Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 7

Hanoi reports one more Covid-19 case

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 7

Hanoi has recorded one more Covid-19 case who returned from the central city of Danang, according to chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung.

Chung joined the government’s online meeting on Covid-19 prevention and control with localities on August 7.  

The official added that the 30-year-old woman visited Danang on July 24-27 with her family. On August 4, she had a light fever and tested positive for the virus.

Hanoi has detected four Covid-19 cases since July 29 with all connected to the outbreak in Danang. The city has defined more than 300 people who came into close contact with the four patients. Most of these people have tested negative to the virus. Tests are being under way for the others.

Chairman Chung has proposed the prime minister to raise Covid-19 prevention and control's warning level for the city. Local residents are asked to wear masks in public and any violator will be punished.

Meanwhile, karaoke parlours, bars and festivals and sports events of mass gatherings also have to be suspended.

Doctors say 31 COVID-19 cases in ‘critical condition’

A national committee made up of leading health specialists says the prognosis of 31 patients across the country who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is critical. 

The Treatment Sub-committee under the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported on August 7 Vietnam had 31 patients judged to be in ‘critical condition’. In addition, four had been connected to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines, while 10 were using invasive mechanical ventilators in the Intensive Care Unit.   

At present, the healthcare station in Hoa Vang district of Da Nang city is giving treatment to 19 patients who are described as in ‘critical condition’.

Meanwhile, 18 SARS-CoV-2 infection cases at the Hue Central Hospital No. 2 remain critical, with two of them currently relying on ECMO machines.

The Da Nang Hospital and the Da Nang Hospital for Lung Diseases are now receiving the remainder of the cases thought to be in ‘critical condition’.

The Ministry of Health has encouraged the country’s top specialists in infectious diseases, resuscitation, and emergency to contribute to the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Updates on the nation’s severe cases are being regularly made through the operating centre located at the Health Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment.

HCM City closes public parks to deal with Covid-19 outbreak

All entertainment and sports activities at public parks in HCM City will come to a halt from August 7. 

On August 7, the Department of Construction said they had asked the people's committees at 24 districts in the city and the Technical Infrastructure Management Centre to quickly close all areas with crowds larger than 30 people including parks, playgrounds, or entertainment centres immediately.

The local authorities must put up public warnings and notices.

Guards must take shifts at the gates of the parks to explain and guide visitors, advise them to wear face masks and keep social distancing rules.

Local authorities must tighten inspections over construction sites and public parks. Since early morning of August 7, barriers have been put up around many parks in HCM City.

On-going constructions will be reviewed by the chairman of HCM City People's Committee. Construction sites that are allowed to continue to open will be subjected to monitoring and must follow preventive measures such as body temperature checks and wearing face masks.

Over 28,300 people returning to HCMC from Danang test negative for Covid-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 7

Passengers make health declarations at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC. As of this morning, August 7, over 28,300 people returning or traveling to HCMC from the Danang coronavirus hotspot had tested negative for Covid-19 – PHOTO: NLDO

As of this morning, August 7, over 28,300 people returning or traveling to HCMC from the Danang coronavirus hotspot had tested negative for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, with over 10,950 test results churned out in the past 24 hours.

The municipal Center for Disease Control told Nguoi Lao Dong Online that a total of 44,266 people who returned or traveled to the city from Danang City from July 1 to 28 had made health declarations.

Of the total, 31,366 people had their samples taken for Covid-19 testing, with 28,319 test results coming back negative and six positive, which were previously announced.

Meanwhile, the remaining cases are awaiting their test results, according to the municipal center.

All the tests in the city are being conducted using the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions method known for its high accuracy.

Since the second wave of Covid-19, the city has reported eight locally-transmitted cases. Among 848 people who came into close contact with the eight patients, 770 have tested negative for the disease, while the rest are awaiting their test results.

The HCMC Center for Disease Control will cooperate with other Centers for Disease Control in Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces and the High Commands of some provinces and cities to quarantine and monitor 700 tourists stranded in Danang City who will fly to HCMC in the next few days, according to the HCMC center.

Dr. Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the municipal center, said the city would continue doing contact tracing and lock down all areas or places where Covid-19 cases or suspected cases are present to effectively ward off the deadly virus.

Dr Dung also advised residents to regularly wash their hands with sanitizer, wear face masks in public and not to gather in crowds.

COVID-19 tracing app hits 5 million users

Nearly five million people out of Việt Nam's 76.8 million smartphone users have downloaded a domestically developed contact-tracing mobile app to identify and alert people who have interacted with COVID-19 patients, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

The smartphone app Bluezone relies on Bluetooth signal to log when two users are near each other, information that can later be used for contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.

The app is now available on the Google Play Store and the App Store.

The development of Bluezone is overseen by the MIC and the Ministry of Health. It was launched on April 18.

The MIC has been urging people to install the app, helping sharply increase the number of users. However, the figure is far behind the ministry’s target of 50 million active Bluezone users - the minimum number it believes is needed for the app to have a meaningful impact.

Bluezone would help authorities quickly identify people likely to be COVID-19 patents, helping prevent larger outbreaks of the disease. 

Self-quarantine kit to be pilot in HCMC
 
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) IT squad to fight against Covid-19 has just proposed the pilot of a self-quarantine kit to HCMC People’s Committee. The pilot will be carried out in District 12 for 2 weeks.

The self-quarantine kit includes both hardware and software, the latter of which can track location and monitor body temperature of the subject. If this subject goes out of the approved range or has a fever, a warning message will appear.

The hardware consists of a thermometer and a smart device to install an Internet-based app. When wearing this thermometer, the subjects will have their temperature checked and synchronized to their smart phones before being sent to the server located in the data center of HCMC. Administrators in this center are able to closely monitor these subjects’ status at any time.

This pilot is the cooperation between HCMC Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC), HCMC Department of Information and Communications, Quang Trung Software City, Tuong Minh Software Solutions Co. Ltd., and HCMC Computer Association.

Eight hotels in HCM City serve as paid quarantine zones

Eight hotels have been approved to serve as paid quarantine zones for people entering the country, chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, has said.

A recent conference between city authorities and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Việt Nam heard that the hotels have been selected for foreign experts and managers coming to the country for work amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

They are three- to five-star hotels in Districts 1, 3, 5, 7, and Tân Bình with a total of 1,485 rooms.

They include the five-star Le Meridien Saigon, Hôtel des Arts Saigon and Norfolk in District 1.

Relevant authorities will carry out both periodic and surprise inspections of the places to ensure compliance with pandemic prevention and control regulations.

At the conference, some European business executives asked for immigration assistance for foreign experts coming to HCM City for work.

As of Friday morning Vietnam has had 750 Covid-19 cases, 358 of them active.

More than 170,000 people are currently in quarantine. 

Hanoi runs RT-PCR test on nearly 100,000 returnees from Danang   

The Hanoitimes - The RT-PCR test is totally reliable while the accuracy of Covid-19 quick test is only from 60% to 75%.

Hanoi will conduct Covid-19 testing with the RT-PCR method from today [August 7] on all people returning from Danang, the largest pandemic epicenter in Vietnam now, since July to find out and stamp out the novel coronavirus in the city.

Nearly 100,000 people have returned to Hanoi from resort city Danang since the start of July, taking advantage of tour packages and promos after the country lifted social distancing measures in April.

At a city meeting on August 6, Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung explained that only 80,000 rapid test kits are available, thus around 20,000 people would remain untested.

In addition, the accuracy of Covid-19 quick test is only from 60% to 75% while the RT-PCR test is 100% accurate. For instance, Patient No.714, a 42-year-old male, was negative for coronavirus after taking a rapid test. However, his confirmatory PCR test turned to be positive, Mr. Chung said.

In the first phase, the RT-PCR testing will be run on 60,000-65,000 people who returned between July 15 and 29. With the current capacity of sampling and testing, it will take nine days to collect samples and 12 days to conduct PRC testing for all of them.

Mr. Chung asked commune health stations and the Hanoi CDC to take samples from August 7 ​​to conducting PCR testing on returnees from Danang residing in nine inner-city districts of Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Thanh Xuan, Tay Ho, Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung, and Dong Da.

"If there are no more Covid-19 cases detected from now until August 12, the city will be relatively safe. If there is any, the situation would be very unpredictable," said the Hanoi mayor.

Agreeing with PCR testing for all returnees from Covid-19-hit regions, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue said that private hospitals can be mobilized to speed up the task if necessary. He suggested priority be given to testing for F1 cases (who made close contact with infected people) and symptomatic people.

Since late July, when the first local infection was found in Danang after over three months, the city has become the epicenter with 214 cases, Hanoi has recorded four Covid-19 cases so far.

The tally of Covid-19 infections nationwide has reached 750, of which 392 have recovered, ten have died, and 348 are under treatment.

Campaign calling for public involvement in COVID-19 fight launched

The Ministry of Health (MoH) in conjunction with eight other units launched a communications campaign to run from August 6 to September 30 to raise public awareness about the importance of implementing COVID-19 preventive measures and adopting healthy practices amid the pandemic.

The campaign calls for people from all social strata to fully implement disease prevention and control measures, adopt appropriate lifestyles, and live a normal life to both effectively combat the pandemic and restore and develop the economy.

It also aims to convey a message of solidarity and calls for action and support for those in the community that may be vulnerable.

The campaign features activities such as dialogues with psychologists, experts, and influencers in society on how to change mindsets and form new habits while living with the disease.

The campaign encourages people to participate in the challenge “How did you fight COVID-19?” to share their experience and optimism via the MoH’s social networking forums and other media platforms and software.

The programme has been supported by hundreds of artists, singers, actors, and others to spread a message about disease prevention and control in many different forms, including online music, music videos, rapping competitions, games, online exchanges, reports, and articles.

Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that via the campaign the ministry hopes to raise public awareness, especially among young people, and to fully implement measures to prevent and combat COVID-19.

It is hoped to encourage people to take care of others and calls on every citizen to act as a soldier in the fight against the disease.

Residents can make health declarations online and download the NCOVI app at https://ncovi.vn; regularly determine their health status; and install the Bluezone app at http://www.bluezone.gov.vn/ to be warned about the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection from others.

The campaign also called on the community to not discriminate against COVID-19 patients or those suspected of being infected.

Nha Trang Pasteur Institute suspends receiving Covid-19 test samples

The Nha Trang Pasteur Institute has announced that it will suspend receiving samples for Covid-19 testing due to a shortage of biological medicinal products, chemicals and materials for testing, a representative of the Khanh Hoa Center for Disease Control stated on August 6.

On August 5, the institute sent this announcement to 11 departments of health in localities in Central Vietnam and Centers for Disease Control in 11 provinces and cities in the central and Central Highlands regions, VietnamPlus news site reported.

The institute urged the provincial and municipal centers for Disease Control to proactively conduct Covid-19 tests, adding that some centers which face an overload of testing and need to send samples to the institute should attach biological medicinal products, test kits and materials with the same number as the samples for testing.

Khanh Hoa Province is tasked with receiving and quarantining Vietnamese students and laborers who have returned to Vietnam from foreign countries as well as foreign experts entering the country through Cam Ranh International Airport.

Some 730 people are being quarantined in the province, so the demand for Covid-19 testing is high.

Nguyen Dac Tai, vice chairman of Khanh Hoa, said that to meet the demand, the province has approved a plan to spend an estimated VND3 billion from its budget to purchase 4,000 test kits and biological medicinal products.

However, in line with the prevailing regulations, using funds from the budget to buy medical equipment and materials must be conducted via an auction, so the job will take time.

Dr. Huynh Van Dong, director of the Khanh Hoa Center for Disease Control, said that a unit in the province had proposed giving Khanh Hoa Province a Covid-19 testing machine. Therefore, the province will only purchase chemicals and materials.

The testing machine is set to start operations with a capacity of 200 samples each day from next week to help meet the demand for testing in the province.

HCM City prepares to receive 700 people from Danang

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 7

Preparing to receive more people returning from outbreak hotspot.

The authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are preparing to receive 700 tourists returning from the Covid-19 hotspot of Danang. 

The news was announced during a meeting on August 6 by HCM City CDC. The CDCs in Dong Nai, HCM City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and other related agencies all agreed that everyone returning from Danang would be quarantined for 14 days.

HCM City residents will be sent to the local quarantine facilities. People from other provinces and cities will be sent to their hometowns by HCM City Military Command and authorities in their provinces.

The Southern Airport Authority proposed that residents of Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Long An, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Lam Dong, Binh Thuan and HCM City will be brought to Tan Son Nhat Airport. Residents from Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, An Giang, Kien Giang and Can Tho City will be sent to Can Tho Airport.

All passengers must be able to provide their exact address two or three days before the flight so that the authorities can verify, prepare transportation and quarantine facilities. Danang authorities were asked to test all passengers before they leave to their respective home cities and provinces.

HCM City CDC reported that from July 1 to 28, 43,898 people who returned from Danang have completed medical declaration forms. 30,581 people were tested and 17,365 had come back negative.

Central Highlands struggles to combat spread of diphtheria, COVID-19

The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak has recently been grappling with the complicated developments of the diphtheria outbreak and new COVID-19 cases, forcing the medical sector to redouble effort to contain the epidemics. 

According to Dak Lak authorities, the province had recorded three COVID-19 cases by August 6. It has scrambled to track down those having contact with the patients and those returning from Da Nang, a coronavirus hotspot, as well as other epidemic-hit areas. 

The province has quarantined 92 suspected cases at the provincial Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Hospital, and 325 people returning from epidemic-hit areas at concentrated facilities, alongside nearly 10,000 people self-quarantined at home.

Meanwhile, Dak Lak has been struggling to stamp out the diphtheria epidemic in the community. A total of 30 positive cases of diphtheria have been reported in the province, with the number of infected cases in Krong Bong commune alone climbing 12.

Subsequent epidemics have placed an increased burden on the local medical sector, forcing it to even mobilise lecturers and students of medical schools in the locality to prevent the viruses spreading on a large scale.

Vaccination against diphtheria is considered an urgent task now, said Nay Phi La, Director of the Dak Lak Department of Health, adding local residents have been required to maintain social distancing measures to fight the COVID-19 epidemic.

Vietnam reports three new community COVID-19 cases

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 7

A residential area in Thanh Hoa province where the COVID-19 patient lives is locked down

Three more coronavirus infections were confirmed by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on August 7 morning, lifting the national tally to 750.

The new patients, aged from 27 to 54, include one in the northern central province of Thanh Hoa and two in the central province of Quang Tri. All of them are linked to the Da Nang Hospital hotspot.

These brought the number of cases connected to the outbreak in Da Nang to 298, including ten fatalities.

Earlier, 30 more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at 6pm on August 6, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among the patients confirmed in the country, 312 were imported cases and quarantined upon arrival.

The Steering Committee’s Treatment Sub-committee said that 392 patients or 52.3 percent of the total have fully recovered so far.

Among the remaining active patients, 33 have tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at least once.

A total of 178,451 people who had close contact with patients or returned from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide, including 5,870 at hospitals, 24,106 at concentrated quarantine establishments and 148,475 at home.

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 7

Dozens of COVID-19 cases linked to Đà Nẵng could be on the way: medical experts

Dozens of new COVID-19 infection cases could be linked to three hospitals in Đà Nẵng City in the coming days, but experts have said the number of new cases does not reflect whether the pandemic is surging or on the decline.

The medical experts were speaking at the meeting of the National Steering Committee of COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Thursday and predicted there will be more COVID-19 fatalities in departments where critically-ill patients are being treated.

Responding to the question over whether cases linked to Đà Nẵng in Hà Nội and Lạng Sơn and Bắc Giang provinces all come from three hospitals, acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said three hospitals in Đà Nẵng are hotspots of COVID-19 but transmission has also occurred in the community.

“About 91.71 per cent of locally-transmitted cases linked to Đà Nẵng are related to the three hospitals. About 2 per cent (14 cases) are not or their infection sources are impossible to be investigated,” he said.

The pandemic in Đà Nẵng has had a high speed of transmission with patients, relatives of patients and medical workers at three hospitals at the highest risk of infection. The Ministry of Health recommends returnees from Đà Nẵng from July 1 take preventive measures to protect themselves and others, he said.

The Ministry of Health has strengthened testing capacity by three times compared to April to trace new cases, he added.

According to medical experts, when a hotspot of the pandemic is discovered like the one in Đà Nẵng, quick antibody tests aim to assess the infection risk level. After that, Real-time Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests need to be conducted to identify positive cases.

Some localities think the hotspots are only in Đà Nẵng and have loosened preventive measures, the acting minister said, urging medical centres and hospitals nationwide to strictly follow preventive and control regulations including wearing masks and distancing measures.

Members of the steering committee proposed if there is any further infection at any hospital across the country, leaders of hospitals must take full responsibility.

As the cluster of three hospitals in Đà Nẵng City is regarded as an epicentre, the committee emphasised the importance of social distancing measures in high-risk areas including Đà Nẵng and some districts and towns of Quảng Nam Province.

Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said: “The infection risk is not only from people returning from Đà Nẵng but also in all provinces and cities. Local authorities must strictly follow the health ministry’s instructions in quarantining the returnees. The localities which violate the regulations will be severely punished.”

14th locality in Vietnam reports coronavirus infection in community

A local resident has been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Hai Duong province, about 60km away from Hanoi capital, becoming the 14th locality in Vietnam that has reported the recurrence of the virus.

The 45-year-old patient, who lives in Da Nang city, a coronavirus hotspot, flew to Hanoi on July 20 and then travelled to Hanoi, Hai Phong and several other places. 

On August 5, the man moved from Hanoi to Hai Duong’s native town of Thanh Ha for a family gathering and showed virus symptoms such as a fever, a cough and shortness of breath.

He was immediately admitted to the Hai Duong General Hospital for medical examinations and test results the following day showed he had carried the virus.

The Hai Duong Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Committee held an urgent meeting on August 6 evening to prevent the spread of the virus in the locality.

Medical workers cordoned off and disinfected the affected area, and encouraged those who had come into contact with the patient to make medical declarations.

Hai Duong city, the capital of the province of the same name, decided to suspend non-essential services such as singing along (karaoke) and public internet gaming. The city asked local residents to wear face masks when going out, and fines will be given to violators as of August 10.

Hai Duong was the 14th locality in Vietnam that has reported the recurrence of the virus. 13 other localities where locally transmitted infections have been confirmed were Da Nang, Quang Nam, Dak Lak, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ngai, Hanoi, Thai Binh, Dong Nai, Ha Nam, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Thanh Hoa, and Quang Tri.

Binh Dinh, Hai Phong provinces assist Da Nang to combat COVID-19

A send-off ceremony to dispatch a group of medical staff from Binh Dinh province to assist Da Nang city in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic was held on August 6 in Binh Dinh.

In a spirit of “fighting the disease like fighting the enemy”, however, Binh Dinh will still send 25 physicians, doctors, and nurses to help Da Nang, which has recorded more than 140 cases in the last 10 days. They are gathered within only 24 days following a request for help sending to Binh Dinh provincial People’s Committee from Da Nang city.

Meanwhile, a team of medical workers from the northern city of Hai Phong are flying to the central city on August 5.

 

Hai Phong has also given Da Nang and Quang Nam province 216,800 USD and 200,000 medical face masks each.

Local authorities to be held responsible for COVID-19 transmission in hospitals

Local authorities must be held responsible for transmissions in hospitals, members of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said at a meeting in Hanoi on August 6.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the committee, presided over the function to implement preventive measures in the changing circumstances.

Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the ministry is exerting every effort to deal with the outbreak in the central city of Da Nang.

Patients and their family members as well as medical staff are in the highest-risk group, he said, adding that those returning from Da Nang since July 1 need to remain vigilant.

Some localities, in fact, lowered their guard and relaxed preventive measures, Long pointed out, adding that health facilities and hospitals nationwide must seriously implement preventive and containment measures such as wearing face masks and following social distancing measures.

The ministry is also intensifying testing capacity to quickly detect any new infections.

Members of the committee spoke highly of the active engagement and close coordination of the public security, military, and health forces in the fight against COVID-19 right from the beginning of the outbreak.

The committee urged Da Nang and certain districts and towns in neighbouring Quang Nam province to implement strict social distancing measures.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of the morning of August 6, Vietnam had recorded 717 COVID-19 cases, including 381 recoveries and nine deaths. More than 320 of all infections nationwide were imported.

Da Nang pilots database on COVID-19 patients

The Department of Information and Communications of central Da Nang city said on August 6 that it has piloted a database on COVID-19 patients.

The database, available at www.opendata.danang.gov.vn or https://congdulieu.vn, will enable users to access information about COVID-19 patients, links among them and places they had visited.

The database will make it easier for management agencies and the health sector to sort patients on the basis of their residence, gender and age, as well as their medical history.

Earlier, the Authority of Information Technology Application at the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has suggested those with smartphones download Bluezone, a Bluetooth-based app that helps determine if a person has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

The contract tracing app, developed by tech firm Bkav, uses Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless personal area network technology, to link with smartphones within a two-meter distance.

If a user is positive for SARS-CoV-2 (known as person F0), health authorities can identify those who had close contact with that person (known as F1), and the system will alert them about the risk of infection.

They will be also provided with instructions on contacting health authorities for assistance.

Due attention paid to treatment of COVID-19 patients with malaria

Medical workers are paying due regard to the treatment of a number of COVID-19 patients at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases who are also suffering from malaria.

Dr Tran Van Giang from the hospital said 15 patients were found to have also contracted malaria.

Six are infected by both malaria and COVID-19, with the remainder testing negative for the coronavirus but remaining under quarantine.

The number of patients with malaria is projected to rise, he added.

The hospital was ready to cope with malaria, given that every year many Vietnamese workers returning from Africa are found to be infected with the disease.

Prompt treatment before patients exhibit the symptoms of malaria could contribute to the successful treatment of COVID-19.

Patients carrying both the malaria parasite and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, are likely to suffer more severe damage to inner organs than those who only have COVID-19.

Treatment will be more difficult for them, as medication must be considered thoroughly to avoid any unwanted interaction, and they must undergo more tests.

More support for Da Nang in COVID-19 fight

Representatives of Central Retail Vietnam Group on August 6 handed over 10 tonnes of vegetables and fruits to units in the central city of Da Nang as part of its support for the local fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of which, 9 tonnes of goods was donated to the municipal Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, and one tonne to the city’s Centre for Disease Control.

These units will allocate the products to concentrated kitchens in the city which are responsible for providing food portions for doctors and medical staff working at hospitals and health centres, and those being quarantined in concentrated quarantine areas.

Previously, on August 3, through the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Da Nang, the group also presented 20,000 medical face masks and 300 bottles of antiseptic solution to support physicians in the city.

On the same day, as many as 25 young doctors and medical workers from the central province of Binh Dinh arrived in Da Nang to support the locality in responding to the ongoing outbreak.

On this occasion, organisations and enterprises in Binh Dinh donated 705 million VND (over 30,000 USD) and 15,000 medical masks to the volunteer team.

Over 21,000 citizens brought home from 50 countries, territories

More than 80 flights have been operated so far, bringing home safely more than 21,000 Vietnamese citizens from some 50 countries and territories, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has said.

She unveiled the figures while answering questions regarding Vietnam’s plan to fly home its citizens abroad in the context of new locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases in the country, during the ministry’s regular press conference on August 6.

The flights were arranged under the Prime Minister’s instructions, and with the highest determination of competent agencies at home, as well as Vietnam’s representative offices abroad, the spokesperson said.

Hang emphasised that the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in extremely difficult circumstances will be conducted in accordance with their wish and domestic quarantine capacity.

Citing sources of the Overseas Labour Management under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the spokesperson said 226 Vietnamese are working in Uzbekistan under a labour provision contract between a domestic company and the China Petroleum Jili Chemical Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd (JCC).

Due to COVID-19, the workers have stopped working and are self-quarantined at their accommodations, Hang said, adding that local authorities confirmed some of them had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, which also is in charge of Uzbekistan, to contact the workers to get updated on their conditions, and talk to concerned companies and local authorities to ask for necessary measures to take care of the health of the workers.

Vietnamese competent agencies and the embassy are coordinating closely with local authorities to build a plan to bring home the citizens as soon as possible, scheduled for this month.

Campaign calling for public involvement in COVID-19 fight launched

The Ministry of Health (MoH) in conjunction with eight other units launched a communications campaign to run from August 6 to September 30 to raise public awareness about the importance of implementing COVID-19 preventive measures and adopting healthy practices amid the pandemic.

The campaign calls for people from all social strata to fully implement disease prevention and control measures, adopt appropriate lifestyles, and live a normal life to both effectively combat the pandemic and restore and develop the economy.

It also aims to convey a message of solidarity and calls for action and support for those in the community that may be vulnerable.

The campaign features activities such as dialogues with psychologists, experts, and influencers in society on how to change mindsets and form new habits while living with the disease.

The campaign encourages people to participate in the challenge “How did you fight COVID-19?” to share their experience and optimism via the MoH’s social networking forums and other media platforms and software.

The programme has been supported by hundreds of artists, singers, actors, and others to spread a message about disease prevention and control in many different forms, including online music, music videos, rapping competitions, games, online exchanges, reports, and articles.

Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that via the campaign the ministry hopes to raise public awareness, especially among young people, and to fully implement measures to prevent and combat COVID-19.

It is hoped to encourage people to take care of others and calls on every citizen to act as a soldier in the fight against the disease.

Residents can make health declarations online and download the NCOVI app at https://ncovi.vn; regularly determine their health status; and install the Bluezone app at http://www.bluezone.gov.vn/ to be warned about the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection from others.

The campaign also called on the community to not discriminate against COVID-19 patients or those suspected of being infected.

Close to 280 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Europe

Nearly 280 citizens were repatriated from European countries on a flight of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on August 6-7.

The flight was arranged by Vietnamese authorities, the Embassy of Vietnam in the UK, representative agencies in some European nations and the national flag carrier, together with competent agencies of the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Czech Republic.

The passengers included children under 18, students who finished their studies with expired visa or without accommodations, pregnant women, the elderly, the ill, stranded tourists and workers.

The Vietnamese representative agencies in the countries had helped citizens travel to the airports in London and Frankfurt while the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and the General Consulate in Germany also sent staff to the airports to assist them with boarding procedures.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, disease prevention measures were carried out during the flight. Upon landing at Van Don Airport in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, the flight crew and all passengers were given heath examinations and quarantined in line with regulations.

Vietnamese authorities and overseas missions plan to arrange more flights to bring more Vietnamese citizens home, depending on their need and quarantine capacity at home.

Central city to clean, disinfect hospitals

One more health centre – the fifth medical base – in the central city of Đà Nẵng has been locked down for cleaning.

The health department said the Hải Châu district hospital was closed from Wednesday for disinfection.

The department said the hospital and the city’s general hospital would soon reopen after a two-week lockdown for treatment and examination of local people.

Last week, four hospitals in the city were locked down after SARS-CoV-2 cases were found. Cleaning of the general hospital – a COVID-19 hot spot – in the city’s downtown area was carried out earlier this week. It would reopen this weekend.  

The city also plans to clean living quarters – homes of COVID-19 patients and close contacts – in Hải Châu and Ngũ Hành Sơn districts this weekend, while a mass testing programme will be organised for all households in the isolated Hòa Phước ward in Hòa Vang district.

A school in Hải Châu district was assigned as a new isolation site for COVID-19 contact cases in the city after a field hospital opened in suburban Hòa Vang district, and a 300-bed Tiên Sơn field hospital will be opened later this week.

Strict control on health check-points had been set up at industrial zones and parks after six workers tested positive last week.

At least 20 companies in An Đồn, Hòa Cầm, Hòa Khánh and Thọ Quang IZs had to close temporarily for two weeks as six workers were infected with SARS-CoV-2. A series of enterprises at six IZs have been operating with half the workforce as many were isolated at quarantine centres or at home after coming into close contact with COVID-19 patients. 

280 more Vietnamese citizens repatriated from Europe due to COVID-19

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on August 6-7 conducted a special flight bringing home 280 Vietnamese citizens stranded in the United Kingdom and several other European countries due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Passengers on board the repatriation flight came from the UK and various parts of the European Union (EU) including Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

They were minors under 18, elderly people, students with expired visas, pregnant women, the elderly, people with underlying illness, holidaymakers, and others in specially difficult circumstances.

The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and the Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany, sent staff to airports to assist the citizens with necessary procedures before they boarded the plane.

As soon as the aircraft landed at Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh, all crew members and passengers underwent medical check-ups and were transferred to quarantine facilities in line with regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Under Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s instructions, domestic authorities and Vietnamese representative offices abroad are devising plans to bring home more Vietnamese nationals based on their needs and the nation’s current quarantine capacity.

Hai Duong tightens control Covid-19 prevention following suspected case

Authorities of the northern province of Hai Duong have requested a halt in the operation of some non-essential services for Covid-19 prevention after a man was found to have contracted the virus.

The services include karaoke parlours and game stations. Under the provincial authorities’ instructions, all local people have to wear face masks in public places. Any violator will be fined.

On July 30, the man, 45, who lives in the central city of Danang’s Son Tra District took a flight to Hanoi. On Wednesday, on the way from Hanoi to Hai Duong, he had high fever so was taken to Hai Duong General Hospital for a medical check-up.

The provincial Disease Control Centre provided the first Covid-19 test for him which proved positive. On Thursday night, he was moved to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

The Hai Duong Steering Board for Covid-19 Prevention and Control held a meeting on the case and defined 11 people who had direct contact with him and 31 others who had contact with him at varying levels.

HCMC strengthens infection prevention and control at piers

Established by the HCMC Department of Transport in July 31, the inland waterway transport inspection team has strengthened activities of communication and propaganda on preventive measures for the infectious disease in piers in the city in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The inspection team in these days has continuously checked the implementation and dissemintation for disease prevention in the wharfs, including Doi Lau, Can Gio, Tac Suat in Can Gio District, HCMC; and Can Giuoc located on the border of HCMC and Long An Province.

Deputy Head of the the transportation inspection team No.2 under the municipal Department of Transport, Nguyen Truong Giang, has asked owners of waterway transport facilities have to provide hand sanitizing liquid to passengers while crew members and travelers must wear face masks and are also required to have their body temperature checked .

Hanoi raises Covid-19 alert until August 12  

The move comes as Hanoi has reported the third Covid-19 case linked to the outbreak in Danang.

From now on until August 12, Hanoi is at high risk of coronavirus transmission in the community, thus the city needs to raise the Covid-19 alert to a higher level, according to Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung.

 Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committe Nguyen Duc Chung addresses the meeting on August 5
Hanoi is currently considered a locality with low risk of infection, but given the complicated progression of the pandemic, everyone has to be vigilant and keep up with preventive measures, Mr. Chung said at a meeting of the city’s Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 5.

The decision came as Hanoi on August 5 detected another Covid-19 case linked to the outbreak in Danang. The latest patient, a 42-year-old male, is a bus manager at October 10 Bus Company and resides in Bac Tu Liem district. He had been wandering around in the community for 14 days, Mr. Chung noted.

Since the Covid-19 resurgence in Danang in late July, Hanoi has recorded three Covid-19 cases so far.

According to the mayor, the new coronavirus strain has caused a spike in the number of asymptomatic infections, many cases are in severe condition and require intensive treatment.

Since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Danang on July 25, the pandemic has now spread to 11 provinces and cities, with Danang and Quang Nam being Vietnam’s Covid-19 epicenters.

“The novel coronavirus has broken out in the community, especially at restaurants, bus stations and industrial parks, meaning anyone having been to Danang, especially to three hospitals which are the city’s Covid-19 clusters, or places where Covid-19 patients had visited, is facing high risk of infection,” Mr. Chung stressed.

He, therefore, requested all people who have visited all locations connected to Covid-19 patients should stay at home in 14 days.

The mayor asked all offices and restaurants to put in place preventive measures, including checking body temperature, washing hands, sterilizing their locations and keeping a safe distance.

He also ordered a ban on all bars, night clubs, festivals and events with massive turnout.

As a large city with high population density, the risk is growing every day in Hanoi, particularly as the coronavirus has now become more dangerous and highly infectious, Mr. Chung concluded.

Hanoi hospitals’ support pours in Danang - fresh Covid-19 epicenter   

The Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi had treated a number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients and its staff are now willing to share their experiences with Danang.

Danang city, which is now the largest epicenter of Covid-19 in Vietnam, has welcomed dozens of doctors, nurses, and all forms of support from other localities nationwide, including Hanoi, in its fierce battle against the Covid-19 outbreak, local media reported. 

The coastal city, which has recorded over 200 active infections, has struggled with a shortage of medical staff as many local doctors, nurses, and medical technicians are in full or partial isolation while three hospitals and medical facilities in the city have been placed on lockdown due to connections with coronavirus patients, according to the Ministry of Health.

On July 31, a group of experts from Hanoi arrived in Danang to assist the city in the quarantining process. 

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam requested all functional forces, especially health units, the army and the police to raise their awareness and stand ready to respond to evolution of the pandemic in the epicenter. 

On August 3 afternoon, two experts from the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, including its Deputy Director Dr. Nguyen Trung Cap, and Deputy Head of the Department of Positive Recovery Dr. Dong Phu Khiem left for the central city. 

Dr. Nguyen Trung Cap said that the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi had treated a number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients and its staff are now willing to share their experiences with Danang. 

“We hope to pass those experience to our colleagues in Danang, giving them more confidence in their Covid-19 treatment,” Cap told suckhoedoisong.vn. 

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health, said that the two experts will assess the Covid-19 evolution in Danang city. 

Then, they will make a plan to transfer human resources to support Danang's hospitals. The Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi is now treating and isolating some 20 Covid-19 cases who have returned from Equatorial Guinea, Khue said, citing the Ministry of Health. 

The ministry and top hospitals in the country, including Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi and Hue Central Hospital in central Thua Thien-Hue province, have worked closely together to support Danang in terms of disease prevention and control, testing and treatment. 

Besides, on August 3 night, Dr. Nguyen Lan Hieu, director of the Hanoi University Medical Hospital, reviewed his hospital’s human resources specializing in infectious diseases and rehabilitation. Hieu himself led a team of doctors to travel to the central province of Thue Thien-Hue by car because flights to the city had been banned, carrying with them protective gear, medicines and medical equipment. 

"I'm glad the number of volunteers exceeds the number of doctors. I am looking forward to bringing more doctors into the epidemic center to assist the severely ill patients," Hieu told VnExpress. 

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Hanoi has sent VND1 billion (US$43,300) to Danang together with 100,000 medical masks and 224 bottles of hand sanitizer to the coastal city, Tuoi Tre online reported. 

The committee also granted US$43,300 to Quang Nam province, which has 55 active cases and two fatalities. 

At the time of writing, Vietnam has documented 750 Covid-19 cases, with 392 recoveries and ten deaths, since the pandemic first hit in January, the health ministry said. Most of the new cases are linked to hospitals in Danang where the first locally transmitted infection in more than three months was confirmed on July 25. 

The ministry stressed that up to 800,000 visitors have left Danang for other parts of the country since July 1, and more than 41,000 people have visited three infected hospitals in the city. 

New coronavirus cases have been detected in other cities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with links to Danang, the ministry noted.

Central Retail donates 10 tonnes of fruits, vegetables to support COVID-19 fight in Đà Nẵng 

The Central Retail Group in Việt Nam on August 6 handed over 10 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to units in the central city of Đà Nẵng as part of its support in the local fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine of the 10 tonnes were donated to the municipal Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, and one tonne to the Đà Nẵng Centre for Disease Control.  

The two units will allocate the products to concentrated kitchens in the city responsible for providing food portions for frontline doctors and medical staff at hospitals and health centres, and people staying in concentrated quarantine areas.

The products, including cabbage, pumpkin, wax gourds, tomatoes and carrots, have the same quality as those sold at the Big C supermarket chain.

Previously, on August 3, through the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Committee in Đà Nẵng, the Central Retail Group presented 20,000 medical face masks and 300 bottles of anti-bacterial liquid to support doctors and medical staff on the frontline of the pandemic fight in the city.

The Big C Đà Nẵng supermarket has a sufficient supply of goods at stable prices to meet demand of residents there.

Supplies of hand sanitisers and face masks, for instance, have increased by at least 200 per cent compared to normal periods, while the supply of essential goods is enough for two to three months.

Customers can place orders via the Big C hotline 19001880. The supermarket will provide free delivery to customers within 10 km from the supermarket.

Hanoi receives haul of medical supplies to combat COVID-19

The Hanoi Department of Health on August 7 received 10,000 COVID-19 test kits and 12,000 anti-droplet masks from Tam Anh General Hospital and the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company.

The package, valued at a total of VND6 billion, was handed over to the capital’s health department in order to contribute to prevention and control efforts in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. 

The real-time RT-PCR bio-kits, created by the Vietnam Military Medical University in collaboration with Viet A Technology Joint Stock Company, have been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO). They have also been granted a CE certification and a Certificate of Free Sale from the UK, allowing them to be sold in the European market.

The kits are able to detect new COVID-19 in droplets obtained from the respiratory tract and blood. Furthermore, they are capable of providing faster and clearer results in comparison to those used by the US Centers for Disease Control and the WHO, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology.

At the handover ceremony, Deputy Director of the department Tran Thi Nhi Ha thanked the donors ofr their active support which she said will help the healthcare sector early detect suspected cases in the community at an earlier stage.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/Hanoitimes/SGGP

 
 

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