Jun 29, 2021 / 22:08

Japan extends support to Vietnam’s Covid-19 fight

Japan has recently provided two million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam, not to mention uncountable support since early 2020.

Japan has planned to provide Vietnam with technical support worth JPY100 million (US$0.9 million) via Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), helping the country improve its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and treatment capacity.

 Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio (2nd right) and Shimizu Akira, Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam Office (1st right). Photo: Tran Minh

This is additional assistance the Japanese Government has committed to supporting Vietnam in the past months, enabling the country to overcome difficulties in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the country since early last year.

Thus far, Japan has intensified its assistance to Vietnam’s Covid-19 battle by continue providing vaccines, facilities, and technical support.

The latest support is a batch of another one million Covid-19 vaccine doses that are scheduled for delivery on July 1 and July 8, according to the Embassy of Japan in Hanoi.

With the delivery, Vietnam receives two million doses from Japan within three weeks.

“The decision to donate two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam over the past time is proof of the profound friendship between the two countries,” a representative of the Japanese Embassy to Vietnam told The Hanoi Times.

The vaccine supply is expected to contribute to preventing the spread of Covid-19 in Vietnam, the embassy said.

 A batch of nearly one million Covid-19 vaccine doses arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on June 16. Photo: Tran Minh

From the JICA’s perspective, vaccination is the key in an effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 that is ravaging the world. Vietnam is one of the recipients of the COVAX Facility, an international framework involving more than 190 countries and regions thanks to Japan’s contributions in co-finance and vaccine purchase to encourage vaccinations in developing countries.

Japan has also funded JPY220 million (US$1.9 million) through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve Vietnam’s cold chains in the storage and delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine.

According to UNICEF, delivering vaccines to all corners of the country is a complex undertaking and takes a chain of precisely coordinated events in temperature-controlled environments to store, manage and transport these life-saving products. Therefore, a high-quality cold chain in Vietnam allows health workers to deliver life-saving vaccines to every last person.

Non-refundable loans through medical equipment, including automated PCR machines, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines, and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits; personal protection equipment (PPE); and dissemination of countermeasures against the pandemic, are another form of Japanese assistance to Vietnam.

That kind of assistance has been specially delivered to many hospitals across Vietnam namely the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases (NHTD), Cho Ray Hospital, the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue Central Hospital, among others.

Since September 2020, Japan has been providing JPY2 billion (US$18.82 million) in non-refundable aid, which would be disbursed in 18 months beginning from August 2020 for the Covid-19 battle in Vietnam. The financial assistance will focus on purchasing medical equipment, improving check-up and treatment capacities to minimize the pandemic-caused deaths.