COVID-19 tally tops 20,000, authorities told to boost coordination, decentralisation hinh anh 1Teachers and students of the Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy show their determination before leaving for Phu Yen province to support the COVID-19 fight (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The fourth COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam has witnessed unprecedented developments, leading to the infection tally exceeding 20,000 on July 5.

The total number of cases surpassed 10,000 on June 12, but it doubled within less than a month and stood at 21,312 as of July 6 morning, including more than 17,000 logged in the fourth outbreak.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the pandemic remains complex around the globe, and countries are unlikely to bring it under control in 2021 as new variants that are more dangerous and transmissible may appear.

Risks of coronavirus resurgence are apparent, even in the countries with large vaccination coverage, he said, adding that the pandemic in Vietnam is generally still under control.

COVID-19 tally tops 20,000, authorities told to boost coordination, decentralisation hinh anh 2HCM City students who are about to participate in the national high school examination wait for their turn to have sample collected for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)
He noted the COVID-19 situation is developing fast and complicatedly in Ho Chi Minh City and some nearby southeastern provinces, which are forecast to record more infections in the time ahead as the coronavirus has been present in many places such as factories, industrial parks, and markets for a long time.

Localities are exerting every effort to curb the transmission and issue timely measures in efforts to check the pandemic. However, actions against the disease are facing certain difficulties, Long pointed out.

The period of time to witness 1,000 new infections has been shortened faster. It took HCM City nearly one month to report the first 1,000 cases, but the figure surpassed 4,000 within half a month, from June 16 to 30.

Given the threats posed by the highly transmissible Delta variant that was first found in India, the Ministry of Health (MoH) held that the number of cases is likely to grow strongly in the time ahead.

COVID-19 tally tops 20,000, authorities told to boost coordination, decentralisation hinh anh 3A military vehicle of Miltiary Region 5 fumigates a street in Phu Yen province (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son, head of the MoH’s standing division for COVID-19 prevention and control in HCM City, said as the situation in the country’s most populous city remains highly complicated and unpredictable, the health sector needs to keep gearing up itself for the scenario of 10,000 or even 15,000 patients.

In the face of the pandemic’s complex developments, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 4 chaired a teleconference with HCM City and seven nearby provinces that are part of the southern key economic region to discuss COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

Leaders of the localities straightforwardly looked into their shortcomings such as the coordination among anti-pandemic forces remaining lax, the testing capacity yet to meet requirements, and some residents lowering their guard.

The PM stressed that since this latest outbreak has witnessed unprecedented developments, authorities at all levels, ministries, and sectors need to further step up the assignment of tasks and decentralisation, better clarify their roles, and boost the individualisation of responsibility.

COVID-19 tally tops 20,000, authorities told to boost coordination, decentralisation hinh anh 4Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the online meeting with HCM City and nearby provinces to discuss anti-pandemic measures on July 4 (Photo: VNA)
Together with Hanoi, HCM City is the economic, political, cultural, and educational centre of the southern key economic region and the country as a whole. Therefore, its COVID-19 situation has great impact on other localities in the region and also becomes harder to be dealt with, the Government leader noted.

Apart from the existing anti-pandemic principles, PM Chinh requested the city, ministries, and sectors to work out new ones that can utilise all-out strength to contain, prevent, and push back the coronavirus outbreak.

He also told the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Public Security, and some localities experienced in the COVID-19 combat to assist and provide skilled forces for HCM City and nearby localities.

Besides, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long also asked HCM City to promote decentralisation, enhance discipline, improve the proactiveness of district- and communal-level authorities, and bring into play the role of anti-COVID-19 groups in the community and at factories./.