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Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (Jan 14): Vietnam exports 1.37 billion medical masks in 2020

Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (Jan 14): Vietnam exports 1.37 billion medical masks in 2020
One new COVID-19 case brings country’s tally to 1,521. (Photo: EAF)

One new COVID-19 case brings country’s tally to 1,521

One new imported COVID-19 case was recorded in last 24 hours, raising the infection tally in the country so far to 1,521, said the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The new patient is a 27-year-old Vietnamese woman returning home via the Moc Bai International Border Gate in the southern province of Tay Ninh on January 8. She has been quarantined upon arrival.

Of the 1,521 coronavirus cases, 693 are domestic infections. Eight patients were given the all-clear on January 13, raising the total recoveries to 1,369 while the number of fatalities is still kept at 35. Eleven of those still under treatment have tested negative for the coronavirus SAR-CoV-2 once, 13 others twice, and 11 thrice, according to the treatment sub-committee. There are 17,555 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit areas in quarantine at present.

Vietnam exports 1.37 billion medical masks in 2020. (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong)

Vietnam exports 1.37 billion medical masks in 2020

Domestic firms shipped over 1.37 billion medical face masks of various types abroad throughout 2020, according to statics compiled by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

December alone witnessed over 30 major local businesses ship medical face masks overseas, with the total export volume reaching approximately 71 million units, representing a sharp decline of 59% compared to figures from November.

The volume of export activities returned to normal after May 2020, following a resolution implemented by the Government regarding licensing for the export of medical face masks, with items being granted permission to be exported without facing any caps on export quantity.

After these changes came into effect, the country exported more than 181 million and 236 million medical masks in May and June, respectively. Despite this, the export volume of medical masks during July and August endured a downward trajectory caused by the second wave of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the nation.

PM request reviewing COVID-19 prevention measures, scenarios. (Photo: Hanoimoi)

PM request reviewing COVID-19 prevention measures, scenarios

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered ministries, sectors and localities to thoroughly review COVID-19 prevention and control measures and scenarios ahead of the 13th National Party Congress scheduled to take place from January 25 to February 2.

Amid complicated developments of the pandemic with the appearance of new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, PM Phuc asked Ministers, Chairpersons of local People’s Committees and heads of the steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control to intensify disease prevention measures as directed by the Politburo and Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, the Government, the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

In a dispatch dated January 13, he requested assigning other officials to handle the work in replace of members of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control who will participate in the Congress. The head and members of the Committee who will attend the Congress have to hand over their tasks related to disease prevention and control to the assigned people, he asked.

IMF hails Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention efforts. (Photo: Brookings)

IMF hails Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention efforts

Vietnam has shown that there is indeed an effective way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, even in the absence of a vaccine that can allow an economy to recover, according to Helge Berger, Assistant Director of the Asia & Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a post in The Print, an Indian online newspaper, he described local restrictions and rapid testing and tracing as some of the key measures adopted in Vietnam in response to the outbreak. He stressed that Vietnam’s experience in prevention can be replicated in low-income countries facing pressure in acquiring sufficient doses of vaccine. Vaccines are, however, what will be needed to ensure all economies return to normal, he added.

Meanwhile, Radio France Internationale (RFI), a French public radio service, said that Vietnam is one of only a few Asian countries to effectively control the pandemic. Tracing the close contacts of COVID-19 patients contributed greatly to its success, with very few cases of community transmission being recorded. Most infections in the country are imported. As the pandemic was brought under control quickly and social distancing measures were only in place for three months, Vietnam’s economy escaped recession in 2020 and was one of the few to post growth, at 2.9 percent, RFI said.

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