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Apr 14, 2020 / 22:49

Hanoi asks pharmacies to report buyers of medicines for Covid-19-like symptoms

Pharmacies are requested to ask clients buying medicines for cold and common cold symptoms such as cough and fever to make health declaration.

The Hanoi city government has asked 7,000 pharmacies citywide to report people buying medicines for cold, cough and fever in recent days as the municipal government has been making efforts to curb Covid-19 spread, local media quoted mayor Nguyen Duc Chung as saying at a meeting on April 13.

Accordingly, pharmacies are requested to ask clients buying medicines for cold and common cold symptoms such as cough and fever to make health declaration.

 A drug store on Vu Trong Phung street in Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi. Photo: Thanh Hue

"If any of these pharmacies fails to report, they will be dealt with in accordance with the law, even see their licenses revoked. This is their duty to prevent and control the pandemic," Chung said.

Besides, the Hanoi's leader requested all private clinics and medical centers to take samples for Covid-19 testing from any visitor seeking treatment for ailments like fever, cough and shortness of breath.

He added that small pandemic outbreaks in Hanoi have basically been put under control. The lockdown on Bach Mai Hospital, Vietnam’s largest Covid-19 outbreak, was lifted on April 12.

However, there are complications at Ha Loi village in Me Linh district, which has emerged as Hanoi’s second largest outbreak with at least 12 infections linked to it so far.

"The city must focus on putting down the Ha Loi outbreak and identifying all those who come into contact with the Covid-19 patient No.243, the first infection detected there," Chung said.

The Health Ministry has announced a list of places that the 243th patient had visited between March 8 and April 4, and called for everyone who had been to those places to report in person for health monitoring as soon as possible.

Health workers have been asked to immediately impose a 14-day home quarantine on anyone related to Ha Loi village and Bach Mai hospital.

According to Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Infectious Diseases Nguyen Hong Ha, in addition to controlling the two above-mentioned outbreaks, the local authorities need to keep supervising other cases. The reason is that some people with coronavirus infection can travel around and infect others, Ha said.

Nguyen Quoc Thai, a doctor in the Center for Tropical Diseases under Bach Mai Hospital, said that people buying drug for self-medication if infected with coronavirus would transmit to people around them.

Dr. Pham Duc Hung from Children's Hospital of Cincinnati, Ohio, the US stressed that medical declaration for any manifestation of cough and fever before purchasing at pharmacy is necessary. People infected with Covid-19 buying at drug store could make it a transmission center of the epidemic.