COVID-19 fight: Vietnam not trading people’s health for economic profits

Explaining the government's decision not to welcome foreign visitors yet, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told National Assembly deputies that people's health is top priority.

Vietnam yet to receive foreign tourists till year-end, reaffirms PM. Photo: VGP

Vietnam is yet to stay ready to welcome foreign tourists till the end of the year due to COVID-19 threats, PM Phuc told National Assembly deputies on November 2, VOV reported.

“Though we have a great desire for development, we (the government) have decided not to open the door for foreign tourists yet,” said PM Phuc, citing the resurgence of the virus in many countries worldwide and the possible return of the outbreak in the country as a major concern.

Giving evidence for the decision, the Government leader pointed out the great impact the tourism sector has suffered this year. Vietnam was expected to welcome 21 million foreign tourists and earn over USD 60 billion from tourism services this year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this number down to “almost zero”.

According the PM, despite being under pressure to reopen the borders, the government shows strong resolve for the sake of people’s health.  

“We have to accept this to protect people’s health,” Phuc told National Assembly deputies. “We have to effectively control the disease by not bringing in foreign tourists between now and the end of the year.”

The PM affirmed Vietnam creates conditions for diplomats, managers, investors and highly skilled workers to come and work in a controlled manner.

There have been no COVID-19 community transmissions in Vietnam for over two months now – but rather than let the guard down, PM Phuc urged that the nation should steel itself for the coming winter so as to prevent new outbreaks, the fear being that the virus could transmit more easily in cold and dry weather.

Vietnam has brought the COVID-19 outbreak under control with no single community case detected over two months in a row. Several imported cases are quarantined as soon as they land in the country, thus posing no risk to the community.

Vietnam has so far recorded 1,192 coronavirus cases, with 1,065 recoveries and 35 deaths.

Vietnam confirmed one new imported COVID-19 case on November 4 morning, bringing the total number of infections to 1,203, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The patient is a 60-year-old Israeli national. He entered Noi Bai International Airport on flight QR976 on October 31 and was quarantined in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district immediately after his entry.

The total number of recoveries had reached 1,069, while there have been 35 deaths related to the disease.

Vietnam has experienced 63 days without recording cases of COVID-19 in the community.

 

Thu Pham