Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam inspects coronavirus prevention and control work in Quảng Ninh province. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered all travellers who come from or transit through coronavirus (nCoV)-hit areas of China to be quarantined in an effort to stamp out the viral outbreak.
All people who are suspected of being infected should be isolated at health facilities.
Those who come from or transit through the Chinese city of Wuhan will be kept in isolation at designated medical establishments in provinces and cities.
Agencies should closely supervise those who were isolated at home or medical establishments, while houses, accommodation and surrounding areas should be disinfected.
Localities are required to publicise new infection cases as soon as they are recorded, the PM said.
Schools should be closed and all cultural, sports and tourism activities suspended to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
All resources should be mobilised for epidemic prevention and combat, he said.
Deputy PM Vũ Đức Đam stressed that relevant agencies and localities must be proactive in disease prevention and control.
Speaking at a meeting held on Monday, he said that although much has been done, localities must not be subjective in the work.
Đam said the national steering committee for the nCoV-caused disease prevention and control would step up inspections at localities in the future.
He asked the Ministry of Health (MoH) to concentrate on zoning and stamping out the outbreak on the spot, especially in areas with people traveling from Hubei in China.
“We should be flexible and resolute when dealing with cases who were isolated at home and health facilities for the benefit of the community,” Đam said.
Nguyễn Trường Sơn, deputy minister of health, said globally there were about 17,000 confirmed nCoV cases, including 362 deaths.
The fatality rate of this disease is some 2 per cent, compared to the 9.6 per cent of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the past.
He predicted that the number of nCoV cases was likely to soar in the future.
However, Sơn said with the health sector’s capacity, support from other sectors and drastic direction by the Government, the MoH will fulfil its task of ensuring people’s health.
He also said: “The health sector of Việt Nam is capable of diagnosing and treating patients infected with nCoV.”
Hà Nội prepares to quarantine 950 people
Hà Nội Capital High Command has set up plans to quarantine some 950 Vietnamese people returning from China for 14 days, said Colonel Nguyễn Việt Thắng, head of the High Command’s Medical Service on Monday.
Under the assignment from the Defence Ministry, the command has set up two field hospitals on Sơn Tây and Xuân Mai, two outlying districts of Hà Nội, to monitor the health of Vietnamese people, who are now studying and working in China to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Command will dispatch personnel to receive Vietnamese people who are studying and working in China at Nội Bài and Vân Đồn Airport in Quảng Ninh Province.
“During the quarantine, individuals who have symptoms of infection like fever would be transferred to specialised hospitals for treatment,” he said.
Hoàng Đức Hạnh, deputy director of Hà Nội’s Department of Health, said the city has yet to record any individual infected with nCoV.
Of 29 suspected cases, 27 people have tested negative for the virus while two are in isolation at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases pending test results.
The Quảng Bình Market Watch officers check a pharmacy in Đồng Hới City. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Tý
Pharmacies punished for price gouging in wake of coronavirus
Market watch departments of different provinces and cities across the country are clamping down on price gouging by pharmacies and handing out fines to those that increase prices of face masks and hand sanitiser.
In the central province of Quảng Ngãi, Võ Minh Tâm, acting director of the provincial Market Watch, said they had checked all medical equipment stores in the province following instructions from the provincial People’s Committee.
Up to 43 pharmacies committed to sell face masks and hand sanitiser at regulated prices.
“The department announced a hotline so that residents can report any problems,” said Tâm.
In the southern province of Đồng Nai, inspectors on Monday conducted surprise inspections on all pharmacies in the province.
Five out of 15 checked pharmacies were found to be selling face masks at three or four times the regulated price, which is about VNĐ60,000-115,000 (US$2.6-5) per box with 50 face masks.
All owners of the drug stores would be punished, said Nguyễn Mạnh Dũng, director of the Đồng Nai Department of Health.
In Quảng Bình Province, Vũ Quang Thắng, director of the provincial Market Watch, said the department checked more than 60 pharmacies and fined nine of them for intentionally increasing prices of masks by two to four times.
Thắng confirmed that the department would continue checking stores and strictly punish any continuing to price gouge. — VNS