Leading Vietnamese health experts have not ruled out the possibility that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could recur in the winter months due to favourable weather conditions allowing for a resurgence of the virus.
The latest novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to hit the country has been brought under control with no new locally transmitted cases detected nationwide for 26 consecutive days. Despite this, experts believe that although the virus is showing signs of abating at present, it is likely to return each winter like the seasonal flu.
Scientists have agreed that there is growing evidence to suggest that seasonal factors could influence the spread of COVID-19, with human-to-human transmission of the virus likely to make it more widespread in the winter.
Dr. Dang Quang Tan, head of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, says new infection cases may emerge from previous hotspots, or be brought in from returnees from epidemic hit countries, especially following the country reopening international commercial flights.
Dr. Tan therefore warns of difficult times ahead as the wintry weather potentially favours a resurgence and spread of the virus.
At present, Vietnam is striving to implement the Government’s dual goal of epidemic prevention and economic recovery. The Prime Minister has recently announced the reopening of international commercial flights to seven overseas destinations following the successful containment of the virus in these places.
To meet the dual goal and nip possible outbreaks in the bud, the Ministry of Health has proposed localities devise appropriate plans for quarantine, sampling, testing, and health monitoring for groups upon their arrival in the country following the reopening of international commercial routes.
The Ministry has requested that the community fully implement epidemic prevention and control recommendations in the new situation, by effectively implementing the ministry’s 5K message in Vietnamese, namely Khau trang (Face Masks), Khu khuan (Disinfection), Khoang cach (Keeping a safe distance), Khong tu tap (No Gatherings), and Khai bao y te (Health declarations).
Vietnam has so far recorded 1,074 COVID-19 cases, of whom 999 patients have gone on to make a full recovery, representing 93% of the total. The countrywide death toll caused by the disease has remained at 35. Of the 40 remaining cases, 19 patients have since tested negative for the virus at least once.
Vietnam reports no community transmission of COVID-19 for 27 days
Vietnam entered the 27th consecutive day without any new COVID-19 infection in the community as of 6am on September 29, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Medical temperature check at the foot of Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountain) in Da Nang city (Photo: VNA)
The country has documented 1,077 SARS-CoV-2 infections so far. Of the total, 691 were locally-transmitted cases, including 551 linked with Da Nang city since the latest coronavirus wave hit the locality on July 25.
As many as 999 patients have recovered while the fatalities remain at 35. Most of the fatalities were elderly with serious underlying health conditions.
Among the patients still under treatment, two have tested negative for the virus once, four twice and 13 thrice.
There are 15,897 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from the pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present.
As the COVID-19 pandemic can return at any time, the Ministry of Health recommended people wear face masks in crowded places, and wash hands with soap or hand sanitiser regularly.
If anyone shows symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should contact the Health Ministry’s hotline 19009095 for consultation and support.
Three foreign experts become Vietnam’s latest Covid-19 cases
Three foreign experts coming from Taiwan and India have become the latest Covid-19 cases in Vietnam, taking the country’s tally to 1,077 as of September 29 morning.
Two Taiwanese patients, aged 33 and 58, are male technical experts. They traveled from Guangzhou, China and were immediately transported to a quarantine center in Phu Tho Province after arriving at Huu Nghi Border Gate in Lang Son Province on September 18.
The last patient is a 48-year-old male expert from India. He travelled to Hanoi on flight 6E8979 on September 13 and was quarantined right after arriving at the airport.
All of the patients are being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Up to now, 1,000 Covid-19 patients in Vietnam have fully recovered, while 35 others have died. Among the remaining active Covid-19 cases, 19 patients have tested negative for Covid-19 one to three times.
Indonesia, Philippines report over 3,000 COVID-19 cases in single day
Indonesia and the Philippines each logged more than 3,000 COVID-19 infections on September 28.
Accordingly, additional 3,509 cases were confirmed in Indonesia on the day, lifting the national tally to 278,722.
With a death toll of 10,473, the country records the highest number of fatalities across the region.
Meanwhile, the Philippines reported 3,073 new cases and 37 deaths on September 28, raising the figures to 307,288 and 5,381, respectively. There were a total 252,665 recoveries.
The same day, Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) proposed the sixth extension of the Emergency Decree implementation for another month until October 31, in an effort to deter COVID-19.
According to the CCSA, Thailand reported 22 new imported cases on September 28, adding up to the national total of 3,545, with 59 deaths.
More Vietnamese citizens brought home
More than 230 Vietnamese citizens were flown home from Singapore on a flight of Bamboo Airways on September 28 as a joint effort of competent authorities of both nations.
The passengers included children under 18, people with illnesses and other especially disadvantaged cases.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore sent staff to the airport to help the citizens with pre-departure procedures.
Security, safety and hygiene measures were rigorously taken during the flight to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Upon their arrival at Can Tho International Airport in the city of the same name, all the crew members and passengers were given medical checkups and put under quarantine in line with regulations.
In the time to come, more repatriation flights will be arranged to bring Vietnamese citizens home, depending on their demand and domestic quarantine capacity.
Philippines extends restrictions in Manila region to curb COVID-19
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on March 29 that partial restrictions in and around the Manila capital region will be extended for another month until October 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In a televised address, the president also appealed to the country's top telecommunication firms to "do a better job" with public schools set to reopen with virtual classes on October 5.
Preparations for the resumption of classes have been hit by problems including access, availability and speed of data services.
The archipelago nation reported 3,073 new COVID-19 cases and 37 fatalities on September 28, taking its total count to 307,288 cases with 5,381 deaths.