Vietnam adds 96 more domestic Covid-19 cases. Quarantine period for vaccinated entrants could be shortened

, Vietnam adds 96 more domestic Covid-19 cases. Quarantine period for vaccinated entrants could be shortened

Vietnam records 96 more domestic Covid cases Thursday noon, 55 cases were recorded in the northern province of Bac Giang, 14 in its neighbor Bac Ninh, 19 in HCMC, six in Hanoi and two in Long An Province that borders HCMC.

All the cases in Bac Giang are associated with the province’s industrial parks and other locked down areas. They have been quarantined prior to test results, VNExpress reported.

The cases in HCMC are linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission, a self-described Christian congregation whose several members and others associated with them are infected with the coronavirus. The new cases raised HCMC’s infection tally in the fourth wave to 277, including over 260 linked to the religious mission. The city has tracked down around 300,000 people who have had direct or indirect contacts with infectees in the cluster.

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All the cases in Bac Ninh and Hanoi have also made contact with confirmed Covid-19 patients and been quarantined.

The two cases in Long An Province are a 4-year-old son of a couple previously confirmed as Covid-19 patients, and his grandmother. The couple are linked to the HCMC mission cluster.

Vietnam was hit by a new Covid-19 wave more than five weeks ago and 4,877 infections have since then been recorded in 37 of its 63 cities and provinces. Bac Giang and Bac Ninh now have the highest number of infections, at 2,620 and 941.

Vietnam considers shortening quarantine period for vaccinated entrants

People entering Vietnam who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and test negative may see their quarantine period reduced from 21 days to one week.

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The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on Wednesday requested the Ministry of Health to devise new testing procedures for the aforementioned cases.

Those who have developed immunity against the coronavirus are also considered for shortened quarantine.

The committee also asked the Ministry of Science and Technology to push for research into new testing methods and equipment as current Covid-19 testing schemes on large scales are “tough and expensive.”

Last month, the committee had asked the health ministry to draw up the categorization of “safe” visitors who should be quarantined for seven days instead of the usual 21.

Experts agree that vaccines need to be rolled out as soon as possible, especially before this October. Vietnam is aiming to secure 150 million vaccine doses within this year to cover 70 percent of its population. The country’s mass Covid-19 vaccination program since March uses a Covid-19 vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, and has vaccinated over 1.1 million of its 98 million population so far.

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As a coronavirus prevention measure, Vietnam has required all entrants to undergo a mandatory quarantine period of 21 days, up from the previous 14-day period after several Covid-19 cases only revealed themselves after their quarantine period had already ended, according to VNExpress.

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