HCMC must try to put Covid-19 outbreak under control by September 15

The Government yesterday released Resolution No. 86/NQ-CP on urgent measures for Covid-19 prevention and control to implement Resolution No.30/2021/QH15 issued on July 28, 2021 by the 15th National Assembly. This new resolution aims at effectively controlling the latest and most severe Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam to avoid socio-economic and medical crises.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. (Photo: SGGP)

Accordingly, the Government requests that all ministries, ministerial agencies, governmental agencies, and the People’s Committees of all provinces urge the implementation of Resolution 86 nationwide:

_ giving more responsibilities to leaders of state units;
_ preventing and timely stopping corruption or harmful activities;
_ avoiding resources waste in pandemic prevention and control tasks;
_ promptly encouraging and rewarding those who dare to take responsibility, to actively and flexibly apply innovation in pandemic prevention and control activities for better results;
_ propagandizing regulations and policies on pandemic prevention and control to the public; and
_ strictly punishing law violators.

When implementing the new resolutions, within their power, the ministries and localities must adjust their activities based on the reality of the local areas, and propose refinements or supplementation to current content to the Health Ministry, who will then summarize all suggestions to submit to the Government and the Prime Minister.

The Government respectfully asks that Vietnam Fatherland Front, socio-political organizations, public organizations, business communities, and the whole public continue to cooperate with the ministries and localities to overcome this tough challenge, to determinedly and purposely implement devised measures in order to put the outbreak under control as soon as possible.

Resolution 86 states that Ho Chi Minh City must try to control the outbreak before September 15, 2021; the provinces of Binh Duong, Long An, Dong Nai before September 1, 2021; and the other provinces and cities before August 25, 2021.

Regarding Covid-19 vaccine and medication, the resolution clearly says that Vietnam must speed up ‘vaccine diplomacy’ by all means to boost the process of vaccine aid, purchase, import, and injection so that the country has herd immunity at the earliest time.

The Health Ministry must prioritize highly infected areas, large urban areas, industrial parks when allocating vaccine. This distribution must be transparent. If necessary, the Health Minister shall report adjustments to the Prime Minister, or the Prime Minister shall direct the Health Ministry to adjust this allocation.

The Government also requests that the Health Ministry, based on the risk degree and pandemic development, prepare prevention and control scenarios for the low, medium, and high levels. From these scenarios, the Finance Ministry and related agencies will calculate the state budget to allocate expenses for medical equipment purchase and human resources mobilization for pandemic prevention and control tasks. These reports must be submitted to the Government and the Prime Minister for approval in the third quarter this year.

The People’s Committees of all provinces must also prepare their own low-, medium-, and high-leveled scenarios for medical tasks in their local areas within their power. Any necessary tasks exceeding their power should be reported to the Government and the Prime Minister.

As to policies for support packages to ensure social security, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, along with related agencies and the localities must effectively deliver financial aids to laborers in need due to the Covid-19 pandemic. State agencies must regularly review the list of vulnerable people in order not to leave anyone hungry.

The list must be frequently updated depending on the reality in each local area. Any unnecessary administrative procedures must be eliminated so that the aids can be delivered to citizens on time.

The resolution states that all legal resources and the local state budget must be prioritize for pandemic prevention and control tasks. If that is still insufficient, the provincial People’s Committees must ask for help from the central state budget. The Finance Ministry is responsible for reviewing these requests and decides on the suitable amount.

HCMC must try to put Covid-19 outbreak under control by September 15 ảnh 2 Binh Dien wholesale market has been shut down due to Covid-19 outbreak (Photo: SGGP)

The Health Ministry is in charge of reviewing necessary expense from the national budget and the National Covid-19 Vaccine Fund for vaccine purchase and import, together with suitable plans for vaccine allocation. This report will be sent to the Finance Ministry before being submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

The Government decides on special mechanisms and policies for the issuance of certificates for Covid-19 vaccine and medication circulation and customs clearance. The Health Ministry is responsible for reviewing and deciding on the exemption of a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each drug or vaccine batch in customs clearance in case of emergency use for Covid-19 prevention and control.

Based on the reality of each region, the Ministries of Health, National Defense, Public Security, and provincial People’s Committees will decide to establish and assign tasks to medical units accepting Covid-19 infected people. This decision plays the role of an operating license.

The Health Ministry is entitled to regulating reduced administrative procedures in a circular to pilot technologies and medication for Covid-19 diagnosis and treatment and to granting import permits, circulation certificates for medical equipment, chemicals to serve the pandemic prevention and control tasks.

Simultaneously, the Government has a special mechanism in Covid-19 medication, chemical, equipment purchase. In the case that the prices of these items cannot be identified due to the complexity of the pandemic, the ministries and the localities must base on the listed price announced on the Information Portal of the Health Ministry, which is weekly updated, to determine the bid package price.

In the event that there is not posted price yet, to reduce the workload of the Health Ministry, the Government assigns the Finance Ministry to assume the prime responsibility and collaborate with the ministries of Health, Planning and Investment, Industry and Trade, Science and Technology, Information and Communications, Public Security, Justice to form a task force to negotiate with businesses for a reasonable price. This price will then be listed on the Information Portal of the Health Ministry for reference.

Based on the current development of the Covid-19 pandemic and the corresponding scenario, the Health Ministry timely updates the lists of supplies, medical equipment, chemicals, necessary medication for Covid-19 prevention and control tasks so that the localities can purchase accordingly to implement the ‘4 on-site’ model.

The quantity of pandemic prevention and control assets bought during outbreaks can be higher than the standard one, as long as it suits the currently applied scenario in order to minimize waste or corruption at all costs.

Particularly, Resolution 86 states that all Covid-19 related medication and treatment costs for patients in Covid-19 hospitals will be covered by the national budget in accordance with the actual cost. Expenses for treatment of other diseases alongside Covid-19 treatment comply with the law on health insurance for medical treatment.

Resolution 86 is effective until December 31, 2022.