Vietnam has captivated the world’s attention in medical services and effective prevention strategy thanks to its success against the spread of the pandemic. If you are curious about how the S-shaped country achieved this success, scroll down to learn about COVID-19 testing and treatment in Vietnam
Note: Since all public transportation in Ho Chi Minh and other hard-hit areas has been suspended (including buses, taxis, and ride-hailing services), it might be tricky to travel to the hospital for emergencies, testing, or vaccination. Some taxi brands are still able to offer a limited number of car rides, such as Mai Linh or Vinasun or Grab Car Y tế (Medical Grab Car) operated by Grab. Forward planning is key during this time, especially when it comes to health issues.
Where to Seek Information about COVID-19 Testing and Treatment in Vietnam
The Official Website of The Ministry of Health
Though some posts are only available in Vietnamese, you can still use this website by the official Ministry of Health in Vietnam for the latest updates and reliable information about COVID-19 testing and treatment in Vietnam. As the official “speaker” of The Ministry of Health, it frequently updates about the current situation, legal normative documents, and methods to fight against the pandemic.
You can also check out the https://ncov.moh.gov.vn/ website for more COVID-centric information in Vietnam
Hotlines of The Ministry of Health or Some Hospitals
Having questions about the coronavirus? You can think of calling the following hotlines:
The hotline of the Ministry of Health: 1900 3228 or 1900 9095 (the telephone charge is free).
The hotline of 63 cities and provinces
The hotline of 22 hospitals authorized for COVID-19 testing and treatment in Vietnam
COVID-19 Testing in Vietnam
Before entering Vietnam, you must purchase international health insurance that covers the payment for medical examination and treatment in Vietnam according to the duration of your stay in the country.
From May 2021, due to the latest outbreak in Ho Chi Minh, the government plan to carry out testing for the entire 13-million people population in the city.
Upon your entry to Vietnam
Once landing in Vietnam, you must undergo a COVID-19 test and pay the fee by yourself. The current price is VND 734,000 (Real-time PCR) and (or) VND 238,000 (quick-test kit). After that, you will be quarantined at either governmental camps based on military barracks or public schools or at a hotel qualified as a quarantine facility. Regarding quarantining at governmental facilities, you will have to pay for your meal expenses (VND 80,000 per day) and the cost of serving daily needs (VND 40,000 per day). As for staying at a hotel, the costs depend on each hotel’s pricing policy. The expenses include meals, accommodation, and activities during the isolation period.
People preparing for their meals at a quarantine camp. If you don’t sign up with a hotel beforehand, you will be automatically assigned to a quarantine camp after landing in Vietnam.
During 14 – 21 days of isolation, you will have two to three COVID-19 tests. Besides, your body temperature will be measured twice a day to monitor your health condition. At the government’s quarantine camps, healthcare workers will visit you daily for the mentioned testing. Meanwhile, when you stay at a hotel, you must report to the local medical centers to schedule your testing appointments.
Once you receive 3 negative results for COVID-19, you will be granted a certificate for your health status, which will come in handy for your future paperwork (i.e. registering for a Temporary Residence Card, applying for visas, etc.). After quarantine, it is advisable to stay home/in your hotel room and limit traveling as much as possible for a couple of weeks.
Read more International Borders Updates in Vietnam
COVID Tests on Demand While You’re in Vietnam
While traveling, if you are suspicious that you might have COVID-19, please come to one of these 82 healthcare facilities throughout the country. Certain international health insurance will cover the fee for COVID-19 testing and treatment in Vietnam. In case you need to travel outside of Vietnam, depending on which country you’re traveling to, you’ll need to provide sufficient health certificates with COVID-19 test results to be eligible to enter. In general, you can visit the mentioned hospitals when you need a COVID test result for certain legal documents and processes. The testing fees vary depending on each hospital, but it can be expected around VND 3 – 5 million/test.
The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi becomes a hotspot during COVID-19
Some Testing Facilities that Are Foreigner-Friendly:
- Ho Chi Minh
CDC Ho Chi Minh City: 957, 3 Thang 2 Street, District 11; 699 Tran Hung Dao Street, District 5; 180 Le Van Sy Street, Phu Nhuan District (Update: Due to the current outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City, CDC Ho Chi Minh has put a hold to testing services from May 21st, 2021 until further notice)
FV Hospital Ho Chi Minh City: 6 Nguyen Luong Bang Street, District 7; Besides testing at the hospital, FV Hospital also provides the testing service at your own place.
Family Medical Practice: 34 Le Duan Street, District 1, 95 Thao Dien Street, District 2, Thu Duc City; River Park Premier, Block C, 41 Dang Duc Thuat, District 7
Raffles Medical International Clinic: 167A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3
Hoan My Saigon Hospital: 60 – 60A Phan Xich Long Street, Phu Nhuan District
Military Hospital 175: 786 Nguyen Kiem Street, Go Vap District
Gia An 115: 5, 17A Street, Binh Tan District.
Medlatec General Hospital: 42 – 44, Nghia Dung, Phuc Xa, Ba Dinh District
Hanoi French Hospital: 1 Phuong Mai Street, Dong Da District
Hong Ngoc Hospital: 55 Yen Ninh Street, Ba Dinh District
International VinMec Hospital: 458, Minh Khai, Times City, Hai Ba Trung District
What You Need to Prepare upon Testing:
– Have your passport and flight ticket ready in case you are required to provide them to sign up.
– Some hospitals required appointments while others accept walk-ins. Since entry to the hospitals is limited due to COVID, make sure you call to check with the receptionists first.
– You will need to fill in a health declaration form (either online on the hospital’s website or on-site) stating your health status and whether you’ve been to outbreak areas.
– The testing fees may differ slightly according to your citizenship or the airlines your fly with.
– Test results are usually returned within 24 hours.
Testing at Home with Authorised COVID-19 Test Kit:
To avoid the fret of going outside and waiting at a hospital to get your testing done, you can do the testing by yourself with the COVID-19 testing kits that are widely distributed at pharmacies. These personal test kits are a much more convenient and time-saving means to monitor your and your family’s health regularly, especially when you have to go outside and come into interaction with many people during your day. Note that the test result on the personal test kits won’t suffice the certification for a negative result that you might need to provide when traveling back to your home country or for other purposes. It is also important that you only use testing kits approved by WHO and Vietnam’s Health Ministry, some popular ones are:
- Trueline COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test (Vietnamese): VND 100,000/test
- Flowflex SARSCoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Chinese): VND 109,000 – 185,000/test, VND 4,625,000/box of 25 tests
- Biosynex Covid-19 Ag BSS (French): VND 135,000/test
- COVID-19 Ag (Korean): VND 175,000/test
- Humasis COVID-19 Ag Test (Korean): VND 198,000/test
- CareStart COVID-19 Antigen (American): VND 130,000 – 150,000/test
Important notes when using the COVID-19 testing kits at home:
- Only buy regulated testing kits from authorised channels.
- For the most accurate result possible, read and follow the instructions carefully, and make sure your hands and face are clean.
- Don’t use expired testing kits.
- If you suspect that you might have come into contact with someone who has COVID, it takes 3 – 5 days for the test to pick up whether you’re positive or not. Therefore, in this case, you need to distance yourself at one designated place and wear a mask at all times for at least 14 days.
- If you’re tested positive, you must distance yourself from others and report to the local healthcare facility. You might need to go to the hospital in case the symptoms get worse.
COVID-19 Vaccine in Vietnam
Vietnam is in the process of testing its own vaccine Nanocovax. Other vaccines being used in Vietnam are Oxford/AstraZeneca, US Moderna and Pfizer, Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm. In order to reach herd immunity, Vietnam aims to purchase 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate at least 75 million people out of the 98 million population of the country. So far, more than 1.2 million people have been vaccinated nationwide, including mostly frontline health workers.
The government has launched the “Vietnam’s COVID-19 Vaccine Fund” to gather the public’s financial support to import more vaccines, as well as vaccine transportation and storage.
Regarding vaccinations for expats in Vietnam, it depends largely on your country’s embassies and consulates’ policies. The good news is that Vietnam aims to innoculate expats as soon as the country receives sufficient doses. Therefore, all you need now is a bit of patience and check your embassy’s official website for the latest information on when and where you can get the vaccine. Whichever type of vaccine you choose, make sure to check it’s also the one that your home country recognized and approved, in case they require certificates of vaccinations when you’re traveling back home.
Priority Groups for COVID-19 Vaccine in Vietnam
At the moment, due to the limited doses available in Vietnam, 11 groups are prioritized to have the COVID jab first. This is also to monitor the side effects (if any) of the vaccine before rolling it out to the public for free. The priority group includes:
- Health workers
- Pandemic respondents (steering committees, quarantine staff, reporters, ..)
- Diplomats, customs and immigration staff
- Military personnel
- Police force
- Elderly over 65 years old
- Essential workers: aviation, transportation, tourism, electricity and water supply
- People with chronic illnesses
- People going abroad (for work, study, business,…)
- People in the outbreak areas
COVID Vaccine Passports in Vietnam
A COVID vaccine passport is a certification for those who have been fully vaccinated again COVID-19. Some countries may also regard it as a COVID “green pass”.
At the present, Vietnam hasn’t proposed any regulations regarding vaccine passports and the borders remain closed to foreign travelers (with the exception of diplomats and skilled workers). Phu Quoc Island is the first destination to plan for vaccine passports, but due to the current outbreak, the plan will be put off until it is safe enough for traveling again.
However, thanks to the advancement of the COVID vaccine and as more and more people around the world are getting vaccinated, especially now that some neighboring countries such as Thailand have set up plans to welcome fully vaccinated tourists, the future of Vietnam allowing those with a vaccine passport to enter is not so far-fetched. Since June 2nd, 2021, vaccinated entrants to Vietnam can be subjected to a shorter period of quarantine.
COVID-19 Treatment in Vietnam
If your test reveals that you are positive for Covid-19, you must undergo isolated treatment. Here is must-know information about how Vietnam medical staff deal with this widespread disease.
COVID-19 Treatment Regimen in Vietnam
In the meantime, the treatment in Vietnam focuses on respiratory failure treatment and continually updates the latest recommendations of the World Health Organization on oxygen therapy and blood oxygen targeting. COVID-19 patients need a close monitor of medical staff, especially on the seventh to the tenth day of the disease. Doctors will base on clinical signs, early warning scales, and daily X-ray results of the patient’s lungs to detect and timely manage severe disease progression. Doctors may use ventilators or endotracheal tubes to combat the virus for severe respiratory failure patients.
Vietnam now can manufacture ventilators
COVID-19 patients can be discharged from isolated treatment when:
- There is an improvement in clinical signs and;
- Two consecutive samples of respiratory tract specimens taken at intervals of > = 24 hours are negative for COVID-19
Protective Methods after Getting Discharged from the Hospital
The patient continues to be on home isolation for another 14 days and must follow these guidelines:
- Stay in a well-ventilated private room and do not go out in public
- Wear a mask and wash hands with soap frequently
- Eat separately and limit contact with other family members or roommates
- Measure body temperature twice a day, take action immediately if there is a fever or other unusual signs
Cost of COVID-19 Treatment
The fees vary depending on each person’s condition, but they usually range from VND 20 million to VND 40 million. In some serious cases, the fees could even reach VND 700 million, and until now, there is only one case that costs VND 3 billion.
This Chinese patient was one of the first people to contract COVID-19 in Vietnam and has been successfully treated by doctors in Cho Ray Hospital (Ho Chi Minh City)
The good news is, your international health insurance is likely to cover this amount of money for you. The hospital will make a medical report and send details to the insurance company. Then, the company will confirm the amount due and the amount the patient will pay.
COVID-19 Treatment at Home:
In response to the overloaded hospitals amidst the pandemic, COVID patients can opt to stay at home for the treatment with the supervision of a medical professional. At-home treatment at home is sometimes a better option, albeit lacking medical resources, as you are not exposed to other patients, and have the necessary food for nutrients and spaces to get a little exercise. With that said, you need to contact the local medical center or hospital if you or your family member has underlying conditions or when you’re in critical condition.
Some recommended steps you can take when doing at-home treatment:
- Keep a minimum distance of 1 meter away from others
- Wear a mask at all times (except for drinking and eating), and change masks twice a day
- Try to have nutrient-rich meals, with lots of vitamins and healthy proteins
- Try moving your body every once in a while
- It is not recommended to take medicines by yourself. Consult with a medical professional if you need to take any medicine to alleviate the symptoms
Get a quote for an international travel insurance plan below:
Summary of COVID-19 Testing and Treatment in Vietnam
Traveling to a foreign country at this time may sound complicated. However, as long as you do careful research before your trip, you will have a worthwhile experience in the S-shaped country.
On the bright side, Vietnam is one of the few countries that are safe enough for domestic travel. Check out also some Tours You Can Take in Vietnam during Covid-19.