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Vietnam’s defense ministry working with Cuban experts on COVID-19 vaccine production

Thursday, August 13, 2020, 20:00 GMT+7
Vietnam’s defense ministry working with Cuban experts on COVID-19 vaccine production
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs a teleconference on COVID-19 prevention and control on August 12, 2020. Photo: Thao Le / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense is working with Cuban experts regarding the production of COVID-19 vaccines, Deputy Minister Tran Don said at a teleconference on COVID-19 prevention and control chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday.

According to Deputy Minister Don, three Cuban experts have come to Vietnam to prepare for the transfer of vaccine production technology and several types of medicine needed in the fight against the epidemic.

The defense ministry is working with these experts and will submit a detailed report to the prime minister in the coming time.

Four groups of researchers are currently in the process of developing COVID-19 vaccines in Vietnam, according to Nguyen Ngo Quang, an official from the Ministry of Health.

Among them, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) is planning to conduct human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine between October and December this year.

The vaccine is anticipated to be distributed to the local market in October 2021.

Another group of scientists from VABIOTECH, a state-owned firm managed by the Ministry of Health, is also expected to conduct human trials of their vaccine in early 2021.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.

Speaking at Wednesday’s teleconference, Deputy Minister Don suggested that the government focuses on dealing with the complicated COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and limit the number of flights that bring home citizens from other countries.

These flights should only be arranged to repatriate sick people or those in difficult circumstances.

The ministry requested that local authorities closely coordinate with military forces to assertively deal with illegal entrant.

Those who do not comply with regulations on epidemic prevention and control must be sternly punished, Don stressed.

The government should have specific and long-term measures to fight crime and illegal immigration in border areas to ensure the long-term result of epidemic prevention and control, he added.

The defense ministry has coordinated with relevant agencies to conduct COVID-19 tests on over 2,000 people in the military and more than 3,000 residents.

Six of Vietnam’s active COVID-19 patients are in the military, the deputy minister said. They are being quarantined and treated as per regulations.

All of them have families in the central city of Da Nang and the south-central province of Khanh Hoa.

The Ministry of National Defense has directed competent authorities to thoroughly track all military personnel who had close contact with them to prevent the spread of the disease.

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