Jan 29, 2021 / 22:28

Vietnam officials leave National Congress for pandemic fight

Heads of local governments are empowered to make decisions on Covid-19 fight.

Heads of many Vietnam’s cities and provinces have proposed the Presidium of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s 13th Congress to leave the ongoing sitting for pandemic battle in their localities.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting on January 29. Photo: VGP

They have been allowed to go back their hometown from Hanoi to directly instruct the Covid-19 fight after the Ministry of Health reported additional 53 locally-transmitted cases on Friday, totaling 149 local infections within four days.

All the new cases are related to Hai Duong and Quang Ninh outbreaks that flared up on January 25, breaking Vietnam’s 55-day streak without community transmission.

Vaccine purchase

Chairing a meeting today [January 29] at the venue of the 13th Congress, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministry of Health to propose vaccine purchase plan in the first quarter this year. The purchase will be made by both the state budget and private sector.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said Vietnam has licensed to import a British vaccine. The foreign company pledged to supply 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam.

Tough measures

Regarding measures for the fight, the PM said chairmen of the provincial people’s committees are empowered to make decisions on the Covid-19 fight, including preventive measures and medical equipment purchase in emergency cases.

Prime Minister Phuc requested quick response to the pandemic, including massive testing, aggressive contact tracing, lockdown, social distancing, and activating field hospitals.

The PM said Vietnam needs to make efforts to contain the virus ahead of Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year) which will start in 10 days.