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Vietnam sticks to tried and tested methods to combat new Covid wave

By Viet Tuan   May 10, 2021 | 08:45 pm PT
Vietnam sticks to tried and tested methods to combat new Covid wave
A medic takes samples of a guard at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC for coronavirus tests on May 6, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
To contain the new Covid-19 wave and break the chain of infection, Vietnam will continue to do exactly what it has been doing since the pandemic started.

"Absolutely nothing has been and will be changed in our strategies and principles to fight and prevent Covid-19 outbreaks," Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said at a meeting Monday.

The protocol since last year has been to take steps to prevent possible sources of transmission, detect infections and isolate them, locate infected areas and put out clusters, and treat all Covid-19 patients in dedicated facilities.

The committee has already issued very specific guidelines for tightening control of borders and quarantine facilities to prevent any possible spread of the virus into the community.

"All related agencies and units have to strictly follow the guidance," Dam said.

To detect infections quicker, he said localities should screen for Covid symptoms at high-risk locations such as hospitals and crowded areas instead of just tracking down people who have come into close contact with patients.

Isolating infected areas must be done as precisely as possible with quick and accurate identification to isolate only affected areas rather than on a large scale, he said.

But he wanted diligent management of isolated areas to ensure there were no loopholes.

He advised local authorities to "stay extremely calm" to come up with prevention methods that do not throw people’s lives and economic activities out of kilter, suggesting that they should consider suspending or tightening control over non-essential businesses like bars, dance clubs and karaoke and massage parlors.

Localities without Covid clusters should not let their guard down since sources of transmission could have already entered them, he warned.

Any place could become a hotspot, he warned further.

"Vietnam is still doing a good job in the fight against the pandemic with its very own methods.

"Wearing a mask often could be uncomfortable. I have already been vaccinated and test results have showed that the antibody concentration is very high, but I am still wearing a mask to prove to everyone that it is essential."

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam speaks at a government meeting. Photo by Vietnam Government Portal.

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam speaks at a government meeting. Photo by Vietnam Government Portal.

The new Covid wave that began on April 27 has so far infected 486 people in 26 cities and provinces.

Worryingly, the sources of transmission that caused hotspots in places like Hanoi and Da Nang remain unidentified.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said last Friday that this outbreak is at an alarming level because of multiple transmission sources and different strains of viruses that allow rapid infection, which make control difficult.

Most patients have been found to be infected with the U.K. and Indian strains, which experts worldwide have said are "more concerning" due to their ability to spread much faster than those found in 2020.

 
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