Extra vigilance needed to cope with pandemic: Deputy Prime Minister

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Health workers collect samples for testing COVID-19 in Vàng Danh Ward, Uông Bí City, Quảng Ninh Province. — Photo quangninh.gov.vn

HÀ NỘI — As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said vigilance and resource preparation are key to coping with all situations.

He made the statement at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on Tuesday.

“With nearly 100 million people and a very long border, as well as an open economy, no one can say there are no pathogens in the community. We have to be ready at all times," Đam said, adding that anti-pandemic measures are always the most urgent task.

Speaking at the meeting, he praised the efforts of Hải Dương Province as well as other localities in COVID-19 pandemic prevention and fighting.

The pandemic is basically well controlled across the country, the Deputy PM said.

Analysing the data in Hải Dương Province has shown that only three COVID-19 infected cases found in the community were not located in a locked-down area or concentrated isolation area and all three were traced.

He pointed out some lessons drawn from the pandemic prevention process in the province.

After detecting an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in Chi Linh City, the provincial authorities proposed a strategy that includes dealing with cases in industrial zones, so large factories with thousands of workers had to be quarantined immediately.

"It takes several weeks to prepare for a repatriation flight for several hundreds of people, while in Hải Dương, thousands of people have to be quarantined within 24 hours," said the Deputy PM.

The outbreak in Chí Linh City was put under control in eight days.

He said Hải Dương has taken drastic, flexible and comprehensive measures to battle the outbreak.

In the future, the province was asked to continue implementing COVID-19 tests and tracing cases.

However, the deputy PM said it should be flexible in the work to avoid wasting money.

Nguyễn Trường Sơn, deputy Minister of Health agreed, saying Hải Dương should calculate carefully who would be subject to COVID-19 testing. Priority should be given to those at high risk to ensure economic efficiency as well as effectiveness in pandemic prevention.

Vaccination plans

Issues relating to COVID-19 vaccines were also discussed at the meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

According to the committee, great efforts have been made to get the COVID-19 vaccine soon but it was not fully available at once so priority would be given to certain groups.

In the long term, when the vaccine source is secured, people will get the vaccination against COVID-19 free of charge like those in the national expanded vaccination programme. There will be small quantity of vaccine reserved for people who can afford it.

According to Trần Đắc Phu, a consultant for the Ministry of Health's Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, all vaccines imported to Việt Nam, such as Quinvaxem or ComBE Five, were tested for safety. However, in the context of the COVID-19 emergency, the MoH has coordinated with other agencies to give the vaccine to priority groups in accordance with a set plan.

The Department of Preventive Medicine has coordinated with the Drug Administration in making plans for distribution of vaccine against COVID-19 and its effectiveness will be supervised by the Administration of Science Technology and Training, he said.

“We won't inject the vaccines massively and the actions are monitored. This is a wise way to both fight the pandemic, control its safety while ensuring the safe COVID-19 vaccine for people,” Phu said. VNS

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