A street vendor sells fruits at the Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục Square in Hà Nội. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc delivers a speech at a meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control in Hà Nội on Monday. — Photo toquoc.vn
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said the country could start gradually loosening COVID-19 containment measures during a Government meeting in Hà Nội on Monday.
However, a decree would only be decided on Wednesday, he said while asking for the continued implementation of measures agreed at a previous meeting on April 15.
He warned that risks remained high, so the political system and localities as well as citizens must continue following prevention measures, including social distancing, to stem the virus.
The PM also agreed with the Ministry of Health’s proposal to increase exports of face masks as the nation had sufficient reserves.
Regarding the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens, the PM assigned the ministries of health, foreign affairs, transport and defense to decide on the number of flights carrying nationals home based on the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the requests of Vietnamese citizens, and domestic quarantine capacity.
He tasked heads of provincial People’s Committees to ensure proper containment measures in accordance with the levels of virus infection risks.
At a meeting earlier the same day, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said Việt Nam has "basically" met the demand for confirmatory testing for COVID-19.
Across the country, 111 laboratories are now capable of diagnosing the novel coronavirus by using real-time RT-PCR technology.
Among them, 39 have been given the go-ahead to conduct confirmation tests, including 22 central-level healthcare establishments and hospitals, 14 centres for disease control (CDCs), and three other units outside the health sector. Their maximum capacity is 13,000 samples per day.
The committee said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has provided Việt Nam with about 10,000 test kits, and is considering the provision of 40,000 real-time RT-PCR kits made in Germany. Meanwhile, domestic firm Việt Á has distributed more than 70,000 test kits to labs.
The Ministry of Health has also allocated 40 rapid testing machines and over 30,000 accompanying kits, along with 140,000 biological products produced by Việt Á for real-time RT-PCR tests.
No new COVID-19 cases reported
The number of COVID-19 cases in Việt Nam remained at 268 at 6pm yesterday, with 54 active cases, 214 recovered and zero deaths, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has announced.
Among 54 active cases, 14 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 for the first time and another seven cases have tested negative for coronavirus twice.
Patient 188 – a 44-year-old woman working for Trường Sinh Company, which provides logistics services for Bạch Mai Hospital once again tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, the test was conducted at the National Tropical Diseases Hospital. She is now under quarantine at the hospital.
Earlier, a test by Hà Nội Diseases Control Centre on Sunday showed that she relapsed two days after her discharge from hospital.
By late afternoon yesterday, over 51,000 people in Việt Nam are being quarantined nationwide – at hospitals, quarantine camps, or in home isolation.
According to the Ministry of Health, by yesterday afternoon, 2,419,724 COVID-19 cases were confirmed all over the world with 1,620,477 active cases, 633,448 recovered and 165,799 deaths. — VNS