Saturday, April 04, 2020, 09:35 (GMT+7)
The entire Military enhances the work of COVID-19 prevention and control

With the spirit of “fighting the epidemic like fighting the enemy,” the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) have been directing the entire Military to drastically, synchronously and effectively adopt various measures for COVID-19 prevention and control, which has been highly appreciated by the Party, the State, and the people.

The coronavirus disease (aka COVID-19) has been extremely complex. By March 31st, 2020, this disease spread throughout nearly 200 countries and territories, with more than 780,900 cases and 37,561 deaths. In Vietnam, by March 31st, 2020, according to the Ministry of Health, there were 204 cases, including 55 recoveries. Within the entire Military, there has been no case so far. This is a new dangerous disease which is capable of spreading easily and rapidly. Up to now, there has been no vaccine or specialised medication for this disease. The World Health Organisation has announced that COVID-19 is a global pandemic and a public health emergency of international concern. Fully aware of the urgency and impacts caused by the pandemic as well as its function and assigned task, the whole Military has drastically, synchronously taken measures for COVID-19 prevention and control and obtained significant results.

It should be noted that the all-level party committees and commands within the Military has closely directed the work of COVID-19 prevention and control. Following directives and telegrams by the Party Central Secretariat, the Prime Minister, the National Steering Board, and the Minister of National Defence on COVID-19 prevention and control, the MND Steering Board for COVID-19 prevention and control has issued many documents on directing the entire Military to synchronously adopt measures for COVID-19 prevention and control under the four-on-the-spot motto1 and actively prepare human and material resources for dealing with this dangerous pandemic. Besides, it has established a standard procedure for COVID-19 prevention and control, completed measures for quarantining and monitoring persons coming back from areas affected by COVID-19, provided medical examination and treatment for persons sick or suspected with COVID-19, and compiled a handbook on COVID-19 prevention and control. Party committees and commands of offices and units have widely and deeply conducted the work of propagation and education to render their cadres, soldiers, national defence employees and workers and the people fully aware of the impacts by COVID-19 and measures for prevention and control, with a view to fighting against subjectivity and avoiding getting into panic about the disease. They have implemented sufficient measures for COVID-19 prevention and control under the guidance by the MND Steering Board and competent offices, strictly observed the regulations on delivering speech and providing information via mass media. At the same time, they have resolutely combated fake news about and distortions of COVID-19 prevention and control in Vietnam.

Implementing the Prime Minister’s directive and the Plan 360/KH-BQP, dated February 2nd, 2020 by the Minister of National Defence on receiving Vietnamese citizens from China and other countries affected by COVID-19 in order to reduce the risk of this disease, the MND Steering Board has directed military regions, the Border Guard Force High Command, and units to closely cooperate with relevant forces in giving advice to local party committees and authorities, enhancing patrols and establishing checkpoints along the border, preventing illegal immigration via the border, tightening border gate controls to prevent foreigner suspected with COVID-19 from entering Vietnam, and bringing Vietnamese citizens to quarantine places. The Military has established 7 field hospitals, 14 specialised medical teams from military hospitals, 5 groups and 154 teams for COVID-19 prevention and control, 120 mobile teams, and 20 mobile teams within military hospitals, while preparing more than 40,000 beds for receiving, isolating, and treating COVID-19 patients. At the same time, it has mobilised thousands of cadres and soldiers to prepare facilities and materials for receiving and quarantining Vietnamese citizens from China and other countries within 14 days. Besides, offices, units, and localities have opportunely made adjustments in the reception of new recruits, implemented medical measures for the ADMM Meeting, taken part in squelching the epidemic in the province of Vinh Phuc, and cancelled unnecessary meetings and crowded activities. Thanks to active, synchronous measures, the Military has made significant contributions to controlling and preventing COVID-19 from spreading within Vietnam. Doing so has also helped prove that the revolutionary Military is always ready to serve the Homeland and the people in any circumstance and bolster the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the people’s hearts and minds.

However, COVID-19 will continue to be complex especially when Vietnam has been widely and deeply integrating into the world and it shares a long border and many border gates and trails with China, thereby posing a lot of risks of infection. To enhance the effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention and control, under the Prime Minister’s direction, offices and units within the Military should focus on implementing several main measures as follows.

1. Stepping up the work of propagation and education to raise the awareness and proactiveness of the military staff members and people in COVID-19 prevention and control, particularly in the areas worst hit by the pandemic. This measure plays a decisive role in preventing and minimising the damage from COVID-19. Hence, party committees and commands of offices and units should grasp and seriously execute directing documents by the Government, the MND, and MND Steering Board for COVID-19 prevention and control, particularly the Telegram 79-CV/TW, dated January 29th, 2020 by the Party Central Secretariat, the Prime Minister’s Directive 05/CT-TTg, dated January 28th, 2020 on stepping up COVID-19 prevention and control, and the Directive 90/CT-BQP, dated January 31st, 2020 by the Minister of National Defence on COVID-19 prevention and combat. Doing so will enable cadres and soldiers to comprehend viewpoints, principles, and requirements set by the work of COVID-19 prevention and control as well as advantages and disadvantages in performing this important task. That will also help raise the all-level party committees and commands’ awareness and responsibility for leadership over this work and build up troops’ determination and courage to undertake missions in the event of epidemic. The whole Military, particularly the all-level party committees and commands must consider COVID-19 prevention and control as a political task and “a combat task in peacetime.” In the process, offices and units should actively renew and diversify methods of propagation and education in accordance with each area and each group of troops and locals. Also, they should strictly maintain the order for epidemic prevention and control duty.

2. Comprehensively, elaborately preparing forces, means, and projects for effectively preventing and dealing with all COVID-19 situations. COVID-19 tends to be more complex and unpredictable. Thus, to opportunely, effectively respond to the pandemic, it is essential to carefully make necessary preparations and “take prevention as the main measure.” The entire Military must continue consolidating the forces taking part in epidemic prevention and control. Significance should be attached to building and making the on-the-spot forces capable of settling all situations and incidents caused by the pandemic. Grounded on the recorded results, in the upcoming time, offices and units, particularly the Border Guard Force High Command, the military regions, the Hanoi Capital City Command, and the Ho Chi Minh City Command should direct their affiliates to closely cooperate with competent offices and localities in closely controlling entry and exit via border gates and trails, completely quarantining citizens from areas affected by COVID-19, taking care of them during the quarantine process, and controlling and preventing purchase and transportation of wild animals. Medical establishments, hospitals, and mobile medical detachments should review and consolidate their forces, means, medications, and medical materials, while organising additional refresher courses to maintain readiness for deployment and meet the requirements set by epidemic prevention and control at each degree. The Military Medical Department, the General Department of Military Logistics, the Military Medical Academy and military hospitals should accelerate researches into COVID-19 and treatment and prevention of this disease. At the same time, those offices should prepare projects for ensuring medical materials and equipment when they become scarce.

Offices and units should consolidate and improve their Steering Board for COVID-19 prevention and control, while proactively making, reviewing, adjusting, and supplementing their plans and projects in a feasible manner. Due regard should be paid to fostering coordination to grasp the pandemic’s developments, maintaining the order for duty and readiness for the deployment of forces and means so as to resolutely avoid passivity. Besides, it is important to raise the quality of training courses on the settlement of epidemics. In this regard, great value should be attached to combining defensive zone exercises with natural disaster and epidemic prevention and control in order to enhance party committees and authorities’ capability in direction, operation and command as well as forces’ capacity to maintain cooperation and use means and equipment.

3. Offices and units should closely cooperate with authorities, forces, and other countries in preventing and combating the pandemic. As COVID-19 is global, it is necessary to maintain close coordination between authorities, sectors, forces, and localities in preventing and combating this epidemic. Currently, our country is in high season of epidemics; therefore, offices and units within the Military should proactively cooperate with ministries, sectors, and localities in their stationed areas in grasping the situation. Moreover, they should advise local party committees and authorities on developing projects to mobilise resources, mechanisms for information exchange, coordination regulations for epidemic prevention and mitigation, and four-on-the-spot plans for COVID-19 prevention and control in line with swine flu and H5N6. Competent offices of the MND should cooperate with ministries, sectors, and localities in completing legal normative documents on natural disaster and epidemic response, with a focus on formulating mechanisms and policies for realising the Government’s Decree 71/2002/NĐ-CP, dated July 23rd, 2002 on executing a number of articles in the Ordinance on emergencies in the event of great disasters or dangerous epidemics and international cooperation in this field. Significance should be attached to maintaining cooperation in education, training, exercise, information exchange, and the sharing of experiences in managing, preventing, and handling epidemics.

In addition to the above-mentioned measures, offices and units within the Military should ensure cadres and soldiers’ material and mental life as well as policies and entitlements for them. Also, they should enhance hygienic measures and opportunely encourage, commend, and reward collectives and individuals with outstanding achievements in epidemic prevention and control so as to create an incentive and strength for well performing “the combat task in peacetime” and deserve the tradition of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” and the people’s trust and affection.

Sr. Lt. Gen. TRAN DON, Member of the Party Central Committee, Standing Member of the CMC

Deputy Minister of National Defence

1. On-the-spot prevention, quarantine, and treatment; on-the-spot facilities, materials, medications, and preventive equipment; on-the-spot funds; on-the-spot human resources.

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.