Gov’t may impose stricter social distancing in COVID-19 hotspots
The Government has issued Resolution No. 78/NQ-CP dated July 20, 2021, in which the Government said it would allow imposition of stricter social distancing rules in COVID-19 hotspots.
|An almost empty street in HCM City as the southern metropolis is being placed under social distancing.|
The following are highlights of the resolution:
The pandemic is evolving complicatedly in many localities, especially Ho Chi Minh City. Of these 19 southern provinces and cities are now placed under social distancing in accordance with the Government’s Directive No 16/CT-TTg in a bid to soon limit the spread and push back COVID-19.
However, there remain shortcomings regarding transportation and supply of goods, coordination between ministries, agencies, and localities and COVID-19 response capacity of several localities.
The Government requests the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, ministries and agencies to enhance coordination in assisting Ho Chi Minh City and other southern localities in the fight against COVID-19, strengthen discipline and public awareness in order to ensure the ultimate goal of putting public’s health and lives first and foremost.
Establishment of Government’s special working group
The Government decided to set up its special working group in Ho Chi Minh City to address urgent tasks arising in the fight against COVID-19 in the localities being placed under social distancing.
The Government assigned Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to provide direct guidance to the working group which is headed by a Deputy Minister of National Defense.
Procurement of medical supplies
The Ministry of Health is assigned to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and relevant agencies to work out a list of biologicals and medical supplies for concentrated procurement.
In the current pandemic time, the procurement of biological and medical supplies shall be conducted in accordance with Articles No. 22 and 26 of the Law on Bidding.
Under the guidance of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh, the Ministry of Health shall take prime responsibility for promptly drafting procurement mechanisms and submit to the Government for consideration and approval.
Serious enforcement of Directive No. 16
The Government ordered cities and provinces placed under social distancing in accordance with Directive No. 16 to organize serious and effective implementation of the Directive.
Grassroots political system shall have to strengthen inspection and supervision to ensure that citizens comply with the social distancing rules.
Responsibilities of ministers
The Minister of Health:
- Work out response scenarios for different levels of the pandemic. Shortage of treatment facilities and medical equipment, especially oxygen and ventilators is not allowed.
- Issue guidelines on quarantine period for entrants fully vaccinated.
- Issue guidelines on how to effectively manage COVID-19 patients (F0), people who come in close contact with COVID-19 patients (F1) and those who come in close contact with F1.
- Ensure progress of vaccination.
The Minister of National Defense:
- Direct the ministry’s coordination with the Ministry of Health in deploying vaccination.
- Direct the ministry’s coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology in research, development and production of domestic vaccines.
The Minister of Public Security:
- Mobilize forces to ensure security and social order, strict observation of social distancing measures, especially in areas placed under lockdown and social distancing.
The Minister of Transport:
- Ensure safe and smooth transportation of essential goods, input materials for production.
- Coordinate with the Ministry of Health to work out protocols on controlling transport vehicles in areas placed under social distancing.
The Minister of Industry and Trade:
Coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, localities, and businesses in ensuring smooth distribution of food and essential goods.
The Minister of Finance:
Mobilize financial resources for the fight against COVID-19.
The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam:
Direct credit institutions to continue preferential loan policy to support businesses and individuals.
The Minister of Labor-Invalids and Social Affairs:
Organize serious implementation of the Government’s Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP and the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 23/2021/QD-TTg on support for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instruct localities to review and update people in need of financial support from central and local governments.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Coordinate with the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies in promoting the purchase of vaccine and technological transfer for production of vaccines, drugs, medical equipment, and biological for COVID-19 prevention and control.
The Minister of Science and Technology:
Continue to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies in research, development and production of vaccines, biologicals, and medical supplies, and in accelerating human trials of COVID-19 treatment drugs.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development:
Timely address legal obstacles related to procurement.
The Minister of National Resources and Environment:
Coordinate with the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies to handle issues related to environmental protection, especially treatment of medical waste.
There must be satisfactory solutions for the sake of the economy and the country's reputation in international relations because the pressure to open up, for example, through accepting vaccine passports, is great.
Hanoi authorities on July 18 halted all non-essential services from July 19 amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.