Health and security officials in Hà Nội started to ramp up patrols to remind people and business venues to maintain basic COVID-19 prevention and control measures. — VNA/VNS Photo Phan Tuấn Anh
HÀ NỘI — The local outbreaks in Việt Nam, while complicated, are still currently “within control,” Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said on Tuesday at the meeting of the national COVID-19 steering committee, urging people to remain vigilant but not to be overly panicked.
Health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said the risks are manifold – risks of community infections, infections from illegal entries, and the risks from many people’s carelessness in observing basic prevention measures like wearing masks in public.
He said the ministry has reported to the Government their action plan in scenarios when there are up to 30,000 cases, including preparations for ramping up capacity of testing, quarantine, and treatment.
Deputy PM Đam said the 30,000 figure is not something we expected to happen but we should still be prepared for such a scenario nonetheless, and strive our best to not let that scenario become a reality.
The health minister said that the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defence to strictly manage border entry, thoroughly monitor the quarantine facilities to prevent spread of virus into the community, beefing up reviews of all entries into Việt Nam (including foreigners and Vietnamese).
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Service workers, who due to the nature of their work are exposed to higher risks of the disease, should also be reviewed to make a list of high-risk groups that would be tested for COVID-19, Long said.
Through the recent coronavirus clusters which are a result of many incidents – letting people out too early, failure to observe self-isolation at home after finishing mandatory 14-day quarantine, or cross-infections within quarantine facilities, Deputy PM said that some localities have not followed the guidelines of the health ministry and the steering committee closely and fully.
He stressed that regulations, instructions, documents on the issue have been available and localities and quarantine facilities must strictly abide by these rules.
“We cannot just let people who even though have finished centralised quarantine but are still well within the period of follow-up self-isolation and medical monitoring at home to just wander in public places, take part in large gatherings, flaunt prevention measures and let the virus dangerously spread into the community,” Đam noted.
He also underlined the need for border guards and border localities’ administrations to keep up communication with local residents on cooperation to prevent aiding and abetting illegal entries, especially as the neighbouring countries in the region are suffering a serious wave of COVID-19 infections.
As of 6pm Tuesday, Việt Nam has registered 2,996 cases of COVID-19, including 1,608 domestic cases.
Since April 27, 38 community-acquired infections have been recorded – 14 in Vĩnh Phúc, 14 in Hà Nam, four in Hà Nội, two in Đà Nẵng, two in Hưng Yên, one in Yên Bái, and one in HCM City – after over a month of no local cases.
Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine situation, health minister Long said the ministry is still in talks for more vaccine supply to Việt Nam, as well as negotiations to encourage transfer of vaccine production technology in order for the country to manufacture the vaccines domestically.
As of today, 539,000 Vietnamese people – mainly frontline workers and medical staff – have been vaccinated against COVID-19, using for the most part AstraZeneca doses. — VNS