At the meeting of the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of Health Đỗ Xuân Tuyên reported that as of October 15 afternoon, 38.8 million infection cases had been reported around the world, including nearly 1.1 million deaths.
Europe is facing a new outbreak as the number of new COVID-19 cases has been rising sharply there. Many European countries have re-imposed measures in efforts to contain the resurgence, he noted.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has gone through 43 consecutive days without new community infections. It has reported 1,124 cases of COVID-19 so far, including 35 fatalities.
Tuyên said the Ministry of Health (MoH) has worked with other ministries and sectors to draft procedures for the entry, monitoring and health quarantine of those entering Vietnam from “safe countries” via commercial flights.
At present, people entering Vietnam have to undergo COVID-19 testing three times, instead of twice like previously regulated, so as to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The MoH is managing information about those entering the country, and it will provide access rights for local authorities and health and police forces in the time ahead so as to facilitate the monitoring of these persons in their localities, the deputy minister added.
At the meeting, experts emphasised three groups that may trigger COVID-19 transmission: people entering Vietnam illegally, those entering legally but not adhering to disease prevention and control rules, and some imported goods.
Discussing procedures and measures to manage persons coming from abroad, they also stressed the need to create favourable conditions for foreign entrepreneurs, investors, workers, and experts to enter Vietnam so as to meet domestic production and business demand.
Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Anh Tuấn suggested relevant agencies soon issue detailed guidance for the reopening of commercial international air routes, with priority given to routes linking with safe countries, so as to help realise the “twin targets” of fighting against COVID-19 and promoting economic growth.
Given the rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world, Director of the MoH’s Department of Preventive Medicine Dang Quang Tan said although the domestic disease situation has been brought under control, staying vigilance is a must since winter with favourable weather for the virus development is coming.
Disease prevention and control measures still need to be continued, especially communications to raise public awareness, he added, recommending big and populous localities like Hanoi, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa to make the wearing of face masks compulsory and fine any who refuses to do so like in Ho Chi Minh City.
Echoing the view, Deputy PM Vũ Đức Đam pointed out that as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the world, with almost 400,000 new cases every day, Vietnam must not be off guard but consolidate all forces and ready all anti-pandemic measures.
He requested serious management and quarantine of people entering the country, stressing that they still have to be monitored for another 14 days after finishing their quarantine period so as not to enable a new outbreak./.