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Vietnam prepares for defeat of Covid-19 during celebrations marking the 130th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh's birth

VIETNAM celebrated the 130th anniversary of the birth of Ho Chi Minh today by announcing the imminent end of its Covid-19 outbreak, with no locally transmitted cases reported for 33 consecutive days.

Despite bordering China, where the outbreak began, Vietnam has recorded no deaths from the virus. It attributes its success to preventative measures such as early testing, contact tracing and the quarantining of entire cities when cases were detected.

According to its Law on Prevention & Control of Infectious Diseases, Vietnam can declare the end of a pandemic when 28 days pass without any new cases being recorded in the community.

Despite going 33 days without any new domestic cases, the country is adopting a cautious approach as people return home from abroad. Four new cases were carried to the country by plane on Monday, bringing its total number to 324.

But Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked public bodies, including the health ministry, to prepare for the declaration of the end of the outbreak.

The news came before the national assembly’s first session of 2020, which will be held online today for the first time since the legislative body was formed in 1946.

It will discuss amendments to legislation aimed at boosting the economy, which has been impacted by the closure of businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.

Hanoi injected $1.1 billion (£898m) into the economy to keep it afloat, while calling for voluntary donations to stave off a financial crisis. The country is also beginning to offer cut-price offers to tourists in a bid to boost its coffers.

Marking the anniversary of revolutionary leader Ho’s birth yesterday, national assembly members laid wreaths at his mausoleum and expressed their “endless gratitude” to the figure, “who devoted his entire life to national independence, freedom and the people’s happiness.”

Vietnamese Communist Party spokesman Professor Ta Ngoc Tan said that Ho’s ideology still directs the direction of the country’s ruling party.

“Forming policies for social and economic development, improving people’s lives and building a beautiful country follow the exact wishes of president Ho Chi Minh,” he said, adding: “What we have achieved today is exactly what [he] wished.

“The most important example of president Ho Chi Minh’s morals is to live for the revolution, for the goal of national independence, freedom and happiness,” he said.

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