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COVID-19: CDC deletes Vietnam from list of 'destinations with risk of community spread'

COVID-19: CDC deletes Vietnam from list of 'destinations with risk of community spread'

Friday, February 28, 2020, 14:50 GMT+7
COVID-19: CDC deletes Vietnam from list of 'destinations with risk of community spread'
The headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Reuters

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed Vietnam from its travel guidance list, a set of guidelines to notify travelers of countries and territories that pose a risk of community transmission of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

As of 7:25 am on Friday, Vietnam had been taken off the updated 'Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel' on the CDC’s website.

The CDC made the decision as it assessed that Vietnam has enacted effective measures to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, the Vietnamese Embassy in the U.S. said in an update in Vietnamese on its website on Thursday after a teleconference with the U.S. Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC on the same day.

Vietnam, alongside Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, had been previously listed as destinations with apparent community spread – a phenomenon in which cases of the virus are detected within the community, but the source of the infection is unknown.

Vietnam has so far reported 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese. 

All of them have been successfully treated and been discharged from the hospital.

The country has recorded no new infections since February 13.

Khanh Hoa, one of its three COVID-19-hit provinces, was declared free of the epidemic on Wednesday.

At Thursday’s online meeting, the CDC noted that the agency has plans to visit Vietnam in the second half of March to discuss cooperation and the establishment of a regional CDC Office in Vietnam.

Particularly, the U.S. wants to enhance the ASEAN-U.S. exchange and cooperation activities on disease prevention, which is also one of the topics of interest at the ASEAN-U.S. Summit scheduled to take place on March 14 in Las Vegas.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in the U.S., both the U.S. government and enterprises are interested in promoting medical cooperation with Vietnam.

According to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), out of a delegation of more than 40 U.S. enterprises set to visit Vietnam from March 3 to 6, about 20 will be companies specializing in health and pharmaceutical products seeking to promote cooperative opportunities with the Southeast Asian country.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has also pledged to provide Vietnam with necessary equipment for disease prevention should the need arise.

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