Aug 05, 2020 / 12:55

Vietnam to avoid nationwide social distancing: Deputy PM

The Hanoitimes - There have been no local coronavirus infections in other localities beyond Danang, suggesting there is little evidence that the pandemic is spreading rapidly in the community.

Vietnam would strive to prevent a second Covid-19 wave that could potentially lead to a nationwide social distancing period similar to that in April, according to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

 Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (middle) said the Covid-19 resurgence in Danang is a stern warning. Photo: VGP. 

The Covid-19 resurgence in Danang is a stern warning for all hospitals, provincial administrations and government agencies, Dam said at a meeting of the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 4

The fight against the pandemic will be long ahead, Dam noted.

Dang Duc Anh, head of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), said results from 5,000 antibodies collected in quarantine zones and other areas led to conclusion that the coronavirus spreading in Danang from early July.

Senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) Tran Dac Phu said so far there have been no local coronavirus infections in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other major cities, except for Danang, suggesting there is little evidence that the pandemic is spreading rapidly in the community.

Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the Covid-19 may have broken out in Danang from July 8 to 12, with the main clusters being three hospitals in the city.

In the coming time, the Ministry of Health would continue to support Quang Nam province in fighting the pandemic and accelerate the tracing for potential infection cases.

Upon hearing suggestions from experts, the Steering Committee concluded the situation in Danang and Quang Nam has been put under control.

With a population of nearly 100 million and a 4,000-kilometer border with neighboring countries, the risk of pandemic resurgence is inevitable, which requires everyone to quickly adopt to a new normalcy, stated the committee.

All economic activities have to continue but with new conditions and measures to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic, it added.

In a press briefing on August 3, Minister – Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the government is mindful of the scale of lockdown to contain the pandemic, so that the disruption to economic activities can be avoided.

Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong advocated the view that instead of adopting nationwide distancing measures, a partial stay-at-home entailing only localities hit by Covid-19 this time would help Vietnam alleviate the pandemic’s economic damange.

The nationwide distancing campaign implemented in the first 15 days of April was one of the key factors leading to the GDP growth in the second quarter at just 0.36% year-on-year, Phuong said.