Steering Committee: Social distancing measures prove effective hinh anh 1Meeting of National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Social distancing measures have proven effective in Vietnam’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with only eight new cases reported in the week of April 13-19, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced on April 20.

Vietnam is controlling the disease well, the committee said, with no new cases recorded from April 17 to 19.

The latent risk of infection remains, however, and health offices, local authorities, and people must continue to implement preventive measures.

Any loosening of social distancing measures should be carried out gradually and in accordance with the local situation, while socio-economic development goals are to also be soundly implemented, the Steering Committee emphasised.

Regarding the 188th patient, who tested positive after being discharged from hospital, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said she had tested negative twice and was quarantined at her home in Hanoi’s Thuong Tin district. She exhibited a cough and shortness of breath on April 17 and tested positive for the virus. She was hospitalised at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases a day later. On the morning of April 19, the result of her test using the Real-time PRC method was negative. Her sample will be tested one more time on April 20, Son added.

He also said that the ministry has set up two inspection teams to supervise all of its hospitals. Health clinics, meanwhile, have set up separate areas to cater to patients and all health workers have been equipped with protective gear.

The Steering Committee had directed the ministry to continue monitoring regulations relating to the reception of people at health clinics.

Local authorities have been requested to issue supplementary regulations based on the guidance from the health sector, with the Chair of provincial people’s committees to be responsible for infections at health clinics.

The Steering Committee also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to prepare more thorough instructions for business operations.

Discussing safe travel, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said the ministry will review existing guidance on ensuring safety on flights and in inter-provincial buses and taxis, and will update preventive measures in accordance with instructions from the health sector.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Trinh Thi Thuy said the ministry will share updated preventive measures with tour guides, travel agents, hotels, and tourism service providers.

Steering Committee members have suggested stepping up the application of information technology in monitoring compliance with COVID-19 prevention and control regulations.

It has asked ministries, sectors, and localities to remain vigilant and tackle the virus so that production and business may develop once again./.