Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia July 25
PM urges tightened border control in wake of new local infection of COVID-19
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) speaks at the meeting of the Government’s permanent members on July 25 (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 25 ordered tightened management of border gates from the north to the south to prevent illegal entry, following the confirmation of the first locally infected case of COVID-19 in Vietnam after 99 days without community transmission of the coronavirus.
Addressing a meeting of the Government’s permanent members in Hanoi, the PM applauded the seriousness and efforts by all-level authorities, sectors, and localities in concurrently fighting against the pandemic and developing the economy.
However, he noted, some sectors and localities have been off guard and shown laxity in disease prevention and control after a long period of time without community transmission.
Particularly, foreigners’ illegal entry into Vietnam has occurred as management measures haven’t been strict enough, he said, adding that the entire political system, especially military, police and relevant forces, must be responsible for this problem.
Facing the laxity in complying with the Health Ministry’s recommendations about COVID-19 prevention and control, the Government leader requested ministries, sectors and localities to boost the serious implementation of anti-pandemic measures in the new context, especially in big cities, such as frequently washing hands with soap and wearing face masks in crowded places.
He told the Ministry of National Defence to tighten the management of travel via border gates and border crossings so as to prevent illegal entry, and prevent virus transmission at concentrated quarantine sites.
This ministry was also asked to work with the ministries of health, public security, and foreign affairs to keep stringent in quarantining those entering Vietnam.
Besides, the Ministry of Public Security was demanded to investigate and strictly deal with the recently busted rings that had illegally brought people from other countries into Vietnam in Da Nang city and nearby Quang Nam province.
Regarding the 416th case in Da Nang, PM Phuc asked this central city to take adamant and timely actions, continue tracing and quarantining any people related to this patient, and clarify areas at risk of infection.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security was told to review all people with illegal entry in Da Nang and consider them suspect cases of COVID-19 to make appropriate moves.
At the meeting, the PM reiterated the dual tasks of combating the pandemic and developing the economy, apart from taking appropriate measures to support foreign experts, investors, skilled workers, and diplomats to enter the country and assist overseas Vietnamese with disadvantages to return home.
Vietnam confirms 416th COVID-19 patient, return of community transmission
A 57-year-old man in Da Nang has been confirmed as positive for coronavirus, marking the first case of community transmission of COVID-19 in Vietnam in 100 days.
|Health officials spray disinfectant around the home of the latest COVID-19 patient in Lien Chieu District, Da Nang City on July 24.|
Acting minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long announced the news at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention this morning with the Government.
The patient who lives in the central city's Lien Chieu District had three positive tests on July 23 and 24.
The result of the fourth test from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology came back positive this morning.
It is unclear how the man, who is now on a ventilator, contracted the virus.
The last community transmission of the SAR-CoV-2 virus in Viet Nam was on April 16.
According to the Ministry of Health, the patient has remained at home in Lien Chieu District for the past month and didn’t travel out of town.
On July 7, he went to take care of his mother at Ngu Hanh Son health centre in Da Nang.
On July 16, he went to visit his mother after she was moved to Da Nang Hospital.
On July 17, he developed a fever and felt unwell. On the evening of the same day, he went to a cousin’s house for dinner. On July 18, he went to a wedding at the For You Palace on 2-9 Road in Da Nang.
On July 20, his fever had not abated and he developed a cough. He went for a check-up at Da Nang C Hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia and was hospitalised. His samples were taken for COVID-19 testing and were found to be positive twice.
At least 105 people that had contact with the man have tested negative for COVID-19, Minister Long said.
The Ministry of Health sent a team of professionals to Đà Nẵng to help with quarantine the same day while Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City has also sent highly skilled doctors to the central city to aid the treatment of the patient.
The ministry will conduct mass screening of at-risk areas in Đà Nẵng, using quick test kits made in Viet Nam.
In an attempt to prevent the risk, authorities have decided that flights bringing Vietnamese back from other countries as well as those carrying overseas experts to Đà Nẵng will be redirected to another location.
Da Nang is still a major tourist attraction for domestic tourists and prior to today had not recorded a COVID-19 case since April.
Of the 416 cases in Viet Nam, as many as 365 patients have been given the all-clear for the coronavirus, while the rest are being treated at medical establishments across the country. No deaths have been recorded.
There are currently 11,815 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Viet Nam from pandemic-hit regions being quarantined, including 147 at hospitals, 10,993 at other facilities, and 675 at home.
National steering committee demands stronger actions against COVID-19
The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on July 25 sent a document to ministries and sectors, along with the People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities, requesting the fight against the coronavirus disease be enhanced.
The committee pointed out that the global COVID-19 situation remains complex while recently, many localities nationwide have recorded foreigners illegally entering Vietnam and moving through many provinces and cities without being controlled and quarantined.
Given this, it asked the Ministry of National Defence to increase managing border areas, especially border crossings, to prevent illegal entry, and boost the monitoring of the prevention of cross infection of COVID-19 at quarantine sites under military units’ management.
The Ministry of Public Security was told to direct local police agencies to tighten residence management, handle any foreigners illegally residing or working in their areas, encourage local residents to report such cases, and strictly deal with those lending a hand to illegal entry or spreading fake news about COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the committee requested the Ministry of Transport to seriously comply with quarantine regulations for the crew of flights to/from foreign destinations, and carry out anti-COVID-19 measures on public transport vehicles and at train and coach stations, and airports.
It also demanded provincial-level People’s Committees to direct local sectors and administrations to stay vigilant in COVID-19 prevention and control, enhance prevention measures recommended by the Health Ministry, increase communications to raise public awareness, and quarantine and test all people with illegal entry.
The COVID-19 tally in Vietnam currently stands at 416, including one patient confirmed in Da Nang city on July 25 – the first locally infected case of the coronavirus in the country after 99 straight days without community transmission.
Over 240 citizens brought home from Singapore
Relevant agencies of Vietnam, the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore and the Vietjet Air on July 25 coordinated with competent Singaporean agencies to bring home over 240 Vietnamese citizens from the country.
The passengers include children under 18, people with illnesses, elderly people, workers with expired visa and working contracts, tourists and those who got stranded while transiting from other countries.
To ensure the safety of the passengers and crew and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the carrier strictly implemented security, safety, and hygiene measures during the flight.
After landing at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, all the passengers and crew members had their health checked and were taken to a concentrated quarantine centre, in line with Vietnam’s regulations.
Implementing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s directions, relevant domestic agencies and Vietnamese representative agencies abroad are building plans to bring Vietnamese citizens home when domestic quarantine capacity permits.
Long way to go in the fight against COVID-19: Deputy PM
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam reiterated on Friday that there is still a long way to go in the battle against the coronavirus, as the country faced the end of its months-long streak of no community transmission.
The battle will only end when there is a vaccine or an effective treatment, Đam said at the meeting of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hà Nội, after a 57-year-old man in Đà Nẵng tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for the third time.
The final confirmation test will be performed by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hà Nội, with the results expected on Saturday.
If he is confirmed infected with the virus, the man would be the first person to have been infected with the virus in the community in 99 days, with no identifiable source of infection so far.
Đam said the incident was a “wake-up call” for all sectors and local governments to strengthen their readiness, asking that health, public security and military forces be on constant alert and refrain from complacency.
Việt Nam has been successful in its management of the disease so far but “we are like a low-lying field braving against the big waves and strong winds outside, we need to fortify our levees as much as possible,” Đam said.
However, with a long land border with neighbouring countries of Laos, Cambodia, and China, and an increasing number of flights that bring foreign experts and stranded Vietnamese home from pandemic-hit regions abroad, it’s inevitable that “our levee will suffer from certain breaches,” but they must be immediately dealt with, Đam added.
He said "the situation now is different from four months ago", referring to the end of a two-week streak with no new COVID-19 cases that was broken by imported cases and community transmission in early March, as the country now has experience in dealing with the disease, especially in suppressing the small outbreaks to prevent widespread infections.
The committee lauded the swift action Đà Nẵng has taken in the case, tracing and isolating the suspected COVID-19 patient’s close contacts within a short time-frame and carrying out lockdown and disinfectant measures in high-risk areas.
A group of intensive care doctors from Chợ Rẫy Hospital has been sent to Đà Nẵng to assist in treatment, as the patient is currently on ventilator.
Acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said large-scale testing will be carried out at high risks zones in Đà Nẵng, using for the first time the Vietnamese-made serology-based diagnostics enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) machine.
Đà Nẵng International Airport will temporarily halt receiving flights from overseas bringing in foreign experts and repatriated Vietnamese citizens, the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam told Vietnam News Agency late Friday.
Experts at the meeting called for stricter surveillance of borders to prevent illegal entry.
All foreign experts entering Việt Nam will need to introduce a negative test for the virus during the past 7 days, and be covered by an international insurer.
They also called for better compliance with prevention measures such as wearing masks in crowded and public places.
Việt Nam's current COVID-19 caseload stands at 413 after a sailor from Myanmar arriving into the country was confirmed positive for the coronavirus late Friday. The figure has not taken into account the suspected case in Đà Nẵng.
Da Nang authorities meet on COVID-19 prevention and control
Authorities of the central city of Da Nang met on July 24 to discuss COVID-19 prevention and control, after one suspected case was reported in the locality.
Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Trung Chinh, who is also deputy head of the city steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, asked the local Department of Health to continue with contact tracing and quarantine work.
He also ordered the city disease control centre to coordinate with relevant agencies and localities in disinfection, and conduct more tests on people who illegally entered the city from July 1.
The centre will provide relevant information for the Department of Information and Communications in a timely and accurate manner, he added.
The municipal Police Department was tasked with looking for and handling illegal immigrants, Chinh said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will propose suitable measures to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control during the implementation of events and activities with mass gatherings.
He also asked the department to instruct accommodation establishments to implement preventive measures.
Vietnamese workers in Uzbekistan to be brought home soon
The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a working session on July 24 with relevant ministries, agencies and the company that sent Vietnamese workers to Uzbekistan to discuss measures to support and bring the stranded labourers home as soon as possible.
Earlier, the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia received a letter by representatives of 226 Vietnamese employees who are working for China Petroleum Jili Chemical Engineering and Construction Co.,Ltd (JCC) in Karshi city, Uzbekistan.
In the letter, the workers said they are facing difficulties in daily activities, working and COVID-19 prevention and control, and called for help from the embassy to soon return home.
Right after learning about the information, the Consular Department under the foreign ministry coordinated with the embassy and the company that sent the workers to Uzbekistan to clarify the case.
NA leader asks Hai Duong to support those affected by COVID-19
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has directed the northern province of Hai Duong to implement measures from the legislature and the government in support of people, businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attending the 13th meeting of the 16th provincial People’s Council on July 24, Ngan said the pandemic is still a complex matter around the world, and although Vietnam has basically controlled the disease it is important that no one drops guard.
The recovery of production and the development of the economy while ensuring social welfare is a heavy task requiring solidarity, unity, and determination from localities, she added.
Ngan agreed with solutions the province has identified for the second half of the year to ensure Hai Duong continues to be a spotlight in the Red River Delta and a key economic hub in the northern region.
The top legislator suggested the province strengthening State management in all fields, especially planning, land management, and environmental management, as well as pushing administrative reforms.
In 2019, Hai Duong ranked 33rd among the country’s 63 cities and provinces in the administrative reform index, she said.
It should also further improve its business environment and boost public investment disbursement as well as put into operation key construction projects.