Vietnam continues tightening ‘defensive line’ against Covid-19

Wednesday, 2020-02-26 17:52:26
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A meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control held in Hanoi on the morning of February 26, 2020. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO – Vietnam will maintain strict control over exit and entry activities at border gates, along with ensuring timely medical screening and isolation amidst the complicated development of the Covid-19 epidemic spreading round the world.

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The statement was made during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, held in Hanoi on Wednesday (February 26) morning.

At the meeting, members of the National Steering Committee said that up until now, Vietnam has carried out good disease preventive and control measures. All 16 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection in the country have recovered, with the last case released from the hospital this morning. Over the last 14 days, Vietnam has not recorded any new infections yet.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) officially announced that two provinces of Thanh Hoa and Khanh Hoa are now eligible to announce the end of the epidemic. However, the evolution of the disease in the world is still complicated and unpredictable. Despite the fact that Vietnam could record new infected cases in the near future, the country has launched the entire health surveillance system to be ready to detect, screen, provide treatment and localise to wipe out outbreaks.

Amidst the rapid development of Covid-19 in the Republic of Korea (RoK) – a country with deep socio-economic relations with Vietnam, the Steering Committee asked the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education and Training, and Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to coordinate closely to make a list of overseas students, workers and other Vietnamese people in the RoK. to provide to the security, immigration and aviation units. All cases of Vietnamese people returning from the RoK should receive medical isolation in accordance with the MoH regulations, it suggested.

The Steering Committee also asked the concerned authorities to continue implementing measures to strictly control the border and border gates, both roads and airways, especially for foreign citizens coming to Vietnam from the epidemic areas or going through the epidemic areas, to have appropriate responsive solutions.

Good communication was also urged to be carried out well in areas where there are accommodation establishments for people from epidemic regions, with documents in foreign languages that are suitable for them to understand correctly on Covid-19 to take preventive measures as recommended by the local authorities.

* As of 12:30 pm on February 26, no cases of Covid-19 infection have been recorded in Hanoi. The city now has three suspected cases being isolated, monitored and waiting for test results. The total number of people coming from the epidemic areas needing medical supervision is 2,151, of which 1,836 have completed medical supervision, while 315 other continue to be under medical surveillance.

The number of isolated people at the Hanoi City Police Hospital is 116, of which 24 have ended their isolation period, while 92 other are under medical supervision. The number of isolated people concentrated in Son Tay Town Military School is 144 cases.

* On the same day, the Ho Chi Minh City Centre for International Medical Quarantine said that the city is isolating 49 Koreans from the epidemic areas at a field hospital in Cu Chi district. Data from the city’s Department of Health showed that, by Wednesday morning, 123 cases are in isolation at the city’s field hospitals, 12 are at district-level concentrated isolation areas and 23 other are isolating at their homes.

Currently, the city health sector continues to apply medical declarations to people who enter Vietnam from the RoK or passing through the country, with those from or passing through RoK’s Daegu city and North Gyeongsang province being subjected to isolation and quarantine within 14 days. Guests from the RoK but outside the two regions mentioned above must make a medical declaration and receive home-based health monitoring.

* Also on Wednesday morning, the People's Committee of Hai Phong city announced a list of 46 people from Covid-19 affected areas in the RoK and China who must receive medical isolation. This is the fifth medical isolation campaign to be implemented by Hai Phong. They will undergo 14-day isolation at Base 2 of the Vietnam - Czech Friendship Hospital in An Dong commune, An Duong district.

Receiving those who are subjected to medical isolation at Base 2 of the Vietnam - Czech Friendship Hospital in Hai Phong City, February 26, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Ngo Quang Dung)

Up to this point, the local authorities have conducted four concentrated medical isolation campaigns for over 470 people at risk of Covid-19 infection. All of them have completed medical isolation and have been granted certificates to go back to their homes.

* On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Vietnam Doctor's Day (February 27), in honour of the medical staff who are sparing no efforts in the fight against Covid-19, the Lao Dong (Labour) Newspaper and the Trade Union of Vietnam Health Sector organised an online seminar on February 26.

* Consul General of the RoK in Da Nang city, Ahn Min-sik, has expressed his sincere thanks to the Government of Vietnam, Da Nang authorities, budget carrier VietJet Air and other related agencies for supporting 20 Korean citizens in returning to their homeland. Twenty passengers from Daegu were flown back to their home country on February 25 night, one day after their arrival in Vietnamese central city of Da Nang. They are among 80 passengers who arrived on a flight from Daegu city – the epicentre of Covid-19 outbreak in the RoK – on February 24.

As the wishes of the Koreans and based on the proposals from the Korean Consulate General in Da Nang and the local authorities, on Tuesday evening, VietJet sent the Koreans home safely after they underwent medical checks to ensure adequate health and medical conditions for the flight.

With the hospitality from Da Nang and the Vietnamese people, the flight crew was arranged to include both Vietnamese and Korean pilots and flight attendants. Representatives of Da Nang and the Korean Consulate General in the city were also at the Da Nang Airport to see off the delegation.

Chairman of Da Nang People's Committee Huynh Duc Tho also personally sent a thank-you letter and sympathised with the difficulties of the Korean passengers. He also expressed his desire to welcome them back safely, hospitable and welcoming city of Vietnam in the near future.

* On Wednesday morning, the Lao Cai Provincial Department of Health said that 323 people had completed the 14-day quarantine period at Lao Cai Military School and are back home.

Citizens who completed the 14-day quarantine at Lao Cai Province Military School return home. (Photo: NDO/Quoc Hong)

Earlier, in the morning of February 25, at military school, 56 people were released after their isolation period. Up until now, Lao Cai has 323 people who completed their 14-day isolation and returned to their families. At present, the facility has received and isolated 866 people.

* On the same day, Thai Binh province officially put into operation an isolated venue for citizens returning home from countries with Covid-19 at the Thai Binh Province Military School campus in Dong Phong commune, Dong Hung district.

As of 3 pm this afternoon, the local health authorities sent 18 people from Thai Binh General Hospital and six other from Thai Thuy District Hospital to the concentrated isolation area. All of the 24 citizens returned Thai Binh from the RoK before the outbreak of Covid-19 in the host country.

A health worker sprays disinfectants in a room at a quarantined facility in Thai Binh province. (Photo: NDO/Mai Tu)

* On February 26, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) advised local airlines to reduce and limit flights from the RoK to Vietnam and vice versa to better control the Covid-19 epidemic. In an urgent dispatch sent to its attached agencies and units, the ministry required airlines to notify all passengers from the RoK to Vietnam to have to truthfully fill in their medical declarations.

Airlines need to inform people in many ways, such as on the ticket website, check-in counters, or sending messages on cell phones to passengers who are Vietnamese nationals in the RoK to inform them that starting from 9 pm on February 26, all entries into Vietnam will be put into concentrated isolation areas for 14 days. It is recommended that Vietnamese citizens should stay in the RoK except for force majeure cases and to comply with the epidemic prevention measures in the host country.

The MoT also requested the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to direct airlines with flights from the epidemic areas in the RoK land at Van Don (Quang Ninh), Phu Cat (Binh Dinh) and Can Tho (Can Tho city) Airports, while ensuring the compliance with procedures and regulations on the prevention of disease spread by air.

The ministry also requested its units to coordinate with other relevant agencies to strictly control the entry in the border gates (road, rail, waterway and air) and remove difficulties for import and export activities and transport of goods across borders.