31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Dec 15, 2020 / 20:30

UN asks Vietnam to develop Covid-19 testing center in South Sudan

The lab is expected to help increase the UN’s capability to fight Covid-19 across the area.

The United Nations (UN) has recently requested Vietnam to deploy a Covid-19 testing center in South Sudan to support the UN Peacekeeping Mission (UNMISS) to contain the pandemic in the region, the governmental portal reported.

The lab will also help increase the UN’s capability to fight Covid-19 across the area overseen by the UNMISS, Vietnam’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations stated at a recent conference of the Ministry of National Defence.

 Vietnamese medical officers help a man declare his health status in South Sudan. Photo: the Ministry of Defence

In response to the UN request, the Ministry of National Defence is seeking the approval of the Vietnamese government for the support of South Sudan with medical equipment produced by Vietnam to improve relations between the two countries and assist the peacekeeping forces garrisoned there.

Mr. Phung Si Tan, the deputy chief of the general staff of the Vietnamese People’s Army, said Vietnam’s second field hospital at UNMISS has helped boost the mission’s Covid-19 response.

Vietnamese peacekeeping forces at the UN mission in Central African Republic have also supplied free masks to locals and employees at the mission’s headquarters, Mr. Tan said.

South Sudan confirmed the first cases of Covid-19 in early April. UNMISS is making a significant contribution to this country’s reaction effort to Covid-19. It is renovating hospitals across the country, installing water tanks and purifiers, providing tents and beds to help treat more people in local communities, as well as supplying personal protection equipment and ambulances.

About 45 of the 111 medical civilian personnel serving in UNMISS locations across South Sudan are international UN Volunteers. Their vast experience makes them well-prepared for the Covid-19 crisis and they are carefully following all guidelines established by the UN.

Vietnam has officially participated in UN peacekeeping operations since 2014 and has deployed 172 military officers and staff from the defense ministry in UN peacekeeping missions in Central Africa Republic and South Sudan. In October 2018, a field hospital was erected for the UN mission in South Sudan, while a second was built in late 2019.

Vietnam has recorded 1,397 Covid-19 cases so far, 118 still active, most of whom are imported cases. Thirty-five have succumbed to the disease, many being elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney failure. No community transmission has been recorded in two weeks.