Quarantine for foreign arrivals, direct contacts of COVID-19 patients down to 14 days hinh anh 1Two close contacts in Hanoi of a confirmed COVID-19 case returning from HCM City are about to go to centralised quarantine facility (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health on July 14 issued updated guidelines on the mandatory quarantine period and details of a pilot home quarantine scheme for people who came into direct contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to the guidelines, which local administrations are supposed to observe, the time of medical quarantine is decreased from 21 days to 14 days for direct contacts (F1 cases) of confirmed COVID-19 patients (F0) and foreign arrivals, except for arrivals for business purposes with duration of stay shorter than 14 days, and other cases of entries in accordance with other regulations of the Immigration Department and the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

However, they would need to continue to monitor their health status for the next 14 days.

Local authorities are ordered to manage and supervise the isolation period and follow-up medical observation period to ensure no cross-infection or virus spread in the community.

The ministry also told local administrations to consider conducting trials of home quarantine of F1 cases, hold training and provide instructions via video clips or other materials, strictly and frequently manage the isolation processes to ensure disease prevention and control.

According to the interim guidance, the accommodation for quarantining F1 cases needs to be a house or an apartment in a residential building, a red placard must be displayed with yellow letters “COVID-19 medical quarantine site” and a waste bin with hazardous material warning.

The house/apartment needs a separate room that is fully functional (with its own toilet, waste bin, air condition unit, washing machine, etc.) and distinct from the common living space of the rest of family (if any), and a camera is needed to monitor the quarantined subject.

Toiletries, personal protective gear must be worn by other family members who come into contact with the quarantine person(s).

They must also have access to cleaning equipment, and a table outside the quarantine room to leave meals, drinks and other necessary items for the quarantined person(s) to take.

The F1 cases under home quarantine must not have direct contacts with other family members or pets, install the contact tracing app Bluezone during the entire period, monitor their own health status including body temperatures to report on Bluezone or to local health authorities via telephone.

The F1 cases would be tested three times, on the first, seventh, and fourteenth day of the quarantine.

The other residents of the house/apartment would also be tested (using pooled samples testing) in the same timeframe.

A review of the pilot period is required to consider the implementation of the model on a larger scale, the health ministry noted./.