Vietnam should ‘plan ahead’ as new Covid situation deteriorates
The World Health Organization told Vietnam to prepare the necessary human and material resources as the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak looms ever larger.
Vietnam is at a very critical point of the pandemic where cases are increasing in many parts of the country.
“It is prudent to plan ahead to mobilize sufficient human, material and financial resources based on the local context, in order to protect the health system from being overwhelmed,” Kidong Park, WHO representative in Vietnam, told VnExpress.
“It should be noted that controlling Covid-19 outbreaks is not only the responsibility of the health sector. It needs the coordinated action of all sectors, along with public compliance and support,” he said.
Vietnam is in the grip of its fourth Covid-19 community wave, which hit the nation in late April.
Since then, more than 91,000 cases have been recorded in 62 cities and provinces, with northern Cao Bang Province the only locality yet to be infected.
The nation’s biggest city Ho Chi Minh accounts for most infections, more than 58,000.
So far in the new wave, 335 people have died compared to just 35 during the first three waves.
For what comes next, Park said communication should be timely, consistent and credible to ensure the public complies with necessary preventive measures, including wearing masks and avoiding gatherings, at individual and community level.
Regarding vaccination, priority should be given to healthcare and frontline workers.
It is also critical to ensure the elderly and vulnerable are vaccinated to protect them from severe disease and death.
“Amid limited supply, the government should manage vaccine distribution well to ensure those most in need receive their shots,” the WHO representative stressed.
Experience in many countries, including Vietnam, has shown comprehensive public health and social measures, plus vaccination of vulnerable populations, have proven critical to limiting the spread of Covid-19 and reducing deaths, he said.
“Robust implementation of these measures, combined with rapid identification of cases, supported by laboratory testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, is key in outbreak management.”
Hanoi, HCMC, and all 18 other southern localities have been put under stringent social distancing measures in accordance with government Directive 16, which does not allow anyone to leave their homes apart from buying food, seeking medical treatment and working at companies still allowed to operate.
The nation of 96 million has so far vaccinated more than 4.5 million against Covid-19, yet only 372,353 have received two doses.
By Minh Nga & Le Nga – VnExpress.net – July 25, 2021