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Aug 28, 2021 / 21:14

Today’s Covid News: Vietnam to vaccinate schoolchildren

Vietnam has approximately 23 million schoolchildren from kindergarten to high school.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the Ministry of Health to consider vaccinating children to protect them in the new school year.

 High school students in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy/ Phap Luat Xa Hoi 

The ministry needs to import types of vaccines mostly administered for children aged above 12 in other countries and kinds for kids below 12, Chinh made the request today [August 28].

“The Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Health need to cooperate to vaccinate children at the earliest. Fully vaccinated children can go to school normally while conducting other anti-pandemic measures like in some countries, for example, Singapore,” Chinh said.

Meanwhile, a large number of teachers have got jabs. Teachers are among those on the priority list for the inoculation campaign in Vietnam.

Educators said vaccination is the solution for the education sector as online teaching is ineffective and troublesome in remote areas.

Vietnam’s academic year begins on September 5. The country has about 23 million schoolchildren from kindergarten to high school. Meanwhile, the country has 9 million children aged between 12 and 18.

A few days ago, Pfizer Inc. secured 20 million vaccine doses for Vietnam for adolescents of the above group. The doses are expected to be delivered in later months this year.

In another move, the World Health Organization (WHO) has offered Covid relief worth more than 413,000 to Vietnam. The medical supplies are expected to help protect healthcare workers and save lives, according to Dr. Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Vietnam.

Vietnam has recorded more than 10,000 Covid-19 infections daily for 10 consecutive days. Its total cases reach more than 422,000, including 10,405 deaths. Ho Chi Minh City’s cases surpassed 200,000, with half have recovered.

 Dr. Kidong Park (L) and Vietnam's Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan at the handover ceremony on August 27. Photo: MoH

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

Today, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) decided to allow shippers to work in the hardest-hit areas like Thu Duc City, District 8, District 12, Go Vap, Binh Tan, Binh Thanh, Hoc Mon, and Binh Chanh.

The move was made at a time that the city has undergone one week of the shelter-in-place order that people are required not to leave their home and get necessities from authorities. But overloaded orders have made this model ineffective.

Shippers working in the above areas are required to be tested every day by military medics. Meanwhile, shippers working in the 14 remaining districts of the city will be tested every two days.

With the new move, the number of shippers in the city will rise to 25,000.

As of August 28, HCMC’s Covid-19 infections surpassed 200,000, including half have recovered.

Currently, the city is treating more than 38,000 Covid-19 patients in medical facilities, including 2,310 children aged below 16, more than 2,700 critical patients, and 20 with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), according to Pham Duc Hai, spokesperson of the city’s Covid-19 Prevention and Control body.

Its death toll stayed at 8,097 or an average of 287 per day.

So far, it has administered nearly 6 million vaccine doses.

Of more than 1.4 million rapid antigen tests conducted from August 23 to August 28, more than 54,000 results are positive, or 3.5%.

PM Chinh reiterated the importance of testing when he worked with local authorities on August 27. “It’s necessary to conduct massive testing to detect infections and treat them well. It’s that best way to mitigate fatalities,” he said.

At the same time, he asked HCMC, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai, the most affected areas, to relocate residents in hotspots to prevent transmission.

Today, HCMC, the most populous city, received more than 1,000 soldiers, totaling more than 10,000 sent from other parts of the country to support its pandemic fight. The majority of the total is military medics.

Military personnel is tasked with treating patients, controlling travel, and supplying necessities.

In another move, private hospitals in HCMC expect to treat Covid-19 patients for money to cover the expenses. So far, Vietnam has a policy that Covid-related health care has been provided free of charge.

Meanwhile, Hanoi has built a plan on massive testing with about 200,000 RT-PCR tests taken from August 27 to September 4.

People who are subject to testing include those in risk areas with high population density and high-risk groups.

The city will decide whether it conducts additional 800,000 tests or 1.5 million tests after September 6 based on the upcoming testing results.

 Vietnam's Covid-19 infections. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu