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Vietnam yet to declare itself COVID-19 free: health official

by VOV03 May 2020 Last updated at 10:52 AM

VTV.vn - Vietnam has yet to consider the time to declare itself clear of the coronavirus as the risk of infection remains and the pandemic shows no signs of waning globally, according to Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen.

Vietnam has reported no new locally-transmitted coronavirus cases for the past 17 days, said the Ministry of Health in its May 3 update. The total number of confirmed infections remains unchanged at 270, with 217 patients being discharged fro hospital and no deaths recorded.

Having no new cases for more than 10 days does not mean the disease has been eradicated and there is no risk of infection in the community and from outside, said Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen on Tuoitre newswire.

Tuyen, who is also vice chairman of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, said Vietnam has effectively brought the epidemic under control thanks to drastic preventive measures the government has introduced, and if these measures are in place, the second wave of infection is unlikely to rise.

However, he warned there is no room for complacency as there is an existing risk of infection in the community and the rate of infection remains high globally.

He said Vietnam has been repatriating its citizens stranded overseas or wishing to return to the homeland from epidemic-hit areas. In addition, although international commercial flights to Vietnam are not allowed at present, experts and official and diplomatic passport holders enter Vietnam to work. So there is still a risk of new cases that may arise.

The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control has yet to consider the time to declare Vietnam coronavirus free, affirmed Tuyen.

He advised the people to strictly follow health recommendations, including limiting travel, donning a face mask, keeping a safe distance, avoiding large gatherings in public places, and washing hands with soap or disinfectant solutions when returning home.

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