HCMC – Dr Kidong Park, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Vietnam, said the Vietnamese Government has adopted timely and effective coronavirus infection prevention and control measures that ensured the successful containment of the virus, adding that the organization will learn from Vietnam’s experience in handling the outbreak.
Addressing a meeting with Vietnamese leaders on May 12, Dr Park spoke highly of the efforts and determination of Vietnam’s national committee for coronavirus infection prevention and control, the Vietnamese people, health workers and the whole political system in fighting the virus.
However, the WHO representative warned that a coronavirus vaccine has not yet been produced and other countries around the world, including Vietnam’s neighbors, are still struggling with the pandemic, so the country should not grow careless.
Dr Park suggested Vietnam should “keep a close eye on the coronavirus situation, invest in the healthcare sector and be well-prepared in case there are new coronavirus infections.”
He introduced six criteria for relaxing or lifting restrictions: control over transmission must be ensured; health system facilities should be in place to identify, test, isolate and treat every case and to trace every contact; outbreak risks must be minimized in special settings such as health facilities and nursing homes; preventive measures should be adopted in workplaces, schools and other public areas; importation risks must be managed; and communities should be fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the new norm.
Park added that he feels safe when working in Vietnam thanks to the country’s effective preventive measures, transparency in publishing coronavirus information and timely updates on new infections as well as recoveries.
The WHO representative indicated that he believes in Vietnam’s health care system capacity, noting that WHO will learn from the country’s experience in responding to the coronavirus and promote cooperation with the Vietnamese health sector, experts, laboratories and research centers.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the national committee for coronavirus infection prevention and control, thanked WHO for its support from the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
He expected further cooperation with WHO and stated that Vietnam is always willing to share its experience in handling the coronavirus with other countries.
Dam added that the Government has relaxed social distancing regulations and other restrictions to help the economy rebound but will maintain strict immigration rules.
People presenting symptoms of a cough, fever and shortness of breath still have to be tested for the coronavirus. The country has used some 275,000 coronavirus tests to date, with some 1,200-2,000 tests being conducted per day.
According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, the country is accelerating its production of medical equipment, vaccines and medicines, so it will be well-prepared for any new infections and will be able to overcome any future outbreaks.