May 04, 2021 / 11:39

Vietnam doctors come to support Covid-19 fight in Laos

Vietnam sent experienced health professionals from its leading hospitals to Laos.

A group of 35 Vietnamese experienced doctors and health professionals today [May 4] left for the Covid-19 fight in the neighboring country of Laos.

The team led by Deputy Minister of Heath Nguyen Truong Son will support Laos in testing, treatment, and building field hospitals.

The manpower support was quickly given after Laotian Health Minister Bounfeng Phoummalaysith asked for help in a conversation with the Vietnamese counterpart on May 2.

Speaking at the meeting on May 3 before the team’s departure, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the Vietnamese health experts’ missions are both guiding and directly performing the work relating to Covid-19 prevention and control.

In details, the team will assist Lao peers in contact tracing, mandatory quarantine, home quarantine, social distancing, and lockdown. They would provide expertise in treatment of Covid-19 patients, including quick establishment of intensive care units; and in building field hospitals in affected areas, applying the protocol against Covid-19 applied in the pandemic stricken Vietnamese cities of Danang and Hai Duong.

 Vietnam hands over Covid-19 relief to Laos at Wattay International Airport, Vientiane on May 4. Photo: Bao Chi/Baoquocte

In terms of testing, the Vietnamese experts will help Laos raise testing capacity partly with medical equipment provided by Vietnam.

The group also includes experts on medical waste and environment management in the Covid-19 fight.

Notably, Lao clinic stations will be allowed to connect with Vietnam’s health centers for better consultation when the Vietnamese experts are on mission there.

Upon the departure, Long told Vietnamese experts to devote wholeheartedly for the Covid-19 fight in Laos as part of efforts to help the Vietnamese community there.

 Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung and Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son with Covid-19 relief for Laos. Photo: VNA

The team includes renown Vietnamese health professionals namely Dr Hoang Minh Duc, deputy head of the ministry’s General Department of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Nguyen Trung Cap, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), and doctors from leading hospitals like Bach Mai Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital, Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Pasteur Institute of Central Highlands, Institute of Public Health Ho Chi Minh City, among others.

Since the pandemic resurgence broke out in Laos in April 20, 2021, Vietnam has extended its assistance to its comprehensive strategic partner by providing 200 ventilators, two million masks, 10 tons of chloroquine, other equipment, and an amount of nearly US$500,000, according to Nguyen Quoc Dung, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.

 Vietnam's border guards hand over disaster relief to Laos. Photo: VOV

According to local media, Hanoi has so far offered Vientiane cash and equipment worth roughly US$2.5 million.

In addition, Vietnam’s top leaders have expressed their care over the Covid-19 pandemic in Laos. The caring messages come from Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Meanwhile, standing member of the CPV’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong met with Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang expressing Vietnam’s willingness to provide the neighboring country the timely support.

Currently, the pandemic has swept through 15 out of 18 cities and provinces in Laos.