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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Vietnamese people not encouraged to take Covid-19 screening test: Health Ministry

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health has affirmed that it does not encourage the Vietnamese public to take a test to see whether or not they are infected with Covid-19, said a health official.

Tran Van Thuan, Deputy Minister of Health, said that the ministry had ordered the intensification of Covid-19 testing capacity in places where contact tracing is most needed. Widespread testing would lead people with negative test results to ignore the anti-virus mandates, Thuan noted.

The ministry has been following five essential anti-coronavirus measures – masking, handwashing, social distancing, avoiding mass gatherings and making health declarations, Thuan added.

Speaking a meeting of the national steering committee for the Covid-19 combat, Deputy Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the committee, urged the completion and issuance of new guidance on quarantine and testing for people entering Vietnam, the issuance of a set of criteria to evaluate and forecast the Covid-19 transmission risk and the implementation of a Covid-19 screening test in an efficient manner.

The deputy PM stressed that the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh are currently the two biggest coronavirus hotspots and all-out efforts are being made to curb the spread of the virus. All localities must stay on high alert as the pandemic has spread to the community and be prepared to take rapid response measures in case a new community-infected case is detected.

Dam said that the regulations regarding the entry of people from overseas should be modified and tightened.

He suggested the Health Ministry issue new guidelines on Covid-19 testing and introduce various Covid-19 testing methods for those arriving from overseas, focusing on air passengers first. This is aimed at adjusting the quarantine period, which should be shortened from the current 14-21 days.

The reduction in the quarantine period will bolster trading activities, including facilitating the entry of foreign experts to Vietnam and will ease the pressure on quarantine centers and cut down quarantine costs, Dam said.

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