COVID-19: 30 cases reported on May 11 afternoon

Vietnam documented 30 cases of COVID-19 during the past six hours to 6pm on May 11, with three imported cases and 27 cases among people being quarantined, according to the Health Ministry.

No new clusters were detected in the period.

The national count rose to 3,537, including 528 reported since April 27.

The number of recovered patients reached 2,618. Among active patients, 25 have tested negative for the coronavirus once, 17 twice and 25 thrice.

A total 67,877 people are being quarantined nationwide, with 1,018 in hospitals, 27,641 in designated facilities and 39,218 in their places of residence./.

Vietnam records 16 further domestic infections over six hours

An additional 16 cases of local transmission and two imported cases were confirmed by the Ministry of Health during the six hours to 12 pm May 11, raising the total number of locally-infected cases to 501 since the virus recurred in the nation on April 27.

Of the newly-detected cases, 10 are in Bac Giang, Hanoi (2), Quang Tri (2), Bac Ninh (1), and Hai Duong (1), and all were found in quarantine or locked-down areas.

The two cases in Hanoi were connected with the capital's K Hospital, which has been locked down after it was said  to be a COVID-19 hotspot, while 14 domestic cases found four remaining northern provinces were associated with confirmed coronavirus patients at local hospitals.

The two imported cases were registered in Dong Nai province, raising the total imported infections to 1,436.

With the latest addition, the national tally now stands at 3,507, including 2,071 community transmissions, and 2,618 recoveries.

Vietnam is currently encountering the most challenging COVID-19 wave, which has recorded 501 community cases across 26 cities and provinces since late last month.

One day earlier on May 10, a total of 125 domestic cases were documented, the highest infection tally on a daily basis since the coronavirus hit the nation early last year.

Vietnam undergoes heatwave as temperatures reach 40C in some locales

Vietnam is facing a heat wave on a large scale, with the highest temperatures on May 11 ranging from 35 to 38C, and even above 40C in several locales, announced the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).

As a result of a warm low-pressure in the west combined with the foehn effects, the hot weather has spread widely from the central province of Thanh Hoa to the central coastal province of Phu Yen, with average temperatures of 35-38C.

In particular, the northwest region and mountainous areas from Thanh Hoa to Phu Yen provinces are facing severe heat, with temperatures at above 40C.

Temperatures of over 35C were recorded in the Southeast region today.

Hanoi’s highest temperature for Tuesday is predicted to be between 35 and 37C. The lowest relative humidity on Tuesday is expected to drop to 45-60%, while the period experiencing temperatures of over 35C will last from 12 to 17 hours.

The NCHMF predicted that the hot weather will last until May 16 in the northern and central regions, and until May 12 in the South.

It also warned of increased risk of fire and explosions in residential areas due to increasing demand for electricity, as well as bush fires in the Central provinces due to the impact of hot weather combined with low humidity and strong southwest winds.

Indian variant detected in seven cases linked to outbreak in Hanoi

Seven positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been found to be carrying the B.1.617.2 strain of the virus which originates from India.

These results were released following samples being taken from COVID-19 patients by the National Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in the northern provinces of Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh, Lang Son, and Nam Dinh. This is part of genetic sequencing being carried out as a means of identifying the specific variant of the virus.

These cases are closely associated with an outbreak at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, therefore the total number of patients infected with the Indian variant currently stands at 25.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health also announced the detection of the B.117 strain originating from the UK in relation to cases entering from Laos, with these individuals now in quarantine in the northern province of Hai Duong.

According to details released by the Ministry of Health, the situation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic is now evolving in a complex manner, with many localities nationwide recording new clusters of community infection. Worryingly, the emergence of new strains of the virus is causing faster spread and has the ability to worsen the country’s current circumstances.

As part of efforts to mitigate the situation, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has directed leading institutes to take samples from COVID-19 patients for genetic sequencing. This is being done with the aim of assessing relevant risks, whilst also taking appropriate pandemic response measures in order to thoroughly devise effective treatment methods.

Hundreds of samples linked to COVID-19 cases come back negative

As many as 230 samples taken from F1 cases linked to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Tinh, and Khanh Hoa provinces have come back negative for the SARS-CoV-2-virus.

In addition, a total of 57 people who came into contact with two COVID-19 patients in Ha Tinh province went on to test negative for the virus for the second time.

Furthermore, 906 out of a total of 1012 F2 cases have also tested negative, whilst the remaining individuals are now awaiting for their results.

Contact tracing and mass testing has been carried out in Ha Tinh after the province recorded two COVID-19 cases. As part of preventative measures against the spread of the virus, the locality has moved to lock down two hamlets in Viet Tien and Tuong Son communes.

This is being done alongside banning passenger cars, contract vehicles, and taxi cabs traveling to and from areas with COVID-19 cases, while only allowing authorised vehicles to operate on fixed routes in the province.

Moreover, 112 F1 contacts linked to a COVID-19 case have since tested negative, with the entire group currently in quarantine where their health status remains stable.

Local authorities have said they will continue to trace F1 and F2 cases as the COVID-19 patient travelled a number of tourist sites throughout Nha Trang and Khanh Vinh district.

In Ho Chi Minh City, as many as 61 residents who came into close contact with a COVID-19 patient have tested negative for the virus, while a further 14 people are now waiting for their results.

As part of efforts to swiftly detect COVID-19 cases, the Da Nang Center for Disease Control took samples from 2,000 staff members on May 11, all of whom work at the central city’s airport. This comes after several infected people had arrived in the area, with the results set to be announced on the afternoon of the same day.

Danang suspends Covid-19 vaccination after vaccinated nurse encounters anaphylaxis

A nurse of Danang Hospital in Danang City was rushed into an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator on May 10, after experiencing an anaphylactic reaction following her first shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, resulting in the city suspending its coronavirus inoculation campaign soon after, said a local health official.

The 31-year-old nurse had no history of allergic reactions before she received the vaccine. However, she showed signs of anaphylaxis after being vaccinated and was immediately taken into intensive care and put on a ventilator.

Following her post-vaccination reaction, the hospital decided to suspend and seal off the Covid-19 vaccine shipment, Nguyen Tien Hong, vice director of the municipal Health Department, told Thanh Nien newspaper.

This is the second phase of the coronavirus vaccination program held at the hospital. During the first phase on May 5, over 450 doses of the vaccine had been given to its medical workers. The second phase saw a few cases experiencing post-vaccination symptoms such as mild fever and skin rashes.

Danang Hospital was allocated 1,272 doses of the vaccine and set to implement the inoculation program in three phases to avoid the burnout of human resources working at units, as vaccinated people could experience some possible side effects after getting the vaccine such as muscle pain, fever, nausea, pain at the injection site, and need to be monitored.

Ha Tinh, Quang Nam suspend interprovincial passenger coaches

Interprovincial passenger coaches in Ha Tinh and Quang Nam provinces were told to suspend their operations from/to provinces and cities hit by Covid-19 from May 11.

Ha Tinh Province banned passenger cars, contract vehicles and taxi cabs traveling to/from Covid-19-hit areas, while allowing taxis, contract vehicles and coaches operating on fixed routes in the province to continue operations.

Interprovincial buses will remain operational, but have to ensure the permitted number of passengers and follow Covid-19 safety protocols, the local media reported.

Ha Tinh Province is locking down two hamlets in Viet Tien and Tuong Son communes to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Following suit, the Quang Nam government has ordered passenger road transport operators to limit services from/to Danang City.

The provincial Department of Transport asked the buses on fixed routes to cut the number of daily bus rides and carry a maximum of 20 passengers a trip, or suspend their operations to prevent the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, contract vehicles, passenger coaches and pickup service vehicles were asked to use not more than 50% of seats and carry a maximum of 20 persons.

Vietnamese, Russian scientists conduct joint survey on East Sea

The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology on May 10 welcomed the Akademik Oparin research vessel of the Russian Academy of Sciences that came to conduct a joint scientific survey in the East Sea area of Vietnam.

The welcome ceremony was held at Chua Ve Terminal of northern Hai Phong city.

This is the second sea survey between the two academies as part of their roadmap for sea research cooperation for 2018 - 2025.

To prevent any possible COVID-19 transmission, despite having tested negative for the virus, the whole survey team and the ship’s crew will not go ashore during the survey, and they will be quarantined in line with regulations after the trip.

After the ceremony, the Akademik Oparin vessel with nearly 40 scientists from the academies set out on the journey that will last for about one month on the East Sea area of Vietnam./.

Nurse who went into shock after vaccination taken off ventilator

A 31-year-old female nurse who suffered anaphylactic shock after receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday was taken off a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit of the Đà Nẵng General Hospital on Tuesday after recovering sufficiently.

Director of Đà Nẵng General Hospital, Dr Lê Đức Nhân, said it was the first severe shock after the second COVID-19 vaccination programme for medical workers between May 5-10 in the city.

He said the nurse had no reaction to the pre-vaccine injection test, but experienced shortness of breath and chest pain just after the injection.

She was rapidly treated by doctors and staff in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, Nhân said.

He added that eight people had faced minor anaphylactic reactions such as fever and rash of the first 450 injections, but no serious reactions were reported.

The city’s health department has temporarily halted the vaccine programme for further medical reviews and discussion with the Ministry of Health.

Workers at an industrial park in central Việt Nam get test papers for COVID-19. Mass tests have been sped up at SARS-COV-2 infected sites in the central provinces of Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Thừa Thiên Huế and Đà Nẵng City. Photo courtesy of Thiện Nhân Medical Centre  
At least 8,424 COVID-19 vaccine doses, of which 1,272 reserved for the General Hospital, have been allocated for frontline medical staff and journalists in the city.

Last week, a female medical worker in An Giang Province died of anaphylactic shock after receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vietnam not to change COVID-19 strategy, infection sources under control

Vietnam will stick to its COVID-19 strategy it has adopted since the first wave of the coronavirus, experts agreed at a meeting of the national Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on May 10.

The fourth wave of the coronavirus has attacked 26 cities and provinces across Vietnam, with more than 400 locally transmitted cases confirmed, after the virus recurred on April 28.  

The fresh outbreak is more complicated and difficult to control due to the emergence of new strains of the virus, especially variant B.1.617.2 originating from India which is believed to be more transmissible than predecessor strains, they said.

In addition, clusters of infection have been detected in a number of localities and especially medical facilities.

However, Vietnam is effectively controlling the fresh outbreak thanks to the COVID-19 strategy it has so far adopted to halt the spread of the virus in the community.

“Our COVID-19 strategy remains unchanged,” said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, referring to drastic measures in place, including swift contact tracing, early detection, isolation and testing.

“It is also imperative to tighten border control, and effectively manage people in quarantine facilities and those under self-isolation at home in order to stop the source of infection,” said Dam, who is also head of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.  

He pointed to the fact that he virus is more transmissible in closed areas such as bars or massage parlors, that requires localities to effectively control these non-essential services.

He reminded localities to stay calm and take necessary measures so that they do not cause any chaos and negatively affect business operations as well as people’s life.

“No country is safe when the world is unsafe. No Vietnamese is safe when the whole country is unsafe. Each individual must take responsibility first for himself and his relatives and then for the country and the community,” he stressed.

According to the Deputy PM, once people are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they must strictly abide by the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 rules, including donning face masks, avoiding large gatherings and keeping a safe distance when going out.

Also at the meeting, experts shared the view that Vietnam is gradually controlling four sources of infection in Da Nang, and Yen Bai, and at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No2 and K Cancer Hospital No2 in Hanoi.

Better implementing the 5K message will help disrupt the ongoing infection chain in the community, said Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor to the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health has encouraged people to follow its 5K message in Vietnamese, namely Khau Trang (face mask), Khu khuan (Disinfection), Khoang cach (Distance). Khong tap trung (No gathering), and Khai bao y te (Health declaration).

Two more cases related to Hanoi's cancer hospital positive for SARS-CoV-2

The Hanoi Centre for Disease Control (CDC) on May 11 morning reported the detection of an addition two more cases confirmed positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including one patient undergoing treatment for cancer at National Cancer Hospital known as K Hospital.

The first case is a 68 year-old man who is an inpatient patient at the Department of Urology Surgery, K Hospital’s Tan Trieu facility, while the second one is a family member of a patient who is being treated at the Department of Liver - Bile - Pancreatic Surgery of Hospital K’s Tan Trieu facility.

The municipal health sector is encouraging people not to leave their homes if unnecessary and strictly comply with regulations on health declaration, mandatory mask wearing when going out, no gathering in public places and keeping a minimum distance of 1 m when making contact.

The same day, the northern province of Hai Duong is urgently tracing cases having close contact with two patients who were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

According to Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen, Vietnam is basically containing the pandemic, with all cases having been identified with sources of transmission.

The Prime Minister has suggested the Ministry of Health urgently outline criteria for determining disease risk levels and devise suitable solutions for the enforcement of anti-pandemic measures in each locality.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs need to stay active in seek more vaccine supplies as a means of combating the pandemic in a more effective manner, he said.

Since the recurrence of the virus on April 27, Vietnam has so far recorded 488 community transmissions in 26 cities and provinces, with Hanoi topping the list with 146 cases, followed by Bac Ninh with 98 and Vinh Phuc with 60.

COVID-19: 28 more cases confirmed over last 12 hours, all in locked down areas

COVID-19: 28 more cases confirmed over last 12 hours, all in locked down areas hinh anh 1

Vietnam confirmed 28 new COVID-19 infections, all detected in locked down areas in the north, over the last 12 hours to 6:00am on May 11, taking the national tally to 3,489, according to the Ministry of Health.

The new patients comprise one in Hanoi’s Kim Chung facility of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, 13 in Bac Ninh, seven in Vinh Phuc, five in Bac Giang, one in Lang Son and one in Hai Duong.

So far, the country counted 1,433 imported cases and 2,056 domestic infections – 486 of which have been found since the fourth coronavirus wave hit the country on April 27. A total of 211,016 samples have also been collected for COVID-19 testing since then, the ministry said.

As many as 67,877 people who had come into close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit areas are under quarantine or self-quarantine nationwide at present.

The accumulative number of recovered cases remained at 2,618. Among active patients, 25 have tested negative for the coronavirus once, 17 twice and 25 thrice.

The ministry further added that more 25,057 people vaccinated against the virus on May 10, raising the number of vaccine doses administered in Vietnam to 892,454. Most of vaccinated people are health workers and frontliners./.

PM calls for further vigilance against COVID-19

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has called on the whole political system, army and people to join hands in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made the request while chairing a meeting between the cabinet and the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control on May 10 to discuss drastic measures against the pandemic.

The PM asked the Ministry of Health to identify pandemic risk levels, issue stark warning, as well as pen measures and requirements of medical supplies for each level.

The ministry must clarify the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses, and the exact dates they will come to the country, he said, adding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should join hands in the search for vaccine resources.

He also asked the ministry to tighten discipline within the sector, and strictly follows current regulations, with priority given to the 5K message.

As for the police, military and border guard forces, Chinh ordered them to enhance control of the border areas, as well as detect and mete out punishment to anyone with illegal immigration and residence.

Meanwhile, localities should stay prudent, and promote supervision and control of the COVID-19 situation, he added.

The ministries of Health and Finance were told to work together to remove bottlenecks for the pandemic prevention work, and ensure transparence and instruction of prices of medical equipment and supplies.

PM Chinh also urged the implementation of information technology to close the gap in COVID-19 control, while laying stress on the necessity to build more COVID-19 treatment hospitals.

Besides, he asked the health ministry and competent authorities to step up communications work to raise public awareness of the pandemic situation, prevention measures, and future response.

At the event, participants said that although the pandemic has been basically put under control in Vietnam, it has developed in a more complicated fashion in recent days, while stressing more drastic and effective measures./.

Ministries, agencies asked to effectively hold elections amidst pandemic

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 10 requested ministries, ministerial-level agencies and relevant Government agencies to proactively develop scenarios to hold the upcoming elections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic while chairing a Cabinet meeting on election preparations.

The PM asked the Ministry of Health to clarify criteria for localities on how to declare the pandemic and specific response measures.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communications and press agencies were urged to expand dissemination on the elections and disease prevention and control measures on all means of communications, with diversified, rich, practical and effective forms.

The ministries of National Defence and Public Security should stay ready to ensure security, safety and order at polling stations from now until the election day – May 23.

The People's Committees at all levels need coordinate closely with the organisations in charge of the election work in the localities, ensure facilities, technology and equipment for the elections, and focus on pandemic prevention and control, Chinh stressed.

Given the complex developments of the pandemic, the Government leader emphasised the need for a written request to the National Election Council requiring specific regulations on the organisation of meetings with voters and voting in an appropriate form.

He asked agencies, following their assigned functions and tasks, to effectively organise in the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure to elect competent candidates and at the same time ensure pandemic prevention and control.

Reporting on election organisation, a representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs said that over the past time, the National Election Council, ministries, sectors and localities have taken drastic measures to fight the pandemic and actively prepare for the elections.

Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan stated that his ministry had issued a plan on medical work serving the elections with focus on environmental sanitation and COVID-19 safety, food safety, and emergency and several special cases./.

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets voters in Ho Chi Minh City

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and other candidates for the upcoming election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly in constituency No.10 in Cu Chi and Hoc Mon districts, Ho Chi Minh City met local voters at conferences on May 9-10.

The constituency No.10 has five candidates, who are President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council Nguyen Thi Le, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences Tran Duc Cuong, Vice Rector of the Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine Nguyen Thanh Hiep and Political Commissar of the municipal High Command Maj. Gen Phan Van Xung.

In presenting his programme of actions if he is elected to the 15th NA, President Phuc pledged to do his best to serve the country and the voters at the constituency.

The focus of Phuc’s action plan is to fulfill the responsibility of a representative of the people, including keeping close contact with the people and listening to their aspirations in order to promptly report to the legislature and competent agencies.

The State leader vowed to push the implementation of the city’s four development programmes, especially technological transfer, labour and employment.

Voters spoke highly of the candidates’ action plans, saying that they meet public expectations and reflect their sense of responsibility for the development of the locality and the city.

They suggested the candidates work to attract more capital to the city for job generation, and promote high-tech and service projects, particularly infrastructure such as ring roads.

In the afternoon the same day, Phuc met with voters in Brigade 317 based in Hoc Mon district./.

Defendants in Nhat Cuong Company smuggling case jailed

The Hanoi People’s Court on May 10 handed down sentences to 14 defendants in a case related to smuggling and violations of accounting regulations at the Nhat Cuong Technic Co Ltd.

Nguyen Bao Ngoc, the company’s finance director, received a sentence of 10 years in prison for “smuggling” and another four years for “violating accounting regulations, causing serious consequences.”

Nguyen Thi Bich Hang, chief accountant, was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars for “violating accounting regulations, causing serious consequences.”

The remainder faced the charge of “smuggling” and received prison terms ranging from four to 13 years. Tran Ngoc Anh, deputy general director of the company, was sentenced to 13 years.

The judge also decided to give 774 million VND (33,560 USD) collected during raids at the company and money in seven banking accounts belonging to Doan Manh Phong, one of the suspects in the case, to the public fund, and asked the defendants charged with “smuggling” to return more than 221 million VND they had taken illegally.

Phong and other suspects in the case - Bui Quang Huy (General Director), Ngo Xuan Su, Do Van Hung, Cao Tuan Hung, Nguyen Hoang Son, and Le Xuan Dung - are on the run and have been put on the wanted list.

Regarding the charge of smuggling, the indictment said that from January 2014 to May 2019, Bui Quang Huy personally directed the company’s staff to conduct 2,502 illegal transactions involving the purchase and sale of more than 255,000 mobile phones and electronic equipment worth over 2.92 trillion VND (126.7 million USD) in total with 16 suppliers in Hong Kong (China).

Huy then engaged smuggling rings to transport the goods from Hong Kong (China) to Vietnam and hand them over to the Nhat Cuong Company to sell, with a total of 52,811 products sold for total of 307 billion VND.

As for the violations of accounting regulations, causing serious consequences, the indictment said that in 2014, Huy instructed the company’s employees to set up two different accounting systems, one for internal use and another fake one for public reporting.

The procuracy said that this is banned under Article 13 of the law on accounting, which caused a loss of nearly 30 billion VND in tax revenue to the State./.

Brigade 955 firmly safeguarding sovereignty over seas, islands

Officers and soldiers of Brigade 955 are loyal to the Party, the homeland, and the people and are dedicated to firmly safeguarding sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, contributing to ensuring Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas, islands, and continental shelf regardless of circumstances.

The affirmation was made by Vice Political Commissar of Brigade 955 Sen. Lieut. Col Nguyen Hong Chinh, on the occasion of the 66th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Navy (May 7).

Brigade 955 is assigned the key task of delivering aid to, conducting search and rescue efforts around, and transporting guests of the Party, State, army and navy to islands in Truong Sa, which belongs to the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa; protecting the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas; and patrolling, managing, and protecting waters in the Cam Ranh military base.

Established under a Defence Ministry decision dated April 26, 2018, the brigade is one of the key forces in Naval Zone 4.

With a spirit of solidarity and determination as well as political responsibility, officers and soldiers of the brigade strive to overcome any and all difficulties to accomplish the tasks assigned towards building a strong force, Chinh said./.

Binh Duong safely handles wartime bomb

The bomb is moved to a safe place

The Military High Command of southern Binh Duong province on May 10 said its sapper force has safely handled a wartime bomb found while digging the foundation of a public facility.

Unearthing during the construction of a cultural house in Bac Tan Uyen’s Hieu Liem commune, the huge bomb with its detonator intact was identified as a MK82.

Being 2.2m long and weighing up to 232 kg, the weapon contains 87kg of TNT explosives.

The sappers had made efforts to remove the bomb from the ground, and then relocated it to another area for safe handling.

MK82 is the bomb used by the US Army during the war, dropped from aircraft and caused great damage./.

Vietnam Airlines upgrades pandemic prevention level

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will apply level-2 pandemic prevention standards on all of its domestic flights from May 11.

Accordingly, the carrier will strictly examine passengers’ mandatory health declaration and body temperature before boarding, while refusing to transport those with abnormal health symptoms and installing disinfection mats at boarding gates.

Besides, separate cars will be arranged to transport crew members at the airport and between airports and cities.

The airline will ensure that the crew and passengers wear face masks throughout flights, provide anti-bacterial wipes for passengers, disinfect the airplanes at the end of each working day, and do the periodic maintenance work on the HEPA filters.

In the context of complicated COVID-19 developments, Vietnam Airlines will enhance support for its customers, and adjust schedules of domestic and international flights.

From May 10, Vietnam Airlines’ customers can cancel bookings, change flight dates or refund tickets on its website

Customers can get a refund in the form of Travel Voucher with 100 percent refund value. Waived refund fee applies to passengers who do not cancel or cancel their seats within three hours before flight time.

For further support, passengers should contact Vietnam Airlines’ official Facebook at, customer service 1900 1100 or ticket offices nationwide./.

Facebooker fined for spreading fake news about COVID-19 in Hanoi

Tran Van Duy has been fined 12.5 million VND (545 USD) for posting fake news about COVID-19.

The Hanoi Department of Information and Communications has issued an administrative fine on Tran Van Duy from Hoang Mai district, born in 1982, for posting fake news online, department director Nguyen Thanh Liem has said.

Duy, the owner of the Facebook account “Ha Noi Pho” (https//, spread a video of Hanoi streets on May 4 entitled “Hanoi streets quiet on the first day of lockdown”.

After studying the information, department inspectors found it was incorrect and violated regulations stipulated in Article 5 of Government Decree No 72/2013/ND-CP dated July 15, 2017 on managing, supplying, and using internet services and information on the internet.

Based on Point a, Clause 3, Article 99 of Decree No 15/2020/ND-CP issued by the Government on February 3, 2020, the department fined Duy 12.5 million VND (545 USD) for his wrongdoings. He removed the video from his Facebook account./.

Pandemic prevention, control measures tightened on Truong Sa archipelago

Truong Sa island district in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa continues to stand firm against the COVID-19 pandemic, with drastic measures taken since it first broke out in Vietnam early last year.

Captain Duong Cong Tuan, head of the Nam Yet infirmary, said that under the direction of the island’s commander, the unit has actively adopted plans on providing information to armed forces and people on the island about the pandemic, as guided by the Health Ministry.

Infirmary staff made thorough preparations to welcome a working delegation from the mainland, including measuring body temperatures, delivering medical face masks to the visitors, and conducting disinfectant measures.

Disinfecting efforts are carried out at the wharf, he said, adding that there is also a separate point of entry for fishermen who come to the island for medical check-ups and treatment.

Sen. Lt. Col. Dinh Van Cuong said that although the pandemic may develop in a more complex manner in the time to come, Truong Sa will continue exerting extra effort to ensure the health of soldiers and islanders, with a determination to not let the pandemic spread to the island district./.

Action month focuses on encouraging medical staff, community to wash hands

The Ministry of Health on May 10 launched an action month in response to World Hand Hygiene Day (May 5).

The launch ceremony, which was livestreamed on the ministry’s Facebook fanpage “Suc Khoe Viet Nam”, aimed to raise public awareness about the significance of hand washing and contribute to encouraging people to follow the ministry’s “5K” message - khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings) and khai bao y te (health declarations).

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said that amid the complex developments of COVID-19 and the appearance of many variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that are stronger and can spread faster, the strengthening of communications to improve awareness about keeping hands clean is significant, not only among medical staff but also the community.

Tuyen called on healthcare workers around the country to spread images of handwashing so they act as a mirror for others to do likewise and also strictly implement the “5K” message.

On the occasion, the Ministry of Health launched an online photo contest on handwashing among medical workers. Running until May 30, winners will receive cash awards of up to 80 million VND.

According to the World Health Organisation, each year about 16 million people die and hundreds of others are affected by infections acquired during the health care process. More than half of these cases could be prevented if medical staff were to wash their hands properly, which is a simple, effective, and cheap preventive solution.

Launched in 2019, World Hand Hygiene Day has improved medical staff’s awareness about the significance of washing their hands for public health and the prevention of hospital infections./.

Strictly following 5K message would curb local COVID-19 infections: Expert

The serious observance of the health ministry’s 5K message would help stop the local transmission of COVID-19 in Vietnam, heard a meeting in Hanoi on May 10.

The 5K message comprises khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations).

Speaking at the meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Associate Professor Dr Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, pointed out four current major pandemic clusters in the country - central Da Nang city, northern Yen Bai province, and the K Hospital and the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, both in Hanoi, plus a new hotspot in the northern province of Hai Duong.

COVID-19 cases have been reported in 26 cities and provinces, with cases of local transmission standing at 442, he told the meeting.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long also warned that Vietnam is on high alert as the coronavirus can spread quickly.

Experts said this fourth wave of COVID-19, which has hit the country since April 27, is more complex than previous waves due to new coronavirus variants, most notably the one believed to be behind the devastating surge in cases in India.

It has spread simultaneously to many localities and medical facilities, the minister said, stressing the need to view testing as a key, urgent task at this time.

Hospitals with more than 300 beds must house a real-time PCR testing laboratory, he requested.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the committee, urged localities that are yet to report any COVID-19 cases to remain vigilant and maintain close supervision.

Vietnam will not complete mass vaccinations by the year’ end, according to the Deputy PM, so it is necessary to strictly follow the 5K message, especially mask wearing.

He ordered a closer watch on border areas and people under quarantine and to quickly detect cases through contact tracing as well as regular screen testing.

Dam called on people to raise their sense of responsibility in the pandemic fight, for the sake of the country and the community./.

Bac Ninh opens two COVID-19 treatment hospitals

The northern province of Bac Ninh, which is among localities affected by the latest COVID-19 outbreak that began in late April, has decided to open two hospitals capable of treating 600 COVID-19 patients.

With 300 beds each, the two hospitals are to be established at the medical centres of Tien Du and Gia Binh districts.

They will handle sample collection for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and quarantine to promptly curb the spread of the disease and minimise the number of fatalities.

As of noon on May 10, the province had recorded 102 infections in six of its eight localities, with Thuan Thanh district’s Mao Dien commune the hotspot, with 79 cases. The source of infections was the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, with all cases being under quarantine and treatment at the Bac Ninh General Hospital.

The province has applied social distancing measures throughout Thuan Thanh district from May 9./.

Ensuring election campaigns are in line with regulations

The election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure is fast approaching. Meetings between voters and candidates are being held as the latter exercise their right to campaign and preside over meetings with voters. In this regard, the organisation of election campaigns in accordance with regulations.

Attending a meeting with five candidates in the 15th National Assembly election, voters in the three wards of Ben Nghe, Tan Dinh and Da Kao in District 1 heard presentations on their action plans and can be confident when casting their votes.

And this is a meeting of voters in Tan Binh district with five candidates for the 15th National Assembly election. The candidates vary but all are equal in presenting their action plans to voters.

The election campaigns are guaranteed to be fair and in accordance with regulations and are supervised by the Fatherland Front and Election Committees at all levels. Voters are given a supervisory role and democratic rights through these meetings.

Under regulations, candidates for election to the National Assembly can hold at least 10 meetings with voters while candidates for the city’s People’s Council can hold at least five. Through these forums, candidates gain more experience to complete their action programmes and voters can feel more confident in voting for those who deserve to be representatives of the people for the sake of the people and the nation./.

Dien Bien presents aid to armed forces of Lao provinces

The Border Guard High Command in the northern border province of Dien Bien on May 10 presented medical equipment and foodstuff worth over 100 million VND (4,360 USD) to the Military High Command and Police of Phongsaly and Luang Prabang provinces of Laos.

During the handover ceremonies at the Tay Trang and Huoi Puoc border gates in Dien Bien, leaders from the two sides discussed the COVID-19 situation in their localities.

They also agreed to bolster cooperation between border guard forces in patrols to prevent illegal entry and exit and to create favourable conditions for export-import procedures for citizens and goods to be completed at the border gates of Tay Trang and Pang Hoc in Laos, in keeping with regulations and the COVID-19 preventive measures of both sides.

Leaders of the Military High Command and Police of the Lao provinces expressed their gratitude for the timely support from the Dien Bien Border Guard High Command.

They voiced their hope that border guard forces of both sides will regularly exchange information on border control and protection and share their experience in tackling COVID-19, helping to build a Laos-Vietnam border of peace, cooperation, and development./.

People’s right to belief, religious freedom always respected: President

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that the State always respects people’s right to belief and religious freedom, which is protected by the law.

Receiving religious dignitaries, monks and priests in Hoc Mon district of Ho Chi Minh City on May 10 after a meeting with local voters, President Phuc recognised and lauded the contributions made by religions to the district’s development.

The State leader said he was happy to see that almost all religious dignitaries, monks, priests and followers in Hoc Mon district have united together and joined hands with the local administration and residents in boosting socio-economic development while abiding by the law.

Most Venerable Thich Minh Thanh, head of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Board of Hoc Mon district, spoke highly of the Party and State's achievements as well as the government's successes in the 2016-2021 tenure.

Thanh also expressed delight at the strong growth of HCM City and Hoc Mon district, pledging that he will work actively to encourage Buddhist monks, nuns and followers to join the upcoming general election, contributing to its success.

Priest Nguyen Ngoc Vuong, head of the Hoc Mon Parish, highlighted the tradition of patriotism among local residents regardless of religion.

He commented that, over the years, the National Assembly has efficiently worked and met aspirations of voters.

The President highly valued the trust of religious dignitaries, monks and followers in the Party and State, and lauded the local administration and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in implementing religious policies.

Noting that hostile forces often make corrupt use of ethnic and religious issues with the aim of undermining the Party and State, President Phuc called on all Vietnamese, regardless of religion, to maintain solidarity and mutual support, and join hands to build a prosperous country.

He thanked religious dignitaries for their opinions, describing them as valuable contributions that will help the Party and State perform better in protecting people’s right to freedom of belief and religion.

The State leader asked the local administration to work harder to care for the material and spiritual lives of religious practitioners, and expressed his hope that all religions in Hoc Mon district will continue to stay united and encourage followers to live a “good life and follow a beautiful religion” and engage further in local socio-economic development./.

VBS asks for suspension of religious activities in COVID-19 affected localities

The Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) has directed the suspension of all religious activities and mass gatherings in localities where COVID-19 cases have been reported or there is a high risk of community infections.

The VBS said considering the ongoing complex developments of the pandemic, monks and nuns at pagodas and places of worship must strictly follow directives of the Prime Minister, COVID-19 prevention regulations of the Health Ministry, and directive documents of People's Committees of provinces and cities nationwide.

Places of worship in localities still free from COVID-19 should also refrain from organizing religious activities and events with large numbers of participants. In events allowed by the authorities, participants must strictly follow epidemic prevention measures and the Ministry of Health’s 5K message - khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfectant), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations).

The preparation for the 2565th Buddha's Birthday, and district-level Buddhist congresses (2021-2026) in localities must be based on the pandemic situation in each locality, and comply with COVID-19 prevention regulations and instructions of local authorities.

The VBS also called on followers to detect cases of illegal entry and stay to prevent the risk of COVID-19 infection in community./.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau: Agricultural mechanisation benefits local farmers

The mechanisation of agriculture is currently popular among farmers in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau as this trend has contributed to reducing farming costs and increasing their income.

During the 2020-2021 Winter-Spring crop, the Farmers' Association of Long Dien district cooperated with the Ho Chi Minh City-based Snewrice Joint Stock Company in using drones to spray plant protection chemicals on more than 30 hectares of rice in An Nhut commune. This has helped increase labour productivity by 15-30 times, shorten spraying time, and reduce 30 percent of used pesticide amount compared to normal spraying.

According to Huynh Trung Thanh, Director of the An Nhut Agriculture - Service Cooperative in Long Dien district, spraying with drones not only saves water and pesticides, but also helps reduce rice yield loss from 150-200 kg per hectare compared with that of normal spraying.

In addition, members of the cooperative are also promoting mechanisation in other farming tasks. To date, they have mechanised the entire process of soil preparations and harvesting with different types of machines.

According to statistics from the local agricultural sector, at present, the province has more than 105,000 agricultural machines of 400 types serving the mechanisation of agricultural production, mainly focusing on such stages as soil preparations, irrigation, spraying of pesticides, transportation and exploitation of aquatic products.

Vu Ngoc Dang, Deputy Director of the Rural Development Sub-Department of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, said that the sub-department has so far provided more than 300 machines and equipment to more than 250 households and cooperatives.

In the coming time, the department will coordinate with localities to continue checking and counting the number of available machines and equipment so as to make production plans with the focus on developing plants and animals which the province has strengths and competitiveness and in accordance with its development planning./.

Book celebrates President Ho Chi Minh’s 131st birth anniversary

A new book on President Ho Chi Minh has come to the public to commemorate the leader’s 131st birth anniversary (May 19, 1890-2021).

Compiled by Assoc. Prof. Dr Bui Dinh Phong, a lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, the book is also to mark the 110th year of President Ho Chi Minh’s departure to seek ways for national salvation and 80th year of his return to the country.

It spotlights President Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary career, the close-knit relationship between his aspiration and content of documents adopted in the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam on evoking a passion for building a prosperous, happy and glorious nation which is “on par with powerful nations across the five continents”.

President Ho Chi Minh has become a great source of inspiration for not only Vietnamese authors and artists, but also their foreign counterparts./.

Four COVID-19 patients at Hanoi hospital turn critical

The health of four COVID-19 patients suffering from underlying illnesses at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi has deteriorated.

The condition of a 54-year-old man who suffers from high blood pressure and chronic kidney failure has become serious, heard an online consultation meeting for severely ill patients on May 10.

The patient has relied on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine - a therapy to save patients in critical condition, for the past five consecutive days.

Furthermore, a 63-year-old man who has endured ankylosing spondylitis for over 10 years has also turned critical. Over the past two months he has displayed a fever with temperatures rising to up to 39 degrees Celsius. At present he is using a ventilator.

The third man in critical condition has suffered from cirrhosis after many years of heavy drinking.

The final patient is a 70-year-old individual who has had diabetes for 21 years and also has high blood pressure. The patient is currently suffering from respiratory failure and also has a fever.

Vietnam now has one patient relying on ECMO intervention, nine cases using ventilators, 26 cases contracting pneumonia, and a further 202 patients showing mild signs of COVID-19, according to experts attending the meeting.

HCM City at high risk of large COVID-19 outbreak, says official

Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration, has given a stark warning about the high risk of a possible large COVID-19 outbreak in the city amid complicated developments of the pandemic both domestically and globally.

HCM City Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong chairs a meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control on May 10.
“We must be highly vigilant against a possible large outbreak of COVID-19 in the city,” Phong told a meeting on May 10 of the municipal Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, referring to recent relapse cases which were detected after individuals left quarantine facilities.

He noted that HCM City typically hosts large numbers of people in concentrated quarantine facilities of various sizes, thereby making it easier for cross-transmission to occur in these areas. Furthermore, he added that these individuals could still pose a threat of carrying the virus and spreading it to the local community, even after completing a mandatory quarantine period and recording negative tests.

Another risk comes from hospitals which receive large numbers of patients and their relatives from across the country each day. In addition, the southern city is also at high risk from acts of illegal entry across borders via air, sea, and land routes, according to Phong.

Amid the current situation, measures to tackle the latest COVID-19 wave must be even more drastic and should involve a dramatic shift from being defensive to counterattacking, as recently emphasised by the Prime Minister, Phong noted.

He underlined the need to swiftly reestablish road traffic checkpoints whilst strictly observing relevant COVID-19 rules at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, as well as 60 seaports, hospitals, and industrial parks throughout the city.

Furthermore, a request has been made that the local health sector prepare all resources, including increasing testing capacity, as part of efforts to deal with the worst-case scenario.

He also insisted that local residents strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 rules, including donning face masks, avoiding large gatherings, and keeping a safe distance when in public places.

Vietnam is experiencing its fourth wave of COVID-19, with more than 400 new cases confirmed across 26 cities and provinces nationwide since the virus recurred on April 28. HCM City itself has only recorded one case.

Photo exhibition on President HCM in cinematography opens to public

A photo exhibition showcasing numerous images of President Ho Chi Minh in cinematography kicked off on May 7 in Ho Chi Minh City, with the event being free for all visitors.

On display throughout the function are more than 140 posters taken from various documentaries and movies depicting the life of President Ho Chi Minh.

The items featured in the exhibit are divided into three sections, with the first and second taking guests through the life and career of President Ho Chi Minh during the 1911 to 1945 and 1946 to 1969 periods.

The third section features a range of photos of both President Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese revolutionary cinematography.

Two movies about Uncle Ho which won the Golden Lotus awards in Vietnamese national film festivals in 1980 and 1989 are set to be screened during the course of the exhibition.

Furthermore, all visitors can enter for free, with the exhibition lasting until May 24.

The exhibition is being held to mark President Ho Chi Minh’s 131st birthday on May 19, along with the 110th anniversary of him going abroad in order to find a way to liberate the country, with this event occurring in 1911.

More localities put under lockdown to combat COVID-19 spread

A social distancing order has been placed on a number of Vietnamese localities as part of fresh efforts aimed at halting the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus following the detection of more coronavirus cases.

Most notably, the northern city of Hoa Binh in the mountainous province of the same name moved to apply social distancing measures as of 00:00 on May 10 after an additional four cases were announced in the locality on May 9.

In line with the decision all meetings, events involving large gatherings, and religious rituals will be suspended, whilst transport between Hoa Binh and neighbouring localities will also be heavily restricted.

Furthermore, all business services, with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations, are now required to be suspended.

The heads of local administrations will therefore be held accountable if events featuring mass gatherings take place in areas under their management, in line with the decision.

Hoa Binh city is home to a population of 135,000 people who reside across 10 wards and nine communes.

Elsewhere, the northern province of Hung Yen moved to swiftly impose social distancing measures on My Hao township, along with five communes of Khoai Chau district, with these rules starting from May 10.

Hung Yen recorded 16 COVID-19 infections since the reemergence of the virus in Vietnam two weeks ago. Of the total, seven cases were found in My Hao, and a further seven were detected in Khoai Chau, all of which are closely linked to the ongoing outbreak from the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

In Hanoi, the local administration has scrambled to cordon off four villages in Gia Lam district after four community infections were confirmed on May 9. 

More than 5,000 local residents have been urged to remain indoors and only go out for food or other necessities. In addition, health quarantine checkpoints have been set up in the villages, and officials are on duty around the clock in order to control the movement of residents.

At present the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No.2 in Hanoi, one of the country’s latest COVID-19 hotspots, remains under lockdown until May 19.

Since an initial COVID-19 case was detected at the hospital a week ago, dozens of cases have subsequently been recorded, with the majority of them involving patients and their relatives.

More than 400 cases have been confirmed across 26 cities and provinces throughout the country after the SARS-CoV-2 virus recurred in Vietnam in late April. This represents the fourth wave of coronavirus infections to hit Vietnam over more than a year.

Endangered sea turtle rescued in Quảng Nam

A female sea turtle that was rescued by a fisherman in Thăng Bình District has been handed over to rescuers of the Đà Nẵng-based SaSa Marine animals rescue team.

The Chàm Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board confirmed to Việt Nam News that the green turtle (Lepidochelys Olivacea) was found by a local fisherman on the beach of Thăng Bình of Quảng Nam Province on May 2.

It had suffered serious injuries with two-thirds of its rear limbs and part of its shell cut.

Head of SaSa team, Lê Chiến, said the turtle might have been attacked by a shark in the ocean.

He said the turtle tried to survive in the ocean after the shark attack, but became exhausted and stranded on the beach.

Chiến said the turtle was X-rayed and cared for at a pool in Đà Nẵng, but it would be tough to recover from the wounds.

He has been in contact with experts from the US to help the turtle recover.

In February, the team and the MPA management board rescued and released a healthy female olive ridley turtle – an endangered species – to the ocean after five months of care at the MPA.

The Chàm Islands MPA said at least 30 sea turtles had become trapped in fishing nets off the islands since 2018. Two-thirds die after becoming entangled.

Only seven species of sea turtle exist in the world, and five of those are found living in Việt Nam. 

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes



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