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May 11, 2021 / 17:34

Unnecessary to impose social distancing: Vietnam DPM

Vietnam believes that massive testing remains cheaper than imposing irrational social distancing.

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said it’s unnecessary to impose full social distancing measures to curb the fresh coronavirus outbreak.

 Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at a meeting on May 11. Photo: Dinh Nam/VGP

Dam, who is head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, made the statement at a press conference held on May 10 in response to a question on the possible movement restriction amid the rising infections.

Dam affirmed that Vietnam will continue five steps in the fight against Covid-19, including prevention, detection, quarantine, isolation, suppression, and active treatment.

This strategy has been well pursued by the country’s leadership and the whole nation since the pandemic has broken out in early 2020, Dam said, noting that the strategy matches with Vietnam whose health system is unable to cope with too many infections.

“Our goal is to offer good treatment but the priority is to keep the infections low,” he emphasized.

Above all, the top priority is to quarantine in rapid and narrowest manner to avoid impact on areas deemed safe.

 A lockdown zone in Danang. Photo: Quang Hai/Kinh Te Do Thi

Furthermore, as Vietnam is pursuing the twin goals of containing the virus and developing economy, it needs to consider a set of non-pharmaceutical interventions and the entry of foreigners, he said.

Currently, Vietnam still allows the entry of foreign experts and high skilled workers.

Sharing the same idea, Associate Prof. Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), said social distancing measures can be imposed only when the infection prevalence rate in the community is high and the contact tracing is hardly conducted.

The measure should not be applied if the contact tracing is moving on and the health sector is making progress in fighting Covid-19. “We are working hard to avoid lockdown,” he stressed.

Since the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 on April 29, Vietnam recorded more than 500 cases after 12 days, and the daily infection number was triple-digit on May 10.

Meanwhile, the suspected number is on the rise as the pandemic cloud looms over 26 cities and provinces nationwide.