Vietnam tells foreign experts to test for Covid-19 before arriving

By Le Nga, Nguyen Quy   July 24, 2020 | 07:56 pm PT
Vietnam tells foreign experts to test for Covid-19 before arriving
Japanese experts go through disinfection at the Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh Province, June 25, 2020. Photo courtesy of the airport.
The government wants foreign experts coming to Vietnam for work to get Covid-19 tests done three to seven days before they arrive.

They need to get a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and test negative before entering the country. The testing must be done at a government-approved medical center or one recognized by the World Health Organization.

Those who bought tickets and are scheduled to arrive in Vietnam before August 5 are exempt from the requirements, the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control said Friday.

The committee also wants all foreign experts to come with international medical insurance.

An increasing number of foreign experts granted permission to work in the country have been testing positive for Covid-19 in recent times.

Seventeen Russian oil experts who came in a group of 69 to HCMC on July 11 are infected with Covid-19.

A Filipino educational expert who was quarantined upon arrival at Phu Quoc Airport was also infected, as well as two Myanmar sailors coming to the northern Quang Ninh Province on June 23.

They are all receiving treatment in Vietnam.

Vietnam halted entry for foreign nationals on March 22 and suspended international flights on March 25, and only allows in Vietnamese nationals and foreigners who have diplomatic or official passports or are experts or high-skilled workers.

All are quarantined for 14 days and tested at least twice for Covid-19.

Last June the committee had approved a health ministry proposal to exempt foreign experts and investors from furnishing medical certificates proving they tested negative for Covid-19 when entering Vietnam.

Over 93,000 foreign workers are licensed to work in Vietnam but nearly 22,000 of them have been unable to return yet.

On Saturday morning two more Vietnamese returning from Russia were confirmed infected, taking the country’s Covid-19 tally to 415.

The results of a fourth test for a 57-year-old man in the central city of Da Nang after four earlier ones proved positive are awaited.

If confirmed as a Covid-19 patient, he will be Vietnam’s first since April 16.

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