Vietnam has prepared for an escalation of the Covid-19 infection cases and will strive for controlling the epidemic by February 6.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son
Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that the current Covid-19 outbreak is occurring in many provinces at a very fast speed of infection.
Only one day after the first patients reported in Hai Duong (No. 1552) and Quang Ninh (1553), Vietnam saw the highest number of Covid-19 cases on a single day – 82 patients.
The Ministry of Health has assigned the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to studying the genes of the virus samples, but according to information from Japan, this may be the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 recently detected in the UK. This strain spreads 70% faster than the original one and has now spread to more than 80 countries around the world.
Mr. Son said that the number of cases related to Hai Duong and Quang Ninh will continue to increase and spread to other provinces in the coming time.
Regarding the cause of the outbreak, Deputy Minister Son said that there are 3 main reasons.
The first is illegal entries from other countries to Vietnam.
Second, it is related to the safety of protective clothing of employees working at airports or border gates. Insufficient or improper protective clothing increases the risk of infection from SARS-CoV-2 positive passengers upon entry into Vietnam.
Third, ensuring safety of Covid-19 prevention activities in some quarantine zones is negligible.
According to Deputy Minister Son, the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has increased transmissibility, so the most important measure is detection, fast tracing, isolation and zoning for stamping out epidemic.
“The top priority at this moment is to trace all people who have contact with Covid-19 patients. We have taken drastic measures and in Quang Ninh, tests are not only for F1, F2, F3 but even F4 cases,” he said.
The Ministry of Health has sent experts of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi Medical University, Bach Mai Hospital to Hai Duong province, the largest epidemic center at present, to assist the local agencies in performing Covid-19 tests.
The Deputy Minister of Health said that Vietnam had learned experience in previous outbreaks. In addition, the Ministry of Health has established sub-committees, including a logistics sub-committee to prepare a plan to purchase materials and equipment for the situation if Vietnam has 10,000 cases of Covid-19.
“We (Ministry of Health - reporter) and Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control) are determined to contain the epidemic within 10 days," Deputy Minister Son said.
Locally-transmitted cases have been found in seven cities and provinces.