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Vietnam to benefit from Germany’s $1.8bn contribution to global combat against coronavirus



Vietnam will reap benefits from Germany’s latest committed donation, worth around US$1.8 billion, to the global fight against COVID-19, the German Embassy said in a press release on Tuesday.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged that Germany will contribute an additional 1.5 billion euros [$1.82 billion] in the fight against COVID-19 at the G7 digital summit on Feb. 19, 2021,” the press release reads.

Most of this sum, around one billion euros ($1.2 billion), will go to the global vaccine facility COVAX, co-led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and World Health Organization, to ensure low- and middle-income countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Another portion will be used for diagnostic tools and medication to treat the respiratory disease.

The contribution will enable COVAX to procure more jabs, distribute the doses, and support progress in vaccine research looking at virus mutations.

This makes Germany one of the largest donors.

Vietnam will also benefit, as it is eligible to receive vaccines through COVAX as a lower-middle-income country.

COVAX has agreed to supply Vietnam with 30 million vaccine doses in 2021, according to Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

It has sent a letter confirming that 4.8 million of these vaccine shots will be shipped to the country in the first and second quarter of 2021, while the rest are expected to arrive in the third and fourth quarter.

“We are not safe unless everyone is safe,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was quoted as saying in the press release.

“That is why there can only be global responses to global crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

“For this reason, the German government is backing a joint, multilateral approach, namely the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) coordinated by the World Health Organization.”

It is best suited to provide fair and equitable global access to vaccines and other important tools for pandemic response, Maas said.

“The German government is now providing an additional 1.5 billion euros for this platform. 110 million euros of this will come from the Federal Foreign Office,” the diplomat announced.

Most of this will be provided for vaccines for people in humanitarian crises.

With 10 million euros, Germany is supporting the World Health Organization’s emergency fund, which WHO can use flexibly and at short notice.

Germany will continue to work with its European and international partners to ensure fair, affordable, and global access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

To date, only 0.5 percent of vaccinations have taken place in poorer countries.

However, the goal is to immunize at least 20 percent of the population by the end of the year.

Funding for this has not yet been secured, even after the G7 summit.

To continue its work successfully in 2021, the COVAX vaccine platform needs a total of $27.7 billion.

Germany’s contribution is therefore an important signal for other countries and international institutions, as well as the private sector, to continue participating in this initiative.

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8 Vietnamese elementary school students receive emergency aid after taking anthelmintics



Eight fourth graders in Vietnam were given emergency aid after they took anthelmintics at their school on Friday.

Dang Phuc Tho, principal of An Nghiep Elementary School in Tuy An District, Phu Yen Province, said that a local medical center ran a program to administer the drugs to the school’s students on Friday morning.

The eight students have recovered after treatment, said Dr. Nguyen Van Tai, deputy director of the health center, said on Friday afternoon.

“After taking the anthelmintics, a few grade-four students vomited while a number of other students developed the same symptom later,” Tho said.

“We called the health center for help and they quickly took the eight students to their facility for emergency care.”

Tho added that when he came to the center to follow up on the situation, all the eight students had recovered and been allowed to return home.

About 350 out of the school’s 372 students had taken anthelmintics before the eight students began vomiting.

After the incident, the school decided not to let the remaining students take the drugs, he said.

The anthelmintics were provided by a unit of the Ministry of Health for the south-central and Central Highlands regions, said Dr. Tai.

Other students in the district had taken them during the past two days and no problems arose until the eight students vomited, the doctor said.

“We have sent the remaining 20 anthelmintics tablets to the provincial Center for Disease Control for examination, and we have temporarily suspended the anthelmintics provision program for students in the district pending the center’s conclusion,” Dr. Tai said.

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Vietnam province enforces extensive social distancing after detecting 5 local coronavirus cases



Authorities in Vietnam’s Thai Binh Province have enforced social distancing rules in all of its districts since 12:00 pm on Thursday after local health officials confirmed five cases of coronavirus infection in the community within just a few hours.

The Thai Binh Party Committee convened an urgent meeting on Thursday to address the current COVID-19 situation. 

All five cases can be linked to an infection cluster at the Dong Anh District branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a central-level facility that treats COVID-19 patients in Hanoi.

Social distancing

The five cases were positive for the pathogen during their first tests, according to the Thai Binh Center for Disease Control (Thai Binh CDC).

They have recently visited the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases as either patients or caretakers.

Health workers in Thai Binh are scrambling to perform contact tracing and detect direct and indirect contacts of the confirmed patients.

All K-12 students in the province have been told to stay home until further notice, starting Thursday.

Since 12:00 pm on Thursday, Thai Binh has been put under a province-wide social distancing mandate, which includes a ban on public gatherings of 20 people or more, a halt to all non-essential service and businesses, as well as suspension of all cultural, sports, and entertainment activities. 

The province urged official and grassroots monitoring groups to detect threats of COVID-19 transmission early.

A sign in front of a household in Thai Binh Province that reads ‘self-isolation zone.’ Photo: Khanh Linh / Tien Phong

A sign in front of a household in Thai Binh Province reads ‘self-isolation zone.’ Photo: Khanh Linh / Tien Phong

Patients’ itinerary

According to Thai Binh CDC, the five patients have traveled to multiple destinations during the last few days.

N.T.A., 34, from Hung Dao Village of Kien Xuong District, arrived at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases on April 21 to take care of his father, who was staying at Room 501 in the hospital’s department of infectious diseases. 

A. then boarded a bus at Hanoi’s Giap Bat Bus Station at around 5:00 pm on Tuesday to head home. 

On Wednesday morning, A. went to Thai Binh Province’s social security office to file paperwork. 

He reported himself to a local medical facility at 2:20 pm the same day after being informed about a COVID-19 case that stayed in the same hospital room as his father. 

His test result turned out positive on Thursday.

Initial contact tracing efforts detected eight direct contacts and 13 indirect contacts of A., while 14 passengers who were on the same bus from Hanoi to Thai Binh as the patient are still being inspected.

Meanwhile in Thai Thuy District, three other cases were detected, including N.T.N., 70, from Hong Dung Commune, P.T.D., 38, N.’s daughter from Thuy Quynh Commune, and C.T.V., 45, from Hong Dung Commune. 

Earlier, N. and D. were treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Disease before being transferred to the Thai Binh Lung Hospital. 

Both tested positive for COVID-19 around 4:00 pm on Thursday and are receiving treatment at Thai Binh General Hospital. 

V. also spent time at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases before being sent to quarantine at Thai Thuy District’s medical center and received a positive test result at 5:00 pm on Thursday.

The patient is now being treated at Thai Binh General Hospital. 

The remaining case has been identified as T.T.H., 44, from Tam Quang Commune of Vu Thu District, whose husband was a patient at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. H. has been sent to Thai Binh General Hospital for treatment.

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Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard



Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Ten coronavirus-positive cases were detected at the Hanoi’s top public cancer hospital Friday morning, prompting all three of its campuses in Hoan Kiem and Thanh Tri Districts to be locked down starting 5:30 a.m.

Over 5,000 people in the facilities, including employees, patients and their family members were locked inside.

Among the coronavirus cases, four were patients and the rest were their family members. One of them had been treated for a month at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh District, which has also locked down earlier following its relevation as a coronavirus hotspot.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Barricades were erected in front of the hospital’s main gate on Phung Hung Street and another gate at Chu Van An Street.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Several family members, unaware of the lockdown order, were confused upon being stopped by the police as they tried to get inside.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Nguyen Tich, from the north central Thanh Hoa Province, was supposed to have his blood samples taken today. But the lockdown means he was unable to enter.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Several other patients and family members stand on a pedestrian bridge that leads to the K Hospital. Around 1,600 patients are stuck inside the locked down hospital.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

The K Hospital has announced that it would stop receiving patients except for emergency cases. The hospital receives thousands of patients every day, mainly from northern and central regions.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

At around 10 a.m., the first supplements, including food and personal items, were brought to the hospital. Chu Ngoc Anh, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, has requested Thanh Tri District to ensure that all 5,000 people stuck inside get the necessities they need as the lockdown continues.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Medical workers wear protective suits inside the hospital.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

At a campus of the K Hospital in Thanh Tri, about 4 km away from the other one in the same district, barricades have also been erected since early morning.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

Chu Ngoc Anh and Deputy Minister of health Tran Van Thuan visited a campus to check up on its lockdown.

Police of Thanh Tri District also erected checkpoints to prevent people from entering or exiting the lockdown areas, especially as it is near residential areas.

The K Hospital is Hanoi’s second hospital to be locked down due to coronavirus outbreaks after the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, a frontline facility for Covid-19 fight.

Lockdown at Hanoi cancer hospital catches patients off guard

As the lockdown began close to the morning hours, traffic jams on Phung Hung Street ensued as curious passersby stopped and looked at the situation.

Vietnam is currently experiencing its fourth coronavirus wave which has seen 121 community transmission cases recorded in 15 localities since last week. Besides Hanoi’s two aforementioned hospitals, three other hospitals in the northern Vinh Phuc, Thai Binh and Lang Son provinces were also locked down due to their association with coronavirus cases.


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