in response to queries for reaction to an article by the New York Times published earlier this month about COVID-19 in Vietnam.

COVID-19 pandemic
Staff from Quang Ninh Province's hospital on their way to help local authorities in COVID-19 hot spot Bac Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

The article, which also included praise for the country’s COVID-19 response, said that Vietnam prided itself on the success of handling COVID-19 in the past year but that “the country’s luck may be running out as it faces an outbreak in HCM City and the emergence of a new variant".

Addressing the Sputnik News reporter who posed the question, the spokesperson said she thinks that “as a person who lives and works in Vietnam throughout the pandemic, you would share my view."

Since the pandemic began, with a view to protect public health and prevent the spread of the virus, to both effectively combat COVID-19 and ensure socio-economic development, Vietnam – at both central Government and local levels – has adopted strategic policies and rigorous, innovative directives, Hang said.

To deal with the virus, Vietnam has used unprecedented strict measures – like restricting entry, enforcing centralised quarantine, isolating clusters and tracing confirmed infected patients, ensuring close supervision in quarantine facilities, and effectively quarantining confirmed cases and their close contacts, Hang noted.

She also went on to say that the health ministry issued the 5K message – Khẩu trang (facemask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration) – and the 5K+vaccine message for people to co-exist safely with COVID-19.

“With the commitment and the efforts and engagement from the entire political system and each and every Vietnamese citizen, particularly those at the forefront against the pandemic, Vietnam has successfully squashed three waves of infections,” Hang said.

Vietnam is gradually putting the ongoing fourth wave of infections under control while ensuring livelihoods and minimising disruptions to business activities, the diplomat noted, adding that the country is implementing a vaccination strategy based on a suitable and scientific roadmap to achieve herd immunity.

Vietnam’s outcomes in handling COVID-19 have “earned the praise of the international community, the World Health Organisation, and other countries across the world,” she said, adding that the international media – including the US – have also called Vietnam a role model in COVID-19 prevention and control.

 

At the press briefing, Hang said Vietnam does not discriminate between Vietnamese nationals or foreigners studying, working and living Vietnam with regards to vaccinations or healthcare services in general

“Foreigners will be vaccinated once Vietnam receives more COVID-19 vaccines," she said. 

Reopening roadmap

Regarding possibly implementing vaccine passports, Hang said the Government has agreed with the foreign ministry’s proposal on adjusting policies on entry and exit as well as medical procedures for arrivals with vaccination certificates.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has worked with the Ministry of Health and other authorities on favourable conditions for entry and exit towards promoting tourism and mutual recognition of vaccination certificates (or vaccine passports), she said.

They have also considered reducing quarantine time and a number of tests required for those who have been vaccinated and tested negative for COVID-19 and proposed a roadmap to expand those allowed to enter and exit Vietnam depending on the outbreak situation.

On June 22, at a meeting with Singaporean foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said he hoped Singapore would share work with Vietnam to soon reach an agreement on mutual recognition of vaccine certificates and digital economic co-operation to create impetus for economic recovery.

Source: Vietnam News

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