Another person has died of end-stage chronic renal failure, sepsis, acute heart failure and COVID-19, marking the eighth COVID-19-related death in Vietnam so far and the second on August 4.

The latest fatality is a 65-year-old man from Da Nang city’s Hoa Vang district who was treated for five months for end-stage renal failure, regular hemodialysis and septic shock at the Nephrology Department of Da Nang Hospital. He was discharged from the hospital on July 24.

A test carried out three days later revealed he was positive for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and he was transferred to the Department of Tropical Medicine of the Da Nang Hospital.

At that time, he had breathing difficulties and was placed on a ventilator. His condition worsened and on August 4 he lost his fight for life at 8.30am.

Announcing the death, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said there are still a number of patients in a critical condition and at high risk of losing their lives due to underlying medical conditions and their old age.

Stranded tourists in Danang to be taken home via chartered flights

The Danang Department of Tourism announced on August 3 that it would operate two chartered flights to evacuate tourists stranded in the city—currently the country’s Covid-19 epicenter—to Hanoi and HCMC.

The tourists could not leave Danang due to travel restrictions imposed on July 27 after the central city reported a drastic rise in new local infections of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Tourists who have got stuck in the city should contact the Danang Supporting Center for Tourists to register for the flights no later than 5:30 p.m. on August 5.

If the tourists are staying in a hotel, they must provide a certification from the hotel, a copy or picture of their airline/train/coach ticket, a certification from the tour operator and other documents.

Tourists who are staying at their relatives’ homes are required to provide a certification from their relatives or the local authorities, a copy or picture of their airline/train/coach ticket and other documents.

According to Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of the Danang Department of Tourism, there are currently over 430 tourists, mainly from Hanoi and HCMC, who are stuck in the city. They will be subject to a 14-day quarantine after returning home and will have to pay for their own air ticket.

Health of all COVID-19 patients returning from Equatorial Guinea improves

All 219 Vietnamese workers who returned to Việt Nam from Equatorial Guinea on July 29 have been tested and only 20 tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2, vice director of National Hospital for Tropical Diseases Nguyễn Trung Cấp said on Monday.

All the COVID-19 patients were in good health, he said.

The Vietnamese workers had been stranded in the African country, with initial information asserting that nearly half of them already confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Cấp explained that many of the workers were confirmed to be suffering from COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea but had tested negative now possibly because they had recovered from the disease.

However, health care workers were still being cautious and strictly deploying disease preventive measures to avoid risks of cross-infection, Cấp said.

He added that all nine critical patients in the group, including six patients with lung damage and three with malaria, had seen their conditions improve.

“We have been closely monitoring such complicated cases as we foresee risks if we ignore other diseases that the COVID-19 patients also have,” Cấp said, adding that so far, there were no serious complications.

The 219 workers, the flight crew of eight and four health care workers who escorted the repatriation flight were taken into quarantine at the Kim Chung branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases upon their arrival in Hà Nội’s Nội Bài International Airport.

Earlier, all patients at the hospital were moved to the hospital's campus in downtown Hà Nội to make room for, and to be safe from, a large number of coronavirus carrying returnees. 

Đà Nẵng health worker fainted from exhaustion wants to get back to work

A female health worker in Hoà Minh Ward, Liên Chiểu District, Đà Nẵng City fainted when arriving at her workplace on Sunday morning after days of tracing people who had contacts with confirmed COVID-19 cases and helping them to go to quarantine areas.

The 48-year-old Đặng Thị Thu Hà has worked at the Hoà Minh Ward Health Centre for nearly 20 years.

After three COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the ward, for more than a week, she and her colleagues have meticulously traced people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients and supported quarantine work.

On August 1, Hà worked from early morning to 9pm, said the head of the ward’s health care centre Võ Thị Nga.

Nga said that during this time, health workers barely had any time to take a rest and very often skipped meals because there was so much work to do. 

Hà said that she was exhausted and had not adapted to the changes in workload and daily routine in the last few days as Đà Nẵng became the hotspot of coronavirus in the country that previously underwent months without local community infection.

“When I arrived home on Saturday evening, I was too tired to have dinner. My husband encouraged me a lot and said he would drive me to work as I looked so tired,” Hà said.

When arriving at the health care centre the following morning, Hà fainted. She was given oxygen support.

Answering a telephone call on Tuesday, Hà said she felt much better now but she was taking some days off.

“When my health condition is okay, I will come back to work, continuing to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

On Tuesday morning, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said the total number of infections confirmed in Việt Nam reached 652, of which 307 were imported.

As many as 205 community transmitted cases have been detected and linked to Đà Nẵng City since July 25. The pandemic has claimed eight lives in Việt Nam so far, all older patients with chronic health issues. 

Another patient dies of end-stage chronic kidney failure, COVID-19

A 62-year-old woman residing in Hoa Vang district of central Da Nang city died of end-stage chronic kidney failure, septic shock, multi-organ dysfunction and COVID-19 on early August 4.

This is the seventh death related to COVID-19 in Vietnam so far.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said the patient has suffered chronic kidney failure for 10 years and received treatment at Da Nang Hospital since July 18. She was sent to the Hue Central Hospital in nearby Thua Thien-Hue province on July 30.

The official noted that there are currently several COVID-19 patients at high risk of death due to serious underlying health conditions and old age.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country now stands at 652, including 374 recoveries and seven deaths.

Ten more COVID-19 infections confirmed in Vietnam this morning

Ten more coronavirus infections were confirmed by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on August 4 morning, putting the national tally at 652.

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A medical worker takes sample for COVID-19 testing from a man in Vietnam.

Ten more coronavirus infections were confirmed by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on August 4 morning, putting the national tally at 652.

The new patients, aged from 30 to 68, include seven in the central city of Da Nang and three in the neighbouring province of Quang Nam. All of them are linked to the Da Nang Hospital hotspot.

These brought the number of cases connected to the outbreak in Da Nang to 205. The outbreak began with the detection of a 57-year-old male patient on July 25, ending the streak of 99 days of no community infections in Vietnam. It has also resulted in six deaths, all of them with serious underlying health conditions.

The national tally now stands at 652, of which 307 were imported cases and quarantined upon arrival.

Of the total infections, 374 have fully recovered so far. Among the remaining active patients, nine have tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once and 12 at least twice.

A total of 133,279 people who had close contact with those infected with the virus or returned from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide, including 1,258 at hospitals, 20,417 at concentrated quarantine establishments and 111,594 at home.

Earlier, Vietnam confirmed 21 more locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 on August 3 evening.

The new patients, aged from 20 to 83, include 15 in the central city of Da Nang and six in the neighbouring province of Quang Nam. All of them are linked to the Da Nang Hospital hotspot.

Officials answer issues related to COVID-19 control

Issues related to the fight against COVID-19 were answered by officials during the Government’s monthly press conference in Hanoi on August 3.

Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the Government will continue considering measures to achieve the dual goal of fighting the pandemic and achieving socio-economic targets.

He added that the Government Office, authorities and Health Ministry will soon outline the Prime Minister’s new directive that will still ensure socio-economic activities in the new normal situation.

As for Da Nang city, the PM has decided to deploy medical staff and equipment to the locality to enhance testing and tracing down suspect cases, he said.

Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said the Health Ministry has sent a working team of the most experienced medical staff led by Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son to the city.

Da Nang C Hospital, Da Nang Hospital and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital, along with high-risk and affected areas, were sterilised and quarantined, he said, adding that over 1,000 medical and military students also engaged in the fight.

All plans have been devised and will be launched at the order of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, he said.

Deputy Health Minister works with Quang Nam on COVID-19 combat

A Health Ministry delegation led by Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son on August 3 had a working session with the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province, a current COVID-19 hotspot, on the prevention and control of the disease.

At the session, Son said that since the first community COVID- 19 case was recorded in the central city of Da Nang on July 25 after 99 days, the ministry has coordinated with experts to set up treatment and testing teams in the central region, including the hotspot of Quang Nam.

The ministry has also established a special task force in the central region which has the right to decide all issues related to human and material resources serving the pandemic prevention and combat, he added.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Tan asked for the ministry’s support in testing equipment and biological products serving the testing process as Quang Nam has recorded 34 COVID-19 cases so far.

The ministry should send leading epidemiological experts to Quang Nam to enhance capacity for local hospitals, he said.

 

Bordering Da Nang city, the epicenter of the current COVID-19 outbreak, Quang Nam has applied social distancing measures under the Government’s Decree 16 in pandemic-hit localities and locked down areas where cases with complex travel history are detected, according to the official.

The same day, Deputy Minister Son inspected preparations for receiving and treating COVID-19 patients at the Quang Nam Central General Hospital.

Official clarifies solutions to perform dual tasks of COVID-19 fight, development

With drastic, creative, flexible and timely directions of the Government and the Prime Minister, the engagement of the whole political system and business community, and the strong support from people, Vietnam has obtained important results in performing the dual tasks of fighting COVID-19 and boosting socio-economic development.

The remark was made by Minister, Chairman of the Government’s Office and Spokesman of the Government Mai Tien Dung at the Cabinet’s regular press conference on August 3.

He noted that after 99 straight days without community COVID-19 transmission, Vietnam has recorded locally infected cases in several localities, especially some hospitals in central Da Nang city. The Government’s permanent members shortly held three meetings under the chair of the PM to discuss response measures.

In July, the PM chaired a teleconference to promote the disbursement of public investment and official development assistance while working with some major provinces and cities like Ho Chi Minh City and several localities in the central, Central Highlands and Mekong Delta regions to boost public investment disbursement to facilitate growth.

The Government leader also ordered the establishment of seven working teams to visit localities, ministries and sectors to address difficulties facing businesses and step up public investment disbursement, Dung said.

Despites the pandemic’s negative impact, thanks to breakthrough efforts, Vietnam recorded month-on-month improvement in socio-economic development during the first seven months of 2020, with macro-economic stability sustained, inflation controlled, and the consumer price index growth slowing down.

However, as community transmission of COVID-19 has returned since late July, challenges remain huge for the time ahead, he admitted, pointing out that there are many latent risks to the macro-economic stability; public investment disbursement has yet to meet requirements; many industries are still struggling; the service sector, especially aviation and tourism, has been hardly hit; and the number of businesses dissolved or suspending operations, as well as job losses, have increased.

The Government considers the early August as decisive to whether or not COVID-19 will break out on a large scale, so it is necessary to summon every resource to deal with any outbreaks, especially the one in Da Nang, persistently carry out disease prevention and control measures, fulfill socio-economic development targets, and continue ensuring social security, social order and safety, defence, security and external activities, the official stressed.

Dung also noted several solutions issued by the Government, including drastically implementing synchronous anti-COVID-19 measures but still creating the best possible conditions for the flows of goods, and accelerating the disbursement of public funds which must be viewed as the focal political task for 2020.

Support comes for students in Da Nang stuck in dormitories

After social isolation order implemented in the central city of Da Nang, all students in the city have been allowed to leave school to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks. However, there many are stranded in dormitories, facing difficulties. Given that, universities and sponsors have been exerting efforts to help them to be assured of staying safe.  

Currently, about 1,200 students are staying at dormitories of the University of Da Nang. Cooking is not allowed in the room, while food shops have to be closed, including online sales make these students anxious at first. Given that, the University has managed to provide a cooking area for students.

With the support of benefactors, along with their resources, universities and colleges in the city are willing to accompanying students during this period of time.

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300 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Canada, RoK

A total of 300 Vietnamese citizens were flown home from Canada and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on August 2 and 3.

Passengers include children aged under 18, the elderly, pregnant women, those with illness, workers with expired visas and labour contracts, students without accommodations, workers with expired visa and labour contracts, stranded tourists, and those in extremely disadvantaged circumstances.

The Vietnamese General Consulate in Vancouver and the Embassy in the RoK sent their staff to assist these people to complete all required procedures before boarding the flight.

Strict security, safety and hygiene measures were enforced by the carrier during the flight to protect the passengers’ health and prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Upon arrival at Can Tho airport, all passengers and crew members were given health check and quarantined in line with regulations.

Vietnamese authorities and overseas missions plan to arrange more flights to fly more Vietnamese citizens home, depending on their need and quarantine capacity at home.

Medical staff sent to central region hospitals to treat COVID-19 cases

The Health Ministry has asked five hospitals to send experts to the Quang Nam Central General Hospital and the Hue Central General Hospital to provide support in the treatment of serious COVID-19 cases.

In an urgent dispatch to the directors of Cho Ray Hospital, the University Medical Centre Ho Chi Minh City, and the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the ministry asked them to send experts to Quang Nam given the complex developments of COVID-19 in Da Nang and nearby provinces.

On the same day, head of the Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, Associate Professor and Dr Luong Ngoc Khue signed two documents requesting that hospitals at higher levels deploy staff to the second branch of the Hue Central Hospital.

Accordingly, the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases was assigned to send a rapid-response team to assist the effort. The Hanoi Medical University Hospital was also tasked with sending experts in intensive care to the branch.

Earlier, on August 2, head of the Hanoi Medical University Hospital Ta Thanh Van sent a working team of eight experts to the Quang Nam Central General Hospital.

The team will also offer help to Da Nang city and other central provinces. 

HCM City completes financial assistance for those hit by COVID-19

HCM City has basically completed the provision of financial assistance for those hit by COVID-19, according to Director of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Minh Tan.

The move was in line with Resolution No 02 from the municipal People’s Council, the Government’s Resolution No 42, and the Prime Minister’s Decision No 15.

Figures from the department and 24 districts and wards show that the city had offered over 590 billion VND (25.6 million USD) to 538,360 out of the 538,621 cases as of late July, including 66,020 workers who become jobless with more than 67.5 billion VND, and those whose labour contracts have been temporarily suspended with 994 million VND.

Districts and wards paid 1.82 billion VND to other workers now not working and over 1.33 trillion VND to 1,330 business households earning revenue of less than 100 million VND per year.

All poor and near-poor households received a further 85.2 billion VND while all ex-revolutionaries entitled to social assistance were granted an additional 232.84 billion VND in total.

Philippines to re-impose stricter COVID-19 lockdown in capital

The Philippines authorities on August 2 said the country will reimpose a stricter COVID-19 lockdown in and around Manila for two weeks from August 4, as it struggles to contain the number of infections that has soared to more than 100,000.

Harry Roque, spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte, told reporters that the President has approved placing Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan under so-called "Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine" (MECQ) until Aug 18.

The lockdown decision came after 80 local groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses called for tighter controls, saying the country is losing the fight against the coronavirus.

According to the nation’s Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Duterte has also approved the proposed 4.5-trillion-peso (roughly 91.65-billion-USD) national budget for 2021 during his special meeting with the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on July 30.

The budget, which is 9.9 percent higher than this year's budget of 4.1 trillion pesos, aims to sustain the government’s effective response to the pandemic by focusing spending on improving healthcare systems, ensuring food security, increasing investments in public and digital infrastructure, and helping communities cope with and prevail against the hardship.

The Philippines continues to grapple with the rapid increase of coronavirus cases despite its strict lockdown measures imposed in mid-March.

Travellers to Singapore to wear electronic tracking device

Starting from August 11, travellers entering Singapore who are serving their stay-home notice (SHN) outside of dedicated facilities will have to wear an electronic monitoring device throughout the 14 days.

This will apply to all travellers including Singaporeans, permanent residents, long-term pass holders, work pass holders and their dependents, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Ministry of Education (MOE) in a press release.

The device will allow them to monitor those serving the SHN more effectively as travel restrictions are progressively lifted, according to the press release.

It is a change from the combination of text messages, voice and video calls and house visits the authorities have been using to make sure the rules are observed.

GPS and 4G or Bluetooth signals are used to determine if a person is within range of their place of residence.

Those wearing the device may receive notifications from it during the stay-home period and should acknowledge these in a timely manner, said the authorities.

Those who tamper with or remove the device during the SHN period can be fined up to 10,000 USD or jailed for up to six months, or face both punishments.

Earlier, the Singaporean Ministry of Health said travellers entering Singapore from selected countries may serve their stay-home notices at home, instead of dedicated facilities, from June 18.

But they will be subject to a compulsory COVID-19 test, for which they must pay, a few days before the end of their SHN.

The new SHN rules apply to travellers who have been in Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, mainland China, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the last 14 consecutive days before their entry.

All other travellers entering Singapore will continue to serve their SHN at dedicated facilities like hotels. Those who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents will have to pay for their stay at these facilities.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau imposes social distancing restrictions despite no new Covid-19 infections

Although the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has reported no new locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases recently, it has decided to impose social distancing restrictions to ensure community safety by suspending nonessential services from 0:00 today, August 3.

The province has shut down all bars, dance clubs and karaoke lounges and suspended cultural and sporting activities, festivals, fairs, conventions and religious events.

The local residents have been asked to avoid gatherings of more than 30 persons, keep a safe physical distance of at least two meters in public places and wear face masks while going out.

Public transport operators, trade service providers, restaurants, food stalls, retailers and hotels must comply with Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures.

Important political, economic and social events would require permission from the relevant agencies.

Coastal districts must seek consultancy from the provincial government on whether to close the beaches and must abide by preventive measures to ensure safety for locals and tourists. 

The Department of Health has been asked to be prepared for large-scale Covid-19 testing and ensure sufficient medical equipment is available in case new local infections are discovered.

Although there have been no new locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases in Ba Ria-Vung Tau recently, the province confirmed six imported cases on July 31, who were sailors of the Panama flag Gas Texiana vessel.