|A driver showing his test result while passing a health check point in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport have reached an agreement on the testing protocol for truckers, a move that will likely solve the shortage of essential goods in HCM City.
Truckers must provide health officials with negative test results to COVID-19 done using quick tests or RT-PCR tests, which take longer to produce a result but are usually more accurate. Test results will be valid and usable for 72 hours.
The MoH has pledged to set up additional testing sites along major routes to speed up the process and tests for truckers will be supplied free of charge.
These measures were agreed upon during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hà Nội yesterday.
As for the other 19 provinces in the Mekong Delta, truckers may still travel without a negative test result. However, they have been asked to regularly disinfect their vehicles and limit contact with others. Local governments have also been told to set rest stops for truckers, away from local communities. The Ministry of Health has said it will set up 25 mobile COVID-19 test units with capacity to perform over 2000 tests per day to meet a rising demand for COVID tests. The units will be sent to high-risk localities.
The ministry said it has started talks with suppliers to secure more medical resources including test kits, ventilators, PPE suits and dialysers.
The Ministry of Health has also set up a 1000-bed hospital under the ministry's direct management in HCM City but has left the door open to take further action if necessary.
"The ministry will provide HCM City with the best doctors and resources. We are determined to win this fight," Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long has said.
Also at the meeting, deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam asked health officials to prioritise testing in COVID-19 hotspots such as HCM City and start preparing for a worst-case scenario. — VNS