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PM orders stricter countermeasures against COVID-19 outbreak

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked ministries, agencies and localities to stay vigilant and seriously implement solutions to fight the acute respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

In Directive No. 10/CT-TTg, PM Phuc said Vietnam had managed the outbreak well thanks to joint efforts, noting that all 16 confirmed positive cases in the country have been successfully cured.

However, there is still a need for more action to prevent and fight the acute pneumonia epidemic, he stressed.

“Fighting the epidemic is like fighting enemies,” the leader reiterated, urging close monitoring over passengers travelling through border rails and strict observance of countermeasures in aviation, tourism and transportation sectors.

Under the directive, the PM asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform the Chinese side that Vietnamese citizens from China’s coronavirus-hit areas are allowed to enter Vietnam via international border gates only.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also tasked with informing the Republic of Korea (RoK) – fast becoming a major cluster of the new coronavirus outside China – and other countries and territories affected by COVID-19 about Vietnam’s responses, including denying entry to people from or transiting through the virus-hit regions.
Even those on official missions will have to fill out health declaration forms and be subject to 14-day quarantine once they enter Vietnam.

The ministry must also tell Vietnamese citizens living and working in the RoK – especially in the virus-hit regions of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk – to closely observe guidelines and recommendations on disease prevention.

At the same time, Vietnamese citizens are advised to avoid travelling to virus-affected regions except in necessary cases, and when they return home, they will face 14-day quarantine with no exception.

The Ministry of National Defence was ordered to prepare all infrastructure necessary to receive quarantined people that are not COVID-19 suspect cases but need to put under close observation.

The Ministry of Transport was requested to re-direct flights starting or transiting from virus-hit areas of the RoK to land in Van Don airport in Quang Ninh province, Phu Cat airport of Binh Dinh province, and Can Tho airport in Can Tho city.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security must provide the information about all passengers from the RoK entering Vietnam as from February 11 for localities in order to carry out monitoring and quarantine if necessary.