A 27-year-old patient who had been discharged from hospital for 16 days has tested positive again for the coronavirus disease, the HCM City Centre of Disease Control reported on August 20.
The man was diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Equatorial Guinea and was admitted to the Central Hospital of Tropical Diseases on July 29.
After testing negative thrice, he was released from the hospital on August 14 and underwent home isolation in Thoai Ngoc Hau Street in Hoa Thanh ward, Tan Phu district.
His test results also came back negative on August 16 and 17. However, he tested positive on August 18.
The man was then transferred to the Cu Chi COVID-19 treatment hospital with his health condition being normal while displaying no signs of a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath.
Due to fear over local transmission, authorities have locked down 17 households around his home for isolation and conducted tests on 52 people having close contact with the patient.
Da Nang, Quang Nam trace close contacts of COVID-19 cases
The Quang Nam Province's Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has taken medical samples of 51 people who had close contact with a teacher in Phước Sơn District after he tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for the first time on Wednesday morning.
The CDC said the man, whose wife was a COVID-19 patient (No 981), 34, invigilated at the final examination in Khâm Đức High School in Phước Sơn on August 8-9.
It said there were 32 teachers and 13 students who reported close contact with the teacher during the examination, while the number of indirect contacts is being collected.
Earlier, his wife (patient No 981) had visited Đà Nẵng Hospital for minor surgery from July 13-17, and she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on August 18.
The CDC will take more tests on teachers and those in close contact before releasing official reports.
All close contacts have been quarantined at the high school, while disinfection has been conducted in the area.
The city of Hội An offered free tests for all foreign tourists staying in the city before leaving.
About 400 foreigners have been stranded at hotels in the city since the social distancing orders began in Hội An in early August.
The city said all foreigners are required to remain at their hotels in the city for at least two weeks before leaving.
In responding to COVID-19, Đà Nẵng will exempt tuition fees in the first school term for all students at State-owned and private kindergartens, primary schools, junior secondary and high schools from January to May of 2020-21 schoolyear.
The first social distancing orders also caused damage to the city’s socio-economic growth in the first quarter of this year, while schools were suspended for three months.
Following the tuition fee exemption, each student will be given a reduction from VNĐ15,000 (US$0.7) to VNĐ95,000 ($4.1) per month.
The city also decided to reduce land-rent tax for all individuals, organisations and businesses with state-owned property in the city for a year.
In the first quarter of 2020, the city’s tourism sector – a key industry – recorded losses of VNĐ5.7 trillion, while nearly 3,000 enterprises were hit by the coronavirus, according to the planning and investment department.
About 26,000 workers lost their jobs, while 31,000 others had to work at home or online with a 50 per cent salary cut.
In the second social distancing period, which began from July 28, 12 enterprises at industrial zones (IZs) had to suspend production as six workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. There were 472 enterprises with 77,000 workers at six IZs in the city.
On Wednesday, the city warned all people who had visited the wholesale Hòa Cường Market in Hải Châu District on August 15-18 to visit the city’s CDC for testing. It said at least 1,400 people would have had close contact with the COVID-19 patient.
Local woman charged for aiding in illegal Chinese entry
Police operating in Bac Ninh province said on August 19 that they have moved to prosecute a Vietnamese woman who attempted to assist approximately 50 Chinese citizens enter the country illegally by hiding them in her motel.
The accused has been identified as 26-year-old Nguyen Thi Xoan and the charges come after she came into contact with Chinese suspects and agreed to allow them to stay in her motel.
In addition, she also rented a number of houses belonging to local people in Tu Son commune in order to use as havens to accommodate illegal Chinese migrants.
According to a statement made by local police, the illegal Chinese immigrants had entered the country through various trails and unofficial roads located around the border area of Lang Son and Lao Cai provinces.
Once under questioning at the police station, the Chinese suspects admitted to arriving in Vietnam with the purpose of doing business and seeking freelance jobs.
Upon their discovery, they were expelled and fined a sum of VND4 million each for entering the nation illegally.
Two Da Nang patients discharged, Hanoi conducts RT-PCR tests for 66,914
An additional two novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients who had been receiving treatment at the Da Nang Hospital for Lung Diseases were declared to have fully recovered from the SARS-CoV-2 virus on August 20.
News of the patients being given the all-clear comes after a 78-year-old resident of Quang Nam province tested negative for COVID-19 four consecutive times, whilst at present she is not displaying any symptoms of a cough, a fever, or shortness of breath.
In addition, a 26-year-old doctor from Thanh Khe district in central Da Nang all made a full recovery after being infected by the COVID-19 epidemic whilst at work.
Both cases have been announced to have made a full recovery, with the two individuals set to be placed into quarantine following their release for a period of 14 days in line with COVID-19 prevention and control regulations.
A total of 994 COVID-19 infections have been recorded nationwide as of August 20, of which 25 have died due to a combination of various pre-existing conditions and complications relating to COVID-19.
Furthermore, Hanoi is scheduled to complete testing for returnees from Da Nang on August 20, after masses of tourists returned to the capital from the country’s latest major COVID-19 epicentre.
According to statistics released by Hanoi’s Department of Health, by 2 p.m. on August 19 a total of 66,914 cases who had come back from Da Nang between July 15 and July 29 underwent RT-PCR tests.
Moreover, the capital has recorded 36 positive COVID-19 cases since July 25, with no fatalities. Among them were 12 cases of community transmission and 24 cases picked up upon arrival in the nation.
Low-quality face mask producers publicly shamed
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has published a list of face mask producers which are making low-quality products, the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance announced on August 19.
The Vina Face Mask Factory-Tan Phu Branch under Dang Nam Corporation located in Son Ky Ward, HCM City, was making four-layer face masks when the inspection team arrived. The factory failed to provide the required papers and showed signs of label violations.
The inspection team sealed all of the materials and products. The factory was asked to keep the scene intact and not remove, trade or return the products or materials. The sealed materials include 1,214kg of plastic sticks, elastic bands, fabric and carton boxes. There were also 2,180,000 face masks at the scene.
The team also inspected Vina Face Mask Factory-Southern Region Branch in Binh Tan District and found a large number of gloves and face masks. All of the products including 787,500 face masks and 260,800 gloves were seized because the labels did not have the correct place of manufacture and the owners failed to provide the required papers.
HDPro Land Company in Thanh My Loi Ward was also inspected. The inspection team seized the gloves and face masks there due to violations about labels and lack of proper papers. There are signs that the products, including 97,250 face masks and 166,500 gloves, are actually second-hand goods.
The team also went to the HDPro Land Company's two warehouses and found many low-quality products.
At the warehouse on Street 101, District 2, the team found 76,920 rubber and medical gloves without invoices or evidence for of origin. At the warehouse on Street 84A, there were 190,000 face masks and 561,420 gloves that might be second-hand goods.
In the end, the inspection team seized 1,056,640 gloves, 3,254,750 face masks, 1,214 plastic sticks and elastic bands and 4,560 carton boxes.
Hanoi orders 18,333 returnees from Da Nang to give samples for RT-PCR test
The Hanoi Health Department has ordered 18,333 people who returned from Da Nang City, a COVID-19 hotspot, from July 15 and 29 and have yet to go to local testing stations to urgently visit the stations to have their samples taken for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2.
Currently, Ha Dong, Dong Đa, Hoang Mai and Thanh Xuan districts are home to the highest number of untested people in the capital.
There are 2,831 untested people in Hà Đông, 2,389 untested people in Dong Đa, 2,270 untested people in Hoang Mai and 2,199 untested people in Thanh Xuan District.
As estimated 76,412 people returned to the capital from Da Nang since July 15.
However, only 58,079 people went to the stations to have their samples taken for the test between August 8 and 18, the health department said.
The department said the incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 virus is typically 14 days, but there have been cases with an incubation period of 23-24 days.
Therefore, after the self-quarantine period of 14 days, even those who returned from a COVID-19 hotspot without symptoms still need to be tested by RT-PCR.
Hanoi has recorded 35 COVID-19 infections since July 25 as of Wednesday morning. Of those, 13 are local infections and the rest are imported cases quarantined upon arrival.
More Vietnamese citizens return home from US
More than 340 Vietnamese citizens have returned home safely from the US and been quarantined upon their arrival.
On August 19 and 20, Vietnamese authorities and representative agencies in the US, Vietnam Airlines and US authorities worked together to bring back home the citizens from San Francisco Airport.
The passengers included children under 18 years old, workers with expired visas or labour contracts, the elderly, the sick, stranded tourists, students who have finished their learning but lack accommodation due to dormitory closure, and those living in difficult circumstances.
Vietnam’s representative agencies in the US actively assisted the citizens, many of whom had to move from distant places. They also sent their staff members to the airport to directly help them complete boarding procedures.
Security, safety and disease prevention measures were seriously carried out during the flight.
Right after the plane landed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, all people on board received check-ups and were sent to concentrated quarantine sites in line with regulations.
Foreigners offered free COVID-19 testing upon leaving Hoi An
Hoi An, a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site in central Vietnam, said on August 19 that it is to offer free COVID-19 testing for foreign visitors looking to depart the locality.
Foreign visitors in Hoi An wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Local authorities said approximately 400 foreign tourists are currently staying at various accommodations throughout the city which is still under travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of them have expressed a desire to leave Hoi An and head to other localities.
To support these foreign nationals in traveling, the Hoi An municipal administration has suggested that accommodation establishments notify the tourists of the COVID-19 free testing on offer in the event they want to leave the city.
After undergoing a test, visitors must quarantine themselves at their respective accommodation and will not be permitted to contact people outside of this bubble until they leave Hoi An.
Since July 25, Quang Nam province has recorded a total of 94 COVID-19 cases, including 29 cases in Hoi An.
PM calls for crackdown on poor quality medical supplies
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Public Security to strengthen inspection, investigation and strictly handle violations in producing and transporting sub-standard gloves and face masks.
A number of news agencies and newspapers have recently reported many cases of producing, gathering and transporting a large number of poor quality gloves and masks of unknown origin detected by police.
These products will cause serious consequences for public health and COVID-19 prevention if they are put up for consumption, according to the PM.
The ministry were required to report the inspection results in September.
On Tuesday, the Market Management Department's units in HCM City said that they have found millions of medical face masks and gloves of unknown origin and poor quality after checking five business establishments.
Market management units have seized one million gloves, 3.2 million medical face masks and materials for producing face masks because the producers could not show legal documents.
The goods were found at business establishments in District 2 and Tân Phú and Bình Tân districts on Monday.
“Common house” eases anxiety over quarantining
More than a thousand Vietnamese citizens living in Vietnam or returning from Laos or Cambodia are under the one roof at an army unit in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. With the whole-hearted support and care of soldiers and cadres, 14 days of quarantine leave unforgettable memories for those staying with the regiment.
The quarantine centre at Infantry Regiment No 991 of the Gia Lai Military Command in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has been called “a common house in COVID-19 times”. Sitting out 14 days of quarantine are people from all walks of life. Most were concerned at first, but felt much more at ease after receiving support and care from soldiers and cadres.
Before returning to Gia Lai to undergo quarantine, Thai Thi Anh Phuong was a trainee at Da Nang General Hospital, which has been a hotspot in the second wave of COVID-19 in Vietnam.
Hundreds of families and individuals are taken care of at the “common house”. Few people, however, know that the soldiers and cadres have put their families and personal lives to one side to provide peace and security to others coming to quarantine with the unit.
Quarantine may only be 14 days but it’s an unforgettable time for nearly all of the visitors, who feel a deep gratitude towards the soldiers and cadres.
Over 500 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Taiwan, South Korea
More than 500 Vietnamese citizens have been safely repatriated from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and China’s Taiwan on Wednesday.
Passengers on the flights include under-18 children, the elderly, workers with expired labour contracts, pregnant women, ill people, students who completed their courses, stranded visitors, and others from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK and the Việt Nam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, Taiwan have dispatched officials to support citizens at the airport.
Security, safety and hygiene measures were strictly observed during the flights.
The flight from Taipei, operated by the national flag carrier, carrying over 290 Vietnamese citizens, landed at Cam Ranh International Airport in the south-central province of Khánh Hoà.
The Vietjet Air flight bringing back 220 Vietnamese citizens from South Korea landed at Cần Thơ International Airport in the Mekong Delta province of Cần Thơ.
All passengers and crew members of the two flights underwent medical check-ups and were immediately moved to centralised quarantine facilities for 14 days as regulated in order to prevent COVID-19 spread in the community.
Da Nang volunteers make hands-free sanitiser dispensers
A group of volunteers in the central city of Đà Nẵng have raised funds to make more than 200 automatic, hands-free hand sanitiser dispensers which were given to disease prevention and control teams across the city.
The dispensers aim to help curb the spread of COVID-19 which broke out in the city since late last month, resulting in Việt Nam's largest COVID-19 outbreak to date.
Responding to the resurgence of COVID-19 in the central city, people of different ages working in different fields wanted to join the fight against the disease.
They established a voluntary group called Weekend Club to help out in their free time.
Phạm Đức Dương, a founding member of the group, said that Weekend Club’s members donated money and also sought donations to make the hands-free hand sanitiser dispensers.
With a sensor system, the machine automatically releases hand sanitiser gel when people put their hands under the faucet.
“People don’t have to press any button or touch the machine,” Dương said.
The machines use rechargeable batteries so they can be placed anywhere without requiring a power source, Dương said.
It costs about VNĐ1.5 million (US$65) to buy materials for one machine which members of the group then assemble.
Nguyễn Nam Định, a volunteer, said the machine made of iron looked quite steady. A machine includes a box with an electronic board inside, a sensor placed next to a faucet, a battery charging set and a bar to put a hand sanitiser bottle on.
He said that with a height of 1.2 metres, the machines were quite convenient to use.
“Each machine can be used continuously and after their batteries are recharged, they can release gel about 8,000 times,” Định said.
Hồ Kỳ Nam, a member of the COVID-19 prevention and control team in Hoà Khánh Market, said that the machines were very convenient and effective.
Before entering the market, people had to queue to wash their hands, Nam said, adding that the automatic hand sanitiser dispenser helped them clean hands quickly and safely, minimising the risk of infection.
“It’s easy to move the machine, very convenient,” Nam said.
A local resident in Liên Chiểu District, Lê Thị Phượng, said that she usually went to Hoà Khánh market and found the hands-free dispenser very useful.
Those using it kept a safe distance from each other and did not have to touch anything to clean their hands, which made them feel safer, she said.
Dương, head of the voluntary group, said that besides the automatic hand sanitiser dispensers, the group also donated 60 thermometers worth more than VNĐ70 million ($3,031) to disease prevention and control teams across the city.
This week, the group is providing 200 free meals for student volunteers in the city.
Dương said that the group was calling for more supports so that they could make more hand dispensers for public use.
He said famous footballers including Bùi Tiến Dụng, Hà Đức Chinh, Nguyễn Quang Hải, Đoàn Văn Hậu and Nguyễn Đắc Văn gave the group VNĐ50 million to make the dispensers while they also donated another VNĐ250 million for the city’s disease prevention and control activities.
Thailand records first COVID-19 case outside quarantine areas
Thailand recorded the first COVID-19 case outside state quarantine areas on August 19, the 86th day without a domestic case in the country.
The Faculty of Medical Science at the Ramathibodi Chakri Naruebodindra Hospital said a Thai returnee from Dubai of the UAE, who spent 14 days in state quarantine before being released, returned with symptoms on August 19.
The same day, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration also confirmed a new imported case which is a 37-year-old Thai woman returning from India.
Cumulative infections in Thailand, to date, are 3,382, with 3,199 recoveries and 58 deaths.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of Thailand’s National Security Council Somsak Rungsita said emergency rule against the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand might be extended for another month.
He told reporters that his agency will propose the extension of the emergency decree, enforced nationwide since last March when the disease broke out in the country, until September 30 for the sake of the effectiveness of measures against the pandemic.
Philippines, Indonesia record more COVID-19 infections
The Philippines on August 19 confirmed 4,650 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections nationwide to 173,774 – the highest in Southeast Asia.
According to the country’s Ministry of Health, 111 fatalities due to the disease were confirmed on the day, bringing the death toll to 2,795.
The same day, the government eased strict lockdown measures in Manila capital and neighbouring provinces, as well as allowed more businesses to resume operation.
Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 1,902 new cases and 69 deaths, bringing the total tallies to 144,945 and 6,346 respectively, according to the country's health ministry./.
Disinfectant allocated from reserves to Quang Nam, Health Ministry
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to allocate disinfectant from the national reserves to help ministries, sectors and localities to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Accordingly, one tonne of Chloramin B solution will be sent to the central province of Quang Nam, one of the country’s current COVID-19 hotspots, while one tonne of Chloramin B and 7 million of Aquatabs 67mg water purification tablets will be provided for the Ministry of Health (MoH) free-of-charge.
The MoH is responsible for the collection of data as well as the management, distribution and usage of the aid in line with regulations.
As of August 19 morning, Vietnam has so far confirmed 989 infections. Of which, 649 are locally-transmitted cases, including 509 linked to the pandemic hotspot in the central city of Da Nang since July 25.