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Quảng Nam’s flood-hit residents receive new houses



Lưu Thị Phương, in Quế Thuận Commune, Quảng Nam Province (left) and UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen stand inside the house she received last week. Photo courtesy of UNDP

 QUẢNG NAM – The skinny woman trembled, seemingly unable to stand still because of her happiness to receive a house thanks to the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Việt Nam and local people’s generosity.

Lưu Thị Phương, 56, in Quế Thuận Commune, Quế Sơn District, Quảng Nam Province, saw her house destroyed by a storm in October 2020.

She was one of the thousands of people who lost nearly all of their assets due to the storms of 2020 in central Việt Nam.

Her husband died when she gave birth to her fourth child 16 years ago, so Phương alone raised her four small children.

“Life is so hard. I work alone in the field as a hired labourer to support these children,” she said.

Now, her two eldest daughters have their own families and work in a local factory. However, her two sons have health problems, so they still live at home and can only work as hired labourers around the commune.

In the new two-storey house, she reserved the most solemn area on the second floor as an altar for her husband. On the first floor, she presented a set of wooden tables and chairs bought from money saved by children.

“I give my thanks to the UNDP, the provincial People’s Committee and the Red Cross. Without this support, I don’t know when we would have been able to build such a house,” she said.

“I will pick up local neighbours to live at my house if there are floods and storms in this area,” she added.

The house with a ground area of 16sq.m and worth VNĐ110 million (US$5,000) was one of more than 430 storm-resistant houses provided by the UNDP in five provinces in central Việt Nam.

This assistance activity is part of the project ‘Responding to natural disasters in Việt Nam’ funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

At the end of April, the UNDP handed over 10 houses to people in Quảng Nam Province as part of the UNDP’s 2021 plan to build flood-resistant houses.

In addition to building more than 430 new houses, the UNDP in collaboration with the People’s Committees of central provinces that suffered heavy damage in the storms last October (Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi) and the Red Cross completed the repairs and reinforcement of more than 3,300 damaged houses.

Some 3,300 household kits have also been provided to poor households. Household items, including kitchen equipment, blankets, curtains, personal protective equipment, and chemical disinfectants were all necessary for people to get back on their feet.

UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam, Caitlin Wiesen, said that more than ever, affected people, especially the poor, women and girls were in need of safe houses and essential items to deal with the damage.

“Our safe homes have saved thousands of people during the historic floods and storms that devastated central Việt Nam,” she said.

“However, there is still a long way forward to be able to assist those in need of safe homes.”

Trần Văn Tân, Deputy Chairman of the Quảng Nam Provincial People’s Committee, said there were still many poor households, lonely mothers and disabled people suffering difficulties in life and some had lost their homes in last year’s floods.

“This makes the poor, who already struggle so much, in even greater difficulties without community support.”

Tân said the local authorities appreciated the UNDP’s efforts and timely support to build and repair the houses.

“It is very practical and meaningful support for local people. We hope to continue to receive this support so that people living in areas affected by storms and floods have a warmer life,” he said.

At a house handover ceremony at Quế Thuận Commune last week,   Nguyễn Văn Tiến, Deputy Chief of the Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, said: “I appreciate the co-ordination of UNDP that help people in the disaster area.

“This assistance not only solves immediate post-disaster recovery but is also sustainable for local residents living in frequent disaster areas such as central Việt Nam.”

The UNDP is also organising a crowdfunding campaign titled ‘Safe House, Peace of Life’ to support the construction of 100 new safe houses in vulnerable locations in Quảng Bình Province and further construction of safe houses in Quế Sơn District, (Quảng Nam Province) and Lý Sơn island district (Quảng Ngãi Province).

“In particular, our safe homes in Lý Sơn Island will have a new design and enhanced resistance to special wind conditions, and rooftop solar systems are capable of providing sufficient lighting systems for households,” said  Wiesen.

Central Việt Nam was battered by strong storms and floods last October. According to the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention, more than 230 people were killed or went missing. At least 380,000 houses were flooded, damaged or collapsed.



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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