Vietnam’s military has prepared facilities ready to accept an additional 20,000 people for quarantine if the need arises.
Air crew members for a flight carrying Vietnamese passengers from Europe queue for health checks at Quảng Ninh Province’s Vân Đồn Airport.
So far, there is enough space to cater for almost 45,000, but if the situation worsens, more areas will be made available to stem the threat of COVID-19.
Brigadier Nguyễn Xuân Kiên, head of Army Medical Department under Ministry of Defence, said the military has established 140 isolation areas nationwide with the capacity of more than 44,700 people.
He was speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the national steering committee on COVID-19 control and prevention.
So far, there are has been 21,309 people quarantined, with around 14,000 of them released.
“The army is mapping out quarantine plans to receive up to 20,000 more people in case of emergency,” said Kiên.
Trịnh Thị Thuỷ, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the sector developed plans to reserve 104 hotels, resorts and lodgings for paid isolation in 21 localities.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, on Wednesday nearly 7,000 Vietnamese people returned to Việt Nam from Europe and other ASEAN countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam warned overseas Vietnamese to strictly follow directions of their host countries and perform essential measures to protect those coming home.
He expected returnees to obey regulations of health declaration, immigration and quarantine.
The Ministry of Transport recommended overseas Vietnamese carefully consider flying home as many countries may make unilateral decisions to halt or redirect flights.
Many epidemiologists have also voiced concerns over possible infections when people travel from areas most affected.
Đam urged the healthcare sector to classify vulnerable groups including old people, people with disabilities or those having existing medical conditions to offer health examinations at home and quickly intervene in cases of emergency.
He also asked Ministry of Health to improve capability for medical workers as well as strengthening testing and treatment capacity.
Ministries, State agencies and localities were ordered to coordinate in detecting infections, especially from those who had entered Việt Nam in the past 14 days and people in close contact with those people to stop community spreading.
As COVID-19 developments are more complicated than expected, Việt Nam needs to speed up its responses, Đam said, adding the country was contributing to the global battle against the virus outbreak.
“Conversely, only when the whole world can win over the disease will Vietnamese people be at peace,” he said.
"We are trying our utmost for people's health, lives and the peace of society."
As of Wednesday, Việt Nam confirmed 76 cases of COVID-19, which included 16 people who had recovered.
The latest patient is a 57-year-old French national arriving at Tân Sơn Nhất airport in HCM City on flight TK162 on March 10. He had visited HCM City, Huế, Cần Thơ, Hội An and Ninh Bình where he had his sample taken. He has been hospitalised in Hà Nội. — VNS