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HCMC halts commercial coronavirus tests for those traveling abroad

By Thu Anh   May 31, 2021 | 01:23 am PT
HCMC halts commercial coronavirus tests for those traveling abroad
People wait to have their samples taken for coronavirus tests at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC, May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Ho Chi Minh City has announced to halt coronavirus tests for people traveling abroad and instead focus on community screening in wake of rising hotspots.

Starting Monday, the city’s Center for Disease Control (HCDC) will no longer offer the testing service to those wanting to go abroad.

The suspension will last until further notice.

The HCDC said amid rising coronavirus threats in the southern metropolis, it needs to focus resources and efforts on screening the community to curb infection as quickly as possible.

In the past four days, the city has recorded 149 domestic Covid-19 cases, with a majority linked to Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation based in Go Vap District that has become the biggest Covid-19 cluster ever in HCMC.

So far, at least 142 patients have been linked to it since last Wednesday.

HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong decided on Sunday to conduct tests on a large scale. As planned, 100,000 samples will be collected per day from across the city for testing purposes.

The city rolled out the commercial testing service last December to serve those traveling abroad, with each test costing VND734,000 ($32).

Those who want to use the service have to register through the HCDC website or hotline. They have to provide copies of passports and air tickets or invitation letters from a unit at the destination country.

Test results are provided in both Vietnamese and English.

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