He made the call during the National Health Conference in Hanoi on January 6 which reviewed the sector’s performance last year and mapped out tasks for this year.

Delegates at the event

2020 was an unforgettable year for the health sector during which medical workers in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, undeterred by hardships, have devoted themselves to protecting people’s lives and well-being and to the nation’s socio-economic development at large, he said.

Vietnam has successfully fulfilled the dual goals of containing the pandemic and maintaining positive economic growth and that’s thanks to the participation of medical workers, military and police officers in the COVID-19 response, the leader added.

The PM took the occasion to thank doctors, nurses and other frontliners at quarantine facilities and health care establishments who have worked relentlessly and tirelessly over the past year to keep Vietnam safe from the novel coronavirus.

He later ordered the health sector, together with military and police forces, to continue stay vigilant against the pandemic, saying they must neither let their guard down nor allow the COVID-19 outbreak to resurge in the country.

He also asked the Ministry of Health to ensure decent medical services for the 13th National Party Congress slated for the end of this month.

Speaking at the event, UNDP Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen hailed what Vietnam has achieved last year, saying it has been an “impressive year of accomplishment for Vietnam.”

Last year, Vietnam for the first time entered the group of high human development countries according to UNDP’s Global Human Development Report, she said, adding that the country’s life expectancy at birth and healthy life expectancy scores are now better than the average of the high human development group.

She went on to say Vietnam has emerged as a leading country in containing the pandemic and one of the few countries to record positive economic growth in 2020 and Vietnam’s success in achieving the twin goals of containing the pandemic and reviving the economy, has shown that giving priority to protecting the lives of people is also the best way to sustain economic activity during the pandemic.

“Vietnam’s exemplary response to the COVID-19 pandemic largely depended on swift and effective Government action combined with the trust and willingness of citizens to contribute to the Government’s preventive and protective measures. Vietnam offers to the world lessons learnt from this success in terms of transparency, accountability, social cohesion and innovation.”

She cited a UNDP report on citizen opinions on the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic shows people’s strong consensus and support for the government’s policies and actions. “More than 97 percent of respondents assessed the leadership of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control as good or very good.”

Source: VNA