Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 2

Woman with illegal entry tracked in HCM City

The International Health Quarantine Centre of Ho Chi Minh City on June 1 said it has detected a Vietnamese woman with an illegal entry who had a fever.

The woman was detected on May 28 at the local Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Earlier, after entering the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang by trails, she travelled to the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and took a flight to HCM City.

Relevant municipal agencies have sent the woman to quarantine and collected her sample for COVID-19 test. The initial test result was negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes the disease.

After receiving the news, Deputy Minister of Health and deputy head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control Do Xuan Tuyen on May 31 directed the HCM City Health Department to take preventive measures and inform relevant agencies to carry out such measures.

The committee also sent urgent dispatches to the Ministry of Defence and Cao Bang People’s Committee, stressing the intensification of controlling unauthorised entry via trails. If a unit lets such entry take place, it must take full responsibility for the problem. People detecting unauthorised entries in the community, meanwhile, ought to report it immediately to authorities.

Vietnam recorded no COVID-19 cases on June 2 morning, marking 47 days in a row without new infections in the community./.

Vietnamese in Russia give free meals for COVID-19 frontline health workers

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 2
Workers at phở restaurant "phoinmoscow" in Russia prepare dishes for healthcare workers.

A restaurant chain owned by Vietnamese in Moscow has offered free “phở” for COVID-19 frontline health workers at nearby hospitals and healthcare centres despite business difficulties caused by the pandemic.

The restaurant “Phoinmoscow” located in Moscow’s Kashirskaya Plaze belongs to a Vietnamese family.

The restaurant owner Phạm Hồng Anh said that since the middle of last month, her family’s restaurant started providing lunch for 40 healthcare workers in their neighbourhood.

Free bowls of phở, the iconic Vietnamese dish, each costing about 300-350 roubles (US$5) are provided daily to hospitals and healthcare centres in Moscow.

Hồng Anh said at the beginning of the campaign, they covered costs for the food and delivery.

However, 40 meals were not enough, she said, adding that she and her husband decided to raise funds through their website phoinmoscow.ru.

“I’m so happy that many Vietnamese in Moscow welcome the idea and support us,” Hồng Anh said.

The restaurant is now able to provide 80 free lunches for frontline healthcare workers in neighbouring hospitals and healthcare centres.

The meal campaign is expected to last until the middle of this month, when the city’s lockdown, which started on March 30, was planned to be lifted.

It is reported that about 500 restaurants owned by Vietnamese people operate in Moscow. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have faced serious difficulties such as high rental costs, salaries and an urgent need to boost online trade.

As Moscow planned to ease coronavirus restrictions from June 1, only shopping malls and parks are set to reopen. Moscow is considered the epicentre of Russia's outbreak.

Hồng Anh said that their phở restaurant chain opened three weeks ago but just received online orders and delivered the food themselves or through their partners Yandex and Delivery.

She said that during the pandemic, the restaurant’s revenue was only 20 per cent of that before the pandemic.

Although their business faced difficulties because of COVID-19, they still wanted to help the host country in the fight against the pandemic, she said.

On May 14, Việt Nam’s Embassy to Russia established a network of Vietnamese to fight against COVID-19.

The network attracted Vietnamese people, both living in Russia and Việt Nam, including doctors, healthcare workers, students and post-graduates.

Leading doctors in Việt Nam offered consultation to treat COVID-19 patients in Russia via online meetings, telephones or other apps.

In Russia, doctors and post-graduates helped examine patients, identify suspected cases, and offer at-home treatment for those with light symptoms, which helped reduce the burden for the local healthcare sector.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese people also handed out free face masks for local residents.

Vietnamese people in Sadovod in Lyublino were reportedly making face masks and giving them out free of charge.

Vietnamese citizens return home from Australia, New Zealand

A total of 344 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Australia and New Zealand on June 1 and 2 thanks to concerted efforts by Vietnamese authorities and representative agencies in the two countries, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and relevant Australian and New Zealand agencies.

Vietnamese citizens return home from Australia, New Zealand hinh anh 1

Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand Ta Van Thong (fourth, from left) and Vietnamese citizens at the Auckland Airport (Photo: VNA)

They included children under the age of 18, the elderly, persons with illnesses, pregnant women, labourers with expired contracts, and others with expired visas or being stranded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnamese citizens return home from Australia, New Zealand hinh anh 2

Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam (centre) and Vietnamese citizens at the Sydney Airport on June 1 (Photo: VNA)

As the Australian and New Zealand governments have limited travelling and closed their borders to curb the spread of the disease, the flight was arranged to land in Sydney and Auckland to pick up the citizens.

After arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, all the passengers and crew members on board received heath examination and were put in quarantine in line with regulations.

Under the Prime Minister’s directions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, domestic agencies and Vietnam’s overseas representative agencies have arranged a number of flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home.

On the basis of the pandemic’s developments in the country and the world, citizens’ aspirations and local quarantine capacity, more flights are set to be conducted in the coming time to repatriate Vietnamese citizens.

Vietnam goes through 47 days without community COVID-19 infections

Vietnam recorded no COVID-19 cases on June 2 morning, marking 47 days in a row without new infections in the community, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among the total 328 patients, 188 were imported and quarantined right upon arrival.

The committee’s treatment subcommittee reported that 293 patients have been given the all-clear, making up 89 percent of the total infections. The remaining 35 are being treated at centrally- and provincially-run hospitals. All of them are in stable condition.

Seven patients tested negative for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, and 10 others tested negative for the virus twice or more.

At present, 7,256 people having close contact with patients or entering from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined, including 23 at hospitals, 6,301 at concentrated quarantine establishments and 932 at home and place of residence./.

Hanoi presents medical supplies to New York

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 2

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung presented medical supplies to New York on June 1 to help it combat COVID-19.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Chung said that on the back of the Vietnam - US comprehensive partnership, Hanoi wishes to share part of its resources to assist New York’s administration and people, including 100,000 antibacterial cloth masks and 50,000 medical masks made in Vietnam under the Ministry of Health’s quality standards and the EU’s CE certificate.

Receiving the gift, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink congratulated the Vietnamese Government and Hanoi on becoming known as a highlight in the fight against the pandemic, applying active and effective counter-measures.

He said the US is still facing the pandemic and New York is one of the hardest-hit localities.

The ambassador expressed his belief that the gift will soon help New York curb the epidemic.

As 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of Vietnam - US diplomatic ties, the handover ceremony proves the strength of the growing partnership between the two countries in various fields, he said./.

Additional 14 COVID-19 patients declared fully recovered

Fourteen COVID-19 patients recovered and were released from two treatment facilities in the southern provinces of Bac Lieu and Dong Thap on June 1 afternoon.

The newly recovered patients have brought the country’s total cases being given the all-clear to 293, making up 89.3 percent of total COVID-19 confirmed cases in Vietnam, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control’s Sub-committee for Treatment.

They are all Vietnamese nationals, including a 3-month-old baby called Patient 274. The boy was admitted to the hospital on May 7. During treatment, the patient had five tests and all tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2 from May 25 to 28.

All of them were all imported cases, discovered to have contracted the virus as they returned from the UAE on a specially-arranged repatriation flight that landed in the southern province of Can Tho on May 3.

They were immediately quarantined upon arrival and posed no risks of community transmission.

Currently, the patients have no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath and are in a stable condition. They will continue to be quarantined and monitored for the next 14 days, according to Sub-committee for Treatment.

As of June 1 morning, Vietnam reported no COVID-19 cases, making it the 46th days straight without community transmission.

The total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the country remains at 328, with zero fatalities./.

Vietnam, Japan discuss COVID-19 fight, economic cooperation

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on June 1 had phone talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to discuss collaboration in COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as measures to promote exchange and economic cooperation between the two countries in the coming time.

This was the second time the Foreign Ministers of the two countries had held phone talks in the past two months.

The two sides informed each other about the COVID-19 situation and prevention and control results in each country, as well as agreed to continue to work closely to increase exchanges and promote economic cooperation between the two countries.

Minh appreciated the positive results in COVID-19 prevention and control of the Japanese Government. He thanked the Government and people of Japan for their support for Vietnam in the fight, especially the support package given to Vietnamese students and interns living in Japan.

For his part, Toshimitsu Motegi congratulated Vietnam's impressive achievements in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, which were praised by the international community. He also expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese Government, National Assembly and people for providing medical masks for Japan and supporting Japanese managers and experts to return to Vietnam to work.

The Japanese official said besides previous aid packages for COVID-19 prevention and control, Japan would continue to support Vietnam through providing medical equipment and supplies based on its needs. He suggested the two sides soon conduct a discussion to consider resumption of travel between the two countries’ people, especially managers and experts, thus promoting the economic, trade and investment cooperation.

The two sides agreed to work closely at regional and international forums, including ASEAN and the Mekong – Japan cooperation mechanism, and speed up the realisation of the proposal to establish an ASEAN Centre for emerging diseases and public health emergencies by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at the online Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on April 14.

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 2

WB economist calls Vietnam ‘a bright star’ in COVID-19 fight

In his blog published on the World Bank website in late May, Jacques Morisset, World Bank Lead Economist and Program Leader for Vietnam, has called the country ‘a bright star in the COVID-19 dark sky’.

Based on a series of statistics including the local GDP still expanding 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the economist realised the Vietnamese economy has been “extremely resilient during these unusual rough time.”

He attributed the reasons behind the success to the Government’s smart policies, saying: “The quality of the Vietnamese government’s COVID-19 response has been a combination of foresight and pragmatism.”

In conclusion, he wrote: “In the face of adversity, Vietnam has been able to tap a long tradition of preparing for the worst while staying flexible to adopt crucial reforms and transition toward the new normal. This combination of foresight and pragmatism has been applied in the COVID-19 crisis with considerable success.”

Morisset also said he hopes that such experience “can help other countries that have been much less well-prepared for the crisis.”

Vietnam recorded no COVID-19 cases on June 2 morning, marking 47 days in a row without new infections in the community, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control./.

 

US organisation supports fight against COVID-19

The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on June 1 received 1,000 3M medical masks and 60 four-litre cans of hand sanitiser worth over 100 million VND (4,300 USD) from the US organisation Resource Exchange International (REI).

Another 300 sets of medical protective gear (consisting of one medical cap, surgical coverall, gloves, surgical mask, safety glasses, and medical shoe cover) and 550 3M medical masks with a total value of more than 90 million VND would be presented to the Dong Nai General Hospital on May 29.

Head of Project of REI in Vietnam Tran Phuong Lien said that REI was pleased to partner with various stakeholders to implement this meaningful charity programme.

“Taking this opportunity, we expect that REI will become a reliable partner in the long-term medical charity programmes in Vietnam,” she said.

According to the Project Office of REI in Vietnam, through the connection of the People's Aid Co-ordinating Committee (PACCOM), Dow Vietnam and REI donated the necessary medical supplies to the hospitals with the desire to support the frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, helping the community health resilience and working with the whole country to effectively prevent and control COVID-19.

Dr Le Van Dung, Vice President of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, thanked the organisation for the encouragement and support.

REI has been in Vietnam since 1993 in the fields of health, education and agriculture with its headquarters located in Colorado, the US with the mission of "Building people to build a nation."/.

COVID-19: Philippines eases lockdown in Manila capital

Millions of people returned to work in the Philippines’s Manila capital on June 1 as one of the world's strictest and longest COVID-19 lockdowns was eased to help resuscitate the economy.

After nearly three months of applying the blockade order, public transport such as trains and shuttle buses are allowed to operate in Manila but on a limited scale.

The majority of businesses are allowed to reopen, while residents can leave home without a permit. However, schools, bars and restaurants are still closed. Currently, both children and the elderly in the country are required to stay at home unless they need to go out to buy necessities.

Earlier, the Philippine government relaxed restrictions in small towns outside Manila.

The Philippine Ministry of Health reported that the country recorded 552 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths on the same day, raising the totals to 18,638 and 960, respectively.

The Philippines currently has the third highest number of infections and the second highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia.

In Thailand, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration under the Thai government has suggested considering a long holiday in July to make up for the cancellation of Songkran festivities that was supposed to be in April.

However, the centre said this plan is only possible if the Thai people are able to help bring the new COVID-19 cases to only one digit, or better at zero.

Previously, the Thai government delayed the Songkran holiday slated for April 13-15 until "further notice" for fear that large gatherings and the homecoming of revellers could exacerbate the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Health  announced that the country confirmed 467 more COVID-19 patients and 28 deaths on June 1, bringing the total of infections and fatalities to 26,940 and 1,641, respectively./.

Thailand enters third phase of lockdown

Thailand entered the third phase of its lockdown on June 1, with moderate-risk businesses allowed to be reopened, while the country observes a shortened curfew from 9pm to 3am.

The same day, the country recorded only one COVID-19 imported case and zero death, marking the seventh consecutive day without transmission in the community.

Also as of June 1, Thailand confirmed 3,082 infections, including 57 deaths and 2,965 recovered patients

As scheduled, the country’s reopening in July will be the final stage in Thailand’s two-month lockdown.

The pandemic cost Thailand’s tourism industry 40 percent in revenue in the first quarter.

Phuket beaches remain closed indefinitely, but the open beaches in Hua Hin and Rayong are drawing crowds of travellers./.

German media ‘decodes’ Vietnam’s success in fighting COVID-19

Germany’s Marzahn-hellersdorf portal has run an article pointing to factors that contributed to Vietnam’s success in its battle against COVID-19, which include early action, contact tracing, and communications.

Vietnam began preparations to cope with the outbreak several weeks prior to recording its first case of infection, it wrote, even when China and the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The article mentioned Vietnam’s effective preventive measures, such as strengthening medical monitoring at border gates, airports and seaports, cancelling all flights from and to China, and suspending entry for all foreigners.

According to Guy Thwaites, a professor of infectious diseases and Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, Vietnam’s quick response is key to the country’s success in combating COVID-19.

Vietnam’s experience in coping with the outbreak of communicable diseases such as SARS in 2002 helped the Government and people be better prepared for COVID-19, he added.

Vietnam lifted its three-week social distancing measures in late April, the portal said, and no new infections have been recorded in the community for more than 40 days./

Vietnam provides 25,000 masks to expats in RoK

The Vietnamese Government presented 25,000 medical masks to Vietnamese expatriates in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on June 1, to help the fight against COVID-19.

At the handover ceremony at the Embassy of Vietnam in Seoul, Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu presented the masks to representatives from the associations of overseas Vietnamese and Vietnamese students in the country.

The gift demonstrates the material and spiritual assistance the Government provides to the community, he said.

The RoK Government began its “no mask, no ride” policy on buses and taxis on May 26, in an effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus on public transport.

Subway passengers, meanwhile, are strongly advised to wear face masks while travelling. All passengers on domestic and international flights have been required to wear masks, starting from May 27.

Such measures were applied after nine bus and 12 taxi drivers tested positive for COVID-19 on May 24./.

Hospitals given foreign support in fight against COVID-19

The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on Monday received 1,000 3M medical masks and 60 four-litre cans of hand sanitiser worth over VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) from the US organisation Resource Exchange International (REI).

Another 300 sets of medical protective gear (consisting of one medical cap, surgical coverall, gloves, surgical mask, safety glasses, and medical shoe cover) and 550 3M medical masks with a total value of more than VNĐ90 million would be presented to Đồng Nai General Hospital on Friday.

Head of Project of REI in Việt Nam Trần Phương Liên said that REI was pleased to partner with various stakeholders to implement this meaningful charity programme.

“Taking this opportunity, we expect that REI will become a reliable partner in the long-term medical charity programmes in Việt Nam,” she said.

According to the Project Office of REI in Việt Nam, through the connection of the People's Aid Co-ordinating Committee (PACCOM), Dow Vietnam and REI donated the necessary medical supplies to the hospitals with the desire to support the frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, helping the community health resilience and working with the whole country to effectively prevent and control COVID-19.

Dr Lê Văn Dũng, Vice President of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, thanked the organisation for the encouragement and support.

REI has been in Việt Nam since 1993 in the fields of health, education and agriculture with its headquarters located in Colorado, USA, with the mission of "Building people to build a nation." 

Made-in-Viet Nam face masks donated to New York, South Korea 

Up to 150,000 Vietnamese-made facemasks were gifted to New York City by Hà Nội People’s Committee on Monday to support the fight against COVID-19 in one of the world’s worst-hit epicentres. 

The 100,000 antibacterial cloth masks and 50,000 surgical facemasks produced by Việt Nam’s companies meet standards of the Ministry of Health and CE marking by the EU. 

“Though small, the gift expresses the support of Hà Nội’s people and authorities towards New York City amid this challenging time,” said Nguyễn Đức Chung, head of the People’s Committee. 

In response, the US Ambassador to Việt Nam Daniel Kritenbrink showed gratitude towards Hà Nội. 

The ambassador applauded Việt Nam’s efforts in disclosing information and containing the disease.

On the same day, 25,000 facemasks were sent to the Vietnamese community in South Korea from Việt Nam's Embassy in Seoul.

These facemasks will be distributed to Vietnamese students and citizens living in South Korea.  

Foreign journalists hail Vietnamese efforts in coronavirus fight

Recent times have seen numerous foreign journalists deliver lavish praise for the country’s sustained efforts in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with British freelance journalist Georgina Quach stating that the fight against the deadly virus has become a priority for millions of Vietnamese people.

In a recent article published on the website OneZero, the writer detailed the proud success of the nation in its battle against the pandemic.

“One of the most effective tools Vietnam used to manage the spread of the COVID-19 was public education, often deployed via popular social media channels,” she said.

The journalist noted a key move which occurred back in February, with the Vietnamese Health Ministry releasing a viral hand-washing song “Ghen Co Vy”, known as “Jealous Coronavirus” in English. The purpose of the song was to spread advice on preventive measures that millions of people could take, with the hashtag #GhenCoVyChallenge reaching 37.7 million views and counting.

Furthermore, the nation’s communication apparatus was also critical for implementing a range of nationwide programmes, she added, noting that the country was swift to focus on targeting, testing, and aggressively contact tracing, a tactic that similarly helped Vietnam to become the first country to have stopped the SARS pandemic 17 years prior. 

Along with a system in place for proactive monitoring, the nation also launched two smartphone apps which enable users to detail their symptoms and voluntarily report cases of suspected infections in their area, therefore serving to identify hot spots. 

In addition, journalist Dana Kenedy recently published a story titled “How did Vietnam manage to avoid even one coronavirus death?” for the New York Post, in which the Vietnamese achievements in response to the COVID-19 were greatly praised.

She gave quotes from CNN stating that the country ignored China and the World Health Organisation’s initial insistence that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission, moving instead to deploy rapid measures such as strict quarantine measures and contact tracing.

Although the nation’s first COVID-19 cases were not reported until January 23, by then the country was fully prepared, she said.

Kenedy went on to state that when the nation declared a national epidemic on February 1 it had only six confirmed cases nationwide. This led to flights between the country and China to be halted, swiftly followed by the suspension of visas being given to Chinese citizens.

Following a three-week shutdown, the nation later eased social distancing rules in late April and hasn’t had any reports of local infections for over 40 days in a row. The article concludes by stated how businesses and schools have reopened with life slowly returning to normality. 

Thai Gov’t to discuss aid for lottery and street vendors

Lottery sellers and street vendors in Thailand have asked for government assistance and remedies for the disruptions they are suffering as a result of the State of Emergency.

Representatives of lottery and street vendor who are affected by the extension of the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic made the request during a meeting with the Thai Prime Minister’s Office Minister, Tewan Liptapallop.

Lottery vendors raised their concerns after not being able to sell tickets due to COVID-19 restrictions, with some still having to pay rent for their sales space.

Some of them have complained about charges made by government agencies against overpriced lottery tickets, claiming they had to purchase lottery tickets at prices which are already more expensive. They have asked the government to provide aid, seeing themselves as SMEs affected by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, street vendors have asked the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to allow them to operate at 26 locations, instead of three locations at present.

City hall has clarified that these restrictions are imposed due to traffic and hygiene issues, as well as illicit leasing and permit transfer to other vendors.

The PMO Minister said he will forward proposals from the meeting to the Prime Minister, in order to draft appropriate aid measures./.

 
 

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