Sep 12, 2021 / 22:20

Today’s Covid News: Vietnam receives more fully vaccinated visitors

Vietnam is preparing for the adoption of vaccine passports on a large scale.

Today [September 12], Vietnam welcomed 345 Vietnamese returnees from the US who are fully vaccinated and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours before the departure.

 Passengers arrived at Van Don International Airport on Sept 12. Photo: Baoquangninh 

The passengers, who arrived at Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh, will be quarantined for one week instead of two as before.

Pham Ngoc Sau, director of Van Don Airport, said the pilot of receiving visitors with a “vaccine passport” will enable the government to prepare for the adoption of an immunity passport on a large scale.

Earlier on September 4, Van Don airport welcomed 297 passengers who were the first incoming people under the vaccine passport program.

In another move, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long today received 200,000 vaccine doses donated by Belgium and Slovakia. The donations were made during the European tour paid by the Chairman of the National Assembly, Vuong Dinh Hue.

During Hue’s visit, overseas Vietnamese and foreign individuals, businesses, and organizations have donated medical supplies worth more than VND1 trillion (US$44.5 million), except for vaccine donations.

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

On September 12, Nguyen Van Nen, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party’s Committee, said the city needs two more weeks until end-September instead of September 15 planned earlier to bring the pandemic under control. The extension is aimed to reduce the number of hospitalized infections and to give more time for newly-vaccinated people to make antibodies.

He said that some parts of the city have curbed the spread of the pandemic, however, many other areas need more time to fight against Covid-19.

“The city needs to take a cautious and safe step in reopening activities. We can't be adventurous in this matter,” Nen said in a statement.

According to him, the city has undergone 103 days with different levels of restrictions. Nonetheless, the stricter social distancing could not last for long that would burden residents and the economy. Seeking solutions for the gradual relaxation is quite new in its pandemic fight and the local authorities need the government’s direction for the issue, Nen said.

“To what extent the distance or relaxation depends on the pandemic evolution and risks of each region. Above all, the city puts safety first and foremost,” he emphasized.

On the same day, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said HCMC should consider building blood banks at the district level to actively deal with the worse scenarios of having more infections.

Blood remains one of the issues worrying the HCMC's health sector. Since the fresh outbreak flared up in Vietnam in late April, nearly 10,000 blood bags have been sent from Hanoi to the city and other southern areas to support the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Currently, HCMC tops localities for the number of infections and deaths with more than 298,000 and nearly 12,000, respectively, accounting for 48% and 80% of the country’s total figures.

To date, half of the cases have recovered and more than 60,000 patients are treated in nearly 100 hospitals.

Regarding vaccination, so far the city has administered 7.4 million doses.

In another move, the HCMC Center for Disease Control said it will update individuals’ vaccination information before September 15.

 Residents in Hanoi wait for vaccination at nighttime. Photo: Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times 

Hanoi, meanwhile, is speeding up the vaccination. As of September 12, it has offered more than 4.8 million shots. Over the past few days, around 350,000-410,000 doses have been administered per day to meet the deadline of injecting all adults above 18 with the first jabs before September 15.

On the same day, the city removed the lockdown of three big hotspots in Hoan Kiem, Dong Da, and Hoang Mai Districts.

Today, Vietnam sees additional 11,478 Covid-19 infections and 261 deaths.

In the past week, the country confirmed an average of 12,633 cases/day and 281 deaths/day. Half of the total cases and 75% of fatalities were found in Ho Chi Minh City.

 Vietnam's coronavirus cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu