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Vietnam PM says risk of COVID-19 community spread 'very high'

Saturday, August 08, 2020, 11:06 GMT+7
Vietnam PM says risk of COVID-19 community spread 'very high'
An 800-bed field hospital, built inside a sports arena and put into operation on August 8, is seen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Da Nang, Vietnam in this picture taken August 5, 2020. Photo: Tan Luc / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday warned of a “very high” risk of COVID-19 community transmission as he urged national determination, solidarity and responsibility over the next two weeks to stamp out the current outbreak.

The risk of the disease spreading widely in the community in Vietnam remains “very high” for at least the next two weeks, the prime minister said while presiding over a virtual meeting on COVID-19 response on Friday morning.

The number of community-transmitted cases in Vietnam has risen by 333 since July 25, when the detection of a 57-year-old male patient in the central city of Da Nang ended the country’s streak of 99 days with no local infection.

The government chief thus ordered authorities to take greater responsibility and more drastic efforts to contain the pandemic, especially in outbreak hotspots.

Greater determination, solidarity and responsibility from the “entire political system” is needed, he stressed.

Provincial and municipal leaders are permitted to decide on specific measures in order to promptly and effectively minimize infection rates while medical facilities must stay vigilant to prevent the emergence of new COVID-19 outbreaks.

Social distancing must be strictly implemented in all COVID-19 hotbeds and fast and precise testing is the key to contain the spread of the virus, Phuc emphasized.

Phuc also stressed the need to wear a face mask at public places and in big cities, manufacture ventilators, and stay prepared to set up field hospitals in such localities like Quang Nam Province and Da Nang, which are the hardest hit by the current COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam.

Speaking at Friday meeting, acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long reported that the number of people having installed the contact-tracing app Bluezone, which was domestically developed to track down people having close contact with COVID-19 patients, has shot up recently, especially in Da Nang, Quang Nam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and northern Quang Ninh Province.

Over 8.5 million people have installed the app as of Thursday, August 6. The Ministry of Health said the app needs at least 50 million active users to have a meaningful impact on contact tracing.

Notably, 21 cases of people with direct and indirect contact with COVID-19 patients have been traced through the app, Long said.

Vietnam has recorded 789 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday morning, with 395 recoveries and ten deaths.

More than 166,000 people are quarantined nationwide at hospitals, accommodation facilities or at their homes.

 

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