|Trần Đắc Phu (standing). VNA/VNS Photo|
As some people have negative COVID-19 test results but are neglecting pandemic prevention and control, Dr Trần Đắc Phu, a senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, talks to the press about the need to maintain vigilance
Could you tell us about the value of a negative COVID-19 certificate? Is this test paper a guarantee that the holders are safe and non-infectious?
The COVID-19 test certificate is valid at the time of testing and the person tested is basically not infected with SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, the certificate confirms he or she is not a source of infection to other people. I say “basically” because testing cannot detect a new case of COVID-19 in the first two days.
Besides, not all tests are 100 per cent accurate. Not to mention in some cases, if the certificates are fake, they are completely worthless.
This test certificate is only valid for a certain time period because after testing if people do not strictly follow pandemic prevention and control measures, they still have the possibility of contracting SARS-CoV-2 and becoming a source of infection and can spread the disease in the community.
Therefore, after testing, the most important thing is that people still have to strictly follow all preventive measures.
In particular, with long-distance travel and circulation activities, even if they have a negative test certificate for SARS-CoV-2, people still have to strictly follow the 5K message. The most important measures are regularly wearing masks, not gathering in crowds and submitting health declarations.
Now, when the pandemic has spread in the community, anyone can carry the virus. Therefore, in the face of the risk of disease transmission, limiting contact with large numbers of people not only contributes to protecting your own health but also limits the infection to the community.
As for medical declarations, in case people have contact with any F0, pandemic prevention and control forces will immediately trace, localise and curb the outbreak in time.
What are your recommendations to ensure safety during travel and trade between localities?
In a time of social distancing, it is not okay to gather in large numbers even when vaccinating or taking samples for testing. For instance, when drivers queue and gather in large numbers to take samples for testing and make medical declarations, there’s a high risk of infection between one driver and another driver if there is an F0 case.
To ensure safety as the pandemic is developing complicatedly in the country, it is necessary for the intervention, inspection and supervision forces and other forces to use proper techniques and regulations on pandemic prevention and control.
A COVID-19 test certificate is only valid at the time of testing. If people do not take good prevention measures, they risk becoming F0 at any time.
Functional forces should not be neglectful in the implementation of medical supervision measures because of the availability of negative COVID test certificates.
Within 72 hours of receiving a negative test certificate for SARS-CoV-2, during travel, holders of a certificate must still strictly comply with the 5K message of the Ministry of Health. — VNS