Feb 06, 2021 / 14:24

Vietnam considers reducing Covid-19 quarantine back to 14 days

Vietnam's health ministry is waiting for final reports before amending the rule on the quarantine period.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is considering reducing the Covid-19 quarantine period from 21 to 14 days since the incubation period for the new coronavirus variant is also two weeks.

 An overview of the government meeting on February 5. Photo: Dinh Nam

Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said at a government meeting on February 5 that the latest studies in Vietnam showed the new strain, originating from the UK, has a higher basic reproduction number than previous strains and faster onset time.

However, its incubation period is still 14 days like other variants, Mr. Tuyen said, adding that countries around the world have decreed a 14-day quarantine for those who were in close contact with Covid-19 patients despite the outbreak of the new coronavirus mutant.

The ministry is waiting for final reports before amending the rule on the quarantine period.

Vietnam has recently increased the quarantine period to 21 days instead of 14 days following the new community outbreak that emerged in late January.

Besides, social distancing, if imposed, will also last 21 days, longer than the 15 days prescribed previously, because the disease has spread to major cities across the country, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong.

At the time of writing, the national tally of the ongoing Covid-19 wave is 394, with infections recorded in ten cities and provinces. The nation has registered 1,976 cases of novel coronavirus carriers, of them 1465 recovered and 35 deceased so far.

Vietnamese people will celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet) next week, the biggest and longest holiday of the year. The government has imposed lockdowns at Covid-19 epicenters, many cities and provinces have canceled Tet fireworks shows and other celebrations.