Learn lessons from countries where Covid's endemic: NA committee

By Viet Tuan   October 20, 2022 | 05:37 am PT
Learn lessons from countries where Covid's endemic: NA committee
A doctor puts a stethoscope on a child in Hanoi, April 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
The National Assembly's Economic Committee has asked the government to look to other countries that have considered Covid-19 endemic, saying it would be "good experience" for Vietnam.

Vu Hong Thanh, head of the committee, told the assembly Thursday that Thailand’s policies towards diseases were a good experience for Vietnam to learn from and downgrade the seriousness levels of certain diseases, including Covid-19.

Since the beginning of this year, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested related agencies to learn lessons from other countries to reach a "normalized" state with Covid-19, treating it as an endemic disease.

In August, despite the fact that virtually all citizens aged 12 and above had received at least two shots of Covid-19 vaccines, the health ministry proposed to the prime minister that the Covid-19 is not declared an endemic yet, arguing that no official announcement be made that the Covid-19 pandemic was over in Vietnam.

At the Thursday meeting, Thanh also spoke about the shortage of medicines and medical equipment in public hospitals that was adversely affecting the national healthcare system.

According to a report by the Ministry of Health, 28 localities are experiencing a shortage of drugs, while 26 lack chemicals. The medicine shortage is expected to continue in 2023, the report said.

Contributing factors include incomplete legal corridors for the bidding and purchase of drugs and medical equipment, and the fact that some officials and health workers are anxious and fearful about purchasing drugs and medical equipment following numerous criminal investigations into violations of the processes, among other factors.

He said the government should to follow disease situations around the world to prepare response plans. Problems regarding the bidding process of medicines and medical equipment need to be resolved. The committee also called for solutions to bolster the country's drug manufacturing industry.

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