|International experts advise Vietnam to be cautious about reopening the door to the world due to the complex nature of the pandemic (Photo:VGP)
At the meeting, representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international organisations spoke highly of Vietnam’s initial success in COVID-19 prevention and control in the recent past, as well as Vietnamese scientists’ efforts in researching and manufacturing equipment and medical biological products for the fight against the COVID-19.
They said the pandemic has begun to take its toll on global economies, both small and large alike. While the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading in a complex manner globally, it is dangerous that some countries consider re-opening the border and resuming international air routes to boost economic recovery.
Dr Kidong Park, WHO representative to Vietnam, pointed out that the WHO had a meeting two months ago discussing the possibility of reopening borders and resuming international flights.
To make this decision, he said countries need to consider if the disease has been brought under control in both directions, and the health system is able to cope with an increase in the number of infections after reopening the border and resuming international flights. In addition, the medical surveillance system should be capable of detecting, tracking, and managing imported cases.
After that meeting, he said WHO technical group has developed a set of guidelines for reopening the border and resuming international air routes. The WHO maintained that the reopening of the border must be based on the capacity of the surveillance system at the border with priority given to only essential travel.
At the June 30 meeting, international experts warned that countries should be cautious about reopening their borders or resuming international air routes as very few countries in the world have brought the pandemic under control wihin the community for 30 consecutive days.
Instead, they recommended that countries should maximize investment in the healthcare system to increase its preparedness to cope with the worst case scenario while discussing with partner countries the possibility of reopening the border or international flights.
They advised Vietnam’s health sector to further improve its testing capacity, considering this key to preventing the epidemic. At the same time, they said it is necessary to enhance communication campaigns to equip residents with necessary knowledge to cope with a possible new wave of virus infection in the future.
Representatives of international organizations also pledged to work closely with Vietnam in the fight, and hoped that Vietnam would share and cooperate with countries in COVID-19 vaccine research and production.