Vietnam should declare Covid is over: doctor

By Viet Tuan   October 22, 2022 | 05:20 am PT
Vietnam should declare Covid is over: doctor
Not everyone wears masks as people crowd Hang Ma Street in Hanoi on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, September 10, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnam should announce an end of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country to save medical resources, a doctor proposed Saturday.

At a National Assembly session Saturday morning, Nguyen Lan Hieu, director of the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, requested that the government announce a shift in its Covid-19 fight, introducing clear policies to replace old ones. The shift would help limit resource losses while still ensure enough preparation should another Covid-19 outbreak, or an outbreak of another disease, happen.

In fact, Vietnam has already lessened its Covid-19 prevention measures, with several areas considering outbreaks to be over. It is evident by the drop in numbers of Covid-19 tests, the rate of mask wearing and the number of orders for Covid-19 drugs.

"We can clearly see that at the National Assembly, no one is wearing mask," he said.

Once the shift happens, Covid-19 patients would be diagnosed and treated through the usual medical insurance scheme like any other diseases. Hospitals can then be proactive when it comes to payments, without having to use the national budget like they do right now, Hieu said.

To serve the Covid-19 fight, several localities have spent large amounts of money to purchase drugs and equipment. But these have expiration dates, and need to be used for other purposes before their expiry. Expensive equipment like ECMO machines or mobile X-ray scanners also need to be listed out so they could be distributed appropriately to where they are needed, he said.

Hieu has been vocal about how Covid-19 should be considered a normal disease since the beginning of this year, when Vietnam had had widespread vaccine coverage.

The National Assembly's Economic Committee on Thursday asked the government to look to other countries that have considered Covid-19 endemic, saying it would be "good experience" for Vietnam.

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