Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 18
No new COVID-19 community infection recorded on day 63rd
Vietnam has gone 63 consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases reported in the community as of 6 am on June 18, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
The total infections in the country remained at 335, of which 195 were imported and quarantined upon arrival.
A total of 325 patients, or 97 percent of all cases, have recovered and zero deaths have been reported. Four of the remaining 10 patients have tested negative for the coronavirus at least twice.
There are 6,285 people who had close contact with patients or came from pandemic-hit areas now being under quarantine across Vietnam.
The British pilot, known as Vietnam’s 91st COVID-19 patient, has experienced a miraculous recovery. His lungs have recovered 90 percent, while his kidneys, heart, liver, and pancreatic enzymes are back to normal. He can also move his hands and use a mobile phone.
He was the most critical COVID-19 patient in Vietnam and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 at least six times./.
Indonesia now tops Southeast Asia in COVID-19 cases
Indonesia is now the regional country with the biggest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
According to the local health ministry, it recorded more 1,031 COVID-19 cases on June 17, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 41,432.
The country reported 45 fatalities on the day, raising the death toll to 2,276, said the ministry
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has amounted to 27,238 after the local health ministry announced 457 new infections on June 17.
Five more deaths were confirmed on the day, bringing the total of fatalities to 1,108, according to the ministry.
More Covid-19 patients recover in Vietnam
Vietnam has only six SARS-CoV-2 positive cases left and Patient 91, the most serious case, is recovering well and won't need a lung transplant.
According to the National Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Vietnam did not report any new virus transmission in the community from April 16 through June 18. Among the 335 confirmed cases, 195 were imported. 6,285 people are being quarantined after returning from outbreak areas or having close contact with confirmed patients. 325 out of 335 confirmed patients have recovered. 10 people are being treated at medical facilities and four of them have tested negative twice.
Patient 91, the British pilot, is the most serious case as he has been hospitalised for 91 days. On May 27, he no longer needed blood dialysis and on June 3 and 12 the doctors removed his ECMO and ventilator.
"I'm surprised because the patient is very clear minded. The doctors have achieved a miracle and are the pride of our country and city's health sector," said Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of HCM City People's Committee, when he visited the patient at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on June 17.
Dr Tran Thanh Linh from the hospital said after being treated and tested negative to the virus, the patient was transferred from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Tropical Diseases to Cho Ray Hospital for further treatment as he was in a deep coma and might need a lung transplant. Even the most optimistic doctors couldn't think that he could recover so well. Since the patient was admitted on March 18, many online conferences have been held to diagnose and find the best treatment methods. Top experts in the countries worked to guide Cho Ray Hospital.
Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the Department of Health, said, "It really is a miracle. During the toughest time, everything seemed useless but the determination of doctors brought amazing results. Resuscitation solutions, combining physical therapy have proved effective. The patient's lung recovered by 20% then 30% and now he can breathe normally."
HCM City People's Committee awarded the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Tropical Diseases and Cho Ray Hospital VND50m each for their efforts.
Vietnam has had first winning steps against Covid-19, however, as the pandemic is still developing complicatedly across the globe and new outbreaks occurred, the authorities agreed that they are cautiously optimistic.
"The next wave will be tougher than the previous one. The situation in Vietnam is far less secure than in developed countries so we have to be active with preventive measures to protect our initial achievements. Everyone should still be careful and work together to prevent an outbreak," Phong said.
HCM City leader visits medical staff, foreign COVID-19 patient
|Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong visits the foreign COVID-19 patient who is treated at Cho Ray hospital.|
Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on June 17 visited medical staff working at Cho Ray Hospital and Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the city, and the foreign COVID-19 patient who is now being treated at Cho Ray hospital.
The patient, one of the most serious cases in Vietnam, thanked local doctors who have devotedly cured and taken care of him over the past.
Phong expressed his admiration and respect for the efforts by doctors from the two hospitals for the foreign patient in particular and others in general.
The recovery of the foreign patient is described as a miracle as he once was on the brink of death but has by now nearly recovered totally.
ASEAN, Russia join hands to combat COVID-19
Foreign ministers from ASEAN and Russia held a special meeting on COVID-19 via video conference on June 17, to promote cooperation between the two parties in preventing and combating the pandemic.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told the conference that, as ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam has worked closely with member countries in tackling COVID-19.
The foreign ministers revealed they will further exchange views on best practices and lessons learned in countering the pandemic, as well as discuss ways to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and strengthening the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership for long-term cooperation./.
Swiss media spotlights Vietnam’s success in COVID-19 fight
The website Watson.ch of Switzerland has run an article emphasising that information transparency and the people's unity have contributed to Vietnam’s success in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the article, the author repeatedly quoted Peter Jenni, who lived in Vietnam for many years, to make it clearer and more convincing for the mentioned issues.
The article said the initial situation was bad for Vietnam as it shares a long border with China where the coronavirus disease first broke out, and Chinese are among the largest groups of tourists to Vietnam.
However, with the four on-the-spot measures it took to combat the disease, Vietnam has become one of the model nations in this fight.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vietnam has so far only had more than 300 cases of COVID-19, with zero fatalities. The country has gone through over 60 straight days without new infections in the community, while imported cases were immediately quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.
The article identified four reasons for the success of Vietnam in containing the pandemic, saying that the Vietnamese government quickly introduced control measures right after the first cases were discovered.
Vietnam was the first country to apply mass quarantine after China, it said.
The article quoted Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying that the Vietnamese Government was ready to accept some economic losses to protect its people's lives.
There was hardly a country that pursued contact tracing more vehemently than Vietnam, it said.
According to the article, Vietnam provided clear and transparent information related to the disease situation through daily press conferences.
Newspapers, social media, and even phone messages were used for this purpose, it said.
Measures taken by the Government were trusted and strictly observed by the people, it noted, saying that the spirit of solidarity was one of the reasons behind Vietnam’s success in controlling the pandemic.
Vietnam’s efforts in COVID-19 response impressive: Swiss official
President of the Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association (SVA) Anjuska Weil has expressed her deep impression on the Vietnamese government’s efforts in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam has not only protected health of its people but also foreigners who are residing, working and travelling in the country, she said at a ceremony to present face masks of the Vietnamese government to the association of Vietnamese people in Switzerland and the SVA.
This activity is a demonstration of the two countries’ traditional friendship, as well as the sharing of the Vietnamese government and the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland for the SVA, she added.
Ambassador Le Linh Lan updated the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam, especially the government’s endeavours to push back the disease and great attention to the overseas Vietnamese community.
On this occasion, the embassy presented six boxes of Vietnamese books of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese to students at Binh Minh School in Zurich in preparation for their new academic year in September 2020.
Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19 held
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh joined other ASEAN foreign ministers and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 on June 17.
The ministers affirmed their commitment to expanding cooperation to strengthen capacity in preparing, detecting, and responding to diseases, in line with International Health Regulations 2005.
They welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Fund for COVID-19 Response and the stockpile of medical supplies in the region, and hoped that Russia would assist in achieving common goals through mobilising and utilising resources from the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund.
In particular, ministers emphasised the need to strengthen cooperation to quickly produce vaccines and drugs to fight the coronavirus. They agreed to support and facilitate the return of each other’s citizens home if necessary and to ensure their safety while living, working, or studying in their host countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke highly of ASEAN’s efforts in coping with COVID-19 and added that Russia is willing to share its experience with ASEAN and coordinate with the bloc to soon find vaccines and medicines as well as to support ASEAN to improve its health capacity.
Minh shared the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam with the others in attendance, confirming that the country has had no new cases of community transmission for many days in succession thanks to the effective measures the Vietnamese Government is implementing.
He said Vietnam is still taking a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus and at the same time revive its economy.
He asked Russia to cooperate with ASEAN in curbing the virus and treating infectious cases, while paying attention to ensuring the rights and equal treatment of citizens from ASEAN in Russia and promoting cooperation to minimise the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
Vietnam will strengthen coordination with other countries, including Russia, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the international community to control and repel the virus, Minh affirmed.
The official called on countries, especially Russia and those in ASEAN, to strengthen collaboration and seek to co-exist with the risks COVID-19 poses.
He also underlined orientations for ASEAN-Russia cooperation in responding to medical emergencies: enhancing information exchange, sharing experiences and practical lessons, closely working on the research and development of vaccines and antiviral drugs, recovering socio-economic activities to a normal state and ensuring sustainable growth, strengthening regional rules-based, open, and transparent mechanisms, maintaining multilateral commitments, and promoting dialogue and cooperation in response to new challenges.
ADB helps Philippines address COVID-19 crisis
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Philippines have signed a 500 million USD loan to help the country's efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a heavy toll on the poor.
The Philippines' Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement that the country has accessed the fresh financing package worth million 500 million USD from the ADB to help support the Philippines’ immediate budgetary requirements to address the coronavirus crisis with the signing of a loan agreement for the Expanded Social Assistance Project (ESAP).
Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said that the budget-support loan will not only help bridge Philippines' funding gap for its COVID-19 response but will also strengthen its social protection programme as it restarts economy and help people get back on their feet amid the pandemic.
According to the DOF, the ESAP, which builds on a decade of ADB's support for social protection programs in the Philippines, aims to assist the government in the continued implementation of its conditional cash transfer initiative dubbed the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme (4Ps).
The 500 million USD loan aims to continue funding education and health grants to eligible 4Ps household-beneficiaries for a period of four years starting 2020.
The ESAP loan, which covers a maturity period of 29 years inclusive of an eight-year grace period, brings to 2.6 billion USD the total financing package extended by the ADB so far to the Philippines for its programmes to address the COVID-19 crisis.