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Mar 06, 2022 / 20:09

MoH proposes asymptomatic Covid-19 patients go to work

Asymptomatic Covid-19 people in self-isolation period can voluntarily go to work if they strictly follow the regulations of the health sector.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has proposed to the Prime Minister to cancel the daily coronavirus case update and that asymptomatic Covid-19 patients should be allowed to go to work.

The MoH said that the number of SARS-CoV-2 infection cases is only one of eight indicators that assess the pandemic risk level and does not truly reflect the evolution of the pandemic.

Despite the rising number of daily infections in Vietnam, severe cases and fatalities have significantly declined thanks to widespread vaccination coverage, the MoH said, adding that all cities and provinces have adopted the approach of safe cohabitation with Covid-19.

The number of new infections over the past month has been rising in most provinces and cities, especially Hanoi. On average, the country records between 50,000 and 75,000 new cases every day. The MoH blamed the rising number of cases on the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The ministry cited that compared to the previous month [January], the number of community cases nationwide increased 198%, but that of deaths decreased by 47%, hospitalizations fell by 24% and the number of severe and critical cases by 43%.

Thanks to the nation’s high vaccination coverage and efforts in treating critical patients, the number of Covid-19 deaths have plunged, with the February death rate at a mere 0.2%, the MoH stressed.

 A medical staff administers Covid-19 vaccine to local residents at Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Linh

Therefore, people acquiring the novel coronavirus or are exposed to coronavirus carriers can go to work, the ministry added.

It stressed that asymptomatic Covid-19 people in self-isolation period can voluntarily go to work if they strictly follow the regulations of the health sector.

The MoH has also proposed those in close contact with Covid-19 patients self-monitor their health for 10 days if they satisfy one of these conditions: having been fully vaccinated against coronavirus with the last dose administered at least 14 days prior; having recovered from the disease within three months; or returning a negative PCR or rapid test result on the fifth day after the date of exposure to a Covid-19 patient.

During the self-monitoring period, they have to comply with pandemic prevention measures and limit contact with high-risk groups.

The MoH's new proposal also stated that asymptomatic Covid-19 patients can work online during the self-isolation period or take care of other patients at home or in hospitals. People who are exposed to infected people and not fully vaccinated can also work online or face-to-face in compliance with professional medical regulations.

At a recent meeting, Heath Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that his ministry is taking gradual steps toward treating those infected with Covid-19 as ordinary patients as most of Vietnam's population have been fully vaccinated.

Faced with the increasing number of infections, the minister stressed vaccination must be considered a top priority. However, the possibility of re-infection with the Omicron mutant is there, so it is still necessary to comply with pandemic prevention measures.

The ministry will continue monitoring the pandemic situation and the evolution of virus strains toward considering Covid-19 a “common disease” at an appropriate time, Long noted.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Vietnam will move towards “normalizing” the Covid-19 pandemic and gradually considering it an endemic disease, adding that many countries around the world are taking the same steps.

Since the fourth coronavirus wave hit the country in April last year, Vietnam has recorded over 4.2 million cases.

The country has administered a total of 196 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Especially, 100% of adults from 18, have received their first Covid-19 vaccine shots, while 98% have received their second. Around 99% of children aged 12-17 have been injected Covid-19 vaccine for the first dose, and 94% got the second.