According to health professionals, people who are required to self-isolate on suspicion of COVID-19 infection should uphold the guidelines issued by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, maintain a nourishing diet, and pay close attention to their mental health.
The COVID-19 case count in Ho Chi Minh City has risen steeply during the past weeks, which in turn has put thousands of others at high risk due to their contact with the infected, the municipal Center for Disease Control said.
In light of the escalating epidemic, the city has announced a plan for certain at-risk demographics to be able to return home earlier after staying in concentrated quarantine, which is expected to alleviate the burden on the healthcare system.
More specifically, direct contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, as well as international arrivals to Vietnam, will only need to spend 14 days in quarantine centers instead of 21 as per previous rules, and will be able to return home after having three negative COVID-19 test results on Day 1, 7, and 14.
In that case, patients will need to pay for their ride back home, and spend the next 14 days in self-isolation and health monitoring.
People in self-isolation should prepare several common medicines, including digestive drugs, as well as vitamin C pills and other immune system boosts, according to Dr. Cao Ngoc Nga, head of the department of infectious diseases at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
They should also uphold the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, constantly keep track of body temperature with a personal thermometer, and refrain from stockpiling fever medications.
In case of spotting abnormal symptoms, including coughing, fever, exhaustion, chest pain, and breathing problems, they should report to the local health authority immediately.
Those in isolation should stay in well-ventilated rooms on higher floors, open their windows for direct sunlight, and avoid using air conditioners.
They are also recommended to keep a safe distance from others in their house, besides constantly disinfecting their bodies and rooms with sanitizers.
Dr. Nga urged people to take care of their mental health during isolation with meditation, yoga, breathing practices, and calming background music.
A caretaker in the house is also needed, as isolated people will need their help and mental support during the tough times.
The doctor recommended an optimal diet during self-isolation, which includes meat, egg and milk, and other foods that benefit the immune system.
These items can be acquired for people in quarantine via their caretakers or family members, or through the help of COVID-19 response teams of ward-level authorities, a representative of the Medical Center in Thu Duc City said during a discussion with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
By Wednesday morning, Vietnam had confirmed 2,787 new COVID-19 cases, including 2,775 domestic and 12 imported cases.
Among the latest cases, 1,739 were detected in Ho Chi Minh City, which has recently topped the nation in daily new infections.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities, alongside leaders of 18 other southern provinces, have taken stern measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, requiring residents to only go out to work at essential businesses, buy food and medicine, and seek hospital treatment as per the social distancing rules under the government’s Directive No. 16.