Negative results for F1 cases of Samsung Display Vietnam
Up to 210 cases involving F1 individuals who came into close contact with the country’s 262nd patient at Samsung Display Vietnam in the northern province of Bac Ninh have tested negative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
In addition to the figures from F1 cases, a total of 1,109 F2 cases have also been tested, with 110 samples so far coming back negative for the COVID-19 whilst the remaining results are poised to be returned shortly.
The tests come after eight positive COVID-19 cases were detected in the nation between April 13 and 19, whilst 59 patients were released from various hospitals.
The highest number of new cases was recorded on April 13 with five patients testing positive for the virus, with the subsequent three days each recording one new case.
Since April 17 there have been no new infections of the deadly virus found in the country.
Hanoi traders at wholesale markets negative for SARS-CoV-2 virus
More than 600 traders and porters at three wholesale markets in Hanoi on April 18 tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
The results were confirmed by Khong Minh Tuan, vice director of the Hanoi Centre for Diseases Control (CDC).
He said quick testing was conducted on request from Hanoi Mayor Nguyen Duc Chung to evaluate the epidemiological factors in the community.
The testing will help classify suspected cases, zone off affected areas and promptly quarantine those suspected cases, so as to halt the spread of the virus among the community.
Health professionals took blood samples of 610 traders and porters at three wholesale markets in Ba Dinh, Hoang Mai and Thuong Tin districts. Initial results showed they were all SARS-CoV-2 virus free.
Health professionals also took samples of all residents in Dong Cuu village, Thuong Tin district, where a local resident had been diagnosed with the deadly virus this week. Real-Time PCR test results would be available in a couple of hours.
Local authorities in Dong Cuu village also placed in quarantine more than 200 local residents who had direct and indirect contact with the confirmed patient.
They set up 12 checkpoints and cordoned off part of the village, affecting 399 households in the area. Volunteers were deployed to distribute daily necessities to local people.
Hanoi remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country with 132 cases confirmed, making up half of the country’s total.
French newspaper details slow spread of COVID-19 in Vietnam
Le Figaro, a daily newspaper based in France, featured an article on April 19 which explains how Vietnam has successfully limited the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic among the community.
With a total of 268 infections recorded, including 198 recoveries and no fatalities, the nation has become a shining example for Western countries in the fight against the pandemic, the article states. This is despite sharing a border with China, the nation that the COVID-19 originated from.
The piece quotes Kidong Park, the World Health Organisation representative in Vietnam, in his interview granted to the “Journal du dimanche” newspaper, which states that the country has been vigilant to the COVID-19 threat since the first case was reported in China.
This can be seen as in mid-January a committee on disease response was established, gathering representatives of relevant ministries, sectors, doctors, and scientists who were able to make forecasts on the disease outbreak.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc declared a “war” against the COVID-19, urging citizens to “fight the disease like fighting the enemy”.
Compared to other Asian nations such as the Republic of Korea and Singapore, Vietnam does not enjoy the financial resources necessary to combat the pandemic. Therefore, with a population of 94 million, the nation has been forced to conduct a “low-cost” strategy of focusing on massive quarantine and tracing of all people who came into contact with those infected by the COVID-19, known as F1, F2, F3, and F4.
Moreover, the country has also applied a compulsory 14-day quarantine period arrivals, suspended all flights with China, and moved to tighten its control over the 1,000km land border line it shares with its northern neighbour, the article states.
Some other measures taken include the shutdown of all schools following the lunar New Year holiday in late January, in addition to making it compulsory to wear face masks outside.
The article also affirmed that these measures have been put in place thanks to the support shown by citizens for the Government’s great efforts.
COVID-19 battle: A positive sign, but not complacency
A leading infectious disease specialist has warned Vietnam should not rest on its laurels after no new cases of the coronavirus were not recorded in three straight days, as the disease is evolving in a complex manner.
The fact that Vietnam has recorded no new coronavirus cases during the past three days is a positive sign, showing the disease has regularly been brought under control, said Assoc. Prof. & PhD. Nguyen Hong Ha, vice president of the Vietnam Society of Infectious Diseases.
However, he warned it is too early to say the disease has completely been stamped out in the country because the incubation period for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease lasts at least 14 days.
“There are potential cases (showing typical symptoms), while some cases display minor symptoms and they do not visit a doctor or a hospital for check-ups, making it difficult for health authorities to detect,” Ha told VOV online.
According to the specialist, medical workers normally test those returning from epidemic-hit areas and those who have contact with COVID-19 patients. When the epidemic is entering its third phase, i.e. community infection, it is necessary to test those who display minor symptoms such as a high temperature or respiratory infections, especially pneumonia.
“If we increase the screening of these people, we will be able to find cases without clear epidemiological trace,” said Ha. “If this step is skipped, we will not be able to find traces when the disease breaks out on a large scale.”
In addition, he advised people to remain vigilant at this moment, especially when there is no vaccine or medicine for virus infection.
“People should strictly follow the government’s preventive measures and the health sector’s recommendations, such as wearing face masks and avoiding large gatherings in public, or washing hands with soap and water when returning home.
“Sick people should be given consultations for medical check-ups and they are required to don face masks.
“These measures must be practiced frequently.”
Vietnam meets COVID-19 confirmatory testing demand
Health workers collect samples from small traders in Hanoi's Long Bien Market for rapid tests
Vietnam has basically met the demand for confirmatory testing for COVID-19, the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control said on April 20.
Across the country, 111 laboratories are now capable of diagnosing the novel coronavirus by using real-time RT-PCR technology.
Among them, 39 have been given the go-ahead to conduct confirmatory tests, including 22 central-level healthcare establishments and hospitals, 14 centres for disease control, and three other units outside the health sector. Their maximum capacity is 13,000 samples per day.
The committee said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has provided Vietnam with about 10,000 test kits, and is considering the provision of 40,000 real-time RT-PCR kits made in Germany. Meanwhile, domestic firm Viet A has distributed more than 70,000 test kits to the labs.
The Ministry of Health has also allocated 40 rapid testing machines and over 30,000 accompanying kits, along with 140,000 biological products produced by Viet A for real-time RT-PCR tests.
The facilities have also proactively sought supplies from other domestic and foreign sources.
Vietnam had not recorded any new COVID-19 cases on April 20 morning, keeping the total number at 268. This marked the fourth straight day with no new infections confirmed in the country. Among the patients, 202 have fully recovered.
Five more COVID-19 cases recover in Viet Nam, total at 207
Patient 228 was released from the General Hospital of Nho Quan District, Ninh Bình Province this morning after 14 days of treatment. — Photo courtesy of the hospital
Five more COVID-19 patients have recovered in three treatment facilities across the country on Monday, lifting the country's total cases being given the all-clear to 207.
The recovered patients include two foreign and three Vietnamese nationals.
One Vietnamese patient was released from the General Hospital of Nho Quan District, Ninh Bình Province this morning after 14 days of treatment. During treatment, the 29-year-old, Patient 228, had three tests and all results came back negative for SARS-CoV-2 on April 12, 14 and 19.
Two other patients, both Vietnamese workers returning home from Bangkok, Thailand, have recovered at the Cầu Treo International Border Gate Regional Hospital in central Hà Tĩnh Province.
“Patient 210” is a female, 26 years old, admitted to the hospital on March 30. During treatment, the patient had two tests and both tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2 on April 15 and 19.
“Patient 238“ is a 17-year-old girl, admitted to the hospital on April 4. Her two latest tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2 on April 15 and 19. At present, she has no fever, no cough, no breathing difficulties and is in a stable condition.
Two expats, including a British and a Brazilian, were discharged from the Củ Chi Field Hospital in HCM City on Monday morning.
The two, Patients 224 and 236, were both connected to the city’s largest COVID-19 hotspot, Buddha Bar in Thảo Điền Ward of HCM City’s District 2, which has resulted in 19 cases in total.
“Patient 224” is a 39-year-old Brazilian man, admitted to the hospital on April 1. Patient 236 is 26-year-old British woman, admitted to the hospital on April 4. The two patients had three negative test results for SARS-CoV-2 on April 13, 15 and 17.
The five patients will continue to be isolated and monitored for the next 14 days, according to the Treatment Sub-Committee of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
On Monday morning, the Ministry of Health also reported that Patient 188's tests using RT-PCR at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases were negative again for SARS-CoV-2.
The ministry yesterday reported that Patient 188, a worker from Trường Sinh Service Company at the Bạch Mai General Hospital, tested positive again for coronavirus three days after she was released from hospital. The patient will continue to be isolated for health monitoring at the hospital.
As of this morning, the health ministry reported no new COVID-19 cases over the past four consecutive days. The country’s total patients with COVID-19 still stands at 268 and no deaths have been reported.
Vietnamese expat community support UK in battling COVID-19
The Vietnamese Association based in the UK has launched a campaign calling on all businesses and individuals in the Vietnamese community to donate gloves and face masks in support of British frontline health workers as they battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The move comes amid the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) facing a severe shortage of personal protective medical equipment in the COVID-19 fight, such as gloves, face masks, and other protective pieces of gear.
At present, the Vietnamese Association in the UK has successfully raised enough funds to purchase 1,100 protective suits and 2,500 face masks which are anticipated to arrive in the UK next week after being sent directly from Vietnam.
The association also provided a total of 50 boxes of gloves and face masks for the NHS, with the haul of equipment being raised by Vietnamese expats living in the UK.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having a severe effect on the health service in the UK, the Vietnamese Embassy has been regularly co-ordinating activities alongside the Vietnamese Association. This has largely been done as a means of staying updated regarding the epidemic situation, in addition to conducting consular legislation procedures and putting citizen protection measures in place.
Simultaneously, the Vietnamese Association in the UK has also launched a customer service hotline aimed at helping Vietnamese people contact the NHS if necessary.
The association has been active in working closely with individuals and community organisations in a drive to provide doctors and nurses at Lewisham Hospital and Kings Hospital in London with free meals every Tuesday and Saturday starting from April 18.
These actions have seen representatives from Lewisham Hospital extend their profound gratitude towards the Vietnamese community for their fantastic support and encouragement offered to British doctors and nurses during the ongoing pandemic.
Online shopping helping with physical distancing amid COVID-19
To lower crowds and mitigate any chaos as COVID-19 disrupts daily life, many supermarkets, traditional markets and shops are now accepting orders online and providing free delivery to customers. Many have also conducted promotional programs to push online sales.
Since order on physical distancing was introduced, businesses in the city have promoted online sales via websites and social networks. According to some businesses, online orders have doubled compared to previously as retailers have strengthened their consultation and delivery services and promotions to push online sales.
Online shopping also promotes the digital economy and smart shopping. Business models based on IT reduce infrastructure investment needs and other costs and contribute to strengthening physical distancing amid COVID-19.
French newspaper explains how Vietnam contains spread of coronavirus
Rather than extensive testing like the RoK and Singapore, Vietnam focuses on tracing possible contacts with infection cases
France’s daily newspaper Le Figaro ran an article on April 19 explaining how Vietnam has limited the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the community.
With 268 infections, including 198 fully recovering and zero fatality, Vietnam, which borders China, where the COVID-19 originated, has become an example in the fight against the pandemic for Western countries, the article said.
It quoted Kidong Park, the World Health Organisation representative in Vietnam, in his interview granted to the “Journal du dimanche” newspaper, as saying that right after the first cases reported in China, Vietnam has stayed vigilant to this threat.
In mid-January, a committee on disease response was established, gathering representatives of relevant ministries and sectors, doctors and scientists to make forecasts on the disease outbreak.
In a meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also declared a “war” against the COVID-19 and required all people to “fight the disease like fighting the enemy”.
Compared to other Asian nations like the Republic of Korea and Singapore, Vietnam does not have enough financial resources to combat the pandemic. Therefore, the 94-million-people nation has conducted a “low-cost” strategy by focusing on massive quarantine and tracing of all possible contacts with infections (known as F1, F2, F3 and F4), the article stressed.
It said that Vietnam has ordered a compulsory 14-day quarantine period for all people entering the country, suspended all flights linking to China right after it recorded the first case, and tightened the control over the 1,000km land border line,
The closure of all schools after the lunar New Year holiday in late January, and locals’ face mask wearing when going out are also among measures taken by the country, it added.
The article also affirmed that these measures have been implemented effectively thanks to the abidance of the inhabitants and their support for the Government’s efforts./
Vietnamese in UK support local health staff in fight against COVID-19
A free meal presented to Lewisham hospital
The Vietnamese Association in the UK (VAUK) has raised funds to buy 1,100 protective suits and 2,500 face masks to support the UK's National Health Service (NHS) amid the serious spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The protective suits and face masks, originated from Vietnam, are expected to arrive in the UK next week.
Earlier, the VAUK also presented 50 boxes of gloves and face masks raised by the Vietnamese community in the UK to the NHS.
Amid the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK is working closely with the VAUK to update information related to the disease, consular procedures and citizen protection.
At the same time, the VAUK launched a hotline to assist overseas Vietnamese in the UK when they need to contact the NHS, irrespective of personal documentation.
It is also providing free meals for medical staff at Lewisham and Kings hospitals in London every Tuesday and Saturday, beginning on April 18./
Two more patients with COVID-19 recover, bring total to 203
Two more patients have been declared COVID-19-free following treatment at hospital.
The total number of people who have made a full recovery from the virus now stands at 203, more than three-quarters of everyone who has tested positive nationwide.
The latest two patients, both Vietnamese, tested positive after arriving in the country from the UK.
They were successfully treated at the Bạc Liêu Provincial General Hospital in Bạc Liêu southern Province.
Patient 156, a 21-year-old man, was admitted to the hospital on March 27. During treatment, he was tested three times between April 12 to 16 and all results came back negative for SARS-CoV-2.
Patient 241 is a 20-year-old man. He was admitted to the hospital on April 1 and also tested negative on April 9, 12 and 16.
At present, they are showing no signs of fever or coughing. The two men will continue to be isolated and monitored for the next 14 days, according to the Treatment Sub-Committee of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
As of Sunday morning, the Ministry of Health reported no new COVID-19 cases over the past three days. The country’s total amount of patients with the novel coronavirus still stands at 268 and no fatalities have been reported.
The world has nearly 2,331,000 patients with COVID-19, including more than 160,700 deaths in 211 countries and territories, according to Việt Nam’s Public Health Emergency Operations Centre.
Health official holds wedding for son in violation of COVID-19 prevention regulations
A medical worker checks the temperature of a motorbike driver in Hà Tĩnh City, the central province of Hà Tĩnh.
A hospital deputy director in the central province of Hà Tĩnh has been found to have held a wedding for his son, violating COVID-19 prevention orders that were already in place.
Director of the Hà Tĩnh Department of Health Lê Ngọc Châu confirmed that Lê Anh Hùng, deputy director of the Hương Khê District General Hospital, had indeed committed the violation and he would face disciplinary warning.
Earlier, reports surfaced that Hùng held a wedding ceremony for his son on March 31 despite regulations banning large gatherings to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading.
Many condemned the action and criticised the hospital's executive for failure to "set an example."
Hà Tĩnh People’s Committee on April 2 sent a letter to the director of the provincial Department of Health asking for a work suspension for Hùng while further punishment is considered.
HCM City steps up inspections of COVID-19 prevention measures
An online briefing of the HCM City Steering Committee for COVID-19 Disease Prevention and Control held last week. Periodic inspections of COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures will be conducted across the city. — Photo www.sggp.org.vn
Lê Thanh Liêm, deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, has asked departments, sectors and relevant agencies to conduct random and periodic inspections of COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures across the city.
Speaking at an online briefing held on Friday, Liêm asked local officials to strictly comply with the Prime Minister’s Directive No 16/CT-TTg on the implementation of urgent measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as the city’s social distancing order.
“Implementing measures in disease prevention and control can be a long and continuous process, ” Liêm said, adding that all relevant agencies and localities must not be negligent in enforcing disease prevention and control measures.
He asked the city’s Department of Industry and Trade to work with district-level agencies to inspect the operation of wholesale markets, trade centres, supermarkets and shopping malls.
These markets must strictly comply with preventive measures, and buyers and sellers must keep a safe distance of at least two metres between each other.
Local authorities must also check crowds of people gathering for morning exercise at parks and public places. Gatherings of more than two people are banned until at least April 22.
Liêm asked the Department of Education and Training to devise a set of criteria for disease prevention and control in schools.
The municipal People’s Committee will soon issue an official document on criteria for disease prevention and control to be used after the reopening of restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, karaoke parlours, cinemas, theatres and other entertainment places.
Ngô Minh Châu, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee, praised the efforts of departments, relevant agencies and localities in following the PM’s Directive and the city’s orders.
“The city is proactively implementing measures and seeing positive results in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
The city has fined people who have spread false information and fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic, and people and businesses that have made face masks that do not meet quality standards.
Fines have also been given to people who were not wearing face masks in public or not complying with regulations that restrict leaving home.
However, many people are still gathering in groups at coffee shops, and exercising and not wearing face masks in public places.
In addition, many sellers and buyers at traditional markets are not keeping a safe distance from each other.
Châu asked all districts to regularly check the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Any carelessness or false information may destroy the city’s efforts through this long process,” he said.
The police will also take measures to prevent illegal motorcycle racing on streets that are now uncrowded because of the pandemic.
Safe distance services allowed in central region
The latest extension to social distancing rules set by the Prime Minister will mean limited services will be operating in Đà Nẵng City.
Pharmacies, banks, petrol stations and supermarkets, along with water supply and telecommunication services will remain open.
Members of the public must wear a facemask in public and stay two metres apart or potentially face administrative fines.
Schools and universities will remain closed, and there will be no public transport or taxis on the roads.
Coffee shops and restaurants will only be allowed to offer a limited online-only delivery service, according to city officials.
Meanwhile the central Thừa Thiên-Huế provincial people’s committee decided to reduce clean water bills by 10 per cent between April and June.
The provincial committee is also in discussions with power companies to introduce similar reductions to help residents.
A Japanese company, M&H Industry Việt Nam donated 30,000 face masks worth VNĐ150 million ($6,500) to the provincial Fatherland Front in joining hands for the COVID-19 fight on Wednesday.
The province also fined three people for fake news posting on facebook during COVID-19 isolation time with total VNĐ37.5 million (US$1,600) on Wednesday.
One person had posted false information claiming a child had been kidnapped.
Medical supplies presented to Lao security departments
Medical supplies and necessities were donated to the Security Departments of the Lao provinces of Salavan and Sekong on Saturday
The Public Security Department of central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province on Saturday presented medical supplies and necessities to the Security Departments of the Lao provinces of Salavan and Sekong to support their fight against COVID-19.
The gifts include 10,000 face masks, 50 sets of protective clothing, 1,000 pairs of medical gloves, disinfection machines, two tonnes of rice and 200 boxes of instant noodles, with a combined value of VNĐ200 million (US$8,570).
Agencies and organisations in the central province also gave more than 1,300 bottles of hand santiniser, 1,000 face masks, 100 boxes of instant noodles, among others to the Security Departments of Laos.
The gifts will help Lao officers, soldiers and people in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and tighten relations between the Thừa Thiên-Huế Public Security Department and the Security Departments of Salavan and Sekong.
Thừa Thiên-Huế shares a 84-kilometre border with the two Lao provinces.
German newspaper highlights Vietnam’s measures against COVID-19
Cars in a road in Quang Nam province are being disinfected.
Germany’s Junge Welt (Young People) daily on April 18 ran an article explaining why Vietnam can contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The article said the number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam is significantly fewer than that in many countries in Europe and America.
The reason for this is the rapid concentrated quarantine of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 that causes the respiratory disease, along with appropriate measures to quarantine those who have been in contact with the patients, it elaborated.
With the aim of swiftly detecting as many as possible people included in the contact list and quarantine them, Vietnam has put the pandemic under control.
However, the country still maintains its strict regulations in the fight against the epidemic, such as closing schools, kindergartens, restaurants and shops that do not provide food and daily supplies.
Besides, wearing face masks when going out is compulsory, and any violations will get punishments.
The article said when a person in Vietnam tests positive for the virus, competent forces will immediately conduct contact tracing and quarantine.
Right after dozens of COVID-19 cases relating to Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital late March were reported, the hospital had been closed and thousands of people linked to it had been placed under special medical supervision.
The infected people are monitored at quarantine areas, including military facilities, while others quarantine themselves at home. Those who cannot go shopping or receive no food from their families will be supported by authorities of residential areas. The observance of medical quarantine regulations is under close supervision.
Vietnamese Embassy in Canada warns citizens against unlicensed flights
The Vietnamese Embassy in Canada has warned Vietnamese citizens against engaging in financial transactions with organisations or individuals that pledge to arrange flights back to Vietnam that are not licensed by the Vietnamese government.
The Embassy made the warning after it and the Consulate General in Canada received reports that some organisations and individuals were collecting deposits to organise flights to bring Vietnamese citizens in Canada back to Vietnam.
The Embassy affirmed that Vietnamese representative agencies in Canada are actively coordinating with authorised agencies back in Vietnam to respond to the wish to go back to Vietnam of Vietnamese citizens in accordance with the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s instructions.
Under the Government’s instruction, priority will be given to children under 18 years old, the elderly and the sick when repatriation flights are arranged, the Embassy said.
After such flights are licensed by the Government, the representative agencies will officially notify the citizens of the flights and relevant information.
The Embassy asked the citizens to stay vigilant, and not to provide their personal information and engage in financial transactions with organisations and individuals that use the name of the representative agencies to collect money for unlicensed flights.
Vietnamese representative agencies in Canada have received more than 1,100 applications registering for repatriation flights so far, which have been transferred to competent agencies at home for consideration.
Vice President commends inventor of “rice ATM” machine
|The "rice ATM" model has been rolled out in many localities nationwide.|
Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh has sent a letter to the inventor of the so-called “rice ATM” to praise his creativity that helps those in disadvantaged circumstances during the pandemic.
In the letter to Hoang Tuan Anh, director of the PHG Lock company in Ho Chi Minh City, the Vice President said his rice ATM project has had a good ripple effect, persuading hundreds of people to donate several dozen tonnes of rice, thus helping thousands of needy people amid the pandemic.
The model has been multiplied across the country, from Hanoi, Hoa Binh in the north, to Da Nang, Hue, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Dak Lak in the central region, to Can Tho, Ca Mau in the south.
Vice President Thinh stressed that millions of organisations and individuals in and outside the country have responded to the call of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong, instructions of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a campaign launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through many useful ideas and good deeds.
She affirmed the belief that with the people’s unity and solidarity with the Party and State, Vietnam will overcome the present difficult period and win over the pandemic.
The Vice President welcomed and commended the work of Hoang Tuan Anh and all the compassionate and brave deeds of the people in the fight against the pandemic, leaving no one behind.
Russian media hails Vietnam’s quick response to COVID-19
With drastic quarantine measures and social unity, Vietnam is effectively controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, according to an article on the website Lenta.ru of Russia.
The article emphasised that Vietnam's response to the COVID-19 crisis deserves appreciation from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Despite sharing the border with China, where the disease broke out, the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Vietnam to date is more than 260 cases and no deaths have been recorded, it said.
Early response is the most important factor leading to the country’s success in controlling the epidemic, the article said, quoting WHO’s Chief Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park as saying that Vietnam has responded to this outbreak early and actively right after China reported first cases of COVID-19.
It listed a host of measures that Vietnam has taken to contain the spread of the disease, including establishing the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control headed by a Deputy Prime Minister, outlining a national response plan, closing schools, carrying out large-scale quarantine, suspending international flights, and applying other disease preventative regulations.
The article noted that despite recording only a small number of new COVID-19 cases since April 1, the date social distancing regulations took effect, Vietnam has not yet mentioned easing the above measures, and are still restricting entry into and exit from the country.
Vietnam's success, it went on, can be explained by social unity which is expressed in discipline and solidarity of the people, as well as their compliance with relevant regulations.
Lao sees positive signs in controlling COVID-19
Laos hailed positive signs in the fight against COVID-19 as the country has not detected any new cases of infections on the seventh consecutive day on April 19.
Speaking at a press conference on April 19 afternoon, Lao Deputy Health Minister Phouthone Meuangpak said the number of COVID-19 cases há stopped at 19 so far, with two patients cured and discharged from hospital.
As of April 18, Laos had 11,586 people being under quarantine, he said.
Despite the positive situation, the Lao government has still maintained social distancing measures.
The Lao government has decided to extend social distancing and the closure of educational institutions at all grades to May 3.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 172 new infection cases and 12 more deaths, bringing its total to 6,259, including 409 deaths.
COVID-19: Cambodia extends school closure
Cambodian students - Illustrative image (Photo: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/)
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) of Cambodia has announced that the re-opening of schools has been postponed until further notice as preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
According to a directive issued by the ministry on April 17, the extension of school suspensions covers all educational institutions at all levels and forms, both public and private.
The ministry urged all educational institutions to promote and support distance learning and e-learning.
Educational institutions have been ordered to close since March 16 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As of April 18, the total number of COVID-19 infections in Cambodia has remained at 122 for the sixth day in a row.
In an effort to prevent the disease, the Phnom Penh authority on April 17 said it was ready to quarantine more than 15,000 textile workers who were preparing to return to the capital after the traditional New Year of the Khmer.
Thai Navy slashes 2020 budget by 33 percent to help fight COVID-19
Illustrative image (Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network)
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will slash its fiscal 2020 budget by 33 percent (equivalent to 4,100 billion THB or 126 million USD) to help the government fight COVID-19, said Vice Admiral Prachachat Sirisawat, the Navy's spokesman, on April 18.
The government has asked all ministries to cut their budgets and contribute the excess to the central budget to help compensate the general public whose lives have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, or to be used in emergency situations, he said.
Commander-in-Chief of the RTN, Admiral Luechai Rutdit, therefore ordered the Navy to cut its budget for 2020 by 33 percent — by 4.1 billion THB — which is higher than what the government has asked.
RTN will also postpone the procurement of the second and third submarines to 2021 although the purchases were to be made from the RTN’s own budget and not of the Ministry of Defense, the spokesman added.
This also means other submarine-related projects will be suspended too, such as the construction of submarine bays and maintenance facilities.
Other Navy projects that will be affected by the budget cut include: anti-submarine helicopters’ overhaul, network centric database system, training equipment procurement, and the construction of apartments for RTN personnel, he said.
Thailand on April 19 reported 32 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 2,765, with 47 deaths, according to spokesperson for the Thai government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration Taweesin Wisanuyothin.