Medical staff take samples of residents in Hanoi for coronavirus testing, February 4, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The Ministry of Health is considering reducing the Covid-19 quarantine period from 21 to 14 days since the incubation period for the new coronavirus variant is also two weeks.
A ministry official said at a government meeting Friday that the latest studies in Vietnam showed while the new strain, originating from the U.K., has a higher basic reproduction number than previous strains and faster onset time, its incubation period remains the same.
The ministry is waiting for final reports before amending the quarantine period.
Countries around the world have kept the 14-day quarantine unchanged unlike Vietnam, which increased it to 21 days recently regarding the ongoing community outbreak that emerged on January 28.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had ordered F1 people, or those who were in close contact with patients, to be quarantined for 21 days instead of the usual 14 days following the new outbreak. Social distancing, if imposed, will also last 21 days, up from the earlier 15.
The disease has spread to some major cities such as Hanoi, HCMC and Hai Phong and 394 people have been diagnosed with it as of Saturday morning.
Vietnamese will celebrate the Lunar New Year, their biggest holiday of the year, starting next week, with people traveling back home to their extended families.
The government has imposed lockdowns at coronavirus hotspots and many cities and provinces have canceled Tet fireworks shows and other celebrations.