Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc chairs a meeting between the Government and localities on COVID-19. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Wednesday urged improving testing capacity to conduct COVID-19 tests on individuals who are in close contact with patients and those at hotspots.
According to Acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long, Đà Nẵng City, which has recorded 27 infection cases over the past few days, is able to conduct tests on 1,000 to 2,000 samples per day. With the assistance of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the city targets 5,000 to 7,000 tests a day.
At a Government meeting on COVID-19 on Wednesday, Long said the ministry has mobilised all resources to contain the pandemic in the city.
“The containment of the virus in Đà Nẵng is key to the control of infection in the community. The city is in a race against time to take measures,” he said.
The Ministry of Health has sent a team from Hà Nội’s Bạch Mai Hospital to help Đà Nẵng Hospital and establish a testing lab at the Đà Nẵng Lung Hospital.
The HCM City’s Pasteur Institute has assisted the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Đà Nẵng to set up a testing lab at Hospital 199 of the Ministry of Public Security.
The Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre is expected to establish a mobile lab in Đà Nẵng on July 30.
The Hà Nội Medical University has offered assistance to the Quảng Nam Central General Hospital to improve testing capacity.
The Ministry of Health has proposed transferring COVID-19 patients in Đà Nẵng to Huế Central Hospital.
PM Phúc agreed on the proposal to transfer COVID-19 patients in Đà Nẵng who suffer from various diseases to central-level, military medical facilities and centres in Huế and Quảng Nam for treatment.
The Cabinet leader asked the public to uphold their vigilance as the pandemic is evolving compared to previous periods. The infection source has not yet been found.
According to the Ministry of Health, the infection cases in Đà Nẵng not only link to three hospitals but may connect with neighbouring areas. Three cases in Hải Châu and Sơn Trà districts have not had their infection sources found in spite of careful inspections.
Based on practical situations, local authorities are authorised to issue social distancing orders following Prime Minister’s directives No 16 and 19, said PM Phúc.
He asked local authorities to prepare responsive plans like in the previous period and resume dissemination campaigns on COVID-19 prevention, including measures such as wearing face masks in crowded places and on public transport, washing hands and sanitising their houses and offices.
PM Phúc asked localities including Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, HCM City, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Hà Nội and other big cities, especially coastal tourism cities, to take measures to prevent community transmission.
He ordered bans on big festivals and crowds gathering at places which recorded infection cases and asked the Ministry of Education and Training to ensure safety while organising the national high school exam next month.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Việt Nam Kidong Park has said the occurrence of new COVID-19 cases in Việt Nam’s central city of Đà Nẵng is not alarming, as the virulence of this strain is no different from that in other countries.
Park said the coronavirus recently detected in Đà Nẵng is quite similar to the SARS-CoV-2 that caused the acute respiratory disease (COVID-19) in other nations in July.
Despite the mutations that appear in this virus, Park said there is no reason for greater concern. According to available data, the potential for transmission and the virulence of this virus have not changed. — VNS