With success in containing the coronavirus infection, the Union Government has relaxed restrictions step-by-step, allowing restaurants and high schools to reopen, and public transportation to resume their services in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines. Streets, restaurants and supermarkets are filled with people. Human traffic is almost back to pre-virus levels in towns. People are naturally moving around more without wearing mask guidelines even in crowded places and this situation can give the coronavirus more opportunities to mingle.
Our people should understand that one infected person will on average spread it to more than one other person. Of course, our country has contained the coronavirus infection to a certain extent, but people are inconsistent in following the health guidelines released by the Ministry of Health and Sports. This situation demands that the ministry gear up its current efforts for fighting the disease to prevent the second wave of COVID-19 from sweeping through our country.
The country’s 369 cases of infections, with six deaths and 312 discharged from hospital to date is not large, compared with other countries. Eight new cases were found yesterday. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO, 40 percent of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and the chance of transmission from people with no symptoms is 75 percent. Vietnam – which has so far recorded no deaths – reported its first case for three months at the weekend; now it is bracing for a surge after dozens more were infected in multiple locations.
It means we still need to remain vigilant. We would like to implore to our people, especially, youngsters who are far less susceptible to the worst manifestation of COVID-19, to be more vigilant. The ministry is right to worry about their ability to spread it. With no vaccine yet available, local authorities and civil society organizations are urged to throw themselves into effective social media campaigns to remind people of the importance of mask wearing, proper distancing, hand washing and social distancing. It is for local health authorities and governments to redouble efforts, and they must work together, and encourage the people to pull together.
Individuals, too, must do their part by following official advice. Although we hope for the best, we should prepare for the worst when it comes to bracing ourselves against the recurrence of the second wave of COVID-19. Our current achievement has shown that we can prevent the second wave of COVID-19 with increased public awareness of how to reduce the risk of infection.