|Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, Deputy Minister of National Defence speaks at the conference. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese forces engaged in UN peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan reported on the COVID-19 situation in their areas via a video conference in Hà Nội on Monday.
South Sudan is one of five African countries with the most rapid rate of COVID-19 infections and is among those most at risk of an outbreak, experts have said.
As of June 10, the country had 1,604 cases, including 19 deaths and six recoveries.
Due to limitations in medical capacity, particularly testing capacity to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in South Sudan may actually be much higher.
It is expected the number of SARS-CoV-2 virus cases will increase rapidly every day, out of the government’s control.
As of June 10, Việt Nam’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 in South Sudan’s Bentiu city had treated 927 patients.
All patients who came to the hospital for treatment were reportedly impressed and satisfied with the attitude, professional qualifications and foreign language skills of the hospital's medical staff.
Meanwhile, the Central African Republic has announced 1,888 infections with six fatalities and 40 recoveries.
Six Vietnamese officers are at the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Hoàng Kim Phụng, director of Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said since the outbreak of COVID-19, leaders from the Ministry of Defence have regularly instructed authorities to closely follow the disease situation in the area, directing the observance of UN regulations as well as regulations on prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic in carrying out its task of peacekeeping, especially for the Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 in collecting, examining and treating patients.
The ministry also prepared plans and scenarios on the spread of COVID-19 to Việt Nam's peacekeepers so they can cope with any situation. It instructed relevant agencies to strengthen capacity for peacekeepers by supplementing medical equipment and other necessities.
Speaking at the conference, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, deputy minister of National Defence, said he highly appreciated the efforts of Vietnamese peacekeeping forces to overcome the difficulties.
He asked them to protect themselves amid the pandemic while keeping active, optimistic and in solidarity.
Vịnh said not only peacekeeping force but the border and navy soldiers have also made great efforts in safeguarding national sovereignty and taking part in COVID-19 prevention and control work.
“There have been so far no COVID-19 infection cases in the army. None has been reported to deny his duty or fear of disease. This is the atmosphere of the entire army,” he said. — VNS