|Chinese guest workers are held in isolation at Viet Tiep Friendship Hospital in the northern port city of Haiphong on February 7 – PHOTO: VNA
The ministry has asked competent agencies to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus in a number of provinces and cities where many foreigners, especially from China, work.
Those Chinese workers who came back to China during the weeks-long Lunar New Year holiday are advised to delay their plans to return to Vietnam. Otherwise, they will be quarantined for 14 days.
Local departments of labor, invalids and social affairs have been told to work with those firms which employ Chinese workers, and keep the ministry updated on the number of these workers before and after the holiday.
Those cases in which workers are infected with, or suspected of carrying the virus, must be reported to local health departments as soon as possible.
In a related development, Vietnamese workers who returned home for the holiday may have their trips back to their host countries postponed if authorities deem the measure necessary.
The ministry cited data from the nation's 63 provinces and cities as saying that as many as 34,423 Chinese nationals are working in the country, with 26,904 of them going back to China for the holiday, 7,791 of them already returning to Vietnam.
Vietnam saw a surge in the number of Chinese guest workers being quarantined, from 5,112 one week ago to 7,155 currently. One worker is suspected of having symptoms, according to the ministry.
Chinese health authorities reported 109 more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 2,345, while the number of infections reached 76,288. There were also 2,393 patients discharged on Friday. The central province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, accounts for 63,454 confirmed cases and 2,250 deaths.