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Experience of Vinh Phu Province in controlling and preventing Covid-19

by NDO06 March 2020 Last updated at 15:00 PM

The last patient of the 16 coronavirus carriers in Vietnam (ninth from left) was discharged from a hospital in Vinh Phuc Province on February 26 (Photo: Ministry of Health)
The last patient of the 16 coronavirus carriers in Vietnam (ninth from left) was discharged from a hospital in Vinh Phuc Province on February 26 (Photo: Ministry of Health)

VTV.vn - On March 3, Vinh Phuc provincial authorities announced the lift of the lockdown placed on Son Loi, a rural commune that had been hit by Covid-19.

These heartening results were attributed from drastic direction from the Party Central Committee, the full participation of the provincial authorities, and enthusiastic response from local people.

From acute awareness and sound decision to drastic actions

Soon after two Covid-19 confirmed cases were detected in Vietnam, more cases were continuously reported in our country, with six of them being workers of a Vinh Phuc-based company who were infected after their training course in China’s Wuhan City – the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Being aware of the complicated situation of epidemics, Vinh Phuc provincial authorities have paid special attention to the prevention and control of the epidemic. Many irregular meetings were held by the provincial Party Committee to discuss and implement response plan for Covid-19.

Following the instructions of the Party Secretariat and the Prime Minister, the provincial Party Committee promptly issued documents to mobilise the fullest participation and highest responsibility of the entire political system in the fight against the outbreak.

An epidemic response scenario was developed with the worst case being taken into account so that the province could stay alert and active enough to take proper actions.

Accordingly, the province authorities directed the local health sector to review its facilities, provide adequate medical equipment and supplies at all medical stations in the province, detect those who needed putting into medical isolation, and spray disinfectant at epidemic-hit areas.

A field hospital and concentrated isolation areas were also established in the province to provide medical isolation for suspected cases, those who had direct and indirect contact with patients of coronavirus carriers; and foreigners in the province who previously came from the epidemic-hit areas.

At the same time, the province has also accelerated its communication campaign to popularise the Party’s guiding documents, the Ministry of Health’s recommendations, and latest developments of the outbreak in order to raise awareness about the disease and avoid unnecessary panic among the public.

The provincial authorities also decided to stop all festivals and allowed students to remain absent from school since February 10.

Although a range of preventive measures were taken, the province faced complicated developments of the diseases as confirmed cases were detected within only five days from February 4-6 and February 8-9. Vinh Phuc recorded the highest number of infection cases, with eleven (eight of them in Son Loi Commune, Binh Xuyen District) of the total of 16 cases detected across the country at that time.

Since Son Loi was eyed as an epicentre, the People's Committee of Vinh Phuc Province issued a decision on February 12 on zoning and isolation of Son Loi Commune, which houses more than 10,000 residents, for 20 days, starting from February 13.

The move aimed to ensure the highest effectiveness in the prevention and suppression of Covid-19 for the health and life of people in Vinh Phuc Province and the whole country in general, according to Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, Hoang Thi Thuy Lan.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Nhu Duong, Deputy Director of the Vice National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, described it as a bold, timely and responsible decision.

Maximum efforts taken to control the spread of Covid-19 outbreak

During the seal-off period, the province established eight teams to control all means of transport and people in and out Son Loi Commune. Dozens of medical facilities in the province stayed ready to receive, isolate, monitor and treat infected patients under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Checkpoints were set up along all roads of the affected areas. Vehicles must be sprayed with disinfectant to prevent the virus from spreading.

The local authorities also decided to allow local students to leave school for another week, from February 17 to 23, to ensure epidemic prevention.

A total of 161 doctors from medical facilities in the province were sent to Son Loi Commune. The Ministry of Health also sent a special task force and two working teams to Binh Xuyen District to assist in zoning off high-risk areas and environmental hygiene, as well as medical treatment.

In a similar effort to stop the virus from spreading, the National Lung Hospital sent a mobile radiography truck and ambulances to Son Loi Commune, together with medical supplies and leaflets providing advice on how to prevent Covid-19 infection for local people.

Police forces also joined their hands by providing medical equipment and supplies while inspecting key checkpoints around the commune and directing the tasks in ensuring security and order. Vinh Phuc Province also received huge support from organisations, businesses and agencies nationwide.

During the deadlock, leaders of the province tighten inspections and toured to hotspots in the province to encourage the spirit of people and functional units who were working round-the-clock to stamp out the epidemic.

The maximum efforts made by local authorities, its people and relevant agencies were rewarded, as all 16 people in Vietnam infected with a new coronavirus have recovered, the health ministry said on Tuesday, adding that no new cases have been recorded since February 13.

Notably, Vietnam’s performance in preventing and combating the diseases has been highly appreciated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC).

As stated by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Head of the national steering committee on the Covid-19 fight, Vietnam has won the "opening match" against Covid-19 epidemic.

While mobilising all resources to fight against the epidemic, Vinh Phuc Province has also determined to maintain economic development and ensure the livelihood of local residents. To date, most enterprises in the province have maintain their production and business activities as usual.

In the first two months of the year, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Vinh Phuc Province has increased by 10% compared to 2019. The budget revenue collection has reached more than VND 7 trillion, up 10% year-on-year. The province’s set economical goals for 2020 have still been well realised as planned.

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