Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed ministries and localities to speed up plans for the establishment of large-scale quarantine facilities and ready their resources in light of complicated developments of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The directive given on Wednesday by the PM required ministries and local authorities to coordinate with hotels and accommodation services to prepare rooms for setting up more quarantine areas.
The Ministry of Science and Technology was asked to be in charge and coordinate with the Ministry of Health in overseeing the research into prevention, treatment, and vaccines against COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health was tasked with reviewing the availability of human resources, means, and medical supplies in case of a widespread epidemic.
PM Phuc also directed that personnel employed at quarantine camps be protected and looked after well to avoid becoming infected.
In addition, the prime minister asked heads of agencies, organizations, and enterprises to limit and avoid organizing meetings, events, and crowded activities during this time.
Local-level authorities were requested to focus on reviewing suspected COVID-19 cases and take appropriate measures when necessary.
Meanwhile, the supply of goods and necessities must be ensured to meet the people’s demands.
The head of government asked that anyone who travels through or transits areas affected by the novel coronavirus be placed under strict quarantine upon entry into Vietnam.
They must subsequently be screened for risks and appropriate measures must be taken to avoid cross-infection in quarantine areas.
The duty of disseminating the list of countries and territories hit by COVID-19 has been given to the health and foreign affairs ministries.
PM Phuc requested that relevant agencies beef up monitoring arrivals at airports and border gates.
Vietnam has suspended the unilateral visa exemption and the validity of visa exemption certificates granted to Vietnamese residing overseas and foreigners who are spouses or children of Vietnamese people in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, England, France, Germany, and Spain.
All passengers entering Vietnam now have to make mandatory medical declaration as per regulations.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 126,000 people and killed nearly 4,600 globally as of Thursday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has so far confirmed 39 infections, including 25 Vietnamese, two Chinese nationals, one Vietnamese American, nine British citizens, one Mexican, and one Irish national.
Sixteen of the patients had recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26, while the other 23 are being treated.
Patient No. 17, a resident in Hanoi, was confirmed on Friday last week after Vietnam had reported no new infection since February 13.