HCMC tests all airport staff for Covid-19

By Le Phuong   January 31, 2021 | 11:50 pm PT
HCMC tests all airport staff for Covid-19
Medical staff take samples of employees at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC, January 30, 2021. Photo courtesy of HCMC Center of Diseases Control.
Health authorities are testing all staff at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the country's largest air hub, for Covid-19 amid the latest outbreak.

Medical staff from the city's Center of Disease Control took samples from 410 airport employees last Saturday, with testing expected to last until Feb. 7.

The move came after HCMC recorded a community transmission case, a 28-year-old man landing at Tan Son Nhat Airport on a flight from Hanoi. He had been to a wedding in Hai Duong, Vietnam's Covid-19 epicenter, together with a cousin, who was later confirmed a Covid-19 patient.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long told a government meeting last week he also proposed to test all employees at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, which neighbors Hai Duong Province.

Dozens of employees at Van Don International Airport in northern Quang Ninh Province last week were found infected with the novel coronavirus, prompting the government to close the airport until Feb. 13.

Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai, the country's biggest airports, have received hundreds of repatriation flights from abroad and special flights carrying foreign experts since the government imposed travel restrictions in March last year. Vietnam closed its borders but allows a limited number of flights to bring back its citizens from overseas or carry foreign experts but all have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Vietnam is currently battling a new outbreak, with 240 cases confirmed since it emerged in northern Vietnam on Thursday.

It has spread to nine provinces and cities including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong.

Vietnam has recorded 1,819 cases, with 362 currently active.

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