Acting health minster points to lessons learnt in fighting against COVID-19

Thursday, 2020-08-27 09:28:34
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Doctors from the Ho Chi Minh-based Cho Ray Hospital support treatment of COVID-19 patients in Da Nang.
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NDO – As the coronavirus outbreaks in Da Nang, Quang Nam and Hai Duong have essentially been put under control, Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has pointed to nine lessons learnt from the initial success in containing COVID-19 in the localities.

>>> Vietnam reports no new COVID-19 cases on August 27 morning

Commenting on the COVID-19 fight in the past month, Long said that the situation in the Da Nang - Quang Nam epicentre was under control, as the number of reported cases decreased in recent weeks.

In the northern province of Hai Duong, the outbreak in its capital city of the same name has also been basically controlled, with all infection cases has been detected and put into isolated treatment, while other related contacts have also been identified and quarantined timely. The locales are speeding up traceability, localisation, isolation and testing to quickly stamp out the outbreak.

Other outbreaks in some other localities have been quickly zoned and isolated with necessary anti-epidemic measures taken.

Prof, Dr. Long said that in the near future, there will probably some new infections detected that could possibly spread in the community if timely prevention measures are not taken. He suggested localities to learn from some lessons that the Ministry of Health has summarised from the fight against the new outbreaks in Da Nang, Quang Nam and Hai Duong.

First of all, the prevention and control of COVID-19 in such localities has been put under the prompt and timely direction from the Government, the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, as well as all the relevant authorities and agencies.

Secondly, the risk areas with objects at risk of infection have been quickly identified, helping to save resources. For example, from the beginning of the second wave in Da Nang, the local health sector very quickly identified three local hospitals as the epidemic centres, while the whole city was placed under total outbreak control.

Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long.

The third feature that brings initial success in controlling the new wave of COVID-19 is that the local authorities have been acting drastically and imposing suitable social restrictions for each region, like the smoothy and timely social distancing in Hai Duong, Acting Minister Long evaluated, praising Hai Duong in quickly zoning and imposing blockade to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the city.

Fourthly, the health sector has mobilised an unprecedented huge force of medical staff in the fight, including leading professors, doctors, experts and even medical students, helping Da Nang and Quang Nam to deal with the mass spread of the disease.

In the fifth lesson, the Ministry of Health, under the direction from the Prime Minister, immediately established a frontline command – a special standing division under the ministry stationed in Da Nang, as well as a front-line warehouse in the city. The body has coordinated with the local authorities in facilitating the epidemic prevention and control, helping Da Nang to be more confident in professional guidance, techniques, human resource coordination and equipment.

The acting minister also mentioned the important role of the on-site forces, focusing on the role of local governments and the effective operation of the community-based COVID-19 fight groups that have been established and deployed by local authorities to mobilise the public participation in pandemic prevention and control.

Along with that, Vietnam’s testing capacity has increased very quickly, while the tracking and isolation of close contacts to COVID-19 infections has been implemented in a timely manner. The issue is "absolutely important" as described by the acting minister, saying that right from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam, the health sector has decisively decided to isolate the close contacts while taking test samples from them to immediately remove pathogens from the community and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The health sector has mobilised a large volume of medical staff to support the fight against new coronavirus outbreaks.

Up until now, just in a short time, the testing capacity goes up very quickly that can meet the requirement in case of the epidemic occurs on a large scale, Long affirmed.

The eighth lesson drawn from the local epidemic fights during this period is ensuring COVID-19 prevention in line with economic development activities in other localities, with strengthened border control and immigration, as well as the citizen protection. The relevant authorities and localities under the direction from the Government, the Prime Minister, and the Steering Committee have effectively carried out this work, Long stated.

The last lesson to be given is the proactive logistics preparation, without being interrupted. All the medical equipment, consumables, face masks, and protective gear were well prepared compared to the first wave, said Long.

In general, the acting minister affirmed that localities have rapidly implemented methodical, timely and synchronous measures in dealing with the second COVID-19 infection wave. It is expected that it would take about a month to control the outbreak, Long said, urging for more drastic and quick actions to limit the consequences caused by COVID-19.