Can’t stay in lockdowns forever: Vietnam’s PM

FILE PHOTO: A medical specialist wearing a protective suit collects a swab sample from a traveller who has returned from Da Nang, at a testing center for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hanoi, Vietnam August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Kham. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Sep 2, 2021, VN Express. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh says lockdowns cannot be the sole way to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. A combination of solutions is needed to repel the coronavirus, VN Express reported.

The goal of the whole country now is to prevent infections from spreading, apply solutions to safely adapt to the disease, and reduce the mortality rate with vaccines and drugs, he said at a meeting with 70 medical experts Wednesday.

Many countries have already changed their strategies to adapting and coexisting with Covid-19, the PM noted.

Vaccines and drugs are a “long-term strategy and decisive tools,” he said, adding: “We cannot stay in isolation and lockdown forever because the difficulty it places on the society and economy is huge.

“Applying science to pandemic prevention is the core key to success and the path to beat the pandemic,” Chinh stated.

This was the second time that PM Chinh expressed the idea of living with the virus instead of doing everything to end it. He had said it for the first time on August 28, chairing a meeting with authorities of more than 1,000 wards and communes affected by the ongoing Covid-19 wave.

“We have set the goal of containment and controlling the outbreak, but we have to know that this war is still a long one and we will have to live with the pandemic for a long time,” he said. “We cannot control it completely and we must adapt and have suitable ways to respond to the situation.”

Vietnam was hit by the fourth Covid-19 wave over four months ago and so far, 62 of the nation’s 63 localities have been infected.

As of now, 23 cities and provinces, including the three biggest ones – Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang – have applied the most stringent social distancing rules.

The PM said that the fight against the current pandemic was unprecedented, so scientists would play a key role in identifying medical solutions.

In the past two years, Vietnamese scientists have achieved some results in the pandemic fight.

The nation has produced Covid-19 test kits, developed its own Covid-19 drugs and vaccines, but the latter are still in the trial phase.

Vietnam has so far recorded 469,312 Covid cases and 11,833 deaths in the ongoing wave starting April 27.

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