Avoiding passivity in the fight against COVID-19

Friday, 2020-08-07 13:01:56
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A health worker takes samples for COVID-19 testing. (Photo: NDO/Ha Nam)
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NDO - The COVID-19 epidemic has recurred in Vietnam with concerning developments as it now spreads faster and a cluster of cases have been reported in the community, many of them living together in a family.

The number of newly infected cases is quite high and the epidemic is tending to spread to some provinces and cities. According to experts, the number of COVID-19 patients in Vietnam will continue to rise and will reach its peak in the next 10 days.

Therefore, functional sectors, particularly healthcare sector, must pay the highest attention to suppressing the hotbeds, tracing, and conducting rapid tests to detect new cases in order to stamp out the epidemic and prevent it from spreading to a larger scale.

Provinces and cities that have not yet recorded COVID-19 cases need to prepare scenarios in advance in order not to get passive. Depending on the locality’s current situation, the local authorities should consider raising their epidemic response level while preparing adequate human resources and facilities in case of the epidemic spreading in the community, and detailing tasks for each functional unit in the area if an outbreak occurs.

In addition, they must plan specific COVID-19 scenarios, taking the human resource issue into account. At the same time, health workers, including both working and retired staff, as well as medical students, should receive on-job straining in order to avoid the lack of human resources in coping with the new arising situation of the epidemic.

Playing a key role in epidemic prevention and control, the health departments of the 63 provinces and cities must immediately review their testing facilities and promptly establish qualified ones which are capable of conducting mass tests for suspected COVID-19 cases.

The medical facilities must ensure adequate equipment for epidemic prevention and control, particularly protective equipment for medical staff, groups at high risk of infection, and those working on the frontline in the fight against the epidemic.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in Da Nang showed a neglect from the local medical facilities themselves, thus the entire system of medical examination and treatment establishments must stay vigilant.
Hospitals need to develop plans to protect the intensive care, emergency care, and artificial kidney departments, because if the epidemic hits there, the number of affected people and positive COVID-19 related deaths are likely to be high.

Each citizen needs to raise awareness and responsibility while strictly following the disease prevention recommendations of functional agencies as well as local authorities’ regulations in implementing social distancing.

At a meeting on August 6, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Combat said that there is an increasing amount of evidence showing Da Nang City as an epidemic hotbed. Therefore, it is necessary to seriously implement preventive and containment measures and follow social distancing measures across the city and several some districts and towns in Quang Nam Province to prevent the spreading of the epidemic.

Since the risk of COVID-19 outbreak is also hidden in all provinces and cities nationwide, localities must strictly observe instructions of the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Combat as well as the Ministry of Health’s guidance’s on tracing and quarantining Da Nang returnees.

Leaders of provinces and cities, heads of the local steering committees for epidemic prevention and control need to raise a higher sense of responsibility, awareness and determination in the COVID-19 fight for the safety and health of the community.