PM orders localities to prepare sufficient materials for COVID-19 tests
Pandemic-hit localities must ensure sufficient reserves of materials for timely COVID-19 tests, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered at a recent meeting of the permanent cabinet members on the fight against the pandemic.
The government leader spoke highly of the National Steering Committee on the fight, the Ministry of Health and localities for their efforts, and praised collective and individual donors for their contributions to Da Nang city and Quang Nam province in the central region.
However, he also asked officials and administrations of the localities hit by the pandemic to mobilise all the resources in the all-out effort to keep the outbreak at the lowest level.
The People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities must bear the responsibility on the application of measures in the localities and the strengthening of anti-pandemic measures, PM Phuc stressed.
He called on all the people to wear a face mask at public places and in the means of public transport, and to avoid crowds.
Those with smart phones should install the Bluezone app to help find and track the people of infection risks, thus containing the spread of the pandemic, the leader said.
As for the nationwide high school graduation exam, PM Phuc ordered the Ministry of Education and Training to complete options so as to ensure a safe exam without any risk of infection.
On August 9, nearly 867,000 throughout the country started their first day of the exam. The preparation and holding of the exam were ensured to facilitate them and prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Travel history of Hà Nội's latest COVID-19 patient released
The latest person to test positive for COVID-19 in Hà Nội is the director of a food company who had been to Đà Nẵng for a family vacation.
The 42-year-old man lives in Đức Thượng Commune on the outskirts of the capital in Hoài Đức district.
The Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control (CDC) have made public his travel history in a bid to track and trace anyone he came into contact with.
So far, they have traced nine people the man came into close contact with since returning from the central city and before testing positive for coronavirus.
During July 16-20, he went to Đà Nẵng with a group of 10 people, his immediate family and other relatives.
They all live within the same apartment building in Hoài Đức.
In Đà Nẵng, the group went to Bà Nà Hill on July 17. A day later, they visited Linh Ứng Pagoda, Đầm Dừa and Hội An.
They spent the July 19 in Đà Nẵng, buying souvenirs and gifts.
On the morning of July 20, they flew back on Vietnam Airlines flight VN154 (the patient and his relatives sat at rows 29 and 30).
After landing at Nội Bài Airport in Hà Nội, the two families hailed two separate taxis to get home.
On July 21, the patient’s family paid a visit to his sister in Hà Đông District, and met with his brother from Thanh Hoá Province who was visiting Hà Nội.
During July 26-27, the patient went to work in Thăng Long 2 Industrial Zone, Mỹ Hào District, Hưng Yên Province as usual.
The commute was by a company’s coach, which he shared with 12 other employees of the company.
The patient said he usually slept on the way, rarely spoke to other passengers but mostly to the driver, and wore a mask for the journey.
The driver is currently residing in Xuân Trạch village, Xuân Canh Commune, Đông Anh District.
The man worked in a large office room and did not attend many meetings, with most meeting conducted online.
The patient regularly has close contact with five people, including his secretary, the company’s chief accountant, human resources manager, planning manager and one other employee.
From July 27 until August 5, he began self-isolating at home after news broke over the newly detected COVID-19 cases in Đà Nẵng and potential outbreak in Hà Nội.
On August 3, the patient reported symptoms of coughing and tightness in his chest, but no fever or breathing difficulties.
On August 4, 14 days after he returned from Đà Nẵng, the patient still felt fine and went down to the building’s grounds to play shuttlecock, while wearing a mask.
On August 6, the patient returned to work but hearing the case of another COVID-19 patient reported in Hà Nội, he asked for a leave in the afternoon and went to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases’ second branch in Đông Anh District for examination.
He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and is currently being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
His entire apartment building was disinfected by the Hoài Đức District’s medical centre staff last night.
Trần Quang Tuấn, head of the centre, said that nine people who had close contact with the patient have been identified and the tracers are looking for more.
The building tenants have been asked to stay at home for now and police have been deployed to maintain security.
Quarantine ends at Danang hospital
The lockdown imposed on Danang Hospital C in the central city of Danang which is battling the Covid-19 outbreak has been lifted.
At around midnight on Friday, the isolation was officially removed after the 14-day period.
Dr Dang Van Tri from hospital said that all of staff from hosital had lived through an unforgettable moment in their lives. They expressed their deep thanks to the community for sharing difficulties in the fight against Covid-19.
After the quarantine was lifted, most of the hospital staff chose to stay to continue their battle against the pandemic.
“Despite great challenges, we are always willing to support other local hospitals in care and treatment”, Tri added.
By Saturday morning, Vietnam recorded a total of 789 Covid-19 patients, including 316 from abroad. Since July 25, the pandemic has spread to 13 cities and provinces in Vietnam with up to 333 community infections, all linked to Danang.
Vietnam confirms two more COVID-19 cases
Vietnam reported two more COVID-19 cases on August 9 morning, taking the national count to 812, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Of the new patients, one is in Hanoi and the other, in the northern province of Bac Giang.
Earlier, Vietnam reported 21 more coronavirus cases on August 8 evening.
Of the new patients, 20 were linked to the Da Nang outbreak, including 15 living in Da Nang, two in Quang Nam, two in Bac Giang and one in Khanh Hoa.
The remainder was an imported case who has been put under quarantine upon arrival in Hanoi.
Vietnam has to date reported 812 COVID-19 patients since the first case was detected in January. Of those, 317 are imported.
There are currently 178,695 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are being quarantined nationwide, including 5,252 at hospitals, 27,798 at other concentrated quarantine facilities, and 145,645 at their homes.
As many as 395 or 48.6 percent of the total patients have made full recovery, and there have been 10 deaths.
Soldiers on the front line of Covid-19 fight
Khanh Hoa province is currently quarantining 525 Vietnamese who previously worked, studied, or accessed medical treatment abroad, at four military units. Despite the hardships, every soldier on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic knows that this is their duty and they are willing to contribute to the success of disease prevention and control efforts.
The Centre for Defence and Security Education at the Nha Trang University is expected to receive about 600 Vietnamese citizens returning home and required to be quarantined for 14 days. All necessary preparations have been made in the last few days.
Soldiers said their task is to guarantee absolute safety and create the most comfortable conditions for those under quarantine.
With a spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy”, the army is more than willing to pioneer disease prevention and control measures. Every soldier on the front line of the fight against COVID-19 is ready to weather the hardships to fulfil all tasks assigned them.
Passengers on two flights with Covid-19 patients tracked
All passengers who boarded two flights from Danang to Hanoi and from Hai Phong to Nha Trang that carried Covid-19 infection cases are being asked to contact authorities.
The Ministry of Health on Friday evening announced that passengers on flights VN7282 from Danang to Hanoi on July 26 and VJ733 from Hai Phong to Nha Trang on July 27 must immediately contact local healthcare centres for guidance and viral testing as part of Covid-19 prevention efforts.
The passengers were also requested to call one of the phone numbers including the ministry's hotline at 1900.9095, CDC Danang at 0905.108.844, CDC Hanoi at 0969.082.115 or 0949.396.115, CDC Hai Phong at 0932.245.525, and CDC Khanh Hoa at 0911.662.233 to provide phone numbers of people who have contacted with them.
Passengers are also asked to make online health declarations at https://tokhaiyte.vn or download the NCOVI app from the website https://ncovi.vn and constantly update their health status.
The Ministry of Health on Saturday morning announced five new Covid-19 infection cases all related to Danang, raising the total number of patients in Vietnam to 789.
Since July 25, the pandemic has spread to 13 cities and provinces in Vietnam with up to 333 community infection cases.
Provinces support Quang Nam to battle against COVID-19
The northern province of Phu Tho and Binh Dinh province in the central region on August 8 sent medical workers to the central province of Quang Nam to support its fight against COVID-19.
The delegation from Phu Tho comprised 18 doctors and 20 nurses in the departments of intensive care unit, cardiology and communicable diseases.
The province also presented 2,000 protective suits to Quang Nam province.
Meanwhile, a team of 10 health workers of the Institute of Malaria, Parasitology and Entomology in Quy Nhon of Binh Dinh traveled to Quang Nam
the same day.
Amid the complicated developments of COVID-19 in the central city of Da Nang and neighbouring Quang Nam province, the Ministry of Health has sent numerous working groups to help contain the spread of the pandemic. Medical workers nationwide have volunteered to join the fight in the localities.
Thailand expected to return to normalcy
A panel under Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on August 7 approved proposals for a return to normalcy in the country by allowing schools, sports stadiums, public transport and meals on flights.
The proposals include the opening of schools with normal-sized classes. For sports events, people would be permitted to attend them, while public transport vehicles would no longer have to allocate empty spaces for social distancing.
However, the extension of entertainment venues’ operating hours until 2am was not discussed at the August 7 meeting.
The proposals, approved by a panel led by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Gen Somsak Roongsita, will be submitted to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on August 21.
The Thai cabinet recently approved the Finance Ministry's proposal to borrow 1.5 billion USD from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to stimulate and rehabilitate the economy.
The borrowing scheme is part of the government's plan to issue a royal decree to borrow 1 trillion baht (32 billion USD) to revive the virus-hit economy.
The country’s public debt level will rise to 57 percent of GDP from June's 44.8 percent upon borrowing the full amount under the loan decree.
Vietnamese Embassy in US presents face masks to Maryland state
The Embassy of Vietnam in the US presented 10,000 face masks to Maryland state during a ceremony held on August 7.
At the handover ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc voiced his hope that the face masks will contribute to containing the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland.
He added that the assistance demonstrates the friendship, cooperation and mutual support between the Governments and people of Vietnam and the US, including joint efforts in battling the ravaging pandemic.
The diplomat also spoke highly of the US Government’s support for Vietnam in terms of healthcare, information sharing and disease research, and especially the donation of 100 ventilators for treatment of COVID-19 patients in the Southeast Asian nation.
For his part, Secretary of State of Maryland John Wobensmith said the aid is the result of cooperation activities between the two countries’ localities.
Maryland established a twin relationship with Vietnam’s southern province of Ninh Thuan in 2011. The two sides inked a memorandum of understanding on trade, education and culture cooperation.
On the occasion, Ngoc and Wobensmith discussed orientations to bolster the bilateral cooperation in the coming time, including trade and investment activities, with the aim of promoting Maryland’s strengths in marine mechanics, shipbuilding, high technology and education, among others.
Ngoc also asked Maryland authorities to continue creating optimal conditions for the Vietnamese community of about 30,000 people who are living and studying in the state.
The two sides also thanked Ecom Net, a Vietnamese company that donated the face masks and is planning to build a factory producing protective products for the US market.
Over 340 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Australia
More than 340 Vietnamese citizens were flown home safely from Australia on August 7 on a flight of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.
The flight was arranged by Vietnamese authorities, representative agencies in Australia and the carrier, together with Australian competent agencies.
The passengers included children under 18, the elderly, the ill, students without accommodations and those in extremely disadvantaged circumstances.
Given that the Australian Government applies travel restrictions and border closures between states in the wake of COVID-19, Vietnamese representative agencies worked with local authorities of Sydney and Melbourne to help the citizens travel to the airports. They also sent staff to assist the citizens with boarding procedures.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, disease prevention measures were carried out during the flight. Upon landing at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, 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.
Cuba donates antiviral drug to help Vietnam cure Covid-19 patients
The medicine was immediately sent to Danang city and Quang Nam province, now Vietnam’s Covid-19 hotspots.
Cuba has sent to Vietnam a team of medical experts and thousands of antiviral pill bottles to support Vietnamese people in the fight against Covid-19, Kinh Te & Do Thi reported.
The medicine, interferon Alfa 2B produced by Cuba, which induces the human body to produce antibodies against the novel coronavirus, was handed over at a ceremony held by the Ministry of National Defense’s Department of Foreign Relations in Hanoi on August 5.
The drug could play a vital role in treating severely ill Covid-19 patients, Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Lianys Torres Rivera said at the event.
It has been used to successfully treat Covid-19 cases in Cuba, with the death rate among patients given the drug being only 0.9% as of the end of April, she said, adding that over 80 countries have expressed their interest in buying this drug from Cuba.
She expressed her hope that the two sides will continue their efforts to maintain and intensify the fine traditional relations, showing to the world the strength of solidarity and cooperation in effectively fighting the common challenge of the mankind.
The medicine was immediately sent to Danang city and Quang Nam province, now Vietnam’s Covid-19 hotspots.
The Cuban medical experts, once finishing mandatory quarantine upon entry, will travel to the two localities to help fight the disease.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh said as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Vietnam is fulfilling its responsibilities in sharing experiences and boosting global cooperation in fighting Covid-19.
Mr. Vinh expressed gratitude to the Cuban people for their special sentiment to Vietnam, especially in this difficult time, and affirmed that this is a fine tradition between the two nations.
Vietnam last month donated to Cuba around three tons of medical equipment to fight Covid-19, including rapid test kits, masks and protective suits.
Vietnam has detected 789 Covid-19 cases so far, 384 of them are active and ten have died.
Hanoi receives donation of 10,000 test kits to combat Covid-19
The test kit is able to detect new Covid-19 in droplets obtained from the respiratory tract and blood.
The Hanoi Department of Health on August 7 received a donation of 10,000 RT-rPCR test kits and 12,000 anti-droplet masks for the pandemic prevention, VnExpress reported.
These medical supplies will be handed over to health workers who are working in hospitals and isolation zones in the city.
"Hanoi has recorded nearly 100,000 returnees from Danang, now the largest epicenter of Covid-19 in Vietnam, between July 15 and 29, thus thousands of people need to be tested for coronavirus using RT-PCR," said Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Health Tran Thi Nhi Ha.
She thanked the donors for their active support which she said will help the healthcare sector early detect suspected cases in the community.
RT-rPCR is the latest version of Covid-19 test kit, delivering instant results and high sensitivity. The previous RT-PCR testing had to go through a layer of electrophoresis before giving out the results.
The test kit was jointly researched and produced by the Vietnam Military Medical University and Viet A Technology Joint Stock Company. It was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 26 and granted a CE certification and a Certificate of Free Sale from the UK, allowing them to be sold in the European market.
The kit is able to detect new Covid-19 in droplets obtained from the respiratory tract and blood.
At the online meeting with the districts about Covid-19 prevention on August 6, the Hanoi authorities requested the application of PCR tests for all people from the pandemic-hit regions.
Currently, Hanoi city has three PCR test machines, which can test 500-700 samples a day, and up to 2,000 samples if more machines are provided. Hanoi’s medical staff, who have been well trained, can take nearly 12,000 pharyngeal samples per day, said Truong Quang Viet, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC).