Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 30 agreed to declare the coronavirus outbreak an epidemic in Vietnam and called for greater efforts to reduce the impact the epidemic that is spreading throughout the country.
Addressing a government meeting held in Hanoi on March 30, PM Phuc noted the country is entering a new phase of combating the outbreak, meaning that all resources must be pooled in an attempt to bring the epidemic under control.
“Up to now we have not yet imposed lockdown measures, but huge human movements pose a high risk of virus infection,” said the PM.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc says the COVID-19 fight will not be success unless urgent, drastic measures are adopted
This was followed up by another order for non-essential services to close, with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, and production sites. Organisations and agencies have been requested to arrange personnel in a manner suitable for them to work online, with the exception of key departments.
PM Phuc called on all cabinet members to make plans for possible lockdown scenarios, including a state of emergency, as well as solutions to ensure social security is maintained in the worst-case scenario.
“Though we are entering the ‘golden stage’, the fight against the coronavirus will not be a success unless urgent, drastic measures are adopted,” PM Phuc stressed.
Exemplifying these measures, an announcement was made regarding the cancellation of a government meeting between cities and provinces aimed at discussing post-epidemic solutions, whilst the cabinet meeting for March will be held online.
It was reported during the meeting that the COVID-19 has killed approximately 40,000 people globally. Domestically, there have been 194 confirmed cases, with no fatalities and a total of 55 patients being discharged from hospital after making a full recovery.At present, Hanoi tops the list of epidemic-affected localities, with 73 infections, followed by Ho Chi Minh City with 47 cases.