Vietnam mulls using electronic tagging on foreign arrivals

By Viet Tuan   May 4, 2021 | 10:38 pm GMT+7
Vietnam mulls using electronic tagging on foreign arrivals
A nurse walks inside a centralized quarantine camp in HCMC, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Amid new Covid-19 outbreak following cases breaching Covid-19 self-quarantine protocols, Vietnam now wants to use electronic tagging for better monitoring of people allowed to enter the country.

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control requested related agencies at a meeting in Hanoi Tuesday to come up with solutions for better monitoring people entering Vietnam from abroad during and after the period of mandatory quarantine.

For this, the Ministry of Information and Communications suggested that all information technology units work to come up with a plan for using electronic tags to monitor foreign arrivals in quarantine.

The tagging can be used to monitor foreign arrivals from the moment they arrive and during their centralized quarantine and self-isolation periods.

According to the committee, the ongoing community outbreak in which some people have been found with Covid-19 and transmitted the novel coronavirus to others has showed loose medical supervision on those who have completed centralized quarantine.

Vietnam has so far requested all arrivals to stay in centralized facilities for 14 days, during which they will be tested twice.

Under the mandated protocol thus far, people could return to normal lives after finishing the quarantine period and two negative tests, but would be medically monitored for 14 more days. During this extension, they are asked to stay at one specific address filed in a declaration form submitted to the health authorities before leaving the quarantine facilities. The form contains all personal information, including full name, year of birth, phone number and email address.

People who have completed the mandated quarantine were allowed go to work or attend school, and advised to follow all the Covid-19 prevention protocol, including wearing masks, maintaining distance from others and avoiding crowded places.

But over the past week, a migrant worker from Japan and a group of four Chinese experts have been diagnosed with Covid-19 after completing their two-week centralized quarantine.

Before the confirmation, they had gone to different places during their self-isolation period, leading to at least 34 local infections, out of 37 local cases that Vietnam has confirmed since the new wave emerged on April 29.

The Health Ministry has said that starting Tuesday, individuals who have completed the mandated 14-day quarantine and tested negative twice after entering Vietnam will not be released immediately. But it did not specify the duration of extension yet.

Vietnam shut borders from March 2020, but foreigners with diplomatic or official passports, investors, experts and high-skilled workers, and Vietnamese citizens stranded abroad have been still allowed in.

 
 
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