Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 11
British COVID-19 patient comes off antibiotic treatment
The British COVID-19 patient is able to sit up and follow doctor's instructions
The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported on June 11 that the country’s most severe novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case involving a British patient is now fully conscious and has stopped using antibiotics, although he is suffering from a slight fever.
A week on from being disconnected from the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO), the patient is continuing to show strong progress towards making a remarkable recovery. Indeed, he is now able to eat through the digestive tract as normal.
According to Cho Ray Hospital of Ho Chi Minh City, the British pilot has responded well to a course of antibiotics and antifungals, while his lungs, renal cardiac, and hepatic functions have seen vast improvements, although his respiratory muscles remain weak. In addition, the patient has been off of dialysis for two weeks and is currently receiving physical therapy twice a day.
The 43-year-old British pilot, also known as patient 91, remains the country’s most critical COVID-19 patient and has spent the longest time receiving treatment in medical facilities for 85 days.
He is currently the country’s only foreign COVID-19 case, with the other 49 foreign patients who had been suffering from the virus already being discharged from hospital after going on to make a full recovery.
The morning of June 11 marked the 56th consecutive day that the nation has recorded no new local COIVD-19 cases, with 320 patients going on to be successfully cured. At present, there are only eight positive cases left nationwide.
Over 96 percent of COVID-19 patients in Vietnam given all-clear
COVID-19 patients given the all-clear on June 10 (Source: VNA)
Up to 320 out of 332 COVID-19 infection cases in Vietnam, or 96.4 percent, recovered fully as of 6am on June 11, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
No new cases were confirmed on June 11 morning, the committee said, adding that Vietnam has gone through 56 consecutive days without community transmission.
Among the country’s total 332 cases, 192 were imported and quarantined upon arrival.
Three patients tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once and one tested negative at least twice.
At present, 9,226 people are being quarantined at hospitals, designated facilities or their accommodations.
The most severe case, the British pilot who is receiving treatment at HCM City’s Cho Ray Hospital, also showed impressive recovery./.
Indonesia to undergo lockdown again if surge in new COVID-19 cases reported
Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on June 10 that the country will reinstate tighter measures or undergo lockdown again if it reports an increase in new COVID-19 cases.
During a visit to the National COVID-19 Task Force Office in Jakarta, Widodo asked regional heads who have implemented a new normal phase to routinely evaluate the situation on the ground.
There is always the risk of new virus hotspots or an increase of infections if the new normal is initiated prematurely, he added.
Indonesia reported 1,241 new COVID-19 cases on June 10, the highest number in a single day.
Its total number of infections now stands at 34,316, including 1,959 fatalities and 12,129 recoveries.
According to the Government’s statistics, as of June 2, up to 3.05 million people in Indonesia lost their jobs due to the pandemic./.
Indonesia reports highest number of new COVID-19 infections in single day
Indonesia reported 1,241 new COVID-19 cases on June 10, the highest number in a single day, according to the country’s health ministry.
Its total number of infections now stands at 34,316, including 1,959 fatalities and 12,129 recoveries, it added.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo worked on the same day with the country’s special task force on COVID-19 prevention, calling for more effort to stop the pandemic from breaking out again.
Also on June 10, the Philippines reported 740 new cases, bringing its tally to 23,732, including 1,027 fatalities, said the country’s health ministry.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Ministry of Education and Training announced that the country will reopen schools from June 24, as the pandemic has been curbed.
It has reported 8,336 COVID-19 cases with 117 fatalities./.
ASEAN, Indian youths boost cooperation amid pandemic
The third India – ASEAN youth dialogue took place online on June 8 – 10, revolving around the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 100 outstanding young people, politicians and diplomats discussed a range of topics, including the role of youth in combating the disease; experience and lessons learned by participating countries from their own COVID-19 fights; and the role of technology and start-ups in the fight.
Participants said the most urgent task is to seek ways to reinforce effective collaboration between ASEAN and Indian youths to protect their countries, region and the world against the disease and suggest ideas for post-pandemic recovery.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau said young people play an important role in connecting the bloc and India, noting that they have made significant contributions to the ongoing COVID-19 fight.
He recommended a number of measures to enhance ties between ASEAN and Indian youths, including organising an ASEAN – India rail trip programme and connecting young entrepreneurs.
The diplomat also mentioned the relationship between Vietnamese and Indian youths, saying it creates a key connection between the two nations in socio-cultural exchanges and trade./.
Singapore to start clinical trials for monoclonal antibody against COVID-19
Singapore will begin human clinical trials to evaluate TY027, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that specifically targets SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19 next week.
The trials of TY027, developed by Singapore-based biotechnology company Tychan, will be conducted on 23 healthy individuals for a potential treatment for COVID-19. It aims to slow the progression of the disease and accelerate recovery, as well as for its potential to provide temporary protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The first phase of the trials will be carried out by the SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit for about six weeks to determine the safety and effectiveness of TY027.
If this phase is successful, Tychan will seek approval for the antibody to be administered to a larger population of volunteer patients in subsequent trials.
Professor Ooi Eng Eong of Duke-NUS Medical School, who is one of the founders of Tychan, said that TY027 could be used not only to treat COVID-19 patients but also to prevent infections.
"If the drug is indeed safe enough, we could, for instance, give (it) to healthcare workers who are treating COVID-19 patients so they don't get the infections themselves.
"And, as well as other scenarios like, for instance, if one travels to places with a lot of COVID-19 cases, this could be used to prevent infections when they are away from Singapore," he said.
Monoclonal antibodies are immune system proteins that are created in the laboratory, and can be specially designed and engineered to target SARS-CoV-2./.
Singapore: Remdesivir approved for Covid-19 treatment
The Health Sciences Authority of Singapore (HSA) said on June 10 that it had granted conditional approval for Gilead Sciences' Remdesivir, allowing infectious diseases specialists to administer the drug to treat some seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
The HSA approval was obtained within three weeks after Gilead filed for Remdesivir in Singapore on May 22.
Patients who can use the drug include those with low oxygen saturation levels less than or equal to 94 percent, or who might require supplemental oxygen or more intensive breathing support such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) - a type of life support, or invasive mechanical ventilation, the authority said.
According to the HSA, Remdesivir is the only treatment so far shown to benefit COVID-19 patients in a robust clinical trial. As part of the conditional approval, Gilead Sciences is required to collect the relevant safety data and to monitor the use of the drug.
The approval was based on clinical data from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States's global phase-three trial and another by Gilead, the drugmaker said in a statement.
Singapore participated in both trials and enrolled about 100 patients./.
Indonesia partners with other countries in COVID-19 vaccine research
The Indonesian government, through State-owned pharmaceutical enterprises, is cooperating with a number of firms of the Republic of Korea in researching a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said on June 9 that Indonesia would need 340 million ampoules of COVID-19 vaccine for 170 million people.
The cooperation complies with President Jokowi’s instruction that ordered state ministers to prioritize bilateral partnerships with countries that have less population compared to Indonesia, he said, adding that fewer population countries are seen as an ideal partner.
In addition to the RoK, Indonesia is also looking to select France and Denmark as vaccine research partners because these countries have developed medicine and do not pay much attention to domestic vaccine demand./.
Thailand considers lifting night curfew on trial basis
Thailand is considering ending the night curfew in the fourth phase of the easing of lockdown measures, a senior national security official said.
The night curfew could be lifted for 15 days, as a trial, but the emergency decree will remain in force to ensure continued containment of the COVID-19, said deputy army chief Gen. Nathapol Nakpanit, who is also deputy of the Thai government's committee on COVID-19 control.
The Southeast Asian nation cut the curfew to 11:00pm to 3:00am, from 10:00pm to 4:00am on June 1.
Without the curfew people can resume their normal lives, but the state of emergency will remain in place in case the government needs to take swift action to stop the coronavirus from spreading, he said.
Normal laws would not facilitate swift and effective responses to the disease, he noted.
The responses include 14-day quarantine for people arriving from foreign countries. The emergency decree prevented airlines from suing the government for banning their flights, Gen Nathapol explained.
Gatherings would not be prohibited, to show that imposition of the emergency decree had nothing to do with any political interests, he added.
Gen Somsak Roongsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council and head of the disease control committee, said that boxing stadiums might reopen in the fourth stage of relaxation of business and other activities.
However, all disease control decisions would be made by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, he said.
On June 10, Thailand reported four more COVID-19 cases among returnees from abroad, putting the country’s tally at 3,125. There were no new fatalities with the death toll still at 58.
Thailand has found no new community infections for 16 consecutive days./.
Vietnamese nationals in Czech Republic unite to overcome COVID-19 difficulties
With the COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic being brought under control, Vietnamese nationals living in the Central European country are beginning to stabilise their lives, according to the Chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic during a recent meeting with Ambassador Ho Minh Tuan at the Vietnamese Embassy in Prague.
The meeting was held to discuss the situation regarding the Vietnamese community, with Nguyen Duy Nhien, Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic, briefing the Ambassador on all of the major activities involving Vietnamese nationals in recent times.
The Vietnamese community based in the Czech Republic have been keen to help the European nation, offering both cash and medical equipment, including masks valued at more than 5 million korunas, equivalent to over VND5 billion VND, which was highly appreciated by both agencies and local people.
Ambassador Tuan stated his appreciation for the fantastic efforts and role played by the Overseas Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The diplomat expressed his elation that the Vietnamese community has kept up high health and safety standards with no deaths caused by the COVID-19. Despite facing complicated developments regarding the epidemic situation, Vietnamese nationals have joined together to overcome these difficulties and have been hit by no major disturbances in their daily lives.
There must be flexible forms of activities put in place to maintain and strengthen the spirit of solidarity between people whilst boosting connectivity with their host country, this can be done alongside promoting a positive image of the Vietnamese community, the Vietnamese diplomat emphasised.
This comes after an array of activities held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of relations between both countries was forced to be pushed back due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Ambassador suggested the association should continue to implement these activities in line with the new situation, providing that the epidemic situation is under control moving forward.