The move, which was announced on May 5 by Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, comes as Vietnam is seeking to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus which has spread to various localities across the country.
The extension will increase the period of mandatory quarantine to 21 days as opposed to 14 days at present, and the decision took effect on May 5, said Long, adding that the Ministry of Health has consulted experts on epidemiology and virology to come to the conclusion.
The move aims to protect the community from SARS-CoV-2 infection from people who come into close contact with COVID-19 cases, said the Minister.
The Minister requested that local Departments of Health direct their Centers for Disease Control to strictly comply with regulations on concentrated isolation, in order to prevent cross-contamination in quarantine facilities. In addition, he said those who complete the mandatory quarantine time must be handed over to localities where they live in accordance with regulations.
Local Centers for Disease Control need to thoroughly implement medical supervision and monitoring for these cases in the following seven days.
Minister Long also suggested that all localities launch a COVID-19 epidemic prevention campaign, including conducting a general review of foreigners entering Vietnam and people working at non-essential services such as discotheques, bars, karaoke and massage parlours for COVID-19 testing.
Only swift contact tracing, early quarantine and testing will help Vietnam contain the new outbreak, stressed the Minister.
He also advised people to strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message in Vietnamese, namely khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration).