Minister warns of possible new COVID-19 wave hinh anh 1Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long speaks at the conference. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long warned of the risk of a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in the country at a meeting on March 26.

Speaking at an online training course on vaccination safety held by the Ministry of Health, Long applauded efforts by the Government and people in containing the third wave of the pandemic that began on January 27.  

However, there is now a high risk of a new spike in coronavirus infections, given the complex developments of the epidemic in regional countries, the minister said.

The long border line has made it hard for the country to control entries and exits, he further explained, citing cases of people illegally entering Vietnam by sea and later testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, which were confirmed by the ministry on March 26.

The ministry has required all localities that have detected entrants to immediately conduct tracing and quarantine, according to Long.

The official also asked localities nationwide to roll out COVID-19 prevention and control measures in line with instructions of the Government, while preparing facilities and resources for tracing, testing, quarantine and treatment for timely responding once there is an outbreak.

In his remarks at the conference, which was connected with more than 700 medical establishments and vaccination sites across the country, Long ordered ensuring safety during the inoculation.

He further said the unexpected side effects of AstraZeneca vaccine in Vietnam had already been warned by the producer and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The minister emphasised the significance of ensuring public health safety during the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for 2021-2026, slated for May.
Minister warns of possible new COVID-19 wave hinh anh 2At the conference (Photo: VNA)

Regarding Vietnam’s access to COVID-19 vaccines, he said the ministry has worked hard to negotiate with the world’s registered vaccine producers like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik V to buy vaccines. .

Vietnam initially expected to receive the first tranche of 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca via the WHO-led Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative in April, he said. However, due to some objective reasons, the supply date would be delayed for nearly one month.

The ministry has also been in talks with countries over cooperation in the production and development of vaccines in Vietnam, he said, adding that since the second quarter of last year, Vietnam has stepped up the research and production of COVID-19 vaccines. Two out of the four homegrown vaccines have entered the phase of human trials.

At the conference, experts guided health workers in safe vaccination techniques as well as in how to quickly detect injection reactions and handle them.

The public health's preparatory work in service of the upcoming elections was also touched upon on this occasion./.