Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

COVID-19: British patient in critical condition, needs ECMO therapy

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Patients in critical condition are being treated in a restricted area to avoid cross transmission

A British pilot who has been infected with the coronavirus is in critical condition and needs ECMO support to sustain life, according to Ho Chi Minh City-based Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

Dr Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, director of the hospital, said he has run high temperatures endured respiratory failure since he caught infection on March 18.

Chest X-ray images showed he has suffered from severe lunge damage, requiring intensive interventions.

The patient used both noninvasive and invasive ventilators to survive, but respiratory failure is worsening, said Dr Chau.

Hospital doctors on April 6 consulted with colleagues of HCM City’s Cho Ray hospital, and they agreed to apply the ECMO therapy to save his life.

The patient, a 43-year-old pilot of Vietnam Airlines, took a flight from London to Vietnam on March 8. A week later he visited Buddha Bar in Ho Chi Minh City where more than 10 coronavirus patients have been confirmed to date.

ECMO is an extracorporeal technique of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life.

Half of COVID-19 infections fully recover in Vietnam

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

A further 27 patients, including six foreigners, were released from hospital on April 27 after fully recovering from the novel coronavirus disease, bringing the country's tally of discharged patients to 122.

They include 11 from Hanoi-based Central Hospital of Tropical Diseases, nine from two hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, two from Hue Central Hospital in central Vietnam, four from Sa Dec hospital in Dong Thap province, and one from a healthcare centre in Ben Tre province.

All the patients have several times tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

One of the released is a doctor from Hanoi-based Hospital of Tropical Diseases No2 who was exposed to the infection when taking care of the COVID-19 patients. This is the first Vietnamese doctor infected with the disease.

After leaving the hospitals, the patients are required to self-isolate at places of residence for another 14 days.

As of April 7, about 122 out of 245 patients have fully recovered and received discharge from hospital. The remaining 123 patients are being treated at healthcare facilities across the country.

Among the three severe cases, two need support of ventilators and dialysis while one is receiving an ECMO therapy to sustain life.

Vietnamese artists release MVs responding to COVID-19 crisis

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

A music video featuring the song titled “Vietnam will win” for response to coronavirus prevention and control has attracted more than 15 million views in the first five days after release.

The song is composed by musician Nguyen Hai Phong and performed by many young singers, such as Duc Phuc, Trong Hieu Idol, Trung Quan Idol, Han Sara, Ho Quang Hieu, Ta Quang Thang, Dinh Manh Ninh, actress Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc, actors Jun Pham and Lien Binh Phat and others.

The MV presents a key message of “Vietnam leaving nobody behind” and a belief that Vietnam will win in the fight against the epidemic.

Earlier, singer Ha Linh who won the 2007 Sao Mai Singing Contest has released a music video entitled The Gioi Cung Chong Dai Dich Corona (Unite to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic) in both Vietnamese and English. The song was composed by Doctor Manh Thang and teacher Tran Phuong.

8 more patients in HCM City fully recover from COVID-19

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)
Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Eight patients were discharged from hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on April 7 after completely recovering from the novel coronavirus.

Four of the patients are from Cu Chi field hospital and the other four are from Can Gio hospital.

Three of the discharged patients were said to have visited Buddha Bar in the city where 18 people have been infected with the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. They are all foreigners.

Hospital doctors said all the patients have several times tested negative for the virus and they all remain in stable health condition.

After leaving the hospitals, they are required to self-isolate at places of residence for another 14 days.

As of April 7, Ho Chi Minh City has confirmed 53 coronavirus cases, of whom 30 have fully recovered.

63 obstetrics hospital doctors safe from deadly COVID-19 virus

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

An entrance gate of the Hanoi obstetrics hospital

All 63 doctors and nurses of the Hanoi Obstetrics hospital who were quarantined after having contact with a male COVID-19 patient have first tested negative for the virus, according to Dr Nguyen Duy Anh, director of the hospital.

Announcing good news on April 7, Dr Anh said a hospital patient, who is the male COVID-19 patient’s cousin, was also found not carrying the virus.
Everything is fine and the hospital services have now got back to normal, said Dr Anh.

Sixty-three doctors and nurses of the hospital were placed in quarantine on April 6 after coming into contact with a male COVID-19 visitor.

The man drove his pregnant cousin to the hospital for regular check-ups on April 4. However, his virus infection was confirmed on April 6, forcing the hospital to identify medical workers having contact with the man.

A total of 63 doctors and nurses were isolated for virus testing, said Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, hitting back at rumours circulating that 83 medical workers had been affected.

Ha also said in case the medical workers test negative for the virus, they will have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days before going to work.

Meanwhile, Phuc Yen general hospital in Vinh Phuc province bordering Hanoi also announced that the hospital has quarantined 10 doctors and nurses after they had contact with the male patient.

The male patient was also found visiting the general hospital on April 4.

Social distancing a hot topic in Vietnam: Google trends

Topics related to social distancing and news from the Health Ministry are top topics that interst Vietnamese internet users amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Social distancing" and related topics started to gain more popularity last month, after Vietnam confirmed the 17th COVID-19 patient on March 6 after going 22 days without new infections.

Notably, the number of Vietnamese googling these keywords skyrocketed on March 31, a day before a nationwide social distancing campaign was implemented, Google said recently.

The social distancing campaign also sparked an increase in searches related to delivery services, online shopping and online learning.

With many working from home and all eateries closed, the search tool was also deployed by many for information on electric devices and home appliances such as printers, computers, air fryers and cookers.

Previously, the number of searches related to the COVID-19 virus and disease had topped on January 31 and decreased gradually before March and gone atop again on March 29.

Google also revealed that at the beginning of the pandemic, many people looked for information from the World Health Organization (WHO). However, most Vietnamese are now reading the news released by the Ministry of Health.

The search engine has listed five most popular topics related to the pandemic in March among Vietnamese users: updated information about the disease; the number of infections in the country; symptoms; provinces recording infections; and the total number of infections.

Around 64 million users, or over half the Vietnam's population, are online.

Foreign media outlets praise Vietnam's successful efforts to curb COVID-19

Vietnam's efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through effective control policies have been noted in foreign media outlets for this success with both the Al-Arabiya Arabic website based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Moroccan website Hespress recently publishing articles applauding the country for its success.

The Al-Arabiya Arabic article outlines the strict quarantine measures implemented by the nation on tens of thousands of Vietnamese nationals returning home from abroad as a means of avoiding the epidemic spreading in a similar manner to Europe and the United States. It states its appreciation for the prevention efforts led by the Vietnamese government, noting that they have received both praise and co-operation from citizens and have served as a way of keeping the number of infections at a lower level than neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia.

Most notably, Vietnam has yet to record a single death caused by the COVID-19 and is also enjoying an infection rate lower than other regional nations, with the exception of Myanmar and Laos. In addition, the article also publishes plenty of images featuring the efforts to halt the epidemic being carried out by the Vietnamese people.

Along with the Al-Arabiya Arabic, the Moroccan website Hespress has also posed an article lauding Vietnam's initiatives in its fight against the pandemic, stating that the nation had been early in taking a range of preventive measures, along with providing its citizens with clear, transparent information regarding the ongoing situation.

These preventive measures have ultimately contributed to limiting the spread of the epidemic, it said, adding that the country’s success was to recognise the severity of the crisis early, whilst also giving the public up-to-date information and applying successful models to respond to the global crisis in a rapid and effective manner.

Hanoi hospital staff quarantined for contacting with Covid-19 patient

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Many staff members of Hanoi Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital have been quarantined after having contact with a Covid-19 case.

According to Hanoi Disease Control Centre, up to 63 staff members of Hanoi Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital have been defined for relating to Vietnam’s 243rd Covid-19 patient. Among those, 17 people who directly contacted the patient were sent to a concentrated quarantine area, while the remainder has been quarantined at home. The isolation time will be 14 days, starting from April 6.

The 47-year-old patient from Me Linh District’s Ha Loi Village, Hanoi, took his wife to the hospital for examination on April 4 and then he tested positive to the virus on April 5.

Earlier, on March 12, he and his wife came to Bach Mai Hospital for medical checks. Since then, he came into contact with many people. He tested positive for Covid-19 23 days after going to Bach Mai Hospital which became a major Covid-19 outbreak in Hanoi.

Ha Loi Village where has around 2,000 people have been isolated. Forty-seven local residents who had direct contact with the patient have been tested and taken to a quarantine zone.

Vietnam has confirmed 245 Covid-19 cases with 95 among those discharged from hospital.

Supporting students – top priority amid COVID-19 outbreak: Ambassador to US

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

An empty street in New York

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc has affirmed that supporting Vietnamese students is the top priority in its citizen protection efforts amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the host country.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Washington DC, Ngoc said there are nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students living in the US, who are among the groups most vulnerable to the disease.

The embassy has provided updated information about the disease for Vietnamese citizens, especially students, and recommended they take preventive meausres and follow regulations on entry and exit procedures and quarantine in both countries, while helping those who were stuck at US airports to fly home.

In addition to maintaining information channels and hotlines around the clock to provide timely assistance for needy students, the embassy has also coordinated with the Vietnamese Youth and Student Association in the US and its chapters in different states to disseminate information to students and help them in the fight against COVID-19.

Concerns have recently been raised about the overload of the host country's health and social security systems as well as changes to policies which would be disadvantageous for foreign citizens. However, the Vietnamese embassy has proactively worked with local authorised offices and asked the US side to take necessary measures to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of Vietnamese citizens living in the country, including the extension of their stays and the granting of new visas, Ngoc stated.

Sharing the concerns of Vietnamese parents and students in the US at present, the embassy is continuing to strictly implement instructions from the Government, and helping Vietnamese citizens to book commercial flights organized by Vietnam to return home, he added

Amid the complicated developments of the pandemic, the diplomat noted that students should strictly comply with local regulations on COVID-19 prevention, practise social distancing, and limit road and air travel to avoid the risk of infection.

The embassy will do its utmost to stand side by side with and support Vietnamese citizens, particularly students, he asserted.

Regarding the export of medical equipment, protective gear and face masks to the US, the ambassador said it will countribute to strengthening bilateral cooperation, including in the health sector.

In the context that the disease is spreading out on a global scale, the US has huge demand for medical products. Vietnam’s supply of these products shows its assistance for partners, including the US, as well as its participation in global efforts to fight the disease, Ngoc stated.

However, he noted that the US side has strict quality requirements for imported medical products. Therefore, he asked Vietnamese businesses to follow instructions from the Government and related ministries, especially the Ministries of Public Health, and Industry and Trade, on regulations related to the export of medical equipment and face masks, and at the same time discuss carefully with US partners about production and export contracts.

For its part, the embassy will continue updating information on the disease as well as the US side’s requirements for Vietnamese offices and enterprises, Ngoc added.

Party Secretariat urges stronger actions against recruitment, appointment wrongdoings

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Tran Quoc Vuong, permanent member of the Party Central Committee's Secretariat signs the conclusion. (Photo: tienphong.vn)

The Secretariat of the Party Central Committee has ordered stronger leadership, inspections, supervisions and actions against wrongdoings in personnel work in general and in the recruitment of officials and public employees in particular.

In a recently-issued conclusion, the Secretariat pointed out bottlenecks in handling wrongdoings even found in the appointment of leading and managerial positions, or in the personnel preparation for Party Committees for the 2020-2025 tenure.

Given this, all-level Party Committees and organisations, and leaders of relevant agencies and units were asked to promptly detect and handle the wrongdoings.

Recruitment decisions may be revoked in case of violations, the Secretariat said, stressing the need to identify the responsibility of those involved.

The Government’s Party Civil Affairs Committee will assign the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue documents guiding the settlement of wrongdoings this month.

The Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission will coordinate with the Government’s Party Civil Affairs Committee and relevant agencies to urge localities and agencies to swiftly overcome shortcomings and limitations in personnel work, organise inspections and make regular reports to the Secretariat.

Social resources sent to Fatherland Front to help COVID-19 fight

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

VFF Central Committee receives funds from Co-operative Bank of Vietnam

Social resources have been sent to the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) over the past few days in response to a call from the Party, Government and the VFF to fight the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

According to preliminary statistics, the amount of money donated through the National Humanitarian Portal has reached over 128 billion VND (5.4 million USD).

More than 750 billion VND in cash and kind have been sent to the VFF Central Committee.

On April 6, President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man received 100 million VND (4,266 USD) from the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs.

He stressed that all of the cash will be transferred to the Ministry of Health to buy essential medical equipment to tackle COVID-19, while relief packages will be sent to the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security for distribution to quarantine and treatment facilities throughout the country.

The same day, the VFF leader also received fundings worth 105 million VND and 335 million VND from Doan ket Company Limited and AOE Community in Vietnam, respectively.

Vice President of the VFF Central Committee Nguyen Huu Dung received 30 million VND from the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, and 40 million VND from the National Political Publishing House, in donations for the nationwide fight against COVID-19.

Also on April 6, the VFF’s chapter in the northern province of Hai Duong received support from many businesses in and out of the locality to prevent the pandemic.

The chapter has received over 4.6 billion VND, including 3 billion VND in cash and the remainder in essential goods, food and medical equipment.

COVID-19 forces Indonesia’s manufacturing activities to sharply decline

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

A corner of Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia’s manufacturing activities fell off a cliff in March as the government imposed stricter measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19, a survey has showed.

According to IHS Markit, Indonesia’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) slumped to 45.3, the worst in the survey's nine-year history.

Under stricter antivirus measures, demand weakened sharply at the end of the first quarter, the survey stated.

Meanwhile, new business inflows fell at the fastest rate in the series history, dragged down by a plunge in export sales.

At the same time, factory shutdowns led to a marked drop in production, with output also falling at a record rate, according to the survey.

Manufacturing made up around 19 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2019, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data showed.

The government has projected the local economy to grow at the lowest level since 1999 of 2.3 percent this year under the baseline scenario, or expand by 0.4 percent in the worst-case scenario if the pandemic still lingers on.

While it has yet to impose a lockdown, the Indonesian government in mid-March called on citizens to stay at home to curb the pandemic. This has disrupted business activities and hit people’s purchasing power as a sizeable proportion of the workforce was forced to take unpaid leave or even laid off./.

18 COVID-19 patients to be discharged from hospital today, total infection cases still 245

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Eighteen COVID-19 patients will leave hospitals on April 7 after their complete recovery, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

As of 6:00 on April 7, Vietnam had no new cases of COVID-19 to report in the country, keeping the national count at 245 unchanged from the figure reported on the night of April 6, the committee said.

Of the patients, 153 people returned from abroad.

There are currently three people in serious conditions in hospitals, but one is showing signs of improvement.

 

A total of 32 patients tested negative for the virus for the first time, and 30 others got negative results for the second.

The committee has asked ministers, heads of ministerial-level and government agencies, and chairpersons of municipal and provincial People’s Committees to strictly handle violations of regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Reports on the implementation work must be sent to the Ministry of Health before April 15 to be submitted to the Prime Minister before April 17.

No new cases of COVID-19 reported for third morning in a row

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Patient number 122 waves goodbye as she holds up a certificate confirming she has made a full recovery. She was admitted to the Đà Nẵng General Hospital on March 22. During treatment she was tested a further three times and all results came back negative. Now she will self-isolate at home for 14 days.

For the third morning in succession, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Việt Nam.

The total amount of patients nationwide who have tested positive for coronavirus remains at 245, with 95 people making a full recovery so far.

It is expected that an announcement will be made later on Tuesday that 18 more patients have recovered.

From those who have tested positive, 153, or 62.4 per cent, are Vietnamese nationals who have returned home from overseas, and 62 cases are connected to the Bạch Mai Hospital in Hà Nội.

According to the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, there are currently three people in a serious condition in hospital with two of those on ventilation and dialysis at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases 2 in the capital.

They are the 19th and 161st patients. Patient No 19 has been reportedly showing signs of progress.

The third one is patient No 91 who has switched from non-invasive mechanical ventilation to invasive mechanical ventilation and ECMO at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)
Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)


Localities asked to review impact of COVID-19 on development

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Chairspersons of the people’s committees of centrally-run cities and provinces have been asked to review the overall impact of COVID-19 on local socio-economic development.

According to a dispatch sent by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, they must review economic growth in terms of gross regional domestic product, State budget collections, exports and imports, tourism, corporate performance (the number of enterprises and consumption levels), and the lives of local residents and workers and those hit by the pandemic, such as the poor, social beneficiaries, and ex-revolutionaries.

Localities are also required to suggest measures to support workers and enterprises, ensure social welfare, maintain social safety and order, and step up public capital disbursement.

At the same time, they must exert the utmost effort to achieve socio-economic development goals for 2020 set by the Party Central Committee and in resolutions of the National Assembly, the Government, and city and provincial party congresses and people’s councils.

Localities have also been directed to promptly handle investment procedures and address any difficulties facing businesses, cooperatives, and business households.

Shinhan Finance donates $51,207 to Việt Nam COVID-19 fight

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Oh Tae Joon, deputy CEO of Shinhan Vietnam Finance Company Limited, hands over a cheque for VNĐ800 million to Trần Hữu Phước of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front– HCM City. — Photo courtesy of the company

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Shinhan Vietnam Finance Company Limited has announced a number of actions to support the Government’s efforts to tackle it.

It donated VNĐ1.2 billion (US$51,207) in cash to support urgent public needs and those on the frontlines. Of this, it gave VNĐ800 million ($34,158) to the Việt Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) – HCM City and VNĐ200 million to the VFF – Đà Nẵng City while the remaining VNĐ200 million was contributed by its employees and trade unions to the Central Committee of the VFF.

Shinhan Finance has also launched a nation-wide public awareness campaign to inform its customers and employees about the importance of social responsibility with regard to call for action by the Government to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign encourages its customers to seek online services and avoid visiting branches or service introduction points for 15 days.

Atul Dixit, Shinhan Finance CEO, said: “We have seen the most incredible response from the Vietnam government and people, especially those on the frontlines of the fight in field hospitals, quarantine centres and risky airports.

“Practise our core values and compassionate finance. We hope our donation of VNĐ1.2 billion in cash and other donations … will make a significant contribution towards protecting people’s lives, and by that we are giving some peace of mind during this trying time. We hope to see more hands join the battle so we could get through this challenging time together.”

The company is a fully foreign-owned subsidiary of Korea’s Shinhan Card.

Golden Time Group donates medical suits to front line hospitals

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Chairman of the Board of Directors, General Director of Golden Time Group Nguyễn Khắc Đồi (left) hands over medical protective suits to President of the VNRC Nguyễn Thị Xuân Thu at a ceremony on Monday in Hà Nội.

The Golden Time Group donated 5,540 medical suits worth VNĐ1 billion (US$43,000) to the Việt Nam Red Cross Society (VNRC) at a ceremony today in Hà Nội.

The suits will be given to front line health workers at hospitals in Hà Nội and HCM City to ensure their safety as they battle the COVID-19 epidemic.

Chairman of the Board of Directors, General Director of Golden Time Group Nguyễn Khắc Đồi said that it was a sincere contribution that came from the hearts of his company and employees.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Government, the front line teams of doctors and nurses, and the other forces fighting to prevent the COVID-19 epidemic in Việt Nam,” Đồi said.

“The VNRC highly appreciates this timely support from Golden Time Group in this critical period. The donation of medical protective clothing will ensure more safety for front line forces participating in the prevention of COVID-19,” said President of the VNRC Nguyễn Thị Xuân Thu.

The VNRC said the donation would be given to front line medical facilities where doctors are directly treating COVID-19 patients, such as the Central Tropical Disease Hospital, Bạch Mai Hospital, Saint Pauls, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Chợ Rẫy Hospital, and Cần Giờ and Củ Chi Field hospitals, as well as Red Cross volunteers participating in COVID-19 prevention efforts.

Firms donate food for frontline medical force

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Firms in Ho Chi Minh City have prepared nutritious meals for front-line doctors and nurses participating in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

According to a representative of GS25, Truong Thi Tuyet Mai, GS25 has offered food portions to the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases since March 23 and District 7 Hospital since April 1.

About 115 food portions are sent to HCM City Hospital for Tropical Disease at 8pm daily, while 30 are sent to District 7 Hospital at 7.20am.

The menu is changed every day to ensure hearty yet delicious food portions for the front-line medical force.

“At this time, doctors and nurses need quality food so that they have enough strength to keep up the hard work and provide the best treatment for all patients. Taking great care of doctors and nurses is not simply an act of empathy but also our responsibility,” Mai said.

Since many business firms in HCM City are doing the same meaningful action, GS25 is merely contributing a part of providing extra food portions at night, according to Mai.

The quality and packaging of each portion is carefully thought out to ensure food hygiene and safety, while the delivery process follows strict standards.

“Beloved doctors and nurses just need to focus on the fight against COVID-19 epidemic. In the background, local businesses will try to take care of as many things as possible, including food and drink," Mai said.

To ensure smooth delivery of food, GS25 has increased the number of staff and plans to contact other hospitals for meal donations to the medical force.

“We believe that we can never do enough to take the best care of front-line doctors and nurses. We can only support a small part to HCM City’s medical force. There are many hard-working doctors and nurses elsewhere that risk being infected with COVID-19,” she said.

In addition to GS25, ABC Bakery, owned by Kao Sieu Luc, has produced 10,000 loaves of super-nutritious breads.

This is the company’s second batch after it donated 3,000 special loaves of bread.

Kao Huy Minh, Luc’s daughter, said that each loaf of bread contained the love of many locals.

“After seeing that my father started helping the medical force, many suppliers donated milk, yeast, white flout and black wheat. The US Embassy in Vietnam has even provided us with some types of nuts,” she added.

Minh’s family company is in the process of waiting for hospitals’ approval to donate bread.

Even though the company is willing to help the medical force, Minh admitted that sales revenue of ABC Bakery had dropped by more than 60 percent.

“Some suppliers have closed down so we have to find replacement materials. If we cannot find them, we have no choice but to stop making certain types of bread,” she said.

To keep the business going, Kao Siêu Lực has suspended production of many types of bread and only offered essential, easy-to-eat, delicious and affordable items.

“Everything must be calculated carefully since we do not want to waste existing resources,” Minh said.

She emphasised the importance of providing essential food to locals while ensuring employees’ stable incomes.

“What makes me happy is seeing a lot of businesses in HCM City trying very hard. Their quiet participation in social activities and food donations is only a simple part of a bigger picture,” she added.

Public support gives more strength to COVID-19 fight

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Representatives of the Da Nang municipal People's Procuracy present financial support to the city's Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee on April 6

The fight against COVID-19 is gaining more strength as more support from the public was contributed to the efforts in the central city of Da Nang and Hanoi capital on April 6.

On March 6, the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee of Da Nang received more than 1 billion VND (over 42,600 USD) donated by the FPT Joint Stock Company, the municipal People’s Procuracy and the A Viet Inspection JSC.

Appreciating the assistance, President of the committee Dang Thi Kim Lien said the money will be swiftly delivered to the frontline units of the COVID-19 combat.

She noted in response to the VFF Central Committee’s appeal to all Vietnamese people to support the disease prevention and control, many agencies, organisations, businesses and individuals have joined hands with the city’s authorities in the work.

So far, more than 4.6 billion VND, 1,000 antibacterial face masks, 10 tonnes of rice and 100 bottles of hand sanitiser, among others, have been donated via the municipal VFF Committee.

The same day, a delegation of the Hanoi Red Cross Society and philanthropists visited and presented aid to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2 in Kim Chung commune of Hanoi’s Dong Anh district and the quarantine site at the FPT University’s dormitory in the city’s Thach That district.

They supported the forces working at each site with one tonne of rice, 1,000 face shields, 1,000 food containing boxes, and 50 million VND in cash.

Vietnamese companies assist Laos’ efforts in COVID-19 fight

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Luu Manh Ha, General Director of Star Telecom (second, left), presents his firm's support to Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Duangdy (second, right) on April 6

Two Vietnamese businesses in Laos presented support in both cash and kind worth 370,000 USD to representatives of the Lao Government on April 6 to help with the host country’s fight against COVID-19.

Luu Manh Ha, General Director of Star Telecom (Unitel) – a joint venture of Vietnam’s telecom group Viettel in Laos and Lao Asia Telecom, noted as a leading information technology firm in Laos, the company is aware of its responsibility for deploying technological solutions to assist COVID-19 prevention and control efforts in the country.

Since COVID-19 broke out in China’s Wuhan city, the company has implemented technological solutions for the Lao Government and Health Ministry such as installing teleconference devices, providing an SMS network that automatically sends coronavirus-related information to more than 3.5 million people, and offering 400 SIMs with preferential policies to frontline cadres of the anti-COVID-19 committee.

Aside from the three abovementioned aid packages worth 320,000 USD, the business has also carried out many programmes to help its clients amid the pandemic, Ha added.

Meanwhile, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) contributed 50,000 USD to the Lao Government and people’s efforts to deal with COVID-19.

Nguyen Van Binh, General Director of LaoVietBank and head of BIDV’s representative office in Laos, said the support, donated by over 20,000 staff members of the bank in Vietnam, aims to assist Laos in the combat against the pandemic.

BIDV will continue directing its representative bodies in Laos to keep making practical contributions to the country’s efforts in this regard, he noted.

In response, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Duangdy, who is also head of the country’s national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, appreciated the two businesses’ assistance, affirming that his country will use the aid in the most effective manner to control and curb the spread of the disease.

Laos records one more COVID-19 case

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

People in Vientiane, Laos, wear face masks

Laos reported one more case of COVID-19 on April 5, raising the country’s tally to 11, according to the Lao health ministry.

The 11th patient is the first foreigner tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Laos.

Speaking at a press conference in Vientiane on April 5, Lao Deputy Minister of Health Phouthone Meuangpak said the new patient is a 55-year-old man from Papua New Guinea, who travelled to Singapore on March 21, and entered Laos from Thailand via air route on March 23.

The man had contact with 11 people and worked with at least 100 others.

To date, Laos has conducted SARS-CoV-2 tests for 604 cases, with 11 positive ones. The patients are being treated in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

Meanwhile, on April 5, Cambodia reported no new COVID-19 cases, while one patient was declared to have recovered on the same day.

So far, the country recorded 114 COVID-19 cases, including 50 recoveries.

Cambodia’s police on April 6 directed all forces to enforce a ban on large gatherings during the Khmer Chol Chnam Thmey New Year celebration from April 13 to 16 to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Malaysia announces another stimulus package to cope with COVID-19

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

A banner calling on people to stay home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Malaysian government on April 6 unveiled an additional stimulus package worth 10 billion ringgit (2.3 billion USD) to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a live televised address, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin noted that SMEs contributed to 40 percent of the economy, adding that it was therefore necessary to sustain the companies through these trying times.

Earlier, on March 27, the PM announced an economic stimulus package worth 250 billion ringgit, after the launch of the movement control order (MCO), which was initially effective from March 18 to 31, but later is extended until the end of April 14.

Malaysia is taking measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community. By the end of April 5, Malaysia had recorded a total of 3,662 cases, including 61 deaths.

Hundreds of thousands of workers in Jakarta affected by COVID-19

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

A woman has her blood sample taken for testing in West Java province, Indonesia

The Jakarta Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency said on April 6 that a total of 162,416 workers in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, have been laid off and forced to take unpaid leave due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the figure, 30,137 workers of 3,348 registered companies were laid off, while 132,279 others from 14,697 firms were also put on forced unpaid leave," according to the agency.

The data will soon be submitted to the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, it said.

As part of its stimulus package to counter the effects of the epidemic, the Indonesian government has issued a policy of expanding its pre-employment card programme which provides job skills training and incentives for laid-off workers.

President of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) Said Iqbal has called on the government to prepare more measures to support workers who lose their jobs, such as providing money to workers and drivers. On the other hand, the government also needs to reduce interest rates on bank loans and taxes for tourism businesses to help them overcome the current hard time.

By April 5, Indonesia had recorded 2,273 COVID-19 cases, with 198 deaths. The respective figures in Jakarta were 1,143 and 111.

COVID-19: Singapore announces new stimulus package to support economy

Latest covid-19 news in Vietnam and Southeast Asia on April 7 (updated hourly)

Singaporean people wear face masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic (Source: AFP/VNA)

Singapore on April 6 announced a new stimulus package worth 5.1 billion SGD (3.55 billion USD) including wage support, waiver of levies and one-off payments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is an unprecedented budget for extraordinary times, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

The move came just over a week after the country unveiled support measures worth more than 30 billion USD to cope with the risk of an economic crisis.

On April 5, the Singaporean Ministry of Health confirmed 120 new COVID-19 cases – the highest number reported in a single day in the country.

So far, Singapore has recorded 1,309 cases tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, including six deaths.

The Singaporean government has decided to close most workplaces from April 7 and schools from April 8, to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Accordingly, except for key economic sectors and essential services - such as food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services - all other work premises will close. VNA/VNN/VNS

Number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam reaches 245

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The Ministry of Health confirmed four more people positive for SARS-CoV-2 on late April 6, adding up to 245 cases of COVID-19 in Vietnam so far.

 
 

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