Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Việt Nam Kidong Park praised Việt Nam’s achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control in an interview given to Việt Nam News.
It has been a year since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Việt Nam, how has WHO assessed the prevention and control of the pandemic in Việt Nam?
Việt Nam is a country with large, ageing population and lower-middle-income economy. It is close to China with land crossing borders with multiple countries.
Despite these, Việt Nam has been managing the COVID-19 outbreaks effectively, keeping the number of cases, including deaths, relatively lower than those of other countries. The cumulative number of confirmed cases per 1 million population remains about 16 so far; and the cumulative number of deaths per 1 million population is about 0.4 so far.
These are the lowest figures among the 15 countries with more than 90 million population.
In the situation that the total number of recorded cases in the world is about to reach 100 millions cases, especially the emergence of new virus strains, what is WHO's recommendations for Việt Nam to prevent the spread of viruses and variables?
Though Việt Nam has been enjoying the a period in “peace” with no reported cases of community transmission, we should note that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating its resurgence in many countries and imported cases are being reported almost every day. New community transmission cases in Việt Nam can happen anytime at any place.
In this context, Việt Nam need to set dual objectives of disease control and economic development, the so called “a safe co-existence with COVID-19”.
While doing economic activities, the country should remain vigilant;
- everybody should practice basic infection prevention measures at their daily life such as hand washing, mask wearing, physical distancing and avoiding places with high risk of transmission – crowds, closed spaces and close-contact settings; and
- The health sector should be able to detect any new suspected outbreak as early as possible and apply measures to suppress new outbreak if it happens.
How does WHO evaluate the trial of COVID-19 vaccine in Việt Nam?
As of 19 January, 237 candidate vaccines are under development globally. Of these, 64 candidate vaccines are either under clinical trial, and some of them have been in phase 3 or being authorized for emergency use in some countries. Some vaccines are under review of WHO emergency use listing.
WHO recognises Việt Nam’s active participation in this global effort with a candidate vaccine being developed in Việt Nam, and acknowledges one of them have already started clinical trial phase 1 and others are also shown well progress to start the clinical trial soon. This is really impressive.
Congratulations! It is a pride of biotechnology in the country. — VNS