PM Phuc urges for stronger measures as Vietnam enters new phase of COVID-19 fight

HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) --  Foreigners infected with SARS-CoV-2 would have to cover their treatment fees in Việt Nam, but quarantine and testing fees will be free of charge, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a Government meeting on Friday.

Vietnamese patients were being treated free of charge through the COVID-19 prevention and control fund.

The PM has assigned the health ministry to set up the fund.

Among 29 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in Vietnam, 11 are foreigners.

At the meeting, PM Phuc asked for measures to be put in place to limit infection sources from overseas, such as reducing the number of flights from COVID-19-affected countries.

PM Phuc ordered airports nationwide to offer free face masks and ask passengers entering Vietnam to wear them.

People should wear face masks in crowded places like supermarkets and on public transport, he said.

Since the 17th infection case was reported, Vietnam officially entered the second phase of the fight against COVID-19. In the coming days, the number of patients might increase, he said.

The Cabinet leader affirmed Vietnam’s capacity to control the disease, saying the Government always made people’s health a top priority.

“We accept a sacrifice to short-term economic profits to protect public health,” he said.

He reiterated the Government’s double target which have been mentioned at meetings before: controlling the outbreak while stabilising the socio-economy.

Vietnam should also apply technology in teaching while classes are off and for detecting infection sources, he said.

The medical sector was asked to mobilise capable doctors and resources to treat COVID-19 infections to minimise fatalities.

PM Phuc also urged for quarantine and urgent sterilisation in areas which reported infected patients.

He said medical declarations were recommended for every Vietnamese citizen and compulsory for people entering the country.

“Each business, each person, each residential area should play a part in preventing and controlling the outbreak. Individuals, their families and communities must be aware of prevention measures.

“If we do not act now, we will be knocked out by the outbreak and the cases will multiply.”

Phúc said Vietnamese students living overseas must be put under quarantine if they returned to Vietnam.

Trade activities should operate as normal, and businesses must ensure supplies of food and necessary goods. Stores could stay open until 11pm to serve public demand, he said.

He asked the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control to prepare medical supplies, especially testing kits, and allocate them nationwide.