|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính chaired a meeting on COVID-19 with eight southern localities, including HCM City, on Sunday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Sunday held a virtual meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control with eight southern localities which are witnessing a concerning surge in cases in recent days.
PM Chính said that while the situation remains largely under control, despite several instructions and measures from the Government and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the recent trend showed no positive signs but seems to have more "complicated developments," urging localities to discuss frankly and responsibly on what more could be done to put an end to the current outbreaks.
The Government leader said he did not want the outbreaks to be prolonged, for the sake of people's safety and health, and the country's socio-economic development.
At the meeting, leaders of southern cities and provinces – HCM City, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Long An, Bình Phước, Tây Ninh, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, and Tiền Giang – appreciated the leadership of the Government, especially with regards to the initiative allowing workers in industrial zones to live and work inside their companies, reducing the risks of virus spread to the community while preventing disruptions to business and production activities.
Some have admitted to stumbles in dealing with fast moving outbreaks, especially in terms of limited testing capacity, sometimes inadequate coordination between anti-pandemic units, along with the lack of public compliance to prevention and control measures.
The southern localities request the Government to provide more diagnostic machines and quick tests to hard-hit localities, simplify procedures in procuring medical supplies in service of the COVID-19 fight, allocate additional vaccines to outbreak areas, and better coordinate the travel and flow of goods between outbreak-hit localities.
PM Chính lauded the efforts so far, but cautioned that "without greater measures and efforts" the situation would easily get out of control, especially in HCM City and neighbouring localities.
He stressed that together with Hà Nội, HCM City is the economic centre of the country and of the southern region, and COVID-19 response is much more demanding.
HCM City on Sunday has officially surpassed the former hot spot Bắc Giang in the northern region to become the worst-hit locality in the country, with nearly 6,000 cases recorded since late May and triple-digit daily increase in the past week.
The Government and ministries have been reinforcing the frontline units in HCM City and southern localities, requesting the health, military, public security units from COVID-free cities and provinces to send help to others when needed.
PM Chính said that depending on the situation, local governments can apply localised lockdowns and social distancing orders, make full use of the grassroots political units in the fight against the outbreaks, implement the Government’s resolution on supporting labourers and employers hit by COVID-19 pandemic, and work with the health ministry to implement the vaccine strategy in a timely and safe fashion.
The pilot programme on quarantine at home and letting suspected cases and their contacts to conduct self-testing must be done in an effective and safe manner.
The public is urged to continue to closely observe the 5K+vaccine message – (khẩu trang) facemask, (khử khuẩn) disinfection, (khoảng cách) distance, (không tụ tập) no large gathering, and (khai báo y tế) health declaration.
He ordered HCM City and neighbouring localities to work with each other to ensure uninterrupted flow of goods but in a way that prevents the spread of the virus. — VNS