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Saigon property manager probed for taking roundabout flights to dodge COVID-19 quarantine



Authorities in Da Nang City have investigated a real estate director from Ho Chi Minh City for avoiding COVID-19 quarantine in the central Vietnamese city by covering his original departure location with two flights to and from Hanoi.

Da Nang authorities said on Monday afternoon that four of 17 new COVID-19 cases detected locally in the previous 24 hours were related to another patient in neighboring Quang Nam Province.

The patient is N.T.D., 49, hailing from the Bong Sao residential area in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City and working as a real estate project manager.

D. took flight VN0128 from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang at 12:45 pm on July 4.

At Da Nang International Airport, functional forces informed D. that he would be sent to a concentrated isolation facility as per the regulations for arrivals from virus-hit localities. 

With the excuse that he would return to Ho Chi Minh City the next morning, the man asked to be isolated for one night instead.

D. was then taken to a hotel at 150 Vo Nguyen Giap Street for isolation.

On the morning of July 5, D. actually did not return to Ho Chi Minh City but took flight QH104 to Hanoi at 10:35 am instead. 

On July 6, he then took flight VN171 from Hanoi back to Da Nang at 1:25 pm.

As an arrival from the capital, which was not classified as a virus-stricken locality at that time, D. was able to skip the quarantine in Da Nang before traveling to Hoi An City in Quang Nam and staying at a villa that his company had rented in Tan An Ward in advance.

Tan An Ward authorities made D. perform a medical declaration and not leave the villa for 14 days.

The director developed a fever on July 7, followed by fatigue, a stuffy nose, and headache on July 10.

He contacted the local medical authorities and was taken to Vinh Duc General Hospital in Dien Ban Town to test for COVID-19.

His result returned positive for the coronavirus.

Four members of a family in Da Nang traveling on flight VN171 with D. also tested positive for the pathogen, according to Phan Van Son, deputy chief of the office of the People’s Committee of Da Nang. They have been quarantined at a hotel in the city.

Meanwhile, 112 other contacts of D. tested negative for the virus.

“The municipal authorities have assigned the local police to collaborate with police in Quang Nam to investigate and strictly handle this case before the law for declaring and taking a roundabout route, causing COVID-19 spread,” Son said.

Son added that in order to avoid similar dishonest acts, the local authorities will turn away any arrivals who refuse to follow the requirement of 21-day quarantine and not allow them to stay over as in D.’s case.

Vietnam has been battling a new outbreak with 29,154 local infections recorded in 58 out of 63 provinces and cities since April 27.

Da Nang has reported 270 infections while Quang Nam has logged five patients in this round.

Ho Chi Minh City is currently suffering the worst with 15,141 cases.

The country has confirmed an accumulation of 32,665 infections, including 30,724 community cases, since the pathogen first hit it early last year, according to the health ministry’s data.

Recoveries have risen to 9,331 whereas the death toll has reached 125.

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Schools are confused about teaching integrated subjects



The new academic year has begun, but both school leaders and teachers still don’t know what they need to do when teaching integrated subjects.

Schools are confused about teaching integrated subjects

Nguyen Van Luc is a teacher of history and citizen education at the Dien Khanh Secondary School in Khanh Hoa province. He has been assigned to teach history to sixth graders.

Luc said he is drafting lesson plans to prepare for the first teaching period, slated for September 13. History is designed as a part of the integrated learning subject of history-geography, but his school has both history and geography teachers, so each teacher will be in charge of a separate subject.

The teacher is worried about the periods where he has to teach content of both history and geography.

Teachers need to have both history and geography knowledge to be able to teach the integrated subject well.

“Most teachers are trained to teach a single subject. They will surely have difficulties as they have not been well trained to teach integrated subjects,” Luc explained.

A biology teacher in HCM City said her school will still assign many teachers to teach the integrated subject of Natural Sciences. This is the best choice for now.

“I will still be able to provide physics and chemistry knowledge to students, but honestly speaking, the knowledge will be summaries, not as detailed as the knowledge provided by the teachers trained to teach these subjects,” she said.

The teacher said if the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) doesn’t have solutions about teaching staff, she fears that Natural Sciences will be just a combination of three subjects – physics, chemistry and biology.

The headmaster of a secondary school in Nghe An admitted that he is confused when assigning teachers to teach integrated subjects.

“We are seriously lacking teachers, which makes it very difficult to arrange teachers for two integrated subjects – Natural Sciences and History-Geography for sixth graders,” he complained.

Mathematics, for example, comprises of Geometry and Algebra. And Natural Sciences comprises chemistry, biology and physics sub-subjects.

“The only difference is that instead of printing lessons in three textbooks, the lessons now can be found in one textbook,” he said.

The headmaster of a school in the suburbs of Hanoi commented that the spirit of ‘integration’ still has not been ensured, because schools were assigning many teachers to teach one subject, Natural Sciences. 

Phuong Chi – Dong Ha


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New born babies recover from COVID-19




A newborn baby and mother head home after recovering from COVID-19 in Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy of Trần Ngọc  

ĐÀ NẴNG — Two newborn babies who contracted COVID-19 from their mothers have made a full recovering after just a week in hospital.

And four other children, under the age of four, have also been declared coronavirus-free after treatment in the central city of Đà Nẵng.

Director of the city’s Hoà Vang health centre, Dr Nguyễn Đại Vĩnh said the two babies, both boys, tested negative before going home for quarantine and medical checks on Monday.

Vĩnh said the two mothers – who both been had infected with SARS-COV-2 – gave birth on September 7-8 at the field hospital.

He said three other boys under four years old, and a one-year girl all tested negative after two weeks at the hospital. They need two more weeks home quarantine under medical supervision.

Earlier, a newborn baby and mother were also declared healthy and released from the hospital on September 5.

A 101-year-old woman was the oldest patient to recover from COVID-19 on September 1.

The city’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said the number of cases has sharply declined in the past three days with a ratio of under 20 each day.

No new community infections were reported on September 12-13, while the number of ‘green zones’ with no community infections has increased from 14 to 23 in just a week.

The city said it has reserved safe traffic routes in green zones for better transportation and take-away services as well as access to traditional markets.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Quảng Nam province has been tracing SARS-COV-2 infection sources at Điện Nam-Điện Ngọc industrial zones in Điện Bàn town after 19 cases were found at three businesses.

Quảng Ngãi People’s Committee also closed all fishing ports to prevent community spread. It eased restrictions in controlled areas that are showing positive results, including Quảng Ngãi city; Trà Phong commune of Trà Bồng District, Tư Nghĩa, Sơn Tịnh and Bình Sơn districts.

The province also planned to bring 200 pregnant women from HCM City, Bình Dương and Đồng Nai for quarantine and prenatal care in their home towns.

It said Quảng Ngãi Fellowman Association donated VNĐ 2 billion (US$87,000) to support people returning home from southern provinces since early June. —


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HCMC begins to ease Covid restrictions



Covid-19 epicenter Ho Chi Minh City has eased some of the stringent social distancing rules that had been in place for weeks.

Starting Thursday inter-district delivery services will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Delivery persons had hitherto not been allowed to cross borders.

Businesses can again use their own delivery staff and no longer have to exclusively use shipping companies.

However, they can only do so within their district and their delivery workers need to be tested every two days for Covid.

Late last month delivery companies were allowed to resume operations in eight districts earlier designated high-risk.

Shipper chờ lấy mẫu xét nghiệm Covid-19 tại quận Gò Vấp, ngày 31/8/2021. Ảnh: Quỳnh Trần/VnExpress

Deliverymen are tested for the new coronavirus in HCMC’s Go Vap District, August 31, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Also from Thursday people living in ‘green zones,’ as areas with low risk are called, can go walking and do other exercises in public places though they must wear masks and keep a distance from others.

People can check the status of their area at

Outdoor physical exercises had been banned in the city since July 9 when it started imposing Directive 16, which requires people to stay at home except for “essential” reasons.

The city has also allowed a number of other businesses to resume, though only between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., including postal and telecommunications services, offices, informatics and schooling equipment sellers.

Also given the green light are those that supporting agricultural production, food production, processing and trading; veterinary facilities; maintenance and repair works; transport machinery and equipment maintenance and repair services; and those that sell vehicle parts.

A man buys bread at a store in HCMCs District 1, September 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A man buys bread at a store in HCMC’s District 1, September 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

On September 7 food and beverage sellers had been allowed to reopen but only for takeaway and delivery and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Also from Thursday construction and traffic works can resume. All infrastructure works deemed “not urgent” had been halted on July 22.

Restrictions will be eased to the greatest extent in the three districts of 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio where the pandemic is basically under control.

People in these districts can go grocery shopping once a week at both supermarkets and traditional markets.

It is in these three districts that the city will trial its vaccine ‘green pass’ scheme for two weeks. Pass holders can undertake certain activities without too many restrictions like domestic and international travel and participating in public events.

In the latest Covid wave that hit Vietnam almost five months ago, HCMC has been hit hardest.

The city of 13 million has had more than 315,000 cases and over 12,600 deaths in it while the nation’s tally stands at 641,245 and 16,151.


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