Vietnam goes 42nd straight days without community transmission
Vietnam confirmed no new COVID-19 cases from 18pm on May 27 to 6am on May 28, marking the 42nd consecutive day since April 16 without community transmission.
According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the total infections in the country stand at 327, including 187 imported cases which were quarantined upon their arrival, posing no risk of community infection.
As many as 278 out of 327 patients have recovered as updated on May 28 morning, accounting for 85 percent of the total, and there has been no death.
The 49 remainders are being treated at nine national and provincial medial facilities, with six testing negative once for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the acute respiratory disease, and 17 negative at least twice.
A total of 8,869 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or returned from pandemic-hit areas are under health monitoring, of whom 49 were quarantined at hospitals, 7,008 at other concentrated facilities and 1,812 at home.
The most critically ill COVID-19 patient in Vietnam – a British pilot, known as Patient No. 91, who is being treated at Ho Chi Minh City-based Cho Ray Hospital, is now able to make basic communication with doctors after his dosage of sedatives was reduced on May 27 evening.
His coughing has improved and he can move his fingers and toes, although breathing and limb weakness remain issues, said doctors from the hospitals.
His lung functions have improved though not much./.
Vietnamese citizens return home from RoK
|At the Incheon airport in the Republic of Korea|
Nearly 340 Vietnamese citizens have been brought home from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and quarantined upon arrival.
The Vietnamese Embassy and relevant agencies in the RoK and the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines have worked together to arrange the flight which landed at Da Nang International Airport in the central city on May 27.
The passengers include children, students, the elderly, sick people, labourers whose visas have expired and tourists, people on business trips who were stranded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following orders of the Prime Minister, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport have collaborated with Vietnamese agencies in a number of countries to bring home Vietnamese citizens over the past few weeks.
All returnees and crew members have been quarantined after landing. Those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 have been moved to healthcare facilities.
The Vietnamese agencies located overseas will continue to work with domestic airlines to arrange more flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home, depending on the developments of the pandemic and quarantine capacity of localities./.
Japanese lawmaker values Vietnam’s achievements in fighting COVID-19
|At the reception|
Member of Japan’s House of Representatives Takagi Tsuyoshi spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements in battling the COVID-19 pandemic when hosting a reception for Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam on May 26.
The meeting was held a day after national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines delivered a batch of face masks from the Vietnamese Government to its Japanese counterpart.
As Chairman of the House’s Committee on Rules and Administration, Takagi conveyed an invitation from Speaker of the House of Representatives Oshima Tadamori to Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to visit Japan, as well as his gratitude for relief aid of 20,000 face masks from the Vietnamese legislature.
Discussing the positive results in the fight against COVID-19, especially the Japanese Government's May 25 lifting of state of emergency, he expressed his hope that the two countries will further exchange experience to repel the dangerous disease and emphasised the role of enhanced international cooperation in research into a vaccine.
The Japanese lawmaker also highly valued the development of bilateral relations, particularly parliamentary cooperation, hoping that they will continue to thrive and gain fruitful results in the future.
For his part, the Vietnamese ambassador lauded Japan’s accomplishments in curbing the spread of COVID-19. The Vietnamese Government, NA, and people will always stand side by side with their Japanese friends at times of hardship, he affirmed.
He expressed his belief that the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership will enjoy vigorous development in the time to come and vowed to spare no effort in fostering the friendship and effective cooperation./.
Quang Ngai supports Lao province in COVID-19 fight
The People’s Committee of central Quang Ngai province has provided financial assistance and medical equipment to the southwestern Lao province of Champasak to combat COVID-19, Colonel Bui Ta Tuan, Political Commissar of the provincial Military High Command, said on May 28.
The Command coordinated with the local Department of Health and the Department of External Affairs to present essential medical supplies worth over 400 million VND (17,140 USD) to the provincial Military High Command in Champasak, including electronic thermometers, 6,700 facemasks, 300 sets of protective gear, hundreds of boxes of medical gloves, 300 bottles of hand sanitizer, and chemical spray.
Tuan said the gifts aim to help tighten solidarity, closeness, and mutual understanding between Vietnam and Laos.
Quang Ngai’s Military High Command also handed over 150 million VND donated by soldiers and officers to the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee in support of the fight against COVID-19./.
Vietnam presents gift to South Africa to fight COVID-19
|At the hand-over ceremony|
The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa on May 26 presented a package of food and protective equipment to a representative of Mbizana district, Eastern Cape province – one of the localities hardest hit by COVID-19 in the African nation.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi said the gift reflects the Vietnamese Government and peoples' sentiments to and solidarity with the South African government and people in the fight against the pandemic.
He expressed his belief that under the leadership of the South African government led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, people in South Africa and Mbizana district in particular will overcome difficulties, thus creating conditions for bilateral diplomatic ties.
Governor of Mbizana district Daniswa Mafumbatha, for her part, hailed Vietnam as an example in the fight against COVID-19 and wished that Vietnam would share its experience with the African country.
She said Mbizana has a population about 320,000 people, 70 percent of them are young people and jobless. Therefore, the Vietnam’s gift reflects the continuation of traditional relationship between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the ruling African National Congress.
The South African National Department of Health said as of the end of May 26, the country recorded 24,262 patients infected with SARS-Cov-2, including 524 deaths.
Eastern Cape reported the country's third largest number of infections with 2,864 cases, accounting for 11.8 percent of the total nationwide./.
Six more COVID-19 patients released from hospital, total recoveries at 278
|Six more people infected with the novel coronavirus were given the all-clear on May 27.|
Six more people infected with the novel coronavirus have been given the all-clear, including Patient 19 who was among the most critical patients in Vietnam, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The patients, all Vietnamese nationals, were discharged from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on May 27, bringing the country’s total recoveries to 278. They are all in a stable condition, with no fever, no cough and no shortness of breath.
Patient 19, 64, female, was admitted to the hospital on March 6. The patient was treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) – a heart-lung by-pass machine that pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.
The patient also had three cardiac arrests, so the hospital's doctors and nurses have worked hard to save her life.
Her test results came back negative for the SARS-CoV-2 for three straight times on April 8, 15 and 30.
The remaining patients tested negative for the virus twice.
The six patients will continue to be under quarantine for the next 14 days.
Vietnam reported no new COVID-19 cases on May 27 morning, entering the 41st consecutive day with no community infections.
Of the country’s total 327 infections, 187 imported cases were quarantined upon their arrival, posing no risk of community transmission./.
COVID-19: Thailand produces personal protective equipment suits
The suits are made from polyester fabric with a waterproof coating, and can be washed for reuse up to 20 times. (Source: The Nation)
Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) is coordinating with the Textile Industry Development Institute, and Textile Federation of Thailand to produce 100,000 sets of Level 2 personal protective equipment (PPE) suits.
The suits are made from polyester fabric with a waterproof coating, and can be washed for reuse up to 20 times.
They will be delivered to hospitals in June and July to reduce the cost of importing from abroad and support domestic manufacturers of medical equipment.
Each suit is worth 500 THB (15.67 USD)./.
Singaporean man jailed for spreading COVID-19 fake news
Kenneth Lai Yong Hui who was just jailed for four years over spreading fake news in Singapore (Photo: LIANHE ZAOBAO/Straitstimes)
A Singaporean taxi driver was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment on May 27 for posting a fake message on Facebook about supposed food outlet closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and urging panic buying.
According to the Straits Times and Channel News Asia, the 40-year-old cabby named Kenneth Lai Yong Hui posted a false message in a private Facebook group which had about 7,500 members.
In the message, Lai claimed he had received information that all food courts and coffee shops would close and supermarkets would open only two days a week. He also said people should stock up stuff.
The man deleted his post after 15 minutes, however, Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee, who proposed the sentence, said that his lies could "conceivably result in public alarm and panic buying" and called for a punishment that would deter others.
“The psychological fight to allay fear and hysteria is just as important as the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19,” Lee said in her sentencing submission, according to case documents.
The offence of transmitting a false message in Singapore can result in an imprisonment for up to three years and a maximum fine of 10,000 USD.
The country, which has seen bouts of panic buying during a four-month battle with the virus, has imposed tough punishments on those who breach containment rules or spread misinformation.
Last month, a man who broke quarantine with 30 minutes remaining to buy a flatbread worth a few dollars was fined 1,000 USD. Another man who breached an order to stay home to eat pork rib soup was jailed for six weeks./.
Indonesia: 400,000 workers in footwear industry lose jobs due to COVID-19
Close to 400,000 workers in the Indonesian leather and footwear industry are foreced to stop working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary statistics.
The Indonesian Footwear Producers Association (Aprisindo)'s Chairman Firman Bakri said the country's leather and footwear industry has been seriously affected by the pandemic.
Particularly, since February 2020, the supply of input materials for production has been disrupted because major Chinese suppliers have suspended operations, he said.
Many factories had to temporarily close, while some are still trying to maintain operations but with a capacity of only about 40 percent to complete export orders, he added.
Firman noted that this situation could prolong and the number of workers who have to leave jobs will increase in the coming time./.
Poor households in border region assisted through pandemic
Phu Van is among the most disadvantaged communes in Binh Phuoc’s border district of Bu Gia Map, with 15% of local households rated “poor” and 67% “near-poor”.
One such poor household is that of Thi Y’s family. They have borrowed money from the local bank for social policies to invest in their cashew nut farm and cattle herd. Their efforts seemed to have come to nothing as COVID-19 hit, but they can now breathe easy as the deadline on their loan repayment has been extended.
A similar story is found in many households in Phu Van commune. With repayment deadlines extended, they are now driven to work hard and escape from poverty.
Thanks to timely assistance from local authorities, nearly 300 underprivileged households in Bu Gia Map district that were hit hard by the pandemic can now breathe easy over their repayment deadline.
The COVID-19 situation has been greatly eased due to the efforts of the country in containing the pandemic, and local people in the poor border commune of Phu Van can now focus on earning money and escaping from poverty./.
Cambodia eases ban on sports activities
The Cambodian Government on May 26 decided to relax the ban on sports activities after the COVID-19 situation in the country had shown improvement.
Cambodian Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron said in a statement that sports activities are now allowed to resume, but without spectators.
Besides, officials and athletes have to strictly comply with health recommendations such as there must not be more than 100 people each game, and athletes must not hug or shake hands with one another after scoring a goal. Sports facilities and equipment must also be disinfected before training sessions or competitions.
Cambodia imposed a ban on sports activities in mid-March following a surge of COVID-19 infections. The situation there has improved as only two of the 124 confirmed patients are still under treatment.
Meanwhile, Cambodian businesses are continuing to call on the government to further support the local economy during and after the pandemic, through the implementation of collateral-free working loans and new policies to encourage more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
The calls come after the Cambodian Government announced a plan last week to reduce electricity tariffs for firms in the manufacturing, agriculture, commercial and service sectors from June until October. Companies in these sectors will only be required to pay for the electricity they consume and are expected to save approximately 25 percent off their power bill.
In the Philippines, police in Manila on May 26 did a dry run of measures to enforce social distancing on public transport and control the spread of coronavirus. The exercise aimed to manage hundreds of thousands of people once public transportation eventually resumes after having been closed for nearly 11 weeks.
Spokesman of the light rail transit system Hernando Cabrera said social distancing meant each train will carry only 10 percent of its maximum passenger load, about 160 passengers allowed, making it difficult to managing the flow of people at stations.
Manila capital has practiced social distancing since March 16 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Its administration decided to ease some restrictions on May 16 and is expected to convene a meeting on Mary 27 to decide whether or not those measures should be further relaxed.
Meanwhile, Myanmar's Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population announced on May 26 that it has provided social security benefits to a total of 26,305 workers of factories, workshops and workplaces affected by the restrictions against COVID-19.
As part of a move to contain the spread of COVID-19, all local factories had to close from April 20 to May 15 for mandatory inspections by the ministries concerned.
Myanmar authorities offered employment to over 9,300 local people in regions and states in April, down from over 24,000 in March due to the outbreak, the ministry's figures showed./.
COVID-19 fight continues in Southeast Asia
As of May 27, Laos had reported no new COVID-19 cases in the community for 45 straight days, the country’s national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control told a press conference in the capital Vientiane on May 27.
The country conducted a total of 5,938 tests and identified just 19 cases. Its Ministry of Health revealed on May 27 that two more patients had recovered, bringing the total to 16 of the 19 cases.
The same day, the Philippines confirmed 380 new infections - the highest number in a single day for seven weeks and raising its tally to 15,049.
Ninety-four more patients have been given the all-clear, for a total of 3,506, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Fatalities stand at 904.
Indonesia, meanwhile, reported 686 new cases on May 27, raising its total to 23,851. The country also confirmed 55 new fatalities, for 1,473 in total. Some 6,057 patients have recovered.
Thailand has reported nine new imported cases, all of them Thai citizens returning from overseas and were quarantined upon arrival.
The country’s total number of COVID-19 cases is now 3,054, including 2,931 that have recovered. Fifty-seven people have passed away.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health on May 27 reported 533 new cases, raising its tally to 32,876.
Malaysia’s Health Ministry, meanwhile, reported 15 new infections on the same day, bringing its total to 7,619. Fatalities remain at 115./.