Experts from the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control check a quarantine centre in the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai. — VNA/VNS Photo Lục Hương Thu
HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 pandemic has been well controlled in Việt Nam, but risks of an outbreak are still present, especially with the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday approaching, leading experts to warn that people need to strictly abide by preventive regulations.
Associate professor Trần Đắc Phu, senior advisor to the Việt Nam Emergency Operations Centre, told Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper that the current risk of infection was mainly due to a lack of strict control of entry and lax quarantining.
Each ministry, branch and locality must continue to seriously implement pandemic prevention and control measures, he said, adding that along with the strict control and prevention of illegal entry, local authorities and police need to closely monitor border areas, especially land borders.
Along calling on provincial and municipal health departments to strictly implement COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures, Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long urged the entire health sector to consider pandemic prevention an immediate and long-term central task.
"To celebrate Tết in a healthy and safe manner, people should implement the pandemic prevention and control measures set by the health sector. Border provinces need to implement strong measures to prevent illegal entry, raise vigilance and fight signs of neglect," he said.
There are only about 20 days until Tết, so more people are out and about shopping. To ensure safety, Trần Văn Chung, deputy director of the Hà Nội Department of Health, said that inspectors would focus on checking food businesses’ COVID-19 prevention and control in supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls and markets. Those that fail to comply with pandemic preventive measures would be penalised.
Chung told food producers and traders to increase hygiene and disinfection, measure body temperatures, put antiseptic hand sanitiser in a convenient location, guide customers to wear masks, wash hands with antiseptic and refuse to serve customers who do not wear masks.
People working in customer contact positions should wear masks properly, limit handshakes and keep a distance of about one metre when in contact with customers. People should not enter service areas if they show signs of fever or cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue or are in home quarantine following the request of health authorities.
Nguyễn Khắc Hiền, director of the Hà Nội Department of Health, said the number of people travelling during Tết was very large, so at bus stations managers must strengthen measures to fight the pandemic.
Officers, employees and passengers entering and leaving stations must conduct sterilisation and wear masks to ensure safety. Bus stations must also arrange security forces to closely monitor regulation implementation.
At medical examination and treatment establishments, it is necessary to review the entire medical examination and treatment process and strictly comply with the health ministry's pandemic prevention regulations.
“The simple but most effective ‘weapon’ to fight the pandemic is the people’s awareness, for their family, for the community and the society," said Hiền. VNS