|Workers have their body temperature checked and are handed pamphlets on COVID-19 prevention measures before arriving at work at the Republic of Korea-invested UTI Vina in Diem Thuỵ industrial zone in the northern province of Thai Nguyen. — VNA/VNS Photo Quan Trang
Speaking at the online conference on the prevention and fighting against the epidemic with 63 cities and provinces on February 25, Dam, who chaired the conference, said Vietnam was among the countries facing high risks of infection as it had a border with China with regular trade and travelling between the two countries.
Until now, Vietnam has done a good job. The last patient in Binh Xuyen District in northern Vinh Phuc Province tested negative for the virus twice. No new cases have been reported nationwide for ten days, including in Son Loi Commune, which remains the hotspot for the outbreak with six infection cases.
Vietnam has won the first battle of the war against the coronavirus, he said, adding that the country needed to stay focused on the prevention of the epidemic as this war would be unpredictable, he said.
Dam said the Government, the Ministry of Health and relevant authorities had been actively taking preventive measures since mid-December.
Vietnam was the first country in the world requiring mandatory health declaration from people from epidemic areas since January 25. Travel warnings were issued at a higher level than those from the World Health Organisation.
He said the country had prepared the worst and would be in a position to respond to 3,000 infected cases. With previous experiences fighting SARS, MERS-CoV and H1N1 flu, Vietnam was determined to prevent it thoroughly, had early detection procedures and had quarantined, he said.
He stressed that the country had learned lessons on the virus treatment at local hospitals and health clinics with technology support and local authorities should not be over-anxious or careless in dealing with the disease.
Dam also said that the transparency of information was vital in order to keep people informed and give timely warnings.
Preventive measures needed to be implemented in the future, he said, including tight control on those arriving from virus-hit areas and wearing face masks in public places.
At the conference, representatives from Cao Bang, Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City shared experiences in deterring and quarantining suspected patients and spraying disinfectants at schools.