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Feb 05, 2020 / 08:32

nCoV epidemic in Vietnam may hit peak in next 7-10 days: Official

Senior officials said Vietnam has prepared different scenarios for the epidemic, including the possibility of more than 1,000 cases confirmed.

The novel coronavirus (nCoV) epidemic may reach its peak in the next 7-10 days in Vietnam, local media has quoted a health official as saying.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long speaks at the meeting on February 4. Photo: Zing 

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said at a Tuesday meeting that scientists have made that prediction to assist state agencies to prepare for different scenarios.

Currently in Vietnam, the epidemic is at the local transmission stage, Long said, adding that the initial stage of the epidemic is the infection of those coming from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

In reality, one individual in Vietnam’s northern province of Vinh Phuc got infected because of having made contact with her relative who returned from Wuhan.

Deputy Minister Long said Vietnam has classified three quarantine layers to cope with the spread of the epidemic, including (1) absolute quarantine for people who tested positive with the nCoV, those are at risk of infection, and those went to or came by China’s Hubei province as they are all considered patients; (2) a 14-day quarantine period at border gates or at home under authorities’ supervision applied to Vietnamese nationals and foreigners who came by China and returned to Vietnam or go to Vietnam; (3) limited travel or contact with the public for relatives of quarantined people and those who made contact with them.

“Each infected person and anyone at risk of infection should be considered a potential source of disease outbreak and must be thoroughly quarantined to prevent the spread,” Long emphasized.

He noted that the quarantine needs to get support by different forces namely local government, military, public security, civil defense, and social organizations.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is now head of the National Steering Committee for nCoV Prevention and Control, said Vietnam needs to prepare different scenarios for the prevention and control of the epidemic as some have predicted that the peak of the epidemic would be in two week or two months.

The committee has convened a number of meetings to make different requests and guidance with a scenario more than 1,000 infected cases and plans to deal with 3,000 infected cases, he noted.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned of complicated and unpredictable epidemic evolution to prepare for all situations. He said that Vietnam accepts some economic losses to protect people’s lives but “keeps some key sectors stable.”