PM asks for readiness in responding to new dangerous coronavirus strains hinh anh 1Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the meeting (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on April 9 urged the Health Ministry to devise new COVID-19 prevention and control scenarios to make Vietnam always ready in responding to the rapid development of the pandemic or the possible future appearance of more contagious and dangerous coronavirus strains.

Addressing the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control’s 14th teleconference with leaders of 63 provinces and cities, PM Chinh, who is also head of the committee, stressed that vaccine continues to be a “strategic weapon” in the fight against COVID-19.

Therefore, he asked for the acceleration of giving the third shot to those needed, and the completion of administering the second jab to children aged between 12-18 in April; and the speeding up of the vaccine secure and inoculation for children aged between 5-11 and completing the work in the second quarter of this year.

He also requested sectors, units and localities to be proactive in terms of treatment drugs, biological products for testing, new vaccines, and in preparing for the apprearance of new variants of the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment was assigned to make policies to encourage the production of vaccines, treatment drugs, biological products, and test kits. The Ministry of Education and Training was required to coordinate with the Health Ministry and localities to speed up vaccination for students and ensure the safe reopening and operation of schools.

Chinh requested the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to ensure safe, friendly and effective tourism, and work with the Foreign Ministry in removing bottlenecks related to visa policies and making thorough preparations towards the successful organisation of the upcoming 31st Southeast Asia (SEA) Games.

He also asked the local Steering Committees to intensify the fight against corruption, negative phenomenon and wastefulness in pandemic prevention and control.

Meanwhile, the People’s Committees at all levels were required to continue working on the dual targets of pandemic combat and socio-economic recovery and development, and putting the lives and health of locals at first.

Vietnam has to date recorded over 10 million COVID-19 infections, of whom nearly 8.5 million have been given the all-clear. In the last week, the number of new infected cases in the community decreased by 36.9 percent, and that of severe cases was also down 31.7 percent, while the number of fatalities dropped 26.1 percent.

By early April, Vietnam had received over 230 million vaccine doses, of which over 207 million had been administered./.