Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (standing) gives instructions at the online meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and experts on Thursday discussed tasks and solutions to prevent and control COVID-19, especially during the Lunar New Year (Tết) holidays, as well as preparations to reopen schools and the tourism sector.
In an online working session with leaders of the 63 provinces and cities, PM Chính, who is head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, stressed the need to make plans for COVID-19 control, thus ensuring a safe and healthy Tết festival for all people.
He ordered the speeding up of the vaccination campaign. The campaign targets the completion of COVID-19 vaccinations among all children from 12-17 years old by the end of January, and all adults are also expected to receive the full three shots by the end of the first quarter. Further research and preparations will be made to vaccinate children from 5-11 years old.
The national steering committee confirmed that so far, the pandemic has been put under good control across the nation, with all localities switching to safely and flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling COVID-19. However, the risk of Omicron spreading is still high.
The committee warned of a higher case number during the Tết holidays and festive season this year, asking all localities to implement suitable solutions to respond to the developments of the pandemic.
Leaders of localities said that during the holiday, with measures to ensure traffic safety, social welfare, provinces and cities are ready to cope with COVID-19. They proposed the Ministry of Health (MoH) and organisations to consider COVID-19 vaccinations for children between five and 11 years old, and issue guidance for reopening schools and welcoming more tourists.
Concluding the conference, PM Chính said that the pandemic was basically controlled nationwide. The number of patients was stable, with severe cases and deaths falling sharply; economic and social activities have gradually recovered, creating a foundation to promote the "multi-goals" this year.
The country has implemented an effective vaccine strategy so it was confident in preventing the pandemic.
PM Chính said that the pandemic was still complicated, especially with the Omicron strain and other new strains that may appear. Therefore, ministries and people should not be negligent and always be proactive, ready for any situation, with a scientific, reasonable and effective response plan.
He assigned the MoH to submit to the Government for approval legal documents about the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Programme in 2022-23, and complete regulations for the pandemic.
He proposed the Ministry of Education and Training rehearse plans for pandemic prevention to prepare for school reopening, minimising concerns of parents and students.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is responsible for developing a programme to open tourism in a safe, scientific, appropriate and effective way. Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Public Security, National Defence and Transport will co-ordinate to organise safe and convenient entrance and exit activities.
With the motto of 'leaving no one behind', PM Chính requested the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to ensure welfare work, so that everyone can enjoy Tết.
Concerned ministries should work with localities to help citizens travel home to celebrate Tết and return to work in a safe, convenient and orderly way.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade must ensure the supply of goods, prevent increases of prices, especially essential goods during the holiday.
PM Chính stressed that steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control in localities must be on duty all day during Tết to be ready for every situation. — VNS