“Vietnam could be facing a lengthy coronavirus battle and cannot rely indefinitely on lockdowns and quarantines” Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said.
Prime Minister asked the Health Ministry to finalize the overall strategy on Covid pandemic prevention so the country could return to ‘new normalcy’ next year at a meeting on Saturday.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh demanded that hastiness be avoided in resuming production and business activities when the battle against the pandemic has produced initial positive signs.
He assigned the health ministry to provide guidelines on easing restrictions and restoring activities based on the principle of “reopening step by step and under control.”
The ministry is asked to finalize the pandemic prevention strategy focusing on vaccines, testing and treatment. It must be proactive in preparing for vaccine supply in 2022 and secure Covid-19 vaccine doses for children.
Earlier, the Prime Minister ordered to vaccinate children so the new school year could begin safely; however, the health ministry said vaccination for people aged under 18 would only occur with more vaccine supply.
The idea of living with the virus was previously mentioned by Prime Minister, who warned Vietnam could be facing a lengthy coronavirus battle and cannot rely indefinitely on lockdowns and quarantines.
The first priority in the coming time is to reduce Covid-19 related deaths and control the pandemic.
“No citizen is safe when there are still people contracting the virus and no locality is safe if other places still have to fight the pandemic,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister stated among 23 localities imposing strict social distancing measures, eight have contained the outbreak while Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong, epicenters of the ongoing wave, “have made more efforts and the situation is changing positively.”
So far, Vietnam has received 34 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. The country has vaccinated more than 27 million people with at least one shot, with over 4.7 million people having been double-vaccinated.
The country is expected to receive an additional 103 million doses of Covid vaccines by the end of this year as the government strives to inoculate 70 percent of its 96-million population in order to achieve herd immunity by April next year.
Vietnam has grappled with the fourth coronavirus wave triggered by Delta variant since late April with almost 600,000 infections and nearly 15,000 deaths.
The ministry is negotiating with vaccine suppliers to ensure the entire population from five years old and above are fully inoculated in 2022 and implement Covid vaccine booster shots, according to VNExpress.