Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 17
Vietnam reports one more imported case of COVID-19
A Vietnamese citizen has health check at a quarantine centre.
One imported COVID-19 case was confirmed in Viet Nam on Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 335, said the Ministry of Health.
The male patient, 24, is from northern Thai Nguyen Province's Dai Tu District.
He returned to Viet Nam from Kuwait on Tuesday onboard Bamboo Airways flight H9092 via Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City.
He was tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and is being treated at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
As of June 17, Viet Nam records 195 imported COVID-19 cases and no community transmission for 62 days.
More than 7,200 people are under quarantine at hospitals, medical stations and at home.
RoK helps ASEAN countries enhance detection capacity for COVID-19
The Mission of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to ASEAN, in coordination with the ASEAN-RoK Development Cooperation Programme, launched a project on enhancing the detection capacity for COVID-19 in ASEAN countries, on June 16.
Addressing the launching ceremony, RoK Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam reiterated that the programme was prepared to follow up on President Moon Jae-in's pledge to support ASEAN's response to COVID-19 as announced at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 on April 14.
According to him, the approval process for the ASEAN-RoK Cooperation Fund programmes takes more than six months in accordance with a standardised operation procedure, but the RoK's proposed programme on COVID-19, due to the urgency, was endorsed within a month.
Ambassador Lim extended his appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) for their cooperation. He also emphasised that it is time to turn crises into opportunities while ASEAN and the RoK continue collecting ideas to pursue collaboration.
Secretary-General, Dato Lim Jock Hoi hailed the RoK's support to enhance ASEAN's capacity to respond to the COVID-19. He said the programme will set an example to further cooperation between ASEAN and the RoK in response to the infectious diseases which will bring health ministries and diseases control centres of ASEAN and the RoK together for further cooperation.
Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN, said that the RoK's contribution of test kits and protection equipment to ASEAN member states would surely curb the spread of the virus in the region. He affirmed that as chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam will endeavour to implement the ASEAN Plus Three leaders' agreements as stated in the Joint Statement.
The ASEAN's capacity building programme for early detection of the COVID-19 is expected to promote ASEAN-RoK cooperation on health and explore new areas of cooperation in the time of global crisis. PCR equipment, test kits and personal protective equipment will be provided to each ASEAN member state in late June or early July.
Ambassador Lim said one of the important pillar for the success of the programme would be close consultation and coordination between the RoK and Vietnam. He added that he hopes the two countries will continue to work together in more projects in public health care in ASEAN countries in the future.
Two more COVID-19 patients recover in Viet Nam
Two more COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital on Tuesday afternoon (June 16), bringing the total number of recovered patients to 325 in Việt Nam.
Currently, only nine COVID-19 infection cases are under treatment.
The two cases were discharged from the second base of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hà Nội’s Đông Anh District.
The two returned from abroad and had been quarantined immediately after entry to Việt Nam.
The patients were from northern Thái Nguyên Province and HCM City. They both tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 twice.
After receiving treatment, the patients have no fever or cough and are both in a stable health condition.
The two patients will continue to be quarantined and monitored for the next 14 days.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Health reported no new COVID-19 community transmission cases in Việt Nam over the past 62 days.
Over 340 Vietnamese citizens return from Canada
A Vietnam Airlines flight has brought 343 Vietnamese citizens back to Việt Nam from Canada thanks to coordination between Vietnamese and Canadian agencies.
Passengers on the flight included children under 18, the elderly, sick people, tourists with expired visas and students without accommodation after their dormitories shut down.
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 Nội Bài, Hà Nội on Tuesday, all passengers and crew members were given health check and quarantined in line with regulations.
Following instructions of the Prime Minister, Vietnamese agencies will coordinate with representative agencies abroad to arrange more flights to take Vietnamese citizens in especially disadvantaged circumstances back to Việt Nam based on citizens’ wishes and the pandemic situation in and outside the country.
69 Vietnamese citizens return home safely from Africa
As many as 69 Vietnamese citizens have returned home on a repatriation flight from African countries on June 15 and 16.
The flight was arranged by Vietnamese embassies in South Africa and Mozambique, the authorised agencies of South Africa, Mozambique, and Eswatini and SSA South Africa Airways. It landed at Hà Nội-based Nội Bài International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.
Passengers on the flights were children under 18 years of age, pregnant women, the elderly with underlying medical conditions, stranded tourists, labourers whose visas or employment contracts have expired, and students who have completed their course and have no residence.
The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa and Mozambique have worked closely with local governments to support people to move among countries and help them with residence and necessities.
After landing at the airport, all passengers have been under medical examination and sent to concentrated quarantine sites as regulated.
Indonesia to allow phased reopening of schools in COVID-19 ‘green zones’
Indonesia will allow phased reopening of schools located in COVID-19 low-risk areas, or 'green zones', starting in July.
A joint ministerial decree by the education, religious affairs, home, and health ministers was announced on June 15 to regulate the school reopening during the pandemic.
Around 90 cities and regencies across Indonesia are considered 'green zones'. The number of students in those areas is roughly equivalent to 6 percent of all students in the country. This means the remaining 94 percent still have to continue online learning, said Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim at a press conference.
According to the ministry’s official academic calendar, the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year is slated for July 13.
However, parents would have the final say on whether they would allow their children to go to school or not, Nadiem said.
During the initial stage, the ministry will only allow senior and junior high schools to reopen. Elementary schools will be able to follow suit two months after, while kindergartens four months after.
For the reopening, schools are required to have clean toilets, hand-washing facilities, disinfectant, thermo guns and access to health facilities. They should also provide areas where wearing a face mask is mandatory.
After the reopening, all students have to adhere to physical distancing measures and wear masks. Schools are required to limit the amount of students per classroom to 18, or roughly 50 percent of the previous capacity.
Students, teachers or parents who are sick or have a comorbidity are advised not to go to school. Those who had traveled outside the 'green zone' should also self-quarantine for 14 days before going to school, Nadiem said.
No new community COVID-19 infections reported for 62 days
Vietnam went through 61 consecutive days without COVID-19 transmissions in the community as of 6am on June 17, said the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Among the confirmed infections, 194 infection are imported cases and were quarantined right after their arrival in the country.
At present, 7,250 people who had close contact with patients or entered from pandemic-hit regions are being quarantined, including 81 in hospitals, 6,248 in other concentrated quarantine facilities and 921 at home.
The same day, two more COVID-19 patients were given the all-clear.
Vietnam has to date recorded 334 infections, 325 of them have fully recovered, accounting for 97 percent.
Thailand continues to support COVID-19 victims
Thailand’s cabinet on June 16 approved four aid packages for people hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic who have not previously been given help.
Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the recipients included 1.16 million holders of state welfare cards who have not received any state assistance during the pandemic.
They would be given 1,000 THB (32 USD) a month each during May to July, with 3.49 billion THB allocated to the package.
Another group was 302,160 people who were unsuccessful in registering for help on a website. They must not have received any state assistance before and they must not be workers under Section 33 of the Social Security Act. A budget of 906 million THB was allocated for this group, Rachada said.
The third group was people in a fragile state selected by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
Some 6.78 million people in this group had not received any state assistance before, including nearly 1.4 million children under six in poor families, over 4 million over-60 people and more than 1.3 million people with disabilities. Total support budget for the group was 20.3 billion THB.
The fourth group was farmers whose lives were affected by the pandemic.
There were 137,093 in need who did not get access to agricultural infrastructure, and another 120,000 farmers whose registration for state assistance on May 15 was unsuccessful.
The same day, the Thai cabinet also approved a domestic tourism stimulus worth 22.4 billion THB to revitalise a key sector of the country./.
Singapore reports lowest daily new COVID-19 cases in over two months
Singapore reported 151 new COVID-19 cases on June 16, the lowest daily tally since April 8, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.
They included two community cases, while migrant workers living in dormitories made up the vast majority of the other cases.
A total 40,969 people in Singapore have been diagnosed with COVID-19, including 30,366 recoveries and 26 deaths.
Singapore scientists said they are testing a COVID-19 vaccine from a US firm and plan to start human trials in August after promising initial responses in mice.
In the last 24 hours, Indonesia reported 1,106 new infections and 33 fatalities, bringing the total to 40,400 and 2,231, respectively.
Indonesian Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the economy is projected to slip 3.1 percent in Q2 2020, the lowest quarterly growth since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.
The deceleration was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has dashed economic activities, the minister said, adding that partial lockdowns along with social distancing have contributed to the downshift.
Meanwhile, there were 364 new confirmed cases and five deaths in the Philippines, adding up to the national tally of 26,781 infections and 1,103 deaths.
Malaysia, which saw a total of 8,505 COVID-19 cases, had no cases to report on the day.
Thailand confirmed neither new cases nor deaths on June 16, marking the 22nd consecutive days without community transmissions. The country had a death toll of 58 out of 3,135 cases.
Singapore updates entry-exit regulations
The Singapore Department of Health on June 15 announced new entry-exit regulations to be applied from June 18.
Accordingly, all travellers entering Singapore from 23:59 on June 17, and who had remained in Australia, Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan (China), New Zealand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam in the last consecutive 14 days prior to their entry, will no longer have to serve their 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at dedicated SHN facilities.
The testing regime will apply to all travellers entering Singapore from 23:59 on June 17.
They will be subject to a compulsory COVID-19 test and also have to pay for both the test and the full cost of the SHN facility.
Currently, the cost of tests and the cost of SHN facilities have been borne by the Singapore government. A COVID-19 test costs up to 200 SGD (144 USD), while a 14-day stay at a dedicated SHN facility amounts to 2,000 SGD.
Bamboo Airways repatriate more than 200 Vietnamese citizens
More than 200 Vietnamese citizens have arrived home after being repatriated from Kuwait, Egypt and Qatar.
They touched down at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City on Tuesday and were all immediately taken into quarantine.
They were transported home onboard a specially arranged Bamboo Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight.
According to Bamboo Airways, 272 people were on the flight, all strictly complying with health regulations to ensure safety for all passengers.
Meanwhile, Bamboo Airways have increased the amount of domestic flights that have reopened to almost 90 per cent of their routes before the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also waiting for the greenlight to begin international flights, and re-establish routes with South Korea, Taiwan (China), the Czech Republic.
Bamboo is also looking at developing new routes within East Asia, Europe and America.
The airline is also aiming for 30 per cent market share by the end of the year, increasing the amount of flights on a number of domestic routes connecting Hà Nội/HCM City/Đà Nẵng with Nha Trang, Phú Quốc, Quy Nhơn, Đà Lạt, Buôn Ma Thuột, Pleiku, Hà Phong, Thanh Hóa, Quy Nhơn and Vinh.
Bamboo Airways has always strictly complied with stringent regulations to ensure maximum health safety for passengers and crew.