Vietnam must remain vigilant about COVID-19: WHO expert

Update: 12:58 | 01/05/2020
Dr. Kidong Park, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Vietnam, congratulated Vietnam on its initial success in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, but warned the country should continue to be vigilant regarding the potential threat of the disease.
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WHO representative to Vietnam Dr. Kidong Park says Vietnam must remain vigilant about the coronavirus epidemic.

Speaking in an exclusive interview recently, Dr. Park noted that Vietnam has recorded a low number of infections, with 80% of cases going on to make a full recovery with no deaths being reported.

The WHO representative attributed this success to the country’s thorough preparations following the 2003 SARS and 2005 bird flu epidemics, its swift response, and the strong resolve displayed by the Party, Government, and local people to combat the COVID-19 epidemic.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Dr. Park said the WHO has worked closely alongside the Vietnamese government, including the Ministry of Health, to develop a set of guidelines in order to get to grips with the situation nationwide. This includes conducting training as a means of improving the capacity of health workers in evaluating diseases, testing, and methods of protecting themselves when contacting patients.

Furthermore, the WHO has also supplied a number of crucial items to doctors and nurses operating on the frontline against the virus such as test kits, laboratory devices, as well as some medical protective equipment.

According to Dr. Park, the country may have succeeded in containing the epidemic as no new cases were found in the community for over 10 days. Despite this, he warned that the threat from the COVID-19 remains, meaning that the disease is likely to return with the possibility of community infection still imminent.

As a result of this lingering threat, Vietnam must remain vigilant and continue the battle against the COVID-19, the WHO expert stated.

He advised the country to continue to be strict when implementing preventive measures and enhancing the capacity of the medical sector to ensure that it is fully prepared for the possibility of another wave of infection.

Along with these measures, Vietnam should strive to maintain other public health services, including vaccinations, child care, maternity care, health care for people suffering from malaria, HIV, and other chronic illnesses.

In concluding the interview, Dr. Park vowed to work closely alongside the Vietnamese government to address the consequences that the COVID-19 has had on the economy and wider society.

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(Source: VOV)