Vietnam racing against time to protect industrial parks from COVID-19 hinh anh 1A medical worker takes sample for COVID-19 testing. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s national count of COVID-19 cases has crossed the milestone of 10,000 more than a month after the resurgence of the virus began in late April, wreaking havoc on multiple major industrial parks where thousands of factory workers have become infected.

Health authorities have attributed the severe outbreaks to two coronavirus variants that were detected in Britain and India, particularly the Indian variant which is highly contagious and dangerous.

Efforts have been redoubled to swiftly quarantine infected people, trace their close contacts and conduct mass testing in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.

Health workers from all over the country have been sent to Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, the country’s largest hotspots of COVID-19 so far, while new hospitals exclusively for COVID-19 treatment have been established in the two northern provinces to deal with the spike in cases.

Vietnam racing against time to protect industrial parks from COVID-19 hinh anh 2Spraying disinfectants on streets. (Photo: VNA)

Thanks to such concerted measures, the outbreaks are gradually brought under control in the two provinces.

The provinces are urged to go ahead with the plan of mass testing in high-risk areas and strictly follow the provided guidelines on safe handling and processing of COVID-19 testing samples collected from people quarantined in concentrated sites.

Vaccine is now poised as the most effective tool in keeping the virus at bay. The country has set the goal of securing as much and as soon as possible COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate about 75 percent of its population in order to achieve herd immunity this year.

In a recent meeting on COVID-19 response, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has reiterated his demand to accelerate the national vaccine rollout, saying there must be more swift and effective efforts on the “COVID-19 vaccine front.”

The biggest challenge at the moment is that there is no commitment from vaccine suppliers on the scheduled delivery time of vaccine which may be subject to change, according to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Vietnam racing against time to protect industrial parks from COVID-19 hinh anh 3A worker in Bac Giang receives screening test before being given COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam is racing against the clock to complete inoculation for high-risk workers in July and for industrial park workers nationwide in August. Some 150,000 vaccine doses have been given to factory workers and people in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang each this month.

The Ministry of Health is making every endeavour to procure 150 million vaccine doses, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said, adding that his ministry has been looking for all possible sources of supply.

One of the sources is highly likely the country’s first coronavirus vaccine Nano Covax – developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC – which entered the third-phase clinical trial last week. All eyes are now on the home-grown vaccine that is expected to be available for use by the end of this year’s third quarter.

Until then, all cities and provinces must maintain high alert against the virus, monitor the local observation of COVID-19 preventive rules and conduct screening tests on high-risk people, the Ministry of Health has requested.

It has also urged localities to ensure the highest level of safety for industrial parks where social distancing must be practiced, probably in form of working shifts, and weekly rapid testing for workers./.