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Vietnam reduces treatment period for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, tries quarantining mild cases at home

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The Ministry of Health has decided to shorten the duration of treatment and isolation for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and the quarantine period for direct contacts and international arrivals to 14 days, while trying quarantining mild cases in Ho Chi Minh City at home.

A study on about 20,000 COVID-19 patients in Vietnam showed that nearly 70 percent of them did not exhibit any symptoms, while severe cases often developed bad conditions seven to ten days after testing positive for the virus, heard a meeting chaired by Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on Tuesday afternoon.

The health ministry has thus made a number of changes to the regulations on treating and quarantining COVID-19 patients and direct contacts, based on the evolution of virus concentrations and clinical course.

Accordingly, symptomless patients being treated at medical facilities shall take real-time RT-PCR tests on the ninth and tenth days of their treatment.

If their test results return negative both times or positive with a low viral load, they will be discharged from the medical facilities and subject to no further home-quarantine but local medical monitoring for 14 days.

According to the health ministry, none of more than 400 recoveries testing positive for the virus again after being discharged from hospitals have transmitted the pathogen to the community. 

Therefore, it advised that local authorities not take any isolation and contact tracing measures, but continue medical monitoring, in those cases. 

Based on practice and the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and discussions with local authorities, the Ministry of Health also decided to reduce the quarantine time from 21 days to 14 days, regardless of concentrated isolation or home isolation, for COVID-19 patients’ direct contacts and international arrivals.

COVID-19 patients arrive at a field hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, July 8, 2021. Photo: Hoang An / Tien Phong

COVID-19 patients arrive at a field hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, July 8, 2021. Photo: Hoang An / Tien Phong

In Ho Chi Minh City, symptomless patients can be quarantined at home in a pilot scheme approved by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

Those patients will take a real-time RT-PCR test on the tenth day of their treatment and can be discharged to continue quarantining at home if the test results return negative or positive with a low viral load.

They shall perform two more similar tests at home on the 14th and 21st days.

Medical workers contracting the virus are also allowed to self-monitor their health status at home, perform daily reports to local medical authorities, and take COVID-19 tests as prescribed.

COVID-19 direct contacts in very high-risk areas in the southern city will only be sent to concentrated isolation facilities if their residences do not meet the criteria set by the Ministry of Health for home quarantine.

They will take a real-time RT-PCR test on the seventh day instead of the 14th day of their treatment duration as before.

If their results are negative, they can be allowed to return home to continue quarantine.

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday morning confirmed 905 local coronavirus infections, including 666 cases in Ho Chi Minh City, raising the national tally to 35,409, with 9,553 recoveries and 132 deaths.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210714/vietnam-reduces-treatment-period-for-asymptomatic-covid19-patients-tries-quarantining-mild-cases-at-home/62056.html

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Girl falls to death at apartment building in Hanoi

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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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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210804/girl-falls-to-death-at-apartment-building-in-hanoi/62418.html

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

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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

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/health-ministry-told-nanogen-to-submit-human-trials-data-to-health-ministry-before-august-15-for-reviews-762312.html

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Đắk Lắk people provide food for those in need

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It is in challenging times that we see the best of people. And in Việt Nam, there is no shortage of do-gooders willing to help those in need. In Đắk Lắk volunteers and government officials are collected much-needed produce to send to localities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1002933/dak-lak-people-provides-foos-for-those-in-need.html

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