High guard against COVID-19 should remain to ensure public health: PM
PM PNguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting.
Maintaining guard against COVID-19 is still needed to ensure public health, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a meeting with Government’s permanent members in Hanoi on June 24.
Although the Government has agreed to allow foreign experts and investors to enter Vietnam as well as send Vietnamese employees to work abroad, it is necessary to strengthen management and monitoring to prevent the spread of the pandemic among the community, he said.
However, he stressed a consistent viewpoint that the Government has not allowed the entrance of international tourists in Vietnam.
He requested ministries and localities to stay highly vigilant to ensure public health and avoid impatience – which could wipe out the country’s significant achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control.
The Government leader asked relevant agencies to continue implementing measures for quick tracking of suspected infections, and ordered wearing face masks in crowded places.
He suggested carrying out short-term quarantine for experts and investors upon their arrival in Vietnam and increasing the frequency of flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home and carry foreign investors, experts and highly-skilled workers to Vietnam, as well as send Vietnamese people to work and study abroad if the host countries accept.
Regarding the possibility of reopening some international commercial flights, the PM instructed authorities to carefully consider the point of time as long as ensure that the pandemic would not spread from outside into Vietnam.
In complicated pandemic-hit areas, the Vietnamese aviation industry, under the direction of the Ministry of Transport, must prepare thorough preventive scenarios for commercial flights, he ordered.
He asked the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and the State Bank of Vietnam to jointly implement the Government's aid packages for those seriously affected by COVID-19.
According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Vietnam has no new local transmissions to report for over two months. As of June 24, 329 out of the 352 patients have recovered from the disease.
Since April 15, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has cooperated with relevant agencies and Vietnamese representative offices abroad and airlines to conduct 33 flights carrying nearly 8,000 Vietnamese citizens home from 42 countries and territories.
Government to cover COVID-19 testing and treatment expenses for State officials on overseas missions
Vietnamese State officials on overseas mission and their relatives will have their COVID-19 testing and treatment expenses covered by the Government, according to a newly-issued resolution.
Those qualified for the assistance include officials, civil servants, public employees and labourers receiving wages from the State budget and officers working in armed forces who are mobilised to work overseas at Vietnamese representative agencies.
Their wives or husbands and children under 19 years old living overseas with the officials will also have the expenses covered.
The State budget will cover COVID-19 testing and treatment expenses which are not included in the contracts offered by the insurance company.
According to the resolution, the evolving COVID-19 pandemic has continued to expand in many countries in which Vietnamese representative agencies are located. Vietnamese officials working at those agencies are put at high risk of infection while performing the citizen protection tasks in the pandemic hot spots.
The COVID-19 testing and treatment expenses at some places are higher than health insurance coverage and exceed the coverage capacity of the Vietnamese representative agencies. Therefore the Government decided to cover the expenses.
Vietnam reports three new imported COVID-19 cases
Three Vietnamese citizens returning home from Kuwait are the latest people to test positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 352.
They were all quarantined upon arrival. Vietnam has gone 69 days straight without any community infections.
The new positive cases are a 36-year-old man, from Hung Ha district in the northern province of Thai Binh and two women, aged 46 and 30, both from the central province of Thanh Hoa.
The three patients arrived on two separate repatriation flights from Kuwait, one landing at Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport on June 16 and the other at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi two days later.
The man is being treated at Ba Ria Hospital in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the two women at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2 in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district.
As of June 24, 329 out of the 352 patients have recovered from the disease.
Among active cases, two people have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 once while three others negative twice.
A total of 6,318 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients and came from pandemic-hit areas are under medical monitoring or quarantine, of which 107 are at hospitals, 5,411 at medical stations and 800 at home./.
Vietnam clear of COVID-19 community infections for 70 days
Vietnamese citizens returning from abroad are taken to a concentrated quarantine establishment.
No new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on June 25 morning, marking 70 straight days that Vietnam has gone without community transmissions, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The national tally has remained at 352, including 212 imported cases that were quarantined upon arrival.
Vietnam sees 9,437 people who had close contact with patients or were in pandemic-hit areas now under medical monitoring or quarantine.
Up to 329 patients or 93.5 percent of the total cases have recovered so far. The remaining patients are now in a stable condition, with two testing negative for the coronavirus once and three negative at least twice.
WB, Australia to support Vietnam in mitigating COVID-19 impacts
The World Bank (WB) Group and the Australian Government have agreed to extend their strategic partnership in Vietnam with a commitment of a further 5 million AUD to support Vietnam’s economic recovery and protect the most vulnerable from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds, provided by the Australian Government and administered by the World Bank Group, are additional financing to the ongoing Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership – Phase 2 (ABP2) that focuses on supporting Vietnam’s development agenda through knowledge sharing and advising policy-making.
“The additional funding will help address emerging challenges and critical needs of Vietnam post COVID-19,” said Ousmane Dione, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.
“By providing support in key areas such as private sector development, trade integration, and innovation, the program aims to help the country’s economy gain back its full potential in the fastest and most sustainable way,” he said.
“Vietnam should be very proud of how it has tackled COVID-19,” said Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, adding that “the next challenge for Vietnam, as for Australia, will be to replicate the successes of the health response in the economic response.”
The Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership will continue providing world class economic advice and analysis for Vietnam’s leaders and policy makers to accelerate economic recovery, with an increasingly strong focus on gender equality and social protection, she added.
To address the potential loss of human capital from COVID-19, the activities to be funded will protect and support vulnerable groups, including by strengthening social safety nets with more efficient and effective delivery of social security payments; narrowing human capital gaps, particularly for ethnic minorities, with a well-designed ethnic minority national targeted program; and improving gender equality in legal frameworks.
The funds will also be directed towards economic recovery activities, including accelerating the execution of the investment programme while deepening trade integration, supporting the private sector strengthening resilience against future shocks through structural reforms, and taking advantage of the digital agenda by reducing transactions costs for the government, people, and businesses.
The ongoing ABP2 programme, signed in April 2017, aims to support Vietnam’s key national reforms, which are intended to gradually benefit millions of Vietnamese people and help the Southeast Asian country reach its ambition of becoming a high-income economy by 2045.
Over 340 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Taiwan
As many as 343 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Taiwan (China) on June 24.
Vietnamese authorities coordinated with the Vietnam Economic and Culture Office in Taipei, Vietnam Airlines, and Taiwanese authorities to conduct the flight.
The Vietnam Economic and Culture Office in Taipei actively guided citizens to complete all necessary procedures and sent officials to cooperate with the national flag carrier and help citizens at the airport.
Pandemic prevention measures were implemented strictly during the flight, and crew and passengers were quarantined upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City, as per regulations.
At the direction of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnamese representative offices abroad and domestic airlines will continue to conduct flights bringing citizens trapped by the pandemic home where possible./.
More Vietnamese repatriated from Japan
As many as 342 Vietnamese citizens in Japan were brought home safely on a flight on June 24.
The flight was arranged by Vietnamese authorities, the country’s embassy in Japan, and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.
Passengers included children, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, and workers with expired labour contracts or without accommodation.
The Vietnamese Embassy sent staff members to assist the citizens with boarding procedures at the airport.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, disease prevention measures were carried out throughout the flight. The flight crew and all passengers were also given heath examinations upon landing at Da Nang International Airport and then sent to quarantine in line with regulations.
Under the Prime Minister’s direction, domestic authorities and Vietnam’s overseas representative offices are making plans to fly more Vietnamese citizens home, depending on the citizens’ need and the country’s quarantine capacity./.
Thailand can produce tens of millions of doses if COVID-19 vaccine ready
Thailand has reported no new COVID-19 infections in the community for 30 consecutive days as of June 24.
The country’s tally still stands at 3,157 cases, including 3,026 recoveries and 58 fatalities.
Thailand plans to allow the entry of foreigners from next week while all businesses and activities previously suspended to stem the pandemic will be granted the greenlight to resume operation, including entertainment venues and massage parlors.
The Centre of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development at Chulalongkorn University was cooperating with two foreign biotech factories for the production of the candidate mRNA vaccine.
At least three other agencies in Thailand are also conducting tests on possible coronavirus vaccines.
The factories had estimated the price of a vaccine dose at 30 USD, at mass production of 2 million doses, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the centre.
A person would need at least two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine and the primary goal was to give all people access to the vaccine, he said.
Thailand can produce tens of millions of doses in mid-2021, or late 2021, if the vaccine is ready, he said, adding that this would depend on the vaccine passing a human trial expected to start later this year, possibly in October or November.
Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 1,113 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, putting the country’s total infections at 49,009. The dealth toll increased by 38 to 2,573.
In the Philippines, the national tally rose by 470 to 32,295 on June 24, including 8,656 recoveries and 1,204 deaths./.
Laos reports over 2,000 cases, five deaths from dengue fever
Laos has recorded 2,037 cases of dengue fever, including five deaths, since last December, the country’s Ministry of Health said in a press release on June 23.
Accordingly, Vientiane capital city posted the highest number of patients, 448, while Vientiane province 298 and Attapeu province 227.
Facing the dengue fever outbreak, health authorities of Laos have urged the public to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help control the spread of this disease.
The Southeast Asian country is entering the rainy season, which is also the breeding season of the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the main vector that transmits the virus causing dengue fever.
In 2019, Laos reported about 39,000 dengue fever patients with 76 deaths./.
Cambodia announces pandemic relief programme for the poor
Cambodia has launched a programme to give cash handouts to the country’s poorest households to alleviate the financial burden caused by the coronavirus.
At a ceremony to announce the programme on June 24, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the government will spend 25 million USD a month to provide money to 560,000 households identified by an existing programme as the poorest.
He said the cash transfers will be carried out in June and July, and will be extended or expanded in the following months according to economic conditions.
The 560,000 households account for about 2.3 million Cambodians, or about 14 percent of the almost 17 million population.
The programme will provide 20 USD to rural families and 30 USD to urban families because living expenses are higher in cities, Hun Sen said.
The transfers will be supplemented by smaller payments for each family member, and an additional 10 USD for live-in parents over the age of 60 and family members who have HIV infections.
According to the PM, the Cambodian government has spent 125 million USD supporting local people over the past five months and will allocate an additional 100 million USD for infrastructure development and job generation in rural areas.
10,000 masks sent to help Vietnamese in Cyprus fight COVID-19
A total of 10,000 face masks gifted by the government of Vietnam have been recently handed over to Vietnamese expats living in Cyprus by Honourary Consul-General to the European country Georgio Christophides.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Christophides spoke highly of Vietnam’s successful containment of the COVID-19, heightening the country’s global prestige.
Head of the management board of the Vietnamese community in Cyprus Nguyen Duc Manh thanked the government of Vietnam for its attention to Vietnamese people in Cyprus.
He also expressed his appreciation towards the supports given by the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy and Cyprus, saying it has provided information for and protection of the Vietnamese people during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped them become more connected.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy and Cyprus Nguyen Thi Bich Hue took the occasion to send a letter to Vietnamese people here, saying the Party and State have always backed overseas Vietnamese, especially those severely hurt by the pandemic.
She expressed sympathies with them in their struggles and, at the same time, praised how they have overcome hardships and abided by local rules to protect themselves and others.
They have helped spread the Vietnamese tradition of kindness, solidarity and patriotism among the peoples, she wrote./.