PM orders 14-day quarantine for everyone entering Vietnam from China

By Viet Tuan   February 3, 2020 | 07:20 am PT
PM orders 14-day quarantine for everyone entering Vietnam from China
Officials stand in front of a quarantine area at Khanh Hoa Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Khanh Hoa Province, central Vietnam, February 2, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
Vietnamese and foreigners entering Vietnam from China will be quarantined for 14 days, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Monday.

The order will apply to everyone who has passed by 31 provinces in China that have reported the novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection.

Those who have been to or passed through Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, must be treated as infection cases and quarantined when they arrive, and steps taken to prevent transmission within the quarantine zones, the PM said.

For other cases [coming from provinces apart from Hubei], people can be quarantined at home under the supervision of authorities to prevent them from leaving their residence and interacting with people outside. Their family members must also take preventive measures and limit contact with the quarantined persons. Residential areas where in-house quarantines take place will be sterilized.

The government also asked local authorities to contact everyone who has been in physical contact with quarantined persons and "strictly monitor their health".

The PM’s statement also assigns specific tasks to different ministries.

The Ministry of Public Security will ensure registering people who have entered Vietnam from China for quarantining purposes.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will prevent people from congregating near historical and cultural relic sites as well as prominent natural landscape sites.

The Ministry of Health will organize quick screenings for quarantined people, use appropriate treatment methods and deliver drugs and equipment to every locality towards ensuring no casualty from the infection.

The PM has also asked the health ministry to thoroughly cordon off areas with those infected or suspected of being infected and take steps to cure all infections.

"When there are infected people, every locality must declare it immediately and allow students to stay at home and cancel all community activities and festivals".

The government had declared the nCoV an epidemic on Saturday. As of Monday, the country has recorded 236 suspected cases with symptoms like high fever and coughing, including some who had visited infected areas in China. Of these, 163 have tested negative for the virus and 73 are in quarantine pending test results.

Eight people in the country have been confirmed infected with the virus, including one who recovered and was discharged from a hospital on Monday.

The death toll from the epidemic has reached 362 people, 361 in China and one in the Philippines. Over 17,400 have been infected and more than 500 have recovered.

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