Vietnamese children prepare to receive the First Eucharist at Hoa Yen Church in Khanh Hoa province on Aug. 2. (Photo courtesy of giaophannhatrang.org)
Vietnam’s prime minister has ordered authorities to ensure enough medical and food supplies as the country enters a fierce fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
On Aug. 7, Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned that the Covid-19 threat will reach a higher level when people will face a high risk of locally transmitted infections in at least the coming two weeks.
Phuc asked authorities across the country’s 63 cities and provinces to make more drastic efforts to stem the deadly pandemic, especially in the epicenters of Da Nang city and Quang Nam province. They can decide specific measures to control infection rates promptly and effectively.
He said quarantine and social isolation regulations and mass testing are key to containing the pandemic.
The PM asked health authorities to provide adequate medical supplies and personnel for coronavirus-hit places. They must make funds available for the Covid-19 fight.
He also demanded all people wear face masks at public places in cities and epicenters. He praised authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for fining those who failed to wear face masks.
Phuc called on local officials to ensure goods supplies and restore food reserves in case the Covid-19 fight lasts longer than planned. They were urged to reduce negative effects on social and economic activities and public life.
Mary Nguyen Thu Van, a Catholic from Ho Chi Minh City, told UCA News that local Catholics obey social distancing measures as their moral duty to work with other people to stem the pandemic.
Van said priests celebrate daily Masses with attendances of fewer than 30 people, while attendees keep themselves one meter away from one another.
The archdioceses of Hue and Ho Chi Minh City and six dioceses of Can Tho, Da Nang, Ban Me Thuot, Phu Cuong, Ba Ria, Lang Son Cao Bang and Xuan Loc have suspended all public services and gatherings.
Catholics are called on to attend online Masses, pray at home for the Covid-19 outbreak to end soon and offer material support to people in need.
The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control confirmed 37 new infections on Aug. 7. They included 22 from Da Nang, eight from Quang Nam, one from Hanoi, one from Hai Duong and two from abroad.
The new cases brought the number of Covid-19 patients linked to Da Nang to 330 since the new outbreak began on July 24. All cases are in 13 cities and provinces.
The Southeast Asian country has reported 784 Covid-19 cases with 10 deaths and 178,451 cases are under medical surveillance at hospitals, centralized quarantine facilities and homes.