Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc chairs a teleconference with provinces and cities nationwide on COVID-19 prevention and control on Sunday. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc emphasised the spirit of resolutely zoning off pandemic-hit areas and implementing social distancing as well as taking measures to effectively control the COVID-19 pandemic.
He made the request at a teleconference with all localities nationwide on Sunday to discuss measures to prevent further spread of the pandemic as new cases increase.
The Government leader called for resolve to protect people’s health while preventing negative economic growth, requiring effective management and direction to get people’s support.
He noted it is essential to continue mobilising people to take preventive measures such as cleaning hands with soap or hand sanitiser, tracing people at high risk of infection and expanding COVID-19 testing.
According to the Ministry of Health’s report, as of 6pm on August 1, after the pandemic resurged in Đà Nẵng from July 24, the number of cases kept increasing and the infection spread very quickly in the community.
Within 10 days from July 24, the country recorded more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths. On July 31, a single-day record for new cases was hit at 82, including 56 community transmitted patients.
The disease is suspected of having spread in Đà Nẵng since early July and there are likely many different sources of transmission with many possible undiscovered cases in the community, making it hard for the city to track the sources of transmission.
Most of the community transmitted cases recorded recently have been linked to hospitals in Đà Nẵng.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, on Sunday stressed that those who fail to make health declarations and follow quarantine regulations must be handled strictly.
Speaking at a meeting of the committee on Sunday, he ordered tightening COVID-19 prevention and control measures in medical, army and police sectors, and reviewing medical check-ups and treatment in hospitals, with attention paid to departments with patients in critical conditions.
Speaking at the meeting, Acting Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said it is expected to take longer to cope with this outbreak compared with previous ones, as it is taking place more rapidly and complicatedly.
Statistics from the health ministry also unveiled that from July 1-29, about 1.4 million people returned from Đà Nẵng or visited medical facilities nationwide. In the same period, 800,000 people went to the three hospitals involved in the outbreak in Đà Nẵng, including 46,000 who went for health check-ups and treatment.
More cases are likely to be detected in Đà Nẵng and other localities across the country in the coming days, Long warned.
Participants at the meeting agreed to propose the classification of localities based on three levels of risks to impose suitable measures, with Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam in the high-risk group.
Tracing returnees from Đà Nẵng
The Ministry of Health has sent a dispatch to authorities of Hà Nội, HCM City and the central province of Quảng Nam, asking them to accelerate tracing of locals who returned from Đà Nẵng from July 1 to 28 and other locations with a high risk of infection.
The dispatch noted the three localities have recorded new community infected cases which involved people visiting areas with a high risk of infections in the central city from July 1.
Therefore, the People’s Committees of Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh City and Quang Nam have been urged to continue to drastically and promptly carry out prevention and control measures in line with directions given by the Prime Minister and the steering committee.
The localities should boost testing capacity by mobilising the engagement of all capable health establishments, including private ones, and getting relevant facilities and equipment ready for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. — VNS