Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc shared Vietnam’s experience in fighting against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic with international leaders and guests at the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) on Tuesday.
PM Phuc attended the meeting, which took place in the form of a videoconference for the first time due to COVID-19, at the invitation of World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The two-day event concluded on Tuesday and was attended by the secretary-general of the United Nations, nearly 150 medical leaders of member states, and 15 heads of state and government invited as special guests.
Speaking on the second day of the meeting, Phuc said the Vietnamese government had been aware of the dangers of COVID-19 since its outset.
The country had moved quickly to mobilize the involvement of administrations at all levels, including the national medical system, scientists, and the army in the fight, he said.
The government was firm in implementing centralized quarantine, contact tracing and controlling infection sources, and accepted “sacrificing short-term economic interests to protect public health and safety,” the premier said.
He highlighted that with a population of nearly 100 million people, Vietnam had so far recorded only 324 cases and zero deaths, adding that Tuesday, May 19, was the 33rd day without community transmission in the country.
The country had entered a “new normal,” focusing on economic development while maintaining effective pandemic prevention, he said.
The Vietnamese government, businesses, organizations, and individuals had offered medical supplies and shared their experience with many countries, including those hardest hit by the pandemic, he added.
The PM took the occasion to call on countries to stay united and pool resources to effectively cope with the pandemic.
He suggested nations devise post-pandemic development plans in combination with schemes ensuring social welfare for the public, especially the poor and vulnerable.
As ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam hosted and attended many discussions to seek a common voice and initiatives in the combat against COVID-19, providing support and working for economic recovery, he said.
PM Phuc expressed his belief that in the face of the most serious challenge since the establishment of the United Nations and the WHO, the international community will continue to uphold the strong will and power of each nation, and that strong international solidarity and cooperation to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19 and build a better future for each country and all of their citizens is an absolute priority.