|Passengers show their health declaration to staff at Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The People’s Committee of Hà Nội has ordered all passengers on flights, which depart from countries where the Omicron variant is present to follow regulations on centralised quarantine regardless of passenger history, vaccinations or prior COVID-19 infections.
The move came after the committee issued Plan No 310/KH-UBND on responding to the new strain (Omicron) on Monday.
The committee said the number of Omicron infections was increasing in many countries. At least 78 countries have reported cases of Omicron. Many countries have tightened regulations on international travel to minimise the attack of the variant.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified Omicron as a worrying variant because reports in South Africa show its rapid spread.
Therefore, following the direction of Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the committee has developed a plan to implement measures to prevent the variant from entering Việt Nam.
The committee has told the city’s Health Department to cooperate with relevant agencies at the Nội Bài International Airport to closely monitor passengers entering the airport and apply the regulations on centralised quarantine for passengers, who show symptoms of fever and cough, especially passengers from flights to and from countries where Omicron is present.
The committee requires all relevant agencies to strictly comply with international health-quarantine regulations, requiring passengers to have a negative result of test within 72 hours upon entry into Việt Nam.
The agencies were told to strengthen the control of the certificate of negative test results as well as the medical declaration of passengers.
Authorities will tighten the review of incoming passengers with a history of going to or from countries and regions that have recorded the new strain, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique.
The committee said that activities of quarantine, health monitoring, and sampling for testing must be carried out in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health.
Any violation of regulations on COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control will be strictly punished.
The committee also requested all agencies, enterprises, communes and wards to strengthen health monitoring of people returning from countries where Omicron is present.
Units are ordered to strengthen taking samples of cases with symptoms of cough, fever, and loss of taste and smell to detect early infection cases, especially cases who recently entered Việt Nam or have had frequent contact with foreigners.
If a case of Omicron infection is found in the city, the relevant agencies are told to focus on tracing the original source of infection and close contacts of the case to immediately cut off the chain of infection.
The city’s department of health must prepare plans to be ready to collect and treat COVID-19 patients while infection cases have continued increasing rapidly in the city.
Under the plan, the Hà Nội administration also requires units to deploy the booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, prioritising vulnerable groups. — VNS