Friday , September 29 2023

Hanoi to quarantine visitors from Omicron-hit countries

Everyone arriving in Hanoi from countries where the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been detected have to quarantine regardless of their vaccination or recovery status, the city government has mandated.

The decision issued Monday by the People’s Committee also calls for tight control at Noi Bai Airport and monitoring people who have been to countries and regions with the variant but not arriving from there.

People arriving from other places should have tested negative for the coronavirus in the prior 72 hours.

Hanoi, currently the nation’s coronavirus epicenter, has also instructed laboratories to conduct gene sequencing for detecting the variant while testing.

Random testing will be done of people who entered Vietnam in the last 28 days after being to countries with Omicron, those reinfected with Covid after recovery and those from pandemic hotspots.

Upon detection of an Omicron case, vigorous contact tracing would be done to cut off the chain of transmission.

Further protocols could follow if necessary.

Omicron, first identified in late November, has raised fresh alarms due to its high number of mutations and higher transmissibility.

At least 78 countries and territories have detected the variant, including many in the Asia-Pacific like Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

It has yet to be found in Vietnam.

Earlier this month HCMC also announced to impose centralized quarantine on people arriving from places where Omicron, the B.1.1.529 Covid variant, has been detected.

Vietnam currently requires foreign arrivals to enter centralized quarantine for seven days, but a new guideline effective from January 1 allows fully vaccinated people and those who have recovered from Covid-19 to self-isolate for three days and others for seven days.

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