Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the national steering committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, speaks at a meeting on Tuesday. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
HÀ NỘI — The new COVID-19 outbreaks in Đà Nẵng City and Quảng Nam have been brought under control, but the number of infection cases will continue to rise, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The number of deaths related to the disease will also increase in the coming days. These are patients in critical conditions, requiring dialysis and emergency resuscitation, according to the committee.
Speaking at a meeting of the committee on Tuesday, Trần Đắc Phu, former director of the Preventive Medicine Department, said based on the sample testing of infected cases and through epidemiological investigations, the number of cases in the community was not high.
Six cases have so far been detected and there have been no cases of infection from these patients. All cases were linked to the three hospitals in Đà Nẵng, he said.
Sample testing in Hà Nội, HCM City and some major medical facilities showed that no COVID-19 infection cases have gone undetected in the community, except for cases related to Đà Nẵng. Thus, there was no evidence to suggest the pandemic was spreading in the community.
A group of scientists and experts who have analysed data and tracked the epidemiology of COVID-19 have said the new outbreak of COVID-19 began in early July. The outbreak was concentrated on three hospitals which have been put under lockdown.
Nguyễn Thanh Long, Acting Minister of Health, said based on consultation with experts and through epidemiological investigation, the ministry said the outbreak started from early July or from July 8-12. Data collected from COVID-19 cases further confirmed this.
In particular, he said, it could be confirmed that this was a new source of virus as it had mutated, resulting in high cross-infection.
Long said the ministry would direct and support Quảng Nam Province like it did Đà Nẵng. The ministry would send more health workers to the region and increase the tracking of infection cases in the community to promptly quarantine, localise and control the disease.
Regarding COVID-19 prevention and control work across the country, the steering committee and experts emphasised that with nearly 100 million people and a 4,000km-long border, there always existed the risk of an outbreak in the community. Therefore, a new normal state must be established for each citizen, family, organisation and the whole society.
According to the committee, the country still has to engage in production, do business, entertain and do necessary things in life, but it is a must to adapt to new conditions and new ways to ensure safety and pandemic prevention and combat.
It was necessary to detect infection cases quickly and promptly isolate them. Health facilities must be available at all the times because primary indications are detected at these facilities.
Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the national steering committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control requested that all-out efforts must be paid to stamp out the outbreak.
“This war against the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on as long as there are no vaccines or special medicine for treatment. We have won every battle, every campaign, but not the whole war,” he was quoted by chinhphu.vn as saying.
He said the pandemic had come back to many countries around the world. "There has been a new wave and is still a serious threat."
The outbreak in Đà Nẵng served as a serious warning to all hospitals, localities and agencies, he said.
Actions must be taken to ensure people’s health, particularly the elderly and people with underlying illnesses. Strict regulations on pandemic prevention should be imposed at hospitals to prevent virus transmission to people who visit for treatment, as well as health workers, he said.
The Deputy PM asked communication agencies to spread instructions on pandemic prevention by all means. Localities were requested to strengthen inspections on compliance with the Government’s direction.
If everything was done well, he was confident the country would win the fight against the pandemic. Normal production would be resumed, and new businesses would be developed, he said.
“There may be a second wave of the pandemic elsewhere, but Việt Nam is determined to not let it happen. Social distancing will not be imposed on a national scale again. We have to localise the outbreak on as small a scale as possible, while other regions unaffected by the virus will continue as normal,” the deputy PM said. — VNS