Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (Photo: VNA)

Along with the world, the fight against the pandemic may last long, and Vietnam must be always in the readiness status, the Deputy PM stressed.

Standing Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said more than 5 million COVID-19 cases, including 325,000 deaths, have been recorded in 215 countries and territories nationwide.

In Southeast Asia, there are 72,600 cases and nearly 2,300 fatalities. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Timor-Leste have so far reported no deaths caused by the acute respiratory disease.

Vietnam has gone 35 straight days without community infections and the national count remains at 324, Long told the meeting.

The British man, designated as Patient 91 who is being treated at the HCM city Hospital for Tropical Diseases, has tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease, for six times, and his lung function has improved as compared with the previous days.

Regarding Flight VN001 from the US to Hanoi on May 16th, Long said the test results of all 25 crew members came out negative.

All of the 299 passengers returning from Thailand on May 18th have also been put under quarantine at concentrated facilities and their test results were negative, the official added.

Although no community infections have been recorded over the past 35 days, competent forces have still maintained their active response and vigilance against the epidemic, Long said.

Committee members shared the views on the risk of transmission from Vietnamese returning from abroad, foreign experts and laborers, diplomatic and official passport holders, crew members and residents travelling through borders.

They, therefore, urged the Ministry of Transport and localities to continue tightening control over passengers entering Vietnam, and seriously observe quarantine regulations.

Local authorities and the public security sector have to guide the grant of visas for foreigners and prepare quarantine facilities, they said./.