On September 15th 2021, at the Government Office, H.E Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister of S.R Viet Nam held a consultation meeting with the experts of the Vietnam General Medical Association on Prevention and Control Measures of Covid-19 pandemic in the new situation.
At the meeting, the experts and scientists predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would last long with the possible emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2. In some cities and provinces such as Ho Chi Minh city, Binh Duong, Long An…, the number of coronavirus cases surged although the pandemic situation has been controlled in others. Therefore, experts and scientists believed that there should be a need for adjustments in anti-pandemic solutions and strategies in the new situation.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.
Prof.Dr. Nguyen Van Kinh, President of the Vietnam Infectious Association suggested that local governments with high number of cases should focus on controlling the source of infection to reduce the number of new cases, quickly reduce the number of deaths, and accelerating vaccination; and then gradually resume production and business activities in line with the new normal after vaccination and herd community has been achieved. Besides, a safety belt will be established around safe areas to strictly control people entering and leaving them, and preventing the disease from spreading to other areas. In addition, localities must have provincial infectious hospitals, connecting down to district level to handle situation in the spirit of “where the pandemic is, it will be settled neatly”. He also streessed that “it is necessary to combine eastern medicine with western medicine like using Molnupiravir in the treatment to provide better wellness to the patients and to cure the disease”.
Experts and scientists emphasized that the people must continue to strictly follow the 5K message, especially wearing masks when leaving their houses, it is recommended to have positive adjustments in order to form safe coexistence models such as safe living, safe education, safe travel, and safe production …; to practise social distancing if necessary to slow down the chain of infection… Some said that the localities that are controlling the pandemic will continue to prevent, detect early, trace and isolate promptly for effective treatment.
The scene of the meeting.
In order to live safely with the existence of SARS-CoV-2, experts suggested strengthening the “4 on-the-spot” motto in medical response capacity: Testing capacity (actively having source of cheap and rapid antigen tests) associated with epidemiological investigation; isolation, collection of primary classification; treatment facilities are fully equipped with drugs, low-cost oxygen concentrator products, and Covid-19 vaccines … Ministries, sectors, agencies at central level need to prepare mobile forces for testing and treatment … always being ready to provide aids to various localities. There must be specific measures and solutions for prevention and control of the pandemic in new situation in order to ensure social security, order and safety in communities when the pandemic surges and becomes complicated.
Regarding the assurance of on-site human resources in prevention and control of the outbreak of the pandemic, experts and scientists assessed that the command mechanism at commune / ward level, and district level is facing many difficulties, inadequacies, and still remains inflexible and uncreative due to the limited advisory capacity of grassroot healthcare facilities. In addition, the guidelines of health sector are too specific and detailed, however there is a lack of principled regulations for local authorities to apply reasonably in accordance with their realities.
According to Prof.Dr. Ta Thanh Van, Rector of Hanoi Medical University, instead of just sending medical students to support the anti-pandemic work, it is necessary to promote the capacity of medical schools in training, coaching, and guiding knowledge related to pandemic prevention and control for medical staff, doctors and the people, especially administration officials at district and commune/ward level.
At the meeting, experts agreed that from the lessons and practical experiences in Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control during the past time, the treatment in the oncoming time will follow the down trend of severe patients and deaths. Moreover, it is necessary to optimize available and current health sources. Experts and scientists suggested that there should be mechanism to mobilize private medical sources to participate in the treatment of Covid-19 patients as well as in prevention and control of the coronavirus outbreak at localities./.