Jul 15, 2021 / 14:56

Vietnam PM affirms containing Covid-19 top priority

Maintaining economic activities remains the second most important objective that the government’s leader reminded of.

Containing the new coronavirus is the top priority that the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Chinh, reminded the authorities in the affected areas of the south.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the meeting on July 15. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP

“Taking care of and protecting people is the first and foremost mission,” Chinh said at the meeting on Thursday morning [July 15] with heads of 27 pandemic-stricken cities and provinces from Phu Yen to Ca Mau provinces.

“Affected areas must prioritize controlling, preventing and stamping out the pandemic but maintain economic activities in safe places to realize the dual goals,” he said at the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Prime Ministers Pham Binh Minh, Le Van Thanh, and Vu Duc Dam who is also head of the National Standing Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Vietnam’s dual goals are to both contain the virus and develop the economy.

At present, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the country’s epicenter, still maintains economic activities while is put on the 15-day partial lockdown starting on July 9.

Provinces adjacent to HCMC including Binh Duong, Long An, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, and Tien Giang are also affected. Those localities are home to hundreds of industrial parks.

Speaking at the meeting, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said Covid-19 is sweeping through the southern region with rising infections due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. It requires strict implementation of medical declaration and surveillance.

So far, the country has reported nearly 38,000 infections, including about 27,000 active cases and 138 deaths. Meanwhile, the number of people in quarantine reaches 270,665, including more than 3,600 in hospitals, more than 77,000 in centralized zones, and the remaining at home and lodging facilities.

To support HCMC and southern localities, the Ministry of Health has sent about 10,000 health workers to the affected areas.

As of July 13, the health sector has conducted reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for 14.25 million arrivals, including 75% taken in the fresh wave of the pandemic that broke out in late April.