Deputy PM urges for perseverance on principles but tactical flexibility in Covid-19 fight

Wednesday, 2020-03-04 16:03:16
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Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam, Head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control speaks at the event, Hanoi, March 4, 2020. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO – It is necessary to be consistent with the anti-epidemic principles but there must be flexible, appropriate tactics against the complex development of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

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The senior government official, who is also the head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, made the statement during a military exercise on Covid-19 prevention and control hosted by the Ministry of Defence on Wednesday (March 4).

The drill, which is the largest of its kind in the army, was organised to strengthen coordination in preventing and combating the Covid-19 epidemic at all levels, and to assess the capacity and supplement plans and procedures to be ready to cope with new situations in the fight against the disease.

The field exercise was conducted at the Military Medical Academy, Hanoi Capital High Command, 1st Army Corps and at other infirmary units. The operative exercise was implemented in a five-level hypothetical situation from the early appearance of the disease to its spread to the community of 3,000-30,000 people.

To anticipate new scenarios arising from the epidemic’s complex development around the world, Deputy PM Dam urged for preparedness if new Covid-19 infections appear in Vietnam.

“Whether or not the source of infection is identified, we must quickly segregate, promptly treat, thoroughly localise and avoid the spread of the disease to the community,” Dam stressed.

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (third from left) and Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (second from left) watch the rehearsal online, Hanoi, March 4, 2020. (Photo: VGP)

Vietnam has recorded 16 confirmed cases so far but all of these have fully recovered and been discharged from hospitals after quarantine and treatment. Since February 13, the country has not detected any new cases.

Son Loi, a rural commune with 10,000 residents in Vinh Phuc Province’s Binh Xuyen district was placed under a three-week quarantine on February 13 following six confirmed cases were detected, was declared officially free from the lockdown at 0:00 on March 4, as the locality did not record any new case of infection during the three-week period.

However, as the disease has spread to dozens of countries, Deputy PM Dam affirmed that besides continuing to apply preventive measures, it is necessary to focus also on the early detection of infection cases in health facilities and communities for timely treatment, isolation and the thorough stamping-out of the disease.

He requested continued strengthening of the capacity of backup facilities, as well as an ability to detect, isolate and treat infection cases at the grassroots level with the support of leading doctors and experts, like in Son Loi commune.

The deputy PM also noted that as Covid-19 is a new disease, coordination and experiential lessons learned from the fight against the deadly virus are important for Vietnam in order to develop scenarios, plans and mechanisms for any disease outbreak in the future.

He also expressed his hope that the army would continue to actively participate in epidemic prevention and control, cementing the people’s confidence that Vietnam can defeat the disease together.

Military medical forces carry out rehearsals of medical examination, treatment and isolation for patients and people suspected of being infected with Covid-19 in the isolation areas managed by the army on March 4, 2020. (Photo: VGP)