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Jan 05, 2023 / 21:19

Vietnam strengthens supervision at border gates to monitor new Covid-19 variants

Vietnam has asked border areas to speed up the vaccination campaigns and complete the job in the first two weeks of January.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health has issued an urgent statement on the reinforcement of medical quarantine and supervision at border checkpoints, as the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world has become more complicated with the emergence of new and different variants.

The measures will be taken in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year (Vietnam's traditional holiday) and during the festival season, according to Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong.

She has insisted on the need to strengthen surveillance and take more samples for Covid-19 testing at border gates, in addition to maintaining current pandemic prevention protocols as usual.

"Vietnam needs to make careful preparations to effectively control the pandemic, in the context that some countries are changing their Covid-19 control policy, especially the risk of infectious diseases being imported into our country is very high during the festive season," the official said.

“Therefore, provinces and cities with border gates need to pay more attention to taking samples in the community and reviewing the capacity of treatment and accommodation facilities,” Huong added.

The MoH has requested provinces and cities to actively roll out measures to ensure security and order at air border gates before the Tet holiday. Photo: Linh Duong/ The Hanoi Times

The MoH has also asked localities, especially those with border gates, to speed up the vaccination project, striving to complete the job in the first two weeks of January.

In addition, the Ministry of Public Security has issued a decree dated November 7, 2022, on ensuring security and order at airport border gates.

The decree creates a legal basis for public security forces to deploy measures to guarantee security and order at airports, helping to safeguard aviation security in all circumstances.

After China decided to open the border and lift the Covid-19 quarantine measures from January 8, health experts pointed out that the move may lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus-infected cases.

According to Dr. Phan Trong Lan, Director of the General Department of Preventive Medicine of the Ministry of Health, local health departments must continue to strictly implement the medical quarantine protocols specified in Decree 89 of the Vietnamese Government.

"Heads of agencies under the Ministry of Health and directors of health departments in localities across the country need to strengthen surveillance against the pandemic, although Vietnam is unlikely to be at risk of an outbreak due to its community immunity," Lan said.

Dr. Tran Nhu Duong, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, requested that attention be paid to communication activities so that passengers can proactively declare their health status and implement infection prevention measures.

As of January 4, Vietnam’s Covid-19 caseload rose to more than 11.5 million, with 83 new cases recorded yesterday, according to the health ministry. With 51 patients given the all-clear during the day, the number of recoveries rose to over 10.6 million.

Meanwhile, there are 24 patients needing breathing support. No death from the novel coronavirus was recorded in the past 24 hours. The total fatalities stand at 43,186.

So far, Vietnam’s total number of injected doses of the Covid-19 vaccine has reached around 266 million.