At the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has ordered the tightening of border control to prevent any illegal entry.

Representatives from the Ministries of Health, National Defence, and Public Security told a meeting of the committee in Hanoi on January 21 that the repatriation of overseas Vietnamese should be based on assessment of domestic quarantine capacity, especially given the appearance of new coronavirus variants.

Vietnamese abroad should be encouraged to follow COVID-19 prevention and control regulations in their host countries, they said, stressing the need to ensure absolute safety on repatriation flights.

Regarding vaccine research, production, and distribution, the Ministry of Health will actively partner with other ministries and agencies to complete relevant mechanisms and push ahead with vaccine trials.

The Ministries of Education and Training, Industry and Trade, and Transport were asked to report on COVID-19 prevention and control at schools, markets, supermarkets, commercial centres, and bus stations, and on public transport.

As the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday is approaching, greater efforts are needed to inspect the work in localities nationwide, the committee said.

It also requested localities seriously observe guidelines set by the Ministry of Health at quarantine centres, saying any violations will be handled strictly.

According to Hoang Minh Duc, deputy head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health, as of 5pm on January 20, Vietnam had recorded 1,544 COVID-19 cases, of which 884 were imported.

Vaccine producers are making every effort to accelerate research towards clinical trials, he said, noting that two vaccines – one developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (NANOGEN) and the other by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) – have been put into testing.

Vietnam is one of 40 countries and territories around the world to have begun human trials of COVID-19 vaccines./.

VNA