PM calls for declaring end of Covid epidemic
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has instructed the Ministry of Health to make preparations to declare an end to the Covid-19 epidemic in Vietnam.
He said the announcement should come after the ministry removes Covid from group A, which lists dangerous infectious diseases with the ability to spread quickly and widely and have a high mortality rate or an unknown causative agent.
It includes influenza A – H5N1, all plague types, smallpox, dengue fever, and cholera.
He also instructed the ministry to wind up the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention, and take guidance from WHO recommendations and developments on the ground to make new plans to control the disease in the 2023-2025 period.
Since early 2022 he has repeatedly exhorted health authorities to learn from international experiences to adopt new approaches for living with Covid and consider it endemic.
Almost everyone aged 12 years and above in Vietnam had been given two doses of vaccines by mid-2022.
The ministry, wary of new variants, has been cautious about declaring an end to the epidemic.
It has said the declaration should come after WHO declares an end to the pandemic and the situation in Vietnam is well under control.
The latter means the number of cases falls to below 90 per 100,000 residents within a period of 28 days, with fewer than four of them on oxygen, and all cities and provinces should have fully vaccinated 80% of their population and have treatment capacity.
The World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on May 5 that the Covid-19 pandemic was no longer a global health emergency but remained a threat.
The virus first detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, has killed millions of people and wreaked economic and social havoc.
It remains unclear to this day how and where it first began spreading among humans.
In Vietnam, the disease has killed 43,201 people, but no new deaths have been reported in at least a week, according to a health ministry update on Thursday.
By Viet Tuan – VnExpress.net – May 19, 2023