PM requests purchasing COVID-19 vaccine in February

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Somerset West Point Hanoi has been zoned off for quarantine. VNA Photo Phan Tuấn Anh

HÀ NỘI– Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered the health sector to conduct all necessary measures to make COVID-19 vaccines available in Việt Nam this month either through purchasing or from UN organisations.

He made the request while chairing a meeting of permanent Government members on pandemic prevention and control work held in Hà Nội on February 15, in response to complicated developments recorded in several localities nationwide.

The PM also urged that the research and production of domestic vaccine be accelerated.

He assigned the Health Ministry to decide options, partners and types of imported vaccines; identify prioritised groups for vaccination; and coordinate with the Finance Ministry in arranging needed financial sources.

Lauding prompt and drastic efforts made by the health sector and many localities since January 27 to date, he underscored the fact that necessary social distancing measures have been implemented while thousands of medical personnel have been sent to COVID-19 hotspots.

However, the situation remains complicated with a number of pandemic-hit areas including Hải Dương and Hà Nội yet to curb their local outbreaks, Phúc noted.

The Government leader highlighted the need for more drastic implementation of his Directive 05 on urgent COVID-19 prevention and control measures, particularly in quickly zoning off outbreaks, larger scale testing, and speedy contact tracing.

He agreed to proposals to halt the organisation of festivals and activities of mass gatherings, and told the education ministry to coordinate with localities to carry out online teaching in some localities.

He ordered restriction on Lunar New Year visits and travel in the first lunar month and strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention measures, particularly wearing masks in public areas, with stricter sanctions on violators.

The PM ordered localities to re-conduct COVID-19 testing for foreign experts and tightly manage quarantine sites to avoid cross infections, with the army tasked with managing these sites.

He approved the enforcement of social distancing under Directive 16 in the entire Hải Dương Province, adding that Hà Nội and HCM City can implement the measure in high-risk areas.

Ensuring food security, promoting local farm produce consumption, and tight monitoring of entry-exit activities are also necessary, according to PM Phúc.

Hà Nội to close streetside stalls, religious and relic sites from midnight

At the meeting of Hà Nội’s steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control on Monday afternoon, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chử Xuân Dũng ordered the temporary closure of all streetside stalls, religious and relic sites from midnight to curb the pandemic.

He asked that schools in the city allow their students to stay home until the end of this month.

The new developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hà Nội, with the source of infection of the dead Japanese man yet to be identified, his travel history complicated causing difficulties for tracing, pose high risks for the community.

He ordered relevant districts and townships to concentrate on tracing, zoning and mass testing to stop the spread of the pandemic. Along with the dissemination of preventive information through the mass media, local pharmacies and private health facilities have been asked to report suspected cases.

In the past 12 hours to 6pm on February 15, 40 cases of COVID-19 were recorded, raising the national count to 2,269, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among the new cases, 38 are in Hải Dương Province and two in Hà Nội. VNS

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