Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

No new COVID-19 cases recorded in a day

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

A health worker checks a citizen's body temperature

Vietnam confirmed no new COVID-19 cases on April 25 evening, with the total infections standing at 270.

On the day’s afternoon, five COVID-19 patients, including four Vietnamese and one Danish national, were discharged from the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2, raising the number of recoveries to 225. All of them will be kept in quarantine for the next 14 days.

The remaining 45 patients are now under treatment at six health facilities.

Also on the day, the country reported five people who had previously been given the all-clear tested positive again while still under post-treatment quarantine. Two of them are currently being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2 while two others have been admitted to the Quang Ninh Hospital Number 2 and Binh Thuan province’s Traditional Medicine Hospital.

Three seriously ill patients numbered 19, 91 and 161 are still under intensive treatment.

Nearly 55,000 people are currently under quarantine and having their health status monitored nationwide.

Vietnam has so far reported no deaths from COVID-19./.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Southeast Asia

The number of COVID-19 infections continued to increase in Southeast Asian nations on April 25.

On the day, Thailand reported 53 new cases and one more death from the disease, raising the total to 2,907 and 51, respectively.

The new infection number in Thailand has been on the decline in the past two weeks. The country recorded the largest daily increase on March 22, with 188 cases. 

As many as 2,547 patients were declared to have fully recovered.

Singapore reported additional 618 cases on April 25, bringing the total to 12,693. Most of the infections are work permit holders living in dormitories.

With a population of 5.7 million, Singapore is among countries with the highest COVID-19 transmission rate in Asia. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine Department of Health announced 102 new cases and 17 deaths on the day. 

The country reported a total 7,294 infections, 494 fatalities, and 792 recoveries.

Malaysia saw 51 new cases and two deaths, raising the total cases to 5,742, with 98 deaths.

There were 396 new cases in Indonesia on the same day, along with 31 deaths, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. Indonesia reported a total 8,607 cases and 720 fatalities./.

COVID-19: Guarding against the virus

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Five more COVID-19 patients recover

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

Five women who tested positive for COVID-19 were given the all-clear on Saturday after making a full recovery.

The patients, four Vietnamese locals and one Danish woman, have been discharged from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.They will now be quarantined for two weeks.

The total amount of patients recovered now stands at 225.

Patient 167, a 20-year-old Danish visitor, was admitted to the hospital on March 24. Her latest tests came back negative on April 20 and 23.

Patients 176 and 195, both work at Trường Sinh Company which provides services for the Bạch Mai General Hospital in Hà Nội.

Patient 176, a 38-year-old woman living in Hưng Hà District, Thái Bình, was admitted to the hospital on March 28. Patient 195, who is 41-years-old, lives in Yên Sở Ward, Hoàng Mai District, Hà Nội. She was admitted to hospital on March 30.

They both tested negative twice between April 20 and 24.

The other two Vietnamese women, patients 253 and 258, are both from the Mê Linh District of Hà Nội, another area identified as a coronavirus hotspot.

The five women 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 has seen a total of 270 cases of COVID-19 and no fatalities. 

Vietnamese citizens from Italy test negative for SARS-CoV-2 again

The second test samples of 55 Vietnamese citizens and three Italians returning from Italy to the central city were negative for SARS-CoV-2 on Wednesday (April 22).

Director of the city’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Dr Tôn Thất Thạnh, said it’s the second time in a row that test results were negative after the first test released on Sunday (April 19).

Thạnh said these people will be kept at isolation for 14 days till May 5, and more tests will be given before releasing them back home.

He said the Vietnamese citizens, who have been isolated at the city’s Military Training School in suburban Hoà Vang District, are in a stable condition without fever or cough. They receive health checks every day.

Meanwhile, the three Italians, who are quarantined at a hotel in the city’s downtown area, are in good health.

These Vietnamese citizens and Italians were taken to Đà Nẵng on a specially arranged flight of Vietnam Airlines (VNA) in co-ordination between the Vietnamese government and the Italian Embassy in Việt Nam and the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy last Saturday (April 18).

The city is still isolating 183 people at quarantine sites and in the community. A total 4,536 people have returned home after two-week quarantine in the city.

240 Korean experts quarantined upon arrival in Việt Nam

A group of 240 South Korean experts of LG Company arriving on Asiana Airlines flight number OZ7747 from Incheon City have been kept in isolation after arriving at Vân Đồn International Airport in the northern province of Quảng Ninh on Thursday. 

It was the seventh flight transporting South Korean experts to Việt Nam under the two countries’ special agreement, given that Việt Nam has effectively banned all foreign entries into the country since mid-March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

There have been 19 flights from South Korea with more than 3,600 passengers landing at Vân Đồn International Airport since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The South Koreans had their entry procedures done outside the airport’s terminal to avoid possible cross-transmission to other passengers and airport staff. They were asked to declare their health status and transferred to a quarantine area for medical monitoring for 14 days.

Phạm Ngọc Sáu, director of Vân Đồn Airport, said they had developed a process to ensure safety for passengers flying to and from the airport, following instructions of Việt Nam Aviation Authority and the Vietnamese Government. 

The airport plans to resume commercial flights from May, after Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc agreed to relax the nationwide social distancing measures under Directive 16. 

Project creates 200,000 jobs to help workers affected by COVID-19 epidemic

 A scheme which aims to generate 200,000 jobs as a means of helping workers and businesses to overcome the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic officially launched on April 24.

Following its implementation by the organising committee of the campaign to develop Vietnamese corporate culture, the project is part of a programme that calls on businesses to unite in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. 

The project also aims to address the urgent needs of labourers who lost their jobs as a result of the epidemic whilst simultaneously helping enterprises who are unable to recruit the personnel they require to function.

With the goal of providing 200,000 job opportunities in more than 10,000 businesses nationwide, in addition to connecting 100,000 candidates with firms, the non-profit project will be deployed on the online employment ecosystem of Sieu Viet Group for three months and may run for longer depending on developments relating to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Aside from supporting workers to find employment, the scheme offers training programmes aimed at strengthening connectivity in investment, changing business models, accelerating digital transformation, and building a fruitful corporate culture.

PM orders continuation of measures against COVID-19 in new context

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently issued Directive 19/CT-TTg on the continuation of the implementation of measures against the COVID-19 pandemic in the new context.

The directive said that although a number of initial achievements have been recorded, the pandemic is continuing to develop in a complicated way, and the risk is still high.

The PM asked ministries, ministry-level offices, People’s Committees of the provinces and central-level cities to maintain the viewpoint of “fighting the pandemic as if fighting the enemy”. They must mobilise the engagement of the whole political system and the people but, at the same time, continue to develop production and businesses.

Party officials and members, as well as state employees must be exemplary in the work, he said.

Sanitary work must be continued while festivals, religious and sport events are still suspended under the directive. Meanwhile, business establishments except those providing non-essential services, and tourist sites can resume operation in tandem with safety measures. This will be applicable to public passenger transport services.

As for the learning of the pupils, this should be conducted both online and at schools, the directive said.

It is the Prime Minister who considers and decides on the risk levels of each province and central-level city at proposals by the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

In the directive, PM Phuc also assigned concrete tasks to the Ministries of Health, National Defence, Public Security, Foreign Affairs, Industry and Trade, Information and Communications, Science and Technology, and others to continue the COVID-19 fight as well as to bring business activities back to normal.

He also asked the Vietnam Fatherland Front and social organisations to join hands with administrations in encouraging the people to take and active and voluntary part in the work./.

Foreign NGOs ready to support Vietnam’s efforts against COVID-19

Foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Vietnam have affirmed their willingness to support the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commitment was made in a letter sent to the Committee for Foreign NGO Affairs under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control by 78 organisations that represent foreign NGOs and development organisations that are implementing projects across Vietnam.

The organisations expressed their impression on Vietnam’s timely and effective measures against the epidemic that have been acknowledged and applauded by other countries, and thanked scientists and medical workers for their devotion to the combat.

All of the COVID-19 patients, regardless of their nationalities, have been quarantined, hospitalised and provided with professional and humanitarian health services, they said.

The organisations said they back the Prime Minister’s statement that the Government is resolved to protect the public’s health even though the country has to sacrifice its economic benefits in the short term.

They pledged to support the Government in assisting the poor, disadvantaged people and those affected by the pandemic.

They also promised to provide further support to vulnerable groups, accompany Vietnamese people, and maintain international cooperation and solidarity, and stressed their willingness to provide foreign aid for Vietnam not only at this time but also after the pandemic is stamped out.

The organisations said they will continue to introduce good policies and results Vietnam have achieved to the international community./.

Vietnam reports two new imported cases of COVID-19, total at 270

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

The COVID-19 testing system at the Centre for Disease Control in northern Quang Ninh province 

Two Vietnamese students returning from Japan were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 late April 24, bringing the total cases in Vietnam to 270, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The students arrived in Vietnam on April 22 on Flight VN311. Upon entry at Van Don airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh, they were taken to a concentrated quarantine facility in northern Thai Binh province.

The 269th patient is a 23-year-old man from Huong Mai commune, Viet Yen district, northern Bac Giang province.

The 270th patient is a 22-year-old woman from Tien Dung commune, Yen Dung district, Bac Giang province.

On April 22, the two patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of Thai Binh province. The results showed they were suspected to be infected with the virus and then were transferred to Thai Binh General Hospital for quarantine.

On April 24, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology confirmed the samples were positive for the virus.

At present, the two patients are being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s outskirts district of Dong Anh.

As many as 68,890 are under health monitoring or quarantine, of them 352 are kept at hospitals, 17,832 in concentrated quarantine facilities, and 50,706 others at home.

On the same day, the 247th patient was announced to fully recover at the Lung Hospital in southern Dong Nai province.

Fifteen cases tested negative for the virus once and two negative twice and above./.

One more COVID-19 patient recovers

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

A 28-year-old COVID-19 patient in the southern province of Dong Nai is discharged from hospital on April 24

A 28-year-old COVID-19 patient in the southern province of Dong Nai was discharged from hospital on April 24 after more than two weeks of treatment, lifting the total of cured cases in Vietnam to 225.

According to the Centre for Disease Control of Dong Nai, as of April 23, the locality had 425 quarantined cases, including 12 health workers.

Since the first case was detected three months ago, Vietnam has seen a total of 268 people being confirmed to have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

Of the patients, 160 (59.7 percent) returned from abroad and the remaining 108 were infection cases in the community.
As of April 23 morning, 68,081 people have been quarantined across the country, including 369 at hospitals, 18,600 at concentrated quarantine sites and 49,112 at home.

Vietnam had no new cases of COVID-19 to report on April 24 morning, making it eight days in a row since April 16 without new infections, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control./.

Vietnam contributes 50,000 USD to WHO's COVID-19 response fund

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung on April 24 symbolically handed over 50,000 USD as a contribution of the Vietnamese Government and people to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s COVID-19 response fund.

The handover ceremony was attended by representatives from the Government Office, the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs, the UN, and WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park, among others.

Trung reiterated the Vietnamese Government’s twin targets of containing the pandemic and ensuring socio-economic stability and social welfare.

He used the occasion to thank the WHO and relevant UN agencies in general and the WHO Office and UN Resident Coordinator Office in Vietnam in particular for their support to the country during the fight against the pandemic, helping to deepen the partnership between Vietnam and the UN.

As an active and responsible member of the international community, ASEAN Chair 2020, and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, Vietnam decided to contribute 50,000 USD to the WHO fund to help ease the adverse impacts of the pandemic, Trung said.

He called on the WHO to maintain its central role in leading and coordinating international efforts, meeting the aspirations of member countries while continuing to assist developing countries, especially those with a poor healthcare system.

For his part, Kidong Park said Vietnam is taking the lead in medical diplomacy and thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for their support to the COVID-19 response fund.

He congratulated Vietnam on its achievements in containing the pandemic, with more than 80 percent of patients recovering, no fatalities recorded, and no new cases reported for the last eight days.

He attributed its results to the drastic engagement of the Government, ministries, and agencies as well as public support.

WHO agreed with a proposal Vietnam raised at the Ministerial Video-Conference of the Alliance for Multilateralism on April 16 regarding solidarity, sharing, prevention, and post-COVID-19 economic stimulation, and backed the country’s initiative to designate a global solidarity day against disease, he said./.

Deputy PM: Risk of COVID-19 transmission in community still quite high

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at the meeting

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said on April 24 that people should be happy with the current situation surrounding COVID-19 but insisted that the risk of transmission in the community is still quite high despite Vietnam’s great efforts to date.

The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported that Vietnam has not recorded any new cases since April 17 and 225 out of 268 patients infected have now been given the all-clear.

The three most severe cases - 20, 91 and 161 - have shown improvements over recent days. Twenty-one patients have tested negative for the coronavirus at least once, with nine testing negative at least twice.

At a meeting of the committee on April 24, Tran Dac Phu, a senior adviser to Vietnam’s public health emergency operations centre, said that in the initial phase the country succeeded in preventing the disease entering the country from elsewhere. The second phase began when community transmission was found, and the Prime Minister decided to introduce social distancing in a timely and strict manner, which prevented COVID-19 from breaking out on a large scale.

Social distancing alone, however, cannot stop the pandemic or community transmission, since it only minimises contact between people and limits the spread, he said.

Citing the results of a study on 245 of the 268 COVID-19 cases in Vietnam, Phu said that more than 40 percent did not exhibit any symptoms while others only had a cough or a fever. Many tested negative for the virus but then positive at a later date, which has also been seen in other countries.

He said it is difficult to identify cases of infection in the community as some do not exhibit symptoms or only exhibit common symptoms such as a fever or a cough. These people will remain unknown if they do not visit hospital for a check-up, and if they have close contact with others the coronavirus will continue to spread.

With social distancing measures now eased, COVID-19 may still spread in the community, he said, adding that there could be new infections in the time ahead and large outbreaks must be prevented.

Ministries, sectors, and localities should take appropriate action to develop the economy and ensure social security, Phu recommended.

Deputy PM Dam, who is also head of the national steering committee, told the meeting of the need for continued vigilance because while Vietnam’s level of control over the pandemic is good news, there are more than 50,000 new infections and 5,000 deaths around the world every day, and the disease has broken out again in many places previously thought to have controlled it thoroughly.

He quoted experts as saying risks remain high all around the world and there are still people with the virus in the community.

“We can be happy about the outcome to date and have trust in our leadership, but we should not forget that we have only won individual battles, not the whole fight,” he said, while calling on people to continue complying with the PM’s directions and the health sector’s guidance./.

COVID-19: Israeli Embassy donates rice to Hanoi

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar (R) presents rice to a local in Hanoi.

The Embassy of Israel in Vietnam donated one tonne of rice on April 24 to the first “rice ATM” set up in Hanoi’s Cau Giay district to support people affected by COVID-19.

This is the first rice donation from a foreign diplomatic agency in Vietnam to those affected by the pandemic and reflects Israel’s multi-year commitment to helping those in need in Vietnam through formal and voluntary projects.

[Israeli ambassador hails Vietnam’s achievements in COVID-19 fight]

Ambassador Nadav Eshcar said providing the rice is an opportunity for Israel to "give something better" to the Vietnamese community.

 

He thanked Vietnam for helping embassy staff and his family live in a safe environment in Hanoi.

The country’s response to COVID-19, he went on, has been exemplary.

He hailed the prompt response of the Government and the consensus of people nationwide to beat the virus, which saw Vietnam post a lower number of infections than other countries in the region and the world, with no fatalities.

Vietnam should share its experience with the international community, he suggested./.

Over 200 Vietnamese brought home from Singapore

Vietnamese agencies, the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore and budget carrier Vietjet Air, in collaboration with Singaporean authorities, worked together to bring over 200 Vietnamese citizens home from Singapore on April 24, including children, the ill, and those in an especially-disadvantaged situation.

All crew members and passengers underwent health checks and were placed in quarantine after landing at Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta.

In compliance with the Prime Minister’s directions, the Foreign Ministry will coordinate with the Ministries of Health, Transport, and National Defence as well as domestic airlines to arrange more flights to bring Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances home amid the COVID-19 pandemic based on the domestic epidemic situation and quarantine capacity./.

Ambassadors of Russia, Chile praise Vietnam’s efforts, experience in fighting COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

The Ambassadors of Russia and Chile have spoken highly of Vietnam’s experience and effective model in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, as the country has not recorded any new infection since April 17 and 84 percent of the infected cases have recovered without any death. 

Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov noted the motto “fighting epidemic like fighting an enemy” of Vietnam, and stressed that the unanimity and support of the people, the observance of prevention measures, and enhanced sense of responsibility have produced good outcomes and the proud achievement at present.

Vietnam has put the epidemic under control thanks to concerted and uniform measures taken by from central to grassroots levels, he said.

The diplomat underlined the work of the “soldiers in white blouse” in the medical sector, as well as other forces in detecting, quarantining, localizing, stamping out outbreaks and treating infection cases, and preventing the spread of the epidemic in the community.

He expressed the hope that Russia and Vietnam would continue pushing ahead with mutual support in the fight against the COVID-19.

Besides the anti-pandemic combat, the Russian Ambassador appreciated Vietnam’s performance of international missions in the role of Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021 tenure.

Chilean Ambassador Jaime Chomali said Vietnam has recorded no new infections over the past days, which showed that its efforts had produced persuasive outcomes. Therefore, the Chilean Embassy has studied Vietnam’s experience in COVID-19 prevention and control in order to report to its government.  

“The strict quarantine and monitoring of infected or suspected cases, and mass testing are among factors behind Vietnam’s success,” he said.

He also suggested that in the context of “borderless” epidemic at present, Chile and Vietnam should maintain an open trade flow. He also expressed a belief that Vietnam would see a more rapid and earlier economic recovery than other regional countries next year./.

Russian expert speaks of Vietnam’s effective measures against COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25
Associate Professor Maxim Syunnerberg of the Lomonosov Moscow State University

Russia’s Sputnik radio quoted a Russian expert on April 23 as saying that Vietnam has effectively contained the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to three main factors.

According to Associate Professor Maxim Syunnerberg of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the three factors are the prompt and timely response by authorities, people’s sense of responsibility, and information transparency.

Vietnam’s achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control resulted in a low transmission rate, with only 270 cases and no fatalities in the country as of April 23.

An emergency response centre was established after the first COVID-19 case had been detected, he said, adding that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced on February 1 the appearance of the disease in three localities with six patients.

He commended other prompt actions taken by Vietnam, such as closing schools, holding drills, suspending flights to pandemic-stricken countries, and restricting visas granted to foreigners, among others.

Syunnerberg also spoke of the PM’s directive on April 1 on imposing the nationwide social distancing order. The Government also announced supportive economic measures in early March, he added.

He cited a survey finding that Vietnamese people have the most confidence in their Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expert also lauded the significant role of the local media and the people’s sense of responsibility, with various creative measures adopted by the public.

In science, Vietnam was one of the first countries worldwide to have successfully isolated the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, he said, adding that the country’s test kits have been used widely and they, together with other medical equipment, have been exported to Europe and the US.

With its collective strength, Vietnam has the right to hope it will be one of the countries with the lowest COVID-19 cases worldwide and will overcome the pandemic with the least consequences, he said./.

Vice President: Trust in Vietnam’s health sector boosted by pandemic fight

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh (second, right) presents a gift to the Ministry of Health at the meeting on April 24

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not only people’s trust in the Party and State has been enhanced but also the admiration of people and the international community for the country’s health sector, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh said on April 24.

In a visit to the Ministry of Health in Hanoi, she said Vietnam has basically managed to control the pandemic and protect people’s lives and health while maintaining production and business and ensuring social security.

In response to appeals from Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, calls from the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, and directives from the Prime Minister, the entire political system and the population have adopted an attitude of “fighting the pandemic is like fighting an enemy”. The health sector’s “white-bloused soldiers” have constantly stood firmly in the frontlines, she added.

Vietnam gained initial success in curbing the spread of COVID-19, the Vice President believes.

As at the morning of April 24, the global total of COVID-19 cases surpassed 2.7 million, including over 190,000 fatalities.

Meanwhile, Vietnam had just 268 patients, 224, or 84 percent, of whom have fully recovered. Most notably, it has not recorded any fatalities, and the country’s severe cases have improved on a daily basis, she said.

The Vice President lauded the around-the-clock efforts by the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, which she said greatly contributed to the treatment and prevention of the coronavirus.

The hospital treated more than half of all cases nationwide. Five of the six severe cases in the country were in the hospital, and their health has improved.

A new battle, however, is approaching, she said, voicing a belief that the health sector must continue to actively treat remaining cases and monitor those moved into quarantine as more Vietnamese return from overseas and foreign experts arrive in the country.

With vigilance sustained and complacency avoided, Vice President Thinh believes the country won’t record any deaths or infections among health workers.

She expressed a hope that the health sector will weather all difficulties and maintain its solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, thus helping bring success to Vietnam and the world.

Appreciating the Vice President’s words of encouragement, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the international community holds Vietnam’s rapid and timely response to the pandemic in high regard.

The health sector, he went on, wishes to join hands with the population to reap complete success in the battle against COVID-19.

Vice President Thinh also honoured the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases with a third-class Labour Order for its outstanding achievements in tackling the coronavirus./.

UNICEF, WHO ready to further support Vietnam in immunisation for children

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in Vietnam have released a joint statement ensuring that children are vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The joint statement was issued on the occasion of the World Immunisation Week that lasts from April 24-30.

According to the joint statement, with the COVID-19 pandemic dominating attention in Vietnam and across the world, WHO and UNICEF are calling on national and local health authorities, families and communities, as well as development partners and the private sector to step up efforts to ensure that children continue to receive essential immunization during the pandemic, so that ground is not lost in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases.

If vaccination continues to be disrupted, those diseases could return, and the world could see vaccine preventable disease outbreaks.

The COVID-19 pandemic is overstretching health care systems and has already disrupted immunisation services in many places because health workers have been reassigned to the pandemic response and in many instances, they have also been discouraged to conduct routine activities involving physical interactions with healthy people.

Some parents are consciously avoiding health care facilities, worried that the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted to them and their babies.

At this critical time, children are missing important milestones in their immunisation schedule and this situation could put their health at risk.

Data from around the world indicate that more than 117 million children are at risk of missing out on measles vaccines globally due to the pandemic, and Vietnam is not an exception.

“We have observed in the country a decrease in vaccine coverage and the occurrence of measles and pertussis cases in the first quarter of 2020,” they explained.

The science proved that vaccines work. They are a safe, effective and life-saving tool against certain diseases that can be deadly for children. Immunisation can also protect adolescents, adults, older people, and they keep whole communities safe.

Vietnam strives to improve immunisation services across the country. The Ministry of Health works on the basis of scientific evidence to build confidence, trust and demand for vaccination among communities and to counter misinformation spread online.

WHO and UNICEF are committed to continuing to provide fact-based information on vaccines to health authorities, to the public in general and to parents in particular with so that everyone can make informed decisions.

While Vietnam is on a path to success in containing the spread of COVID-19 now, the fight against that disease may continue for years to come. It should be everyone’s priority to start planning on how we can continue to provide essential health services – including immunization – at any stage of the pandemic.

“We are encouraging health services to reach out, and parents to prioritise securing vaccination to protect their children. It is time to setup a plan for routine immunisation to return to normal while ensuring social distancing and the safety of health workers and communities. It is also time to work jointly to ensure that those children who missed essential vaccines in the last months are brought up to date with their immunisation. As we have learnt in other crisis, when health workers reach families to immunise children it is also a prime opportunity to attend to other key health interventions. UNICEF and WHO stand ready to continue our support to the Government of Vietnam in this effort,” the statement said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed what is at stake when communities do not have the protective shield of immunisation against an infectious disease.

“We need to build on past and current experiences to better prepare for future disease outbreaks, and we must act now to develop appropriate strategies with political and financial commitment to protect existing and future immunisation services. Let’s join hands to save lives with immunisations readily available to everyone,” it concluded./.

Foreign NGOs ready to support Vietnam’s efforts against COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

Foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Vietnam have affirmed their willingness to support the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commitment was made in a letter sent to the Committee for Foreign NGO Affairs under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control by 78 organisations that represent foreign NGOs and development organisations that are implementing projects across Vietnam.

The organisations expressed their impression on Vietnam’s timely and effective measures against the epidemic that have been acknowledged and applauded by other countries, and thanked scientists and medical workers for their devotion to the combat.

All of the COVID-19 patients, regardless of their nationalities, have been quarantined, hospitalised and provided with professional and humanitarian health services, they said.

The organisations said they back the Prime Minister’s statement that the Government is resolved to protect the public’s health even though the country has to sacrifice its economic benefits in the short term.

They pledged to support the Government in assisting the poor, disadvantaged people and those affected by the pandemic.

They also promised to provide further support to vulnerable groups, accompany Vietnamese people, and maintain international cooperation and solidarity, and stressed their willingness to provide foreign aid for Vietnam not only at this time but also after the pandemic is stamped out.

The organisations said they will continue to introduce good policies and results Vietnam have achieved to the international community./.

More COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

The Singaporean Ministry of Health on April 24 confirmed 897 more COVID-19 cases, taking the total count to 12,075, including 12 deaths.

Most new cases are immigrant workers living in dormitories. The island state with a 5.7 million population now has the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia.

Also in the past 24 hours, Indonesia recorded additional 436 infections, a record in a day, and 42 fatalities.

The country has so far posted 8,211 cases, including 689 deaths.

The same day, the Philippine Health Ministry announced 211 more infections and 15 deaths, raising the total to 7,192 and 477, respectively.

In Malaysia, 88 infections and one death on April 24 raised the total in the country to 5,691 and 96, respectively.

Meanwhile in Thailand, the total has risen to 2,854 infection cases and 50 deaths.

Cambodia announced 122 infections, with the most recent ones discovered on April 12. Up to 110 have fully recovered./.

Thailand considers easing restrictions amid COVID-19 crisis

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

As boxing gyms have been closed to contain the spread of COVID-19, Prakit Choltanachaikul now practices near the Maha Jessadabodin on Ratchadamnoen Avenue for an hour before curfew begins at 10pm on April 22. (Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Thailand’s National Security Council is expected to present a proposal for the extension of the state of emergency to the Prime Minister on April 27, with some current restrictions to be relaxed to allow some businesses and daily activities to resume amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The number of new infections in Thailand has been on the decline in the past two weeks. Because of limited testing, however, the actual number of infections is believed to be higher.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha may call a meeting of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration on April 27 to decide whether to extend the state of emergency.

If the extension is agreed, the matter will go before the cabinet meeting on the next day for approval.

Thailand reported 15 new COVID-19 cases and no deaths on April 24. The national total currently stood at 2,854, with 50 fatalities.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has discussed with more than 20 airlines compulsory measures which must be adopted when most domestic flights are expected to resume on May 1.

CAAT Director-General Chula Sukmanop said airlines must implement stringent public health safety measures both before and during flights.

Cabin crewmembers must also wear face masks, gloves and face shields for the duration of a flight.

On the ground, social distancing must be practised at check-in as well, he added./.

Philippines extends Manila lockdown to mid-May

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has extended a lockdown in the capital Manila and high-risk localities in Luzon island for two more weeks until May 15 to contain the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, restrictions will be eased in lower-risk regions of the country.

Duterte has decided to start community quarantines in low-risk regions from May 1, per suggestion of the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

He also warned to declare martial law if militants disrupted the flow of relief goods for Filipinos impacted by the lockdown.

There were a total 6,981 COVID-19 infections and 462 deaths in the Philippines, with Manila accounting for a lion’s share.

Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the country had disbursed 352.7 billion PHP (6.94 billion USD) for the fight against COVID-19.

He added the sum was sourced from the 2020 government budget, which is capped at 4.1 trillion PHP and crafted before the pandemic viewed as a threat.

The nation has had sufficient cash so far but is getting squeezed by budget allowance, said Dominguez III.

Earlier, the official said that the Philippines plans to borrow about 5.6 billion USD from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to battle the global pandemic. President Duterte is eyeing the sale of government assets as a last resort to keep the country afloat./.

KOICA supports Hanoi women in need during pandemic

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

The Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) Hanoi office on April 23 provided a support package worth 10,530 USD to the Vietnamese Women’s Union (VWU) to help disadvantaged women in Hanoi overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The package includes face masks, hand sanitiser, nutritional supplements, and daily necessities.

KOICA Country Director in Vietnam Cho Han-deok applauded the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic.

The agency, he said, is willing to provide support to Vietnam, thus strengthening solidarity, international cooperation, and mutual trust in order to win the fight against COVID-19 together./.

Pagoda in Laos assists Vietnamese community

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

Gift is given by Phat Tich Pagoda to needy Vietnamese in Laos

Phat Tich Pagoda in Vientiane on April 24 presented relief aid to 250 Vietnamese in need in Laos who are facing difficulties caused by social distancing measures aimed to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

The aid, each worth 150,000 LAK (17 USD), includes 10 kilogrammes of rice, two bottles of soya sauce, and 20,000 LAK (2.5 USD) in cash.

Venerable Thich Minh Quang said the pagoda and donors wish to help people get over the difficulties and uphold the Vietnamese tradition of “the haves helping the have-nots”.

This is the third time the pagoda has done so in the past four months./.

10,000 face masks donated to Thai Consulate General in HCM City

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia April 25

At the hand-over ceremony (Source: qdnd.vn)

The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations (HUFO) on April 24 presented 10,000 face masks and 100 litres of antiseptics to Thailand’s Consulate General in the city, in an effort to help contain the spread of the COVID-19.

The union also donated 2,500 face masks, 500 protective suits, and 100 litres of antiseptics to the city-based Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

It gave 2,500 face masks to the quarantine centre at the Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City.

Earlier, the HUFO donated one tonne of rice and 200 cartons of instant noodles to low-income people affected by the pandemic in Binh Thanh district.

On this occasion, the Thai Consulate General donated 20 million VND (850 USD) in cash, 200 anti-droplet masks, and 500 bottles of hand sanitisers, to help the HUFO fight the COVID-19./.

 
 

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