PM: no treatment discrimination but resolute quarantine against COVID-19 hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 2 emphasised both the requirement for no treatment discrimination against those who have gone through regions hit by COVID-19 to Vietnam and the need to step up quarantine, saying it is a useful measure to control the epidemic.

Speaking at a meeting between permanent Cabinet members and the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control in Hanoi, the leader also asked the committee and agencies to stay vigilant and take drastic actions against the epidemic.

Protecting people’s life and health is the leading task at this time, he said, noting that public health must be ensured even at the expense of some economic benefits in the short term, given the worldwide spread of the disease.

“This is the highest requirement from the Prime Minister, and Party and State leaders to agencies and localities,” he stressed.

PM Phuc also ordered more equipment in service of the combat, restriction of trips to and from virus-affected areas and intensification of the communication work to raise public awareness of the epidemic.

The Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s spirit of “cohesive and responsive” should be carried forward in the fight against COVID-19, he said, calling for joint efforts of individuals, organisations and localities in this regard.

As for the huge losses facing tourism, aviation and other sectors, the PM pledged that the Government will roll out specific monetary and fiscal measures and other incentives to facilitate production and business activities. He also called for enhanced online transactions to prevent the epidemic.

At the meeting, the committee reported that from February 13 to 12:00 on March 2, no new COVID-19 cases had been recorded in Vietnam. Currently, there have been 115 suspected cases that are being quarantined.

Those who come from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Iran and Italy which are experiencing the alarming spread of the virus are quarantined for 14 days, the committee said, adding that it has warned people against travelling to the countries.

At the same time, the committee asked relevant agencies at airports to enhance coordination to speed up entry procedures, thus swiftly conducting medical quarantine.

On March 2, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s outskirts district of Dong Anh allowed 30 Vietnamese citizens who returned from China’s Wuhan city to go home after a 21-day quarantine.

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam announced that Vietnam will unilaterally stop granting visa-free entry to all Italian citizens from 0:00 am on March 3, amid fears over the spread of the epidemic as the number of infected cases is rising rapidly in the European country.

According to the Deputy PM, the source of the virus is not from only China as before, but also from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Iran, Italy and more than 60 other countries and territories across the world.

Therefore, it is difficult to detect the source of infection, as Vietnam cannot close its door to the world, Dam said, stressing the need to anticipate every situation, carry out necessary measures and stay vigilant in case new infections occur.

"Whether the source of infection is discovered or not, it is important to quickly quarantine and treat the infected patients and those with close contact to prevent the disease from spreading", he stressed.

He called for the continued vigilance to actively cope with the possible appearance of new infected cases.

The Deputy PM requested the Ministries of Health, and Science and Technology to speed up the development of test kits for mass production as more than 10,000 people are being quarantined in Vietnam.

According to the Health Ministry, as of 11:30 on March 2, 89,068 infected cases were confirmed in 67 nations and territories. The world also recorded 3,046 fatalities, including 2,913 in China, 22 in the RoK and 54 in Iran, 34 in Italy and 12 in Japan./.