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Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia May 5

New arrivals set to undergo four COVID-19 tests

Upon entering the country fresh arrivals will immediately be put into isolation where they will have samples taken four times, once upon their arrival, followed by on the fifth, tenth and final days of their compulsory 14-day quarantine period.

This newly-issued regulation regarding testing new arrivals four times comes after Ho Chi Minh City assessed that there is currently a greater threat of new entries carrying the virus than previously thought. 

Dr. Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (CDC), outlined on May 4 that the southern city had previously taken samples from those in quarantine only on their first and last day of isolation, in line with national regulations.

The latest case, patient 271, was confirmed to have tested positive for the COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City on May 3. The individual is a British oil and gas expert who entered the country with a group of other professionals on a private flight and was immediately isolated upon arrival.

Most notably, the patient’s first test result was negative when placed into quarantine on April 28, with subsequent samples taken five days later coming back positive for the virus.

The health sector will continue to monitor and take samples of patients who have been discharged from hospital for a further 30 days after their release in order to prevent the spread of infections caused by a relapse of cases. Indeed, as many as 280 people on international flights to the southern city have had their samples taken for COVID-19 testing.

At present, the city has so far recorded 55 cases of COVID-19 infection, including six relapses, therefore taking the total number of cases currently receiving treatment to eight. In addition, 398 suspected cases have so far tested negative.

In light of the threat posed by the COVID-19, the health sector recommends people do not go to work, or school, and contact medical staff for advice if they start to show signs of a fever, a cough, or a sore throat.

Elderly people and individuals who suffer from chronic diseases should only leave their home for very limited purposes and be vigilant to maintain a safe distance when in contact with others.

HCM City ups COVID-19 tests on returnees

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COVID-19 tests are taken on all passengers upon arriving at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport from overseas.

 

People entering Việt Nam at HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất Airport will have COVID-19 tests four times during their 14-day quarantine instead of twice like before.

People returning from overseas have their tests taken two times on the first and last days of quarantine, according to regulations applied nationwide.

Starting from Monday, HCM City will conduct the tests on quarantined people who return from overseas on the first, fifth, tenth and last days of the quarantine.

The move aimed to better control the pandemic as the city is prone to higher risk of infection from people returning from overseas, according to the city’s disease management centre on Monday.

A British oil and gas expert who arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport on April 28 was confirmed on Sunday to be the latest COVID-19 patient in Việt Nam.

He was in a group of 13 experts who landed in HCM City from the UK on a private airplane to implement economic projects.

They have been quarantined after immigration.

Twelve other people in the group tested negative twice.

The British expert was reported to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on April 7 in the UK and was self quarantined.

He tested negative on April 21 and received a certificate before flying to Việt Nam on April 28. 

51 medical centres can conduct COVID-19 tests

As many as 51 medical offices have been allowed to conduct tests confirming COVID-19 results, according to a decision from the Ministry of Health.

A total of 24 are in the north of the country, four in the central region, one in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) and 22 others in the south.

Currently, countries around the world are using two methods for SARS-CoV-2 tests, including the RT-PCR method, and antibody test, which is often used for quick tests.

A report from the Hà Nội Department of Health showed that by Monday, more than 81,200 samples were tested, of which more than 19,200 were quick tests and more than 62,000 were RT-PCR tests.

Fifty-two out of more than 19,200 quick tests were positive, however, RT-PCR tests then showed they were negative. Thus quick tests showed rapid results, after 20 minutes, but accuracy reached only about 60-70 per cent.

The RT-PCR method is often used to confirm results of quick tests.

Experts believe that in controlling the pandemic, the combination of the two methods is better and helps ease the burden for the health sector to focus on treatment of COVID-19 patients.

No new community COVID-19 cases reported in Vietnam for 19 straight days

Vietnam recorded no new COVID-19 infections in the community on May 5, making it 19 days in a row since April 16 without new cases, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among the total 271 cases, 131 were imported and quarantined right after their arrival in the country.

To date, 221 patients have been given the all-clear. The remainders are being treated at medical facilities nationwide. Most of them are in stable condition. Ten tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 once and 11 negative twice or more.

Some 25,625 people having close contact with the patients or entering 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, 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./.

Vietnamese community in Switzerland support fight against coronavirus
 

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Nguyễn Lê Hoa (second left) with her friends at her restaurant in Switzerland.

Many Vietnamese people abroad have collaborated with local authorities and residents to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Director of Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) in Switzerland, Bertrand Levrat, recently sent a letter to thank Vietnamese woman, Nguyễn Lê Hoa, for her efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Geneva.

Hoa is the director of a Vietnamese restaurant named Saveurs du Vietnam in Geneva.

Hoa and one of her foreign friends helped the hospital buy 12,000 face masks for HUG's health workers when they faced difficulties in ordering masks from abroad.

The Swiss government has called on people not to use masks wastefully and the masks for healthcare workers must continue to be a priority.

She herself donated 5,000 masks to the hospital and hundreds of Vietnamese meals to COVID-19 patients or people in need.

Along with charitable activities such as donating masks, free food and water, Vietnamese people and locals across the country came out onto balconies and windows at 9pm daily, clapping and expressing their thanks and solidarity with the country’s health workers, said Lưu Vĩnh Tòan, Hoa's friend in Zurich.

The Vietnamese community living in Switzerland is estimated to be over 8,000.

Their donations reflected the tradition of solidarity and mutual support of the Vietnamese people. Despite difficulties in their host countries, overseas Vietnamese had launched fundraising campaigns and worked with local authorities to combat the disease, said Nguyễn Kim Công, a member of Hoa's charity group.

Three relapse COVID-19 cases reported in HCM City

Three COVID-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City who previously were given the all-clear have tested positive again for SARS-CoV-2 that causes the acute respiratory disease, raising the total relapse cases in the locality to nine.

Three relapse COVID-19 cases reported in HCM City hinh anh 1

Workers at Pasteur Institute in HCM City are conducting  SARS-CoV-2 testing. 

 

 

The three are Patients No. 65, 157 and 206 who were deemed to have recovered on April 1, 10 and 23, respectively, Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Tan Binh said on May 4.

Twenty cases in the city have tested negative for the virus 15 days after being discharged from hospitals, he added.

As of May 4, the southern metropolis had reported 55 COVID-19 cases, of whom 11, including the nine relapse cases, are being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Cu Chi hospital.

Given the rise in relapse cases, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem urged the local health sector to continue medical monitoring for patients who have been discharged through daily testing within 30 days.

By May 4 afternoon, Vietnam had recorded no new COVID-19 infections within the community for 18 straight days, with the national count now standing at 271.

Two COVID-19 patients at medical facilities in the northern province of Ninh Binh were given the all-clear on May 4, bringing the number of such cases to 221 or 81 percent, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Some 27,410 people are now under health monitoring or quarantine, of whom 238 are in concentrated quarantine facilities in hospitals, 5,871 at other concentrated facilities, and 21,300 at home or in accommodation.

Man who recovered from COVID-19 dies of liver cirrhosis

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Testing samples for COVID-19

 

A man who previously was given the all-clear of COVID-19 died on May 1 due to liver cirrhosis, not COVID-19, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control confirmed on May 4.

The 64-year-old man, known as patient No.251, had perished in the northern province of Ha Nam.

He first tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on April 7 and was treated at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi until April 17 when he was discharged.

He tested negative four times before being transferred to Ha Nam General Hospital for continued treatment of his underlying conditions.

The patient was first admitted to his local hospital for treatment for liver cirrhosis, exhaustion and severe gout on March 20.

After the patient died, Ha Nam General Hospital conducted a SARS-CoV-2 test that returned negative. The man also did not have any symptoms of lung damage caused by COVID-19.

The steering committee met earlier on May 4 and determined the man had not died due to contracted the coronavirus.

To date, Vietnam has reported 271 infections and no deaths./.

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Over 153 billion VND mobilised in HCM City to support COVID-19 fight

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To Thi Bich Chau (second, right), Chairwoman of Vietnam Fatherland Front chapter in HCM City, receives donation from a business.

As many as 6,756 collectives and individuals had donated more than 153 billion VND (6.5 million USD) to Ho Chi Minh City’s COVID-19 prevention and control fund as of May 4 afternoon, according to the Vietnam Fatherland Front chapter in the city.

Over 22.6 billion VND has also been mobilised in support of residents affected by drought and saltwater intrusion since the campaign was launched on March 20.

The donations, including medical equipment, essential goods, beverages and fruit worth more than 22 billion VND, have been allocated to medical facilities, COVID-19 quarantine centres, soldiers and volunteers in the combat against the pandemic.

Besides, some 14 billion VND has been used to assist 18,707 lottery ticket sellers who are affected by the pandemic.

HCM City has sent 7 billion VND to Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre and Hau Giang provinces to assist local residents hit by drought and saltwater intrusion./.

Malaysia requests compulsory coronavirus test for foreign workers

Malaysia’s authorities have urged all foreign workers in the country to undergo mandatory screening for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), as COVID-19 cases have risen for two consecutive days at a construction site in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this will be done as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.

He said that the requirement applies to foreign workers in all sectors, including the food and beverage industry.

"As a precautionary measure, we agreed that foreign workers in all sectors, be it construction, factories or restaurants, undergo a mandatory swab test," he said during a daily press conference.

He said the cost of the screening will be covered by the employers.

The Malaysian Health Ministry has suggested screening start in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

To curb the spread of the deadly disease, Ismail Sabri said the Works Ministry has sealed the site at Jalan Ampang, and any other construction site with coronavirus-positive cases will be closed immediately.

According to the Health Ministry, on May 4, Malaysia recorded 55 new cases of COVID-19, of which seven were from foreign countries, the rest were infections in the community, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 6,353, including 105 deaths.

Also on the day, 71 patients recovered and were discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of recoveries to 4,484, accounting for 70.6 percent./.

Two more COVID-19 patients recover

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Patient No. 170 was the only COVID-19 patient at the Kim Son District General Hospital in Ninh Binh.

Two COVID-19 patients at medical facilities in the northern province of Ninh Binh were deemed to have recovered on May 4, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

One is Patient No. 166, who was admitted to the hospital on March 26. The 25-year-old tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, on April 21, 23, and 25, and May 2. She is the last of the 10 patients at the Ninh Binh General Hospital.

The other, Patient No. 170, was hospitalised on March 28. The man, 27, had tested negative for the virus many times, with the latest being on April 25 and 27 and May 2.

He is now in a stable condition, with no fever, cough, or breathing difficulties. He was the only COVID-19 patient at the Kim Son District General Hospital in Ninh Binh.

The two will continue to undergo quarantine and health monitoring for 14 days.

Vietnam has recorded no new COVID-19 infections within the community for 18 straight days, with the national count now standing at 271. A new patient arrived from the UK at HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport recently and was quarantined upon arrival.

Among the active cases, 12 tested negative for the novel coronavirus once and nine twice or more.

Some 27,410 people are now under health monitoring or quarantine, of whom 238 are in concentrated quarantine facilities in hospitals, 5,871 at other concentrated facilities, and 21,300 at home or in accommodation./.

Southeast Asian countries report more COVID-19 infection cases

Secretary of the Indonesian Health Ministry's disease control and prevention directorate general Achmad Yurianto reported that his country confirmed 395 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 deaths on May 4, raising its total infections and fatalities to 11,587 and 864 respectively.

Malaysia announced 55 more people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 6,353, including 105 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Singaporean Health Ministry said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country totaled 18,778, with 573 new patients have been confirmed.

On the same day, health authorities of the Philippines reported 262 more patients of the pandemic, bringing the total to 9,485. The disease killed 623 people in the country.

In Thailand, the total of infections was 2,987, including 54 deaths. As many as 2,470 patients of the disease have been successfully treated in the country, while 193 others were still being treated at medical facilities.

For its part, the Lao Ministry of Health said on May 4 that the country has not recorded any new case during the last 22 days.

As of May 3, 19 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Laos, of which 10 have been recovered from the disease./.

Thua Thien-Hue provides medical equipment to Laos’ Savannakhet province

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At the hand-over ceremony

The central province of Thua Thien-Hue donated medical supplies on May 4 to the Lao border province of Savannakhet to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vice Secretary of the Thua Thien-Hue Provincial Party Committee Bui Thanh Ha presented the supplies to the Vice Governor of Savannakhet Phoxay Sayasone.

Worth nearly 300 million VND (12,870 USD), the relief package contains 50,000 medical face masks, 800 sets of protective gear, and 250 litres of antiseptic solution.

Authorities from both sides took the occasion to exchange information about the situation in their respective localities and their experience in fighting COVID-19.

They agreed to step up cooperation to prevent the spread of the virus in their shared border area./.

Concerns raised as Malaysia partially loosens movement restrictions

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Taking samples for COVID-19 tests in Damansara, Malaysia

Worries has increased over Malaysia’s new daily COVID-19 infections at the three digits for the second straight day on May 3, just one day before the country partially loosens the Movement Control Order (MCO).

On the day, the country reported 122 new cases, the highest number since April 16, bringing the total to 6,298 with 105 fatalities.

On May 1, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the nation will allow a majority of enterprises to resume operations from May 4 and partially ease restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

However, religious activities, large gatherings and businesses that involve close contacts such as cinemas and night clubs will not be allowed to reopen. Schools and universities will also remain closed.

The PM informed that the Government had lost 63 billion ringgit (14.6 billion USD) from the movement and travel restrictions imposed over six weeks. It will lose another 35 billion ringgit if the restrictions have been extended by a month.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said that Malaysia could saw an all-time high unemployment figure, higher than both the 1998 Asian financial crisis and the 2009 global financial crisis combined.

It estimated that unemployment could reach up to two million this year, or a staggering unemployment rate of 13 percent./.

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