Six more people have been confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on March 30 morning, and all of them are workers of the Truong Sinh Co. Ltd, which provides services for the Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital.
A medical worker checks the body temperature of a person at the gate of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi
As a result, the number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam had reached 194 as of 6am of March 30.
Case 189 is a 46-year-old woman who stayed at the same house with two other Truong Sinh employees who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
The five other infected women were born in 1971, 1984, 1997, 1999 and 1978. However, detailed information on those cases is not yet available. The Ministry of Health said it will announce the details later.
Meanwhile, the ministry also corrected information about the 184th and 185th patients, who were confirmed on late March 29.
Accordingly, Case 184 is a 42-year-old woman who works for the Truong Sinh company. She stayed at the same house with two other colleagues previously found positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Case 185 is a 38-year-old man living in Hoai Duc district of Hanoi. He cared for his brother-in-law under treatment at the neurology department of Bach Mai Hospital on March 15-16 and March 18-19.
Case 180 is a 27-year-old female student returning from France. She transited Thailand before arriving at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Flight TG564 on March 20.
Case 181, a 33-year-old man, boarded the same flight to return to Vietnam from Thailand.
The next patient is a 19-year-old female student who headed home from Switzerland. She arrived at Noi Bai airport on Flight VN618 on March 20 after transiting Thailand.
The three are receiving treatment at the General Hospital of Ninh Binh province and in stable health condition.
Case 183 is a 43-year-old woman living in Trung Hoa ward of Hanoi’s Cau Giay district. She is a reporter and had an interview with Case 148 on March 12.
The 184th patient is also a 43-year-old woman who returned from Russia to Vietnam on Flight SU290 and landed at Noi Bai airport on March 25.
Case 185, a 38-year-old man in Hoai Duc district of Hanoi, received treatment at the neurology department of Bach Mai Hospital for eight days. He was discharged from hospital on March 19 but showed cough on March 24, then his specimens were taken for coronavirus testing.
Case 186 is a 52-year-old French woman who is the wife of Case 76. She reached Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on March 10 on Flight TK162. She travelled to HCM City, Can Tho, Hoi An and Hue from March 10 to 16.
Case 187, a 30-year-old US citizen, arrived at Noi Bai airport on Flight VN0054 on March 13. He made self-quarantine from March 13 to 19 but still had close contact with nine people, including four Vietnamese and five foreigners, living in the same building in Tay Ho district of Hanoi.
The last is a 44-year-old woman living in Hanoi’s My Duc district. She is an employee of the Truong Sinh Company, which provides services for Bach Mai Hospital. She also had close contact with Case 169.
The six abovementioned cases are undergoing treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2 in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district. They are also in stable health condition.
On March 29 afternoon, four patients treated at the COVID-19 hospital in Cu Chi district of HCM City were discharged from hospital. All of them are Vietnamese women who returned from other countries and were kept in quarantine since their arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport.
They have tested negative for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 for three to four times and no longer show any symptoms of the disease.
Doctor Tran Nguyen Hoang Tu said after leaving the hospital, they will continue to be quarantined at home for 14 days, adding that three other patients are expected to leave the hospital on March 30.
65 patients negative for SARS-CoV-2
As of March 29 afternoon, 65 out of 188 COVID-19 patients in Vietnam tested negative for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 after treatment, of whom 53 had negative results for two to four times.
According to the sub-department of treating COVID-19 patients under the Ministry of Health, three critically ill cases being treated at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases No. 2 in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district are getting better.
One of them had mechanical ventilation removed on March 28 night. Meanwhile, the British patient is considered to be gradually reduce the use of mechanical ventilation, and the remainder is likely to get out of the Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine soon.
Regarding the COVID-19 prevention and control work, the ministry has warned all patients, their family members and those who came to Bach Mai Hospital from March 12 to 27 to contact health workers for consultations.
The Hanoi-based hospital is considered the biggest and most complex hotbed of COVID-19 in Vietnam at present, after at least 15 confirmed cases are linked with it.
Residents are advised to limit outings, wear face masks when going out and keep social distance, wash hands and clean houses regularly, and complete health declaration forms.
By March 30 morning, Vietnam recorded a total of 194 COVID-19 cases, with 25 fully recovering and discharged from hospital./.
Hanoi, HCM City issue rules for citizens to fight COVID-19
Two of the country’s biggest cities, Hanoi and HCM City, on March 27 issued a number of recommendations on social distancing for its citizens to follow amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 28 until at least April 15.
All meetings or congregations with attendance of over 20 people in a room will be halted, and no gatherings of more than 10 people outside the workplace or schools will be allowed. For those meetings with fewer participants than these limits, measures such as sterilisation, face masks and temperature checks must be implemented.
Face masks will be mandatory and maintaining a distance of two metres between people is recommended in all public places.
Frequent hand washing is also recommended.
The two cities’ authorities have also urged for a “complete halt” to all religious gatherings, cultural or sports and other entertainment activities in public places.
Citizens are told to stay inside and refrain from going outside unless truly necessary.
Hanoi will stop all bus operations until April 15. Taxies will be ordered to lower the windowpanes, while both drivers and passengers must wear face masks at all times, and the vehicles must be sterilised after each trip.
Hanoi will order the closing of all businesses, except for these cases: supermarkets (but not ones that provide entertainment or ones that provide on-site meals), malls, traditional markets (only food, vegetable and fruit stalls), convenience stores, grocery stores, flower and fruit shops, agricultural produce chain stores, pharmacies; health care services centres; banking services, and gas and petrol stations.
Citizens are also urged to conduct their shopping online with delivery at home services.
The same will also apply in HCM City.
Schools and vocational training centres in Hanoi are told to stop until further notice.
HCM City will issue five million pamphlets that list 12 dos and don’ts to all households to “mobilise the whole city” to join in efforts in containing the outbreak within the next two weeks, considered to be the critical golden window that determines the scope of the outbreak in Vietnam.
The southern city even told its citizens to not have contact or do business with those not wearing face masks.
Starting March 28, HCM City will issue fines for anyone who fails to wear masks in public or maintain the two-metre distancing.
High-rise buildings and apartment buildings that are using air conditioners are told to switch to fan and ventilator systems and open the windows as much as possible. If air-conditioning is necessary, the temperature should be set at a minimum of 27 degrees Celsius.
Companies and businesses with offices in high-rise buildings are advised to organise remote working for its workers.
Most of COVID-19 patients in stable condition
Health workers at a medical facility in Vietnam
Most of the 158 COVID-19 cases being treated in 20 health facilities nationwide are in stable condition, according to the sub-department of treating COVID-19 patients under the Ministry of Health.
Three critically ill cases are getting better thanks to the caring efforts of doctors and nurses at the National Hospital Of Tropical Diseases No. 2.
Another good news is that 33 patients have tested negative for the coronavirus for the first time, while 27 other had negative results twice.
Seven patients are expected to be discharged from hospital on March 29-30, then transferred to other facilities for further health monitoring.
As of March 29 morning, Vietnam reported 179 cases positive for SARS-CoV-2, of which 21 have recovered and left hospital.
Regarding the COVID-19 prevention work, the Ministry of Health has asked health departments across the country to seriously implement the directions of the Prime Minister and National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in the spirit of “fighting the pandemic is like fighting the enemy.”
The ministry advised residents to limit outings, wear face masks when going out and keep social distance, wash hands and clean houses regularly, and complete health declaration forms.
On March 29, the ministry warned all patients, their family members and those who came to Bach Mai Hospital from March 12 to 27 to contact health workers for consultations. The Hanoi-based hospital is considered the biggest and most complex hotbed of COVID-19 in Vietnam at present, after more than 10 cases linked with it have been recorded./.
Embassy supports Vietnamese stranded in Singapore due to COVID-19
The Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore has liaised with relevant agencies of the host country to ask for help in visa extension and residence procedures for Vietnamese citizens who have been stranded in the country and wish to return home.
The embassy noted that as of the end of March 27, about 130 Vietnamese citizens, including mostly short-term labourers, aside from students and some coming to Singapore for medical treatment, had contacted the embassy to express their aspirations to return to the home country.
The embassy said it has been reporting the citizens’ aspirations to Vietnamese authorities and updating information about airlines’ flight cancellation, adding that it will notify the citizens of solutions as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean side has affirmed that its Immigration and Checkpoints Authority will assist the consideration of extending short-term visas for the Vietnamese nationals.
The embassy also called on the citizens to sympathise with domestic efforts in the fight against COVID-19, noting concentrated quarantine facilities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have become overloaded.
It also asked the Vietnamese in Singapore to stay calm, refrain from travelling, stay away from crowded places, practice personal hygiene, and comply with the host country’s regulations on epidemic prevention and control.
In efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, since March 23, the Singaporean Government has banned short-term visitors from entering or transiting this nation and cancelled a number of flights to countries that had issued similar entry bans.
The embassy has also informed Vietnamese people about Singapore’s tightening of such disease control measures so that they can make preparations./.
COVID-19: Samsung experts finish 14-day quarantine in Bac Ninh with no positive cases
The Health Department of northern Bac Ninh province announced on March 28 that 172 experts of Samsung Display, who flew into Vietnam from the Republic of Korea on March 13, have completed their 14-day quarantine period and all have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 for the second time.
Four medical workers and six policemen involved in the experts' quarantine process and 53 staff members at the hotel where they were quarantined also tested negative for the coronavirus.
After the experts on March 27 moved out to other accommodations, the hotel was disinfected before welcoming other experts of the Samsung Display.
As schedule, 179 more experts of Samsung will travel to Vietnam to work on March 28. After receiving them at Quang Ninh province’s Van Don airport, Vietnam’s relevant agencies will update their personal information and travel history during the 14 days before their arrival, and check the SARS-CoV-2 test document given by the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital. The experts will then be taken to the hotel in Bac Ninh’s Yen Phong district for concentrated quarantine.
As of March 28 morning, Vietnam recorded 169 confirmed infections and no fatality.
Health condition of 42 COVID-19 patients in HCM City sees improvement
The health condition of 42 COVID-19 patients under treatment in Ho Chi Minh City has showed positive progress, Director of the municipal Health Department Nguyen Tan Binh told a press conference on March 28.
He said among them, seven have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 twice and could be discharged from hospitals in coming days, and two were negative once, adding that no patient is on ventilator.
Binh also refuted online rumor about one death from the disease.
The official said on March 28 morning, a new infection case was found in the city, raising the total number of patients to 42. The patients are being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the Cu Chi Hospital for acute respiratory disease, and the Can Gio Hospital.
According to Binh, investigations showed about 100,000 people from abroad have entered the city since March 8. On March 27, 1,000 of them were tested with one positive case.
Nearly 9,700 people in the city are currently under quarantine in designated facilities or at homes and accommodations.
The city is preparing more facilities to accommodate about 5,000.
The health department also plans to recommend scenarios to the municipal People’s Committee to respond to situations when there are 50-100, or even 500 infection cases, he said.
Vietnam to deal with COVID-19 pandemic effectively: Russian expert
A Russian expert has expressed his belief that Vietnam will deal with the COVID-19 pandemic effectively, thereby helping fulfill its role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Grigory Trofimchuk, Chairman of the Expert Council of the Foundation for Support of Scientific Research “Workshop of Eurasian Ideas”, said the COVID-19 prevention and control efforts by Vietnam recently have proved relatively fruitful, noting that the country can share its experience with other nations.
He described Vietnam as a surprising example when many patients have been cured, and it has publicised adequate statistics about the cases that have been infected, recovered or need medical monitoring.
He applauded the country’s viewpoint in this regard, its readiness to share experience in health care in general and the fight against COVID-19 in particular, with the world, and its participation in security ensuring and epidemic prevention and control, through which Vietnam is performing its role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council well.
Trofimchuk, who has spent many years on studying Vietnam, said he believes the country will once again overcome the COVID-19 pandemic since its people have weathered a number of challenges over the past decades.
Talking about the post-pandemic recovery prospect in Asia, the expert also voiced his belief that with enough economic, financial and material resources, Asia will remain a growth engine of the world.
He also recommended Asian countries build strategic orientations for economic development in the future while working to combat COVID-19./.
Vietnamese in Algeria urged to strictly follow anti-pandemic regulations
The Vietnamese Embassy in Algeria has asked all Vietnamese citizens to strictly abide by regulations on COVID-19 prevention in the host country since the situation is developing complicatedly.
By March 28 afternoon, Algeria recorded 45 more infection cases and three deaths, raising the nationwide tallies to 454 and 29, respectively.
The embassy requested Vietnamese citizens to refrain from going out but stay at home as much as possible, avoid gatherings of more than two people, and especially obey the curfew issued on March 23 in Algiers capital from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am until there is further notice.
Vietnamese expatriates were advised to proactively take preventive measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact to protect themselves and their family members, and update their health status to the embassy for timely support.
The embassy also informed the overseas Vietnamese community and foreigners in Algeria about the Government’s new decision on entry into Vietnam, including the suspension of entry to all foreigners, excluding those entering for diplomatic and official purposes or for participation in major diplomatic events, experts, business managers or highly skilled workers.
However, those allowed to enter Vietnam will be subject to medical checks and mandatory 14-day quarantine.
From 12:00 on March 23, Vietnam has suspended the validity of all visa exemption certificates issued for Vietnamese residing overseas and their spouses and children.
The embassy also suggested Vietnamese citizens not return home at this time since many countries have imposed strict travel restrictions and many transit flights have been cancelled, leaving passengers stranded at airports. There is also a high risk of infection on planes, the embassy explained.
In case of necessity, Vietnamese citizens could contact the embassy via hotlines 213.23485470 and 213.557863076/ 213.553222812.
Prime Minister praises public security, miliary forces in COVID-19 fight
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc especially praises those who are on the frontlines of the battle, adding that the images of military officers and soldiers sleeping outdoors at night and having quick meals to fight COVID-19 have proved the beautiful tradition of the heroic People’s Army of Vietnam.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has praised the military and public security forces for their great efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
In his letters sent to the forces on March 28, the Prime Minister wrote that the pandemic is developing complicatedly and unpredictedly in the country and the world, affecting seriously the national socio-economic development and public health.
With the spirit of “fighting the pandemic is like fighting the enemy”, the Party, Government and National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control have worked out a number of measures to mobilise the whole political system, agencies at all levels, sectors and people to drastically fight against the pandemic.
Realising the Government’s directions, the Ministry of National Defence has been increasing check-points at a number of trails; establishing emergency hospitals and concentrated quarantine areas; spraying disinfectant; receiving, caring and implementing medical quarantine for people entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit countries and territories, he said.
The PM especially praised those who are on the frontlines of the battle, adding that the images of military officers and soldiers sleeping outdoors at night and having quick meals to fight COVID-19 have proved the beautiful tradition of the heroic People’s Army of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security has taken a raft of preventive measures such as tightening the control of entry-exit and management of foreigners to limit the coronavirus infections in the country; ensuring order and safety at concentrated quarantine areas; strictly handling those spreading false information about COVID-19; and actively preventing pandemic-related frauds.
The two forces have actively coordinated with medical workers to promptly detect infection cases and suspected ones to prevent the spread of the virus in the army and community, Phuc said.
As Vietnam is in critical time to prevent community transmissions, the PM called on the forces to continue heightening vigilance and determination to soon repel the pandemic in the country.
Vietnam Embassy in US supports citizens
The Vietnamese Embassy in the US is taking measures to support Vietnamese citizens amid concern about complicated developments of the COVID-19 epidemic in the US and new regulations of many countries, including Vietnam, regarding entry-exit and aviation transport.
The embassy has worked with Vietnam’s general consulates in Houston and San Francisco and the Vietnamese mission in New York to raise awareness among students about the need to avoid travelling back to Vietnam at this moment so as to reduce the risk of contracting disease and overloading of medical service in the home country.
The embassy set up three hotlines and four email addresses, which operate around the clock seven days a week to provide information and help regarding documents and procedures for Vietnamese citizens.
The embassy has coordinated with the general consulates in Houston and San Francisco to help nearly 40 students who were stuck at Dallas airport (Texas) after their flights were cancelled.
The embassy has posted on its website guidance on COVID-19 with regularly updated information on the disease and new pandemic-related policies and rules of Vietnam and the host country, along with warning against possible risks.
The embassy has coordinated with associations of Vietnamese youth and students in the US to help Vietnamese students seek new accommodations when their schools close down, and raise support for the students.
At the same time, the embassy on March 25 published an electronic form for those who want to return to Vietnam to collect information on the need to report to the home country for consideration.
Regarding to reports that a number of crew members on the US’s aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for SARS-CoV- 2 after the vessel visited Vietnam, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc said when the carrier docked at Da Nang port and during the visit, both the Vietnamese and US sides had worked together to implement disease preventive measures. The visit was a success, contributing to deepening the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership and maintaining peace, stability and stability in the region.
The ambassador made clear that during and after the Vietnam visit, the US carrier received many flights of US military, therefore the process of investigation is still underway with no conclusion yet on the cause and source of infection of the COVID-19 cases on the carrier.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told the press that he thinks it would be difficult to tie down these active cases to the Da Nang port visit. “We’ve had aircraft flying to and from the ship, and so we just don’t want to say it was that particular port visit. We took great precautions when that crew came back from that shore period to do enhanced medical screening of the crew,” Gilday told reporters last week./.
COVID-19 patient No.33 discharged from hospital in Thua Thien-Hue
Official of Hue Central Hospital presents test result to patient No.33
Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No 33, a UK man, was discharged from Hue Central Hospital, the second branch in Phong Dien district, the central province of Thua Thien – Hue, on March 28 after full recovery.
The 58-year-old patient tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the central province of Quang Nam on March 10. He previously boarded the same flight from the UK to Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi as patient No 17.
This is the first fully recovered COVID-19 case in the hospital.
After being discharged from hospital, he will continue to be put under medical monitoring in line with regulations.
The hospital is still treating three other COVID-19 cases - the 30th, 31st and 49th patients, all are UK citizens.
The 49th patient, husband of the 30th, has tested negative once after being treated since March 7.
As of 5pm on March 27, up to 2,044 Vietnamese citizens returning from abroad were put under concentrated quarantine in the province.
The locality is preparing facilities to be able to receive additional 8,000 – 10,000 people.
As of 06:30 am on March 28, Vietnam recorded 169 infection cases. Until February 26, only 16 cases were reported and all the patients recovered and discharged from hospital. Since the detection of the 17th case on March 6 to present, five more patients have fully recovered./.
Newly issued stamps call for unity in fight against COVID-19
The Vietnam Stamps Company is set to release a new collection of stamps on March 31 based around the theme of joining together in the battle to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
The collection has been created by painter Pham Trung Ha in response to calls issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information and Communications for citizens to take action in order to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19.
The stamps have been created with the aim of sending clear messages of solidarity among all forces, including medical workers and those in the military, in addition to local people, that the COVID-19 epidemic can be pushed back.
Other stamps in the collection feature scientists, physicians, and doctors as they put their best efforts into researching vaccines, preventive medicines, and medical treatment needed to fight the dangerous virus.
The collection comes in two new models, at a cost of VND4,000 and VND15,000.
The stamps will be used in post offices nationwide between March 31 and December 31, 2021.
Vietnam confident of success
Vietnam is fighting some new enemies, who are invisible, elusive, and dangerous. The new virus SARS-CoV-2 and its allies, fear and uncertainty, are making people anxious and mistrustful. But whoever the enemies may be, the Vietnamese people are confident they will ultimately defeat them.
Hanoi is in a fierce fight right now against COVID-19, but it’s confident of winning the battle because the capital city has never been permanently defeated by any enemy.
Strange, difficult days
A world that had been rapidly changing with globalization and the 4th Industrial Revolution has suddenly slowed. Humankind, seemingly capable of conquering anything, now seems small and weak against a microscopic virus.
Vietnam has been able to contain the epidemic better than many richer countries have. Vietnam stands now as a beacon of hope: hope for overseas Vietnamese returning to the safety of home, hope for foreigners who have adopted Vietnam as their second homeland, and hope for humankind that there exists a stronghold against their common enemy.
The people of Vietnam, after an initial instinctive anxiety, have shown the same resilience they have shown for thousands of years. They have responded bravely to the call of their leaders to look after each other’s health and protect each other’s lives and not allow anyone to be left behind. Sneering cynicism has fallen mute before Vietnamese people’s humaneness and kindness.
Patriotism is stirred by seeing their leaders’ tired faces after sleepless nights spent directing the fight against the virus and persuading the public to make people’s lives and health their top priority.
From this fierce fight, stories of good deeds keep emerging: 95-year-old heroic mother Ngo Thi Quyt making facemasks to contribute her small part to the national effort, children donating their lucky money to the fight against COVID-19.
Moving stories shared on social networks recall stories of the last wartime, when students volunteered for combat and aging war veterans said they were ready to return to the front.
This fight is difficult but it carries the benefit of giving humankind a pause to think about their behavior toward nature and toward one another. It is testing every country’s resilience, social cohesion, and the adequacy of its political regime.
It is motivating every person to examine his or her lifestyle. In Vietnam it is recalling a tradition of solidarity in the face of an enemy and a tradition of helping one another in difficult times.
Love and faith
The pandemic is an alert for humankind and a challenge. The Vietnamese people need to remain unified and resilient, because every challenge is always followed by another, and the path to victory is always through danger and difficulty.
Now is the time for every Vietnamese person, family, organization, and business to prepare for the challenges that are coming.
The fight will be long and difficult. National and individual resources are limited. But Vietnamese can feel confident that Vietnam, led by a political regime which always puts the people first, will ultimately win this new war.