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VN confirms 12 more COVID-19 infection cases, another COVID-19 patient dies

Vietnam reported 12 more cases positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on August 1 morning, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

VN confirms 12 more COVID-19 infection cases, another COVID-19 patient dies

Almost the new COVID-19 infection cases are patients and relatives of patients at Da Nang Hospital.

The new locally transmitted infections bring the total amount of COVID-19 cases nationwide to 558.

All the new cases, including eight men and four women, were recorded in the central city of Da Nang.

Three of the new cases are patients at Da Nang Hospital. One is a 72-year-old woman being treated at the department of internal medicine, neurology and ophthalmology and the others are men aged 25 and 33.

Eight other cases are either relatives of patients being treated at Da Nang Hospital or came into close contact with the positive cases, including a two-year-old boy who was in contact with Patient 509.

Another patient is a 29-year-old man from Hoa Phuoc, Hoa Vang district, Da Nang city. It is not clear if he has any connections with the hospital and his previous whereabouts are being investigated.

Earlier, Vietnam recorded 37 more cases positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on July 31 evening.

Of them, 26 are imported cases who have been put under quarantine following their arrival, three in Ho Chi Minh City and eight in the central province of Quang Nam.

Among the imported cases, six patients are Vietnamese crewmembers of a gas tanker that entered Vung Tau port on July 28 after travelling to Qatar, India and Singapore.

The remaining imported cases were flown from Equatorial Guinea on Vietnam Airlines’ flight VN6 which landed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on July 29.

Of the 558 confirmed patients so far, 302 are imported cases, and 116 others related to the outbreak in central Da Nang city since July 25.

According to the steering committee’s Treatment Sub-committee, 373 cases have recovered fully, and 183 others are being treated at medical establishments nationwide, including six having tested negative for the virus once, and eight negative at least twice. On July 31, the country reported its two first COVID-19-related deaths.

As many as 91,462 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered from pandemic-hit areas are under quarantine, including 953 in hospitals, 18,063 in concentrated quarantine facilities and 72,446 at home.

Another COVID-19 patient in Vietnam dies

Another COVID-19 patient in Vietnam died on July 31, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

The 61-year-old male resident of the central city of Da Nang died of septic shock on the basis of other serious illnesses and COVID-19, he said.

The patient had had chronic kidney failure, hypertension, diabetes and gout before he was found to have COVID-19 on July 27 at Da Nang Hospital.

Earlier the same day, a COVID-19 patient with multiple comorbidities died of myocardial infarction with chronic diseases of hypertension, heart failure, end-stage chronic renal failure, and complication of respiratory failure due to heart failure and COVID-19. This is the first COVID-19 patient to have died in Vietnam, according to the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control. 

Da Nang sets up more field hospital for COVID-19 treatment

The Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control of Da Nang central city on July 31 decided to set up one more field hospital in Hoa Vang district’s medical centre, aiming to serve the reception of and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The 200-bed hospital will be used for quarantining and treating COVID-19 patients.

The committee ordered the municipal Department of Health to give advice and propose the city’s leaders to issue a decision related to the organisation of the hospital.

Previously, the municipal People’s Committee decided to establish a 1,000-bed field hospital in Tien Son Sport Centre. The municipal Department of Construction is working with relevant units to discuss a plan for building the hospital. 

As of 10:am on July 31, Vietnam had reported 509 COVID-19 cases, with 80 in Da Nang city, including eight medical workers, 44 patients, 26 family members of patients, and two detected in the community. A COVID-19 patient with multiple comorbidities was confirmed to die on the same day.  

On July 31 alone, the country confirmed 45 cases, all of whom had been quarantined at medical facilities and tested for the virus. 

Thirteen cases were also reported in the central provinces of Quang Nam (seven) and Quang Ngai (one), Ho Chi Minh City (two), Hanoi (two), and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak (one). All of them are linked to the Da Nang outbreak.

Deputy PM: Top priority placed on wiping out COVID-19 hotbed in Da Nang

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has requested authorities to give the top priority to localising and soon wiping out the COVID-19 hotbed in the central city of Da Nang.

Chairing a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on July 31, Dam, who is also head of the committee, lauded the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of National Defence and Ministry of Health for sending more experts and staff to join in the fight against the pandemic in Da Nang.

As new infection cases are mostly related to three hospitals in the city, he asked localities, especially major cities, to strengthen countermeasures.

Amid the rapid and complicated developments of the pandemic worldwide, members of the committee agreed to suggest the PM issue a document ordering preparedness in the new normal period in case of outbreaks like in Da Nang.

The Ministry of Education and Training was also required to prepare plans for the upcoming high school graduation examination in line with the Prime Minister’s Directive 16/CT-TTg.

At the event, Director of the Health Ministry’s Department of Preventive Medicine Dang Quang Tan said as of 7pm on July 31, Vietnam recorded 546 infection cases, including one death, a 70-year-old man residing in Hoi An city in the central province of Quang Nam.

Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the pandemic in Da Nang is relatively complicated because infection source remains unknown.

As many patients there also suffer other severe diseases, the Health Ministry has deployed the best equipment and staff to the locality, he said, adding that testing capacity has also been raised to 10,000 samples per day.

According to him, the ministry established a special permanent unit in charge of COVID-19 combat in the city, continued tracing down those travelling to and from Da Nang and its hospitals, as well as collecting samples for testing. Over 451,400 Realtime RT-PCR tests have been carried out nationwide so far.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said the 2020 high school graduation examination is still on schedule for August 8-10.

He added that the Ministry of Education and Training will continue working closely with the Health Ministry and localities to ensure the exam amid the pandemic.

About the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens from abroad, Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung said the Foreign Ministry coordinated with representative Vietnamese agencies abroad and domestic authorities to arrange flights for prioritised citizens, including 219 from Equatorial Guinea on July 29 who were immediately sent to the second branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s outlying district of Dong Anh for testing and treatment.

Other flights also carried home 212 citizens from Indonesia on July 29, 170 others from Brunei on July 29, about 290 from the US on July 3, and 240 from Myanmar on July 30.

German media: Vietnam determined to fight ongoing COVID-19 outbreak

German media has highlighted the measures taken by the Vietnamese Government and its determination to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the context of complicated developments from a new outbreak in the country.

The Handelsblatt (Commerce) newspaper ran an article on July 30 reporting that after 99 consecutive days with no cases of community infection, the country then confirmed its 416th patient in central Da Nang city, marking the return of the disease.

It also looked at Vietnam’s efforts and the strong measures taken to control the pandemic since the first outbreak in January.

Vietnam closed schools in February and conducted systematic testing of all persons having contact with COVID-19 patients, the article noted.

In March, Vietnam banned the entry of all foreigners, while Vietnamese citizens returning home were quarantined for 14 days, it added.

With such stringent measures, Vietnam has managed to limit the number of infections to only a few hundred and achieved remarkable results in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

According to the article, in this second outbreak, Vietnam took the decision quickly to stop air and rail travel to and from Da Nang, close beaches, and ban large gatherings. Bars and festivities in Hanoi and HCM City have also been suspended.

The paper said foreign observers are concerned about the development of COVID-19 in Vietnam, because it serves as an example of how difficult it is to prevent the pandemic, even when the strictest of immigration controls are in place.

The article noted that the Vietnamese Government is very much determined to respond to the new outbreak, quoting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying it is necessary to act more quickly and decisively to control the disease.

The German newspaper also cited Fitch Ratings as saying that the strength of Vietnam’s growth momentum owes much to the country’s success in curbing the pandemic.

Meanwhile, German national television news channel Tagesschau (ARD) reported on the fact that Vietnam has detected new cases in the community after nearly 100 days and has quickly adopted measures to prevent the outbreak.

Other German newspapers such as DW and TAZ also reported on Vietnam’s fight against the outbreak.

Thailand permits medical tourists to return, but under strict control

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) recently relaxed measures allowing four groups of foreigners to return to Thailand, including patients returning for a medical follow-up or those who have joined the government’s Medical and Wellness programme.

Patients wishing to come to Thailand for treatment must first test negative to COVID-19, and then quarantined in hospital for 14 days along with the people accompanying them. They will also be tested for COVID-19 while under quarantine.

Each patient is allowed to bring along only three relatives and friends, who will only be allowed to travel around Thailand after quarantine.

Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Chief of the Disease Control Department, said foreigners requiring immediate medical treatment will be allowed into the country at all times.

Private hospitals are required to provide names of patients and coordinate with the Foreign Ministry,he said.

Dr Akom Pradittasuwan, Director of the Department of Health Service Support, said the agency has verified 98 hospitals and 26 clinics as alternative hospital quarantine sites, and they will be open to both Thais and foreigners.

Last year, foreign patients spent 15,000 baht (480 USD) per session on anti-ageing and rehabilitation, 140,000 baht on cardiovascular care, 300,000 baht on treatment of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, 29,000 baht on dentistry, almost 500,000 baht on infertility treatments, 700,000 baht on cancer treatments, more than 2 million baht on organ transplants, over 26,000 baht on health examination, up to 50,000 baht on other conditions, 550,000 baht on heart surgery and 350,000 baht on gastric balloon surgery.

This year, it is expected that foreign and Thai expat patients are expected to hold up to 160,000 treatment sessions within three months and bring the country up to 18 billion baht (580 million USD) in revenue.

Philippines reports highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rose to 93,354 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,063 new cases on July 31, the highest single-day increase in confirmed cases since the highly-infectious disease emerged in the country in January.

The death toll also increased to 2,023 after 40 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH said.

It added that the number of recoveries further rose to 65,178 after it reported 165 patients have survived the disease.

In a pre-recorded public address aired on July 31, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Metro Manila, which has the bulk of COVID-19 cases in the country, will remain under general community quarantine until August 15 due to the steady rise of cases, while other areas in the country are put under varying degrees of quarantine.

Metro Manila is home to about 15 million people. It has so far logged more than 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.



Hoi An reopens after enhanced social distancing

Hoi An Ancient Town in central Quang Nam Province started welcoming tourists again on Thursday after two months of social distancing to stall COVID-19, offering a 50 percent discount on admission fees at many well-known destinations.

According to Truong Thi Ngoc Cam, director the Center for Culture, Sports, Radio and Television of Hoi An City, promenades in the famous tourist attraction have resumed operations.

A 50 percent discount on admission fees at all destinations will be applicable until the end of October.

Local authorities have plans to extend the discount program until the end of this year.

Motorized vehicles will be banned from entering the ancient quarter from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and between 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

Art and performance activities have also been organized in the area, including the ‘bai choi’ folk singing game at the An Hoi junction or the blindfolded pot smashing game on Chau Thuong Van Street.

Other performances, such as the ‘Tieng Duong Cam’ (The Sound of Piano) music show, ‘Trang phuc Hoi An – Ky uc thoi gian’ (Hoi An Fashion – Memories of Time) fashion show, are available on weekends. Street stalls and shops have also been reopened.

During the social distancing period, the local government upgraded public facilities and expanded sidewalks to improve tourism services.

A new lighting system has been installed on Le Loi Street and Hai Ba Trung Street, while the decorative lighting system of Hoi An City has been improved.

Other tourist attractions in Hoi An, including Tra Que Vegetable Village, Cam Thanh Coconut Village, and Thanh Ha Pottery Village, have been opened again with some discount programs.

On Wednesday, Hoi An City’s government gave approval for the Quang Nam Tourism Association and some households to organize Tan Thanh Market on Nguyen Phan Vinh Street every Saturday, from early October to the end of this year.

Traders at the market are encouraged to sell local handicraft products and specialties.

The city started suspending all activities on July 28 in the wake of a fresh outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in neighboring Da Nang three days earlier.

With more than 30 positive cases, Hoi An was one of the two epicenters of Quang Nam Province.

Meanwhile, Da Nang released its last COVID-19 patient from the hospital on Wednesday, said the Ministry of Health.

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One killed, one injured in Ho Chi Minh City hotel fire

One person was killed and another was injured after a fire erupted at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City early Friday morning.

The flames broke out on the fifth floor of a hotel on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Ward 12, District 10 at around 5:20 am, according to preliminary information.

People inside the hotel and local residents tried to put out the blaze but the situation spiraled out of control.

Tens of firefighting officers and many fire engines were dispatched to the scene and they eventually extinguished the fire.

L.T.T.T., 25, who was from the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, was killed, and P.T.S., 50, who hails from the central city of Da Nang, was wounded following the incident.

A 12-square-meter room and many assets were burned down.

Local authorities are working to determine the cause of the fire.

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Tree falls on Saigon street, kills motorcyclist

A man riding a motorbike was killed when a tree fell on him in Ho Chi Minh City during a downpour on Thursday afternoon.

The accident occurred at around 3:30 pm on Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10.

It was raining heavily when the 20-meter-tall tree collapsed on the still unidentified motorcyclists. 

Two other motorbikes and a sign belonging to a nearby store were also damaged during the incident.

A falling tree, which killed a motorcyclist, blocks a section of Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, September 24, 2020. Photo: Huynh Luu Duc Toan / Tuoi Tre

A falling tree, which killed a motorcyclist, blocks a section of Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, September 24, 2020. Photo: Huynh Luu Duc Toan / Tuoi Tre

The victim was rushed to Cho Ray Hospital, 1.4 kilometers from the scene, with one-third of his right shoulder shattered, a crushed right arm, and fractured left forearm bones.

A CT scan showed that the patient had a one-centimeter thick epidural hematoma on his right temporal membrane, putaminal hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and accumulation of intracranial air, according to Cho Ray Hospital’s director Nguyen Tri Thuc.

A falling tree, which killed a motorcyclist, blocks a section of Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, September 24, 2020. Photo: Huynh Luu Duc Toan / Tuoi Tre

A falling tree, which killed a motorcyclist, blocks a section of Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, September 24, 2020. Photo: Huynh Luu Duc Toan / Tuoi Tre

“Although the hospital urgently mobilized the entire force to give emergency treatment [to the patient], his injuries were too severe,” Dr. Thuc said.

The patient passed away on Friday morning, the hospital director confirmed.

In June, a falling tree branch also killed a motorcyclist during a rainstorm in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10.

A falling tree, which killed a motorcyclist, blocks a section of Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, September 24, 2020. Photo: Huynh Luu Duc Toan / Tuoi Tre

A falling tree, which killed a motorcyclist, blocks a section of Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, September 24, 2020. Photo: Huynh Luu Duc Toan / Tuoi Tre

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