|Medical workers take samples for COVID-19 testing in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Close contacts of COVID-19 patients can now undergo home isolation in HCM City instead of mandatory centralised quarantine.
The Ministry of Health has issued specific guidelines for medical isolation of F1 cases (close contacts of COVID-19 patients) at home in HCM City.
The move aims to help the city be proactive in COVID-19 prevention and control and reduce the risk of cross-infection at concentrated medical isolation facilities
The ministry sent a document to the municipal People's Committee about piloting home medical isolation for F1 contacts after the number of infections increased in recent days.
According to the document, local authorities are responsible for monitoring and supervising quarantined people and taking samples for testing.
Under the ministry's guidelines, the city People's Committee will direct People's Committees in districts and wards to allow home isolation only after accommodations are confirmed to meet isolation requirements.
Local health authorities must manage and supervise the implementation of home quarantine as well as the collection and transportation of medical waste for treatment according to regulations.
The city Centre for Disease Control must conduct testing for SARS-CoV-2 at homes.
According to the guidance, a warning sign should be placed in front of F1 cases’ houses.
Patients must stay in a single isolation room separate from the family's common living area. If the house has many floors, one separate floor should be used for medical isolation.
Next to the medical isolation room, there must be a separate room for medical staff to conduct medical examinations and take samples.
COVID-19 patients' rooms should be ventilated, cleaned and disinfected daily.
Family members must have personal protective equipment for infection prevention when they have no choice but to come into close contact with their quarantined relatives.
Quarantined patients must strictly abide by the regulations and the time of medical isolation at home. They must not leave the isolation room during the isolation period as well as not contact with family members or other people, or with pets.
Those under home isolation are required to install the Bluezone application on their smartphone for daily medical declaration or phone healthcare workers to report their temperature and health conditions.
Elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions who need medical care are not allowed to live in the same house as a quarantined person.
If the F1 case is a child or a weak elderly person with an underlying medical condition that needs caregivers and supporters, the ministry will allow their relatives to take care of them upon commitment from their local administration.
Other people sharing the same houses must not directly contact the F1s. They should also carry out self-health monitoring and minimise leaving the house.
Medical workers need to collect information and examine the health condition of the F1s and their carers every day.
As of Monday morning, HCM City had recorded 3,280 infections in the fourth outbreak that began in late April. — VNS