Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 11

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia August 11

COVID-19: Vietnam registers 16 more cases, 16th fatality

Vietnam has recorded 16 new cases of community transmission, all closely linked to the current Da Nang coronavirus outbreak, and another COVID-19 death during the past 12 hours.

Ten cases have been confirmed in Da Nang city, the epicenter of the outbreak, four in Quang Nam and two in Quang Tri, the Ministry of Health said in its August 11 update at 18.00hrs. 

Most of the new cases had close contact with and took care of COVID-19 patients in medical facilities.

Meanwhile, a 37-year-old patient, a resident of Quang Tri, died of severe pneumonia and COVID-19. He also suffered from diabetes (Type I) and heart failure, according to the Ministry of Health.

He tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on August 9 after being admitted to the Quang Tri Tuberculosis and Lung Hospital for sampling.

He was receiving treatment of his illness at the Quang Tri General Hospital where two COVID-19 patients were announced on August 7.

As of 18.00hrs August 11, Vietnam has confirmed 863 coronavirus cases, including 16 fatalities.

As many as 405 new cases have been registered in 15 cities and provinces nationwide since the first locally transmitted infection was detected in Da Nang city on July 25. 

HCM City dispatches medical staff to coronavirus epicentre Da Nang

Since the COVID-19 outbreak flared up in the central city of Da Nang late last month, HCM City’s Cho Ray Hospital has dispatched six medical teams to help contain its spread.

Eight doctors, five nurses and three laboratory technicians have been sent to hospitals in Da Nang and neighbouring Quang Nam Province in the last two weeks.

Tran Thanh Linh, deputy head of Cho Ray’s intensive care unit, is assisting doctors at Da Nang Lung Hospital to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients.

His team members take turns at night to ensure round-the-clock assistance to the medical teams and care for patients, he said.

Da Nang Lung Hospital’s intensive care unit currently houses dozens of patients with COVID-19, many of them on ventilators, some on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines and being treated with continuous blood purification.

Dr Le Kinh Luan, head of a medical team from Cho Ray dispatched to Hoa Vang Hospital, said his team was helping treat nine COVID-19 patients and the number was expected to rise to 16 this week.

Huynh Quang Dai, deputised to the Quang Nam Province General Hospital, said: “The pressure on the health care workforce on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 in Da Nang and Quang Nam has intensified with an unprecedented workload and high risk of infection.”

“But we do our best to treat infected patients with a sense of optimism and determination.”

On August 8 the HCM City Department of Health dispatched three doctors and five nurses from the Gia Dinh People’s Hospital, People’s 115 and Thu Duc District Hospital to Da Nang.

On Monday, 20 doctors and 20 nurses of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue headed to neighbouring Da Nang to help their colleagues fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Ngoc Tho said he appreciated the responsibility as well as sentiments of medical staff for Da Nang, adding that this is a meaningful deed to help the city and the entire nation defeat the coronavirus.

The Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital also plans to send 150 volunteers to support a field hospital in Da Nang.

Meanwhile, Hue Central Hospital has mobilised experienced medical staff and modern equipment to treat severe COVID-19 patients transported from Da Nang and central Quang Nam. 

Over 14.9 million people download Bluezone

As of mid-August 10, up to 14.9 million people have downloaded Bluezone app, accounting for 14% of the national population, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) reported.

Those with smartphones in Viet Nam are advised to download Bluezone, a Bluetooth-based app that helps determine if a person has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

So far, Da Nang took the lead in the number of Bluezone subscribers with 370,000, equivalent to 32.51% of the local population.

Others localities were among leading localities including Ha Noi (21.04% of population); Quang Ninh (20.08%); and HCMC (19.52%).

Only nine localities had low app downloading rates (less than 5% of the population) including Soc Trang (4.94%); Tien Giang (4.91%); Ben Tre (4.85%); Dong Thap (4.63%); Bac Lieu (4.44%); Dien Bien (4.21%); Son La (4.11%); Tra Vinh (4.03%); and Ha Giang (3.48%).

The rest of localities had about 15% of subscribers.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 5 recommended people install the app to facilitate the early detection of suspected cases.

He urged the MIC and the Ministry of Health to enhance communications to promote universal installation before August 8.

The app will take effect if 60% of the adult population download and use it. Hence, the MIC targets to 50 million subscribers.

On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Chairman of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control also called onall citizens to join hands in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic by strictly observing preventive measures, including installing Covid-19 tracking apps./.

Hospital and residential area lockdown lifted in Da Nang

Barriers in the locked-down Rehabilitation and Orthopedics Hospital and three sections of streets surrounding the hospital were removed early on Tuesday morning.

Doctors, nurses and more than 3,000 residents of the streets celebrated the re-opening of the hospital and the living quarters in the downtown area.

It’s the second hospital in the lockdown zone that has been re-opened after C Hospital last weekend.

Nearly 400 doctors, nurses and patients at the hospital have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 three times.

However, doctors, nurses and residents in the lockdown zone will self-isolate at home for two more weeks to ensure they are completely free from coronavirus infection, according to the city’s Centre for Disease Centre (CDC).

The lockdown will remain at Da Nang General Hospital after two weeks of isolation and the closure will be kept till the last COVID-19 patients leave the hospital.

The city has assigned two pagodas – Khue My and Linh Ung – in Son Tra District, and a hostel of the Da Nang Sports College in Lien Chieu district as new quarantine centres for hosting close contacts of COVID-19 patients.

It said the 200-bed Hoa Vang field hospital – treating 155 COVID-19 patients – would be full in the coming days, and a new field hospital at Tien Son Sports Centre, with 300 beds initially, will be soon put into operation. 

According to the CDC, 21,030 people had been identified as close COVID-19 patients contact cases since the first COVID-19 patient of the new outbreak was found in the city on July 24. A total 51,000 samples have been taken, of which 46,385 (90 per cent) tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

The city has set up 1,600 response teams to fight the pandemic.

Four COVID-19 patients were released from the city’s Lung Disease Hospital after treatment on Monday, while 18 other COVID patients had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

A team of 37 doctors and nurses from Thua Thien-Hue was sent to help Da Nang.

Thua Thien-Hue Province has launched online registration (tuongtac.thuathienhue.gov.vn) for tourists and residents from other provinces to get permission to enter Hue City.

The province said tourists must fill in a health declaration, vehicle declaration and purpose of travel for approval by local authorities. However, it said all people returning from COVID-19 hotspots in Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngãi must be isolated for 14 days before entering the city. 

In Quang Nam Province, local public security officials, in co-operation with authorities in Lang Son Province, deported 21 Chinese nationals who had illegally entered the province.

The province said the 21 Chinese nationals had been quarantined for two weeks and all had tested negative with SARS-CoV-2 before leaving the province.

Vietnam reports 15th COVID-19-related death

A COVID-19 response exercise at the field hospital based at Tien Son Sports Complex in Da Nang city on August 10

A 68-year-old man from the central province of Quang Nam has become the 15th person who died of COVID-19-related complications in Vietnam.

The death was confirmed by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

The man was a resident of Thang Binh district. He was suffering from chronic renal failure, lung metastatic kidney cancer and type 2 diabetes.

On July 9, the patient was admitted to the Department of Nephrology and Endocrinology at Da Nang Hospital for treatment. He was discharged from the hospital on July 22 and returned to Quang Nam.

On July 30, he tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus and the next day was sent to Hue Central Hospital No 2 for quarantine and treatment.

From July 31 to August 5, the patient’s condition deteriorated with respiratory distress, gastrointestinal bleeding, and high fever.

On August 10, his blood pressure dropped and he showed symptoms of vasomotor disorder. Doctors confirmed his death at 5.30pm.

The cause of death has been recorded as severe COVID-19 pneumonia, complications of severe respiratory failure, pulmonary artery occlusion in patients with kidney cancer, bladder and lung metastases, chronic renal failure and type 2 diabetes.

Among the 847 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, 399 people have recovered with 434 still being treated.

Meanwhile, no new cases were reported August 11 morning, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Almost 166,000 people are currently quarantined at hospitals, medical facilities and at homes.

COVID-19 tracing app Bluezone hits 10 million users

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As many as 10 million people out of Vietnam’s 76.8 million smartphone users have downloaded a domestically developed contact-tracing mobile app to identify and alert people who have interacted with COVID-19 patients, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.  

The smartphone app Bluezone relies on Bluetooth signal to log when two users are near each other, information that can later be used for contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.

The app is now available on the Google Play Store and the App Store.

The development of Bluezone is overseen by the MIC and the Ministry of Health. It was launched on April 18.

The MIC has been urging people to install the app, helping sharply increase the number of users. However, the figure is far behind the ministry’s target of 50 million active Bluezone users – the minimum number it believes is needed for the app to have a meaningful impact.

Bluezone would help authorities quickly identify people likely to be COVID-19 patents, helping prevent larger outbreaks of the disease.

No new COVID-19 cases to report on August 11 morning

Vietnam did not record any new infections of the coronavirus overnight, keeping the tally at 847, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said on August 11 morning.

Earlier, Vietnam recorded six more COVID-19 cases on August 10 afternoon, bringing the national tally to 847, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Of the new patients, aged 8 – 65, one is in the central province of Quang Nam, four in the central city of Da Nang, and one imported case in Ho Chi Minh City.

Among all the infections, 318 are imported and were quarantined upon their arrival while 389 others are linked with central Da Nang city in the new outbreak that started on July 25.

As many as 399 patients or 47.1 percent of the total cases have recovered, but the country has also recorded 15 related deaths.

Among the remainders still under treatment, nine have tested negative once for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and 36 at least twice.

There are 165,983 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit areas under quarantine at present.

Hanoi speeds up PCR testing for returnees from Da Nang

Hanoi is striving to complete the implementation of RT-PCT testing, a real-time reserve transcription polymerase chain reaction, ahead of August 20 for 75,000 people who visited the central city of Da Nang – a COVID-19 hotspot – and returned to Hanoi from July 15, according to a leading official.

At a meeting in the capital on August 10, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung also asked people returning from Da Nang from July 8 to fill in the medical declaration form and those from July 15 to undergo PCR testing.

The official requested the municipal Department of Health to closely monitor hospitals and medical facilities to prevent the disease outbreak, adding that suspected cases must be tested immediately.

Director of the department Nguyen Khac Hien reported that so far 98,440 have returned from Da Nang to Hanoi, including over 75,810 returnees from July 15.

The city has carried out quick testing for more than 75,100 people and PCR testing for 859 others, detecting one positive for the SARS-CoV-2 that causes the disease.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City started applying administrative fines from August 5 on those who do not wear face masks in public places, according to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem.

The municipal Department of Health reported that as of August 10, the city confirmed 71 cases infected with COVID-19, with 62 recoveries.

Vietjet to carry stranded passengers from Da Nang to Hanoi, HCM City

The low-cost airline Vietjet will cooperate with relevant authorities to operate four flights on August 13 and August 14, 2020 to bring passengers stranded in the central city of Da Nang back to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

They include two flights from Da Nang to Hanoi on August 13 departing at 09:00 and 16:00, and two from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City on August 14 departing at 09:00 and 16:00.

Passengers on these flights are tourists, including many children, stranded in Da Nang due the social distancing measures in the city. Upon their arrivals, all passengers and cabin crew must undergo health care examinations and follow local quarantine requirements.

All Vietjet flights are in accordance with global supreme standards and recommendations from authorities, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in order to ensure the safety of all passengers and crews before, during and after the flights. Until now, all Vietjet’s pilots, cabin crews and employees are safe.

These are the first domestic flights operated by Vietjet to transport stranded passengers due to COVID-19. Previously, with the spirit and responsibility to the community, the carrier also operated many flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens from all over the world as well as transported thousands of tonnes of essential goods, medical equipment for pandemic prevention.

By the end of July, Vietjet had brought nearly 10,000 Vietnamese citizens home safely from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan (China), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and Myanmar.

The new-age carrier Vietjet has not only revolutionized the aviation industry in Vietnam but also been a pioneering airline across the region and around the world. With a focus on cost management ability, effective operations and performance, Vietjet offers flying opportunities with cost-saving and flexible fares as well as diversified services to meet customers’ demands.

Vietjet is a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. As Vietnam’s largest private carrier, the airline was awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars in 2018 and 2019 by the world’s only safety and product rating website airlineratings.com and listed as one of the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal in 2018 and 2019. The airline has also been named as Best Low-Cost Carrier by renowned organisations such as Skytrax, CAPA, Airline Ratings, and many others.

Thua Thien-Hue stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Da Nang in COVID-19 fight

Twenty doctors and 20 nurses of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue headed to neighbouring Da Nang city on August 10 to help their colleagues in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a large number of infections reported over the last two weeks, Da Nang has become the biggest hotbed of the disease in Vietnam.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Ngoc Tho appreciated the responsibility as well as sentiments of medical staff for Da Nang city, adding that this is a meaningful deed to help the city in particular and the entire nation in general soon defeat the coronavirus.

In the time ahead, the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital will send 150 volunteers to support a field hospital in Da Nang.

Meanwhile, the Hue Central Hospital has mobilised experienced medical staff and modern equipment to treat severe COVID-19 patients transported from Da Nang and central Quang Nam province./.

More than 340 Vietnamese citizens flown home from Russia

Vietnamese competent agencies, the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines coordinated with the Russian side to bring home more than 340 Vietnamese citizens on August 10.

The passengers included children under 18 years old, the elderly, sick people, labourers with expired visas and contracts, stranded tourists and students without accommodation due to school campus closures.

The embassy sent officials to support the citizens at the airport.

All of the passengers underwent health checks and quarantine right upon their entry at Van Don airport in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh.

Vietnamese authorities and overseas missions plan to arrange more flights to bring more Vietnamese citizens home, depending on their wish and quarantine capacity at home./.

Vietnam Airlines to transport 700 stranded tourists from Da Nang to Hanoi, HCMC

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines said on August 10 that it will operate three flights to transport more than 700 tourists stranded in Da Nang, now the country’s major COVID-19 outbreak, to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

These flights are scheduled for August 12-13, carrying passengers who have been stuck in Da Nang due to social distancing measures.

All of them, together with crew members, will be under quarantine and medical monitoring in localities in line with regulations.

The flights are the first domestic ones conducted by the national flag carrier to transport stranded tourists amidst COVID-19.

Vietnam recorded six more COVID-19 cases on August 10 afternoon, bringing the national tally to 847, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Of the new patients, aged 8 – 65, one is in the central province of Quang Nam, four in the central city of Da Nang, and one imported case in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has to date reported 847 COVID-19 patients since the first case was detected in January. Of those, 318 are imported.

According to the committee’s treatment subcommittee, four more patients were reported to fully recover on August 10, lifting the total of recovered cases to 399. There have been 14 deaths so far.

Among the remaining active patients, nine have tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once and 36 others at least twice.

A total of 182,267 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are being quarantined nationwide, including 5,139 at hospitals, 28,408 at other concentrated quarantine facilities, and 148,720 at their homes.

More Vietnamese citizens brought home from Canada, RoK

More than 300 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Canada and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on August 9 and 10, on a flight of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.

Passengers include children aged under 18, the elderly, the ill, workers with expired visas and labour contracts, students without accommodations, stranded tourists, and those in disadvantaged circumstances.

The Vietnamese Embassies in the two countries sent their staff to assist the citizens to complete all required procedures before boarding the flights.

Strict security, safety and hygiene measures were carried out during the flights to protect the passengers’ health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

After landing at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, all passengers and crew members were given health checks and quarantined in line with regulations.

Previously, 300 Vietnamese citizens were flown home from Canada and the RoK on August 2 and 3./.

Over 260 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from UAE

More than 260 Vietnamese citizens in the UAE were brought home on August 10.

The flight was arranged by relevant Vietnamese agencies, the Vietnamese Embassy in the UAE, Bamboo Airways, and UAE authorities.

The embassy also sent staff to the airport to assist the citizens.

To ensure the citizens’ health and prevent any transmission of COVID-19, security, safety, and hygiene measures were carried out throughout the flight.

Upon landing at Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta, all on board received health checks and were sent to quarantine centres in line with regulations.

More flights are expected to be conducted in the time ahead to repatriate Vietnamese citizens overseas, depending on their aspiration, the pandemic’s developments and quarantine capacity at home./.

Over 900 of Vietnamese citizens return from abroad

More than 900 Vietnamese citizens from some countries including the UAE, Russia, Canada and the Republic of Korea (RoK) were brought home on three repatriation flights which landed safely at local airports on August 10.

Vietnamese people in the UAE wait for the repatriation flight. Photo by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two flights conducted by the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines brought home over 300 Vietnamese citizens from Canada and the Republic of Korea (RoK) and more than 340 from Russia. Over 260 others from the UAE were repatriated on a Bamboo Airways flight.

Passengers include children aged under 18, the elderly, the ill, workers with expired visas and labour contracts, students without accommodations, stranded tourists, and those in disadvantaged circumstances.

After landing safely at the Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta Province of Can Tho, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, and the Van Don airport in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh on August 10, all passengers and crew members were given health check-ups and sent to quarantine areas in line with regulations.

Since April 10, some 90 repatriation flights have been arranged by Vietnamese authorities to help over 22,000 local people stranded abroad due to Covid-19 return home, the committee said.

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