Retired medicos join COVID-19 fight
Nguyen Thi Thanh Tung is a retired doctor, after working for more than 30 years at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. With the pandemic spreading and former colleagues feeling overwhelmed, she decided to become more involved, and returned to the hospital's ICU to help its nearly 400 patients.
Meanwhile, Colonel Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Ha is one of five retired doctors volunteering to save the lives of patients at the Le Van Viet Field Hospital in Thu Duc City. Dr Ha and her family were concerned about her rejoining her former colleagues at the hospital, but with a strong sense of determination and responsibility, the former medico decided to work on the front lines.
In response to calls from the Ministry of Health, hundreds of former doctors in Ho Chi Minh City have registered over the past few weeks to join in the fight against the pandemic.
As the rising number of serious COVID-19 patients overwhelms many hospitals, the medical system in Ho Chi Minh City is facing a lot of difficulties, including the shortage of staff. Therefore, the active response from retired healthcare workers is warmly welcomed, contributing to and encouraging frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic.
COVID pandemic increases unemployment rate
The coronavirus pandemic has had great impact on the labour market, with an increase in the unemployment rate, according to the Department of Employment of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).
The department said that in the first seven months this year, the number of enterprises withdrawing from the labour market was higher than the number of newly established enterprises. Specifically, more than 79,700 enterprises withdrew from the market whereas 75,800 enterprises were newly registered.
On average, more than 11,300 businesses withdraw from the market every month.
The number of enterprises withdrawing from the labour market occurred in all industries, focusing heavily on wholesale, retail, automobile and motorbike repair, manufacturing and processing, construction, accommodation, real estate business and education.
Unemployment increased because many businesses were no longer able to cope with the pandemic. The number of unemployed in the second quarter was 1.2 million, accounting for 2.62 per cent of people of working age.
In July, the increased unemployment rate of people at working age in urban areas grew to more than 4 per cent.
The number of people who stopped working is different between regions. Specifically, in 19 southern provinces and cities that are applying social distancing following Directive No 16/CT-TTg, nearly 20 per cent of businesses have stopped working and nearly 3 million people are unemployed, accounting for 33.4 per cent of total employees.
In the central region, complicated pandemic developments in Khánh Hòa, Phú Yên and Đà Nẵng saw the rate of businesses temporarily suspending work at 3.4 per cent, with more than 500,000 unemployed workers, making up 15 per cent of total employees in the region.
In the northern area, by August 5, a total 288 enterprises had to suspend operations in Bắc Giang Province with 15,262 unemployed workers. In Hà Nội, 7,435 enterprises temporarily suspended operations with over 180,000 employees having to stop working.
Labour in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors suffered the least negative impact of the pandemic with 8.9 per cent of workers in this area affected, followed by industry and construction with 24.6 per cent, and service sector workers hardest hit at 30.6 per cent.
MoLISA has proposed a group of solutions to support businesses and employees in difficulties during the pandemic.
Localities have implemented solutions to serve as a basis for production and business recovery, economic development, and social stability, such as having programmes and policies to encourage young workers to improve their skills, to be ready to enter the labour market with necessary skills to meet the requirements of the economy in the fourth industrial revolution era.
They will continue to supplement capital sources for lending to business households and employees who are facing difficulties and need to borrow capital to restore production and create jobs.
Response plans urged for post-social distancing period
Experts have suggested response plans are essential after provinces and cities lift their current social distancing orders under Directive 16/CT-TTg of the Prime Minister.
On August 13, delegates gathered at a teleconference chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, discussing epidemic prevention and control work amid the current social distancing order under Directive 16/CT-TTg applied in 19 provinces and cities in the southern region and some other localities across the country.
At the meeting, members of the Steering Committee focused on discussing the lessons learned from anti-epidemic practices across the country, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces and cities in the South, in order to develop effective response scenarios in the near future.
They argued that social distancing must be strictly and substantively implemented, along with firmly protecting "green zones", surrounding and narrowing high-risk areas (orange and red areas).
As outbreaks continue appearing in various localities across the country, it is necessary for local authorities to strictly detect entries from other localities to timely monitor and strictly handle cases who did not carry out medical declarations.
Localities were asked to immediately set up a system of hotlines and community health teams to go to each residential area to provide on-site medical support for all people with suspected symptoms as well as other health problems.
At the meeting, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that in the coming time, the Ministry of Health will focus on organising and urging the implementation of Resolution No. 86/NQ-CP dated August 6, 2021 on urgent solutions to prevent and combat the epidemic, while conducting risk assessment and forecasting at four levels (very high, high, mediate risk and new normal) in order for each locality to have appropriate solutions for testing, isolation, blockade and vaccination suitable to actual conditions.
The relevant forces will continue to concentrate on encircling and narrowing red zones, expanding the green zones, quickly separating infections (F0s) from the community, limiting the number of F0s from rapidly increasing, and minimising deaths to return to the new normal state as soon as possible.
On the same day, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh, inspected the epidemic prevention and control work in Dong Da district, during which he hailed Dong Da for effective disease prevention and control despite being a high risk area with a large population and a high concentration of major hospitals, schools and offices.
Notably, the district has organised eight rounds of vaccination against COVID-19, with more than 55,530 doses, reaching the assigned target, while taking more than 50,000 samples for testing in red and orange areas.
Anh directed the local units to speed up the testing progress and return the results with the most accuracy and in the fastest manner possible, while boosting vaccination with absolute safety ensured.
According to the Hanoi Department of Health, the capital city recorded only two new infection cases from 6 pm on August 13 to 6 am on August 14, both in already isolated areas. So far, during the fourth infection wave (from April 27, 2021), 2,128 cases, of which 1,178 were recorded in the community, have been detected in Hanoi.
On August 13, Ho Chi Minh City implemented vaccinations using Sinopharm’s Vero Cell COVID-19 vaccine for social protection beneficiaries and local people, on a voluntary basis.
The Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Ho Chi Minh City has proposed to vaccinate the remaining 20,000 cases at social protection centres and drug addiction treatment facilities across the city.
On the day, the city's Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) issued 44,000 doses of the Vero Cell vaccine to local districts and Thu Duc city to develop appropriate injection plans.
In Ho Chi Minh City, medical units have injected 19,000 doses of the Vero Cell vaccine, allocated from 500,000 previously donated doses.
Travel schedule required at 12 checkpoints at HCM City gateways
People who pass through 12 quarantine checkpoints placed at HCM City’s entrance gates will have to declare their travel schedule on the city's system connected to the National Population Database.
Drivers who go through these checkpoints will be required to declare information at www.suckhoe.dancuquocgia.gov.vn.
Officers at checkpoints will compare information with the driver's identification documents.
After the officer confirms the information, the system will save the information and authenticate the citizen information through the connection to the National Population Database system.
Police officers are assigned the responsibility of compiling data and reporting on the situation of citizens entering and exiting the city.
Declared information will be processed on the National Population Database to ensure the accuracy of information.
In addition, the information will be provided to the administration of the ward and commune where the citizens are going.
According to the city Police Department’s Road and Railway Traffic Police Unit (PC08), the requirement will help the city authority in COVID-19 prevention measures.
Compared with the current medical declaration apps such as Bluezone, this system has another advantage in that it shares data with the National Population Database.
When citizens declare their health status and travel schedule on the system, the local government where they live receives the information immediately.
Large fishing ships resume operations at La Gi Port
About 650 fishing ships have resumed operations at La Gi Fishing Port in Bình Thuận Province after being suspended for nearly three weeks due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
The port in the south-central province's La Gi Town suspended operation from July 24 under the Prime Minister’s Directive No.16 on COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
The town's People's Committee on August 12 issued a document to better manage fishing activities under social distancing. The fishing ships will be licensed to operate if crew members have negative COVID-19 test results within 72 hours prior to departure, and the ships install monitoring devices on board.
All ship owners and crew must fully comply with regulations and guidance on pandemic prevention and control measures of the government, local pandemic checkpoint and border guard stations, and inter-sectoral COVID-19 prevention and control stations.
Before leaving the port, the ship captain must have a departure card issued by the local pandemic checkpoint and border guard station.
The ship owner can ask the port management board to prepare food, fuel and other necessities for offshore fishing trips.
After boarding the ship, the crew must stay on board until the ship leaves the port to minimise the risk of infections.
The ship captain must inform the port's management board about the ship's registration number and the amount of caught seafood at least three hours in advance before entering the port.
The caught seafood must be unloaded and transported out of the port under the guidance of the port management board.
La Gi Town is one of several COVID-19 hotspots in the province with more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases recorded.
La Gi Fishing Port has the highest density of ships entering and leaving the province and a large-scale anchorage for more than 2,000 ships to avoid storms.
Bình Thuận is one of the four largest fishing grounds in Việt Nam. The province's fishing industry has gained positive achievements due to COVID-19 prevention and control measures, favourable weather, and cooperation among business firms.
Overseas-Vietnamese experts recommend solutions to ending COVID outbreak
Việt Nam, especially the current hotspot HCM City, needs to maintain stringent social distancing measures and stress that each individual and family plays a decisive role in reducing infection chains, overseas-Vietnamese experts said at a webinar on Thursday.
Dr Vũ Ngọc Khuê, a Vietnamese-American, said the country's pandemic epicentre should be able to contain the latest outbreak that began in late April within the next four weeks.
"Four weeks would be enough for the city to contain the spread. The first two weeks will detect symptomatic FO (COVID patients) cases for quarantine, while the next two weeks will detect cases that have had longer incubation periods" and may not be showing symptoms, he added.
Severe cases will need more time for treatment and recovery in a hospital or at isolation facilities, he said, adding that the city should focus on critically ill patients to minimise the number of deaths.
In addition to having medical staff fully equipped with proper equipment, all resources including military forces should be mobilised for the fight.
Trần Trọng Hùng, a Vietnamese-Polish man who is vice chairman of the Vietnamese Community in Poland, said that the COVID-19 Prevention and Support Committee in Poland developed a COVID-19 prevention manual, stressing the role of each individual and each family.
All people, including those fully vaccinated, must strictly implement measures such as hand washing, keeping a distance, wearing a mask, and limiting gatherings. People should contact medical staff immediately to have a COVID test when they have symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or headache.
To quickly recover, you should practise breathing exercises to support the lungs, and keep a thermometer, blood pressure monitor and oximeter at home.
Testing is key
Experts said that even with the promising prospects of COVID vaccinations, it will take some time for vaccines to be delivered to the general population.
The surge of the more transmissible Delta variant has made testing more vital, even among vaccinated people. Testing, tracking, tracing and isolating quickly, massively and smartly are all needed to prevent future rebounds of infections following social distancing measures.
Dr. Nguyễn Đức Thái, a Vietnamese-American and co-founder of TransMed-VN forum, said that Việt Nam has conducted three main kinds of testing. The first is an antibody or serology test, a blood test that looks for signs of a previous infection to help understand the pervasiveness of the disease in communities.
The second is a rapid antigen test, which can deliver results in less than 15 minutes, a less accurate alternative but one that is very good at identifying when people are infectious. The third is the more accurate PCR tests, which requires a laboratory, according to Thái.
With the delta variant surging throughout the world, more testing is paramount.
Dr Thái said the city could use a highly sensitive and cost-effective test that uses artificial intelligence to detect pathogens (called AIMS RT-PCR technology) as recommended by Dr. Hồ Hữu Thọ of the Hà Nội Military Medical Academy.
The test, which can take a pooling sample of 100, is very accurate and suitable for large-scale testing or city-wide testing, he noted.
Japanese-Vietnamese Trần Ngọc Phúc, president of the Japanese medical equipment firm Metran, and chairman of the Association of Vietnamese in Japan, said the city should buy low-cost ventilators that are easy to use so that doctors at all levels can safely use them.
The city should also buy more CPAP machines, oxygen generators and saturation oximeters to meet the needs of patients treated at home to reduce the transfer of patients to hospitals, he added.
An online monitoring system for patients with unstable medical conditions could be used, and mobile medical teams should be set up to better diagnose and take care of patients at home.
Dr. Võ Toàn Trung, Vietnamese-French, said the city needed to prepare for a worst-case scenario, especially if the rate of positive cases exceeds the capacity of the healthcare system.
Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the People's Committee, said the city would consider all of the recommendations and expressed gratitude to overseas Vietnamese, including those at home and abroad, for providing medical equipment and essential items.
After successfully containing the virus in 2020 and early this year, the country now faces a serious outbreak, with HCM City and southern provinces accounting for most new infections. HCM City, the largest hotspot, has recorded more than 137,000 cases since the beginning of the fourth wave in late April.
Việt Nam recorded 9,667 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday and a further 326 people died of COVID. The new cases take the total number of infections to 246,568 and the total number of deaths to 4,813.
The country has administered 12,098,821 doses of vaccines. A total of 1,092,700 people have received two doses.
The webinar was organised by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Overseas Vietnamese in HCM City.
Livestream show highlights doctors and volunteers
A livestream show produced by T Production and its partners called Thành Phố 18h (HCM City-18pm) highlights stories from doctors, nurses and artists who have been working together to boost morale and help in the battle against the COVID-19 virus, with the city deep in lockdown.
Stories by city celebrities who have helped the city’s medical staff test people in blockaded areas are also featured.
Quỳnh Hoa, the show's producer, said that more than 130 fashion models and artists in different fields have been participating in humanitarian works to lessen the hardship of citizens in isolated areas.
They have volunteered to work as coordinators for the vaccination programme, go shopping for quarantined people, and visit locked-down areas to take samples for COVID-19 testing.
"Our show, Thành Phố 18h, includes three topics: Connecting & Sharing, The Frontline and The Power of Positive Energy."
"Through our show, we want to encourage people and inspire love, unity, mercy, energy and belief in the COVID-19 fight," she said.
Thành Phố 18h includes live performances by famous singers and musicians. The artists perform songs in praise of love and life.
The first episode of Thành Phố 18h released on Tuesday attracted several hundred thousand viewers. It highlighted performances by pop star Cẩm Vân and young singer Trúc Nhân.
"Appearing in Thành Phố 18h is a chance for me to help people during the pandemic," said singer Trúc Nhân.
Nhân performed Huế-Sài Gòn-Hà Nội, a famous song about love and unity released in 1960 by late songwriter-musican Trịnh Công Sơn.
"Many fans have sent comments to encourage the show's artists and myself in particular."
The second episode of Thành Phố 18h is scheduled for August 16. It will be released every Monday and Saturday on fanpages of the Việt Nam Young People's Association, HCM City Youth Union and Yeah1 TV, Yeah1 Music.
Covid-19-infected man prosecuted for fleeing from medical facility
A Covid-19-infected man has been prosecuted for absconding while being treated at a medical facility in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.In July, Luu Van Son tested positive for Covid-19 after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 patient. He was then taken to a local field hospital for treatment. On July 31, he escaped from the treatment area.
He then got a ride from a man to Lien Bao Ward in Vinh Yen City.
However, just some hours later, the police caught him and brought him back to the hospital for treatment.
According to the police, Son's violation cost around VND290 million (USD12,608) in time and resources to contact tracing activities.
Hospitals asked to set aside at least 40% of beds for Covid-19 patients
The Ministry of Health today, August 12, wrote to all public and private hospitals, asking them to set aside a minimum of 40% of their beds for Covid-19 patients.
The ministry mobilized all public and private hospitals to receive and treat Covid-19 patients and appointed some hospitals as Covid-19 treatment centers, Tuoi Tre Online newspaper reported.
Hospitals were asked to strictly comply with measures to reduce the number of Covid-19 deaths.
The ministry also asked hospitals to maintain normal medical checkup and treatment services and not to refuse emergency cases and critical patients. Violators will face heavy sanctions.
In addition, the Ministry of Health asked hospitals to treat patients with follow-up appointments and patients in areas under lockdown or social distancing. Those suffering from chronic diseases will receive medicines for one to three months.
To prevent the coronavirus transmission inside hospitals, the ministry asked hospitals to check those going to and from hospitals and conduct random tests for medical workers, patients and caregivers, especially those in the checkup, emergency and recuperation departments.
Hospitals must have temporary quarantine areas.
Earlier, the Ministry of Health had directed hospitals not to refuse patients. However, in many localities, especially HCMC, many patients were not admitted to hospitals and their condition worsened.
Health Ministry prioritizes Remdesivir for elderly, obese Covid-19 patients
The Ministry of Health has allowed hospitals and medical facilities to use the Covid-19 antiviral Remdesivir for Covid-19 inpatients, with priority given to those with underlying medical conditions, suffering from obesity (BMI > 25) and aged over 65.
The medical facilities can use Remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients only if they get permission from the patients or their family. The use of Remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment must follow the "Guidance on Using Remdesivir for Covid-19 Treatment" that was issued by the Ministry of Health on August 12.
The guidance was compiled based on the instructions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency.
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug developed by U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences. It has been approved for Covid-19 treatment in around 50 countries and territories such as the United States, Australia, Japan and India.
The drug is used for treating Covid-19 patients with symptoms. It is given by injection into a vein usually once daily for five to 10 days.
According to FDA, the possible side effects of using Remdesivir include increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver injury and allergic reactions, which may include changes in blood pressure and heart rate, low blood oxygen level, fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling, rash, nausea, sweating or shivering.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son stressed several times that Remdesivir must be prescribed by doctors and people should not buy it for Covid-19 treatment at home.
Bac Ninh reopens some non-essential services as Covid-19 situation eases
The northern province of Bac Ninh has allowed some non-essential services to resume operations starting 6 a.m. today, August 13, as the Covid-19 outbreak in the province has been brought under control, with no new domestic infections reported over the past 20 days, said a local official.
According to Ngo Van Luyen, deputy head of the provincial government's Office, the services subject to the resumption must not remain open after 9 p.m.
Specifically, hair salons can reopen but have to avoid large gatherings of over five people, while outdoor sports activities must ban gatherings of more than 10 and those participating have to keep a safe physical distance of at least two meters from each other. Coach stations and bus services have also been permitted to resume operations.
Besides, breakfast venues are required to install transparent plastic dividers between tables, ensure people keep a distance of at least one meter from each other and serve no more than 10 guests at the same time. Meanwhile, other eateries and coffee shops are allowed to offer take-away services only.
The services allowed to reopen must strictly follow anti-virus measures.
The provincial government asked departments, agencies and local authorities to monitor the compliance of these businesses with Covid-19 safety measures and tackle violators.
Data from the provincial Health Department showed that Bac Ninh has reported 1,727 coronavirus cases since May 5.
As of yesterday afternoon, 1,675 coronavirus patients in the province had been declared free of the disease, while four others are under treatment.
HCM City needs more medical personnel at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients
More medical personnel from other provinces are being deployed in HCM City, Việt Nam's COVID-19 epicentre, as the burden on hospitals worsens and as the city considers paying recovered COVID-19 patients, who have high natural immunity, to help with prevention and control activities.
The city is in need of 12,000 more personnel, including doctors and nurses who can treat symptomatic patients with underlying medical conditions from the second to fifth levels. Medical staff skilled in resuscitation and intensive care are especially needed.
Many hospitals are struggling to care for more COVID-19 patients. The COVID-19 Resuscitation Hospital set up in Thủ Đức City, which has admitted over 1,000 severely and critically ill COVID-19 patients, is in dire need of more medical personnel since the number of patients admitted has exceeded its capacity.
Trần Thanh Linh, deputy head of Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s intensive care unit and deputy director of COVID-19 Resuscitation Hospital, said the latter was designed to have 500 beds for its first phase, but currently it is already treating around 600 patients.
It has been receiving personnel from Chợ Rẫy Hospital and is working on improving its treatment capacity to 700 hospital beds.
While medical equipment there is still able to satisfy demand, more machinery and medicines will be needed in the future, he said.
Sixteen field hospitals have been established to treat the rising number of F0 (infected) cases. The Phú Nhuận COVID-19 No. 1 Field Hospital, for example, was put into service on August 12 in Phú Nhuận District.
The hospital treats second and third-level patients according to the city's five-level admission and treatment plan for COVID-19 patients. The patients at the hospital include symptomatic cases with underlying medical conditions who may become moderately or severely ill.
With 350 beds, including 60 beds for resuscitation, and a wide variety of medical equipment, it aims to reduce the number of worsening F0 cases who need to be transferred to hospitals for specialised medical intervention, alleviating stress on such facilities.
The field hospital currently has 65 medical staff treating more than 20 patients.
Dr. Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy director of HCM City's Department of Health, said that city districts must be proactive in finding, admitting and monitoring local F0 cases.
According to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control, the city has nearly 58,000 medical staff and 20,000 personnel involved in the fight against COVID-19.
More than 4,000 personnel are from central hospitals and other hospitals in provinces and cities, and there are tens of thousands of volunteers.
Help from recovered patients
Chairman of HCM City People's Committee Nguyễn Thành Phong has asked the Health Department to suggest payment policies for recovered COVID-19 patients who could help the city in COVID prevention and control activities.
The city has a total of 65,135 COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from hospitals since January.
Vice Director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases Nguyễn Trung Cấp told Vietnam News Agency that most people who have recovered from COVID-19 are likely to be immune for several months afterwards. One study concluded that immune responses from past infections reduced the risk of reinfection by 83 per cent for at least five months.
However, even though the COVID-19 reinfection rate is low, it is still possible, so people recovering from COVID-19 must take preventive measures and get vaccinated as soon as possible, Cấp said.
Phong has also asked city departments to conduct a survey on human resources and medicine at designated hospitals and, based on the results, make decisions about the best use of staff, medicine and transfer of COVID-19 patients.
The city also asked the Ministry of National Defence and the Government's special task force to add more doctors and nurses to field hospitals and COVID-19 treatment hospitals, and increase contact tracing, testing, and the number of vaccination sites.
Hanoi to mobilise more taxis for Covid-19 fight
The Transport Department of Hanoi has asked three local taxi companies to prepare to join in the anti Covid-19 activities in the area.
The Transport Department of Hanoi has asked three local taxi companies to prepare to join in the anti Covid-19 activities in the area.
The department asked Mai Linh Taxi Company, G7 Taxi Company, and Taxi Group to set aside between 100-120 vehicles to support the virus fighting activities in Hanoi.
According to the department, the Covid-19 situation in Hanoi is still complicated with lots of infections found in the community. And as the social distancing rules have continued, there will be a shortage of.vehicle for transportation in case there are more patients.
“We will use the five-seated taxis to transport patients with no or mild symptoms while seven-seated and nine-seated cars will be used for serious patients who cannot walk,” the department said.
Since the social distancing rules were imposed three weeks ago, 200 taxis of Mai Linh Company have been mobilised to transport patients and people of the anti-Covid-19 teams while all taxi and public bus services have been suspended.
More donations offered to COVID-19 fight
Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Le Tien Chau on August 13 received an additional sum of nearly US$529,000, donated by various units in support of the nation's COVID-19 anti-pandemic efforts.
The donations included VND10 billion (US$440,000) from the CEO Group for the national COVID-19 vaccine fund, and US$50,000 from the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association and VND882 million (nearly US$39,000) from the General Department of Taxation for the COVID-19 fight.
Since May 1, 2021, more than VND7 trillion (US$307.8 million) has been donated or registered to be donated to the pandemic battle through the VFF system from central to local levels, including VND794.8 billion through the VFF Central Committee and over VND6.22 trillion through the VFF Committees of cities and provinces.
Speaking at the event on Friday, Chau thanked the three units for their donations, affirming that the money will be allocated in a public, transparent and lawful manner, contributing to promptly lifting the country out of its current period of difficulty.
On the same day, at its truck and bus showroom in Phu Tho Province, the Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) presented nine specialised cars in service of mobile vaccination to the Health Departments of Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Phuc, Ha Giang, Son La, Lai Chau and Dien Bien Provinces.
On August 13, the VFF Committee of Hanoi held a ceremony to receive more than 70 tonnes of goods, including rice and necessities, from the VFF Committee of Hoa Binh Province, to support the capital's COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.
Vice Chairman of the Quang Tri Provincial People's Committee Hoang Nam said that from August 13, the province began to disburse a projected amount of VND15 billion (US$660,000) to support around 15,000 Quang Tri workers in southern cities and provinces facing difficulties due to the impact of the pandemic, with VND1 million for each.
The central coastal city of Da Nang has completed the payment of more than VND29 billion in allowances for 53,593 revolutionary contributors, beneficiaries of social protection policies, poor and near-poor people in the city affected by COVID-19.
Vietnamese community in South Africa donate face masks to Namibia and Botswana
Continuing the series of practical activities to help countries in southern Africa with their COVID-19 fight, the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa on August 13 handed over 100,000 face masks to the representative agencies of Namibia and Botswana in Pretoria in service of their domestic anti-pandemic efforts.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Hoang Van Loi said the face masks were donated by the Vietnamese community in South Africa to help the people of the two nations push back the disease.
Sharing with the representatives of Namibia and Botswana about the pandemic situation in Vietnam, Loi said that the Vietnamese Government considers COVID-19 prevention and control its most important and urgent task at present, affirming that Vietnam always puts the health and life of its people first and foremost.
On this occasion, the ambassador asked about the COVID-19 situation in Namibia and Botswana, sharing Vietnam's anti-pandemic experience with the two nations and discussing cooperation opportunities in other potential areas.
For his part, Namibian Ambassador to South Africa Veiccoh K. Nghiwete expressed his appreciation for the noble gesture of the Vietnamese people, emphasising that the donation of face masks represents the friendship, brotherhood and solidarity between the two countries' peoples.
Chargé d’Affaires of the Botswana Embassy Gaogane Tiny Mothobi also extended his deep gratitude to the Vietnamese people, saying the face masks would soon be sent home for effective use in the context of the COVID-19 complexity in the African countries.
Previously, the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa organised the hand-over of face masks to Eswatini's representative agency. About 100,000 face masks donated by the Vietnamese community are expected to be handed over to Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the time ahead, 50,000 for each.
In South Africa, the Vietnamese Embassy has also organised delegations to visit and donate face masks to schools in Pretoria. The mask-donating programme will continue to be implemented for some schools and residential communities in other localities in South Africa in the near future.
Together with the donation of over one million face masks to support the COVID-19 fight in African countries, the Vietnamese Embassy in Pretoria has mobilised donations from Vietnamese representative agencies and communities in South Africa to support the national COVID-19 prevention and control fund at home.
Vaccination on pregnant women: benefit outweighs risks
Prof. Dr. Vuong Thi Ngoc Lan, head of the Maternity of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City said that countries around the world now recommend pregnant women should be given priority to vaccinate to protect the health of both mothers, fetuses, and the community, especially in areas where the epidemic is spreading rapidly.
The Ministry of Health has just issued a guidance the screening before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, which adds that pregnant women over 13 weeks old can receive the Covid-19 vaccine at a licensed medical facility providing obstetric care. This guidance is widely accepted and supported. However, many pregnant women still wonder about the impact of the Covid-19 vaccine on the fetus after vaccination.
A 36-year-old pregnant Dinh Thi Hang in Ho Chi Minh City's District 8 has rarely gone out during her pregnancy. Recently, when she heard that the Ministry of Health allowed pregnant women over 13 weeks old to be vaccinated, Hang was very happy and planned to register for the vaccine. However, after researching, she worried that the vaccine would have bad effects on the pregnancy and the baby. Like Ms. Hang, pregnant Nguyen Yen Ngoc in District 4 who is 8 months pregnant is also quite confused about whether she should be vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.
Last but not least, women with Covid-19 in pregnancy will develop preeclampsia, premature birth; therefore, pregnant women should receive good consultations of benefits and risk of vaccination to decide themselves.
Associate Professor Dr. Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, Director of Hung Vuong Hospital, said that since the epidemic broke out widely, the number of pregnant women with Covid-19 began to increase rapidly. Under the direction of the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City, Hung Vuong Hospital has deployed a Covid-19 treatment unit for pregnant women. After being put into operation, approximately 180-200 pregnant women with Covid-19 have been transferred to treatment continuously.
According to the current vaccination guidelines of the Ministry of Health, all Covid-19 vaccines in Vietnam can be vaccinated for pregnant women, except for the Sputnik V vaccine. Regarding the impact of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Dr. Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, many studies show that, when pregnant women receive the Covid-19 vaccine, they will create antibodies, antibodies pass through the umbilical cord blood, thereby the baby also receives Covid-19 antibodies.
Associate Professor Dr. Vuong Thi Ngoc Lan said that studies around the world show that pregnant women can receive vaccines like normal people and have not recorded the risk of abnormal problems for women and their babies. A study on over 30,000 pregnant women by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US showed that no side effects of the vaccine on pregnancy and fetus have been recorded.
However, because the Covid-19 vaccine is still quite new, it has only been put into use since December 2020 and there is still not enough data to assess its long-term safety. Therefore, pregnant women should consider the benefits and risks; they need to be examined and consulted carefully before injecting the Covid-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Lan.
Medical workers have encouraged all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant, those who live in Covid-19-hit districts, and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
Businesses donate 100 ventilators, medical equipment to HCMC to battle Covid-19
The Vietnam Fatherland Front of HCMC on August 14 received 100 ventilators from the Sovico Group and HCMC Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank) to assist the city’s fight against Covid-19.
These Carat II Pro ventilators made in Germany worth VND30 billion (US$1.3 million) is the half of 200 machines that have been donated to pandemic-hit localities in the country. After arriving in Vietnam on August 13, they have been promptly delivered to hospitals to treat patients with Covid-19, said General Director of Sovico Group Pham Quoc Thanh.
In addition, the Sovico Group, Vietjet Air and HDBank also presented medical equipment worth hundreds of billion VND to the city.
In the event of receiving, the Vietnam Fatherland Front of HCMC and the Mobilization Board of the HCMC’s Covid-19 control fund handed over 100 ventilators to Cho Ray Hospital, HCMC’s University Hospital of Medicine and Pharmacy, Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital, Military Hospital 175, Buu Dien (Postal) General Hospital, the Intensive Care Unit of Hue Central Hospital, the 115 People’s Hospital.
Speaking at the event, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front of HCMC To Thi Bich Chau extended her heartfelt thanks to the enterprises for gifting medical supplies to assist the frontline healthcare workers to care for Covid-19 patients.
As of now, the Vietnam Fatherland Front of the city has received donations valued more than VND3, 000 billion (US$131.4 million), including cash gifts of VND800 billion (US$35 million) and medical equipment worth VND1, 750 billion (US$76.6 million).
200 Germany-made ventilators arrive in HCM City
A flight of Vietjet Air transporting 200 ventilators from Germany landed in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport on August 13 to help hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ventilators are part of assistance provided by Sovico Group, HD Bank and budget carrier Vietjet Air to the country's coronavirus response.
Half of the ventilators were delivered to hospitals in HCM City the following day while the rest are to soon depart for medical establishments in Hanoi, Dong Nai and Kien Giang.
The three companies have donated hundreds of billions of VND for the purchase of ambulances, ventilators, test kits and other medical supplies for the fight against the pandemic.
Vietjet Air has cooperated with the Ministry of Health to carry more than 3,000 healthcare workers, tonnes of medical supplies and millions of vaccine doses to COVID-19 hotspots across the country.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
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