Vietnam presents $50,000 for Myanmar’s COVID-19 fight
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung (R) and Ambassador of Myanmar to Vietnam Kyaw Soe Win at the handover ceremony
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, on behalf of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, symbolically handed over 50,000 USD to the Ambassador of Myanmar to Vietnam Kyaw Soe Win to support the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a ceremony in Hanoi on April 10, Dung said Vietnam and Myanmar are not only both members of ASEAN but also close cooperative partners.
Vietnam’s decision to provide the funds to Myanmar in the context of it also being hit hard by the pandemic demonstrates the close relationship and mutual support between the two countries as well as the solidarity of ASEAN members.
He expressed a hope that the aid will partly help Myanmar overcome this difficult time.
The Deputy FM affirmed that with its role as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021, Vietnam will maintain close coordination with Myanmar and other countries inside and outside of the region to together conquer the global pandemic.
He asked the Myanmar Government to continue creating favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to stabilize their lives and gain access to necessary healthcare services,
Ambassador Kyaw Soe Win said the Vietnamese Government’s support provides great encouragement to Myanmar during this time.
He spoke of Vietnam’s achievements in disease prevention and control and added that its active support for and cooperation with other countries expresses its sense of responsibility as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.
Vietjet Air to operate three special flights for passengers coming out of quarantine
Budget carrier Vietjet Air announced on April 10 it will conduct three additional flights from Hanoi to HCM City, in addition to its regular daily flights, to ferry passengers coming out of quarantine measures introduced to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flights, all coded VJ1121, will depart Hanoi at 5.30pm on April 11 and April 14 and 11.45am on April 12. Passengers must have one of two documents: a certificate showing they have completed their concentrated quarantine period or a certificate affirming they have tested negative for the virus.
For more information, passengers are advised to call Vietjet Air’s hotline 1900 1886, visit its website at www.vietjetair.com, or contact its ticket offices at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi or Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City.
The Ministry of Transport earlier asked the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to impose restrictions on passenger transport around the country for a 15-day period starting from April 1.
Vietnamese airlines are permitted to operate two round-trip flights a day on the Hanoi - HCM City route and one round-trip flight a day on the Hanoi - Da Nang and HCM City - Da Nang routes. All other domestic flights have been suspended.
Over 11 million Vietnamese elderlies vulnerable to COVID-19
Elderly people often develop severe complications after they catch the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease (Photo:giaothong.vn)
Approximately 11.4 million Vietnamese elderly people need to know how to protect themselves from the coronavirus as they are most vulnerable to infection, according to a senior health official.
Elderly people often develop severe complications after they catch the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease (Photo:giaothong.vn)
Assoc. Prof. PhD Luong Ngoc Khue, Director General of the Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, says most of the elderly in Vietnam suffer from many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery, making them susceptible to the coronavirus.
Disease prevention is extremely important for elderly people who have a weakening immune system, therefore they are easily exposed to virus infection and develop severe complications afterwards, says Dr Khue.
Vietnam had recorded 151 coronavirus infections as of April 8, of which nearly 20 cases are either aged over 60 or have underlying illnesses.
To avoid virus infection, Dr Khue suggests the elderly stay indoors, don face masks and keep a 2-metre distance from others when going out, and wash hands with soaps and water as soon as they return home.
Elderly people are also advised to do physical exercises every day, eat healthy, balanced diets, and better control chronic diseases if they have with doctors’ prescriptions.
Vietnamese expat community support Laos in battling COVID-19
Chairman of the General Association of Vietnamese in Laos Nguyen Duy Trung (third from left) presents the aid to Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Duangdy
The Vietnamese community in Laos presented assistance totaling 113.9 million kip (13,000 USD) to Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Duangdy on April 10 to support the country’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
The aid was raised by the General Association of Vietnamese and the Vietnam Business Association for Cooperation and Investment in Laos (Viet-Lao BACI).
At the ceremony to hand over the funds in Vientiane, Chairman of the General Association Nguyen Duy Trung said Vietnamese individuals and entrepreneurs in Laos have kept a close eye on the situation in the country and appreciate the drastic measures taken by the Lao Government to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Deputy PM Somdy Duangdy thanked the General Association and the Viet-Lao BACI for their support.
He asked both to raise awareness among members of preventive measures and compliance with regulations issued by the country’s national committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.
He also spoke of recent support from the Vietnamese Government and people, noting that the Ministry of National Defence has sent medical experts to Laos to exchange experience in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Thai finance ministry mulls handouts for farmers
People line up to see if they have received the government's 5,000-baht cash handout for informal workers in Bangkok's Navamin area. (Photo: bangkokpost.com)
Thailand’s Ministry of Finance met on April 9 to hash out details of a planned cash handout for almost 9 million farmers to inject liquidity into the economy amid the slowdown brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the ministry was still considering the handout amount and downplayed speculation of a subsidy worth 30,000 THB (nearly 1,000 USD) for eligible households.
However, it will be directly transferred to farmers as in the past, he said, adding that the ministry will finalise details as soon as possible.
However, Uttama admitted he did not know whether the handout can be rolled out by the end of the month, saying the proposed handout is only one of several relief measures which will be funded by the government's 1-trillion-THB emergency loan.
Director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Lavaron Sangsnit said the amount may not be equal to the 5,000-THB handout paid to informal workers, as farmers are not considered as directly affected by the pandemic, because it is not growing season at the moment.
Indonesia declares financial assistance amid COVID-19 pandemic
Spraying disinfectant at a public place in Jakarta (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
The Indonesian government on April 9 announced a plan to support locals affected by the disruption of operations in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Speaking at a video press conference, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the government will spend 3.2 trillion rupiah (210 million USD) on purchasing necessary goods to provide for about 1.8 million households in Jakarta urban region (including Jakarta capital and its vicinity) for three months.
A total of 37.2 trillion rupiah will be also distributed to 19 million households living outside Jakarta region, and 360 billion rupiah to about 197,000 drivers of the public transport sector.
In the capital city, social distancing regulations officially took effect from April 9 midnight, and are expected to last for two weeks or more.
Meanwhile, The Thai government on April 10 morning confirmed 50 new cases of COVID-19 and one death, bringing the total in the Southeast Asian nation to 2,473, including 33 deaths.
The day before, the government said 15,000 Thai nationals abroad had registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and were waiting to return home after the country closed its border to contain the spread of pandemic.
According to the spokesperson of the Thai government Thaweesin Visanuyothin, more than 10,000 other Thai citizens are stuck in the Thailand-Malaysia border.
Meanwhile, the country’s Ministry of Interior announced that three more provinces namely Chiang Rai, Trang and Krabi have placed travel restrictions from April 9-30.
An Giang Province hospital starts doing COVID-19 tests
|An Giang Central General Hospital in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang has received approval to conduct tests for COVID-19.|
The Ministry of Health has permitted the An Giang Central General Hospital to conduct tests to diagnose COVID-19.
The hospital’s molecular biology laboratory can do quick tests on blood samples and respiratory tract specimens using the real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique to identify the virus.
The technique reduces the time required to produce results, and saves the hospital the trouble of sending samples to the HCM City Pasteur Institute for testing.
It takes less than three and a half hours, and the hospital can do 400 tests in a day.
Knowing the importance of this technique for timely quarantining, the province People’s Committee instructed the hospital to instal a RT-PCR system.
The system also helps diagnose hepatitis B and C and HIV.
It was installed in the molecular biology laboratory and meets biosafety level 2, which covers work with pathogenic and infectious organisms that pose a moderate hazard. Self-closing lockable doors and bio-hazard warning signs are mandatory at all access points to the lab.
There are four levels of bio-safety.
The HCM City Pasteur Institute trained the hospital staff in conducting SARS-CoV-2 tests.
The hospital also installed an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine which adds oxygen to patients’ blood and pumps it through their body just like the heart. It is an advanced technique in emergency aid and recovery for patients with severe respiratory failure who are unable to use the ventilator.
As of April 9, An Giang has had three COVID-19 patients, one of whom has been discharged from hospital. The other two are being treated.
The provincial-level police have been assigned to work with police departments in communes and towns to visit each household, especially those with people who had to be in quarantine, and inquire about their health status.
They also collaborate with border guards to patrol the border with Cambodia, which has seen a rise in COVID-19 incidence.
As of April 8, the country had more than 30 facilities that can do quick tests using RT-PCR for COVID-19.
Railway companies suspend tickets to Quảng Nam Province
A worker disinfects a carriage on the Reunification route connecting Hà Nội and HCM City.
The railway sector has decided to suspend tickets from Hà Nội and HCM City to Quảng Nam Province, according to the Hà Nội Railway Transport Joint Stock Company.
The decision was made in response to a request from Quảng Nam authorities.
On Monday, provincial leaders sent a document to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) asking for trains from Hà Nội and HCM City to the province to be cancelled to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
People who had bought tickets to Tam Kỳ Station (Quảng Nam Province) before Thursday or taken a train from Tam Kỳ Station to other localities would not affected by the suspension, the company said.
In accordance with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc Directive No 16 on social distancing throughout Việt Nam for 15 days, the operations of all trans-provincial passenger trains have been halted.
The Reunification route connecting Hà Nội and HCM City continues to operate with two trips per day.
Two COVID-19 patients in Binh Thuan receive discharge from hospital
The final two novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Binh Thuan province were released from hospital on April 10 after completing nearly one month of treatment, according to Binh Thuan General Hospital.
The pair became the country’s 36th and 44th COVID-19 cases when they were admitted to hospital on March 11 and March 12. Of the two, it was the nation’s 36th patient who experienced a lengthy treatment procedure due to his age and underlying health conditions related to the lungs.
Since recovering from the epidemic, both patients have subsequently gone on to test negative for the virus three times, whilst showing no further signs of symptoms such as a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath.
Upon being discharged from the hospital, both cases are required to undergo strict surveillance for the following 14 days.
As of the morning of April 10, there has been 255 COVID-19 cases recorded nationwide, with 130 patients going on to make a full recovery and being released from hospital.
Sixteen COVID-19 patients recover across country, total at 144
British and a Vietnamese patients are discharged from the Củ Chi field hospital in HCM City on Friday morning. — Photo courtesy of the hospital
The Ministry of Health has announced a further 16 COVID-19 patients, including 12 Vietnamese and four foreigners, have recovered and been discharged from six treatment facilities across the country on Friday, lifting the country’s total recoveries to 144.
Nine patients, including three foreigners and six Vietnamese, were treated at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases. They are: Patient 25 (female, 50, British); Patient 86 (female, 54, Vietnamese); Patient 94 (female, 64, Vietnamese); Patient 148 (male, 58, French); Patient 194 (female, 42, Vietnamese); Patient 202 (female, 57, Vietnamese); Patient 205 (male, 37, Vietnamese); Patient 237 (male, 64, Swedish); Patient 249 (male, 55, Vietnamese).
At Bắc Ninh General Hospital, Patient 74 (male, 23, Vietnamese) has also recovered after being admitted on March 18.
During the course of treatment, the patient tested negative three times for SARS-CoV-2 on April 01, 5 and 8.
At the HCM City Children's Hospital, Patient 204 (male, 10, Vietnamese) was hospitalised on March 18. During treatment, the patient tested negative three times for SARS-CoV-2.
Patient 135 has also recovered at Đà Nẵng Hospital. The female patient, 27, Vietnamese, was admitted on March 25. She also tested negative three times for SARS-CoV-2.
At Bình Thuận General Hospital, Patient 36 (female, 64, Vietnamese) and Patient 44 (male, 11, Vietnamese) were both admitted to the hospital on March 11. During treatment, they tested negative three times for SARS-CoV-2.
At the Củ Chi field hospital in HCM City, Patient 157 (female, 31, British) was admitted to hospital on March 26, and Patient 171 (female, 19, Vietnamese) was admitted on March 28. Both have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 three times.
All 16 patients will continue to be isolated and monitored for the next 14 days.
As of this morning, the Ministry of Health had confirmed 255 COVID-19 patients and no fatalities in Việt Nam.
Vietnam plans to build more makeshift hospitals
Makeshift hospitals with 300 to 1,000 beds will be built if the Covid-19 situation worsens.
The statement was made by deputy Minister of Construction Le Quang Hung during a meeting about building makeshift hospitals on April 9. Hung has assigned the National Institute of Architecture and State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection and Vietnam National Construction Consultants Corporation to oversee the construction quality.
Agencies were asked to research options for multiple hospitals, from setting up field hospitals to converting existing constructions like stadiums into makeshift hospitals. Experienced and reputable units will be asked to prepare everything to carry out the work immediately if the order is out.
Do Thanh Tung, head of the National Institute of Architecture, said examples from the fields hospitals in China, the UK and Russia built during the pandemic showed that there were key requirements that must be met. It must have a suitable location that is far away from residential areas but still connected to transport networks, food sources, electricity, water and good drainage. It must also have enough beds and required equipment. Speed of construction must be quick and environmentally-friendly.
National Institute of Architecture and State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection and Vietnam National Construction Consultants Corporation had discussed and built several plans for hospitals at different scales. Some with 300-500 beds and others with 800-1,000 beds.
Deputy Minister of Construction Le Quang Hung urged the agencies to quickly roll out detailed plans and criteria. He suggested that stadiums or abandoned land can be used.
Department of Technical Infrastructure and Department of Planning and Finance was tasked to set up a list of contractors providing materials and equipment across Vietnam, especially in Hanoi and HCM City.
The Department of Construction Economics will work with other units to research on costs and specific mechanisms for the contractors to save budget and speed up the construction.
V.League 1 champions Hanoi FC donate VND2 billion to COVID-19 fight
Reigning V.League 1 champions Hanoi FC on April 9 donated an array of essential goods and cash totaling approximately VND2 billion to the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) to support the country’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
Hanoi FC donate an array of essential goods and cash totaling approximately VND2 billion to the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) to support the country for COVID-19 combat.
The donation is largely made up of contributions given by the club’s footballers.
T&T sport joint stock company, the owners of Hanoi FC, expect that the donation to the VFF will enable both medical workers and soldiers on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle to get the essential goods they need.
Speaking about the donation, footballer Pham Thanh Luong expressed hope the items will serve as a great source of encouragement for people fighting the epidemic.
On behalf of Hanoi FC’s footballers, midfielder Do Hung Dung sent the team’s sincere thanks to all doctors, nurses, and soldiers nationwide who are working tirelessly to overcome tremendous difficulties and cure COVID-19 patients.
He added that if the community works in solidarity, all citizens will be able to return to their normal lives soon.
The donation comes after Hanoi FC offered VND1 billion to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on March 31, in addition to a further VND500 million to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology as part of their contribution to help contain the COVID-19 epidemic.
Da Nang supports poor residents, workers amid COVID-19
Local authorities present aid to a senior citizen in Da Nang's Hai Chau district
The central city of Da Nang has taken various measures to support the vulnerable amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, as of the end of March, nearly 58,000 people in Da Nang had lost their jobs or been told to take unpaid leave. There are over 16,360 poor and 19,500 near-poor households in the city.
The city has 38,260 people who receive monthly social allowances and 19,500 beneficiaries of allowances based on their contribution to the national revolutionary cause.
Deputy Director of the Department Nguyen Van An said the city has offered aid to 4,632 poor families at a cost of 2 billion VND (85,650 USD) sourced from the fund for the poor.
Da Nang is also mapping out plans to further support families, businesses and workers affected by the disease, he added.
Head of the Da Nang Federation of Labour Nguyen Duy Minh said that the organisation recently offered relief aid worth 1 million VND each to 500 members who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, including staff at kindergartens and travel agencies.
Many organisations and individuals have prepared thousands of meals free of charge for the disadvantaged in the city.
At the same time, local people are being urged to follow preventive measures in a broad effort to stop the spread of the disease.
COVID-19: lack of vigilance remains in HCM City
Thi Nghe market in Ben Thanh district, HCM City, still remains crowed. (Photo: thanhnien.vn)
Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem on April 9 pointed out that some units and people are failing to remain vigilant during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCM City has reported no new COVID-19 cases for six consecutive days, from April 4-9, which has led to complacency, he said at a meeting of the city’s Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Given this, Liem ordered districts to continue observing the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 16/CT-TTg on social distancing, especially in crowded places like supermarkets and industrial and processing zones.
Competent authorities need to continue testing people who arrived in Vietnam after March 8 but have yet to be quarantined, while continuing medical quarantine for passengers at the domestic airport terminal and Saigon railway station, he said.
According to the official, HCM City is also inspecting the operation of production facilities, factories and industrial and processing zones to deal with those that do not follow safety regulations.
In this regard, Secretary of the municipal Party’s Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said on April 8 businesses that failed to ensure complete safety must be closed down.
As of April 9 afternoon, the southern metropolis had confirmed 54 COVID-19 cases, of whom 37 have been discharged from hospital after making a complete recovery, while the remainder are being treated in stable conditions.
A total of 650 people are being monitored at concentrated quarantine areas and 1,114 are under self-quarantine at home.
Private clinics to be permitted to conduct COVID-19 tests
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 9 agreed in-principle to allow private medical centres to perform COVID-19 diagnostic testing following a proposal made by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health.
He also assigned the Ministry of Health to cooperate with the ministries of Finance and Justice as well as relevant authorities to promptly prepare legal documents permitting placing orders for testing services at private facilities which will be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.
The move is expected to boost Vietnam’s capacity for COVID-19 testing.
As of April 10, Vietnam has reported 255 confirmed cases, including 128 recoveries and no fatalities.
Last month, the Ministry of Health announced a list of 22 state-run healthcare facilities qualified to conduct quick tests on blood samples and respiratory tract specimens to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
The list includes not only national-level hospitals such as the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Pasteur Institutes in HCM City and Nha Trang, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bach Mai Hospital and Cho Ray Hospital, but also provincial-level hospitals and centres for disease control and prevention.
One more Hanoi hospital quarantined due to Covid-19
Hanoi Kidney Hospital has been isolated after a patient tested positive for Covid-19.
On Thursday evening, Vietnam confirmed four more Covid-19 cases, raising the country’s total patient number to 255. Among those, the 254th case was a 51-year-old man who is undergoing hemodialysis at Hanoi Kidney Hospital.
Earlier, the man also a resident of Ha Loi Village in Hanoi's Me Linh District and a neighbour of Patient 243 and another infected woman, had close contact with both of them.
The Hanoi Department of Health and Hanoi Kidney Hospital quickly identified all medical staff and patients who had contact with Patient 254.
According to the initial statistics, 45 people in total had direct contact with the patient, including 17 people who are being provided with hemodialysis and 28 medical staff of the hospital.
Many other patients, their relatives and medical staff had contact with these initial 45.
The Hanoi Department of Health said the related people are waiting for test results. In tested negative for the virus, they will still be quarantined for 14 days to ensure safety.
The hospital is being sterilised.
Ha Loi Village has patients 243, 250, 253 and 254. The locality with more than 11,000 people has been isolated.
Some hospitals in Hanoi have been affected by the pandemic, including Hong Ngoc General Hospital, Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital and Hanoi French Hospital.
Bac Giang people banned from Covid-19-affected localities
Authorities in the northern province of Bac Giang have ordered local residents to avoid Covid-19-hit localities, including Hanoi and HCM City. The provincial steering board on Covid-19 prevention and control has issued a directive on virus prevention.
According to the directive, quarantine time for people who visited Bach Mai Hospital for any reason has been raised to 28 days, instead of 14 days, starting from the day they returned the province.
People who finished the quarantine after coming back from abroad will have to continue the 14-day isolation at their home. During this time, they will have their temperatures taken by local medical staff twice per day.
From April 9, all residents in Bac Giang are banned from going to Covid-19-affected localities, including Hanoi and HCM City unless for public services. In special cases, people have to be agreed by the provincial steering board. After returning, they will be sent to a concentrated quarantine area for 14 days.
People from Covid-19-affected areas come to work at firms at local industrial parks have to fill in a health report and test for Covid-19. If the result is negative, they will be allowed by the local industrial park management board to travel between their accommodation to their workplace. They will have the second Covid-19 test in the next 7-10 days. The test fees will be paid by individuals or their firms.
Meanwhile, those coming to Bac Giang for public duties need to contact the provincial steering board on Covid-19 prevention and control to be instructed with the virus prevention and control regulations.
Any violators will be strictly fined.
No new COVID-19 cases reported on April 10 morning
|People wave when they prepare to leave a concentrated quarantine centre in Ho Chi Minh City after finishing the 14-day quarantine period|
There were no new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection reported in Vietnam overnight, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said on April 10 morning.
That means the total amount of people with the coronavirus remains at 255 since late April 9, with 128 having made full recovery.
Of those with the disease, 158 or 62.2 percent are imported cases, and 97 others contracted the virus from other patients in the country.
It is expected that 14 more people will be given the all-clear on April 10, comprising 10 at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2 in Hanoi, one at the General Hospital of Bac Ninh province, one at the Da Nang Hospital in the central city, and two others at the General Hospital of Binh Thuan province.
The committee also noted that 17 cases have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once while 18 others twice.
HCM City maps out plans for possible rise in COVID-19 cases
People under quarantine at HCM City National University’s dormitory, one of the largest quarantine facilities in the city, return home after completing their mandatory quarantine period (Photo: plo.vn)
Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health has devised plans for a variety of scenarios if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city rises to 50-500.
According to the Department of Health, if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases to 500, there could be 150 cases with severe health conditions requiring intensive care.
If there are 50-500 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the number of suspected cases could reach 740-3,200, said the department.
The city will prepare 840 beds for treatment and 30 beds for intensive care at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Cu Chi acute respiratory disease treatment hospital, Can Gio hospital for COVID-19 treatment, HCM City Children Hospital and Children Hospital No. 2 for the scenario which envisions 50-100 confirmed cases.
It will prepare 1,400 beds for treatment and 60 beds for intensive care at the five hospitals for the scenario of 100-200 confirmed cases.
If there are 200-300 confirmed cases, it will prepare 2,500 beds for treatment and 90 beds for intensive care at the five above-said hospitals and another COVID-19 treatment hospital in the city’s district 9.
If there are 500 confirmed cases, the city will prepare 3,700 beds for treatment and 150 beds for intensive care at the six hospitals and existing quarantine areas at hospitals in the city.
The department has also planned to arrange for an appropriate number of beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients at hospitals, and for allocation of essential medical equipment for treatment of COVID-19 patients as well as doctors and nurses needed to treat the 500 confirmed cases under this scenario.
It is estimated that a total of 548 doctors and 1,246 nurses would be needed to provide treatment and care for 500 patients with COVID-19.
Personal protective equipment for health officials, drugs, chemicals and infection prevention control measures, among others, have been evaluated for various preparedness and response plans, according to the department.
As of 18:00 on April 9, HCM City had reported 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of whom 37 patients have fully recovered.
Doctors, patients quarantined due to 254th COVID-19 patient
Authorised agencies' staff sprays disinfectants in Hạ Lôi Village, Mê Linh District on Tuesday.
A total of 28 medical workers and 17 patients of the Hà Nội Kidney Hospital have been quarantined since Thursday after they were found to have had contact with Viet Nam's 254th COVID-19 patient.
The 254th patient is a 51-year-old Vietnamese man from Hà Nội’s Mê Linh District, who is a neighbour of the 243rd and 250th patients. He receives dialysis treatment at the Hà Nội Kidney Hospital.
The patient’s sample was taken on Thursday morning and was found to be positive with the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the same day.
The hospital has since been disinfected.
More community infections of COVID-19 predicted in coming days
A soldier sterilises a motobike leaving from Hạ Lôi Ward on Thursday.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Thursday called for strict social distancing as some people have begun leaving their homes, especially in Hà Nội and HCM City.
The Government predicted more community infections over the next few days which are related to cases with complicated travelling histories as well as zoned outbreaks at Bạch Mai Hospital in Hà Nội and Buddha Bar in HCM City.
To keep the virus at bay, people are being urged to stay at home to help prevent community transmission.
As of Thursday afternoon, Việt Nam confirmed four new COVID-19 cases, taking the total to 255.
Two of these patients came into close contact with the 243rd patient, a 47-year-old Vietnamese man from Mê Linh Commune, Mê Linh District in Hà Nội who took his wife to Bạch Mai Hospital for a health examination on March 12 and returned home the same day.
COVID-19 steering committee member Trần Đắc Phu, a former head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, on Wednesday said that in this case, the source of infection remained unclear as his test results showed he had just recently contracted the virus. Meanwhile, the patient was reported to have visited different places before testing positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Responding to the case, the national steering committee on COVID-19 control and prevention has traced and monitored 456 people who came in contact with the patient with 331 of them currently kept in isolation, taken 90 blood samples and quarantined the entire area of Mê Linh District's Hạ Lôi Ward where the patient lives along with 457 households and 1,825 residents
In the first week of social distance order, from April 1 to 7, 31 new infections were confirmed in Việt Nam, including 22 patients who tested positive to the virus while being quarantined, accounting for 71 per cent. The number of new cases reduced by 58 per cent compared to the previous week from March 25 to 31, showing the efficiency of social distancing and centralised quarantining measures in preventing further spreading of the disease.
The Ministry of Health is also collaborating with the Ministry of Information and Communications and IT companies to pilot the online health consultation service at appointed hospitals from April 16 and implement it nationwide from April 18.
Two patients treated at Cần Giờ COVID-19 Treatment Hospital in HCM City were given the all clear on Thursday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 128.
Health facilities adopt strict screening process to prevent spread of COVID-19
The HCM City University Medical Centre sets up a special area with four examination rooms where people who are suspected of having COVID-19 are questioned and tested. Photo courtesy of the hospital
Health facilities in HCM City have adopted a strict screening process for patients, relatives and visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At the entrance of the HCM City University Medical Centre, visitors have their temperature taken, are instructed to wash their hands with antibacterial hand sanitizer, and fill out electronic medical declarations.
They are also required to maintain a 2-metre distance from others.
The hospital has set up a special area with four examination rooms where people who are suspected of having COVID-19 are questioned and tested.
Hospital staff at the examination rooms are well trained and equipped with personal protective equipment.
“The strict screening procedures are vital to keep health facilities safe from the virus and protect health officials and patients at the hospital,” said Âu Thanh Tùng, head of the hospital’s general planning department.
Nguyễn Tri Phương Hospital in HCM City’s District 5 has placed an electronic information system at its entrance gate to help patients and visitors fill out electronic medical declarations.
The action follows an instruction from the Ministry of Health to strengthen preventive measures at hospitals.
All patients, relatives and visitors who come to the hospital for medical examination and treatment are required to register in the system and fill out personal information and make a medical declaration. Epidemiological factors and symptoms of acute respiratory infection are also recorded.
The hospital receives an average of 10,000 patients, relatives and visitors every day.
Trịnh Đình Thắng, deputy director of Trưng Vương Hospital, said the screening procedures for all people coming in and out of the hospital are being strictly implemented to prevent the spread of virus at the hospital.
It has set up three rooms in a separate isolation area at the hospital to temporarily isolate people with high risk factors that indicate Covid-19 infection, Thắng said.
The hospital's main gate is open, but all other gates have been closed to limit the flow of visitors, he said.
More citizens complete 14-day quarantine
People leave the quaratine facility of the Military Unit 855 in Ninh Bình Province.
More than 100 Vietnamese nationals in the southern province of Hậu Giang were released from COVID-19 quarantine today.
The 134 returnees from the Philippines received certificates of quarantine completion from the provincial Steering Committee for COVID-19 Control.
The people stayed in quarantine facilities in the Military Training Centre in Hoà An Commune of Phụng Hiệp District, and Vị Thanh Law College in Vị Trung Commune of Vị Thuỷ District.
The citizens, who returned to Việt Nam from the Philippines’ Cebu Island on March 24 via Vietnam Airlines carrier to Cần Thơ Airport, were taken into quarantine upon landing.
As of Wednesday, the citizens had all tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus twice.
The provincial authority have arranged transportation to bring people home. The two facilities have subsequently been disinfected and ready to welcome new batches of people.
According to the committee, there had been 5,118 people taken to quarantine facilities in Hậu Giang Province, of which 3,584 have completed their 14-day isolation as of today.
In the northern province of Ninh Bình, more than 1,000 people have completed their 14-day COVID-19 quarantine period in military facilities this week.
Air Defence Brigade 241 released 205 citizens, while the provincial Military Academy discharged 644 and Military Unit 855 released 184 people.
During the quarantine, the citizens tested negative several times and all are healthy and are allowed to go home.
Colonel Doãn Hoàng Giang, deputy commander of Military Command of Ninh Bình Province said: “During the quarantine time, all citizens had been given medical care, daily health check and provided sufficient accommodation.”
“The citizens strictly abided by the rules and regulations in the quarantine areas in accordance with instructions of the Ministry of Health,” Giang said.
Upon the completion of their isolation, the citizens expressed gratitude to the staff and soldiers in the quarantine facilities for taking care of them.
Nguyễn Trung Nam, a resident of Hà Nội, who finished the isolation period in the Military Unit 855, said he was very impressed and moved by the thoughtfulness, affection and responsibility of the staff and soldiers there.
The released people were advised to notify their local authorities after returning from the quarantine facilities and comply with health monitoring and follow the Ministry of Health’s recommendations.
“I will continue to watch my health condition by myself and with the local health workers to contribute to national efforts to contain the disease in the community,” said Nam.
Vietnamese associations in RoK donate 3,000 face masks for COVID-19 fight
Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu (R) receives a representative from the VKBIA
The Vietnam-Korea Businessmen and Investment Association (VKBIA) and the Vietnam - Korea Experts and Intellectuals Association (VKEIA) on April 9 presented 3,000 face masks to the Vietnamese community in the Republic of Korea (RoK) to help them effectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu thanked the organisations for their assistance, stressing that it is a valuable contribution to overseas Vietnamese nationals living, working and studying in the RoK amid the disease.
He said the embassy, through the Vietnamese Association in the RoK, will swiftly hand over the gifts to those most affected by the pandemic.
According to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), two Vietnamese expats in the Asian nation have been infected with COVID-19.
UK newspaper highlights Vietnamese posters in fight against COVID-19
The poster by artist Le Duc Hiep
The Guardian newspaper in the UK on April 9 ran an article titled “‘In a war, we draw’: Vietnam’s artists join fight against COVID-19”, featuring posters and stamps by Vietnamese artists calling for public support to fight the pandemic.
According to the article, Vietnam has kept confirmed cases low through quarantining, contact tracing, testing and dissemination.
It published a poster by artist Le Duc Hiep featuring a masked health worker standing valiant like a soldier, flanked by a bold slogan proclaiming that “to stay at home is to love your country”.
The poster reflects the war-time spirit many in the country are invoking as they try to contain the virus, the article said.
The article also features a poster by artist Luu Yen The that calls on people to wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, and a collection of stamps by painter Pham Ha Trung sending a clear message of solidarity in the fight against the pandemic.
"Such messaging, along with early action and contact tracing, have helped the nation avoid the levels of suffering seen in Europe", the article said.
Indonesia to expand mass testing for COVID-19
People wear face masks in Jakarta, Indonesia
The Indonesian government is ramping up efforts to carry out mass, rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing amid concerns the world’s fourth-most populous nation lags behind other nations in testing people for COVID-19.
The country’s Health Ministry recently issued a circular allowing public hospital laboratories, public and private clinical laboratories, as well as state-owned virology laboratories and university research laboratories to conduct PCR testing as long as they meet level-two biosafety (BSL-2) standards for testing SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19, and have the necessary equipment and facilities.
The decision came after Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on the Health Ministry and the COVID-19 task force to improve and accelerate PCR testing, which scientists say is crucial in the battle against the deadly pandemic.
According to pandemic data site Worldometer, Indonesia is ranked among the lowest in COVID-19 testing with only 52 tests for every million people as of April 8. By comparison, among neighbouring countries, Singapore has tested 11,110 for every million people, Malaysia 1,717 and Thailand 1,030.
As of April 8, Indonesia had only tested 14,571 people using the PCR method.
Indonesian government’s spokesperson for COVID-19 affairs Achmad Yurianto said that the country’s labs had the capacity to test more than 500 a day and the figure is expected to increase in the next few days.
In addition to relaxing the regulations on testing, Indonesia has imported two automatic RNA extractors and 18 PCR detectors, which will be distributed to 12 provinces.
The machines could boost the country’s testing capacity to between 5,000 to 10,000 tests per day, reaching as many as 300,000 tests within a month.The Health Ministry said that the country currently had only 200,000 reagents for the labs.
MoMo users walk to donate for the battle with COVID-19 pandemic
MoMo e-wallet has worked with the Central Committee of the Fatherland Front and the Hà Nội Medical University to launch the campaign 'The great little things' to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm has organised online activities for its users to join in to boost their health, spread optimism and donate to fight against the coronavirus.
The wallet’s users can improve their health by turning on the 'Walk with MoMo' feature. With 4,000 steps, equivalent to about 3km a day, users will receive a badge and a food item on MoMo.
The badge can be exchanged for a golden pig while the food item is used to raise a normal pig into a golden pig. Golden pigs can be exchanged for cash to donate to the students of Hà Nội Medical University who are helping fight the pandemic.
By late March, more than 120 students of the university had volunteered to help in the city’s quarantine areas by helping people brought there to fill in health declarations and more. Some of the students have since been quarantined.
For every 6.5 million gold pigs, a VNĐ1 billion (US$42,421) cash donation will be made.
"The donation will be more if the users walk more steps", said the company's director Lê Bá Diệp.
As part of the campaign, MoMo also added a feature to allow users to donate directly to the Central Committee of the Fatherland Front and the Hà Nội Medical University, as well as a section to help fill in a voluntary medical declaration.
The campaign has so far recorded VNĐ240 million of donations and 349,000 golden pigs since launching on Wednesday.
Currently, MoMo has more than 13 million customers and a growth rate of 15 per cent in monthly transaction volume and user base.
Four more COVID-19 cases reported in Vietnam, total at 255
A local resident in northern Ha Nam province has his temperature taken at a checkpoint set up by the provincial military, public security and health forces after the 251st patient was confirmed.
Vietnam reported four more cases of COVID-19 as of 6pm on April 9, raising the total number in the country to 255.
The tally included 158 foreign patients, making up 62.2 percent. Of the four new cases, two had been in contact with patient 243, and two are Vietnamese nationals returning from overseas.
The 252nd patient is a six-year-old Vietnamese boy in Ho Chi Minh City. He lived in Cambodia with his family of five, two of whom had been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and are now under quarantine in Cambodia.
He returned to Vietnam with the two other family members through the Moc Bai International Border Gate in the southern province of Tay Ninh on April 8. He was put under quarantine in Tay Ninh’s General Hospital upon arrival. His two other family members have tested negative.
Patient 253 is a 41-year-old woman from Hanoi’s Me Linh district, who is the sister-in-law of the 243rd patient. She is now being quarantined and treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No.2.
The 254th patient is a 51-year-old man from Hanoi’s Me Linh district, who is a neighbour of the 243rd and 250th patients. He is currently undergoing dialysis therapy at the Hanoi Kidney Hospital and is under quarantine here.
The 255th patient is a 29-year-old Vietnamese man from Bac Quang district, the northern province of Ha Giang. He returned from Russia on March 27 via Noi Bai International Airport on flight SU290. He was put under quarantine in the northern province of Vinh Phuc upon arrival. He is now being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No.2.
Also on April 9, two more COVID-19 patients have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries in Vietnam to 128, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Two more COVID-19 patients declared fully recovered, total at 128
Both are Vietnamese. They were discharged from the Can Gio Hospital for COVID-19 Treatment on April 9 morning.
Both tested negative for the virus two days in a row on April 5 and 6 and will continue to be quarantined and monitored for the next 14 days after being discharged.
As of April 9 afternoon, Vietnam had confirmed 255 COVID-19 patients with no fatality so far.
Of the four latest cases, case 253 and case 254 had close contacts with case 243 in Me Linh district, Hanoi.
International press highlights Vietnam's success in combating COVID-19
Vietnamese health workers take care of COVID-19 patient
Vietnam's measures against COVID-19 have been applauded by the international media as prompt, drastic and supported by people nationwide.
Workers.org page of the US Workers World Party (WWP) on April 8 posted an article titled “How Vietnam contained the pandemic” saying that the coronavirus pandemic has started to reveal stark differences in the emergency responses of countries all over the globe.
It said Vietnam is among less developed countries which has mounted a highly successful response, perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world.
The article cited that by April 6, Vietnam, with a population of nearly 100 million people, had just 245 confirmed cases and zero deaths.
Vietnam’s University of Science and Technology has developed a fast and affordable test kit that costs about 15 USD and returns results within an hour.
Now 20 countries around the world are seeking to order tens of thousands of them, according to the article.
Vietnam has also focused on effective, nonpharmaceutical methods to contain the virus, it said, adding that on February 1, the country suspended flights to China and decided to close schools after the Lunar New Year break.
It then instituted a 21-day quarantine of Vinh Phuc province north of Hanoi, where a large number of residents had returned from Wuhan, China, the initial epicenter of the outbreak. It has since mandated 14-day quarantines for everyone arriving in the country and cancelled all foreign flights.
Quarantine centers have been set up on the edges of cities providing 100 percent of the medical care, food and shelter for those in quarantine, including foreign visitors, the article reported.
The US website also quoted a British citizen at a quarantine centre in Son Tay as saying “Suddenly it all becomes very human, we’re guests in a country doing their best to protect themselves and are extending us that courtesy. Such is the good nature of Vietnam.”
It also quoted a WWP member who travelled in Vietnam from March 5 to 17 as reporting that screenings in the airports were much more thorough and stringent than in the US. Hand sanitizer was almost everywhere, even in rural areas. People were “chipper” about following the measures set out by the government to contain the virus.
Vietnam has also used social media and information technology to combat the spread of the virus. Almost 90 percent of the people have either a smartphone or a mobile phone.
The government uses an app and other channels to swiftly alert the public to new cases and areas with potential transmission, to help people get tested and to provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information on best practices to reduce exposure, according to the article.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health produced a catchy music video to inform people of proper handwashing techniques and other measures to reduce transmission, it said.
The article concluded that Vietnam sets an example for both developing and wealthy countries fighting COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Project Syndicate, a website based in the Czech Republic, on April 8 carried a story titled “Vietnam’s Low Cost COVID 19 Strategy” praising Vietnam for managing the crisis so well that it avoided becoming a hotspot.
The article said Vietnam’s first cases were recorded on January 23, and the situation appeared to be under control until an additional wave of cases fueled by foreign tourists and returning travelers and students.
“Perhaps most remarkably, unlike the Republic of Korea, which has spent considerable funds on aggressive testing, or Singapore, which has established strong epidemiological surveillance, Vietnam has followed a budget-friendly approach that has proven equally effective”, it said.
Despite expectations of high rates of transmission, owing to a shared border with China and the high volume of bilateral trade, Vietnam has recorded only one-fifth the number of infections that much-lauded Singapore has, with no reported deaths to date, it added.
Vietnam’s initial success in slowing the rate of infection was attributed to the authorities’ focus on communication and public education through technology platforms and systematic tracing of pathogen carriers, according to the article.
With 65 percent of Vietnam’s 96 million people online, official news outlets and social media channels (60 percent are on Facebook) successfully shared information about the novel coronavirus.
“In an age when it is difficult to track and stop the spread of mis-/disinformation, understanding the threat, particularly its contagion rate, has been key to citizens’ willingness to cooperate, whether through social distancing or self-isolation.”
Vietnam’s experience demonstrates how, by focusing on early risk assessment, effective communication, and government-citizen cooperation, an under-resourced country with a precarious health-care system can manage the pandemic, the article concluded.
Seven Vietnamese citizens stranded at Thai airport brought home
The seven Vietnamese citizens are brought home thanks to the efforts and close coordination of many domestic and foreign agencies.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand has collaborated with the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines to bring seven citizens stuck at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on the return flight VN610 taking off at 17:20 on April 9.
Among the returnees, five travelled from Africa, transiting Ethiopia and arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport on March 25 for a flight to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi in the afternoon. But unfortunely, they missed the flight due to late arrival and there was no other flight to Vietnam.
The other two were not allowed to enter Cambodia, so they had to return to Suvarnabhumi airport. They were also not permitted to enter Thailand because the country is tightening regulations against COVID-19.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand said these citizens were brought home thanks to the efforts and close coordination of many domestic and foreign agencies in the context that there are no return flights to Vietnam and Thailand had declared a state of emergency.
Defining this as an emergency, the embassy coordinated with Vietnam Airlines to implement all necessary procedures with Vietnamese and Thai authorities to bring the citizens home on a weekly cargo flight of the airline between Hanoi and Bangkok.
Medical masks presented to Laos-Vietnam friendship assoc
At the event
Vice Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Foreign Relations and Standing Vice President of the Vietnam – Laos Friendship Association (VLFA)'s chapter in the public security force Nguyen Minh Hieu has presented 100 million VND (4,300 USD) and 1,000 medical masks to the Laos – Vietnam Friendship Association (LVFA).
At the hand-over ceremony in Hanoi on April 9, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the VLFA Nguyen Van My thanked the VLFA chapter for its timely support to the LVFA.
My said there are 40 VLFA chapters in localities and units nationwide. The chapter in the public security sector is the first unit to raise fund in support of Lao people, proving the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership between the two countries./.
Over 70 pct of businesses help workers amid COVID-19
Up to 73 percent of businesses have offered timely support to workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said.
According to the VCCI’s recent survey, almost firms in various sectors actively and proactively took anti-epidemic measures in workplaces as recommended by the Health Ministry and local authorities, as well as did their best to maintain production and trade.
Specifically, over 60 percent of enterprises allowed part of their workforce to adopt flexible working time, 46 percent cut working hours, 42 percent offered training for workers, and 41 percent permitted work from home.
Only about 20 percent were forced to cut the number of workers and end labour contracts while 21 percent reduced salaries.
The VCCI urged competent agencies to support business community, with a focus on hardest-hit sectors such as aviation, textile, footwear, logistics, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and business households.
Loc suggested learning from countries’ experience to offer timely assistance to them based on realities in localities.
Cambodia restricts travel to curb COVID-19
A worker in Cambodia wears face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 9 announced travel restrictions between the capital of Phom Penh and provinces to ensure national safety during the COVID-19 crisis.
The regulation will be effective from April 10 to 16 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. To date, Cambodia has recorded 117 cases of COVID-19 with no death.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s health ministry on April 9 confirmed 287 more infection cases, the number in a single day in the country since the disease outbreak in January 2020, raising the total to 1,910.
More than 200 of the new cases were linked to outbreaks in dormitories for foreign workers. Singapore has quarantined thousands of workers in dormitories after they were found to have connection with several COVID-19 cases.
So far, the country has reported six fatalities due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, as of April 9, Thailand confirmed 2,423 infection cases, including 32 deaths and 940 recoveries.