HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, who doubles as Head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, expressed thanks to international partners for supporting Việt Nam in pandemic prevention and control at a meeting held on Monday afternoon.
The gathering drew the participation of representatives of the United Nations (UN) in Việt Nam, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Việt Nam, ambassadors of 40 countries that have donated vaccines to the country and contributed to the COVAX programme and vaccine manufacturers in Việt Nam.
PM Chính said over the past two years, humankind has faced the COVID-19 pandemic which appeared unexpectedly and unforeseeably, profoundly affecting all aspects of socio-economic life across the globe.
He said this is a global issue that requires a global approach via international solidarity, coordination, support and cooperation. No single country can be safe when the pandemic still hits other countries, he said.
Việt Nam calls for international solidarity and heightened multilateralisation in common efforts to fight the disease, particularly in sharing experience and medical equipment, including vaccines, the PM said.
The pandemic has affected all people so it also requires a preventive approach that targets all people, with the people taken as the centre and all policies designed towards people, he said, adding that no one can be safe when others are still infected with COVID-19. The health and safety of people must be a top priority.
During the prevention and control process, Việt Nam completed COVID-19 prevention and control based on three pillars, which are isolation, testing and treatment; and the 5K message (Masks, Disinfection, Distance, No gathering, Health declaration) plus vaccine, medicine and treatment, technology, people’s awareness plus other measures.
The Government of Việt Nam has implemented a vaccine strategy, including promoting vaccine diplomacy, establishing the COVID-19 vaccine fund; actively enhancing the import, study and transfer of vaccine production technology; and launching the biggest vaccination campaign so far, PM Chính said.
The Government leader noted that this special campaign included a diversified supply of vaccines, from Pfizer, Janssen, Moderna of the US, AstraZeneca of the UK, to VeroCell and Sinovax of China, Sputnik V of Russia, Abdala of Cuba and Covaxin of India. Nearly 40 per cent of the total number of vaccines that Việt Nam has received was from the COVAX programme. More than 30 countries donated vaccines for Việt Nam via the COVAX programme, bilateral channels and many other forms. All have made an important contribution in helping Việt Nam to effectively implement the vaccine strategy and the vaccination campaign.
From a country with a low rate of vaccination, Việt Nam has become one of the countries with the highest vaccine coverage rate in the world. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalised or getting worse and the number of COVID-related deaths are dropping, he said.
Việt Nam has moved to the policy of safe and flexible adaptation and effective control of COVID-19 since last October, gradually opening the economy and focusing on socio-economic recovery and development. As a result, Việt Nam has gained positive results, including the posting of a 2.58 per cent of GDP growth in 2021. Over the past three months of 2022, socio-economic activities also gained encouraging achievements. The macro-economy was stabilised and most socio-economic activities have recovered.
With the reopening of international commercial flights from February 15, 2022, and the resumption and promotion of international tourism, the PM said he believes that many more foreign tourists will visit Việt Nam.
He stressed that these achievements were attributed to sound leadership of the Party, the involvement of the whole political system and the solidarity of all people and the business community.
Apart from internal efforts and determination, Việt Nam has received great support from international friends and partners; solidarity and assistance from countries, organisations and people all over the world, he said.
He also affirmed that Việt Nam always heightens support to enhance international solidarity and cooperation in the global efforts to fight against the pandemic. Việt Nam has also provided practical assistance for many countries in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as contributed to the COVAX programme and the COVID-19 Response Fund of the WHO.
At the meeting, Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Việt Nam, said UNICEF and UN organisations will continue supporting Việt Nam in COVID-19 prevention and control, particularly in vaccine provision and vaccine production.
Speaking via video, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghegreyesus said he congratulated Việt Nam for becoming a country with the vaccination rates among the highest in the world and said Việt Nam is one of the countries that have succeeded in COVID-19 prevention and control.
In order to cope with the pandemic, vaccination is still an important measure and needs to be continuously implemented, he said. Việt Nam sets an example proving national efforts and international support in vaccinating all people and it needs to be multiplied, he said.
Việt Nam has administered more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. — VNS