Vietnam considers declaring end to COVID-19 pandemic
  • | VOV | May 31, 2023 07:27 AM
The Prime Minister is scheduled to chair a meeting of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control this week in order to examine if Vietnam should declare an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan.

Lan told lawmakers at their ongoing National Assembly session in Hanoi on May 29 that the Ministry of Health, authorised by the Prime Minister, is collaborating with other ministries and agencies to review legal provisions, learn about COVID-19 control experiences from other countries, and evaluate practical prevention and control measures locally.

The Ministry is now working on a document to downgrade COVID-19 from a Class A infectious disease, classified as ‘especially dangerous’ to Class B ‘common’.

She recalled that the World Health Organisation announced in early May that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency, although it warned that the disease is not over yet.

According to Associate Professor Nguyen Lan Hieu, director of Hanoi Medical University Hospital, Vietnam is eligible to declare an end to the pandemic on the conditions that there are very few severe infections and the vaccine coverage rate is on a large scale. In addition, the disease has entered into the ‘stable’ stage in the world.

However, some other health professionals remain cautious about the outlook, saying though the country has relaxed travel restrictions, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can still travel on healthy people in nature and overcome administrative barriers to spread among the community, not to mention the constant mutation of the virus.

Immunity to COVID-19 will decrease from time to time, and the disease may potentially break out in one area to another, says Prof. and Dr. Phan Trong Lan, head of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health.

Sharing this perspective, senior epidemiologist Tran Dac Phu says that no matter how COVID-19 is classified as a Class A or Class B disease, it is extremely important to assess the risk and come up with appropriate response measures in order to ensure disease control and good medical care for all people.

Currently, Vietnam is recording several hundreds of COVID-19 infections each day.

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