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Mar 18, 2021 / 05:22

Vietnam sets plan for 'vaccine passport' and reopening international flights: PM

Vietnam's prime minister asked the Ministry of Health to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to consider appropriate anti-pandemic measures when applying "vaccine passport".

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 17 asked ministries to study reopening international flight routes and prepare for the use of 'vaccine passport', as well as promoting international trade.

The prime minister made the request at an online Government meeting with national and local steering committees for Covid-19 prevention and control.

PM Phuc said that Vietnam had correctly identified the danger level of the Covid-19 pandemic, activated the national disease prevention system on time, and offered solutions suitable to the capacity of the country.

"Vietnam has early implemented policies unseen in some other countries by then, like centralized quarantine, rapid contact tracing and quick lockdowns, while the entire political system joined Covid-19 prevention efforts with strong and comprehensive measures," Phuc added.

He stressed that the war against the novel coronavirus will last long and there remain a lot of tasks to do.

"Vietnam will not let its guard down as many new variants of the coronavirus are spreading in numerous regions, including ASEAN countries," the prime minister noted.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting. Photo: Quang Hieu

He asked the Ministry of Health to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to consider appropriate anti-pandemic measures when applying "vaccine passport".

The Ministry of National Defence has been requested to strictly supervise border lines, border gates and seaports to prevent illegal entry, especially at trails and in border areas. It is also tasked with cooperating with functional agencies to strictly handle cases of intentional illegal entry.

“We understand that businesses, especially those of transportation, services, and tourism are facing numerous difficulties, and many people are underemployed. We will actively implement measures and appropriate policies to support and restore affected industries, especially tourism and aviation,” said the prime minister.

Phuc added that he had received the recommendation of the Tourism Advisory Council on reopening borders to foreign tourists. "I have required the ministries of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Foreign Affairs to study it in order to formulate a more detailed proposal and submit it to the government."

At the meeting, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long stated that a total 20,695 medical and other frontline workers nationwide got the AstraZeneca vaccine shots as of March 16.

Reports from the vaccination sites indicate normal post-injection reactions, including fever, redness, swelling, tiredness, headache, muscle pain and nausea, Long added.

He noted that the Ministry of Health has continuously supervised people vaccinated with AstraZeneca because there have been some cases of blood clotting in the world after being injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"We have asked all health facilities to keep training health workers and organize appropriate and safe vaccination sites," Long said.

Vietnam documented 1,597 domestically-transmitted infections, including 904 cases since the latest outbreak hit Hai Duong province and some other northern localities on January 27.

At the time of writing, the country 2,567 Covid-19 confirmed infection cases, including 2,198 recoveries and 35 deaths.