Health authorities of Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam, have proposed local administration allow COVID-19 patients in minor conditions or without symptoms to self-isolate at home upon their arrival from abroad.
The municipal Department of Health made the proposal as most people with COVID-19 entering Vietnam recently, including those carrying the Omicron variant, have shown light conditions or no symptoms at all.
Further, most of them wish to be quarantined at home or clinics at their choice.
The agency also said the number of people coming to Vietnam by air has been on the rise, as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday will come in several days.
Under current regulations, people positive for the coronavirus when entering Vietnam will be sent to Field Hospital No. 12 or the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases for treatment.
However, local health authorities proposed relaxing the rules to meet the aspirations of arrivals, including foreigners, foreign consular officers, and diplomats.
Accordingly, cases with severe symptoms will be transferred to field hospitals with three levels of treatment.
Patients with moderate conditions will be sent to field hospitals or to qualified private hospitals at their wish.
Those with mild conditions will be placed in home quarantine at their wish, provided they ensure all safety requirements and comply with epidemic prevention and control regulations.
If mild patients have no such an aspiration, they will be taken to Field Hospital No. 12 or to clinics at their request.
Any COVID-19 patients, whether they are quarantined at home or hospitals upon their entry, must follow the Ministry of Health's treatment regimen and have their samples taken for RT-PCR testing.
In the event that entrants testing positive for COVID-19 at the city's airport wish to be isolated at home and have enough conditions for such quarantine, the international medical quarantine section under the city's Center for Disease Control will update their information into the COVID-19 digital information platform and promptly notify relevant health agencies for management, control and caretaking.
In case the health conditions of patients under home quarantine get worse, their caretakers must contact local health centers, mobile health stations, or the 115 Emergency Center to take them to a field hospital with three levels of treatment.
Ho Chi Minh City, with some nine million inhabitants, had administered over 8.16 million first vaccine shots and some 7.5 million second jabs to its adult population as of Thursday, the national COVID-19 vaccination portal reported.
Local health authorities expect to give the third vaccine doses, including booster shots and additional primary jabs, to all people aged 18 and older by January 30.
The city has recently seen its daily COVID-19 cases and deaths fall sharply, to 168 and 11 on Thursday, compared to 671 and 35 a month earlier, the Ministry of Health's data shows.
However, the southern economic hub remains the locality suffering the most from COVID-19 in Vietnam, with 514,836 infections and 19,874 fatalities documented since the pandemic erupted in the Southeast Asian country in early 2020.
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