Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks at an urgent meeting on January 27 to discuss measures preventing coronavirus. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — In the face of complex developments of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (nCoV), Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc chaired an urgent meeting with officials of relevant ministries and sectors in Hà Nội on January 27 to discuss countermeasures.
The Government leader pointed out that Việt Nam faces high risks of being affected by this dangerous and rapidly spreading disease, against which there hasn’t been a vaccine, since it is a popular destination of Chinese tourists and shares a long borderline with China.
He requested that relevant agencies, sectors and localities must not be subjective or underestimate the disease so as to ensure the ultimate goal of protecting people’s health and lives, curb the virus from spreading on a large scale, and minimise deaths from this disease. He told them to prevent fears in the public as well as discrimination against patients or people of foreign nationalities.
“Fighting the nCoV-caused disease is like fighting enemies,” PM Phúc said, urging the political system across the 63 provincial-level localities to promptly take actions.
He also ordered effective prevention of disease transmission via tourism activities and air, waterway and road transportation, adding that international points of entry must be equipped with thermal scanners. Besides, the Ministry of Health needs to publicise the medical establishments providing treatment of this disease to minimise the movement of patients to reduce infection risks.
Describing stronger communications to raise public awareness as a top priority, the PM noted a national steering committee chaired by Deputy PM Vũ Đức Đam will be set up to cope with the nCoV disease.
“The Government accepts economic losses to protect the lives and health of people,” he stressed.
The leader also asked the Foreign Ministry to coordinate with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to review the number of Chinese working in Việt Nam to take necessary measures to guarantee the public’s health.
According to the Ministry of Health, there have been almost 2,800 nCoV-infected cases around the world, including 80 deaths all of whom are in Wuhan city of China’s Hubei province. China alone has recorded 2,747 cases in 30 provinces and cities. Fifteen other countries and territories have reported 50 patients of the disease.
In Việt Nam, there have been 63 cases who showed fever symptoms and returned from nCoV-affected areas. They consist of 25 negative for the virus and 38 still kept in quarantine, including the two Chinese nationals initially tested positive for nCoV at the Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City.
Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Anh Tuấn said as directed by his ministry, Vietjet Air conducted four flights carrying Wuhan passengers from Việt Nam back to Wuhan international airport. None of them showed signs of nCoV infection.
The Department of Culture Sports and Tourism of the northern border province of Lào Cai has issued a document asking the tourism firms operating in the locality to suspend the entry and exit for tourists at the Lào Cai International Border Gate to China’s regions facing the risk of the acute pneumonia disease caused by the nCoV.
Besides, the department has asked them to seriously abide by provisions and advisories by the Ministry of Health and relevant authorities on the prevention of the spread of the virus.
Earlier, tourism authorities of China’s Yunnan province sent a notice to Vietnamese tourism companies, asking them to suspend entry and exit for tourists at the province’s Hekou border gate from January 26.
Sympathies extended to China over acute respiratory illness
The same day, Prime Minister Phúc sent sympathies to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang over the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (nCoV) that is raging in the country.
In his message, PM Phúc expressed sympathies to the government and people of China and condolences to relatives of those who died of the disease.
He spoke of the prompt direction of leaders of the party and government of China as well as efforts of local governments and people in fighting and controlling the disease situation.
He expressed his belief that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and with the country’s experience in successfully preventing the SARS outbreak in 2003, the Chinese government will lead their people to surmount the challenge and prevent the disease soon, contributing to protecting the health of people in China as well as in the region and the world.
The PM affirmed Việt Nam, in its capacity, is willing to cooperate with China in the fight against the disease. — VNS