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Vietnam to trial self-isolation for asymptomatic Covid cases in HCMC

By Le Phuong   July 13, 2021 | 04:25 am PT
Vietnam to trial self-isolation for asymptomatic Covid cases in HCMC
People transport supplies at a field hospital in HCMC, July 11, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The Health Ministry will issue guidelines for piloting self-isolation of asymptomatic novel coronavirus cases in HCMC, deputy minister Nguyen Truong Son said Tuesday.

Son said Covid-19 patients in HCMC would be allowed to quarantine themselves at home if they display no symptoms following 10-14 days of treatment, citing a similar stance by the WHO which advises that Covid-19 patients with no symptom after 10 days of being treated at hospitals may go home.

"The pilot scheme would first be applied for certain patients like medical workers and those capable of monitoring their own health," said Son, adding that certain standards like mandatory medical declaration and social distancing measures need to be applied during self-isolation, similar to another trial in HCMC that allows close contact cases of Covid-19 patients to be isolated at home.

"Covid-19 patients self-isolated at home need to have a directly-connected medical system capable of reacting flexibly to symptoms that indicate medical emergencies," he said.

The results of the self-isolation trials in HCMC would be evaluated before the health ministry collects feedback from other ministries and localities in order to launch the program nationwide.

Medical experts have advised that Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms can be isolated at home to reduce the burden on hospitals, especially as the daily number of new cases keeps climbing with few signs of slowing down.

HCMC in particular, now the nation's largest coronavirus hotspot, had recorded 16,573 local cases as of Tuesday in the fourth wave that hit late April. For the past few days, the city's number of daily cases has exceeded 1,000 cases repeatedly and there has been no sign of it reducing. Authorities have not been able to contact trace several cases.

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