Localities urged to strengthen control over COVID-19 and winter-spring communicable diseases

November 26, 2021 - 09:00

The Ministry of Health has urged localities to strengthen control over not just COVID-19, but also infectious diseases that occur during the winter, especially viral respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses. 


A doctor examines a dengue fever patient at Centre for Tropical Diseases in Bạch Mai Hospital. Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has urged localities to strengthen control over not just COVID-19, but also infectious diseases that occur during the winter, especially viral respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses. 

According to the ministry, the country will face a high risk of the outbreak of such diseases if preventive measures are not drastically implemented, especially as travel is resuming across the country.

Localities have been told to strictly implement the Government's Resolution 128/NQ-CP on "safely adapting, flexibly and effectively controlling the COVID-19 pandemic" and the Ministry's Decision No. 4800/QD-BYT dated October 12, 2021, on medical guidelines during the implementation of Resolution 128. 

The Health Ministry asked for more attention to be paid to disease prevention and control in remote areas or areas where people face difficulties accessing healthcare services, areas that reported disease outbreaks in the past or areas with low vaccination coverage.

Localities are also asked to continue key measures including close surveillance for early detection, rapid testing, timely isolation, and effective treatment.

The Ministry of Health requested that localities actively develop scenarios to respond to specific, detailed and feasible diseases’ situations.

Localities must focus on speeding up vaccinations and improve the capacity of the health system, especially at grassroots levels.

Mobile medical stations needed to be available, especially in the COVID-19-hit areas, so that people can access medical services as soon as possible. 

They must also prepare sufficient medicine and medical equipment.

The resumption of production and business activities as well as the economic reopening must be done with a plan in mind, and in safe and qualified places.

Localities updated their reports on COVID-19 cases on the National COVID-19 Disease Code System at website https://macabenh.vncdc.gov with detailed information about the patients’ vaccination status – receiving one dose, two doses or not vaccinated.

Regarding dengue fever disease, the Health Ministry asked localities to continue carrying out campaigns to kill mosquitoes and larvae in high-risk areas, especially at construction sites and rental housing areas.

Local authorities must closely monitor, quickly handle outbreaks in time and give emergency treatment to sick people following the ministry’s guidelines.

For diseases like measles, rubella, and whooping cough,  localities have been urged to review their vaccination procedure and ensure vaccine coverage reaches at least 95 per cent in every commune/ward.

People's Committees of provinces and cities should direct the Department of Health to drastically implement disease control, strengthen surveillance activities, early detection, immediate response, thoroughly handle any outbreaks.

Local health departments must properly organise the patient classification, reception, emergency and treatment of patients, avoid cross-infection in medical examination and treatment establishments, minimise human mortality.

The department would have to promptly propose to the People's Committee of the provinces/cities to direct effective and flexible disease prevention and control measures, suitable to the epidemiological developments of each locality. 

Inspection teams must regularly monitor, evaluate and recommend localities and units to implement suitable disease prevention and control activities in specific areas.

According to the Ministry of Health's report, in the first ten months of 2021, the whole country recorded 53,489 cases of dengue fever, of which 20 people died. Compared to the same period in 2020, the number of dengue fever cases decreased but the number of deaths increased by seven.

The ministry also warned that now is the time dengue fever could strike with the weekly number of cases increasing. From September 19 to October 18, the whole country recorded 6,063 cases of dengue fever, including four deaths.

During the same period, the country recorded 37,915 cases of foot and mouth disease with 11 deaths,  471 cases of viral meningitis with seven deaths, 14 cases of meningococcal meningitis with two deaths and 418 cases of typhus suspected of measles, of which 39 were positive for measles. — VNS