Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia May 4
Array of health facilities granted permission to conduct COVID-19 tests
The Ministry of Health has allowed 51 health facilities across the country to perform diagnostic tests in order to detect cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
In line with this move by the Ministry of Health, a total of 24 units based in northern region, four units located in the central region, along with one unit in the Central Highlands, and an additional 22 units located in southern region, will be permitted to conduct tests aimed at checking for positive COVID-19 cases.
At present, the two main methods of identifying positive COVID-19 cases globally include viral genetic tests, widely known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), along with antibody tests, which are most often used for the purpose of quick testing.
The PCR method is considered to be highly accurate due to it being able to directly detect the viral gene. However, this method requires medical professionals to work with complex machines, ultimately leading to the results taking several hours to be released.
With regard to the antibody method, specialized training is not required, with the outcomes only taking a short period of time to be released. In spite of these benefits, this method has a much lower sensitivity and specificity than the results produced by the PCR method.
It is believed that a combination of both methods will help to control the disease in a more efficient manner, thus reducing the burden placed on medical facilities, whilst simultaneously allowing resources to be focused on treating infected cases.
Vietnam tests COVID-19 vaccine on mice
The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) said it has tested COVID-19 vaccine on mice before further evaluation.
Dr. Do Tuan Dat, VABIOTECH President said the vaccine has been developed in collaboration with with scientists from the UK Bristol University since the very first COVID-19 infection case was confirmed in Viet Nam.
The company’s scientists successfully grew the COVID-19 antigen in the lab, which is the most important ingredient in vaccine production, Dat said.
Next week, the blood samples on the animal will be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for further evaluation, he added.
The vaccine will be further tested on animals to further evaluate the safety and immunization.
Vietnamese citizens from Italy released from isolation
A group of medical staff and nurses at a hospital in Đà Nẵng celebrate after the last COVID-19 patient leaves the hospital. 52 Vietnamese returning from Italy were released from isolation after testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 for the fourth time on Saturday (May 2).
A total of 52 Vietnamese citizens returning from Italy have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 for the fourth time after a 14-day period of isolation in the central city, and they will be leaving for home soon.
Director of the city’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Dr Tôn Thất Thạnh, told Việt Nam News on Saturday that they will be given health check certificates for going home. They had been isolated at the city’s Military Training School since April 18.
“Sample test results were negative for SARS-CoV-2 for the fourth time in a row. They are healthy with daily medical checks and monitoring during the isolation. They are allowed to leave isolation from today (Saturday),” Thạnh said.
According to the latest report from the city’s health department, 16 people have been monitored at the city’s hospitals, while 4,554 people had completed isolation. A total of 4,774 medical samples had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
Six COVID-19 patients, who were treated at the city’s hospitals, returned home after testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 during isolation from March 27 to April 10. All six are in good health, vice director of the city’s General hospital, doctor Nguyễn Thành Trung said.
Vietnam records no new community COVID-19 infection for 18 straight days
Health workers in southern Kien Giang province checks temperature for a local (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam reported no new COVID-19 cases on May 4 morning, marking 18 days in a row since April 16 without new infections in the community, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The country has so far confirmed 271 cases tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2, including 219 recoveries and no deaths.
The committee’s treatment subcommittee reported that 12 patients tested negative for the virus once and nine others tested negative twice or more.
A total 27,409 people having close contact with patients or coming from pandemic-hit countries are under quarantine at hospitals, concentrated quarantine areas, or at home.
The Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (Vabiotech) of the Ministry of Health has gained initial success in studying a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Right after the first COVID-19 case was reported in Vietnam in January 2020, the company partnered with the UK’s Bristol University to conduct research on the vaccine.
Blood test samples on mice will be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for evaluation.
Philippines bars incoming flights for one week to decongest quarantine centres
People in Philippines wear face masks
The Philippines decided to suspend all incoming passenger flights for one week from May 3 to help reduce pressure on quarantine facilities which are housing thousands of Filipino repatriates.
Millions of Filipinos work abroad, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Singapore and Qatar among the most popular destinations.
Some 24,000 have already returned home, with the majority losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those returning are required to complete a 14-day quarantine at centres built or re-purposed by the government that are now filled to capacity.
The Philippines has converted several convention centres, ships, hotels, and government facilities into quarantine centres as the number of people infected with the coronavirus has risen.
However, outbound flights will be allowed to continue, including those flying stranded foreigners out of the country.
As of May 3, the country had reported over 9,200 cases and 607 deaths.
Five Buddha bar-linked patients test positive again
A corner of Buddha Bar in HCMC's District 2. The city has reported five relapses related to the hotspot - PHOTO: THE HCMC MEDIA CENTER
The HCMC Department of Health last night said two more recovered Covid-19 patients had tested positive again, all linked to the Buddha Bar cluster in District 2.
The relapses are the 235th and the 124th patient, who were discharged from hospital on April 15 and April 14, respectively. They visited Buddha Bar on March 14. Earlier, the city reported three relapses related to the hotspot, including the 151st, 207th and 224th.
Besides this, the 92nd patient, a 21-year-old Vietnamese student returning from France, has tested positive again after being given the all clear on April 14. All the relapses are now being treated at Cu Chi field hospital.
According to the health department, HCMC has seen 54 positive cases so far. Aside from the six relapses, local doctors are treating the 91st patient, a British pilot, who is still suffering critical developments. He obtained a negative result on April 30.
On Friday, the department also announced to keep recovered Covid-19 patients under health monitoring for 30 days instead of 14.
This morning also marks the 16th straight day that Vietnam has not reported any infection caused by community transmission. It has also been eight days in a row that Vietnam has confirmed no new Covid-19 patient, keeping its total count at 270 since last Friday when two imported cases were confirmed.
HCMC’s condo building lockdown lifted
The apartment building at 1A-1B Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in HCMC's District 1 is under lockdown on April 30 - PHOTO: CATPHCM
Authorities of HCMC’s District 1 have lifted the lockdown on an apartment building at 1A-1B on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street as 92 people in close contact with a recovered Covid-19 case that retested positive have returned negative test results.
The 92nd case, who lives in Block B2 of the building and returned to Vietnam from France, tested positive for the coronavirus on April 29 after recovery, prompting local authorities to lock down the building to take samples from those with potential exposure to the patient and disinfect the area. The patient was sent to Cu Chi field hospital in the city for treatment.
According to a representative of the district, some 32 people from 11 households who share the same story with the patient and some other families on the first floor are still self-quarantining. Da Kao Ward is calling for food donations to the households.
“The 92nd patient contacted no one at the building during the quarantine period. However, after testing negative twice, he went to a convenience store nearby to buy food. Local government is still tracing all those with potential exposure to the patient,” the official said.
The city has seen six Covid-19 patients retesting posititve for the virus so far.
One more COVID-19 case recorded, taking tally to 271
A British national has been confirmed the latest COVID-19 case in Vietnam, taking the country’s total amount of COVID-19 cases to 271, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said on May 3.
Samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing.
The 37-year-old man, who is an expert of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, landed in Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport on April 28 onboard a private plane from the UK with 12 other passengers. They were taken to a concentrated quarantine area in the city’s Can Gio district upon their arrival.
The man first tested negative for the novel conoravirus SARS-CoV-2 along with the other people on board but a second test taken on May 2 revealed a positive result.
Patient No. 271 is currently being treated at the Cu Chi COVID-19 treatment hospital in HCM City.
Of the 271 confirmed patients, 131 are imported cases who were quarantined upon their arrival.
Up to 219 patients have made full recovery, while 52 others are being treated at medical establishments nationwide.
Twelve patients were tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once and nine others tested negative twice or more.
A total of 30,530 people who had close contact with confirmed patients or coming from pandemic-hit regions have been quarantined across the country, including 246 at hospitals, 5,748 at concentrated quarantine areas and 24,192 at home.
Campaign helps generate jobs for nearly 10,500 young people affected by COVID-19
Close to 10,500 people have found a job through a non-profit campaign held in Hanoi for students and young people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign was carried out from April 10 – 30 by the Hanoi chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU), the Hanoi Students’ Association, and the Hanoi Youth Federation, in cooperation with Global Shapers Hanoi, Global Shapers HCM City, Canavi, Accesstrade, and the G.A.P Institute.
It aimed to offer 10,000 jobs for students and young people whose employment is particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. Many have already lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet, as thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises and household businesses in the city have suspended operation.
The campaign helped connect them with recruiters offering seasonal and work-from-home jobs as well as employment after the pandemic ends.
It has so far attracted 963 recruiters and job agencies such as SieuViet, Vietnamworks and FreelancerViet. As many as 17,291 candidates are waiting for job interviews or opportunities.
More than 1,000 people have taken part in interviewing skill and Microsoft Excel training courses held by Canavi.
Vice Secretary of the HCYU’s Hanoi chapter Tran Quang Hung said the first phase of the campaign has ended with positive outcomes.
In the second phase, which will take place from May 4 – 31, the HCYU’s Hanoi chapter will cooperate with Canavi to organise more workshops at major universities across the city to provide career counseling and job matching services for fresh graduates, he said.
Thailand reports single-digit new COVID-10 cases for seven consecutive days
Thailand recorded a downward trend in new cases with only three new infections confirmed on May 3, the lowest figure since March 10.
New daily infections have remained in the single digits for seven days in a row.
So far, Thailand has reported a total of 2,969 COVID-19 cases, 54 deaths, and 2,739 recoveries.
May 3 also saw lifting of restrictions on several businesses, bringing some aspects of life back to citizens.
On the same day, Laos reported no new cases for the consecutive 21 days. The number of cases remained at 19, of which nine were declared to have recovered.
Meanwhile, the Philippines saw additional 295 cases and four deaths on the day, bringing the total to 9,223 and 607, respectively. In all, 1,214 patients have recovered.
The number of COVID-19 infections in Indonesia is now 11,192 after 349 new cases were reported. With 14 new fatalities on the day, the country’s death toll hit 845.
Indonesia has conducted COVID-19 test for more than 83,000 people.
Malaysia reported 122 new cases and two deaths, bringing the total to 6,298 and 105.
Singapore also recorded 657 new COVID-19 cases on May 3, raising the national tally to 18,205, announced the country’s Ministry of Health.
Most of the infections were work permit holders residing in dormitories.
Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia May 3
Vietnam yet to declare itself COVID-19 free: health official
100 days of COVID-19 in Vietnam
May 2 marks the 100th day since COVID-19 appeared in Vietnam. VNS presents a timeline of the pandemic.