Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 11 issued a directive urging ministries and localities to prepare supplies, facilities and human resources for a large-scale quarantine scenario, VnExpress reported.
The directive requires all people traveling from or transiting through Covid-19 epidemic regions to be put under strict quarantine when entering Vietnam. They will subsequently be screened and applied appropriate anti-epidemic measures to avoid cross infection. Staff and members of the armed forces working in quarantine areas must be well-equipped to avoid getting infected.
|Fences are erected to isolate Hanoi's Truc Bach street where Hanoi's first Covid-19 patient resides. Photo: Giang Huy|
The Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs have been asked to publish a list of countries and territories hit by Covid-19 to help detect and isolate people returning from those locations.
According to Associate Professor Tran Dac Phu, adviser at the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center, large-scale isolation involves entire communes, localities, streets or apartment blocks, similar to the lockdown in Son Loi commune (Vinh Phuc province) last month and Hanoi's Truc Bach street on March 6.
Under the plan, localities will have to zone, quarantine and immediately sanitize areas infected with the coronavirus; review and trace every person who has entered the country in the 14 day period without locking them down in quarantine centers; promptly detect infection sources; and quarantine or monitor those who come into contact with Covid-19 patients under the health ministry's guidelines.
Relevant authorities have been requested to strengthen control over people entering the country by air, land and sea; especially along the southwestern borders. Flights, including those operated by foreign airlines, between Vietnam and epidemic-hit areas should be minimized.
From March 12, Vietnam has suspended visa waiver program for citizens of eight European countries namely Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the UK, France, Germany and Spain.
The Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health are assigned to focus on studying measures to prevent, control the virus, develop vaccines for Covid-19, and put a newly developed nCoV test kit into use.
People who provide fake news causing public panic and social instability or raise prices of basic goods unreasonably may be subject to criminal prosecution.
The Ministry of Justice has been assigned to propose measures to handle those providing inaccurate medical declaration or fail to comply with strict quarantine measures.
In addition to restricting public gatherings, government agencies have been asked to enhance the application of information technology for remote working and encourage people to use online public services.
As of March 12, Vietnam had recorded 44 Covid-19 infections, including 28 new cases which have been detected over the week. The previous 16 patients were discharged from hospital by February 26.