On February 20, a rapid response team from the Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital set out to provide medical assistance to Hai Duong – the epicentre of the new COVID-19 wave in Vietnam.
On the same day, telecommunication company Viettel Hai Duong donated 100 beds to the 3rd Field Hospital in Chi Linh city, in addition to two televised remote clinics for the two medical centres in Binh Giang and Thanh Mien districts. The total value of the equipment is VND461 million.
Also on February 20, at the quarantine station of Hiep Bridge in Quynh Phu district, Thai Binh province, the Thai Binh authorities presented their neighbouring province of Hai Duong with specialised medical supplies for COVID-19 prevention and control worth VND1 billion. In addition, Thai Binh also committed to supporting the health sector of Hai Duong in medical isolation, SARS-CoV-2 testing and tracing work.
On February 20, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that it had issued a document urging Departments of Industry and Trade across the nation to boost the circulation of essential goods and the consumption of agricultural products, especially in support of Hai Duong province, with priority given to preliminary processing, preserving and storing agricultural products, as well as expanding the markets for domestic agricultural product consumption and export.
The Vietnam Central Retail Group (which owns the Big C brand) plans to buy 100 tonnes of Hai Duong's agricultural products next week and may increase this to 200 tonnes per week in case of stable entry and exit conditions to/from the epidemic-hit locality. VinCommerce (which owns the VinMart supermarket chain and VinMart+ convenience stores) is also committed to purchasing safe agricultural products from Hai Duong. The Mega Market brand also sent an official letter to the People's Committee of Hai Duong province to support new connection with local business units and farmers, while at the same time committing to being ready to supply basic necessities at Hai Duong’s demand.
The Hai Duong Department of Health announced the start of COVID-19 testing on February 20 for truck drivers to facilitate transport from the locality as the province has applied strict social distancing and travel limitations since February 16 to stamp out the COVID-19 outbreak.
Other locales across the nation have stepped up measures against the complicated developments of the epidemic while boosting socio-economic development in the new normal state. On February 20, Quang Yen town in Quang Ninh province activated a surveillance camera system at the anti-COVID-19 post at Bach Dang bridge toll booth, aimed at facilitating traffic surveillance medical declarations at the post. It is the first post in the province to apply a surveillance camera system to control people and vehicles entering/leaving the province.
A surveillance camera system has been activated at the anti-epidemic control post at Bach Dang bridge toll booth, Quang Yen town, Quang Ninh province. (Photo: NDO)
Nam Dinh province decided to suspend non-essential services from 12:00 on February 20 until further notice, along with limiting street-stalls and sidewalk restaurants.
Ho Chi Minh City has issued an official letter on strengthening measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic. Accordingly, the HCM City People's Committee has requested leaders of the relevant departments, sectors and units to activate their highest level of vigilance against COVID-19, while continuing to screen the risk of COVID-19 infection in the community and strengthen communications encouraging local residents to actively and voluntarily carry out epidemic prevention measures.
On February 20, the People's Committee of Tuyen Quang province issued a notice to allow local students to return to school from Monday (Feb 22), alongside the strict implementation of epidemic prevention and control activities.
The Mekong Delta province of An Giang also allowed local students to return to school next week. The provincial Department of Education and Training has issued many documents to review the implementation of COVID-19 response measures and prepare favourable conditions for welcoming students back to school after the 2021 Lunar New Year Festival.