The Saigon Times
HCMC – Vietnam is at high risk of acquiring imported Covid-19 transmission cases in the last few months of the year as many important events have been planned during this time, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said at a teleconference on Covid-19 infection prevention and control this morning, November 24, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Long said localities across the country have tried hard to bring life back to normal in recent months and, as such, stricter infection prevention and control measures will be required.
According to the Health Minister, Vietnam has gone 83 days without new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases. However, the pandemic is still developing complicatedly elsewhere around the world, with many countries reporting a surge in new cases recently.
Risks remain high as travel has been eased somewhat. On November 23 alone, there were some 5,000 people visiting or leaving Vietnam, including 77 people who entered Vietnam illegally through the northern borders.
Many Vietnamese people returning from other countries have refused to be quarantined, provided incorrect health declarations or fled from quarantine centers.
Since early this year, the border guard forces have set up over 6,000 fixed and mobile checkpoints and found more than 20,000 cases of illegal immigration.
Nguyen Trong Kha, vice head of the Agency of Health Examination and Treatment, said Vietnam has some one active Covid-19 case per 1 million population, while some other countries have 30,000 Covid-19 cases per 1 million population.
“If we had 3,000 Covid-19 cases per 1 million population, the health system would be overloaded,” he said.
Most hospitals in the country have been equipped with highly functional ventilators but not many of them are capable of operating the devices efficiently.
Khoa suggested that localities should have plans to transform general hospitals into Covid-19 treatment hospitals with all the necessary equipment and capacities in case of an emergency. They should also be prepared to set up quarantine centers.
Health Minister Long said that Vietnam’s health system is currently capable of performing 3,800-4,000 Covid-19 tests a day. The figure has doubled that of July, but Long said the health system should enhance the Covid-19 testing capacity as “the faster the detection, the more effective the containment”.
Long said most health facilities have resumed normal operations, leading to a high risk of Covid-19 spread. Therefore, the Ministry of Health has asked the health facilities to tighten control over the implementation of preventive measures.
The Ministry has also demanded that frozen food products imported from pandemic-hit countries must undergo Covid-19 tests because the coronavirus, which causes the disease, can survive for long.
In conclusion, the Health Minister said all departments and authorities must always be watchful and prepare for all possible scenarios.
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