|Health staff examine a home-treating COVID-19 patient in Thanh Trì District, Hà Nội. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — People who are infected with COVID-19 but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms can have their isolation and precautions discontinued 10 days after being treated, the Ministry of Health said.
Also, they must have negative rapid antigen tests performed by staff or by the patients themselves under the supervision of medical staff directly or indirectly via remote methods. The rapid test must be licensed by the Ministry of Health.
On December 28, the Ministry of Health sent a document to the hospitals under the Ministry; departments of health of provinces and cities; and medical facilities under ministries and branches, on testing to detect suspected COVID-19 cases and conditions to discharge patients.
Regarding the proposal to use antigen test results to determine the state of recovery and discharge of patients, the ministry has the following guidelines:
COVID-19 patients being treated at healthcare facilities can be discharged if they are COVID-19 patients with clinical symptoms disappearing three days or more before the hospital discharge date, and have a negative RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 or a low viral load (Ct 30) or a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 on the day before discharge (rapid test) licensed by the Ministry of Health.
After being discharged from the hospital, patients need to stay at home and self-monitor for seven days. They have to measure their body temperature twice a day - if the body temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius in two consecutive measurements or there are any abnormal clinical signs, it is necessary to notify the local medical centre for timely examination and treatment.
Also, compliance with the 5K message is required.
For COVID-19 patients who have underlying diseases or health problems accompanied by clinical symptoms of COVID-19 that disappear three days or more before discharge from the hospital; have negative RT-PCR test results for SARS-CoV-2 or low virus concentration (Ct 30) or have negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 virus before the hospital discharge date (test approved by the Ministry of Health), they can also be discharged.
COVID-19 patients can also be transferred to faculties for treatment of comorbidities or faculties for treatment of underlying diseases (if necessary) in separate rooms; they are to be screened and monitored according to regulations for inpatients; and have their body temperature measured twice a day.
Identify a patient suspected of having COVID-19
According to the Ministry of Health, the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country is complicated, and the number of cases is tending to increase; in order to adapt to the new situation and ensure safety and flexibility in accordance with the current situation, localities and health facilities should base decisions on the real pandemic level at their areas and the health ministry’s temporary guidelines on the management of people infected with COVID-19 to identify cases.
A suspected case of COVID-19 is a person who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR or as prescribed in Decision No. 4689/QD-BYT which means having a positive antigen test result for SARS-CoV-2 (by biological rapid test products licensed by the Ministry of Health and approved by it) performed by medical staff or by himself/herself under the supervision of medical personnel directly or indirectly.
A suspected case of COVID-19 is also a person who is asymptomatic but has been in close contact with a suspected case or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days and has had two positive antigen test results for SARS-CoV-2 (second test within eight hours of the 1st test result, by biological rapid test products licensed by the Ministry of Health).
If the suspected case has only one positive antigen test result for SARS-CoV-2, a RT-PCR test is required for confirmation. VNS