PM: No COVID-19 community infections should not mean being off guard

Friday, 2020-05-15 16:04:21
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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) delivers his speech at an online cabinet meeting on COVID-19 control, held at Government headquarters in Hanoi on May 15, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Vietnam has been clear of COVID-19 community transmission for almost one full month but the public should not be caught off guard as the disease is still developing complicatedly in many other countries and as yet there is no vaccine nor special treatment available.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the above statement during his chairing of an online cabinet meeting on May 15, held to discuss measures to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam.

Speaking at the meeting, PM Phuc emphasised that Vietnam has made an important initial step in realising its dual objective of fighting COVID-19 and resuming socio-economic activities.

No new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the community in almost one month. There are also strong solutions in place to support production and business, as well as promote the disbursement of public investment to bring the economy back to normal, the PM added.

The Government has repatriated Vietnamese citizens abroad, mainly students and the elderly stranded in foreign countries amidst the global COVID-19 crisis. Despite the fact that there have been infections from such groups, the domestic authorities have had good control over imported infections, as they have been timely sent to safe isolation facilities in order to prevent transmission to the community. The PM assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider the repatriating criteria for further implementation in the near future.

He also praised the education sector and localities in reopening schools and welcoming back students safely over the past week, saying that no new infections found in the community in nearly a month is “very good news”, offering a favourable condition for Vietnam to attract more investment whilst many countries have not yet escaped widespread infection levels.

However, PM Phuc also stressed the need for keeping vigilant so as to prevent any cases of transmission into the community, as well as cross-infection in concentrated isolation centres.

The government leader asked relevant authorities to continue to prevent the disease from entering Vietnam, while the country is still not allowing entry for tourists but only investors, experts, and officials with proper visas. Appropriate isolation for these is required when entering Vietnam, under the supervision of the local health sector.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

The Ministry of Defence was asked to strengthen control of residents traveling on trails and openings on land border lines. The health sector and concerned authorities are required to continue to effectively deploy disease preventive measures, as well as maintain a quick response rate to promptly localise, quarantine and stamp out any new infection in the community.

The PM also urged the promotion of import and export activities and domestic tourism, while preparing to open international tourism, initially with some partners that have recorded progress in their fight against the disease.

Along with these, it is necessary to prepare all relevant conditions to attract partners and investment flow using stronger forms of investment promotion, while creating favourable conditions for experts, skilled workers and overseas Vietnamese students to enter Vietnam to invest and do long-term and effective business.

PM Phuc also proposed to promote the free export of medical devices, masks and test kits, as well as enhancing international cooperation regarding Vietnam's achievements in the COVID-19 fight with other countries, especially Africa, in order to boost Vietnam’s global reputation. The health sector should continue to promote research on medicines, vaccines and treatment regimens for the disease, he added.

Military and police forces were asked to fully implement their tasks in quarantining, managing immigration and strictly handling fake news and malicious acts of taking advantage of the epidemic to spread rumours.

The PM asked for a new disease prevention strategy that is both effective in health and sustainable for economic development. “In the absence of a vaccine, COVID-19 prevention and control must be considered a long-term strategy,” PM Phuc affirmed.