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14 of Ho Chi Minh City’s 75 new coronavirus patients tested negative three times prior to diagnosis



Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed 30 more local coronavirus infections in Ho Chi Minh City at noon on Thursday, taking the southern business hub’s daily count to 75.

Fourteen of the city’s latest cases were detected after a fourth test, as they had already tested negative for the virus three times.

They were traced back to Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation in Go Vap District, the ministry said in a report.

Hundreds of patients have been linked to this religious group since last month, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC).

Most of the city’s new infections were direct contacts of infected patients and found in isolated areas.

City health authorities have been tightening their grip on identified infection chains, the HCDC said, adding that the virus may have still spread in the community.

New clusters were mostly detected at residences or workplaces, the center noted.

Everyone is strongly advised to follow social distancing guidelines, having been implemented for nearly three weeks, and abide by health declaration regulations to help stall transmission, it warned.

Ho Chi Minh City has registered 1,135 domestic COVID-19 cases since April 27, when the fourth wave of transmissions broke out in Vietnam, according to the HCDC’s statistics.

The national government on Thursday distributed to the city about 800,000 of nearly one million AstraZeneca vaccine doses it had received from Japan on Wednesday night.

City authorities expect to use up the shots within one week given the increasing spread, as the HCDC has recorded over 80 cases daily since last weekend.

The additional jabs will be administered to priority groups, including medical and factory workers.

So far, the city has given the first AstraZeneca shot to 64,366 medical staff and other frontline workers, according to the municipal Department of Health.

A total of 10,179 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19,.

The southern metropolis has about 7.2 million people aged 18 or above, the target of its inoculation drive, the department said.

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on Tuesday allowed Ho Chi Minh City to purchase and import COVID-19 vaccines following the proposal of the municipal administration.

The Southeast Asian nation has recorded 8,781 locally-transmitted infections in 40 of its 63 provinces and cities in this fourth wave.

Bac Giang Province is leading the caseload with 4,945 patients, followed by Bac Ninh with 1,448, Ho Chi Minh City with 1,135, and Hanoi with 464.

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Dong Nai allows resumption of 145 taxis to transport patients to hospitals



A street is under lockdown in Dong Nai. Dong Nai Province has allowed 145 taxis to resume operations to transport patients to hospitals during the shelter-in-place period – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Dong Nai Province has allowed 145 taxis to resume operations to transport patients to hospitals during the shelter-in-place period, while permitting shippers to return to work from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. each day.

The 145 taxis, which belong to the Mai Linh, Saigon, Lado and Long Thanh taxi operators, will also be used for essential cases, mainly medical purposes, including transporting people from/to quarantine centers, the Dong Nai Department of Transport said on August 5.

The provincial department granted QR identification codes to the taxis to make it easier for anti-virus forces to check and control the operation of these vehicles.

During their operations, these taxis must comply with Covid-19 safety protocols and make hand sanitizers and face masks available, while the drivers must have a negative Covid-19 test certificate and make online heath declarations before work.

Earlier, the Dong Nai Department of Industry and Trade allowed delivery workers, or shippers, to return to work in the daytime, the local media reported.

These shippers were told to have identifying characteristics such as a uniform, boxes, a business logo or a travel permit. Each delivery man is allowed to work at only one commune, ward or district.

The provincial government on July 31 decided to continue adopting the social distancing order under the prime minister’s Directive 16 for 15 more days from August 2 until 15 and imposed night movement restrictions.


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Girl falls to death at apartment building in Hanoi



A 12-year-old girl died after falling from the 12th floor to the third floor of an apartment building in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred at the HH4C building in Linh Dam apartment complex in Hoang Mai District at around 10:00 pm on the same day.

Residents of the building heard a loud bang at that time and ran outdoors to check.

At the skylight area on the third floor, they saw a girl lying immobile.

The victim died on the spot, according to local authorities.

She was later verified to live in a flat on the 12th floor of the apartment building, a representative of its management board told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper on Wednesday morning.

The girl was determined to have fallen from the window ventilator of her flat to the skylight.

“The girl’s parents had separated,” the management board’s representative said.

“During their investigation, the authorities discovered a suicide note allegedly written by the girl.”

Hoang Mai District police are investigating to clarify the cause of the incident.

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Health ministry told Nanogen to submit human trials data to health ministry before August 15 for reviews



The health ministry on Monday asks HCM City-based biopharmaceutical company Nanogen, developer of the Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccine Nano Covax, to submit results of phase 2 and initial phase 3 trials to be reviewed for emergency approval.

Health ministry told Nanogen to submit human trials data to health ministry before August 15 for reviews
Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan (middle) inspects a vial of Nano Covax, the frontrunner of the Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccine. — Photo from the Ministry of Health

Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan, leader of the ministry’s special task force on clinical trials and development of COVID-19 vaccines, made the request during a progress meeting with experts, as the country deals with a severe fourth wave of infections while vaccine supply is still limited amid a global shortage.

The meeting included leaders of the Department of Science and Technology-Training (under the health ministry), the Military Medical Academy, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and the Pasteur Institute in HCM City and was held to review the current progress and find ways to facilitate the clinical trials and push for reports on data of phase 1, 2, 3 (a, b) of the Nano Covax vaccine. 

Phase 3 trials are being conducted with 13,000 volunteers, divided into two phases, 3a with 1,000 people and 3b with 12,000 people.

13,000 first doses in phase 3 have been administered, with the second dose expected to be completed before mid-August, according to the company.

Surrogate virus neutralisation tests (sVNT) for the 1,000 people involved in phase 3a, revealed 100 per cent production of neutralising antibodies at levels higher than 30 per cent, but further monitoring is needed.

In tandem with applying for conditional approval for emergency use, Nanogen is also requesting the health ministry to consider phase 3c trials, which would involve 500,000 to 1 million volunteers. Trials of the vaccine on children 12-18 years old would be conducted once the full approval is obtained.

Deputy Minister Thuan said the ministry is anticipating the domestically researched and manufactured COVID-19 vaccine will help protect the health and lives of the Vietnamese people, be more proactive in vaccine rollout and reduce dependency on foreign vaccine imports.

“The good news is the [Nano Covax] vaccine seems to be safe and can elicit high level of [SARS-CoV-2] neutralising antibodies,” he said. “But we have not yet had enough data on the protective properties of the vaccine, more time and more study is needed.”

The Ministry of Health has always supported and created the most favourable conditions for companies and individuals to participate in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, having mobilised many industry-leading scientists in the country’s to participate in the assessment of vaccines.

The health official wants Nanogen to submit a report on research results for phase 2 and initial phase 3, so that the National Ethics Committee in Biomedical Research could start evaluation for emergency approval for Nano Covax.

Source: Vietnam News


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