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Drug use at VN karaoke bars on the rise



Increased raids at karaoke bars are failing to discourage drug users in Vietnam from turning these popular entertainment venues into drug dens.

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Drug use at VN karaoke bars on the rise

Drug users caught in a raid at Luxury Karaoke Bar in Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province. 

On February 29, 34 people including two waiters were arrested in a midnight drug bust at Hoang Ha Hoang Karaoke Bar in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province. Four plates covered in white crystals that looked like meth were found at the scene. Quick tests showed 33 of the people had been taking drugs.

The bar had previously been closed for the same reason, but after reopening, it went straight back to its old ways.

Another karaoke parlour in the province called Ngoc Linh is also well-known as a haven for partying youths. Ten drug users were taken to the police station following a raid in late February, according to Dong Nai Province Police.

In two first months of 2020, local law enforcement forces launched investigations into several karaoke bars. Every raid found people high on banned substances.

At 11pm on February 1, the Ministry of Public Security and Dong Nai Province Police raided Phuong Nam Karaoke Bar in Long Khanh City, where they arrested ten people.

According to the initial investigation, bar manager Do Xuan Thang, 26 years old from Quang Tri Province, had purchased the drugs and resold them to his customers.

The city police have started legal proceedings against Thang.

Meanwhile, in his hometown, gathering in karaoke bars is a trend among drug users as the cost is affordable for partying youngsters compared to bars or pubs.

Chợt Nhớ Karaoke Bar in Thanh Khe District, Da Nang City is a local blackspot which was raided twice in 2019 where many couples were caught sniffing ketamine.

The bar later found reopened on the quiet despite being closed by local authorities.

Most drug users in Quang Nam Province were young, from 17 to 30, the provincial police said, adding hundreds of them were taken in for questioning following raids.

Colonel Phan Duy Thach, deputy head of Thanh Khe District Police, told Thanh Niên (Young people) newspaper that karaoke bar owners who stored or sold drugs would be detained for investigation.

Bars which allowed customers to use drugs and banned substances would be fined from VND5 million (US$214) to VND10 million, or shut down.

Thach said they had expose wrongdoings at karaoke parlours, bars and pubs where party-goers gather to use drugs.

“We need to plug existing loopholes and have stricter punishments for trading and consuming drugs,” said Thach.

Major Dong Phuoc Nam of Quang Nam Province Police said light punishments would not prevent karaoke owners from violating laws to make huge profits.

Colonel Nguyen Ha Lai, deputy director of Quang Nam Province, said in most cases, it was difficult to verify the involvement of karaoke parlour owners in drug trading and use, making it difficult to put an end to the addiction epidemic in Vietnam.

While heroin has been long common among Vietnamese drug users, synthetic drugs including ketamine and meth are preferred by partying youngsters. The country has been reported as a key regional transiting hub for drugs produced in the Golden Triangle.

In late February, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged for tightened international cooperation, taking efficient mechanisms and strengthening management to prevent Vietnam from becoming the world’s major transit point for illegal substances.

The country has cracked down on many international and inter-provincial drug crimes in the past two years, and cooperated with other Southeast Asian countries to bust large-scale rings. — VNS

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31 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning, including 30 local cases




Việt Nam reported 31 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning, including 30 local cases: Bắc Ninh (16), Bắc Giang(10), Lạng Sơn (3), HCM City (1). All are in locked down areas.





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HCMC reports another coronavirus case



HCMC reports another coronavirus case

The building where two Covid-19 suspects work on Pasteur Street, HCMC’s District 3 is isolated on May 18, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

A woman working with a man who tested positive for the new coronavirus on Tuesday morning has also got infected, HCMC Health Department announced.

Her first test result arrived as positive Tuesday night after the city tracked down 59 people who have had contact with the 35-year-old man who lives in Thu Duc City, works at an auditing company District 3, and has tested positive at least twice.

According to the city’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the woman, 34, lives in Tan Kieng Ward of District 7 and also works at the auditing company.

She had visited northern Hai Phong City, a coronavirus hotspot, from April 24 to May 5.

She flew back to HCMC on May 5 on Vietnam Airlines flight VN1179 and ran a fever three days later. She bought medicine to treat herself and did not have her health checked at any healthcare facilities.

She took sick leave for three days after that and returned to work on May 11.

The city is tracing down passengers on the flight and people that have come into close contact with her.

The Thu Duc man has not been recorded by the Health Ministry as a Covid-19 patient.

He had visited Vinmec Hospital on Monday for symptoms including fever, coughing and sore throat and then his samples were taken for testing.

His mother, wife and two children who live with him have tested negative at least once.

For the ongoing Covid-19 wave that broke out in Vietnam three weeks ago, the health ministry has confirmed just one patient in HCMC. No new local transmission has been linked to the city for 75 days.

Nationwide, the new wave has seen 1,473 cases recorded in 28 cities and provinces.


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New Covid-19 cases continue to surge in Bac Giang



A medical worker handles test tubes containing samples for Covid-19 testing. Vietnam reported 48 new domestic Covid-19 cases on Tuesday evening – PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH

HCMC – Thirty-three out of 48 new domestic Covid-19 cases confirmed this evening, May 18, were detected in Bac Giang, keeping the northern province the biggest Covid-19 hotspot in the fourth Covid-19 wave.

The new cases in the province are people that had close contact with Covid-19 patients and had been quarantined before testing positive.

The province accounted for more than half of today’s Covid-19 tally, with 96 cases out of the country’s total of 152.

Among the remaining cases, 13 were reported in Bac Ninh Province, while Dien Bien and Thai Binh provinces had one case each. They were detected at quarantine centers or areas that are currently under lockdown.

Up to now, Vietnam has reported 4,512 Covid-19 cases, including 1,473 domestic infections in 28 cities and provinces in the latest outbreak starting late last month.

Bac Giang and Bac Ninh have been hit the hardest by the fourth Covid-19 wave, with 507 and 306 cases to date, respectively.

The Ministry of Health has asked some frontline hospitals and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to help Bac Giang Province with Covid-19 testing. The province is now capable of performing some 1,500 Covid-19 tests a day.

Many localities such as Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Yen Bai and Hai Duong have sent medical workers and equipment to Bac Giang to help the province fight off Covid-19.

For Bac Ninh Province, the Health Ministry has asked Bach Mai Hospital to send experts and mechanical ventilators to Bac Ninh Province General Hospital to assist the hospital in treating Covid-19 patients and restrict sending patients to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.


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