His samples are being tested again at Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute for confirmation.

He had a high fever and went for a check-up at the Da Nang C Hospital at 8.25am on July 20. After being suspected of having the SARS-CoV-2 virus, his samples were tested and returned positive twice.

More than 50 people who were in contact with him have been quarantined.

In the past month, he hadn't travelled out of town and just had contact with his neighbours.

The Da Nang Center for Disease Control and Prevention took samples from 102 people thought to have been in contact with the man and all of them tested negative.

Local authorities and health officials are investigating the case to identify the source of the transmission.

120 workers with COVID-19 from Equatorial Guinea to be treated in Hanoi

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi is set to receive and treat about 120 Vietnamese guestworkers who were said to contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus, later this month.

The hospital has made adequate preparations and is ready to receive large numbers of COVID-19 patients late this month, said Dr Pham Ngoc Thach, director of the hospital. 

Vietnam Airlines is scheduled to conduct a special flight to evacuate 219 Vietnamese guestworkers, including 120 with COVID-19, from Equatorial Guinea on July 29.

Thach said the hospital will dispatch two doctors and two orderlies together with two ventilators and other necessary equipment to protect the workers’ health during the journey.

Upon arriving at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi capital, all the workers will be transferred to the hospital for quarantine and medical surveillance.

According to the Ministry of Health, doctors will keep a close watch on 46 out of 120 COVID-19 workers who suffer underlying illnesses such as stomach ulcers, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and bronchitis.

Early in July, more than 200 Vietnamese workers in Equatorial Guinea had sent a letter to Vietnamese representative agencies in Angola, asking for help as they were in distress. Many of them were confirmed to have carried the virus.

They are working at Sendje hydropower plant in Equatorial Guinea under labour contracts between Duglas Alliance Ltd of the UK and three Vietnamese companies, Tan Dai Loi, CMVIETNAM and LILAMA 10.

At a Cabinet meeting later, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport to work with Vietnamese representative agencies in Angola and relevant agencies in Equatorial Guinea to bring home the workers at the earliest possible time. 

HCM City unions provide post-Covid-19 support

Thousands of workers who have been affected by Covid-19 have been given support by the HCM City Federation of Labour and other organisations. 

The figures were announced at the meeting of the executive committee of HCM City Federation of Labour on July 23. In the first six months, a total of 15,200 firms had to scale down business, cut staff or go bankrupt. As a result, 150,000 employees were laid off, had their salaries cut or lost jobs. Most of them are in the service and manufacturing industry because of the lack of materials and customers.

The city authorities, organisations and individuals have launched many programmes to help the employees to overcome difficult times. HCM City Federation of Labour supported over 18,000 members with individual payments of VND1.2m (USD52) each. They also encouraged landlords to lower rent for over 57,600 rooms and waive the fees for 200 rooms when firms had to scale down businesses.

They also worked with the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Vietnam Association of High-Quality Goods to provide 7,000 meals to the workers who lost their jobs due to Covid-19 from April 6 to April 15. The Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor started a VND6.5bn (USD281,000) programme to support poor workers.

Many have also benefited from the USD2.6bn support package approved by the government to help poor people and businesses amid Covid-19. Food and other necessities were provided to 18,000 workers. Businesses can ask to extend deadlines for bank loans or have lending rates reduced.

No new community transmissions of COVID-19 for 99 straight days in Vietnam

Coronavirus news,southeast asia

Vietnamese citizens at Cuba's José Martí airport

Vietnam had no new COVID-19 cases to report on July 24 morning, marking 99 days in a row without new transmissions among the community, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among the total 412 cases, 272 were imported and quarantined upon arrival.

More than 10,330 people having close contact with patients or entering from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined at hospitals, concentrated quarantine establishments, homes and accommodation facilities.

The committee’s treatment subcommittee reported that 365 patients have totally recovered.

Report highlights effect of COVID-19 on vulnerable households, companies

COVID-19 has had a serious impact on vulnerable households, especially those of ethnic minority groups, those with members working in the non-official sector, or those with immigrants, according to a report released at a conference in Hanoi on July 23.

Jointly prepared by the UNDP, UN Women, and the Centre for Analyses and Forecasting at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the report highlights the pandemic’s socio-economic influence on vulnerable households and businesses in Vietnam, with consideration also given to gender factors.

It said the impacts led to an increase in temporary poverty, especially in ethnic minority households.

It underscored that COVID-19 caused considerable declines in revenue for both business households and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, forcing them to slow down operations and cut staff.

According to Caitlin Wiese, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam, the report aims to provide information to support COVID-19 response activities and post-pandemic recovery.

She underscored the significance of timely, forecasted, and flexible actions by the Vietnamese Government that contributed to the country’s success in fighting the pandemic.

 

Dr Tran Toan Thang from the National Centre for Socio-economic Information and Forecasting (NCIF) at the Ministry of Planning and Investment said COVID-19 had a rapid and strong impact on the global and Vietnamese economy, while possibly triggering the greatest crisis in many decades, even more so than the 2008 financial crisis.

Economic, trade, and investment have been interrupted, while the world financial market has become unstable and new economic and geo-politic trends have emerged and been forecast to grow in the future, in particular the reshaping of global supply chains.

Control of the pandemic still faces difficulties around the world, while many countries may be subject to another outbreak due to opening their economy too early, he said.

He held that the prospects for economic growth in the second half of the year have been lowered dramatically, and stressed the need for market broadening, investment promotion, and consumption encouragement as key measures to drive growth and contribute to the recovery process.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Chief Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, said that if the consequences of the pandemic are not tackled comprehensively, COVID-19 will leave severe health and socio-economic effects that may cause gender inequality and harm the outcomes of efforts over recent decades to empower women.

She expressed a hope that the report’s assessments, with consideration given to gender factors, will contribute to the Government’s efforts in adopting solutions suitable to the specific demand of women and girls, while preserving and promoting achievements made in gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Four new imported cases of COVID-19 brings total to 412 on July 23

Four new imported cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on July 23, all were immediately quarantined after their arrival in Vietnam, posing no risk of spreading in the community.

The new cases brought the total number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam to 412 as of 6pm on July 23, according to the national steering committee for COVID-19 control.

Among the new patients, one was a Filipino arriving in Phu Quoc (the southern province of Kien Giang) from the Republic of Korea on flight QH9461 on July 19. The three others were Vietnamese returning from Russia on flight VN5062 on July 17. Earlier, 16 other passengers on this flight were also confirmed to be positive to SARS-COV-2.

Vietnam has reported no community infections of COVID-19 since April 16, or for 98 consecutive days.

A total of 365 COVID-19 patients have recovered, and there has been no death.

More than 10,330 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or returning from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined across the country, including 352 at hospital, 9,379 at concentrated facilities and 605 at their accommodations.

270 Vietnamese brought home from Africa, Europe

Close to 270 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Africa and the Europe on a repatriation flight of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on July 23 – 24.

The passengers – including children aged under 18, students who had completed their courses, the elderly, those with illness, stranded tourists and guest workers whose visas and contracts expired – returned home from African countries of Ivory Coast, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Lebanon, Tanzania and Guine Conark, and the Europe.

Vietnamese missions in Africa countries have supported these passengers to travel to Paris and complete all necessary procedures before boarding the repatriation flight there on July 23.

Strict security, safety and hygiene measures were enforced by Vietnam Airlines during the flight to protect their health and prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Upon arrival at Da Nang International Airport, all passengers and crew members were given health check and quarantined at State-designated facilities as regulated.

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

Nearly 270 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Cuba, Germany

Vietnamese authorities, representative agencies in Cuba and Germany and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines coordinated with local counterparts to bring home nearly 270 Vietnamese citizens from the two nations from July 22-24.

The flight was arranged to land at Havana (Cuba) and Frankfurt (Germany) to receive the citizens, including children under the age of 18, students who had completed their study courses, the elderly and the sick, stranded tourists and guest workers whose visas or contracts expired.

Vietnamese representative agencies in Cuba and Germany sent officials to the airports to help citizens to complete all necessary procedures before boarding.

Security, safety and hygiene measures were strictly implemented during the flight. Right after landing at Van Don International Airport in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, all the passengers and crew members had their body temperatures checked and were quarantined as regulated.

Implementing the Prime Minister’s directions, Vietnamese authorities and representative agencies abroad are building plans to repatriate more citizens based on their aspirations and the quarantine capacity at home.

Poverty rate in Indonesia rises due to COVID-19

Indonesia saw the poverty rate rise to 9.78 percent in March from 9.22 percent last September, with 26.42 million people living below the poverty line as of March, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS).

The BPS said around 1.63 million Indonesians fell into poverty in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the poor across the country.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a great toll on economic activity and adversely affecting people’s livelihoods,” said BPS head Suhariyanto in a recent virtual press briefing.

He said the rise in staple prices played a huge role in the poverty rate, pointing to the rice price as the biggest factor, followed by cigarettes, poultry and instant noodles.

The national poverty line is set at 2.1 million Rp (145.8 USD) of income per family per month.

The Indonesian government expects 4 million people to fall below the poverty line this year, making for a total of 28 million poor in the nation, or around 10.6 percent of the population.

In line with the rising poverty rate, the Gini ratio, which reflects inequality, rose to 0.381 in March, from 0.380 in September last year, as the gap between the rich and the poor remained high amid the pandemic.

The government is allocating a 695.2 trillion Rp stimulus package to prevent greater economic fallout and to cushion the pandemic’s blow on poor communities by strengthening social safety net programmes and the country’s healthcare system.