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Vietnam to collect health declaration from all citizens over novel coronavirus

Vietnam to collect health declaration from all citizens over novel coronavirus

Monday, March 09, 2020, 13:59 GMT+7
Vietnam to collect health declaration from all citizens over novel coronavirus
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at a meeting on COVID-19 fighting and prevention in Hanoi, March 8, 2020. Photo: Vietnamese Government

All Vietnamese citizens will have to declare their health status for a national disease-monitoring database from Tuesday as the country takes a step further in its combat against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who heads Vietnam’s national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, on Sunday requested compulsory health declarations for all citizens as he chaired a meeting of the committee in Hanoi.

Vietnam is now in the “second phase” of fighting the epidemic after the country reported its 17th case on Friday evening, Dam said.

‘Patient No. 17’ was Vietnam’s first new infection in three weeks after no new cases had been reported in the Southeast Asian country since February 13.

The second phase is more challenging than the first as the disease has spread to more than 100 countries, the deputy PM said, adding that the virus is already “among us.”

Vietnam is prepared for all scenarios and has action plans in place to cope with even thousands of infections, he stressed.

“We will not be taken by surprise even with dozens or hundreds of new infections reported in the next few days,” Dam said.

While Vietnam has mandated health declaration for all arrivals from abroad, the deputy PM said such measures are “not enough” and “all Vietnamese citizens” will have to declare their health status.

He requested that the Ministry of Information and Communications, Ministry of Health, Vietnam Social Security, mobile network operators, and other IT units urgently finish plans for the organization of, and necessary technological tools to launch, a nationwide health declaration campaign on Tuesday morning.

All information collected from citizens must be strictly managed and used only for the purpose of disease control and monitoring, he underlined.

“The goal is for every Vietnamese citizen to be unified in this fight against the epidemic,” Dam said.

Vietnam had a population of over 96.2 million as of April 2019, according to a census conducted by the General Statistics Office.

The deputy PM also requested measures to discourage Vietnamese citizens from traveling abroad on non-essential trips, especially to countries where COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Compulsory health declarations for all visitors entering Vietnam from abroad have been imposed from March 7.

The declarations could be made electronically on the website, or at airports before boarding.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 109,600 people and killed more than 3,800 globally, according to the latest statistics from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 30 infections, including 14 new cases reported since Friday evening after a three-week period of no new infections between February 14 and March 5.

Sixteen other cases, diagnosed on February 13 or earlier, have been successfully treated and are now virus-free and out of the hospital.

The 30 cases include 18 Vietnamese, two Chinese nationals, one Vietnamese American, seven UK citizens, and one each from Mexico and Ireland.

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Tuoi Tre News

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