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Saigon rail hub sharpens nCoV offensive

By Quynh Tran    February 9, 2020 | 11:25 pm PT
Vietnam's busiest railway station in Saigon's District 3 routinely disinfects train cars and employs body temperature scanners to limit new coronavirus infection.

A man disinfects a train car.

"Many workers from north and central regions are returning to the city after the Lunar New Year break. On average, there are 10 trains each day, transporting thousands, necessitating tougher measures in preventing the spread of the 2019-nCov epidemic," said Do Quang Van, a manager of Saigon Railway Transport Company.


After passengers disembark, two medical workers sanitize windows, seats, toilets and exterior.  

"Sleeper beds need to be sprayed with disinfectant along with curtains, blankets, and mattresses," said Tran Xuan Hien, 28, a medical worker.


Each train takes about an hour to be disinfected, using about 30 liters of alcohol solution. On average, seven trains are sanitized at the station every day before departure.


Before boarding, all passengers and staff must undergo hand sanitization, declaration of medical information and body temperature checks.


Those with a body temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius and showing symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath will be detained for observation.


"I felt comfortable to have my body temperature checked because it is very necessary to prevent the spread of the epidemic," said Sven, a German tourist.


The quarantine checkpoint is equipped with a body temperature monitor operated by staff from Ho Chi Minh City International Health Quarantine Center.

High fevers show up red, with green indicating a normal temperature. 


Suspected cases of 2019-nCov infection will be isolated and transferred directly to hospital, while a list is drawn up of all those to have come in contact with infected travelers.

Nine of Vietnam's 14 confirmed infections so far have occurred in Vinh Phuc Province in northern Vietnam, three in HCMC and one each in Khanh Hoa and Thanh Hoa in central Vietnam.

The global death toll has reached 910, with 908 in mainland China, and one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong

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