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Deputy Minister urges HCMC to quarantine direct contacts of Covid-19 cases at home

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HCMC – HCMC should begin quarantining people in direct contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases and meeting certain requirements at their homes to reduce the burden on centralized quarantine facilities, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

At a meeting with the HCMC steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control on June 25, Son said the number of direct contacts of confirmed cases had increased sharply, saddling many quarantine centers, especially a center in the dormitory of the Vietnam National University HCMC, the local media reported.

Although it had 2,000 people, medical workers there said they were exhausted and medical waste was mounting, Son added.

The Ministry of Health has signed a document allowing piloting the quarantine of those in direct contact with Covid-19 patients at home.

At present, more than 12,000 people in HCMC are being quarantined at centralized quarantine centers and 26,000 others at home. The city is opening and expanding concentrated quarantine centers.

Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Huu Hung, at a recent meeting on anti-pandemic measures, said the city had considered piloting the home quarantine of direct contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases and would later apply the solution on a large scale.

Hung said during home quarantine, these people would feel more comfortable. In addition, the State could save expenditures at quarantine centers even if the number of people surges.

According to Associate Professor Dr. Tran Dac Phu, former director of the Agency of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control has piloted the solution in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh.

Phu said the solution was necessary as if centralized quarantine facilities become overloaded, the risk of cross infection will be high.

Those in direct contact with Covid-19 patients should be classified into two groups—low and high infection risk groups. Those with a low infection risk can be quarantined at their homes.

However, they must meet certain requirements. Their houses should have separate rooms for them, they must not be in contact with their family members or leave their houses and must continuously wear face masks.

Doctor Truong Huu Khanh, head of the HCMC Children’s Hospital No. 1’s Infectious Disease and Neurology Department, threw his support behind the solution amid the complicated developments of the pandemic in the city. If the city can ensure that those under home quarantine do not leave their houses during the quarantine period, the solution will be more effective than quarantining them at concentrated quarantine centers.

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