Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia July 9
Indonesia records highest daily jump in COVID-19 cases
Indonesia reported 1,853 new COVID-19 cases on July 8, the highest daily increase in the Southeast Asian country, raising the national tally to 68,079.
There were 50 fatalities on the day, adding up to the death toll of 3,359.
Indonesia’s retail sales in May contracted 20.6 percent year-on-year to a record low in 12 years due to the pandemic, according to a survey by the Bank Indonesia.
The decline is forecast to slow down at 14.4 percent in June as malls reopened.
Meanwhile, Laos’ National Taskforce Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control has announced that all travellers, including locals, must have a medical certificate proving they tested negative with COVID-19 before leaving for another country.
Deputy Director of Mittaphab (Friendship) Hospital Dr Vangnakhone Dittaphong underlined the significance of medical certificates for travellers, saying there will be multiple health checkpoints and travellers will be required to produce medical documents from their country of origin.
People who do not have a valid medical certificate will be denied entry at their destinations.
Secretary of State at Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance Vongsey Vissoth announced that the country will allocate 1.16 billion USD to address socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
The Cambodian government has spent 364 million USD on aid since the start of the pandemic.
The country recorded a total of 141 COVID-19 infections, of which 131 have recovered./.
British pilot patient to be repatriated to the UK after recovering
Vietnam’s most serious SARS-CoV-2 patient named Stephen Cameron will be brought home to the UK by a Vietnam Airlines flight after his recovery.
Cameron will be brought from HCM City to Hanoi on July 12. The representative of Vietnam Airlines, where the man worked as a pilot, will also come to the airport to say farewell. The flight is supposed to take off at Tan Son Nhat Airport at 7 pm and land at Noi Bai Airport at 9.10 pm on the same day.
Vietnam Airlines usually organise a direct flight from HCM City to London. However, because of Covid-19, the authorities granted permission for a direct flight from Hanoi to London on July 12. The local authorities will create favourable conditions so that the procedures at the airport will go smoothly.
According to an employee at Vietnam Airlines, they often use the Airbus 350 for the flights to the UK, however, since the patient is a member of the Boeing 787 team, they will carry him to the UK on this plane as a farewell. A 22-member crew will be on the flight including six pilots and 16 flight attendants.
There will be three doctors and six oxygen cylinders on the plane to monitor the patient's health on the 15-hour flight.
The plane will leave Hanoi at 11 pm on July 12, land at Frankfurt to let transit passengers depart and continue onto London. It is expected to land in London at 8.30 am on July 13.
The patient was hired by Vietnam Airlines on January 1, and had one flight on Hanoi-HCM City route.
On July 11, the Steering Committee on Covid-19 Control and Prevention will work with Cho Ray Hospital to review the patient's health for the last time before transferring him to the UK Embassy.
Vietnam enters 84th day with no new COVID-19 community infections
Vietnam entered its 84th straight day without new community infections of COVID-19 as of 6am on July 9.
According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the national tally was kept unchanged at 369 cases, including 229 imported cases which were put under quarantine upon their arrivals in the country.
A total of 347 coronavirus patients have been declared free from the virus so far, accounting for 94 percent of the total, while no deaths are recorded.
The remaining 22 active cases are being treated at hospitals and in stable condition. Among them, two tested negative for the virus once and five others at least twice.
Over 13,300 people who are in close contact with infected cases or returned Vietnam from pandemic-hit countries remained under quarantine, of which 95 are quarantined at hospitals, over 12,800 at other facilities and 420 at home.
Virtual external activities should be promoted amid COVID-19: Deputy PM
External activities should be held online more frequently in the context of COVID-19, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at a meeting of the inter-sectoral steering committee for international integration in politics-defense-security in Hanoi on July 8.
He said the external information work has effectively popularised the image of a Vietnam successful in the fight against COVID-19 and with many bright prospects for economic recovery and development.
The protection of citizens has been strengthened in the new situation, he added.
As the international environment in the last six months of the year will develop complicatedly, the official directed relevant ministries to continue carrying out effectively international integration activities in politics, security and national defence, contributing to the maintenance of a peaceful environment and completion of the dual tasks of preventing the pandemic and developing the economy.
He asked relevant ministries to promote Vietnam’s achievements in the fight against COVID-19 and economic recovery, and the country’s role as the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The Deputy Prime Minister ordered authorities and localities to resolutely and persistently struggle against activities that violate Vietnam's national sovereignty and undermine the administration in the pretext of democracy, human rights, religious issues.
He also requested the strengthening of the citizen protection work for overseas Vietnamese communities.
Vietnam shares experience in fighting COVID-19 with Canada
A virtual seminar to share Vietnam’s experience in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was jointly held by the Canada - Vietnam Society (CVS) and the Vietnam - Canada Friendship Association (VCFA) on July 7, with about 90 delegates attending.
Speaking at the event, Thomas Alexander, an education consultant working in HCM City, said he was most impressed by the vision of Vietnamese leaders in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
Leaders seemed to understand the complexity of the pandemic and applied tough measures to contain its spread, he said.
When the coronavirus was new to the public, many people did not strictly comply with the Government’s restrictions, but later, both Vietnamese and foreigners alike realised that tough measures were right, he stressed.
Associate Professor and Dr Tran Xuan Bach from the Hanoi Medical University briefed Canadian friends on the interdisciplinary approach for preventing and controlling COVID-19 in Vietnam.
Dr Vu Ngoc Long from the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine told them about Vietnam’s efforts in responding to the health crisis.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth McIninch from the CVS said many countries worldwide are now trying to bring activities back to normal amid global efforts to test anti-viral vaccines and drugs.
For Canada, Vietnam plays an important role as it is its strongest development partner in Southeast Asia, with HCM City now being one of the most important hubs for startups in the world, she noted.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will provide impetus for stronger cooperation between Vietnam and Canada in the future, she said, expressing her belief that there remain opportunities for the two counties to expand their cooperation despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.
On the occasion, the CVS presented the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases with over 2,000 CAD (over 1,469 USD) each to support disease prevention efforts.
Nearly 300 citizens brought home from Russia
Vietnamese authorities, representative agencies in Russia and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines have worked together with Russian agencies to bring nearly 300 Vietnamese citizens home on July 8-9.
The passengers included children, with many of them being under two years old, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, workers with expired labour contracts, stranded tourists and students who finished their studies.
The Vietnamese Embassy had closely worked with local authorities to help the citizens travel from Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg, Saint Petersburg and other localities to Moscow airport. It also sent staff to the airport to assist them.
Strict security and safety measures were enforced during the flight to protect passengers’ health and prevent the spread of the disease.
Immediately after the flight landed at Can Tho International Airport, all passengers and crew members were given health check and quarantined in line with regulations.
Under the Prime Minister’s direction, domestic authorities and Vietnam’s overseas representative offices will arrange more flights to take Vietnamese citizens home, depending on the citizens’ need and the country’s quarantine capacity.
First wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand ends: health expert
Dr. Anupong Sujariyakul, expert from the Thai Ministry of Public Health's Preventive Medicine, Department of Disease Control, said on July 8 that the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand has come to an end, after the country has not seen any new local COVID-19 case for 44 consecutive days.
However, he warned the Thais to be prepared for a second wave of infections, as the contagion is still spreading in many parts of the world, with several countries already experiencing a second wave.
He called on people to stay vigilant at all times by wearing masks, adhering to social distancing and do regular hand cleaning.
Thailand on July 8 reported three new imported COVID-19 cases. They are Thai citizens returning from abroad and in quarantine. No new fatalities were reported.
The country has to date recorded 3,197 COVID-19 cases, with 3,074 recoveries and 58 deaths. And 65 others are still being treated in hospital.
Malaysia to reopen universities in October
Malaysian Higher Education Minister Noraini Ahmad said on July 8 that the country will fully reopen university campuses in this October.
International university students will be allowed to enter the country subject to several conditions, including being tested for COVID-19 three days before entering the country, the minister Noraini added.
On July 8, Malaysia reported three new imported COVID-19 cases, bringing the national total to 8,677.
Also on the same day, five cases were discharged from hospital, and no new deaths were reported.
The Malaysia government has been easing curbs since early May and life is gradually returning to normal. It has launched economic stimulus packages and the national economic recovery plan in order to surmount COVID-19 impacts.
ADB approves 250 mln USD loan to back Cambodia’s COVID-19 response
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on July 8 approved a 250-million-USD loan to help the Cambodian government respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank said the loan will be used to strengthen Cambodia's health care system, increase social assistance to the poor and vulnerable, and provide economic stimulus to businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
According to the ADB, Cambodia is highly vulnerable to the negative impacts from COVID-19, due to its open economy, narrow economic base, and highly mobile population.
The bank forcast Cambodia's economy to contract by 5.5 percent in 2020 due to the decline in tourism; lower exports of garments, footwear, and travel goods; and a slowdown in construction. The downturn risks pushing an additional 1.3 million Cambodian people into poverty.
On the same day, Cambodian Economy and Finance Ministry Secretary of State Vongsey Vissoth said the government has allocated 1.16 billion USD to address the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus.
A total of 564 million USD has been allocated for health and social assistance and 600 million USD for economic support through lending to SMEs, he said during a press conference.