Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long speaks at the virtual discussion (Source: suckhoedoisong.vn)
Expressing his gratitude towards the support of the Vietnamese Government and the Ministry of Health for Laos and its people in the past time, Bounfeng informed that since April 20, Laos has been hit by the pandemic, which has spread to 15 out of 18 provinces nationwide. The national count of infection cases has been on the rise, with new infections mostly resulted from illegal immigrants, he said.
The Lao minister said there is no death from the disease so far, however, central-level hospitals in Vientiane are now filled up with COVID-19 patients and Laos have put temporary COVID-19 treatment facilities into operation to meet demand.
Having said Laos is in need of about 10 COVID-19 testing Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machines with a testing capacity of 40,000 samples a day, he asked for Vietnam’s assistance in terms of equipment, and materials for pandemic prevention and treatment of patients.
The minister also proposed Vietnam to send RT-PCR experts to help Laos and share experience in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as treament of patients.
For his part, Long shared Vietnam’s experience, emphasising the nation’s speedy actions, including drastic contact tracing for prompt quarantine and large-scale testing. To date, over 2 million Vietnamese have been tested for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, while a remote medical examination and treatment system, dubbed the Telehealth, that connects 1,500 COVID-19 treatment facilities nationwide have been established so that patients could receive top experts’ support from anywhere.
The minister told his Lao counterpart that the Vietnamese Party and State had decided to present Laos with 200 ventilators, 2 million facemasks, and 10 tonnes of chloromin, and other equipment.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health will send experts to help Laos set up a testing system as soon as possible, he said, adding that those with expertise in establishing COVID-19 treatment hospitals, particularly the intensive care unit, will also be dispatched to the neighbouring nation.
Via virtual connection with the Telehealth installed by Vietnamese engineers at treatment facilities of Laos, COVID-19 experts in Vietnam will assists Lao doctors in tackling complicated cases, Long noted.
Vietnam is ready to dispatch a plane to carry the cargo and Vietnamese experts to Vientiane whenever the Lao side can arrange, he affirmed.
Sympathy offered to Laos over COVID-19 resurgence
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc have sent a letter of sympathy to Lao Party General Secretary and State President Thongloun Sisoulith over the resurgence of COVID-19 and the loss caused by the pandemic in Laos.
In the letter, the Vietnamese leaders noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing with complicated and unpredictable developments, causing profound impacts on every aspect of socio-economic life in all countries, including Vietnam and Laos. They stressed that the Vietnamese Party, State and people always closely follow the situation in Laos and sympathise with the difficulties that Laos is facing due to the pandemic.
“We appreciate the measures that the Lao Party and Government have been implementing to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe that under the leadership of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party headed by Comrade Thongloun Sisoulith and the drastic management of the Lao Government, as well as with the unity of the entire political system and the consensus and support of all Lao people, Laos will be able to stop and curb the spread of the pandemic in the shortest time possible,” the two leaders wrote in the letter.
They informed the Lao leader that Vietnam has implemented strong measures and mobilized the participation of the entire political system and all the people in order to timely stop the spread of COVID-19. “We continue to implement drastic measures to contain sources of infection and actively conduct vaccinations,” they said, adding that Vietnam has basically curb the spread of the pandemic, which is an important achievement hailed by both domestic and international community. This outcome reflects the strength of the national unity bloc and the superiority of the socialist regime, read the letter.
The Vietnamese leaders affirmed that Vietnam is always ready to cooperate, assist and share experience with Laos in the fight against the pandemic, so that both countries can early stabilize the situation and resume socio-economic development for a better life of their people./.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith co-chaired the 43rd meeting of the Vietnam-Lao Inter-Governmental Committee on bilateral cooperation in Hanoi on December 6.