The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC), in collaboration with the Binh Thanh District medical center and Mien Dong Station, the country’s largest passenger bus terminal, conducted Covid-19 testing Thursday on all passengers arriving in the city from areas with confirmed outbreaks.
Passengers medically declare themselves as part of the process. Anyone coming from areas with outbreaks like Hanoi, Quang Ninh or Gia Lai would be tested, with authorities assuring 100 samples would be tested daily.
A passenger holds a vial containing a Covid-19 testing sample and including personal information for easy identification.
“I don’t know who might have caused the disease, and I traveled here from an area with outbreaks so I’m a little worried. I hope my test returns negative,” said Nguyen Thi Hong Nhung, who hails from the Central Highlands’ Gia Lai Province.
Tran Thi Kieu, 62, from Gia Lai has her swab sample taken by a medic.
“The moment I stepped off the bus and saw doctors and nurses in protective suits, I was a bit worried. I felt more relieved after I had my samples taken and tested,” she said.
At Saigon Train Station in District 3, passengers arriving from outbreak areas are also tested, including crew members.
The SE7 train from Hanoi on Thursday carried no passengers from outbreak areas, so only the crew were screened.
Dang Xuan Dinh, head train driver, has his samples taken after arriving in HCMC from Hanoi.
“Frequent travel in multiple localities amid outbreaks has many train staff worried. But we are tested the moment we step into the station, so we’re more relieved,” he said.
After around 20 minutes, 14 samples are collected.
A representative of the Saigon station said the number of trains entering HCMC had dropped in recent days, especially those from outbreak areas like Hai Duong, Hanoi or Hai Phong. Each train only carries a small number of passengers, so most Covid-19 tests are done on crew members.
Since Wednesday, the HCDC has randomly tested over 3,400 people entering the city via Tan Son Nhat airport, stations and reporting themselves at medical centers. So far, HCMC has basically managed to contain the chain of 35 transmissions related to its Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
In Hanoi, the medical center of Hai Ba Trung District has taken samples from people returning from cities and provinces experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks for testing Friday morning.
Since 8 a.m., people have lined up at the center for testing. Most are associated with northern Hai Duong Province, currently Vietnam’s biggest coronavirus hotspot.
Medical workers help people submit medical declarations.
As of Thursday night, the capital has recorded around 28,000 people returning from Hai Duong. The province was placed under 15-day social distancing starting Tuesday to curb the spread of the virus.
A medical worker instructs a citizen to medically declare himself. People are seated far apart to ensure social distancing.
Within Friday, over 300 samples are expected to be collected, with screening to remain ongoing. Children would be prioritized to be tested first.
Following their tests, people are requested to self-isolate at home while awaiting their results. Samples would be sent to the Hanoi CDC for analysis.
As of Friday morning, 755 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in 13 cities and provinces as Vietnam experiences a new wave of Covid-19 since late January. HCMC has recorded 36 cases within the period, while Hanoi has reported 35.
The total infection tally so far is 2,347.