The acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has been well controlled in Vietnam. The country reported no new cases since the last one on February 13.
Disease prevention and control measures have been taken in a timely, concerted and thorough way. The early detection and zoning off high-risk areas to curb the spread of the disease have initially reaped fruitful results.
The engagement of the whole political system, especially the health sector, coupling with public awareness of protecting themselves and the community, is a solid foundation to believe that Vietnam can overcome COVID-19 while keeping losses at a minimum level.
“Being cautious yet not so frightened”
Analysing the response to COVID-19, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long affirmed that since the beginning, the Government, the Prime Minister, the Deputy PMs as well as the Ministry of Health have not concealed any information.
“Since the first case was reported, the PM issued an official dispatch and two directives. Afterwards, the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat also sent documents, requesting leaders of Party Committees at all levels to directly oversee this matter. The mobilisation of the entire Party, people and army has become a political task of priority, emergency and great importance,” Long underlined.
In Official dispatch No 79, the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat asked localities to spare no efforts in battling the disease.
Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam stressed that COVID-19 prevention and control have become a task not only of the health sector, police and border guard forces but also of the political system and people. It is not just a matter of a single country, but a global issue.
He spoke highly of the country’s communication work to raise public awareness of the disease, so that people protect themselves while fighting against COVID-19 in a careful manner yet not to be too frightened.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Vietnam, Kidong Park, said that the WHO high valued Vietnam’s success in cultivating and isolating the virus SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory.
The success is a positive sign for researches on vaccine as well as the treatment for patients.
Efforts of the whole system
The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control warned localities not to let the guard down while reminded them to strictly carry out guidelines of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat and the PM on tackling the disease.
They were asked to strictly adhere to entry-exit regulations at border gates.
Especially, relevant agencies must conduct quarantine in line with regulations and prevent transmissions in facilities providing treatment for COVID-19 patients.
At a meeting of permanent government members, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed that Vietnam was doing well in disease prevention and combat and bringing citizens home, which has been praised by the international community.
Most of the infections have recovered and been discharged from hospitals and the country recorded no deaths.
“Vietnam boasts a safe and attractive tourism, business climate and living environment with a lot of potentials for experiences and business activities. Some sectors and enterprises have not only overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic but also turned risks into chances,” PM Phuc said.
He hoped that people will put their trust in and support the Government in the fight against COVID-19.
WHO lauds Vietnam’s capacity in fighting COVID-19
In its latest update on COVID-19, the WHO Office in Vietnam highly evaluated the country’s capacity in handling the disease.
This is the country’s capacity in standing ready to respond to and control emergency health issues, the WHO noted, stressing that it has been tested through real events in Vietnam and now through COVID-19.
The Vietnamese Government kick-started a response system at the initial phase of the disease and tightened supervision and management of infections at health establishments, along with enhancing testing, communications and multi-sectoral cooperation.
US officials also praised Vietnam’s medical capacity and efforts in fighting COVID-19, pledging that the country is willing to join hands with Vietnam and ASEAN in disease prevention and control.
The US side also lauded the efficient cooperation with Vietnam as the country frequently shares information and experiences in fighting the disease.
The US Department of Health said that Vietnamese leaders have paid attention to and issued timely guidelines to cope with COVID-19, especially in raising public awareness.
A delegation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to arrive in Vietnam in March to discuss the establishment of its regional office in Vietnam.
Vietnam once did miracles
In 2003, a new disease named severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) broke out in Vietnam. The country confirmed 65 infections, and five doctors died in the fight against the epidemic.
Afterward, 58 SARS patients in Vietnam recovered. The WHO congratulated Vietnam as the first country to successfully bring the disease under control.
After 62 days, efforts and sacrifice of doctors to keep SARS from spreading in the community turned into a success. Such achievements will continue as Vietnam has applied lessons learnt in the past in the current fight against COVID-19./.