HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has recommended not conducting periodic SARS-CoV-2 testing for fully vaccinated workers who received the last shot at least 14 days but not more than 12 months ago, or former patients who have recovered from the disease in the last six months.
The recommendation was made as part of an urgent document sent on September 30 by the ministry to governmental agencies, sectors, provinces and centrally-run cities regarding SARS-CoV-2 testing for business and production facilities.
The move was made after Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính directed the MoH to urgently issue COVID-19 self-testing guidelines for enterprises, thus creating favourable conditions for them to stay proactive in their business activities while ensuring safety in pandemic prevention and control.
According to the COVID-19 self-testing guidance issued on September 30, the ministry has proposed conducting screening tests for all cases of employees with suspected COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and those with related epidemiological factors.
For enterprises in high-risk provinces and cities, real time RT-PCR or rapid antigen tests are required every week for 20 per cent of high-risk workers and all direct service providers to the facilities.
For those in localities at risk, real time RT-PCR or rapid antigen tests are required at least twice a week for at least 5-10 per cent of high-risk workers and all direct service providers to the facilities.
The ministry said enterprises must be solely responsible for the quality of antigen tests, testing procedures and results.
If enterprises implement the SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid test themselves, they must take guidance from the provincial centre for disease control or the district health centre, it said.
Meanwhile, drivers transporting goods from an area with social distancing measures to neighbouring areas with lower risk of infection must have this testing performed at medical facilities.
Recently, several local media outlets said enterprises had faced difficulties in production recovery due to the serious shortage of workers and different COVID-19 testing requirements in localities. — VNS