Vietnam steps up COVID-19 response as new community infection detected after 89 days

Wednesday, 2020-12-02 09:45:14
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Vietnam has immediately focused on suppressing new COVID-19 outbreak following the country’s first confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus in 89 days.
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NDO – Vietnam immediately activated its COVID-19 responsive system with great determination and strong measures as the country has detected its first new community infections following a 89-day streak without any known local transmission of the coronavirus.

After confirming that a new local transmission case, tagged Patient 1,347, was infected by a patient who was previously in quarantine, on Tuesday afternoon (Dec 1), the Ministry of Health announced two new cases who were infected from Patient 1,347. Currently, measures to zone and control the spread of the coronavirus are being conducted intensively by the health sector and functional units of Ho Chi Minh City.

Along with the sanitary treatment and disinfection of the residence, isolation camps, and places where the patients have arrived, the competent forces have isolated and sampled more than 500 people in close contact (F1) with the patients, as well as those in contact with F1 cases (F2). Contact tracing is continued to be deployed to detect all the people connected with the cases.

After 89 days without, the country has recorded new infection cases in the community. What needs to be done right now is to gather all forces to localise, handle, and prevent the epidemic from spreading widely.

To minimise the spread of the epidemic, the Ministry of Health has requested the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City to urgently trace all F1 and F2 cases in relation to the patients, while immediately notifying local residents who have visited places where the patients have been present to immediately contact the nearest medical offices.

Temporary blockades have been applied to locations where the patients have been, along with disinfection measures in such places. On the other hand, all medical facilities in Ho Chi Minh City have been asked to raise their alert level, increase measures to screen for cases with suspicious signs, and strictly implement measures to prevent and control COVID-19 infection in medical establishments under the set regulations.

In July, after 99 days without local transmissions, new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the community in Da Nang. And this time, after 89 days, new infections were recorded in the community in Ho Chi Minh City. That fact shows that the public must always be proactive and not subjective to the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the new normal state.

The epidemic prevention and control measures should be implemented regularly, continuously and early. In particular, it is imperative to be consistent with the proposed anti-epidemic protocols, that is preventing - detecting - quarantine - localising - stamping out the epidemic and maintain the four on-the-spot motto (on the sport force, command, means, logistics). In addition, the support and active participation of the people is necessary, but the simplest thing is to effectively implement the 5K recommendation (Khẩu trang (face mask) - Khử khuẩn (disinfection) - Khoảng cách (social distancing) - Không tụ tập (avoiding crowded gathering) - Khai báo y tế (making medical declaration) suggested by the Ministry of Health.

The whole country is implementing the dual goal of both preventing and combating the epidemic and boosting socio-economic development, but the prevention and control of COVID-19 must always be considered a top priority, because if the epidemic spreads, all efforts in economic development will return to zero. Against the backdrop of the epidemic development around the world and in the country, if appropriate measures are not taken synchronously and drastically, new local transmissions can appear at any time, especially when the winter-spring season is coming.

The disease is still complicated. Therefore, functional units need to strictly implement medical quarantine and mandatory medical declaration, strengthen monitoring for early detection of any suspected cases, organise the classification of cases that must be appropriately isolated at the border gates, and monitor and update the health situation of entries every day during their medical isolation and supervision. It is necessary to strengthen the supervision and early detection of suspected cases in the community, as well as to implement timely zoning and isolation while thoroughly handling outbreaks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the community.

Relevant ministries and agencies including the military, police, transport, foreign affairs and People's Committees of provinces and cities need to continue to direct relevant units in grasping the spirit of anti-epidemic with the highest level of vigilance, associating with the responsibility of heads of localities and units in implementing COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control activities.

They should closely supervise the land and sea border areas and review repatriates coming back from abroad to early detect and prevent in time illegal entries for strict handling and required quarantine according to regulations. The implementation of quarantine in designated concentrated camps should be regularly checked, along with home isolation. The concerned units and individuals who violate COVID-19 prevention and control protocols and infect the community should be assessed and handled strictly.