Making news

Localities must be faster in COVID-19 combat: minister

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has asked localities to change their tactic and act faster in the prevention and control of COVID-19 as the pandemic is developing complicatedly in a different way from before.

Speaking at an online meeting with pandemic-hit localities on February 2, the minister noted that the new SARS-CoV-2 variant is spreading faster than the old one by 70 percent, while 70-80 percent of patients showed no symptoms.

In case that the number of people having contact with COVID-19 patients becomes too large, making it difficult to trace their movements, localities should apply social distancing immediately and take samples for large-scale testing, he said.

He underlined the need to be faster and stronger measures to combat the pandemic.

In the outbreak in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai where 13 infections were recorded within three days, Minister Long asked the province to conduct testing and treatment on the spot. Equipment and human resources will be mobilized to support the locality in the work, he pledged.

For the southern province of Binh Duong where a patient is a student of a large university having more than 10,000 students, a field hospital with 400-550 beds has been prepared.

Meanwhile, the northern province of Quang Ninh is working hard to control the pandemic by the last day of the Lunar Year.

Minister Long asked Quang Ninh to impose large-scale lockdown in Dong Trieu town. Quang Ninh has had 8,000 coal workers who are on home quarantine, so that it is necessary to speed up testing so that they can return to work, he said.

Earlier, 11 additional communes of the township have been put under lockdown until a notification is issued.