Saturday , March 2 2024

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, close contacts can go to work during quarantine: Health ministry’s proposal


Medicines supplied at home for COVID-19 patients in Hà Nội’s Cửa Đông Ward. — VNA/VnExpress News Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has suggested that asymptomatic COVID-19 cases (F0) and close contacts (F1) of COVID-19 cases can still go to work during the quarantine period.

According to the proposal, which has been submitted to the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control for consideration, asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, who are undergoing quarantine for seven days and their RT-RCR test results remain positive for the coronavirus, can work remotely and be allowed to take care of COVID-19 patients in their families, accommodation or treatment facilities.

However, F0 cases who are arranged to work at COVID-19 treatment establishments would have to implement protective measures, regularly monitor their health and take SARS-CoV-2 tests, the ministry said, adding that they would not be allowed to care for or contact immunocompromised or high-risk patients, including those with underlying diseases, pregnant women and people over 50.

They would be permitted to travel using personal vehicles directly from their quarantine facilities to work and vice versa but they must strictly comply with the MoH’s 5K messages, especially wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance, taking preventive measures and not being in close contact with other people.

The health ministry also suggested that F1 cases who have not been fully vaccinated be permitted to participate in urgent affairs of their units and localities through remote or in-person working.

In case of in-person working, there should be a working area designated for them, ensuring a safe distance and that ventilation is adequate to reduce infection risk.

Like F0 cases, F1 cases would be allowed to travel using personal vehicles and comply with the health ministry’s preventive measures, the ministry said 

They would have to undergo PCR or antigen tests on the fifth day from the last exposure date or as soon as having symptoms of COVID-19 for treatment in line with the health ministry’s regulations.

Regarding the investigation of cases of close contacts with F0 cases to determine who might be F1, the health ministry said that during this time, contact tracing was still a necessary work to protect high-risk people, people working in essential areas, while slowing the infection process to reduce the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed.

Ninety-eight per cent of the adult population (aged 18 and above) and the children aged 12-17 years in Việt Nam have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The move to allow F0 and F1 cases to still go to work is part of the normalisation process, especially when cases are ramping up significantly in many parts of the country but the numbers of seriously ill cases and COVID-19 deaths remain stable. — VnExpress News


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