Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia September 8
Vietnam sees no new COVID-19 cases, total stands at 1,049
A health worker takes a swab for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)
The COVID-19 tally in Vietnam remains at 1,049 as the country continued to have no new COVID-19 cases to report within 12 hours as of 6am of September 8, according to the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.
Of the total, 691 were infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 domestically, including 551 linked with central Da Nang city since the latest outbreak began there on July 25.
As many as 854 patients have recovered while 35 have succumbed to the disease. Most of the fatalities were the elderly with serious underlying health conditions.
Among those still under treatment, 14 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 19 others twice and 33 thrice.
There are 37,474 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present, including 834 in hospitals, 13,365 in other quarantine sites and 23,274 at home or accommodation facilities.
Special quarantine zone set up for 53 babies flying home without parents
The Bau Bang District Covid-19 quarantine center in Binh Duong Province has set up a special zone to take care of 53 babies who were repatriated to Vietnam from South Korea unaccompanied by their parents on September 6.
The 53 babies, together with 350 other Vietnamese citizens, traveled home on flight VN409 that landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC. They were immediately transported to the Bau Bang District quarantine center, which is 65 kilometers from HCMC, after arriving at the airport and all of them have tested negative for Covid-19.
Most of the babies are under 12 months old. Due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic, their parents, who are mostly low-income workers in South Korea, had to send them back to Vietnam to let their grandparents take care of them.
Doctor Huynh Minh Chin, director of the quarantine center, said the babies are currently in a stable condition and 41 people, who are their relatives, have registered to stay at the center to take care of them.
Vietnam has reported 1,049 Covid-19 infections up to now, including 358 imported cases. Nearly 40,000 people, who were in close contact with Covid-19 patients or returned to Vietnam from Covid-19-hit countries, are being quarantined at home, hospitals or quarantine centers.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Covid-19 tally amounted to 21,177, with 334 deaths, on Sunday, according to Reuters.
COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asian nations on the rise
Malaysia confirmed 62 new COVID-19 cases on September 7, ten times higher than that recorded the previous day, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.
This marked the highest number of new cases in Malaysia in a single day since June 4.
Of the new 62 cases, 56 were local transmissions, including 50 linked to the Benteng Lahad Datu (LD) cluster in Sabah.
Cumulatively, the country’s total number of coronavirus infections since the outbreak began in January is 9,459, including 9,124 recoveries and 128 deaths.
The same day, the Philippines announced the number of new COVID-19 cases at 1,383, the lowest since June 14.
This also marked the third straight day the country reported less than 3,000 new cases.
The bulk of the newest infections were still logged in Metro Manila at 525, followed by Laguna with 137 new cases, Batangas with 99, Negros Occidental with 77, and Cavite with 69.
The country’s tally stands at 238,727, with 184,906 fully recovering and 3,890 fatalities.
In the past 24 hours, Indonesia recorded an additional 2,880 cases of COVID-19 and 105 deaths, bringing the total numbers of infections and fatalities to 196,989 and 8,130 respectively. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to all 34 provinces and cities of the country.
Japan aids Vietnamese hospitals in COVID-19 fight
An exchange note on a non-refundable aid for COVID-19 prevention and control was signed between the Vietnamese and Japanese governments on September 7.
On the behalf of the two governments, Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long and Japanese Ambassador Yamada Takio signed the note.
The ODA grant is worth 2 billion JPY (18.8 million USD) in total, including 1.8 billion JPY for the Vietnamese side and about 200 million JPY for the agents designated by the Japanese Government. It will be disbursed in 18 months, from August 2020 to January 2022.
The assistance aims to provide technical support in upgrading medical equipment at four hospitals of the Vietnamese Health Ministry, namely the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the National Lung Hospital, the Da Nang C Hospital, and the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, thereby helping to improve their capacity in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Appreciating the grant, Acting Health Minister Long expressed his hope that the equipment will be provided for the hospitals soon, asking them to use the new facilities as efficiently as possible so as to continually improve the quality of health examination and treatment.
For his part, Ambassador Yamada Takio said the Japanese Government highly values the Health Ministry of Vietnam’s role in successfully containing the novel coronavirus in the country although this pandemic is still ravaging around the globe.
He also noted when Japan faced a face mask shortage in spring, the Vietnamese Government supported it with over 1.2 million masks, adding that the Japanese people appreciated the gift.
The grant for the four central hospitals of Vietnam is an initiative of the Japanese Foreign Minister that is meant to supply medical equipment for other countries, including Vietnam, in the fastest manner to promote their healthcare capacity, the diplomat added.
More than 350 Vietnamese citizens in Japan repatriated
The Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and Vietnam Airlines coordinated with Japanese authorised agencies to arrange a flight to repatriate 350 Vietnamese citizens in the country on September 7.
The passengers included children under 18, pregnant women, the ill, students without accommodations, workers with expired labour contracts, and those facing other difficulties.
Security, safety and hygiene measures were carried out throughout the flight to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Right after landing in Cam Ranh international airport in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, the passengers and crewmembers received health check-up. They were sent to concentrated quarantine facilities in line with the regulations.
In the future, more flights are set to be conducted in the time ahead to repatriate Vietnamese citizens with disadvantaged circumstances, depending on their need and quarantine capacity at home.
Chinese Ambassador lauds ASEAN’s cooperation in COVID-19 fight
Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Deng Xijun has highly valued ASEAN’s cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 as well as post-pandemic economic recovery.
In his article entitled “Working together to elevate China-ASEAN relations to higher level”, which was published ahead of the 53th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-53) and related meetings, Deng said China and ASEAN are among main drivers of East Asia cooperation, which has been fully evidenced by the joint fight against the pandemic in recent months.
Specifically, Chinese and ASEAN leaders conducted frequent “cloud diplomacy” to provide confidence, support and political guidance when they are most needed.
The Special ASEAN 3 Summit on COVID-19 and the China – ASEAN Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19 were held at critical junctures, boosting confidence and directing the right way forward for regional anti-pandemic cooperation.
"To work concertedly against the pandemic and stabilise economic and social order, China and ASEAN have carried out regular exchanges at multi-levels in health, economy, trade, transportation, information, disaster management, among others. All these efforts point to the building of a comprehensive anti-pandemic cooperation front," the diplomat wrote.
In order to take care of social and economic recovery both during the pandemic and in the post-pandemic era, China and ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia have established “fast lanes” and “green lanes” for personnel and goods movement, respectively.
China has resumed direct international flights with Vietnam and some other ASEAN nations. China has been actively exploring with ASEAN countries the establishment of fast and green lane networks between China and ASEAN and in East Asia at large. Both sides are working on a regional financial safety net that stabilises regional supply and industrial chains as well as financial sector, according to the ambassador.
23 COVID-19 patients recover in Da Nang and Quang Nam
Twenty-three COVID-19 patients made full recovery and were released from treatment facilities in Đà Nẵng City and central Quảng Nam Province on September 7.
They include 19 patients in Quảng Nam Province and four patients in Đà Nẵng City, lifting the country’s total patients to recover from coronavirus to 838.
In Quảng Nam Province, there were nine recovered patients at the Quảng Nam Regional General Hospital, including: Patient 521 and 905 residing in Điện Bàn Town; Patient 547, Patient 625, Patient 594, Patient 840, Patient 842 residing in Hội An City; Patient 841 and Patient 964 residing in Tam Kỳ Town. Patient 964 is an employee of the Center for Disease Control in Quảng Nam.
At the Quảng Nam Central General Hospital, there were 10 recovered patients, including: Patient 464, Patient 461, Patient 593, Patient 715 living in Hội An City; Patient 837 and Patient 838 living in Đại Lộc District; Patient 596 living in Thăng Bình District; Patient 775, Patient 857 and Patient 796 living in Duy Xuyên District.
These patients have had four tests negative for SARS-CoV-2 and are currently are in a stable condition. They will be isolated and monitored for the next 14 days at home.
In Đà Nẵng City, there are four recovered patients at the Đà Nẵng Lung Hospital, including Patient 854, residing in Hải Châu 2 Ward, Hải Châu District; Patient 848, residing in An Hải Đông Ward, Sơn Trà District; Patient 454, residing in Bình Hiên Ward, Hài Châu District; and Patient 451, residing in Hòa Châu Commune, Hòa Vang District.
The four patients had three tests negative for SARS-CoV-2. They now have no symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. They will also be isolated and monitored at home for a period of 14 days according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health.
As of today, 65 have recovered and 29 patients are still being treated at medical facilities in Quảng Nam Province while 280 Covid-19 patients have recovered and 63 others are currently being treated and monitored at medical facilities in Đà Nẵng City.
As of Monday morning, Việt Nam reported no new COVID-19 community transmission cases over the past four days. The country confirmed a total 1,049 COVID-19 cases and 35 fatalities.
Indonesia to set aside over 2.7 billion USD for COVID-19 vaccine procurement
Indonesian Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartanto said on September 7 that the government had earmarked 3.8 trillion IDR (256.8 million USD) for the down payment for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines.
At an online press conference, he said the government plans to spend 37 trillion IDR (2.51 billion USD) next year for a multi-year vaccine development programme.
The government is eyeing several potential vaccines that are currently under development. The first is the Merah Putih vaccine, which is being developed by the Research and Technology Ministry and the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. The second is the vaccine being developed by state pharmaceutical holding company PT Bio Farma in cooperation with Sinovac Biotech of China. The third vaccine is the one being developed by United Arab Emirates' Group 42 (G42) Healthcare.
According to Airlangga, Indonesia plans to procure 290 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine next year and 30 million doses of the G42 vaccine this year. He explained that the Health Ministry was set to prepare the vaccination process, which is expected to start early next year.
Besides several countries such as Brazil and Bangladesh, PT Bio Farma and Sinovac along with Padjadjaran University (Unpad) in Bandung, West Java are launching phase III clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine - the last stage of clinical testing in humans during which the vaccine is given to thousands of people to confirm and expand results on safety and efficacy from phase I and II trials.