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Aug 19, 2021 / 21:50

Today’s Covid News: Vietnam’s daily coronavirus infections surpass 10,000

Half of the country’s total cases were detected in Ho Chi Minh City, and 30% of the tally was found in the city's neighboring provinces of Binh Duong, Long An, Dong Nai, and Tien Giang.

Vietnam recorded 10,654 coronavirus infections on August 19, the highest-ever daily number, with 42% in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and 30% in Binh Duong.

Of the daily caseload, up to 60% were detected in the community and the remaining in quarantine facilities.

Thus far, Covid-19 has attacked 62 out of 63 cities and provinces, causing 312,611 cases (38% recovered) and claiming 7,150 deaths.

 Testing in Dong Anh District, Hanoi. Photo: The Hanoi Times 

Vaccines and vaccination

Apart from massive testing and aggressive contact tracing, the health sector has been intensifying the vaccination drive, considering it the key pillar in its Covid-19 response strategy. However, the thin vaccine supply challenges the country whose one-third of areas are placed under lockdown.

In the latest move, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent a letter to President of the European Council Charles Michel to propose for vaccine supply and tech transfer of vaccine production. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent a letter to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for the same issue.

So far, the EU has donated Vietnam 2.4 million doses of vaccines through the WHO-led vaccine sharing scheme COVAX Facility.

To support Vietnam in the tough time, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) has launched the “Breathe Again” Campaign to procure essential medical equipment for Vietnam. The initiative is the brainchild of Gricha Safarian, Founder of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam.

Chairman of EuroCham Alain Cany said, “European business stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Vietnam during these difficult times.” EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti said “Europe has a large and longstanding presence in Vietnam, so when our companies and citizens join together in this effort we have the size and scale to make a real difference.”

Today, some 1.2 million doses of imported AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Vietnam, totaling the country’s supply to more than 22 million, including 62% donated by countries and organizations. In a phone talk with AstraZeneca Vietnam’s Chairman and General Director Nitin Kapoor on August 19, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested the company work with other countries to resell or lend Vietnam vaccines.

Regarding vaccination for foreigners, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang said today that vaccinating foreigners is part of Vietnam’s route for herd immunity. “Recently, the prime minister has directed the Ministry of Health to consistently carry out the vaccination policy regardless of nationality or form of residence.

As of August 19, Vietnam has reported 15.92 million doses administered, including 1.56 million people getting two shots.

 EuroCham's "Breathe Again" campaign raises funds for Vietnam's frontline workers. 

Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

The city will deploy about 400 mobile medical stations to provide consultation and treatment of about 44,000  Covid-19 patients who are treated at home, according to Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC).

Each station will be equipped with oxygen cylinders and masks, first aid equipment, drug, and test kits and run by a group of a doctor, two nurses, and three staff.

The number of stations will soon rise to 1,000 to meet the demand, Tam said.

The mobile stations will also operate in the largest hotspots like Binh Duong, Long An, and Dong Nai, according to Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long.

Regarding the vaccination, more than five million doses have been administered in HCMC, covering 72% of its adults aged above 18 with the first shot.

HCMC needs more than 13 million doses to fulfill its vaccination drive, according to Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Health Nguyen Hoai Nam.

Hanoi, meanwhile, started imposing the one-week quarantine on fully vaccinated visitors and those who are subject to the Health Ministry’s regulations.

The city has decided to grant HCMC 5,000 tons of rice and Binh Duong 1,000 tons.

Earlier, it donated HCMC auto PCR testing labs and an amount of VND54 billion (US$2.35 million) for 18 southern cities and provinces, in addition to sending health professionals and medical equipment to the region.

Hanoi reported 53 additional cases today, lifting the total to 2,644.

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