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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Health Ministry considers quarantining direct contacts of Covid-19 cases at home

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HCMC – After piloting the home quarantine of those in direct contact with Covid-19 patients in HCMC, the Ministry of Health will assess the solution and consider applying it nationwide, said Nguyen Lien Huong, head of the Health Environment Management Agency under the Ministry of Health.

Huong said the ministry would consult with the relevant ministries, agencies and localities before making a decision on the nationwide application of the solution, the local media reported.

The home quarantine of those in direct contact with Covid-19 patients will help reduce the burden on centralized quarantine facilities and prevent cross infection in overloaded quarantine centers and the dorms of schools.

Meanwhile, those quarantined at home would also feel more comfortable.

However, the solution also highlighted some difficulties. Specifically, the new variant is more transmissible and if home-quarantined people fail to comply with anti-pandemic regulations, they will transmit the virus to their family members and the community.

In addition, if the number of self-quarantined people increases, the solution will need a high number of people to handle monitoring activities.

Under the ministry’s directives, HCMC today, July 1, began piloting the quarantine of those who were in direct contact with Covid-19 patients at home if they meet certain requirements at their homes. The pilot period will last a month.

Before HCMC, the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang had also piloted the solution.

In March last year, the Ministry of Health allowed people in indirect contact with Covid-19 cases to be quarantined at their homes.

Since early this year, children below five years of age have also been quarantined at home.

As of June 30, 51,000 people are undergoing quarantine at hospitals and centralized quarantine centers. However, in localities with a high number of Covid-19 cases, such as HCMC, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Binh Duong, the number of people in direct contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases will continue surging. Their centralized quarantine will pose a high risk of cross infection.

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