Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

 Six more COVID-19 patients recover, total at 222

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22
A Vietnamese medical worker in protective clothing. Six more patients with COVID-19 have recovered at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total cases being given the all-clear to 222. — Photo thanhnien.vn

Six more patients with COVID-19 have recovered at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total cases being given the all-clear to 222.

All of the recovered patients are Vietnamese nationals, including Patient 184, Patient 215, Patient 216, Patient 227, Patient 246 and Patient 266.

Patient 184, 42, female, living in Diễn Châu District, central Nghệ An Province, was admitted to the hospital on March 28. She had two tests and both came back negative for SARS-CoV-2. The patient currently has no cough, no breathing difficulties and is in a stable condition.

Patient 215, 31 years old, male, living in Đống Đa District, Hà Nội, was admitted to the hospital on April 1. He had two tests and all test results were negative for SARS-CoV-2. At present, the patient has no cough, no breathing difficulties and is in a stable condition.

Patient 216, 48, female, living in Quảng Ninh District, Quảng Bình Province, was admitted to the hospital on March 31. All of her three tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2. At present, the patient has no fever, no cough, and is in a stable condition.

Patient 227, 31, male, living in Long Biên District, Hà Nội, was admitted to the hospital on April 1. He was tested twice and all tests came back negative for SARS-CoV-2. The patient currently has no fever, no cough and is in a stable condition.

Patient 246, 33, male, living in Yên Thành District, Nghệ An Province, was admitted to the hospital on April 6. He had two tests and both tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2. Currently, the patient has no fever, no shortness of breath, no cough and is in a stable condition.

Patient 266, 36, female, living in Thường Tín, Hà Nội, was admitted to the hospital on April 14. She also had two tests and both came back negative for SARS-CoV-2. Currently, the patient has no cough, no chest pain, no shortness of breath, no fever and is in a stable condition.

The six patients will continue to be isolated and monitored for the next 14 days, according to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

As of April 22, Việt Nam recorded a total of 268 cases of COVID-19, of which 160 people returned from abroad (59.7 per cent) and 108 people were infected in the community (40.3 per cent).

The total number of people in close contact and entry from epidemic areas under health monitoring and isolation is 67,022, of which 358 are in concentrated isolation in hospitals, 18,263 isolated at other isolation facilities; and 48,401 isolated at home or place of residence. 

Thai cabinet shifts budgets into fund for COVID-19 combat

The Thai cabinet on April 21 approved to transfer 10 percent of the fiscal 2020 budgets of each ministry to be allocated to a central fund to fight the pandemic and rehabilitate the economy.

According to Budget Bureau Director Dechapiwat Na Songkhla, the government will get nearly 100.4 billion baht (3 billion USD), most of which has yet to be disbursed and is not tied-over budget.

The plan is part of the third round of Thai government measures to stem the impact of the outbreak. These measures will focus on people living in rural areas and on stabilising the financial and capital markets.

The central fund will be managed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, empowered by the emergency decree.

Dechapiwat said the Thai government will also revise the fiscal 2021 budget in order to allocate funding to cope with the pandemic. The central budget in fiscal 2021 budget is set at 99 billion baht.

In a separate development, the cabinet yesterday approved a rice insurance scheme for the 2020-21 season worth 2.91 billion baht, aiming to cover 45.7 million rai of farmland.

On the same day, the Thai Cabinet also approved the Finance Ministry’s proposal to offer a 5,000 baht monthly relief to 14 million people instead of just 9 million./.

COVID-19: Village in Ha Nam completes 14-day lockdown

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

Four COVID-19 checkpoints in a village in Binh Nghia commune, Binh Luc district, Ha Nam province where patient No. 252 resides were officially removed on April 21 afternoon after a 14-day lockdown.

According to Pham Quang Thang, Chairman of the communal People's Committee, all 375 households in Village 3 - Ngo Khe implemented social distancing seriously during the period. Most people stayed at home, did not go to other residential areas, and strictly abided by the regulations of the Steering Committees for COVID-19 Prevention and Control at all levels to prevent the spread of the disease in the community.

The Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Binh Nghia commune allocated funds to buy food for all households in the village as well as those facing difficulties in the commune. All households in the quarantine area were provided with disinfectants, masks, cooking oil and other necessities.

In the coming time, the communal Steering Committee will continue to persuade local people, especially those in Village 3. -Ngo Khe, to seriously implement the Prime Minister's Directives 15 and 16 as well as the provincial and district directives on COVID-19 prevention and combat measures, Thang added.

Previously, on April 7, after receiving information about patient No. 251, the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Binh Nghia commune established four temporary checkpoints managed by local police and military forces to disseminate preventive measures for local residents, guide them how to fill in health declaration forms, and supervise villagers’ enforcement of quarantine measures.

Vietnam has so far recorded 268 COVID-19 patients, with 216 people fully recovering and no dealths./.

Thailand extends foreigners’ visas for 3 more months amid COVID-19

Thailand on April 21 approved an automatic visa extension for foreigners for three more months in a bid to prevent long queues at migration centres and contain the spread of the COVID-19.

Foreigners whose visas had expired since March 26 will be permitted to stay until July 31 without having to apply for an extension, said Narumon Pinyosinwat, spokeswoman for the Thai government.

It was the second extension the Thai government has entitled foreigners unable to leave the country because of the pandemic. The first visa amnesty was granted until April 30.

To combat the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand has since late March banned entry by foreigners, except diplomats and work-permit holders.

The Southeast Asian nation has so far recorded 2,811 infections and 48 fatalities.

No new COVID-19 cases reported on April 21 evening

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

Vietnam recorded no new COVID-19 cases on April 21 evening, making it five and a half days in a row without any new patients, reported the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among 268 cases in 28 cities and provinces, 160 are imported cases, accounting for 59.7 percent, and the remaining are infections in the community.

The same day, patient 248 at the Cu Chi COVID-19 treatment hospital in Ho Chi Minh City was declared to recover.

At present, only 52 patients are being quarantined and treated at nine health facilities. Among them, 12 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once and eight tested negative twice.

A total of 75,799 people are quarantined or under health monitoring, of whom 268 stay in hospitals, 15,368 in other facilities and 60,163 others at home.

At a press teleconference the same day, the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Regional Director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai lauded anti-epidemic prevention efforts of many countries, including Vietnam.

Kasai said Vietnam has shown the world its effective, drastic and overall leadership through different levels, from the Prime Minister, ministers to local authorities.

Statistics from the WHO showed that Vietnam now has the second lowest infection rate in the Western Pacific, with three cases per 1 million people.

According to the official, Vietnam has not only updated scenarios for each period but also traced down those who had contact with the patients.

He also advised the country to consider lifting restrictions gradually rather than doing immediately.

Also on April 21, General Director of Viet A Technologies JSC Phan Quoc Viet announced that the COVID-19 test kit, developed by the company and the Military Medical University, has been awarded with CE Certificate and Certificate of Free Sale by the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

The certification will allow the sale of its test kits in all European countries, including the UK.

A partner placed order for the kits to become exclusive seller in the UK, India, Mexico, the US and several European nations./.

Japan paper: quarantine is key strategy in Vietnam

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

Japan’s Asahi newspaper on April 21 ran a story commending Vietnam’s drastic quarantine measures in the fight against COVID-19.

The article said amid the spread of the pandemic across the world, Vietnam has contained the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Though it shares a 1,400km borderline with China where the epidemic broke out, its infection rate was very low with 268 patients and no death as of April 21 morning.

"Quarantine of individuals who have contact with a case or are coming from a high risk area is definitely a key strategy, especially since people infected seem to be infectious at the very start of symptoms", it said.

According to the article, Vietnam began its social distancing in early April. Accordingly, all citizens were not allowed to go out in unnecessary cases and banned gatherings of more than two persons in public places. All shops and service facilities were shut down, except essential services such as supermarkets and hospitals.

The order was originally scheduled to last till April 15, then extended to April 22 in many localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

In early March when arrivals in Vietnam from Europe surged, the Vietnamese Government ordered quarantine of all those coming in and those who had contact with patients at military-run facilities and universities. Even a building block or a village was locked down when infected persons were discovered, it added./.

COVID-19: Vietnam offers medical supplies to foreign armies

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22
Medical supplies presented to the Lao army (Photo: VNA)

The Ministry of Defence and its units have offered medical supplies to the armies of China, Laos, Cuba, Germany, Hungary, and Cambodia in support of their fight against COVID-19.

Worth nearly 19 billion VND (826,000 USD), the supplies include gloves, face masks, protective suits, thermometers, and hand sanitiser, among others.

The offer is part of the Vietnamese army’s efforts to join hands with its foreign counterparts to drive back COVID-19, protecting people’s health and ensuring socio-economic development./.

COVID-19: Vietnam presents medical supplies to Lao people

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung, who is also Vice President of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association (Photo: VNA)

The Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association on April 21 presented medical supplies to help Lao people, especially doctors and nurses who are directly involved in preventing and combating the COVID-19.

Minister of Information and Communications and Vice President of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association Nguyen Manh Hung handed over the gifts to the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Association through the Lao Embassy in Hanoi.

The medical supplies include 500 protective suits and 18,500 face masks, including 17,500 medical masks and 1,000 antibacterial cloth masks.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister Hung said that the gifts, despite being small, deeply reflected the sentiments of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association members toward the Lao people, contributing to promoting the special solidarity between the two nations and affirming their commitment to holding hands to overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He showed his belief that despite those difficulties, the two countries will actively promote the cause of national development, construction and defence to reap bigger achievements for the happiness and prosperity of their people.

For his part, Laos Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang expressed his sincere thanks to the Vietnamese people and the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association for their valuable affections given to the Lao people./.

Thailand, Cambodia record positive signals in containing COVID-19

Thailand recorded 19 new cases of COVID-19 and one death on April 21, bringing its total to 2,811, including 48 deaths.

Spokesman of the Thai Government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) Taweesin Wisanuyothin, this is the lowest number counted in a day over the last month.

According to the spokesman, Thailand continued to record positive signs in the fight against the epidemic with 36 out of 77 provinces and cities nationwide did not report any new cases during the last 14 days.

Earlier, the Thai government issued an Emergency Order from March 26 to April 30 to restrict people from traveling and force them to stay indoors to contain the spread of the pandemic.

 

Meanwhile, the Cambodian Ministry of Health on the same day said the country had not recorded any new COVID-19 cases. As of April 21 morning, the number of COVID-19 cases in Cambodia totaled 122.

The country is focusing on closely monitoring workers returning to Phnom Penh after the Khmer New Year holiday Chol Chnam Thmay, and considering the possibility of infection among people in some areas in the capital city.

In Indonesia, President Joko Widodo has announced his decision to ban a massive exodus ahead of the Idul Fitri mudik holiday, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at an online cabinet meeting, Widodo said the decision was made based on government assessments after repeated warnings related to the disease.

This year, Idul Fitri - the great holiday of Muslims right after the end of Ramadan - will take place in a month from April 23. In previous years, this holiday often entailed a large migration with dozens of millions of people from urban areas flocking to rural areas of the Southeast Asian nation.

As of April 20, Indonesia confirmed a total of 6,760 cases of COVID-18, including 590 deaths, while 747 patients had recovered and discharged from hospital./.

Donations worth 4.3 million USD help with Hanoi’s anti-pandemic efforts

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22
The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Hanoi continues to receive contributions to the COVID-19 prevention and control on April 21 (Photo: VNA)


Donations worth over 101 billion VND (4.3 million USD) in cash and in kind from the public have been contributed to COVID-19 prevention and control efforts via the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee of Hanoi so far.

The committee received contributions, including 500 million VND in cash and a large number of essential goods like rice, drinking water and hand sanitiser, from 10 organisations, businesses and individuals on April 21.

Appreciating the benefactors’ support, chairwoman of the committee Nguyen Lan Huong said the assistance will give more strength to the city’s anti-pandemic forces.

She noted April 21 is the fifth day without new COVID-19 cases in Vietnam, which is an encouraging sign, but as authorities said, each people, family, organisation and locality must not lack vigilance.

The same day, the municipal VFF Committee sent part of the donations to the frontline forces in the pandemic combat.

Its officials also visited and presented gifts to disadvantaged households affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and residents in some areas under quarantine.

Singapore extends lockdown until at least June 1

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22
A deserted street in Singapore on April 7 as COVID-19 spreads in the country (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Singapore will extend its partial lockdown by another four weeks after reporting thousands of new COVID-19 cases in recent days, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on April 21.

The country reported 1,111 new cases earlier April 21, bringing its total to 9,125, the most in Southeast Asia.

Lee said the sharp upsurge in cases was due to aggressive testing of workers in the dorms, including those who are asymptomatic.

Although the viral clusters in the dorms have remained largely contained, Lee said circuit-breaker measures that shut down nonessential businesses and schools until May 4 will be extended to June 1 or until infections ease.

He said this will allow the government to detect and contain the virus spread early if there is a transmission from the dorms to the wider community.

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 375 new COVID-19 infections on April 21, taking the total in the Southeast Asian country to 7,135.

Indonesia also recorded 26 new deaths on the day, raising the total number to 616.

More than 46,700 people have been tested and 842 people had recovered in the country so far./.

Vietnam attends teleconference on parliamentary role in fighting COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau took part in a teleconference on April 21 regarding the role of parliaments in international cooperation in fighting COVID-19.

Held by the Indonesian Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, the teleconference featured the participation of Chairman of Indonesia's House of Representatives’ Commission for Foreign Affairs Fadli Zon, Deputy Speaker of Malaysia’s House of Representatives Dato Mohamad Rashid Hasnon, head of the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly’s ad-hoc committee for responding to the coronavirus outbreak Kim Jin-pyo, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Indonesia Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific Armida Alisjahbana.

Giau highlighted the message from the President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) 2020 Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in her letter sent to heads of AIPA members on March 30, which called on AIPA member states to be more active in partnering with governments in their fight against COVID-19 through upholding the role of parliaments and issuing measures and policies in that regard.

He added that as AIPA Chair 2020, Vietnam welcomed the outcomes of the online ASEAN Special Summit and ASEAN 3 Special Summit on COVID-19, which were chaired by Prime Minister and Chair of ASEAN Vietnam 2020 Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 14.

Declarations reaffirmed ASEAN member states’ determination and commitments in a “cohesive and responsive” spirit to contain the spread of the pandemic while mitigating its impacts on regional socio-economic development.

Director of the Hanoi Medical University Hospital Nguyen Lan Hieu spoke of Vietnam’s experience in COVID-19 prevention and control, which were hailed by participants. He added that Vietnam has so far recorded 268 infections, with 214 recoveries and no fatalities. No new cases have been reported for five consecutive days.

In face of profound changes caused by COVID-19, parliamentarians urged governments and parliaments in the region and the world to stay united to combat the pandemic, ensure social welfare for citizens, and offer all possible support to the vulnerable in society.

They also asked international financial organisations to offer debt payment extensions to developing countries and to continue working with the UN and the WHO to improve the capacity to cope with the pandemic on national and regional scales./.

Friendship association assists Indian people with 100,000 masks

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22
The handover ceremony in Hanoi on April 21 (Photo: VNA)

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung, who also chairs the Vietnam-India Friendship Association, presented 100,000 antibacterial cloth masks to Indian Ambassador Pranay Verma on April 21 to assist the South Asian nation in the fight against COVID-19.

Hung said the two countries boast a long-standing friendship and now, their relations in all aspects, from economy, trade, investment to security, defence, science, technique, culture and education, have been developing strongly.

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges the humankind has faced over the last 100 years, he said, noting that Vietnam and India can share many practical experiences and valuable lessons to jointly defeat this outbreak.

The official added with the wish to help India prevent the disease, the Vietnam-India Friendship Association has called on businesses in the information and communications sector to donate 100,000 antibacterial cloth masks to the Indian people.

The small gifts demonstrate the Vietnamese people’s solidarity and friendship with their Indian peers, he noted.

Offering thanks to the Vietnam-India Friendship Association, Ambassador Verma said the face masks will be distributed widely to the Indian people.

He also said the Vietnamese and Indian Prime Ministers held phone talks on April 13 during which they agreed that their agencies would keep in touch in the time ahead to coordinate the countries’ response measures against the pandemic and boost cooperation in other spheres of bilateral ties.

In an earlier meeting with Ambassador Verma, Minister Hung touched upon the big changes in social activities amid the COVID-19 outbreak such as working from home, online learning, e-payment, and online health checkup.

Vietnam plans to put the 5G network and devices into operation this October. Meanwhile, India is known as a software workshop of the world. Therefore, he said he hopes IT businesses of the two countries will enhance collaboration in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and dealing with global issues like cyber security.

Verma also shared his views on current technological issues like 5G technology, e-Government building and IT manpower training which, he believes, Vietnam and India have their own advantages in, and can work together for common development./.

Political parties commend Vietnam’s COVID-19 fight

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan has sent letters to political parties around the world to share information and situation in Vietnam as well as its COVID-19 prevention measures and propose ways to enhance ties in the fight.

Political parties also sent letters to the CPV, in which they lauded drastic and effective measures undertaken by the Vietnamese Party and Government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed their admiration for achievements made by the country over the past time.

They said such successes proved the power of the process of national construction under the leadership of the CPV. They also thanked the CPV, Government and people of Vietnam for providing countries with support in COVID-19 prevention and control.

The head of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations hailed invaluable, timely and effective support that Vietnam offered to countries, including Laos, to curb the epidemic at present.

The head of the Communist Party of China Central Committee’s International Liaison Department, for his part, expressed the willingness to join hands with political parties of nations worldwide, including Vietnam, to enhance experience sharing and coordinate measures to put an end to the pandemic.

The International Department under the Workers’ Party of Korea attributed the effective control of COVID-19 to active and drastic efforts by the CPV, expressing their belief that the Vietnamese people will surely win in the fight.

The head of the left-wing Dominica Liberation Movement Alliance’s foreign department affirmed that the collective power in terms of humans and organisation together with the socio-political vision of the CPV and the Vietnamese Government, as well as scientific, medical and technical preparations have enabled Vietnam to control the impacts of the epidemic.

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Switzerland spoke highly of efforts by the political and medical systems, as well as the capacity of the Vietnamese people and the CPV, affirming that with the supremacy of the socialism system, Vietnam has well controlled the epidemic and become a model in COVID-19 prevention and control.

Sharing the same view, the Communist Party of Mexico also highlighted the supremacy of the power of workers in the socialism-building process and in dealing with issues like COVID-19.

The political parties hailed Vietnam as a “bright and hopeful example” and a “source of encouragement” for countries worldwide in the fight against COVID-19, saying that Vietnam’s experiences and lessons will serve as effective reference for other nations.

They also expressed their belief that Vietnam will exert more efforts and soon overcome the epidemic under the CPV's leadership, and wished to continue fostering cooperation and solidarity with Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 as well as in bilateral friendship relations./.

PRO Vietnam donates 2.6 mln USD to COVID-19 fight

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 22

The Packaging Recycling Organisation Vietnam (PRO Vietnam) announced on April 21 that it has offered 60 billion VND (2.6 million USD) in cash and kind to the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

Specifically, its member businesses purchased medical equipment and necessities in support of the effort. 

La Vie company presented nearly 100,000 litres of La Vie mineral water and about 75,000 bottles of fruit water La Vie Sparkling, valued at over 1.4 billion VND, to volunteers and border guards via State agencies and partners. 

It also contributed 1 billion VND to buy medical equipment for the fight against the pandemic.

Other firms offered necessities to medical staff in quarantine areas in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. 

All of its member firms also committed to following prevention measures in line with the regulations./.

Thailand offers power bill cuts for 22 million households

The Thai government has formally approved energy authorities' decision to either waive or cut electricity charges for 22 million households affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Thai Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said this came after the cabinet meeting on April 21 that saw the participation of representatives from the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority.

The measure will be valid for three months, from March to May, and cost the state 23.68 billion THB in lost revenue, he said.

"The measure reduces the electricity charges burden on households. It is the cost of living of the people who are working from home to support the government's control of COVID-19," Sontirat said.

Free electricity is extended to households with a power meter of no more than 5 amps. Up to 10 million households are expected to benefit.

For households with a power meter over 5 amps, if their consumption does not exceed 800 units (kilowat hours), they will pay as much as they did in their February bill. The amount over 800 units will be subject to a 50 percent discount.

Large houses that consume more than 3,000 units will get a 30 percent discount./.

 
 

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