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Sunday, August 1, 2021

HCMC to pilot 14-day home quarantine after 14-day centralized isolation

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HCMC – HCMC will quarantine direct contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases at home for 14 days after a 14 day mandatory stay at a quarantine center, said HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong.

At a teleconference between the central Government and eight southern provinces on July 4 on the anti-pandemic measures, Phong said HCMC currently has nearly 14,400 people staying at quarantine centers and more than 36,300 others self-isolating at home or office, news site VnExpress reported.

As Covid-19 cases in the city are soaring, the number of direct contacts is also surging, making quarantine facilities overloaded.

According to the Ministry of Health’s instructions sent to HCMC on June 27, those in direct contact with Covid-19 cases could be quarantined at home for 28 days if they meet certain requirements.

They must not leave their rooms and maintain contact with their family members and pets. They must also install health declaration apps on their smartphones and update their health condition daily.

Phong also said that since the city issued Directive 10 on anti-virus measures, the chairpersons of Thu Duc City and the districts under HCMC had full authority to make anti-pandemic decisions in their areas.

In order to enhance the city’s Covid-19 testing capacity, the city has established a center to coordinate testing, directed the establishment of testing teams in districts, bought 1.4 million test kits and eliminated shortcomings in the testing work.

The city has also allowed 43 enterprises in export processing zones and hi-tech parks to concurrently quarantine their workers at their factories and maintain production activities and set up 100 teams to instruct and inspect the safety at these enterprises. Moreover, the city has accelerated the sample collection for Covid-19 testing at enterprises.

At the meeting, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long pointed out two reasons for the surge in the Covid-19 cases in the city—the Delta variant which is more transmissible and the high population density.

In addition, some districts, wards and communes in the city have yet to strictly comply with the city’s Directive 10, while the operation of some Covid-19 safety teams remains ineffective.

The city has also faced many difficulties in conducting a large-scale Covid-19 screening program. Testing, quarantine and anti-pandemic measures at factories and industrial parks remain unproductive.

Long asked the city to continue strictly following Directive 10, expand areas practicing social distancing under the prime minister’s Directive 16 and enhance public-awareness programs.

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