Vietnam is on the right track in managing current outbreaks in the country, including remaining hot spot provinces, said Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Vietnam, in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Question: How do you evaluate the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Vietnam, with a rising number of cases in hot spots such as Ho Chi Minh City? Answer: Vietnam is currently facing a more challenging COVID-19 outbreaks than previous waves. There are two main factors that contribute to this: First, we have concurrent multiple clusters reported in multiple settings (hospitals, industrial parks, quarantine facilities, markets, communities) and that has spread to different provinces. Second, variants of concern with higher transmissibility, such as the Delta and Alpha variants, that can be attributed to the current outbreaks. WHO has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and will continue to do so to provide the most updated scientific evidence to support the Government in their response decision-making processes./. There are still clusters and cases with unknown sources of infection reported from a few Southern provinces. WHO acknowledges that Vietnam has responded to these clusters with vigorous actions. Outbreaks in many provinces are largely under control, although we still have provinces that are facing challenging situations like in Ho Chi Minh City. WHO is confident with Vietnam’s capacity to suppress this outbreak with its whole-of-society approach that has been led by the National Steering Committee from the beginning of this pandemic. Question: What are WHO's recommendations for Vietnam to control the spread of the pandemic, especially in the current hot spots? Answer: Controlling COVID-19 outbreaks is not only the responsibility of the health sector. It needs the coordinated actions from all sectors and good compliance of the public.
Public health measures such as contact tracing, laboratory testing, isolation and quarantine should be strictly implemented and further strengthened. Social distancing measures including targeted lockdown may be applied based on risk assessment on the ground. The communication to the public should be constant and credible to ensure people apply the 5K measures. In addition to these, coverage of COVID-19 vaccines among healthcare workers, frontline workers and high risk population such as elderly and people with underlying non-communicable diseases should be also increased. Vietnam is on the right track in managing current outbreaks in the country, including remaining hot spot provinces. However, as the current outbreak is more challenging and would take more time to control, it requires persistent and collective efforts following the whole-of-society approach.
WHO has been working closely with the MOH and will continue to do so to provide the most updated scientific evidence to support the Government in their response decision-making processes./.