Pagodas reopen, but no foreign admissions
|Vesak celebrations were solemnly held across Vietnam last week to mark 2564th birthday of Lord Buddha|
The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) has permitted pagodas and other places of worship to resume normal operation, but only accept local Buddhist followers in the first instance.
The Sangha recommended that Buddhist followers strictly implement coronavirus preventive measures, including wearing face masks and washing hands with soap or disinfectant solution. Religious sites were advised to disinfect their facilities when events with large gatherings are held.
The Sangha asked pagodas and other places of Buddhist worship to temporarily suspend receiving foreign visitors and overseas Vietnamese, especially those who are returning from epidemic-hit countries.
Though the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control in Vietnam, pagodas located along the borders were required to make health declarations with local health authorities.
In addition to normal religious practices, the Sangha encouraged pagodas to actively engage in charity to support those vulnerable to the epidemic.
Eight more patients recover from coronavirus
A further eight COVID-19 patients, including four in Hanoi’s Me Linh district – a coronavirus hotspot in the capital, were released from hospital on May 11 after making a full recovery.
All the discharged patients had been treated at Hanoi’s National Hospital for Tropical Diseases before they were allowed to return to their places of residence.
They had all shown no coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature, a cough or shortness of breath, and several times tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
Four of the patients live in Me Linh district, a coronavirus hotspot in the capital city of Hanoi that had seen a total of 13 local residents contract the deadly virus.
According to regulations, all the discharged patients are required to self-quarantine for 14 days for medical observation to ensure they are coronavirus free.
As of May 11, Vietnam has recorded 288 coronavirus infections, with 249 patients having recovered and been discharged from hospital.
161 Vietnamese nationals repatriated from US negative for COVID-19
CDC staff is taking the returnees' samples for COVID-19 testing (Photo: baothanhhoa.vn)
As many as 161 Vietnamese citizens who had flown to the homeland from the coronavirus hit US have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
The information was confirmed by Luong Ngoc Truong, director of the Centre of Diseases Control (CDC) of Thanh Hoa province which is monitoring the health of the returnees.
The returnees, who are residing, working and studying in the US, landed at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh province on May 9. They are among more than 340 Vietnamese citizens who were repatriated from the US on request.
The 161 returnees were quarantined at a military camp in Thanh Hoa’s Bim Son district as soon as they had completed the immigration procedures according to regulations. They are provided necessities and have their body temperature checked twice every day.
The returnees will be tested for the second time before they complete the compulsory 14-day quarantine period.
No new COVID-19 case reported on May 11 morning
|Doctors at Kim Son district's General Hospital in northern Ninh Binh province bid farewell to a recovered patient.|
No new COVID-19 case was reported in Vietnam on May 11 morning, marking 25 straight days without community transmission in the country, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The country’s tally remains at 288, including 148 imported cases who had been quarantined upon arrival, and 140 infected within the community.
Of the patients, 241 have recovered while the remainder are being treated or under health monitoring at six medical facilities.
Among them, six patients have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 that cases the acute respiratory disease once and 14 negative twice or more. Only 27 patients still test positive for the novel coronavirus.
The British pilot, known as Patient No. 91 who is being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, is still in critical condition.
Doctors from top hospitals in Vietnam held a telemedicine conference on May 10 to discuss a lung transplant for the patient. They proposed moving him to Cho Ray Hospital for intensive care and lung transplant consideration.
As many as 25,361 people are under health monitoring or quarantine, of whom 373 stay at hospitals, 11,181 at other quarantine establishments and 13,807 at home and accommodations./.
Vietnam brings home over 270 citizens from Malaysia
|Vietnamese citizens on Vietnam Airlines' flight|
A flight carrying more than 270 Vietnamese citizens home from Malaysia landed at the Da Nang International Airport on May 10.
The flight was jointly organised by Vietnam’s competent agencies, the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia and the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.
The passengers included those under 18 years old, elderly and sick people, students who did not have accommodations due to dormitory closures, guest workers with visa and work permit expiration, and stranded tourists.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia sent officials to the airport to help the citizens with necessary procedures.
Upon their arrival at the Da Nang airport, the passengers and crew members were kept under quarantine and had medical checks-up in line with regulations.
Following the direction of the Prime Minister, over the past few days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, domestic competent agencies and Vietnamese representative offices abroad have jointly conducted many flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens.
In the coming days, more flights will be arranged to bring back Vietnamese citizens home from other countries depending on the pandemic's developments, quarantine capacity of Vietnamese localities, and demand of Vietnamese citizens living overseas./.
Vietnam joins hands with Italy in combating COVID-19
Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue (R) hands over medical face masks to a representative of the Italian side (Photo: VNA)
Many organisations, businesses and individuals in Vietnam have donated medical supplies to help Italy in the fight against COVID-19, showing the Southeast Asian nation’s solidarity, sharing and responsible international cooperation, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue.
According to the diplomat, the embassy has actively participated in mobilising medical supplies to support the host country in its efforts to contain the disease.
On April 17, more than 100,000 face masks gifted by the Vietnamese Government, along with 23,000 face masks, 500 protective suits and other medical supplies donated by businesses and individuals in Vietnam, were handed over to Italy, one of the European countries hardest hit by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
Previously, the Uni-Italia Association in Vietnam and the Vietnam - Italy Friendship Association also presented 8,500 face masks to the Italian side.
Hue said these valuable medical supplies have been delivered directly to overseas Vietnamese people and students living, studying and working across the European nation; local civil protection agencies in the epidemic-hit centres; and hospitals, nursing homes, police departments in Rome, and other regions.
According to the diplomat, Government and State leaders of Italy, local governments, the Vietnamese community and international friends in the host country all expressed their appreciation of Vietnam's valuable assistance to Italy in the most difficult days in the country’s history since the World War II.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed their thanks to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Government and people of Vietnam for joining hands with Italy in the fight against Covid-19.
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasised that this support affirmed the practical significance of the Vietnam - Italy strategic partnership, adding that Vietnam’s assistance will help Italy come to recovery soon.
Italy currently records the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, after the US and Spain, with 218,268 infections and 30,395 deaths as of May 9./.
Lao Cai takes precautions against COVID-19 for tourists
To ensure safety for tourists in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, Lao Cai province has instructed localities to strictly implement measures to prevent the pandemic from spreading. At the Sun World Fansipan Legend, visitors are required to keep a minimum distance of 2 metres. The number of people allowed on cable cars has also been reduced.
To attract tourists, a promotion is being launched, with discounts of 30-60 percent available at a range of hotels, homestays, tour destinations and travel companies in Sa Pa./.
Workplace initiatives introduced to prevent pandemic
As soon as it became clear that COVID-19 was a serious matter, the business researched and manufactured a portable full-body disinfecting chamber. Designed and implemented by its employees, it is helpful, user-friendly, and cost-effective.
To ensure production while preventing the spread of COVID-19, workers proposed other solutions such as installing mica table partitions, staggering lunch breaks and changing seating arrangements.
Indeed, such initiatives are contributing to stabilizing producton and helping workers feel secure in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic./.
COVID-19: No new cases for 24 days
|A quarantine room is set up in a Hanoi school|
Vietnam recorded no new COVID-19 cases for 24 consecutive days as of 6pm on May 10, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Among the patients, 148 are imported ones. Up to 11,130 who had close contacts with confirmed patients and entered from epidemic-hit areas are being quarantined, including 180 at hospitals, 6,146 at other establishments and 4,804 at homes.
The same day, doctors from Vietnam-Germany Friendship Hospital, Hue Central Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital, the Ho Chi Minh Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation discussed the possibility of lung transplantation for patient No.91.
Another serious case No.19, who is being treated at the Dong Anh-based National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, is recovering.
So far, 241 patients have been discharged from hospitals. The other 47 are being treated at six central and provincial-level medical establishments. Most of them are in stable conditions.
According to the committee, six tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once and 14 others negative above twice.
Malaysia: COVID-19 restrictions extended to June 9
The Malaysian government has decided to extend the travel and business restrictions for four more weeks until June 9 in the context that the Southeast Asian country gradually reopens its economic activities.
In a televised address on May 10, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the decision was made to allow economic activities while keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in the country under control.
The current lockdown was scheduled to May 12. However, Muhyiddin has announced that the movement restrictions need to continue to contain the spread of the disease.
Earlier, on May 4, Malaysia began to ease part of the restrictions imposed from mid-March to prevent the disease.
Malaysia recorded 67 new COVID-19 cases on May 10, lifting the total to 6,656, including 108 deaths.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean Health Ministry confirmed 876 new COVID-19 patients on the same day, raising the total to 23,336. The disease claimed 20 lives in the country.
In the Philippines, the number of COVID-19 infections totaled 10,794 after 184 more cases reported on the same day. In the past 24 hours, the country had 15 more fatalities, bringing its death toll to 719.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian government confirmed 387 new patients and 14 deaths on May 10, bringing the total of infections and deaths to 14,032 and 973, respectively./.
Thailand at risk of increasing COVID-19 infections after loosening lockdowns
A boy wears a protective face shield during his visit to Suan Rod Fai, Thailand (Photo: https://www.bangkokpost.com/)
The Thai Government's COVID-19 pandemic advisory committee has warned that the country must be ready to cope with a possible resurgence in COVID-19 cases if lockdown measures are further eased, as slated for May 17.
Thailand began the first phase of the lockdown easing on May 3, although the ordinance on emergencies and the night curfew order are still valid until late May. The second phase of the four-phase process is expected to start on May 17 if the number of new COVID-19 cases does not increase.
Local media quoted Dr. Charas Suwanwela, chairman of the special committee, saying that the government, businesses and ordinary citizens must be prepared for an uptick in cases that might come after the relaxation of the lockdown, particularly the risk that it might overwhelm the health care system.
The doctor said Thailand has fared relatively well in dealing with the disease, with the death rate standing at 1.8 percent against much higher figures in Europe.
Despite this, he warned that the committee is concerned about reports of a second wave of infections in countries which have eased some of their restrictions.
The Southeast Asian nation has so far reported 3,004 COVID-19 cases, including 56 deaths. The number of cured patients totaled 2,787./.
Indonesia reports highest daily COVID-19 infections
In Jakarta, Indonesia (Photo: Xinhua)
The Indonesian Health Ministry on May 9 confirmed 533 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest daily rise so far, raising the tally to 13,645.
Meanwhile, the total deaths rose to 959 while 2,607 others recovered.
The authorities called on the public to follow regulations to prevent the virus spread.
In Malaysia, 54 new infections were reported, bringing the total to 6,589. One death raised the total fatalities to 108./.
Myanmar military declares ceasefire for COVID-19 fight
Myanmar's military on May 9 declared a nearly 4-month ceasefire period in order to concentrate forces on curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceasefire will be applied to the areas except for those where armed organisations named as terrorists by the government are based, said a statement from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.
The military's ceasefire period is set from May 10 to August 31 this year.
In the statement, the ethnic armed organisations are urged to take accountability and exercise restraint in order to avoid fighting with each other and not to oppress local ethnic people.
According to the statement, the military will take action if there is any violation to the mentioned instructions.
The military pledged to continue taking part in the nationwide prevention, control and treatment of the disease./.
AIIB to offer 1 bln USD loan to Indonesia's COVID-19 response
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will allocate a total of 1 billion USD in loans to help Indonesia in its COVID-19 response.
The first disbursement of the loan will amount to 250 million USD, as part of the co-financing programme with the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to provide a total of 750 million USD in loans.
The AIIB is also planning to offer another 750 million USD in loans for Indonesia to fund its economic relief and social safety net programmes, as part of the co-financing programme with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is committed to providing 1.5 billion USD for the country.
Indonesia, which saw confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge to over 13,000 on May 8, requested the loans to finance its efforts to strengthen hospital readiness, pandemic response and testing capacity.
The AIIB forecast that the Indonesian economy to grow by less than 1 percent this year before recovering in 2021, compared with its initial projection of 6 percent annual growth for Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Meanwhile, credit rating agency Fitch also downgraded Indonesia's GDP growth to 1.3 percent from 2.8 percent this year due to slow economic recovery and prolonging lockdown order./.
Primary schools prepare for students’ return after pandemic
|Teachers at Chu Văn An Primary School in Hà Nội’s Hoàng Mai District clean up before students go back after the long school closure.|
Kindergartens and primary schools in Hà Nội have been preparing for students to return to school on Monday after a three-month absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They have been instructed that following the Ministry of Education and Training’s Document 1583 which said the COVID-19 pandemic had been basically controlled with no new cases in the community, they would not need to conduct student distancing and could use their air conditioners.
Đại Kim Kindergarten in Hoàng Mai District, Hà Nội, has been sterilised 12 times and the teachers have been eager to help out.
Trịnh Thị Thu Hương, the kindergarten’s principal, said that the school had been planning for the children’s return.
“Teachers will check the children’s temperatures at the classroom doors and record them every day. If any student has a high temperature, their parents will be contacted,” she said.
After checking the preparations, Phạm Đàm Thục Hạnh, head of the Hoàng Mai District Department of Education and Training, asked schools to organise training at weekends so that teachers and workers are clear about COVID-19 preventive measures and ready for any scenario.
With nearly 2,000 students, the school has assigned 20 teachers and workers to check their temperatures at the school gates, and work with local police to control traffic to avoid congestion around the school.
Trần Thị Kim Dung, the school’s principal, said students would be allowed to leave school at different times based on where they lived to avoid crowding.
Schools have also been instructed to ensure food quality.
Uy Nỗ Kindergarten in Đông Anh District has invested in equipment and staff to provide lunches for 600 students.
Đỗ Thị Thu Hương, the school’s principal, said all of the equipment were sterilised based on the health sector’s regulations.
Chu Văn An Primary School in Hoàng Mai District, with more than 3,000 students, has also been busy preparing for their return.
It has installed nearly 90 water taps and dozens of notice boards instructing students to wash their hands properly.
Schools in remote areas are also doing their best to welcome students back.
In the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai, teachers have been visiting ethnic Mông students at home to encourage them to go back to school.
Nguyễn Thị Thùy Linh, a teacher at Sín Chéng Boarding School for Ethnic Minority Students, said it was common for teachers to visit students because many of them lived in areas with no mobile network coverage.
LG provides 10,000 sets of COVID-19 test kits for Ministry of Health
LG Electronics Vietnam Company presented 10,000 sets of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits to the Ministry of Health in Hanoi on May 8 as a means of assisting the country in the fight against the global pandemic by helping detect the virus at an early stage.
The kit, which has been named Real - Q 2019_nCoV Detection, utilises the WHO-approved PCR lab technique and is manufactured by Biosewoom of the Republic of Korea (RoK).
The benefits of it are that it can be used immediately without assistance and is extremely accurate.
The move to get hold of the kit comes after it received approval from the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention along with the RoK’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia receive gifts amidst COVID-19
Some 430 gift packages were handed over on May 9 to households of Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia and Khmer people in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh.
The activity formed part of a programme jointly launched by the Vietnamese Embassy and the Khmer-Vietnamese Association (KVA) in Cambodia that aims to help Vietnamese nationals in the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The KVA, the Vietnamese Embassy and Consulates General in Battambang and Preah Sihanouk presented gifts to about 3,000 families of Vietnamese nationals across Cambodia.
KVA President Sim Chy said no COVID-19 cases have been reported among Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia so far.
As of May 9, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country had stood still at 122, of whom 120 have recovered, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Health.