels every day for health checks, managing quarantined people and preventing infection."

Authorities need to decide not to quarantine Vietnamese in hotels, which should only be used in exceptional cases like when military units, field hospitals and other areas lack space, he said.

Otherwise, only certain people like those with official passports or who are foreign guests or experts should be in hotels, he said.

Members of the National Steering Committee for Prevention and Control of Covid-19 have also suggested that hotels should be prioritized to quarantine foreigners who have diplomatic or official passports or are experts working for important projects in Vietnam.

Around 53,000 people were in quarantine as of Monday either in hospitals, their own homes or other facilities.

Around 145 hotels have signed up to quarantine suspected patients, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Vietnam has had 123 cases so far, of whom 17 recovered and were discharged from hospitals. Many of those currently being treated are Vietnamese nationals returning from Europe and the U.S. and foreigners visiting from the same regions.

The pandemic has killed nearly 16,500 people globally after spreading to 195 countries and territories.

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