Vietnam records another imported COVID-19 case
Vietnam recorded another imported COVID-19 case on July 19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 383, said the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The latest patient is a 40-year-old Myanmar man who is a sailor working onboard the ship IPANEMA.
He left Japan on June 16 and entered Hon Gai port in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh on June 23. The sailor was quarantined on the vessel before being taken to a hotel for quarantine in Quang Ninh on July 6.
On July 9, his first sample was tested negative for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 but his second sample showed a positive result eight days later.
The patient is being kept under quarantine and treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No 2 in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district.
Among the confirmed patients, 243 are imported cases who were quarantined right after their arrival in Vietnam, posing no risk of transmission in the community.
As of July 19, Vietnam has gone through 94 days without any infections in the community.
As many as 357 out of the total 383 patients have been given the all-clear of the virus and no death has been reported.
The remaining patients are undergoing treatment at medical establishments across the country, of whom seven tested negative for the virus once and four others tested negative at least twice.
There are currently 12,798 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions being quarantined nationwide, including 100 at hospitals, 12,273 at other establishments and 425 at home.
Singapore develops new COVID-19 test kit
Singaporean scientists have developed an improved COVID-19 test kit that can deliver results more quickly, halving the processing time from about four hours to less than two, according to The Straits Times.
The direct standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kit, called Resolute, is a joint effort by DSO National Laboratories and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).
Tests can be conducted with a basic laboratory set-up and entry-level technicians, and the process is also safer for technicians, as exposure is reduced.
The cost of each Resolute kit is expected to be competitive with standard PCR test kits.
Vietnam goes through 94 days without COVID-19 infections in community
Medical workers take blood samples for testing
Vietnam has reported no new COVID-19 infections in the community for 94 days, said the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on July 19 morning.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Vietnam remained at 382, including 242 imported cases who were put under quarantine right after their arrival in the country, posing no risk of transmission in the community.
As many as 12,798 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined, including 100 at hospitals, 12,273 at other establishments and 425 at home.
According to the subcommittee for treatment, 357 out of the 381 patients have been given the all-clear of the virus SARS-CoV-2.
The remainders are being treated at medical establishments across the country, of whom six patients tested negative for the virus once and four others tested negative at least twice.
More than 240 citizens brought home from Philippines
Relevant agencies of Vietnam, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines and budget airline VietJet on July 18 coordinated with competent agencies of the Philippines to bring home more than 240 Vietnamese citizens.
Those included children under the age of 18, pregnant women, the elderly, workers whose contracts expired, tourists stranded in the country and other extremely disadvantaged cases.
To ensure safety for the citizens and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, VietJet strictly implemented security, safety and hygiene measures during the flight.
After landing at Can Tho International Airport, all the passengers and crew members had their health checked and taken to a concentrated quarantine establishment in line with Vietnam’s regulations.
In accordance with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s directions, similar flights will be conducted in the near future to bring Vietnamese citizens home, taking into account domestic quarantine capacity.
Health Ministry issues set of indicators to assess hospital safety for COVID-19
The Ministry of Health has recently released a set of indicators to evaluate the safety of a hospital as the COVID-19 is ravaging in the world.
The set of safety indicators provides information on prevention and control of the COVID-19 and other acute respiratory diseases at hospitals and guidance on how to deliver safe medical services and prevent cross-infections among patients and health care workers.
The 37 indicators, divided in eight chapters, have a total score of 150, which are used to classify hospitals based on levels of safety.
A hospital rated as “safe” must reach over 75 percent of the maximum score with no indicators scoring zero.
A “low safety” hospital must obtain 50 – 75 percent of the maximum score with no indicators scoring zero.
A hospital rated “unsafe” scores below 50 percent of the maximum score or has an indicator at zero.
Repatriation flight from Equatorial Guinea set to depart on August 3
A repatriation flight for 219 Vietnamese guest workers in Equatorial Guinea is scheduled to depart on August 3 due to complications in the registration procedures, according to the Ministry of Health.
There are a total of 219 workers from three Vietnamese construction companies working in Equatorial Guinea, with 120 of them being infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Of the COVID-19 patients, 22 have been undergoing strict medical surveillance at two hospitals in the African country, 80 have been closely monitored at various isolation facilities and hotels, while the locations of the remaining cases have been verified.
With regard to the health of the COVID-19 cases, 47 individuals are suffering from chest pains, 33 have a cough and sore throat, 16 people have a headache, whilst a further 13 people have been hit by a fever.
Among the patients, 46 are suffering from chronic underlying diseases which relate to stomach ulcers, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and bronchitis.
In addition to the 120 COVID-19 patients, seven additional people have been hospitalised in order to receive treatment for other diseases, three people have been infected with malaria, and one individual is showing symptoms of both malaria and the COVID-19.
Ahead of the repatriation flight, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, along with three Vietnamese companies, have been working in co-ordination in an effort to bring back Vietnamese workers who have been left stranded in Equatorial Guinea .
A contingent of doctors and orderlies will be arranged in order to accompany the flight, along with a haul of necessary medical equipment, such as ventilators and oxygen tanks.
This comes after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 10 ordered a repatriation flight to immediately bring back Vietnamese workers left stranded in Equatorial Guinea.
Students from Laos quarantined upon return to nation
As many as 288 students from neighbouring Laos were placed into quarantine after returning to Vietnam on July 17.
Upon arrival in Quang Nam province, each of the students had their body temperature checked and filled in health declaration forms as part of the necessary entry procedures at the border gate.
After entering the nation, the group of students will be placed under medical surveillance at the Defence and Security Education Centre of the Quang Nam provincial Military Command in Tam Ky city.
There they will undergo a 14-day quarantine period in line with regulations regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures.
COVID-19 cases rise sharply in Indonesia, Philippines
COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 1,752 within one day to 84,882, with the death toll adding by 59 to 4,016, a local health official said.
According, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, 1,434 more people had been discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 43,268.
Within the past 24 hours, six provinces, namely North Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Jakarta, Central Java, East Java and South Sulawesi, recorded high numbers of cases, Yurianto said.
Yurianto called on the public to obey the implemented health protocols in a bid to minimise COVID-19 infections.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Department of Health reported 2,357 new COVID-19 cases and 113 fatalities from the disease in the country, mostly in Manila, Cebu city and the central region.
Foreigners in Thailand can apply for visa extensions after July 31
Foreign visitors still stranded in Thailand by the COVID-19 pandemic will be allowed to apply for an extended short stay after their visas expire on July 31, the Thai Immigration Bureau chief said on July 17.
Foreign tourists who are unable to leave Thailand would be given a grace period from August 1 to September 26 to apply to stay for a specified period, said Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, the bureau commissioner.
However, if they do not obtain extensions and are still in the country after September 26, they would face legal action and be blacklisted, Bangkok Post reported.
He urged foreigners to contact the bureau as soon as possible to prepare for their next steps in order to avoid crowding as the September 26 deadline approaches.
Foreign visitors must specify their reasons and submit necessary documents when seeking to renew short-term visas, which will be granted for 30 days, he said.
If they are unable to return because there are no flights or due to lockdown measures in their countries, they must submit proof. The granting of a short-stay visa will be made on a case-by-case basis.
He said the bureau had asked the Council of State about the proposed short stay and it had advised that the Interior Ministry could issue an announcement.
He said the Interior Ministry's visa relief measures for foreign visitors would be submitted to the cabinet for approval next week. The bureau would later issue guidelines on how to apply for a visa extension.
He estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 foreigners were stranded in the kingdom due to the lockdown.
Indonesian capital extends social restrictions for 14 days
Governor of Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta Anies Baswedan has announced that he officially extended the transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for another 14 days, starting on July 16.
He explained that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Jakarta for the past week had increased to 5.9 percent from 4.4 percent and even 3.1 percent in the early PSBB stage.
On July 16, Jakarta recorded 304 new infection cases, raising the total number to 15,447.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand on July 17 prohibited all transit flights with COVID-19 infected passengers following China’s temporary ban of two Thai registered airlines after several passengers tested positive upon arrival in China.
Also on July 17, the Philippine recorded 17 new deaths and 1,841 new infections, bringing the total numbers to 1,660 and 63,001, respectively, with Manila being the largest source of infections and deaths from the disease.
Australian institute lauds Vietnam’s low-cost COVID-19 combat model
The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) has published an article hailing Vietnam’s low-cost model of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said COVID-19 has been a test for all countries worldwide. Despite lacking a large public health system or strong financial capacity, Vietnam used a different approach to effectively contain the disease.
Its countermeasures reflect the extent of its capabilities in mobilisation and social resilience. Vietnamese officials are knowledgeable about and capable of handling the complex issues associated with organising large numbers of people. Furthermore, the Vietnamese people are willing to cooperate with official directions, even at the cost of losing their freedom and economic interests, it said.
The article added that Vietnam’s achievements in reaching a state where restrictions can now be relaxed shows strong social resilience and governance capable of handling emergencies.