If Vietnam is to stop the second COVID-19 wave from spreading uncontrollably across the country, then according to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc it will need to do this within the next several days. “Early August will be the decisive time to stop the virus from spreading on a large scale,” he said at a meeting of officials on Monday.
Prime Minister also added that full force ought to be deployed to control all known epicentres of the virus. First and foremost, these efforts will focus on Da Nang – the central city which has become Vietnam’s newest COVID-19 hotspot, with 142 cases of community transmissions reported in the city since 25 July as of this morning.
Da Nang is currently undergoing a 15-day social distancing period but according to HCMC Party chief Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, the city should instead be placed under a complete lockdown – much like the city of Wuhan in China earlier this year. When Wuhan’s lockdown was fully imposed, people were not allowed to leave home and had their groceries and other basic goods delivered to their doorstep by the authorities.
The total number of COVID-19 fatalities in Vietnam is now at six, and all of the deaths have occurred in the past several days. At yesterday’s meeting, PM Phúc remarked that the current wave may have a more “critical impact” than the first one, with recent genetic analysis revealing that the virus responsible for the second wave of infections belongs to a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19, previously unknown in Vietnam.
In the light of these findings Prime Minister stressed that the whole country needs to go all out against the virus, and urged all localities to step up their efforts to prevent further spread of the pandemic. Accordingly, local authorities across the country are to trace all people at a high risk of infection, test them and if necessary, zone off any areas hit by COVID-19 as quickly as possible.