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Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

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Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

For about a week now, a “zero dong” store has been open in an isolated area on Go Dau Street in Tan Phu District by the Tan Quy Ward People’s Committee to supply residents with essential goods like rice, instant noodles, eggs and vegetables.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

At 8 a.m. every morning, volunteers go to the markets to buy food and stock them at the “zero dong” store.

Nguyen Quoc Huy, chairman of the Tan Quy People’s Committee, said each day the store provides over 100 kg of vegetables and fruits, hundreds of instant noodle packages, 500 eggs, 160 kg of pork, 40 oil bottles and 100 cans of food.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

The food and goods are placed on the shelves at around 10 a.m. These are enough to sustain over 300 people in 73 families who are living inside the quarantine zone.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Residents go to the store to collect the food, observing coronavirus prevention measures like wearing masks and sanitizing hands.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

A man from outside the quarantine zone buys and leaves food for those inside

Food is not the only thing the residents are provided with; they receive essential personal items as well, Huy said.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Starting May 31, when Go Vap District began its social distancing period, Duong Thien Chon’s restaurant had to be shut down. Making use of the empty space inside the restaurant, Chon and his employees have cooked free meals for the poorer residents in the area.

Long queues form to collect around 800 meals ready to be served at around 10 a.m.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Within an 800 square meter space, tables and chairs are arranged so there are two lines of people waiting for the food packets.

“It costs around VND10 million ($435.36) each day to shop for ingredients and cook the food. Everyone has to get up early to prepare the food until noon. While my business has been put on hold, I can still handle it, so I decided to relieve the burden for the poor,” said Chon.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Over 50 people sit at a safe distance from each other, waiting for their turn to get the food packets. With a high number of people, the food runs out in about an hour. When this happens, employees fry eggs as a makeshift item for those unable to get a meal.

Chon said many people have donated rice, spices and other food items after seeing his initiative.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Men, 54, wears a mask and screen shield while receiving her food. “My income mainly comes from housekeeping, but that job has not been available for half a month now. Every day I come here and take two meals for me and my grandchild, which has helped us to carry on with life,” she said.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

For the past week, Phuoc Toan has been driving his car from Thanh Loc Ward in District 12 to deliver 100 meals for soldiers and police officers stationed at Covid-19 checkpoints.

“I can’t cook so much rice, so I decided to deliver instead. I also buy milk and other beverages every day for those at the checkpoints as a way to support the frontline workers of our Covid-19 fight,” he said.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Nguyen Duc Cuong, the landlord of an apartment in Go Vap District, prepares rice, oil and fish sauce, along with VND500,000 as gifts to each of the 24 families living in his apartment.

“The pandemic has forced my tenants to stop working, affecting their income. I may not have much, but I do what I can to help them sustain themselves,” said Duong as he prepared the items himself.

Amid Covid-19 closures, Saigonese step out to help out

Nguyen Thi Lanh and her 3-year-old daughter receive their gifts from Duong.

“The pandemic has forced me and my husband to stay at home, leaving us with no salary. Since the day I came to Saigon, this is the first time I have received a gift from my landlord. It is heartwarming,” she said.

HCMC has recorded 481 local Covid-19 cases so far in Vietnam’s latest coronavirus wave, and is the third worst-hit locality after Bac Giang and Bac Ninh. The southern metropolis launched a 15-day social distancing period starting May 31.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/photo/news/amid-covid-19-closures-saigonese-step-out-to-help-out-4291088.html

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Vietnam records 37 more domestic Covid-19 patients

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Vietnam records 37 more domestic Covid-19 patients

People in HCMC’s Binh Tan District stand in line to wait for their turn to take coronavirus tests on June 22, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.


The infection tally of Vietnam’s new Covid-19 wave rose to 10,694 on Thursday morning with 37 new cases added.

The new patients were recorded in HCMC (26), northern province of Thai Binh and Bac Giang (three each), southern provinces of Tay Ninh and Long An (two each), and central province of Khanh Hoa (one).

Of the cases in HCMC, 24 are associated with previously confirmed Covid-19 patients and the authorities are still looking into the transmission source for the other two.

In Bac Giang, three cases are linked to clusters at its industrial parks.

Thai Binh registered three cases whose sources of transmission are yet to be determined.

Tay Ninh got two cases, inlcuding one returning from central Da Nang City and one with unclear source of infection.

Long An reported two cases related a cluster at Dinsen Co. Ltd in Ben Luc District.

Khanh Hoa got one case in the beach town of Nha Trang that is linked to a patient in HCMC.

The new update marks the first community case in Khanh Hoa so far far in the new wave, and the return of local infections for Tay Ninh and Thai Binh after more 20 clean days.

Since the new wave started on April 27, local infections have been recorded in 45 cities and provinces, led by Bac Giang with 5,502 cases and HCMC with 2,100.

More than 5.92 million of the nation’s 96 population have been tested since April 29.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-records-37-more-domestic-covid-19-patients-4298128.html

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National population database project to be implemented on July 1

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The project on building a national database on population and production, and issuing and managing citizen identification has been basically completed.

National population database project to be implemented on July 1

Lieutenant General Nguyen Duy Ngoc at the conference

The shifting from the management mode of paper household residence registration books to personal identification numbers will be implemented soon.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on June 22 organized a conference reviewing the national population and production database project and citizen identity card issuance.

Thr ministry organized a ceremony on announcing the official running of the system, commencing from July 1.

PM Pham Minh Chinh and leaders of ministries attended the ceremony.

According to Lieutenant General Nguyen Duy Ngoc, Deputy Minister of Public Security, the two projects were approved by the PM in 2020. Though they were independent projects, the Ministry of Public Security decided to integrate them to help cut costs. The projects cost VND1 trillion lower than the estimates.

Ngoc named four outstanding achievements of the projects.

First, completed the building of a national database center in population and production system, and the issuance and management of citizen ID cards.

The ministry instructed the contractors to design in a way that is ‘modern, synchronous, high security and not wasteful’. They were implemented with the support of MIC to ensure the meeting of the requirements, with the information security meeting the fourth level as stipulated by the Decree 85.

Second, MPS has completed the collection and addition of population information across the country, “cleaned” the data, synchronized it into the system and issued identification codes to citizens nationwide.

To date, information about 98 million individuals has been collected . Identification codes were granted to citizens on June 18. This is an important basis for establishing electronic identity of citizens, contributing to national digital transformation.

Third, the designing and production of new citizen ID cards with electronic chips have been completed. From March 1 to now, 54 million dossiers for application for citizen ID card granting have been submitted, one month earlier than planned.

However, Ngoc said the printing and delivering of citizen ID cards are still slow because of the lack of materials and electronic chips caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fourth, MPS has successfully carried out the trial connection of the national database in population with ministries, branches and local authorities.

MPS has conducted a test run of connecting and integrating services shared with the Ministry of Infomation and Communications (MIC), Ministry of Finance  (MOF), Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and the people’s committees of Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Da Nang and Thua Thien-Hue; and has cooperated with the Government Office to trial the service connection on the national public service portal. 

Doan Bong

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/national-population-database-project-to-be-implemented-on-july-1-748422.html

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Transmission sources unknown for many HCMC Covid-19 patients

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Transmission sources unknown for many HCMC Covid-19 patients

A man walks a bicycle past the Saigon General Hospital in HCMC’s District, June 22, 2021. The hospital is currently locked down as linked to at least five Covid-19 cases. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.


Many new Covid-19 cases detected in HCMC recently are of people visiting hospitals seeking treatment for other health problems, meaning their transmission sources are unclear.

The number of daily cases in HCMC has kept passing the 130 mark for over a week now, making up the highest number of cases reported nationwide.

Part of the cases are related to clusters the city has identified, but more than a few have only been detected after patients visited local hospitals for health examinations and a screening step later revealed they’d contracted the new coronavirus.

Over the past two weeks, the city has been detecting new infections without clear sources of transmission every day.

It means the virus has spread quietly in the community, according to the city’s Center for Disease Control.

On Wednesday morning, of 51 cases confirmed in HCMC, 10 were detected after visiting local hospitals for their medical checkups. They are residents of districts of 8, 10, 4 and Thu Duc City.

On Tuesday, as the city recorded 136 patients, nine were found in similar circumstances, having come on their own for health checks to local hospitals.

The ratio was 137:19 last Sunday, 135:20 last Saturday and 149:13 last Friday.

So far in the new wave that broke out two months ago, many healthcare facilities in the city have had to suspend operations or placed under lockdown after finding patients with Covid-19.

Most recently, the Saigon General Hospital on Le Loi Street of District 1 was locked down starting Tuesday after it received five different patients who were confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus later.

Truong Huu Khanh, consultant at the infectious diseases department at HCMC Children’s Hospital No.1, said the continuous detection of new cases through spontaneous medical examinations at hospitals shows that the anti-Covid-19 strategy adopted so far, which is locating, isolating and conducting mass testing in affected areas, is not enough.

He proposed an adjustment that allows local people to get the coronavirus test as soon as they wish, such as at medical centers in the ward and district where they live, instead of going all the way to some big hospitals and getting the test via their regular screening step.

With more hospitals detecting infections in the new outbreak, many people are now hesitant to visit hospitals and therefore, by the time they develop Covid-19 symptoms and seek medical checks, it is already too late for effective contact tracing.

“If the process of tracking down the source of transmissions and all those who have come into contact with a Covid-19 patient begins only after the latter is found positive, it will not be possible to deal with the outbreak thoroughly,” Khanh said.

HCMC is facing its most challenging disease outbreak ever.

Last Sunday, the southern metropolis overtook the northern province of Bac Ninh as the locality with the second highest number of local infections in the new wave. Its case count hit 2,074 Wednesday night.

The city is going through its fourth week of social distancing restrictions, which started May 31.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/transmission-sources-unknown-for-many-hcmc-covid-19-patients-4297085.html

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