The Director General made the praise at a meeting with Assistant to the Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu in Geneva on March 6, where the WHO chief appreciated Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship as well as the fruitful coordination between ASEAN member countries in the fight against the epidemic.
The whole system has worked together to combat epidemic
Vietnam recognized at once that fighting the COVID-19 epidemic was an international task, and worked to contribute to the global effort by holding consultation meetings with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC).
The WHO has acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts, saying Vietnam has responded rapidly to the epidemic, publicly shared information, and cooperated with other countries to quarantine suspected cases and treat patients.
For the past 2 months Vietnam has applied measures to identify possible COVID-19 cases at border gates, required health declarations or quarantined people arriving from infected regions, and temporarily suspended visa-free travel to Vietnam by South Koreans.
To prevent the worst from occurring, Vietnam has engaged its entire political system in combating the epidemic, applying the four “on-the-spot” principles - on-the-spot prevention and treatment, on-the-spot facilities, on-the-spot funds, and on-the-spot personnel.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said repeatedly that the Government is prepared to sacrifice economic gains to protect the health of the public. Vietnam will work closely with the international community to contain the epidemic.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said “Vietnam’s treatment of COVID-19 patients has involved the latest drugs and methods. And our research centers are researching event newer products for diagnosis and treatment.”
Kidong Park, WHO’s Chief Representative in Vietnam, said that Vietnam should continue its effort in containing the COVID-19. They believed in Vietnam’s leadership and its measures and the WHO will continue to support as much as possible. The WHO has warned countries, including Vietnam, that while trying to prevent the epidemic from spreading, they should prepare for COVID-19 infection in the community.
At a recent meeting with the Vietnamese government, US CDC representatives urged Vietnam to share its experience and information, including the coronavirus genome. The US CDC will continue to work with Vietnamese agencies in fighting the epidemic.
Ghebreyesus said he had recommended the African Union to learn from the ASEAN’s coordination model in disease control. WHO stands ready to further cooperate and share relevant information, assessments and research outcomes with countries, he pledged.
For his part, Hieu thanked the organisation for its close cooperation and support for Vietnam’s health sector, especially in public health care, disease prevention and the improvement of the capacity of health workers at different levels.
He informed the WHO Director General about Vietnam’s comprehensive countermeasures and ASEAN cooperation in the fight against the acute respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
Hieu was in Geneva from March 4-6 to attend sessions of the UN Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament.