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No local infection in 2 months, but Vietnam hasn’t declared end of pandemic

Students wearing face masks sit inside a classroom at the Marie Curie school in Hanoi on 4 May, 2020. (AFP Photo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Jun 21, 2020, The Hanoi Times. More Vietnamese citizens will be repatriated from overseas and foreign experts and skilled laborers will enter the country, meaning the number of imported coronavirus cases will rise, The Hanoi Times reported.

Although Vietnam has gone 65 straight days without Covid-19 infection in the community, the country has not declared end of the pandemic, and the reasons for doing so should be thoroughly considered, local media cited experts as saying.

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control at its June 18 meeting said that Vietnam had basically contained the pandemic but it keeps spreading globally. Some people seem to have become complacent and overlook prevention measures.

While there are still Covid-19 patients under treatment in Vietnam, more Vietnamese citizens will be repatriated from overseas and foreign experts and skilled laborers will enter the country, meaning the number of imported coronavirus cases will rise. Therefore, Vietnam should take cautions before declaring the end of the pandemic, according to the committee.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long stressed that Vietnam has entered the ‘new normal’ phase, started realizing the double target of containing the pandemic and recovering its socio-economic activities.

European countries have gradually loosened preventive measures and opened borders. Meanwhile, the pandemic is expanding in North and South America, especially the US and Brazil.

After nearly two months without any case detected, China is facing a second wave of Covid-19 infections with Beijing becoming the flashpoint over the last several days.

As the second wave of the pandemic has hit a number of countries, Vietnam is at high risk of infection from external sources, Long said.

Vietnam has so far repatriated more than 8,000 citizens and will continue bringing citizens back home. Therefore, the committee has asked its members to stay vigilant and be prepared for new scenarios.

Besides, the committee agreed to the resumption of a number of international flights with countries and territories that have put the coronavirus under control and have extensive multi-faceted relations with Vietnam.

The committee assessed that Vietnam needs to continue tightening border controls and manage immigration in order to prevent the virus from spreading in the community.

As of June 19, the world recorded more than 456,600 deaths, with eight countries each reporting more than 10,000 deaths. Thirty countries and territories have kept the fatality rate at zero, including Vietnam.

As many as 325 Covid-19 patients in Vietnam, out of 342, have been discharged from hospital after they have fully recovered from the virus, accounting for 95%. Currently, more than 6,176 people are under medical quarantine nationwide.

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