WHO official lauded Việt Nam’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic, attempts at local vaccines

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Entrants to Việt Nam via a border gate with Cambodia in the southern province of An Giang undergo body temperature checks and are required to submit health declaration forms. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Hậu

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s swift and targeted action in dealing with COVID-19 along with good communication efforts have set an exemplary response in the region, the Director of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office Takeshi Kasai has said.

Addressing a virtual conference on the pandemic situation in the region on World Health Day (April 7), the WHO official noted that Việt Nam has done well suppressing infections throughout the pandemic.

Việt Nam recently experienced a surge in community cases since the end of January this year with 910 local infections confirmed by the health ministry in the so-called third wave, mostly around hot spots in the northern province of Hải Dương.

However, “they are now pushing this virus back,” Kasai said, as the country has started its streak of no local infections recorded again, suggesting that the outbreaks have been contained.

“What we have observed is a very swift action, targeted but very intensive. Again, this is an example of early detection and targeted response,” he added.

“We also observed that Việt Nam has been putting significant efforts in the communications, reminding people to continue to do basic preventive measures while starting the vaccinations.”

Regarding Việt Nam’s locally developed and produced COVID-19 vaccine, the WHO official said the organisation welcomed Việt Nam’s attempts as the world is facing a great shortage.

“It needs to be safe and effective,” he added.

Việt Nam has developed their National Regulatory Authority, putting a lot of effort in using a global standard to check whether the performance of the vaccine is good enough, according to Kasai.

“WHO has developed standard protocol and technical guidelines in helping member states developing their vaccines and issuing emergency use approval,” Kasai said.

“We really encourage Việt Nam to again use this kind of international protocol so they can demonstrate the output of their developments with a clear safety and efficacy profile.”

As of Thursday morning, Việt Nam’s official caseload stood at 2,659, with 1,603 being local infections.

2,429 patients have recovered, while a further 81 patients have tested negative for the virus for the first, second, and third time.

All of the country’s 35 COVID-19 deaths took place last year during the height of the second wave hitting hospitals in the central region. — VNS

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