PM orders cities to prepare for large-scale quarantine in Covid-19 fight

By Viet Tuan   March 6, 2020 | 01:53 am PT
PM orders cities to prepare for large-scale quarantine in Covid-19 fight
A nurse walks at a quarantine zone in HCMC, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Nguyen.
The prime minister has instructed populous cities, especially Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to prepare for large-scale quarantining in case of Covid-19 outbreaks.

At a government meeting on Thursday, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic has achieved very good results with no new cases being recorded for the last 23 days.

But he stressed the need to "not be careless, tired or hesitant and to be determined in fighting the disease" as it continues to spread quickly globally.

Phuc underlined the government's view that quarantining is a key countermeasure against the epidemic, and ordered the military and local authorities to set up more quarantine facilities.

"Neighborhood committees need to know how people are living, what the epidemic situation is like."

Localities need to be creative in coming up with new methods to detect outbreaks and prevent them from spreading.

The PM ordered the Ministry of Health to triple its stockpile of masks to 30 million and procure more N95 masks and anti-Covid-19 protective equipment.

"We need to make backup plans with respect to location, accommodation and supplies should large-scale quarantining be needed, and not let quarantined people feel insecure or badly treated."

The Finance Ministry should meet all disease control demands "properly, promptly and effectively."

He instructed the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and localities to identify hotels to quarantine people returning from areas with Covid-19.

Since the epidemic has hit the economy hard and disrupted supply chains, he said the government would adopt emergency measures to mitigate difficulties, support businesses and ensure social security.

As of Friday morning Vietnam had 68 suspected cases in quarantine for observation. More than 14,000 people are being monitored at home or medical camps.

There have been no new cases since February 13 after all 16 infected people recovered and were discharged from hospital, including two Chinese nationals and a Vietnamese-American.

People who return to Vietnam from stricken areas or have had direct contact with returnees from stricken areas and show Covid-19 symptoms are quarantined.

The global death toll climbed to 3,385 as of Friday morning, more than 3,000 in China, followed by Italy (148), Iran (108), South Korea (40), the U.S. (12), and Japan (12).

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