Preventive measures needed to respond to Covid-19: health expert

Thursday, 2020-03-05 09:51:29
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Vietnamese citizens returning from the Covid-19 affected areas and foreigners receive strict medical supervision before entering the local isolation areas. (Photo: NDO/Quang Tho)
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NDO – The health sector needs to well prepare preventive measures with focus on early detection, epidemic fencing and quarantine, even though Vietnam has recorded no new SARS-CoV-2 infection cases since February 13, a health expert has said.

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Speaking at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on Wednesday (March 4), Director of the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s Department for Medical Examination and Treatment Luong Ngoc Khue said that a centre for managing and supporting treatment for Covid-19 patients is scheduled to be launched on March 5 to help quick-response teams, which are responsible for responding quickly to any outbreaks and providing professional aid for hospitals.

Regarding the production of quick test kits, members of the Steering Committee said that according the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology’s report, two types of test kit produced by the Military Medical Academy and the Viet A Technology JSC are recommended for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. The MoH licensed the use of the test kits the same day.

Regarding flights from the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said that from 18:00 on March 3, flights will only be allowed to land at Van Don Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Phu Cat Airport in the central province of Binh Dinh.

In the coming period, airlines will continue to reduce flights between the two countries, he added.

At the meeting, the Steering Committee’s members and health experts discussed logistics work and preparations on facilities and medical supplies and equipment serving the fight against the disease.

* On the same day, the Thai Nguyen Central Hospital said that the MoH decided to allow the hospital to do screening tests to confirm Covid-19. Previously, with the support of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, Thai Nguyen Central Hospital in Thai Nguyen Province was transferred with techniques and verified to be eligible for the Covid-19 test. According to statistics from the MoH, currently there are nearly 30 units across the country eligible for screening test and confirmation of Covid-19.

The laboratory of Thai Nguyen Central Hospital is eligible to perform screening tests to detect Covid-19 infection. (Photo: NDO/Minh Hoang)

* On Wednesday evening, the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control sent a telegraph urging the Ministry of Public Security and the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee to verify the identities and addresses of five passengers travelling with a Japanese passenger, who was found to have been infected with the coronavirus, on a flight from Cambodia transiting in Vietnam on March 3.

Flight VN814 carried 67 passengers and six cabin crew from Cambodia, to the city-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Sixty-one passengers had connecting flights that night to London (the United Kingdom), Narita and Nagoya (Japan), Busan (the RoK) and Manila (the Philippines). Six passengers checked into Vietnam, including one Vietnamese, three French, one Australian and one Filipino. The Filipino then flew home on March 4.

The Japanese passenger boarded a connecting flight, VN340, to Nagoya, Japan, on early March 4 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after arriving in Japan with a fever.

All the crew from flight VN340 returned to Vietnam on flight VN341, which landed at Tan Son Nhat Airport on the afternoon of March 4. Accordingly, the passengers entering Vietnam and all crew have been put into quarantine. The aircraft used for flight VN341 was also disinfected.

After gathering information on the case, the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Public Security and the HOCM City People’s Committee on locating their whereabouts of those who had contact and boarded the same flight with the Japanese passenger.

* The same day, Hoa Binh Province received and isolated 106 citizens from various Vietnamese localities who returned home from the RoK, including 16 who came back from the epidemic areas in the host country. The provincial medical agencies and functional units completed the procedures for receiving and ensuring safety and proper isolation for them according to regulations.

A health worker checks body temperature of a resident before receiving them at a local isolation area in Hoa Binh Province, March 4, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hao)

* According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, as of March 4, the city has five cases of suspected Covid-19 infection awaiting test results. The city continues to accelerate the deployment of concentrated isolation areas to be ready to receive and provide medical isolation for people from epidemic areas, while strengthening the inspection of isolation at concentrated isolation facilities and home isolation.

* On Wednesday morning, Hai Phong City continued providing medical isolation to 376 people, most of whom came from the RoK and entered Vietnam between February 29 and March 2. They are receiving medical isolation for a period of 14 days at various local medical facilities.

* On the same day, an additional 44 workers from the epidemic areas returning to Thanh Hoa Province were provided with instruction to remain in isolation at home. There are currently 21 people being monitored, supervised and treated in isolation at health facilities in the province, while 420 labourers and foreigners returning from the epidemic areas are under monitor during their isolation at home or residence.

Vietnamese citizens comfortable during health monitor period at a compulsory quarantine area in Thanh Hoa Province. (Photo: NDO/Mai Luan)

* On Wednesday, Hanoi City People's Committee said that the capital city is providing medical isolation at concentrated venues for 2,234 people returning from the RoK, while 2,037 others are being isolated at home and 79 others in hospitals. The city will test all suspected Covid-19 infections who are in isolation. If they are negative, they will be released but will continued to be isolated at home under the guidance of the MoH. So far, the city has taken 328 sample tests and all have shown negative results. In the immediate future, the city will continue to drastically implement measures to prevent and control the epidemic, while carrying out the 5th disinfection campaign at local schools.

* From March 1 to 3, Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh Province welcomed a total of 10 flights run by Vietnamese airlines transporting 1,932 returning passengers from the RoK. Of which 1,788 passengers are Vietnamese citizens, the rest are international visitors.

After carrying out the medical procedures and disinfecting their luggage, all Vietnamese citizens were moved to the isolation areas in Thai Binh, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam and Hoa Binh Provinces. For 144 foreign visitors, they received isolation at a local hotel in Ha Long City.

Vietnamese citizens returning from the Republic of Korea and foreigners are placed under strict medical supervision after they arrive at Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh Province. (Photo: NDO/Quang Tho)

According to Quang Ninh Provincial Department of Health, up to 11 am on March 4, the total number of surveillance cases (screened for Covid-19 testing) in Quang Ninh is 203 and all of them had negative test results. Currently, there are 717 cases in isolation in the province, while 1,173 others have been discharged from hospitals or finishing their quarantine period.

* The Vietnamese Embassies in the US, Indonesia and Malaysia have recommended that Vietnamese citizens in such countries actively protect themselves and their families from Covid-19.

Vietnamese citizens were advised to avoid attending crowded activities. If participation is compulsory, they were suggested to properly use face masks and hand sanitisers, and to avoid having close contact with those showing symptoms of respiratory diseases.

The embassies also asked Vietnamese citizens to regularly check and follow instructions of the host authorities, as well as not to popularise unverified information about Covid-19 on social media.

If they show Covid-19 infection symptoms, they should go to a designated medical establishment for timely check-up and treatment.

Vietnamese citizens could call the Vietnam’s citizen protection hotline at +84 981 84 84 84 or the embassies’ citizen protection hotlines for help.

* The final round of the WhiteHat Grand Prix 06 will be rescheduled for May due to Covid-19, the organisers said on March 4.

Contestants will be notified of the new schedule three weeks prior to the event, which will be held online instead of taking place in Hanoi as initially planned.

Of the ten teams that have made it through to the finals, three are from the US, two each from the RoK and host Vietnam, and one each from Russia, India and Germany.

The first WhiteHat Grand Prix was held in 2014. It became an annual international competition the following year, drawing the participation of leading cyber-security teams from all over the world. The tournament attracted 453 teams from 62 nations and territories last year.

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