Vietnam will keep using its current COVID-19 prevention strategy, despite the emergence of new more transmissible variants of coronavirus.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, made the announcement at a meeting on Thursday in Hanoi.
Đam said the committee agreed that the development of new variants should be monitored closely, but basically, Việt Nam will continue to “robustly protect itself from the outside [threats], while strengthening measures on the inside.”
Border forces, especially land border forces, must step up inspections and work with local families with members staying abroad to encourage them to refrain from enabling illegal entry.
The entrants should enter the country legally and follow the strict quarantine policy, heard the meeting.
Members of the committee asked the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, and the Government Office to draft policies on financial support for economically struggling entrants, with local authorities likely to have to pay their quarantine fees.
Regarding inbound flights of repatriated citizens, foreign business executives, experts or diplomats, the committee asked authorities to keep up prevention efforts.
Concerning some cases where people were found to be positive for the virus after they have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine after many tests, Deputy PM Đam requested a revision of quarantine rules to prevent cross-infection in quarantine facilities.
Trần Đắc Phu, senior advisor to the Việt Nam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), said the health sector’s stance is that the incubation period for the disease is typically 14 days so the standard quarantine period of two weeks should be upheld.
The committee also discussed the recent COVID-19 scare where a man in HCM City tested positive in one medical facility only to be confirmed negative in another.
Trần Đắc Phu said a mistake might have taken place during the specimen collection step or the testing procedures, or the test kits might not be inaccurate, or that the patient might be positive for another kind of coronavirus that is not the one causing the current pandemic.
However, the results obtained by Pasteur institutes across the country after using two kinds of tests are reliable, Phu said.
At the meeting, Deputy PM Đam said the COVID-19 pandemic globally remains complex, while Vietnam, which has had a good handle on the domestic situation with one of the world’s lowest infection and death rate, is preparing for important events in January and February – including Tết (the traditional Lunar New Year) and the upcoming 13th National Party Congress.
He asked all ministries and agencies to strictly follow the Party and State’s instructions on COVID-19 prevention and control.
Inside the country, the HCMC’s Department of Health has ordered stricter implementation of anti-pandemic measures at ports.
It has called on the International Medical Quarantine Centre, HCMC Maritime Port Administration and HCMC Border Guard Command to step up monitoring and inspection at ports in the city.
They have been asked to regularly report on the results of anti-pandemic measures and advise the department on allowing sailors to come ashore after a sufficient period of isolation on their ships.
The department instructed the HCMC Centre for Disease Control to provide training in pandemic prevention to officers working at ports and disseminate information related to pandemic prevention to all port employees.
Supervision of people entering and leaving ports must be enhanced to ensure compliance with pandemic prevention regulations.
This story was first posted in Vietnam News