Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) speaks at the meeting on July 29 (Photo: VNA)
This new COVID-19 outbreak is different from the first as it has developed swiftly, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on July 29, demanding greater alertness since all localities are now at high risk of transmission.
He made the remarks while chairing a meeting of the Government’s permanent members to discuss COVID-19 prevention and control, following a string of cases reported in central Da Nang city.
Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that as of the morning of July 29, there were 30 cases of infection related to Da Nang, including 27 in the city, two in neighbouring Quang Nam province, and another in nearby Quang Ngai province.
Four more cases in major localities are set to be confirmed later on the day, he noted.
Most of the cases are linked with three hospitals - the Da Nang Hospital, the C Da Nang Hospital, and the Da Nang Rehabilitation Hospital - which have been placed on lockdown.
Maximum priority is being given to addressing the Da Nang cluster, Long added, pointing out that Hanoi, HCM City, and the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Dak Nong are quite likely to record infections.
He called on all localities nationwide to enhance their testing capacity to ensure the timely detection and treatment of patients.
Meanwhile, PM Phuc requested that local leaders engage the entire political system in the fight and improve people’s vigilance in carrying out disease prevention and control measures.
Asking for testing capacity to be strengthened, he told the Ministries of Health and National Defence to provide Da Nang with the necessary equipment and personnel, as well as other localities when needed.
He also supported plans to increase patient reception at central and military hospitals along with healthcare establishments in central Hue city and Quang Nam province, as many of the confirmed cases in Da Nang have other serious illnesses.
The Government leader demanded that each locality gear up its response plans, as happened during the first period of the COVID-19 combat, and that those plans include recommendations to the public on limiting travel, wearing a face mask in crowded places and on public transport, washing their hands with soap, and sanitising their homes and workplaces.
The Ministries of National Defence and Public Security must ensure good border management, while localities with confirmed cases must delay any major festivals and restrict mass gatherings.
The Health Ministry also needs to more strictly monitor people with possible symptoms or who had direct contacts with infected patients. The Ministry of Education and Training and localities must also ensure safety at the upcoming national high school examinations, the PM said.VNA