|Air passengers are disinfected after arrival. Health experts have expressed disagreement over a seven-day centralised quarantine requirement from Hà Nội authorities for people arriving from HCM City, regardless of their vaccination or recovery status. VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Health experts have expressed disagreement over a seven-day centralised quarantine requirement from Hà Nội city authorities for those arriving from HCM City, regardless of their vaccination or recovery status, as “it is not in line with the Government’s guidelines on pandemic prevention”.
They said that quarantine regulations “have failed to comply with the pandemic prevention guidelines of the Government.”
According to the requirements, in addition to the green card showing vaccination status and a negative COVID test, passengers departing from HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất airport must be under concentrated isolation for seven days, regardless of their vaccination or recovery status.
Passengers will have to pay for the costs of quarantine and testing. After the concentrated isolation period, they will continue to monitor their health at home for another seven days.
Nguyễn Huy Nga, former director of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, said: “The requirement is completely unreasonable.”
“According to the Ministry of Health, those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the disease within the last six months, and have a negative COVID test within 72 hours, only need to self-monitor their health at home for seven days and strictly follow the 5K prevention regulations,” Nga noted.
“The requirement has challenged the Government’s effort to reopen the economy.”
If someone takes a two-day business trip but is forced to be under a seven-day quarantine, they would never want to take the trip. “Concentrated isolation also poses a high risk of cross infection,” Nga said.
Trần Đắc Phu, senior advisor at the Centre for Public Health Emergency Response under the Ministry of Health, said: “Cities and provinces need to consistently implement isolation regulations in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Health.”
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn said: “For people having two vaccine doses or already recovered from COVID, it is not necessary to be under concentrated isolation. The requirement is no longer appropriate as the country has shifted away from the zero-COVID approach.”
However, people who are fully immunised can still be a source of infection. They are recommended to have a test (a rapid test, for example) when they go to places where the vaccination rates remain low.
According to the Ministry of Transport, from October 10 – 20, Hà Nội has flights to two destinations: HCM City and Hà Nội, with a frequency of one round-trip per day for each route.
Meanwhile, passengers from the Đà Nẵng airport to Nội Bài airport in Hà Nội are not required to go to centralised quarantine, but they have to be under home quarantine for seven days and will get tested twice on the first and sixth day before the end of home quarantine. They will continue to monitor their health for the next seven days after the quarantine ends.
During the period, Hải Phòng and Lâm Đồng will also operate one round-trip flight a day to HCM City. Similar rules to Hà Nội regulations are also applied to those arriving from HCM City.
Earlier, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said at a national online meeting with 63 provinces and cities that regulations for transportation and quarantine must be carried out consistently throughout the country to ensure smooth transport and reopening of the economy. — VNS