Vietnam should prepare for all scenarios, including the worst-case one when thousands are infected with the novel coronavirus (nCoV), said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on Tuesday.
The warning was given during a meeting of the Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of Dangerous and Emerging Diseases, under the Ministry of Health, held in Hanoi.
Vietnam is among several countries with confirmed infected cases after a pneumonia outbreak, caused by nCoV - a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS, first surfaced in Wuhan City in December 2019.
A report of the Vietnamese health ministry reveals that as of 6:00 pm on Tuesday, a total of 6,973 people had been suspected of being infected with the virus while 60 had been discharged from hospital after recovery around the world.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China stands at 5,974 as of late Tuesday, Reuters quoted a report by China’s National Health Commission.
The death toll has climbed to 132, all in China, on Wednesday, according to the British news agency.
In Vietnam, among the suspected cases, 25 have tested negative for nCoV and 35 are still kept in quarantine.
Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, Deputy PM Dam assessed that Vietnam is doing well in controlling the acute respiratory disease caused by nCoV.
However, he insisted functional forces work hard to prevent it from spreading, given the complex development of the disease in China.
He asked the Ministry of Health to prepare medicines and necessary equipment and promptly detect and quarantine nCoV patients, urging centrally-run and provincial hospitals to swiftly set up emergency teams in different localities.
Treatment methods for nCoV should be exchanged at online meetings to be jointly held by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information and Communications, he said.
According to Dang Quang Tan, deputy director of the Vietnam General Department of Preventive Medicine, those suspected of carrying the virus are being quarantined and supervised in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, one of the two Chinese nationals who were the first confirmed cases of nCoV in Vietnam has recovered at Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital, according to Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son.
“This proves that the Vietnamese medical sector has sufficient capacity to treat nCoV patients,” Son underlined.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Deputy PM Dam also asked the Ministry of Health to complete and update its plans to deal with nCoV in specific situations on Monday.
According to the health ministry’s assessment, the nCoV epidemic in Vietnam currently stands at level 1, which means there are infected cases.
The ministry also said that it is already ready to cope with level 2, when there is local contagion, and has a plan to respond to level 3 when there are over 20 infected cases according to ASEAN standards.
Deputy PM Dam asked that the health ministry continue to follow the prepared plan while working to add more specific scenarios, including the worst-case one where the number of infected cases in Vietnam reaches into the thousands.