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Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia


Vietnamese stuck at Thai airport get help




A group of five Vietnamese citizens stranded at Bangkok’s Survanabhumi International Airport in Thailand because of COVID-19-triggered travel restrictions.


The Embassy of Vietnam in Thailand has been closely coordinating with authorities of both countries to bring home a group of Vietnamese citizens stranded at a Thai airport because of COVID-19-triggered travel restrictions.

According to the embassy, a group of five Vietnamese nationals from Burkina Faso have been trying to find a way home for more than two weeks after getting on board an Ethiopia Airlines flight on March 21.

They transited Ethiopia and arrived at Bangkok’s Survanabhumi International Airport in Thailand on March 25, where they were scheduled to catch a connecting flight to Hanoi the same day. However, the group missed it and could not get another flight home because none was available.

They have been repeatedly refused entry by Thai authority for not being able to present evidence of negative testing for the SARS-CoV-2 that cause COVID-19 as well as a health insurance covering at least 100,000 USD.

The situation has become worse after Thailand declared a state of emergency on March 26 to contain the spread of the virus, introducing more rigorous restrictions including the closing of all border crossings and ban of entry of all foreigners.

The Vietnamese embassy has been actively working with Thai authorities to seek a proper solution for the stranded people. It has provided them with food and other necessities and helped them file a request to Thai authorities requiring not to be sent back to Ethiopia.

On April 5, many Vietnamese expats in Thailand donated food and necessary supplies to these people in response to the call of the embassy.

The embassy advised Vietnamese citizens worldwide to not select Thailand as a transit destination to avoid such situation and recommended Vietnamese in Thailand to strictly comply with local preventive measures against the widely-spreading disease./.




Three people fined for going out without legitimate reasons in Trúc Bạch



Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia



The People’s Committee of Trúc Bạch Ward, Ba Đình District, has fined three people for leaving their houses without legitimate reasons amid a crackdown on violations of social distancing regulations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two men were fined for going fishing and one woman was fined for going out to sell flowers on Sunday. They were fined VNĐ200,000 (US$8.5) each.

Chairman of the committee Nguyễn Dân Huy said one of them resided in the ward and the two others lived elsewhere.

Previously, agencies had let people off with a warning if they were found violating the regulations, he said.

In Hoàn Kiếm District, a report of the People’s Committee revealed it has fined a total of 102 people for violating the regulations a combined total of more than VNĐ20 million (US$850).

Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung last Friday ordered that starting April 4, law enforcement would start patrolling the streets and fining people going outside without legitimate reasons like buying food or medicine, working at essential businesses or service supplier, or going to hospital. 

Park, S. Korean enterprises help Việt Nam fight COVID-19


Coach Park Hang-seo (second, right) and South Korean business representatives donate US$100,000 to the Việt Nam Fatherland Front's Fund for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Friday in Hà Nội. Photo courtesy of VFF



National football team coach Park Hang-seo presented US$100,000 to the Việt Nam Fatherland Front’s Fund for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hà Nội.

The money has been donated by South Korean businesses based in Việt Nam.

Park was joined by South Korean Ambassador to Việt Nam Park Noh Wan and representatives of Korean organisations and enterprises to make the donation on Friday.

Apart from the cash, the Korean delegation also donated other essential items including 50,000 facemasks, 500 boxes of noodles and 500 packs of rice.

At the meeting with Việt Nam Fatherland Front President Trần Thanh Mẫn, Park, on behalf of the delegates, said COVID-19 outbreak was spreading through the world and countries faced tough challenges trying to control it.

He said the Vietnamese Government and people were working hard together to overcome the pandemic.

Park said he hoped this small contribution would help the country control the virus and fans could enjoy football once again.

Two weeks ago, the coach donated $5,000 of his own money to the fund.

Poor to receive support from bank after damage caused by COVID-19


A co-operative in Hải Ninh Commune, Quảng Ninh District in the central province of Quảng Bình with funds borrowed from the district Bank for Social Policy offers work to poor people in the area.



The Vietnam Bank for Social Policy (VBSP) has proposed cutting the loan interest rate for poor households by 15 per cent from April 1 until the end of the year.

Under the proposal, families who made a great contribution to the nation will also receive a reduction of 10 per cent.

It is estimated a total of VNĐ16.2 trillion (US$685 million) will be borrowed and 3 million workers will benefit from the programme.

In recent days, relevant ministries and the VBSP have been completing the Government’s draft resolution about supporting residents in coping with COVID-19 pandemic.

The VBSP also proposed employers can borrow money at the bank with no interest for a year to pay employees who must cease working for three months due to the pandemic.

Nguyễn Đức Hải, deputy general director of the VBSP, said most people borrowing money at the bank were poor, or families who made great contributions for the nation.

He said the bank had implemented different supportive measures such as extending their debt payment, lending them more money for manufacture restoring and giving them guidance to make reports on their struggles.

More than 40,000 people have had their debt payment period extended, with more than VNĐ1.3 trillion ($55 million) impacted.

Quarantines completed, provinces send citizens home


Doctors from the Vĩnh Phúc Centre for Diseases Control check a list of overseas students from countries affected by COVID-19 before taking their samples for tests.



Two provinces on Sunday brought hundreds of people who had completed their quarantines to their hometowns.

A report of the Lai Châu Province Department of Health showed that by Sunday, 43 people who had close contact with patients No 133 and No 172 had tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, of whom 25 were negative for the third time whereas 18 were negative for the second time.

In an online meeting on Sunday, the provincial Department of Health decided to bring them home and continue their quarantine at home for another 14 days.

With the addition of the 43, nearly 700 people who had close contact with patients No 133 and 172 had tested negative for the disease.

More than 1,100 people who had far contact with the two patients have also completed their quarantine at home.

The Vĩnh Phúc Province steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control on Sunday also brought 433 people who completed their quarantine to their hometowns.

Chairman of the provincial people’s committee Nguyễn Văn Trì asked the people to educate their local communities about the importance of following Ministry of Health guidance to fight the pandemic.

Vĩnh Phúc has received more than 700 Vietnamese citizens coming back from countries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 22. They were put into quarantine in three different places. During the quarantine, they received health supervision and all tested negative for the disease.

Over 81 billion VND raised for COVID-19 fight, saline intrusion prevention

Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front of Ho Chi Minh City To Thi Bich Chau (standing) speaks to donors (Photo:

The Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter has received about 81.6 billion VND (3.47 million USD) in donations to fund the fight against COVID-19 and help people affected by drought and saline intrusion.

During a ceremony to receive the aid held on April 5, head of the chapter To Thi Bich Chau thanked the donors for their valuable support.

Of the sum, cash and kind worth 71.3 billion VND were earmarked for the COVID-19 prevention and control fund. The chapter has been distributing the support in kind totally valued at nearly 16 billion VND to medical establishments providing treatment for COVID-19 patients and concentrated quarantine facilities, Chau said.

She called on people from all walks of life to continue joining the fight against the disease and comply with health recommendations by relevant agencies.

Vietnamese in Laos advised to follow local COVID-19 regulations


People in Laos wear face masks to prevent SARS-CoV-2



The Vietnamese Embassy in Laos issued an announcement on April 5, recommending Vietnamese citizens who are living and studying in the host country to strictly follow its regulations on COVID-19 countermeasures.

They were advised to obey the Lao Prime Minister’s Directive No.06/TTg and the Lao Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Note NO.189/BNG.APA.2 which affirm that the host government has completely closed all of its international border gates and not allowed any individuals to go through these border gates, except for trucks carrying goods and emergency cases from April 3-19.

Therefore, Vietnamese citizens are unable to return home during this period, the embassy noted, asking them to follow regulations of the Lao Government and localities on pandemic prevention and control.

It is necessary to avoid big gatherings, not leaving places of residence intentionally, going to border gates to seek ways to return home or popularising fake news related to the disease, the embassy said, suggesting Vietnamese citizens to get updated on the pandemic situation by themselves.

For support, they were recommended to contact the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos via hotline at +85 620 96 10 67 75, the Vietnamese Consulate General in Savanakhet at +85 620 98 20 86 66, the Vietnamese Consulate General in Pakse at +85 620 99 69 16 66, the Vietnamese Consulate General in Luang Prabang at +85 620 91 11 23 45, or call the Citizen Protection Hotline +84 981 84 84 84.

By the end of April 5, Laos recorded 11 infection cases./.

Thailand produces new COVID-19 test kits



Thailand is now able to produce new COVID-19 test kits itself with RT-PCR, a standard laboratory technique recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The test kits were developed by the cooperation of Siam Bioscience and the Department of Medical Sciences (DMSC), said Spokesman of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESRI), Siam Bioscience, and DMSC have already delivered the first batch of 20,000 test kits to the Government.

This innovation can solve the shortage of test kits by lowering the cost of production to only 1,500 baht (45 USD) each, whereas the imported ones may cost approximately 4,500 baht each.

Moreover, Siam Bioscience and DMSC are aiming to produce and deliver 100,000 test kits to the Government within six months for distributing to 100 hospitals nationwide.

Meanwhile, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) has debuted a robot to kill viruses using ultraviolet (UV) light.

"Germ Saber Robot" was jointly developed by the NSTDA's National Security and Dual-Use Technology Centre (NSD) and Chulalongkorn University's Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering.

NSD director Siwaruk Siwamongsatham said the robot can kill the virus that causes Covid-19 with UV light.

The robot can be used in germ-tainted locations and people must vacate the site before the robot is operated to ensure they are not harmed by UV light, he said.

The sterilisation could take 15-30 minutes per spot with a radius of 1-2 metres, he added.

Besides, the NSTDA and its partners launched an app to track people at risk of contracting the coronavirus, allowing them to self-assess their health condition.

Thailand has to date recorded 2,169 Covid-19 cases, including 23 deaths./.

Indonesia extends closure of tourist destinations to contain COVID-19 spread


The tornado ride at Dufan (Fantasy Land) in Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, North Jakarta. (Photo:


Indonesia’s Jakarta administration has decided to extend the closure of tourist destinations and entertainment venues until April 19 as part of the capital’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Head of the Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Agency Cucu Ahmad Kurnia said previously, the Jakarta administration announced the temporary closure of city-owned tourist destinations and entertainment venues from March 23 to April 5.

The Indonesian government has outlined a worst-case scenario where the domestic economy contracts by 0.4 percent as the COVID-19 pandemic arrests swaths of economic activity and poses recessionary risks to Southeast Asia’s largest economy, said Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Indonesia’s economy grew by 5.02 percent last year, already the slowest in four years. The World Bank has estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly slow Indonesia’s economic growth this year – 2.1 percent in 2020, down from the initially projected 5.1 percent – if the situation starts to normalize by June.

The rupiah could hover around 17,500 Rp or even slide to as low as 20,000 Rp against the US dollar, the weakest in history, if Indonesia’s economy contracts and the COVID-19 downturn is prolonged, Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati warned.

The drop of the rupiah has made Indonesians worry about higher prices of daily supplies such as eggs, onions and sugar.

However, head of the national statistics bureau Kecuk Suhariyanto said Indonesia’s inflation rate in March was still under control./.


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