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Social distancing is an important solution in containing the spread of COVID-19, members of the National Steering Committee for Preventing and Controlling COVID-19 said.

Social distancing crucial to curbing pandemic: experts

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At the meeting of the National Steering Committee for Preventing and Controlling COVID-19

Social distancing is an important solution in containing the spread of COVID-19, members of the National Steering Committee for Preventing and Controlling COVID-19 told a meeting in Hanoi on April 3 chaired by its head, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc earlier ordered a range of social distancing measures, including banning public gatherings of more than two people, for a period of 15 days from April 1 to 15.

The Ministry of Health proposed the Government continue the strict implementation of this measure to curb infections in the community.

Vietnam is still in control of the situation thanks to the drastic implementation of directions from the Politburo, the Party Central Committee's Secretariat, and the Prime Minister.

Communications work has been intensified so as to not cause public alarm.

Thousands of border guards and soldiers are enforcing the decision on the suspension of activities at border gates from12pm on April 1. All those entering Vietnam were quarantined, as per regulations.

Discussing outbreak control at Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said all doctors, staff, patients, and others suspected of being infected have been quarantined and tested for the SARS-CoV-2 that causes the disease.

The situation is still under control, he affirmed.

The health ministry is coordinating with the Ministry of Information and Communications to introduce an online medical consultation system for Vietnamese embassies abroad and another
for Vietnam itself.

It also exchanged experience and cooperation with other nations to support the provision of medical equipment in neighboring countries.

By the morning of April 3, Vietnam had had 233 COVID-19 cases, including 85 who had fully recovered.

Vietnam to manufacture ventilators for COVID-19 patients

The Government has recently asked the Ministry of Health to work closely with domestic businesses to manufacture ventilators for hospitals across the country to treat patients infected with contagious diseases, including the COVID-19.

With a well equipped lab, VinSmart is capable of producing ventilators for local consumption (Photo: VinSmart)

According to Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, the health sector will encounter difficulties in supplying ventilators to hospitals when the epidemic breaks out on a large scale. It is also not easy to place orders for the devices from abroad as they are now in short supply in countries seriously hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the current context, the promotion of research and production of domestic ventilators is vital to disease control in Vietnam, Dung said.

He asked the Ministry of Health to review the number of ventilators in hand, examine demands and draw up plans for placing orders in case of the spread of the coronavirus.

The ministry was required to work on research and production plans with domestic businesses that volunteer to manufacture ventilators in the country.

Vingroup recently announced it will research and manufacture invasive and non-invasive ventilators and body temperature monitors for domestic consumption. The group signed contracts with US partners to purchase components, and first complete products are expected to be commercially marketed in a couple of weeks.

Vingroup has two plants – VinFast and VinSmart which are capable of producing 45,000 noninvasive ventilators and 10,000 invasive ventilators a month, said Vingroup CEO Nguyen Viet Quang.

V.League 1 runners-up donate VND360 million to COVID-19 fight

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Head coach Chung Hae-soung (C) is joined by assistant Lu Dinh Tuan (L) as the pair represent Ho Chi Minh City FC in delivering a hefty donation to the Vietnam Fatherland Front.

Ho Chi Minh City FC, runners-up in the 2019 V.League 1 season, gave over VND360 million to the Vietnam Fatherland Front on April 3 as part of their contribution to combating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The total sum of money donated had largely been contributed by the club’s footballers.

The move comes after football star Cong Phuong and his teammates agreed to reduce their salary during the temporary suspension of the V.League 1 season.

At present, there have been no plans made by the organising board to rearrange the tournament due to the complicated nature of developments caused by the ongoing epidemic.

Along with the donation made by Ho Chi Minh City FC, V.League 1 champions Hanoi FC have offered VND1 billion to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, in addition to a further VND500 million to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

Russian newspaper lauds Vietnam’s rapid response to COVID-19

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A driver has his body temperature examined at a checkpoint in Vinh Hoa commune of Ninh Giang district, Hai Duong province

 

Vietnam has been a role model in adopting measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 amid limited conditions, with eight doctors for every 10,000 people, according to an article posted on Russian news website zen.yandex.ru.

The country has controlled the spread of the pandemic, it wrote, and had recorded over 200 cases but no fatalities by the end of March thanks to the Government’s rapid response.

It mentioned the closure of all schools, the suspension of all flights, the application of a 21-day quarantine period for an entire commune in Vinh Phuc province, where many workers came from China's Wuhan city - the epicentre of the epidemic, and mandatory quarantine measures for people coming from overseas as among the effective measures adopted by the Government.

Vietnam, unlike wealthy countries in Asia, cannot conduct COVID-19 tests on all of its citizens and so focuses instead on basic measures such as selective testing and controlling the situation, which have been lauded by the international community, the article noted.

It stated that Vietnam has been a role model for many other countries on how to contain the coronavirus at a minimum cost.

Thailand employs almost 45,700 medical workers to combat COVID-19

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The Cabinet of Thailand on April 3 approved the Ministry of Public Health’s plan to employ 45,684 government employees as special officers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trisulee Trisaranakul, a deputy government spokesperson, said Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul had made the proposal and the Cabinet agreed that his ministry required more officials to cope with the disease.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical technicians and public health officers who come under the government’s jurisdiction are expected to join the ministry, which currently has a staff of 160,000 people.

Trisulee said many medical personnel preferred to work in the private sector because of better pay, but they should join the cause and have pride in serving the citizens of Thailand.

She said these people were well trained and should be part of the national public health system with commitment, devotion and determination to help the country tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thailand confirmed 89 new COVID-19 infection cases and one death on April 4, bringing the total numbers of patients and deaths in the country to 2,067 and 20, respectively./.

Thailand suspends incoming passenger flights to fight COVID-19

Thailand has temporarily banned all passenger flights from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

The ban on incoming flights came into effect on April 4 morning and will last until the end of April 6, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

Anyone arriving on a flight that took off before the order came into effect will need to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in Thailand, the order said.

It came just hours after a commotion at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport when more than 100 Thai nationals arrived on different flights on April 3.

Thailand, which has reported 1,978 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths as of April 3, wants to avoid importing more cases.

Since March 1, there has been a rising number of people who were infected abroad before returning home. The authorities have put nearly 2,000 people who came into contact with them in quarantine.

The ban on incoming air travel came a day after the Thai government asked citizens abroad to delay returning home until after April 15 in a bid to stop imported cases.

Laos rolls out urgent measures to deal with COVID-19

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People wear face masks to prevent coronavirus in Vientiane

The Lao Government on April 2 issued a series of urgent measures to ease difficulties in production and business, as well as ensure social welfare amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decision No.31/PM said that the government allows the postponement of the payment of annual road tax to June 30, and the extension of the deadline for submitting financial reports and business performance in 2019 of enterprises from March 31 to April 30.

The Government exempts income tax for labourers whose income is below 5 million LAK (556 USD) from April to June, and corporate income tax payment for small enterprises with revenues from 50-400 million LAK from April to June.

It allows the Bank of Laos (BoL) to reduce its basic interest and ratio of minimum saving of private bank based on situation of each period, and to instruct private banks to implement policies on loans to cope with COVID19 impact such as deferring principal payment and interest, adjusting interest, providing new loans to businesses, debt restructure, and debt reclassification.

The decision also requires decreases in fuel prices based on the world ones, study on the possibility to reduce and defer payment for electricity and water supply bills for individual and businesses, study on the adjustment of insurance-related provisions for labourers who are laid off due to the pandemic, and the postponement of social insurance payment for affected businesses.

The Lao Government also decides to study and revise the GDP and important macro-economic objectives for 2020, speed up the collection of taxes in strongly-performing sectors, and intensify management over inflation and budget spending.

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