Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

 Facebook joins hands in fight against COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

The programme will be broadcast live from 19:00 to 20:00 on April 17 on the Facebook accounts of artists Quyen Linh and Nguyen Ha My (Sam). (Source: Facebook)

Facebook is cooperating with the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) and more than 60 artists along with partners and businesses in the country in the #SocialForGoodVN livestream to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme will be broadcast live from 19:00 to 20:00 on April 17 on the Facebook accounts of artists Quyen Linh and Nguyen Ha My (Sam) and the fanpages of YEAH1, YAN, Dat Viet, Dien Quan, EyePlus, Cat Tien Sa, MCV, Multimedia, BHD, Orion Media, BH Media, and Next Media.

It aims to utilise the positive aspects of Facebook to call for public support for medical workers and people affected by the pandemic.

Participants will discuss topics relating to the pandemic and spread positive messages from artists.

Facebook has also launched a campaign called #ỞNhàLàNhất, to encourage people to stay at home and share tips on household chores.

Vietnamese artists will raise funds for VRC in support of medical workers and both confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients.

International media, organizations hail Vietnam’s anti-pandemic efforts

Foreign media and international organizations have praised Vietnam’s efforts in containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, suggesting that other countries could learn from its experience.

East Asia Forum ran an article on April 14 saying that Vietnam has been one of Asia’s most successful in dealing with the pandemic.

It was among the first countries to impose strict containment measures, the paper noted, even when COVID-19 was still confined to China.

The paper added that despite the negative effects COVID-19 had on its socioeconomic development in the first quarter, “Vietnam may get out of the pandemic in better shape than others.”

“Despite expected growth in 2020 falling to 4.9 percent, it is among only a few economies in Asia Pacific - and perhaps the world - to still post growth,” it wrote.

“The Asian Development Bank, while predicting a sharp decline in GDP growth in Vietnam, said its economy remains ‘uniquely robust’ in the subregion,” it went on, adding that Vietnam’s success in curbing the pandemic may attract more foreign investors, as will its traditional advantages of cheap labour, political stability, and proximity to China.

Physical distancing has also helped accelerate the country’s transition to a digital economy, which is considered by the government to be a pillar of sustainable growth, the paper noted.

A day earlier, German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) published an article highlighting anti-pandemic activities undertaken in Vietnam.

Despite its border with China, it wrote, Vietnam, thanks to a combination of early decisive action, extensive testing, vigorous quarantining, and social unity, has avoided greater losses and confined the number of confirmed cases to the mere hundreds, with no fatalities.

It emphasized that “much of Vietnam’s success can be ascribed to its social unity.”

On April 12, Resident Representative of the UN Development Program (UNDP) Caitlin Wiesen congratulated Vietnam on its success in combating COVID-19, with more than half of all patients having fully recovered.

UNDP donated 20,000 high-quality surgical masks to the Ministry of Health to help protect healthcare workers on the frontlines in fighting the pandemic.

WHO Representative to Vietnam Kidong Park said previously that the country has responded proactively and early to the outbreak. Its first risk assessment exercise was conducted in early January - soon after cases began being reported in China.

Meanwhile, Christoph Dölitzsch - a researcher at the Berlin-based Dalia Research Institute - said Vietnam has the ability to control any increase in infections, in stark contrast to many other countries around the world.

According to its largest survey on COVID-19, some 62 percent of respondents in Vietnam say their government is doing the “right amount” in response to the pandemic.

Donation for COVID-19 fight exceeds 845 billion VND: VFF

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man (sixth from right) receives relief aid from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs 

Organisations, businesses and individuals nationwide and those abroad have so far donated over 845 billion VND (over 36 million USD) for the COVID-19 relief efforts, channeled to the Vietnam Fatherland Font (VFF) Central Committee, according to VFF President Tran Thanh Man.

On April 14, the VFF received donations worth 300 million VND (12,804 USD) from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; 315 million VND (over 13,444 USD) from the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North); 226 million VND (9,645 USD) from the Association of Tien Phong plastic businesses; and 200 million VND (8,536 USD) from Luckybest Vietnam JSC.

Ha Tay Traffic Management and Construction JSC and the Tran family in Vietnam handed over 100 million VND (4,262 USD) each to the front, while a family in Hanoi’s Dan Phuong district donated 10 tonnes of rice on the same day.

Talking to MoLISA Minister Dao Ngoc Dung, Man highly appreciated the coordination between the VFF Central Committee and the ministry in recent times, saying it has contributed to supporting the people across the country, especially social policy beneficiaries and poor households.

He also highlighted the importance of the 62,000-billion-VND (2.6 billion USD) support package of the Government for people amid difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The allocation of support must be made publicly and transparently, he stressed, adding that with its role, the VFF and its member organisations will join the supervision of the implementation, towards timely providing support to those who are really in need.

Singapore reports 334 new COVID-19 cases, total reaches 3,252

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Singapore’s Health Ministry confirmed 334 more COVID-19 cases on April 14, taking its total number to 3,252. 

Most of the new cases were linked to outbreaks in migrant workers’ dormitories, the ministry said./.

Italian man in Da Nang fined for failing to wear mask

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Lorenzo Dolci is found riding a motorbike without wearing a face mask in Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy of Trần Phong

An Italian man has been fined VNĐ200,000 (US$8.7) for failing to wear a face mask in public with COVID-19 social distancing orders in effect in Đà Nẵng on Monday.

Authorities of An Hải Bắc Ward said Lorenzo Dolci, 29, was found riding a motorbike on the street without wearing a face mask.

A local resident had recorded a video clip and photos of Dolci and sent it to the Facebook of the authority on Monday.

Dolci was also warned for making a vulgar gesture towards the man who recorded him.

The Italian was found residing at a hotel in Sơn Trà District.

A report from the city showed 453 violations of social distancing orders had resulted in fines since April 1.

In Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, 13 people have been fined for failing to wear face masks in public sites, while tow hotels were fined $652 for illegally hosting visitors.

Two Vietnamese citizens in Singapore positive for SARS-CoV-2

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Ambulance parking outside a building in Singapore

The Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore announced that by the end of April 13, there were two Vietnamese citizens living in the country confirmed to get infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health, the latest Vietnamese patient is a 36-year-old man who tested positive for the virus on April 13 and is being treated at the Khoo Teck Puat General Hospital, while the remaining is a two-year-old girl who tested positive for the virus on April 6 and is receiving treatment at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Following the ministry’s request, the Vietnamese embassy provided it with contact phone numbers and addresses in case Vietnamese citizens need support. It has also contacted relevant agencies to know the patients’ situation to have prompt assistance.

By the end of April 13, Singapore recorded 2,918 infection cases, including 586 given the all-clear and nine fatalities.

Hundreds fined for failing to follow COVID-19 preventive regulations

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

A man in Huế City is found not wearing a face mask in public. — Photo dantri.com.vn

Police in Huế City have fined 145 people for not wearing face masks and dealt with four cases of people gathering in public places.

Authorities in Thừa Thiên Huế Province have strengthened patrols and handling of violations to enforce social distancing and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus following the Prime Minister’s directive.

Many people have been found ignoring regulations, gathering in groups, doing exercise and not wearing face masks in public, especially in parks, Dân Trí online newspaper reported.

City officials said that they had collected nearly VNĐ36.8 million (US$1,560) in fines during the social distancing period which started on April 1.

In the final days of the social distancing period, police will intensify sanctions against people not wearing masks in public places across the city.

In Nghệ An Province, the police on Monday fined nine people for gathering in groups and not wearing face masks.

They were fined VNĐ400,000 each.

On Monday afternoon, police in Bạc Liêu City, Cà Mau Province, also imposed an administrative fine of VNĐ200,000 each on a group of 13 people who gathered in front of a house in Ward 5.

At the weekend, forces in Bạc Liêu City recorded nearly 100 cases and sanctioned more than 50 people for failing to strictly follow COVID-19 preventive measures.

25 in contact with COVID-19 patient test negative for virus

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Health staff collect samples to test for SARS-CoV-2 in Hạ Lôi Village in Hà Nội’s Mê Linh District.

25 people in close contact with the 262nd patient, who was residing in Hạ Lôi Hamlet in Hà Nội’s Mê Linh District – the country’s newest coronavirus infection cluster – have tested negative for the virus, northern Bắc Giang Province’s Department of Health has announced.

Từ Quốc Hiệu, deputy head of the provincial Steering Committee for COVID-19 prevention and control said on Tuesday that 25 samples of those in close contact with the patient, who is also a worker of Samsung Electronics Vietnam in Yên Phong District in northern Bắc Ninh Province, tested negative.

The remaining 11 people, including two in Yên Dũng and Tân Yên districts and nine in a quarantine facility in Bắc Ninh Province, have been tested and are waiting for the results.

On April 14, the northern Centre for Disease Control would continue collecting samples of those in close contact with the patient for tests.

Patient 262nd, a 26-year-old male employee of Samsung Electronics Vietnam in Bắc Ninh Province, was confirmed as infected with the COVID-19 on April 13.

The worker lived in Hạ Lôi Village, where 12 infected cases have been reported so far.

The worker was away from the office and self-isolating since April 7.

By 6am on April 14, the steering committee has defined and isolated 223 cases having contacted the patient.

As many as 73 cases have been taken to quarantine facilities in Bắc Ninh and Bắc Giang provinces and 150 been quarantined at home.

Thailand develops COVID boxes to protect health workers

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

A TOT phone booth transformed into a makeshift COVID box for testing. The kiosk wards off the infection risk among healthcare workers. (Source: bangkokpost.com)

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) of Thailand is turning the TOT Public Company’s phone booths into coronavirus test kiosks to ward off infection risks among health care workers and address the shortage of personal protective equipment.

TOY Senior Executive Vice-President Morakot Thienmontree said that the first batch of 50 booths, called "COVID Boxes", are expected to be built this month and deployed at selected hospitals in line with necessity.

Two circular holes will be drilled on the side of the cubicle so health workers can put their hands out to collect samples from patients.

The cubicle's interior is fitted with a positive pressure fan with a filter to prevent aerosol from entering the compartment, which is also equipped with illumination.

During each round of examination, health staffers have to wear protective clothes and a mask inside the cubicle and insert their hands into plastic gloves to collect samples from patients outside the box. They need to change their gloves after each examination.

The development of each box costs less than 1,000 THB (30 USD), he said.

TOT was assigned to make 200 COVID Boxes from telephone booths as an initial target to support hospitals in need.

Morakot said his company has thousands of phone booths stored at the state enterprise's headquarters on Chaeng Watthana Road as well as other branches, including provincial offices. It will select booths that are in good condition for the project. They will be cleaned until they are ready for modification.

Thailand has to date recorded 2,613 infections, including 41 deaths.

COVID-19: Relief packs given to Cambodian-Vietnamese

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Relief packs are given to disadvantaged Cambodian-Vietnamese people

The Khmer-Vietnam Association in Phnom Penh provided hundreds of relief packs on April 14 to Cambodian-Vietnamese and Khmer people affected by COVID-19.

The effort is part of the association’s emergency support programme and assistance received from the Vietnam Business Club in Cambodia (VBCC), the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia, and a number of agencies and benefactors at home.

Association Chairman Sim Chy said that after the local health ministry informed it of the COVID-19 situation in Cambodia, it asked Cambodian-Vietnamese people to proactively take preventive measures. No cases of infection have been reported in the community, he added.

The association is presenting 200 relief packs to the most disadvantaged on April 14 and 15, which include rice, face masks, hand sanitiser, and cash, to mark Chol Chnam Thmey - the Khmer new year.

Over the past month, the association, along with the Vietnamese General Consulates in Sihanoukville and Battambang, has carried out a range of support activities.

22 more recover from COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Health workers are in the front line of the COVID-19 fight

 Twenty-two COVID-19 patients in Vietnam were declared on April 14 as having totally recovered from the disease, bringing the total of this group to 168, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Seventeen patients at the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases were declared to have recovered, including 15 Vietnamese and two foreigners - a 69-year-old British man and a 60-year-old French woman.

Meanwhile, the Cu Chi Emergency Hospital in HCM City announced that five more patients have recovered, including two Vietnamese and three foreigners - a 51-year-old Brazilian man, a 58-year-old South African woman, and a 25-year-old British man.

These patients have tested negative for the third time, are in a stable condition, and exhibited no symptoms like coughing or fever.

All are eligible to be officially recognised as having recovered and will continue to be quarantined and monitored for 14 days following their discharge from hospital.

British COVID-19 patient tests positive again after being declared recovered

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Patients No 22 and 23 leave Đà Nẵng on April 10. — Photo thoidai.com.vn

A British man previously declared recovered from COVID-19 has tested positive again.

HCM City’s Health Department on Monday quarantined dozens of people who had close contact with Việt Nam's 22nd patient after the Briton tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 again after finishing treatment.

According to Professor Nguyễn Tấn Bỉnh, the department’s director, the patient was treated in the central city of Đà Nẵng starting on March 8 and was declared recovered on March 27. He was monitored for a further 14 days after recovering.

On April 10, he took Vietnam Airlines flight VN125 from Đà Nẵng to HCM City on seat No 23C and stayed at a hotel on Hồng Hà Road, Ward 12 before boarding a flight to the UK the next day.

Before boarding, he tested positive once more for the deadly virus.

Fourteen people who had close contact with the man at the quarantine area, three hotel staff and 34 hotel visitors were taken to concentrated quarantine and had samples taken for testing on Monday.

The city’s health department also contacted Vietnam Airlines for a list of passengers on flight VN125.

Those sitting near him will be quarantined and tested for SARS-CoV-2.

The 66-year-old British man arrived as a tourist in Việt Nam on Vietnam Airlines flight VN54 which landed in Hà Nội on March 2.

HCM City has so recorded 54 COVID-19 patients. Forty of them have recovered.

Of active cases, a 43-year-old British pilot on a ventilator (patient No 91) is in critical condition with serious lung inflammation. He tested negative once on April 12 but tested positive again the next day.

British patient recovers, no new cases reported

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

The British patient who recovered from COVID-19 and was discharged from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases late night on April 13, with his wife and medical staff. — Photo courtesy of the hospital

A British man with a 10-year history of lymphoma cancer has been discharged from hospital after making a full recovery from COVID-19.

He is the 146th patient to be given the all-clear.

Upon his release the man’s wife, who also made a full recovery from the disease, praised the medical staff.

“I would like to express my sincere thank to the Vietnamese doctors,” she said. “They are very amazing!”

On Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Health said no new cases of coronavirus had been detected overnight, with the total number of infections nationwide remaining at 265.

More than half have been treated and discharged.

The latest patient to leave hospital is a 74-year-old man from the UK who came to Viet Nam with his wife last month. She also tested positive for the virus.

On March 27 while being treated at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases he suffered severe respiratory failure and was sent to the intensive care unit where he was put on a ventilator.

Doctors fought for a week as the man’s health deteriorated rapidly.

By April 5 he started to respond to treatment and began breathing without the need for oxygen.

Two further tests for COVID-19 taken on April 8 and 10 both produced negative results and he was eventually told he could go home.

His wife said: “We were sent to the National Tropical Diseases Hospital when I coughed a lot and had some breathing troubles.

“But after a period of treatment, I had three tests with negative results for SARS-CoV-2 and had recovered.

“When I learned that my husband was in the intensive care unit, as a nurse, I knew he was in very critical and life-threatening condition. But the Vietnamese doctors are amazing, they have saved our lives.”

The couple left Việt Nam for England early on April 14 in a flight arranged by the British Government exclusively for British citizens.

The total amount of people who have been infected with the coronavirus remains at 265 cases, including 160 returned from abroad, making up 60.4 per cent of total, and 105 infected in the community, accounting for 39.6 per cent.

The total number of people who came or returned to Việt Nam from pandemic-affected countries and have been quarantined is 75,291. Of these, 713 are quarantined in hospitals, 15,564 are in quarantine centres and 59,014 at their homes.

Safety in online learning needs to improve: ministry

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

The Ministry of Education and Training wants educational establishments to enhance safety in online learning for students.

The Ministry of Education and Training has sent a document to ask departments of education and training and educational establishments to enhance online learning safety for students.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages, localities and educational establishments have launched online learning and teaching to help students continue their studies.

However, the new learning method might also put children at risk as cyber attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in online teaching platforms to harass, bully and abuse learners and teachers.

To deal with this, the education ministry has asked education and training departments, universities, institutes, colleges to develop mechanisms for internet teaching which clearly guide the process of managing and organising an e-class, management skills for teachers and responsibilities of learners.

Teachers should be provided with solutions and reliable, reputable management software.

They are also encouraged to use copyrighted software, which is recommended for use by the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The document also noted that the educational establishments should raise awareness and skills on using the internet and social networks to ensure safety and cybersecurity as well as skills to avoid risks to teachers, students and parents in learning via the internet.

Co-ordination between the schools and families in online teaching and learning management should also be enhanced.

Parents need to increase their responsibility and support students to use the internet when learning online.

Doctors in Đà Nẵng rest after treating COVID-19 patients

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Medical staff of the tropical disease department at the Đà Nẵng General Hospital will go into isolation for 14 days.

All 45 doctors, nurses and medical workers who treated COVID-19 patients in Đà Nẵng have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 and have been sent for a 14-day isolation at a hotel in Sơn Trà District, officials have said.

Deputy Director of Đà Nẵng General Hospital Nguyễn Thành Trung said the tests were performed under strict regulations from the Ministry of Health and all the medical staff had been well protected with special protective uniforms, so they only needed one test.

He said it was time for doctors, nurses and medical workers to recuperate after working for more than one month non-stop treating six COVID-19 patients.

 

The 45-member medical team had stayed at the tropical disease department at the hospital from March 7 through April 10 to treat and care for COVID-19 patients.

The last patient was released from the hospital on April 10. Two British patients completed their isolation and left for the UK last week. The other four patients have been quarantined at homes and hospitals.

Body temperature checks and health declarations have been compulsory for all visitors to the hospital since March 30.

Vietnam’s early response to COVID-19 praised on Australian news site

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Soldier helps transport luggage of a man who finishes concentrated quarantine

Australia’s news site 7news.com.au on April 13 posted an article which stressed that with its early decisive action, extensive testing, vigorous quarantining and social unity, Vietnam has so far avoided the devastation of the COVID-19 seen in Europe and the United States, despite sharing a border with China.

The article, written by Chris Humphrey and Bac Pham of the Australian Associated Press (AAP), said that with only several hundreds of infections, Vietnam’s response to the pandemic has been praised by the World Health Organisation.

It cited the country’s official statistics as saying that there are currently more than 75,000 people in quarantine. The country has so far conducted more than 121,000 tests, from which over 260 cases were confirmed.

To date, there have been no virus-related deaths, and infection rates remain significantly lower than in the Republic of Korea, Singapore and even Taiwan which have all been widely praised in global media for their effective responses to the pandemic.

The article also quoted Kidong Park, the WHO’s representative to Vietnam, as saying that the country’s early response to the crisis was critical. Its first risk assessment exercise was conducted in early January - soon after cases in China started being reported.

The country quickly established a National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control under the auspices of a Deputy Prime Minister which immediately implemented a national response plan.

Despite having a low number of confirmed cases, Vietnam has applied national social distancing from April 1, a far faster and more decisive response than that seen in Britain or Italy, where cases ran into the many thousands before public life was shut down.

According to the article, much of Vietnam’s success can be ascribed to its social unity. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently described Vietnam’s efforts to contain the virus as the “spring general offensive of 2020”.

Vietnamese schools have been closed since January, and mass quarantining began on March 16. Since then, tens of thousands of people entering the country from badly hit nations have been put into compulsory quarantine in vast military-style camps. By March 25, international flights ceased altogether.

There is no easing of these restrictions yet in sight. The vast majority of domestic flights, trains and buses have been halted, and anyone leaving Hanoi, which sees the largest number of infection cases in the country, is quarantined upon arrival in almost any other province.

At times Vietnamese responses to the crisis have been severe, the article said, adding that official signs in Ho Chi Minh City warn that those not wearing a face mask who are found to have infected another person with a dangerous disease could face up to 12 years in prison.

Yet though these strict measures have so far translated into a relatively successful outcome, it remains to be seen whether Vietnam or other nations with similar responses are able to contain the spread of the virus in the long run, it added./.

Malaysia: Newly-created robot to help doctors check on COVID-19 patients

The barrel-shaped, white robot on wheels is 1.5 meter tall and equipped with a camera and screen via which patients can communicate remotely with medics.Malaysian scientists have created a robot called Medibot that they hope will make the rounds on hospital wards to check on COVID-19 patients, reducing health workers' risk of infection.

The invention, made by scientists at the International Islamic University Malaysia, is also fitted with a device to check patients' temperatures remotely.

It is aimed at helping nurses and doctors working on the wards with social distancing, said Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, a member of the team behind the invention.

It cost about 15,000 ringgit (3,500 USD) to built, and the university plans to trial it soon in their own private hospital, which does not treat virus patients, he said.

If that proves a success, the scientists hope it can be used in government hospitals where people with COVID-19 are sent.

As of April 13 afternoon, Malaysia had reported 4,683 confirmed cases, including 76 deaths.

From Thailand to Israel, robots are being used in the fight against the novel coronavirus, which has killed over 110,000 people worldwide./.

German news agency praises Vietnam’s social unity in battling COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Health workers at the Hanoi-based National Hospital of Tropic Disease

German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) on April 13 underlined that Vietnam's response to the COVID-19 pandemic can offer lessons to nations struggling to contain the outbreak, noting that “much of Vietnam's success can be ascribed to its social unity”.

In an article entitled “No deaths: the world can learn from Vietnam's coronavirus response”, the author noted that despite sharing a long border line with China, Vietnam has, with a combination of early decisive action, extensive testing, vigorous quarantining and social unity, so far avoided the devastation seen in many other places worldwide.

With the number of infections of over 200, Vietnam's response to the crisis has earned praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Official statistics show that as of April 13, there had been more than 75,000 people in quarantine. The country has so far conducted more than 121,000 tests.

As yet, there have been no virus-related deaths, and infection rates remain significantly lower than in many other countries and territories, wrote the article.

The DPA quoted WHO Representative to Vietnam Kidong Park as saying that Vietnam responded to this outbreak proactively and at an early date. Its first risk assessment exercise was conducted in early January – soon after cases in China started being reported.

The country quickly established a national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control under the auspices of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, which “immediately" implemented a national response plan, Park added.

Despite having a low number of confirmed cases, Vietnam started a nationwide social distancing policy on April 1, a far faster and more decisive response than that seen in where cases ran into the many thousands.

Vietnamese schools have been closed since January, and mass quarantining began on March 16. Since then, tens of thousands of people entering the country from badly hit nations have gone into mandatory quarantine. From March 25, international flights ceased altogether, while domestic transport has been reduced.

Vietnam was the first nation outside of China to confirm a case of SARS back in 2003, yet it was also the first country confirmed by the WHO to have contained the outbreak.

Although the country's strict measures have so far translated into a relatively successful outcome, it remains to be seen whether Vietnam or other nations with similar responses are able to contain the spread of the virus in the long run, the author noted.

"We cannot make predictions, but we can say that the course of the pandemic will be determined by the actions that countries, including Vietnam, are taking now," said Park./.

Latin American nations impressed by Vietnam’s response to COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

A couple from UK recovered from Covid-19 virus and Vietnamese doctors at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases

Numerous Latin American progressive political parties have spoken highly of Vietnam’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic over the recent past.

The Dominican Republic's United Left Movement (MIU) of the ruling bloc expressed its admiration for Vietnam’s early preparations against the pandemic. The message said despite being one of the first nations in the world impacted by the pandemic, Vietnam has taken drastic actions right from the start, together with a close cooperation of the whole political system and solidarity among the whole people in order to limit the impact of the pandemic. As a result, the number of infection cases in Vietnam is relatively low compared with those in other nations.

The MIU’s message underlined that the political and social visions of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Government as well as their readiness in terms of science and technology and health care have become the key factors for the country to achieve encouraging outcomes in the combat against the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Chile also expressed its admiration on the measures Vietnam has taken to contain the spread of the pandemic in the context that many other nations are struggling against it, describing Vietnam with its achievements in the fight as a role model for many other governments in the world.

Earlier, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan sent his message to the Latin American progressive parties, including the MIU, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the Communist Party of Chile, expressing solidarity and sharing with the Latin American nations for the difficulties they are facing amid the pandemic./.

Thanh Hoa shares experience in containing COVID-19 with Lao province

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

The northern province ofThanh Hoa took the occasion to present neighbouring Lao province Huaphanh with medical supplies required for the COVID-19 fight.

The northern province of Thanh Hoa and neighbouring Lao province Huaphanh exchanged experience in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in an event held at the Na Meo International Border Gate’s border station on April 13.

Thanh Hoa took the occasion to present the Lao province with medical supplies required for the fight, including ventilators, face masks and hand sanitiser, worth 1 billion VND (42,900 USD) in total.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Dang Quyen said the province has established a steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control and developed scenarios in response to different scales of infection, planning how to put infected cases into quarantine and zone off any outbreak cluster when it is small.

It has intensified communication campaigns to raise public awareness of preventive measures against the disease, such as wearing masks, properly washing hands and avoiding gatherings, and provided related training for local medical workers, he said.

The province has also set up monitoring groups at not only the provincial level but also in each village and street which are tasked to report on returnees from pandemic-hit areas and those in close contact with infected or suspected cases, the vice chairman added.

The COVID-19 outbreak is under control in Thanh Hoa, Quyen continued, the province has so far quarantined more than 10,100 people and provided coronavirus tests for 2,094 people over the last three months. Three infections have been confirmed, of which one was treated at the provincial general hospital and fully recovered while the others were transferred to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

He suggested the two provinces increase information sharing about the COVID-19 and enhance cooperation between their border districts to educate people on precautionary measures and prevent illegal entry and exit.

Huaphanh Vice Governor Phusone Thammavisay, for his part, thanked Thanh Hoa for sharing experience and presenting medical supplies to the Lao province. He asked the Vietnamese province to find ways for the two provinces to resume trade at the Na Meo International Border Gate and send medical experts to Huaphanh to assist its COVID-19 fight.

On the same day, Thanh Hoa’s police force also shared experience in COVID-19 control with their counterparts from Huaphanh and presented the Lao side with five disinfectant sprayers; 25kg of Chloramine-B, a disinfectant that can kill the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces; 20 protective suits; 1,000 masks and 100 bottles of hand sanitiser.

These activities have helped strengthen the special friendship and solidarity between the Vietnamese and Lao people./.

COVID-19 cases sharply increase in Southeast Asia

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Testing in West Java, Indonesia (Photo: Xinhua)

Indonesia on April 13 recorded 316 more SARS-CoV-2 infections and 26 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total numbers of cases and deaths in the country to 4,557 and 399 respectively, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Ministry of Health confirmed additional 284 coronavirus cases and 18 deaths on the day.

So far, the Philippines has recorded a total of 4,932 COVID-19 patients and 315 fatalities from the disease, while the number of recoveries was 242.

Another country in the region, Malaysia, also detected 134 more cases of COVID-19 and one related death, bringing the total numbers in this country to 4,817 and 77 respectively.

The Philippines has officially surpassed Malaysia to become the country with the highest number of COVID-19 patients in Southeast Asia./.

Global media impressed by Vietnam’s swift response to COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Global and regional media continued hailing Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19, saying that rapid and active response by the authorities and public cooperation play an important role.

The Australia’s The Strategist newswire said Vietnam has followed a budget-friendly approach that has proven equally effective. The Vietnamese Government tightened border controls and put hospitals and local health departments on high alert before the first fatality in China and only three days after confirmation of the outbreak there.

Its recent study of Vietnam’s COVID-19 policy response attributed the country’s initial success in slowing the rate of infection to the authorities’ focus on communication and public education through technology platforms and systematic tracing of pathogen carriers.

The article also noted that citizens have been voluntarily sharing personal health information via a government-launched app called NCOVI while authorities have actively interacted with citizens via the social media.

It concluded that by focusing on early risk assessment, effective communication and government–citizen cooperation, an under-resourced country with a precarious healthcare system can manage the pandemic.

At the same time, the ASEAN Post said other nations in ASEAN and the rest of the world can learn from Vietnam’s swift response to handling the pandemic.

France’s Liberation paper attributed Vietnam’s impressive achievements to the healthcare system’s efforts to ensure the safety and health of the people instead of heeding profits of insurance companies.

About this, Russia’s Novosti Petrozavodsk paper quoted a woman of the country returning from Vietnam as saying that the Vietnamese State has offered all possible support for citizens, always ready with available food, necessities and masks to meet public demand with discounts. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese people fully follow the State rules without hesitance.

The Times of India said the Vietnamese Government has actively protected citizens against the epidemic as it promptly suggested initiatives and understood the exact nature of challenges.

The article stressed that the success could be reached if each citizen hightens the sense of responsibility and cooperates with the government.

The UK’s The Guardian published a poster and post stamps designed by Vietnamese painters that sent clear messages of solidarity in the fight against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the US’s New York Times said despite insufficient resources and financial capability, Vietnam still sent masks to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK along with its neighbours Cambodia and Laos. Vietnam also handed over 450,000 Dupont protective suits to the US./.

Vietnam presents antimicrobial face masks to Russia

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung (R) presents the aid to Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov

Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung on April 13 handed over the token of the relief aid of 150,000 made-in-Vietnam antimicrobial face masks from the Vietnamese Government and people to help their counterparts in Russia.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Dung said the complexities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have posed unprecedented challenges to countries and territories around the globe.

Vietnam has kept a close watch on and appreciates the timely countermeasures taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government to tackle the pandemic as well as the support provided to the Vietnamese community in the country, he said, adding international cooperation and enhanced solidarity are important factors in protecting the health and safety of people and mitigating the impact of the epidemic.

Vietnam always stands ready to work closely, share its experience with, and join hands with Russia to take necessary measures to contain and quickly push back the epidemic, in the context that the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic ties, he stressed.

For his part, Russian Ambassador to Vietnam K. Vnuko thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for their valuable assistance. He spoke highly of the effective measures taken by the Vietnamese Government in COVID-19 prevention and control, which have received praise from the international community.

He expressed his hope that with solidarity and joint efforts, the two countries will soon contain the COVID-19 pandemic./.

Free food offered to vulnerable groups during pandemic

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

The “Millions of Meals” programme was launched on April 13, providing 1,200 nutritious meals for vulnerable communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The programme is being run by PepsiCo Vietnam, its partner Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverages and the Central Committee of the Vietnam Youth Federation.

Starting in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it will come to Da Nang, Hai Phong and Can Tho in the coming weeks.

In Hanoi, 200 haemodialysis patients at Thanh Nhan Hospital became the first beneficiaries, receiving 600 food packages for three days delivered by PepsiCo and Suntory volunteers and members of the Vietnam Youth Union.

In HCM City, 600 food packages were delivered to underserved communities in Ward 1, Bình Thanh district.

The programme has funding of 7 billion VND (298,000 USD) for food packages, with an additional 1.8 billion VND of product donations from PepsiCo Vietnam and Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam Beverages. PepsiCo Vietnam has also committed 4.7 billion VND to provide additional medical supplies for frontline hospitals nationwide in five locations in Vietnam.

Wei Wei Yao, PepsiCo Senior Vice President & General Manager Asia, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of millions of people worldwide. But this impact has been acutely felt by those most vulnerable in society and those on the very front lines of this crisis – in our health and social care services.

“I do hope that by joining hands with communities and the youth across Vietnam, this ‘Millions of Meals’ programme will grow stronger, and together, we will win COVID-19.”/.

National Steering Committee: COVID-19 regulations can’t be loosened as risk remains

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

At the latest meeting of the committee

The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control emphasised on April 13 the need to keep regulations in place as there is a high risk that the disease may spread further.

At its latest meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam who is also the head of the committee, the committee said that monitoring those having had contact with cases of infection and the introduction of social distancing measures are the most effective solutions in tackling COVID-19, together with the continued implementation of basic anti-epidemic principles in prevention, detection, quarantining, zoning, and treatment.

According to the committee, the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 16/CT-TTg on the distancing was implemented well at the beginning but in recent days more people have been seen on the streets.

It asked that people seriously follow the regulation, despite the fact it has a major effect on their daily life and businesses.

Authorities were directed to intensify communications to encourage people to obey regulations relating to distancing and to strictly punish any violations.

The steering committee also noted that when Directive 16 expires on April 15, it will propose the Prime Minister issue a new version that will retain solutions such as wearing face masks, maintaining a certain distance from others, and strengthening regulations on tracing cases of infection and those having had close contact with them.

Participants suggested the application of IT to supervise cases of infection and the implementation of physical distancing regulations.

It is also important to promote non-cash payments for shopping and closely control places such as houses of worship, relic sites, tourism sites, trade villages, and markets, to contain the spread of the disease.

Participants also emphasised the necessity to maintain social welfare policies, with a focus on vulnerable groups, and to consider loosening regulations over the production and trade of basic necessities.

They also asked face mask producers to export such goods only after production meets domestic demand./.

Bac Ninh helping Samsung Display implement measures to fight COVID-19

Northern Bac Ninh province’s steering board for COVID-19 prevention and control held an urgent meeting with representatives of Samsung Display on the night of April 12, after a worker at the company tested positive for coronavirus, a provincial official said on April 13.

Northern Bac Ninh province’s steering board for COVID-19 prevention and control held an urgent meeting with representatives of Samsung Display on the night of April 12, after a worker at the company tested positive for COVID-19, a provincial official said on April 13.

Nguyen Huong Giang, Chairwoman of the Bac Ninh Provincial People’s Committee, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that it has set up working groups in charge of epidemiological investigations at the Republic of Korea - invested company.

On the morning of April 13, the province identified 106 people who had close contact with the patient (F1) and 72 others who were exposed to F1 (known as F2), the official said, adding that Bac Ninh is coordinating with other localities to further trace F2 cases.

The province started quarantining 44 people at concentrated areas on the night of April 12 and asked F2 cases to quarantine themselves at home, while informing relevant cities and provinces about F1 cases.

Samsung Display was ordered to close all areas the patient worked in or visited, including the production area and the canteen, and to disinfect these areas and all buses carrying workers.

F1 and F2 cases in the province have all had COVID-19 tests, she said, adding that Bac Ninh has tightened control at check-up sites in Yen Phong district where the company is located.

Bac Ninh will continue its close coordination with Samsung Display in implementing measures against the pandemic in order to resume normal operations as soon as possible, she pledged./.

Hanoi campaign to help youths made jobless by COVID-19

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

Hanoi is offering 10,000 jobs in a campaign launched on April 13 to students and young people who have become unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign is being organised by the Hanoi chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU), the Hanoi Students’ Association, and the Hanoi Youth Federation, in cooperation with Global Shapers Hanoi, Global Shapers HCM City, Canavi, Accesstrade, and the G.A.P Institute.

It aims to connect them with recruiters offering seasonal and work-from-home jobs as well as employment after the pandemic ends, in an effort to support the community and ensure that economic recovery is sustainable.

The non-profit campaign targets students and young people as their employment is particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. Many have already lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet, as thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises and household businesses in the city have suspended operation.

At the same time, the HCYU also launched a project called “Ha Noi Nghia Tinh” (Hanoi With Love), offering 8,000 free food portions daily to disadvantaged students, workers, and others.

Running from now until April 30, the project will deliver free food such as rice, meat, eggs, vegetables, drinking water and other necessities every day to those in need.

On April 13, the project presented food to 150 poor households with members who regularly visit Bach Mai Hospital for dialysis, 200 students in Me Tri dormitory at the Hanoi National University, and workers living in the Quang Minh Industrial Park’s lodgings./.

AIA Việt Nam donates $1m for pandemic fight

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

AIA Việt Nam executives hand over a cheque for VNĐ25 billion ($1.07 million) to the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee for supporting doctors and other workers on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19 . — Photo courtesy of AIA Vietnam

AIA Life Insurance on April 13 said it would donate VNĐ25 billion (US$1.07 million) to assist medical workers and volunteers on the frontlines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has handed over VNĐ2 billion to the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee to buy medical equipment, and will hand over the remaining VNĐ23 billion to the front for a financial assistance programme for doctors, nurses, medical staff, pharmacists, drivers, security guards, volunteers, and others at hospitals across the country.

Everyone who contracts the disease will get VNĐ10 million ($425) from it.

The families of people dying of the infection will get VNĐ100 million ($4,250).

Wayne Besant, AIA Vietnam CEO, said, “Through the programme, we want to express our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to doctors and health workers who are day and night on the frontline struggling with the pandemic.”

British businesses donate VND500 million to Vietnam for COVID-19 fight

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia on April 14

At the hand over ceremony

The British Business Group Vietnam (BBGV) on April 13 donated 2,700 N95 masks and 2,000 protective suits worth over VND500 million to the Vietnam Young Physicians Association (VYPA) 13 to support the country’s battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

The donation represented “our appreciation to the Vietnamese government's efforts to keep all safe in this unprecedented health crisis“, said Alex Falter, BBGV Vice Chairman.

This donation will benefit frontline healthcare workers in five major hospitals and testing institutes across the country, including the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute, the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang and the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi

Dr Phan Minh Hoang, VYPA Vice President, emphasised their mission is to “get the expertise to serve the community while asking young doctors to raise ethical, creative work”.

He spoke highly of the British community’s contribution and expected further collaboration with the BBGV in community services in the coming time.

Addressing the ceremony, Ian Gibbons, HM Consul General to HCM City lauded relentless efforts made by the Vietnamese government in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the UK, including UK businesses, have committted to full support and cooperation with Vietnam to get through this unprecedented coronavirus challenge.

Founded in 1966, the British Business Group Vietnam with 250 company members have worked with communities in Vietnam to support its development.

BBGV has a long history of charitable activities dating back to the 1990s through fund-raising activities such as the Fun Run for Charity in both Hanoi and HCMC and implementing projects on education, health care, the elderly and wildlife.

VNN/VNS/VNA/VOV

 
 

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