Thousands sign up for Covid-19 testing in northern infection hotspot

By Minh Cuong   February 20, 2021 | 10:30 am GMT+7
Quang Ninh Province, currently Vietnam's second biggest Covid-19 hotspot, collected almost 12,700 samples in just four days after it offered to test on demand.

All the samples so far have tested negative.

People wait for their turn to get the Covid-19 testing service at Quang Ninh Provincial Hospital, February 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong

People wait for their turn to get the Covid-19 testing service at Quang Ninh Province Hospital, February 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong.

The province launched the service on Tuesday to enable people to travel after the Lunar New Year holidays ended.

The seven-day Tet break, which ended that day, saw people all over the country go home to their extended family to celebrate the new year, increasing the chances of the disease’s spread.

Until Quang Ninh offered it on demand, all Covid-19 testing in the country had been mandatory and free based on contact tracing as authorities sought to combat the infection.

The province has authorized six healthcare facilities to offer the test at a maximum cost of VND734,000 ($32).

They are Quang Ninh Province Hospital, Bai Chay Hospital, Quang Ninh Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital, Quang Ninh Center for Disease Control, Vietnam - Sweden Hospital, and Vinmec International General Hospital.

If companies and other organizations want their employees to be tested, the hospitals send personnel to collect samples.

On Friday a team from Quang Ninh Province Hospital went to the Mong Duong Coal Joint Stock Company for the purpose.

Medics take samples of employees at the Mong Duong Coal Joint Stock Company at the firms facility on February 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong

Medics take samples of employees at the Mong Duong Coal Joint Stock Company at the firm's facility on February 19, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong.

Quang Ninh was where one of the first two cases in Vietnam’s latest Covid-19 outbreak was detected on January 28. The other was in neighboring Hai Duong Province.

Since then it has had 60 cases, second after only Hai Duong, where the number has soared to 590.

The infection has spread to 13 other cities and provinces, including Hanoi and HCMC.

Vietnam has so far had 2,362 cases, 696 of them active.

 
 
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