|Many people have dropped masks in public places. Photo taken at the Thủ Lệ Zoo in Hà Nội over the National Day holiday (September 2) this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health of Việt Nam has officially “downgraded” the protective measures against COVID-19 to just masking and sanitation as the situation in Việt Nam is under control.
The 5K message – Khẩu trang (facemask), Khử khuẩn (disinfection), Khoảng cách (distancing), Không tụ tập (No large gathering), Khai báo y tế (Health declaration) – that the Government had promoted since August 2020 as a way to help citizens get used to living safely with COVID-19 has now been just 2K – Khẩu trang (facemask) and Khử khuẩn (disinfection).
Public masking is now recommended but no longer mandatory, and so are frequent sanitation of hands with soaps or sanitisers and keeping a clean, hygienic working/living space, environment.
Việt Nam has lifted nearly all COVID-19 restrictions – including reinstating pre-pandemic foreign entry policies – since earlier this year as the outbreak eases on the back of strong herd immunity conferred by either natural infections from the severe fourth wave between July and October in 2021 in the southern region and then in the northern region in early 2022, or by a high level of vaccination.
The country, with nearly 100 million people, has recorded over 11.4 million cases of COVID-19 – mostly in the two aforementioned outbreaks – with death toll at 0.4 per cent of the caseload.
257.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered – including 219.4 million in adults (50.2 million first booster shots, 14.7 million second shots), 22.6 million in the children group aged 12-17 years, and 15.8 million in the children group aged 5-11 years.
The Ministry of Health however still says that COVID-19 has not been eradicated in Việt Nam and that is still a Class-A infectious disease, and calls on people to get COVID-19 vaccines, combining factors of "medicine + treatment + technology + awareness" in pandemic prevention message. — VNS