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A medical worker sprays disinfectant in an ambulance before allowing it to enter Hạ Lôi Village on Friday.

The Ministry of Health on Sunday morning issued its 13th emergency notice, asking anyone who has visited Mê Linh flower market in Hạ Lôi Village, Mê Linh Commune, Hà Nội since March 20, to immediately contact the nearest health authority or send a message to the number 8889 for medical advice.

Relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the village, the city has recorded six infected cases so far. They are the country's 243rd, 250th, 253rd, 254th, 257th and 258th patients.

The ministry sent a special task force to support the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the village on April 10. The ministry had already imposed a lockdown on the village, with a total of 11,077 people, on Tuesday afternoon. The lockdown will run between April 8 and May 5.

Urgent guidelines issued over COVID-19 testing

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Testing conducted for residents of Hạ Lôi Village, Mê Linh Commune, Mê Linh District. Hà Nội is accelerating the process to cover all locals in Hạ Lôi today. 

The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control has asked cities and provinces nationwide to invest wisely in testing systems to avoid unnecessary waste in the current pandemic situation.

In an urgent document sent on Saturday, the steering committee asked local health departments to carefully consider procurement and investment of the equipment to avoid waste because machines and biological products are limited and expensive.

The document stressed that testing is conducted by laboratories under the direction of the steering committee, not as requested services.

So far, the country has had 110 laboratories with full capacity for COVID-19 testing, of which 95 are under the health sector, 15 are under other sectors such as agriculture and national defence.

According to the Ministry of Health, the test method suitable to the prevention and control conditions in Việt Nam is the RT-PCR test with test kits produced by the Military Medical Academy, ensuring the ability of domestic supply, regardless of the supply from the outside. The ministry is appraising and licensing several units that have registered.

Việt Nam is one of the leading countries in the world having people tested in relation to positive cases. Testing capacity reaches 27,000 samples a day. By Sunday morning, the cumulative total of tested samples was 212,800, of which positive samples were 258.

Huế, Đà Nẵng set up free rice ATMs

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People fill in a form to collect free rice from donors in Huế City. Photo courtesy of Huế Newspaper

Donors in the central city of Huế have set up a 'rice ATM' in the city to help underprivileged people that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers at colleges in the city set up the first site at the Phú Xuân private college at 28 Nguyễn Tri Phương Street on Saturday to give 2kg of free rice for each person.

They said donors have been supplying free rice to poor local residents at several sites in the city to avoid large crowds gathering.

Donors in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province also collected 4,000 face masks, 1,000 hand sanitiser bottles and 4 tonnes of rice to hand over to two provinces – Salavan and Sekong in Laos – to support the fight against COVID-19.

The Đà Nẵng City’s Young Businessmen Association also said it would set up two free rice ATMs to help poor people in Đà Nẵng from next week.

Chairman of the association Hà Đức Hùng said the first ATM would be installed at Trưng Nữ Vương Street in downtown Hải Châu District before being spread to more locations in Hòa Vang, Cẩm Lệ, Thanh Khê and Liên Chiểu districts.

The association has collected 40 tonnes of rice from donors in the city, and there are plans to gather more.

He said the free rice ATMs would operate till end of June.

Earlier, free rice ATMs were installed in HCM City and Hà Nội to help poor people during COVID-19 pandemic.

A charity in Da Nang has also presented 1,500 bottles of watermelon juice to doctors, nurses and medical workers at COVID-19 frontline hospitals in Đà Nẵng.

The group said it had bought 1.5 tonnes of watermelon from farmers in Quảng Ngãi Province to help clear overloaded stocks at farms. 

No new COVID-19 cases recorded on April 12 morning

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A medical worker takes samples for SARS-CoV-2 tests in Ha Loi village, Me Linh commune, Me Linh district in Hanoi

Vietnam reported no new COVID-19 cases on April 12 morning, keeping the national count at 258, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

On April 11, just one case was recorded, a 47-year-old woman from Ha Loi village, Me Linh commune, Me Linh district in Hanoi.

Of the 258 patients, 144 have been recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Among 114 active cases, 12 have tested negative twice and 13, once.

The authorities are urging people not to break social distancing rules, as many appear to be flaunting regulations, particularly in the major cities of Hanoi and HCM City.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on law enforcement agencies to swiftly deal with people who are leaving their homes for non-essential reasons.

He also called on the authorities to punish people seen out in public who are not wearing a face mask.

COVID-19 cases in Vietnam total 258 after one more confirmed

A 47-year-old woman in Hanoi is the latest person testing positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam to 258, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said on April 11 evening.

COVID-19 cases in Vietnam total 258 after one more confirmed hinh anh 1

Health workers take samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing in Ha Loi village of Me Linh commune, Hanoi's Me Linh district

The new patient resides in Ha Loi village, Me Linh commune, Me Linh district. She is the mother of the 257th patient who is being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No.2 in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district.

So far, 144 COVID-19 cases in Vietnam have made a full recovery.

At present, more than 72,500 people are quarantined at hospitals, their homes and other places across the country.

Meanwhile, Bach Mai Hospital in the capital, a hot spot for COVID-19 infection in recent weeks, will remove quarantine barriers at the stroke of midnight following a decision of Chairman of the Dong Da district People’s Committee Vo Nguyen Phong.

For the past two weeks, staff and patients have been locked down inside the medical facility after a number of people connected to the hospital tested positive.

But now regulations set by the MoH have been met, and the hospital will remove quarantine restrictions. It will continue to conduct preventive and control measures to stop any further spread of the virus.

Sentencing of a man jailed for assaulting police streamed online

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Đào Xuân Anh Doanh appears in court. Proceedings were streamed live to 13 communes and towns 

Court proceedings of a man who was jailed after attacking police who stopped him for not wearing a face mask, were streamed live to a number of communes and towns in Tiên Yên District in northern Việt Nam.

Đào Xuân Anh Doanh, who also uses the name Đào Xuân Anh, from Phương Nam Village, Đông Hải Commune, was jailed for nine months for resisting law enforcement as they carried out their duties.

He was stopped by officers around 4pm on April 4 riding on the back of a motorcycle with no helmet and no face mask.

When members of the COVID-19 prevention and control asked to take his temperature, Doanh, who had been drinking, cursed and attacked the officers.

The following morning Doanh realised that his behaviour violated the law, so wrote a letter to the Tiên Yên District Police to give himself up.

The court was told he had a previous conviction for robbery and had served time in prison before. 

Men to be prosecuted for failing to observe social distancing

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Nguyễn Văn Quýnh at the police station.

Police in the northern province of Bắc Ninh have decided to initiate legal proceedings against two men for failing to follow coronavirus prevention measures.

The offenders are Nguyễn Văn Quýnh, 34, a resident from Bắc Ninh Province’s Yên Phong District, and Thái Xuân Hưng, 37, hailing from Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District.

The initial investigation revealed that Quýnh failed to wear mask in public on Tuesday despite being reminded by police, who he also insulted.

Hưng was guilty of the same offence on Monday at a checkpoint on provincial road 295B at the boundary between Gia Lâm District’s Yên Thường Commune and Từ Sơn Town’s Đình Bảng Ward. He not only ignored warnings from the police but also held them up for almost three hours.

Bắc Ninh Police said Quýnh and Hưng's actions had adversely affected the province’s COVID-19 prevention and control efforts and they should be punished accordingly.

Police in Thái Bình Province have also decided to commence legal proceedings against Trần Văn Mạnh for a similar offence.

Mạnh, 24, a local resident, reportedly not only failed to follow the social distancing directive but also assaulted officers on duty.

He was not wearing a helmet or mask when he drove through a COVID-19 checkpoint in the locality on Wednesday.

Việt Nam has issued regulations making it mandatory for all citizens to wear face masks while outdoors. Fines for those who disobey the regulations are up to VNĐ300,000 (US$12.80).

In the central province of Quảng Nam, an arrest warrant has been issued for Nguyễn Trung Thành, 32, on charges of stopping officials from executing their duty.

Thành is accused of assaulting a woman who works at a COVID-19 checkpoint in Phú Ninh District’s Tam Thành Commune, where he lives, after being asked to stop for a temperature check. 

Last COVID-19 patient in central Việt Nam released from hospital

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COVID-19 patient 135 (second from left) share a photo with medical staff at Đà Nẵng General Hospital. She is the sixth and last COVID-19 patient to leave hospital in central Việt Nam. 

The central city released COVID-19 patient 135 after 18 days of treatment at the general hospital on Friday after she tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 three times.

The female patient, 27, who flew from Bangkok, Thailand to Đà Nẵng on March 21, will be isolated at HCM City’s Chợ Rẫy Hospital for 14 days under strict medical supervision.

“I was impressed by the care and treatment I received from the doctors and nurses at the hospital. They reserved the best service and treatment for me during the 18 days and saved me from the disease,” she said. 

“I’m so happy to walk out of hospital today, and want to express my thanks to all the medical staff for their wholehearted care,” she added.

Director of the hospital, Doctor Lê Đức Nhân said: “It’s been an endless effort by a team of 45 doctors, nurses and medical staff at the tropical department since the first positive arrived at the hospital.

“The patient is the sixth and last COVID-19 patient leaving the city in good health after days of treatment. The hospital had received full medical assistance from the city and the Ministry of Health to help cure the COVID-19 patients,” Nhân said.

“She is the last COVID-19 patient in the city, but it’s not the last case for us. We’ll keep fighting for any new patients in the coming days,” said Doctor Phạm Ngọc Hàm, head of the tropical disease department at the hospital.

Doctor Hàm and his medical team spent 32 days at the hospital treating six COVID-19 patients – two British, one American and three Vietnamese – from March 7.

He said the six COVID-19 patients treated at the hospital were not serious cases. They did not have cardiovascular problems, hypertension, pneumonia or diabetes before being infected with SARS-CoV-2, he added.

Medical staff pose for a photo with COVID-19 patient 135 at Đà Nẵng Hospital. The patient has left Đà Nẵng for a 14-day isolation period at HCM City's Chợ Rẫy Hospital. VNS Photo Công Thành 
All 45 medical staff will now go into isolation for 14 days at a hotel the city has reserved. However, they will be on duty if any new cases are admitted.

“The fight is still going on. We’ll try to cure all patients. It’s our job and mission,” Hàm said.

To date, 11 COVID-19 patients (7 British, one American) in Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên-Huế have been eleased from hospitals since early March.


It’s also 17 days since the central region reported a new case of SARS-CoV-2.

The coastal central provinces of Bình Định, Phú Yên, Quảng Ngãi and Quảng Trị have yet to report any positive cases. 

HCM City steps up rail passenger testing

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A medical worker takes a mouth swab from a rail passenger arriving in HCM City on Saturday.

All passengers entering HCM City via Sài Gòn Railway Station will be tested for COVID-19 and must complete medical declarations.

The work will be managed by the HCM City International Health Quarantine Centre, in co-ordination with the station’s management board and began on Saturday morning.

Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, director of the centre, said nearly 300 passengers have already been tested and filled in the required medical forms.

Tâm also said there had been issues collecting samples at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport due to a shortage of staff, but more have now been assigned. 

HCM City medical staff visit seniors at home amid COVID-19 outbreak

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A doctor at Thủ Đức District Hospital examines an older patient at home. — Photo

People aged 60 and above with chronic health conditions in HCM City can register to receive health services at their homes, according to a policy by HCM City’s Department of Health amidst COVID-19 concerns.

Twenty one city-level hospitals, 22 district-level hospitals and 13 private hospitals are offering health examination and treatment services at patients' homes from Monday to Friday.

Thủ Đức District Hospital and Xuyên Á Hospital provide services seven days a week.

Patients aged 80 and above are eligible to be covered by health insurance, and patients aged 60 to 79 have to pay a partial cost of medical services.

Hospitals will review health records of senior patients and send doctors and nurses to their houses for health examination and treatment, as well as drug prescriptions.

Doctors can also offer examinations for patients with chronic medical conditions via telephone and prescribe medicines.

The HCM City Social Insurance Agency earlier this month approved medical services at home for senior patients with chronic medical conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Drugs covered by health insurance for patients can be prescribed for up to two months.

Đặng Thị Thiếp, 90, who suffers from hypertension and lung disease, was recently visited by medics from Thủ Đức District Hospital, which is located 5km from her house.

Nguyễn Thị Kim Loan, her daughter, said she had previously taken her mother to the hospital for her periodic health examination and picked up her drugs, but it was now too risky for her mother to visit the hospital.

“We feel very happy that the medics can come to examine her and prescribe drugs,” Loan said. 

Hoàng Văn Dũng, deputy head of the general planning department at Thủ Đức District Hospital, said the hospital has assigned doctors to visit patients aged 60 and above with chronic medical conditions in the district following instructions from the city’s Department of Health on April 6.

Doctors and nurses work from 6am to 9pm all days throughout the week to visit patients and offer health check-ups at home or via telephone, Dũng said.

Most senior patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes receive health examination via telephone, while some of them are visited by doctors and nurses at home if they have unusual symptoms.

Relatives of senior patients can go to the hospital to pick up medicine prescribed for one to two months if the patients’ health conditions are stable, he said.

Hotels house doctors in fight against COVID-19

To share the burden with doctors in the fight against COVID-19 while ensuring safety, limiting risks for their family members, Ho Chi Minh City’s Health Department has worked with some businesses in the locality to use hotels as shelters for medical staff of Hospital for Tropical Diseases and a Covid-19 treatment hospital after they finish their shifts.

To ensure safety, the city’s Health Department has thoroughly checked and sterilised the facility and provided training on preventive measures for hotel staff.

Many other hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and across the country have been called to join hands with local governments to support medical staff who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19.

Providing medical staff with shelter after they have treated COVID-19 patients will help ensure the safety of their families as well as limiting the risk of the virus spreading.

It is expected that more hotels will be used to house medical staff from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tropical Diseases Hospital and the Cu Chi and Can Gio Covid-19 treatment hospitals.

Face masks, hand sanitiser added to price stabilisation programme in HCM City

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Face masks and hand sanitiser have been added to this year’s price-stabilisation programme in HCM City to ensure stable supply during the COVID-19 period

Face masks and hand sanitiser have been added to the list of essential goods covered by the price stabilisation programme in HCM City amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Tran Vinh Tuyen, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, has signed a decision on a plan to carry out this year’s programme, which will last until March 31, 2021.

The list of essential products include foodstuff such as rice, noodles and vermicelli, as well as sugar, cooking oil, eggs, meat, vegetable and seasonings.

The stabilised essential goods normally account for around 25-30 percent of total market demand, and up to 40 percent during Tet months.

During the COVID-19 pandemic period, these goods are accounting for 35-50 percent of market demand.

The city will ensure stabilised supply of 57.5 million face masks and 3.29 million of hand sanitiser bottles (1.2 million litres) for the next three months.

Businesses in the stabilisation programme have to register prices of their stabilised goods with the Department of Finance. Prices of stabilised goods are 5-10 percent lower than the market price.

Manufacturers and distributors have been increasing their supply of face masks.

Thai PM urges people to stay home during Songkran festival

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A food supply area established in the yard of a shopping centre in Bangkok, Thailand

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on April 10 called on people to stay at home during the traditional Songkran festival to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In his televised address, the PM recommended people stay home instead of visiting relatives before or during the festival, which is slated for April 13-15. He also warned them not to leave home or join a celebration party anywhere else.

The Thai Government officially postponed the Songkran holidays and water splashing activities nationwide due to the complex developments of the pandemic.

The PM also allowed some groups or sectors to be excluded from the nationwide curfew to facilitate their work.

Thailand has been under an emergency decree from March 26 to April 30 to restrict travel to stop the transmission of the coronavirus.

Among the orders under this decree, a nationwide curfew from 10pm to 4am has been enforced since April 3, and only authorities and their assistants on duty, health care personnel and emergency patients are exempted.

However, according to the latest regulation, those working at petrol stations and public utilities, food shippers, garbage collectors, guards, fishermen and rubber tappers are also allowed to work during the curfew.

Meanwhile, Phuket has become the first province in Thailand to impose a lockdown on all 17 sub-districts, from 00:01am on April 13 to 11:59pm on April 26 or until the situation improves, to prevent the COVID-19 spread.

As of April 10, Thailand had confirmed 2,473 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including 33 deaths. Bangkok capital city had the biggest number of cases, 1,262, while the highest infection rate, 38.95 cases per 100,000 people, is recorded in Phuket./.

COVID-19: Cambodian-Vietnamese families in Preah Sihanouk supported

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The Consulate General of Vietnam in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk province presents relief packages to Cambodian-Vietnamese families affected by COVID-19.

The Consulate General of Vietnam in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk province on April 11 presented relief packages to 57 Cambodian-Vietnamese families affected by COVID-19 ahead of the Chol Chnam Thmey – Khmer New Year Festival.

The gifts were donated by the consulate general’s staff and the telecom firm Viettel Cambodia (Metfone) as well as Cambodian-Vietnamese businesspeople.

Consul General Vu Ngoc Ly shared the difficulties that the two countries' people are facing despite measures to actively support affected people.

He also expressed his deep sympathies with Cambodian-Vietnamese people who are encountering more hardships during the pandemic.

The offical advised them to not return home at this critical time but implement preventive measures of the host country’s health ministry.

Earlier, the consulate general donated 3,000 face masks to disadvantaged Cambodian-Vietnamese families in Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Koh Kong, Takeo, and Kampong Speu provinces.

According to the local health ministry, as of 9:00 April 11, Cambodia reported 120 infection cases, including 75 recoveries. In Preah Sihanouk, 39 cases have been recorded so far./.

Vietnamese-owned company presents 600 COVID-19 test kits to Moldova

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Farmacia Orient wants to contribute its efforts in helping the local government, hospitals and health facilities to cope with COVID-19 by donating the test kits.

Farmacia Orient, a Vietnamese-owned company, has presented 600 made-in-Germany COVID-19 test kits to the National Public Health Agency of Moldova.

A representative from the firm said the pandemic is spreading in almost all countries around the world, including Moldova. The number of infection cases in the eastern European country is increasing day by day.

According to the Moldovan government's estimate, as of May 2020, more than 30,000 people of the country’s total 3 million might be infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Given that situation, Farmacia Orient wants to contribute its efforts in helping the local government, hospitals and health facilities to cope with COVID-19 by donating the test kits.

Preventive measures applied by the Moldovan government, especially quarantine solutions, have been proving effective, according to the company.

For their part, Moldovan authorities and representatives of the National Public Health Agency thanked the Vietnamese firm for its practical support, which they said, has helped reinforce local trust in winning the fight against COVID-19.

Universities Canada pledges to support Vietnamese students

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People in Ottawa wear face masks

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (Universities Canada) has pledged to support Vietnamese students amid the complicated developments of COVID-19 in the host country, during the recent phone talks with Nguyen Huong Tra, Charge d'Affaire of the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada.

The Canadian side said it will carry out a lot of assistance measures such as allowing Vietnamese students to stay at the dormitories till the end of the school year and providing medical support.

Students who got a job after graduation but are now unemployed due to COVID-19 will be certified by schools to receive subsidies from the host government’s emergency assistance packages while waiting for support from other financial resources, if they complete some required credits.

Particularly, schools pledged to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese students who plan to visit Canada for summer courses from May to June to study online training programmes. Students will get credits as they do at school.

Meanwhile, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will have policies to help students, foreign workers, and tourists make online visa extension.

Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia in the number of students in Canada, with over 20,000.

According to the Canadian government, as of 11am on April 10 (local time), the country reported 21,243 COVID-19 cases, including 531 deaths.