Vietnam 'on right track' in ongoing Covid-19 fight: WHO

By Le Nga   August 5, 2021 | 09:30 am GMT+7
Vietnam 'on right track' in ongoing Covid-19 fight: WHO
A doctor helps a Covid-19 patient who has just escaped death drink some water at the HCMC Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital in Thu Duc City, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
The ongoing Covid-19 wave is challenging but Vietnam's response is "on the right track," says World Health Organization (WHO) representative Kidong Park.

Park said what Vietnam has done in urgently establishing intensive care units (ICU) in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern localities to treat severe Covid-19 patients was necessary to reduce mortality.

"There are many difficulties," as the infection rate and the transmissibility of the Delta variant is very high, he said during a meeting with Vietnam's Ministry of Health.

Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the Delta variant has made the current wave very different from previous ones, causing it to last longer and making it more difficult to control.

The ongoing wave has lasted for 100 days and more than 177,000 community infections have been recorded in 62 of Vietnam's 63 cities and provinces.

HCMC, the epicenter with 108,379 cases, is now equipped with five ICU centers that provide 2,700 beds in total.

Vietnam has applied stronger measures than it did in previous waves, with localities banning people from going out at night and only allowing outdoor venturing for specific, essential purposes.

Yet the rapid increase in infections in a short period of time as well as in the number of critical patients has put great pressure on the health system, Long said.

"We have mobilized the total strength of the health sector for intensive care treatment in HCMC," he said, adding that related agencies are now rushing to build an ICU center and prepare a number of emergency beds for Hanoi, which has recorded 1,668 cases so far and detected more clusters in recent days.

Along with the efforts to save serious patients and limit deaths, the Ministry of Health is approaching all possible sources of vaccine supply urgently, trying to vaccinate all adults as soon as possible.

However, vaccine supply remains a big challenge, especially for the months of August and September.

While continuing to source vaccine supplies from abroad, the ministry has been supporting domestic vaccine production, focusing on simplifying administrative procedures so that made-in-Vietnam vaccines can be approved as soon as they are proved to be completely safe and in compliance with all health regulations and procedures.

Park said "Vietnam's response has been on the right track," adding that the WHO was willing to support the ministry with professional training and infection prevention measures for health workers.

He said the WHO is also committed to supporting Vietnam in testing, evaluating, and licensing homemade Covid-19 vaccines via the national management system for vaccines.

Currently, Vietnam is one of 39 countries certified by WHO as meeting standards for domestic development and production of vaccines.

 
 
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