PM says reopening of flights, 'vaccine passports' should be studied

March 18, 2021 - 09:00
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Wednesday asked ministries to study reopening international flight routes as well as prepare for the use of 'vaccine passports' and controlled international trade.
Planes are at the Nội Bài International Airport. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asks concerned ministries to study step by step reopening international routes. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Wednesday asked ministries to study reopening international flight routes as well as prepare for the use of 'vaccine passports' and controlled international trade.

Speaking at an online Government meeting with national and local steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control, PM Phúc said Việt Nam had correctly identified the danger level of the pandemic and activated the national disease prevention system in time, offering solutions suitable to the capacity of the country.

The PM said that early on, Việt Nam implemented policies some countries have still not used, like centralised quarantine, rapid contact tracing and quick lockdowns, while the entire political system joined COVID-19 prevention efforts with strong and comprehensive measures. 

Five precious lessons

PM Phúc said the war against the virus was not over and there was still a lot to do. He said the country would not let its guard down with many new variants of the coronavirus spreading in many places, including ASEAN countries.

Raising a number of lessons for not only in anti-pandemic efforts but also other tasks, the PM said the correct, decisive and timely direction and leadership of the Party and State was key, as were the efforts of the political system, including the dedication of health workers and armed forces.

Secondly, protecting the people's health and lives being of primary importance has paved the way for all efforts and seeking social resources in the fight.

The third is to build and nurture a spirit of self-reliance, self-control, efforts to overcome difficulties, unite in development at all levels and strongly promote the role of science, technology and innovation.

Fourth, Việt Nam is a democratic country, with openness and transparency in pandemic prevention and control, with the media's role to provide information and create social consensus.

Fifth is the role of international co-operation, proactive initiatives and responsible participation in the international community's efforts to address global challenges, which will enhance the prestige and position of Việt Nam.

Vaccine passports

The PM asked ministries to continue directing socio-economic activities and told localities to develop anti-pandemic plans, ready to respond to all possible situations.

For the Ministry of Health, he called for good implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to ensure safety, while continuing to consider vaccine imports and researching Vietnamese vaccines.

The ministry was also told to work with other ministries and agencies to consider appropriate anti-pandemic measures when applying "vaccine passports" and step by step reopening international borders.

AstraZeneca vaccine

Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long stated that by Tuesday, Việt Nam had vaccinated a total of 20,695 medical workers, members of the community COVID-19 groups and the steering committees for pandemic prevention with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Of which, 4,078 people had common reactions after injection while only six people had severe reactions, five with degree two anaphylaxis and one with degree three anaphylaxis.

All have been treated and are in stable health.

“This third-degree case is due to the fact that the emergency work did not follow the protocol of the Ministry of Health. We have sent experts to check this injection facility to perform well in the future,” he said.

The COVID-19 vaccination drive will continue, said Long. — VNS