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Localities need to raise Covid-19 alert level: Health Minister

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HCMC – Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at a meeting on May 24 suggested agencies, provinces and cities nationwide raise their Covid-19 alert levels and continue to make all-out efforts to bring the latest coronavirus wave in the country under control.

Besides this, for the Covid-19 fight to prove more effective, the health minister required localities to maintain the operations of Covid-19 prevention systems and comprehensively follow the higher authorities’ directives on Covid-19 safety protocols.

Minister Long added that global coronavirus infections are declining but new cases in Southeast Asia are on the rise, with Thailand recording a 51% spike in fresh cases against the previous week and Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore reporting increases of 32%, 35%, and 28%, respectively. In Cambodia, 400-500 new infections were confirmed everyday and the figure is likely to increase.

In Vietnam, the national tally reached 5,424 cases as of 6 p.m. on May 24, including 3,918 locally-infected cases and 1,486 imported cases.

According to the health minister, the fourth coronavirus wave is more complicated and could last longer than the previous ones. It has hit more localities and caused many outbreaks at the same time, with more coronavirus variants which are more transmissible than the previous versions.

In the latest wave since April 27, the country has reported 2,348 community transmission cases.

Bac Giang and Bac Ninh are the two hardest hit localities in this wave, but the coronavirus situation in the two northern provinces is being steadily brought under control. The minister noted that new community infections could continue to rise in the coming time.

These two provinces need to ramp up efforts in contact tracing, quarantining and testing. They also need to prepare adequate quarantine facilities, tighten control over areas practicing social distancing or being locked down and ban residents from entering or leaving quarantine facilities.

Further, they were told to closely monitor the operations of industrial zones, factories and dormitories of workers, ask them to make complete health declarations and take a Covid-19 screening test.

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