Five months after the first COVID-19 infections were reported in Vietnam, the number of confirmed cases in the country reached 349 as of June 23 morning, with no new cases reported overnight.
Giving health checkups to foreign experts and workers before quarantine (Photo: VNA)
According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Vietnam entered its 68th consecutive day without any community coronavirus infections.
No fatalities have been recorded and 328 patients, or 94 percent of the total, have been given the all-clear. Among the 349 confirmed cases so far, 209 were imported and quarantined upon arrival.
A total of 7,157 people are under medical monitoring or quarantine, of whom 124 are quarantined at hospitals, 6,159 at medical stations and 874 at home.
Among 21 active patients, three have tested negative for the coronavirus once and three others at least twice.
The country has been hailed by many leading organisations and media across the world for its success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, although it shares a long border with China where the virus was first detected.
From the experience gained during the SARS outbreak in 2003, Vietnam has been proactive in treating COVID-19 patients, with the key method creating a well-ventilated environment, not using air conditioning and regularly disinfecting.
Vietnam’s health workers are said to have been making miracles, especially with what they have done with the 91st patient - a British pilot named Stephen Cameron, the most severe COVID-19 case so far in the country.
More COVID-19 cases recorded in Southeast Asia
The Indonesian Ministry of Health on June 22 announced 954 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases to 46,854.
The ministry also reported 35 more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total fatalities in the country to 2,500.
Meanwhile, the Philippines Ministry of Health reported 630 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 30,682. The number of recoveries also increased to 8,143 after an additional 250 patients were given the all-clear.
The Philippines also saw eight more deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours, raising the total number to 1,177.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Ministry of Health announced an additional 15 coronavirus-infected cases, including two imported ones, bringing the total number to 8,587.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Malaysia remained at 121, while that of recovering and discharged patients increased by 21 to 8,177, accounting for 95.2 percent of the total cases.
Malaysia's Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is in charge of coordinating the implementation of anti-epidemic measures, said that from July 1, the Malaysian government will allow theaters and cinemas to reopen, and performances, seminars and conferences to take place.
However, these activities must ensure the maximum attendance of 250 people, with body temperature checking and social distancing measures still in place.
COVID-19 prevention work inspected at Moc Bai int’l border gate
Deputy head of the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for External Affairs Nguyen Manh Tien had a working session with the Border Guard High Command of the southeastern province of Tay Ninh on June 22 to inspect the implementation of preventive measures against COVID-19 at Moc Bai international border gate.
Colonel Nguyen Tai Son from the High Command said local border guards are coordinating with other forces to maintain the operation of 107 checkpoints around the clock to prevent illegal cross-border cases.
Besides increasing awareness of over 200 households in the border gate area, the unit has partnered with trade unions at the provincial and district levels to distribute over 2,000 medical face masks to people and passengers crossing the border, as well as support the building of solar light system along the border to serve the patrol and prevention of the pandemic, he added.
Tien said as the COVID-19 situation remains complicated in the world, local border guards should continue vigilance against the disease to prevent imported cases.
Cambodia supports poor residents amid pandemic
The Cambodian government will launch a cash handout programme for more than 560,000 poor families affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
According to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the beneficiaries will be citizens out of jobs, especially the poor ones in remote areas who are suffering food shortages.
The programme is expected to begin on June 26.
Under the programme, poor families in the capital city of Phnom Penh and provincial towns will receive a cash handout of 120,000 riel (30 USD) a month from the government. Poor families in the countryside will receive 80,000 riel (20 USD) in assistance.
Children under 5, disabled people, citizens with HIV or citizens 60-years-of-age or older will receive between 4 USD and 10 USD, also depending on the areas in which they reside.
The Cambodian Ministry of Planning said it has so far identified 560,000 poor families consisting of 2.3 million people who are eligible for the cash handouts.
PM Hun Sen once again called on Cambodians to continue implementing measures against the pandemic, especially wearing masks and washing their hands regularly. Shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, hospitals, health centers and management facilities should provide masks and hand sanitizer for customers to avoid COVID-19 infection.
Vietnamese in RoK receive medical supplies to fight COVID-19
The Vietnamese Buddhist Cultural Centre and the Vietnamese Buddhist Association in the Republic of Korea (RoK) have presented medical supplies to the Vietnamese community in the country to help them tackle COVID-19.
Including 20,000 face masks, the gifts were passed on to the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs (COVA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 22.
In his remarks to the gathering, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the COVA Dang Minh Khoi lauded the support from the centre and the association and said Vietnamese Buddhism has worked side-by-side with the government and people to counter the disease.
Thanks to the efforts of the entire country as well as the government’s leadership, Vietnam has been successful in the fight so far, he said, adding that many agencies, organisations and individuals in and outside Vietnam have donated medical supplies to help overseas Vietnamese cope with the pandemic.
Such good deeds affirm the Party and State’s policy of considering overseas Vietnamese an integral part of the country, Khoi stressed.
According to the committee, Vietnamese living overseas have contributed more than 35 billion VND (1.5 million USD) as well as medical supplies to help with the fight against the epidemic at home.
The Vietnamese community in the RoK raised over 160 million VND in support of the fight in their homeland.
Meanwhile, many businesses, organisations, and individuals at home have also raised funds for Vietnamese in the UK, France, Russia, the US, and the RoK.
Thailand records no new COVID-19 community infections for 28 days
Thailand reported three new coronavirus cases, all imported, marking 28 days without local transmissions, spokesman for the Thai government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration Taweesin Wisanuyothin said on June 22.
According to the official, Thailand hopes to ease some related restrictions on foreigners entering the country, including business executives, skilled workers and foreigners who live in Thailand.
The three groups will be able to return to Thailand and stay in 14-day state quarantine, he said, adding that medical tourists will also be allowed back for treatment in hospital.
Short-term business travellers and tourists from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea might be allowed to return without having to spend 14 days in quarantine, he said.
The proposed easing of restrictions will be submitted to the government's coronavirus task force on June 26.
Thailand, which has banned international commercial flights until the end of June, has to date recorded 3,151 COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths.