HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said that while Việt Nam has so far managed to control the COVID-19 outbreak, the country cannot afford to become complacent given worrying developments of the epidemic around the globe.
He made the remarks on Wednesday morning during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, adding that a number of localities had started to show signs of negligence.
He reiterated that while “we have won the first battle” – referring to the fact that all 16 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the country have recovered and been discharged from hospital – “being complacent would be suicidal”.
He urged all levels of the administration to strictly observe directives from the Prime Minister and ministries to deal with the outbreak.
The health ministry said the provinces of Thanh Hoá and Khánh Hoà have meet the requirements to declare themselves free of the disease, but warned there was still a huge possibility of the epidemic re-emerging.
However, the ministry said that medical surveillance had been activated at all levels and was ready to identify and quarantine suspected cases, and to contain the disease from spreading beyond the local outbreak area.
Keeping in mind the huge jump in new cases in a short time frame in the Republic of Korea (RoK), a country with which Việt Nam has extensive economic and social ties, the national steering committee has drawn up a number of solutions to make sure the outbreak does not reach Việt Nam.
It has asked the foreign ministry, education and training ministry, and labour ministry to co-operate and make a list of all Vietnamese students, workers and citizens working, studying and living in the RoK and provide updates of the list to airlines and entry and exit security departments.
All Vietnamese citizens returning from the RoK will be subject to 14-day quarantine.
Regarding people transiting in or visiting from the RoK in the last 14 days, authorities will need to keep a close eye on their health.
Airlines must inform passengers arriving through the RoK of their responsibilities and duties before they board their flights.
The press has been asked to provide updates regarding the situation in Việt Nam in multiple languages and refrain from causing confusion or stoking discrimination against foreigners, especially those from virus-hit regions.
According to the education ministry, there are about 11,299 Vietnamese students in China – including about 302 in Wuhan, the epicentre of the acute pneumonia outbreak. There are about 14,000 Vietnamese students still in the RoK, including 500 in the devastated city of Daegu, which is fast becoming the world’s major cluster of coronavirus patients after Wuhan. Japan also has 14,000 Vietnamese students.
So far, none had been infected or were suspected of contracting the virus, the ministry said. — VNS