14.08.2021, 08:13

Vietnam News Today August 14 HCM City to Extend Social Distancing Until September 15

Vietnam News Today (August 14): HCM City maps out two-period Covid-19 control plan; HCM City to extend social distancing until September 15; Government establishes working group on Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy; Nation receives additional 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses.



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Vietnam News Today August 14 HCM City to Extend Social Distancing Until September 15

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Vietnam News Today (August 14) notable headlines

HCM City maps out two-period Covid-19 control plan

HCM City to extend social distancing until September 15

Government establishes working group on Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy

Nation receives additional 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses

Vietnam leaves Southeast Asian teams behind in FIFA world ranking

Vietnam records 9,150 new Covid-19 cases

Stranded French students repatriated from Phu Quoc Island

Vietnam receives US$5.3 mln in medical equipment aid from Switzerland

HCMC firms seek to pilot commute-to-work model



Photo: VNN

HCM City maps out two-period Covid-19 control plan

Ho Chi Minh City, currently the nation’s largest Covid-19 hotspot, has mapped out a plan to intensify anti-pandemic measures by dividing the next month into two periods, from August 15 to August 30 and from September 1-9 in a bid to bring the pandemic under control by September.

Information regarding the plan was released by Phan Van Mai, deputy secretary of the municipal Party Committee during a press briefing on August 13.

According to Mai, the city will implement a series of “green zones” and “red zones” from now to August 30 in order to apply suitable pandemic control measures, which must be implemented carefully.

The main task will be to minimise fatalities, while simultaneously ensuring the supply of necessities for local residents and maintaining economic production in a safe manner, said Mai, cited VOV.

According to Duong Anh Duc, vice chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the pandemic is developing in a complicated manner. Indeed, there are no clear signs of a reduction in the number of new community cases, whilst the daily death toll remains high, he said. Duc added that after August 15, the daily count of new patients may continue to stay above 3,000.

With regard to vaccination progress, he said that the southern city is ramping up vaccination efforts, with the highest number of dose inoculated in a day reaching more than 318,000.

As of August 13, the southern city has used up most of its allocated vaccines, with more than 4.3 million people receiving one shot and more than 100,000 people receiving both jabs.

As of August 12, a total of 456,391 people over 65 have been vaccinated against Covid-19, representing 70% of the total 650,000 people in this group.

The official went on to suggest that the Ministry of Health continue to support the city in gaining access to vaccine supplies. Apart from Sinopharm vaccine, the city is in the process of negotiating five million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine moving forward.

HCM City to extend social distancing until September 15

HCMC plans to continue it's social distancing status until at least September 15 in response to sustained coronavirus threats, the municipal Party Committee said Friday.

Phan Van Mai, deputy secretary of the municipal Standing Party Committee, said the southern city is expected to announce its upcoming plans to fight the coronavirus in the next two days.

As the numbers of cases and even Covid-19 deaths are still high, Ho Chi Minh City would still need to contain infection sources and prevent mild coronavirus cases from turning severe to avoid deaths, he said.

"This Sunday, the city will officially announce a specific plan to fight the coronavirus. The general spirit is to continue social distancing in accordance with Directive 16," Mai said, adding that the city would try to screen Covid-19 cases and perform risk assessments throughout the city until August 30.



Ho Chi Minh City Hall during the days of social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: VnExpress

Directive 16 requires people to stay home and only go out for necessities like buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses allowed to operate.

People must keep a distance of at least two meters. No more than two people can gather together in public apart from work, schools or hospitals. The majority of public transportation will be shut down and there will be no travel between localities, reported VnExpress.

Citing the coronavirus situations in other locations around the world like the U.S. and India, where outbreaks persist even four or rive months after the peak has been reached, Mai warned that the coronavirus situation in Ho Chi Minh City can last a long time, and social distancing measures would last until September 15 or further.

Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the municipal People's Committee, said Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 3,687 new Covid-19 cases per day on average for seven days starting August 5. Around 80 percent of them were detected within quarantine zones and locked down areas, he added.

"The most pressing issue for the city is its high Covid-19 death rate with 241 deaths a day on average recently," he said.

With support from the Ministry of Health, Ho Chi Minh City has deployed new ICUs, new hospital beds and other measures to enhance its Covid-19 treatment capabilities, Duc said.

Government establishes working group on Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy

A government working group on Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, has been set up under a decision signed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.



A representative of UNICEF in Vietnam receives the batch of Covid-19 vaccine at Noi Bai International Airport. Photo: UNICEF/VNA

The team is tasked with mobilising donated vaccines, treatment drugs, and medical supplies for Covid-19 prevention and control, and technology transfer for vaccine and drug production from bilateral and multilateral partners, cited VNA.

It will also seek, support, and promote negotiations, import and reception of Covid-19 vaccines, treatment drugs, medical supplies as well as vaccine and drug production technology transfer.

The group will also submit recommendations to the Prime Minister with the aim of accessing these items as much as possible in the fastest and earliest way.

At the same time, the team will actively approach and hold dialogues, and support negotiations with partners and producers of vaccines, drugs and medical supplies, who are capable of transferring their technologies to Vietnam.

Nation receives additional 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses

A further 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine arrived on August 13 at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

This marks the eighth batch to arrive in the country following a deal agreed between AstraZeneca and local company Vietnam Vaccine Company (VNVC) to supply the nation with 30 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.



Photo: VOV

At present, the country has received 20.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, including roughly 9.2 million doses via the COVAX mechanism, over five million doses purchased through VNVC, one million Sinopharm doses, and more than 1.2 million Pfizer doses. The remaining 3.7 million vaccines have been donated by other nations, reported VOV.

The Ministry of Health stated that an additional 12 million Covid-19 doses will be delivered to the nation from various sources between August and September.

Most notably, a large batch of 4.7 million Pfizer doses will arrive in the country during the fourth quarter of the year.

With a number of signed contracts with vaccine manufacturers, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has requested that relevant units work with partners to deliver the vaccines to residents as soon as possible.

Vietnam leaves Southeast Asian teams behind in FIFA world ranking

Vietnam has stayed 92nd in the FIFA rankings' August update, while other teams in Southeast Asia have dropped from their previous positions.

Vietnam earned three more points after the last update in May. With 1,261 points, they kept their 92nd position. In the real-time ranking (only applied for FIFA tournaments), Vietnam climbed to 90th after beating Malaysia 2-1 in the second round of World Cup qualifiers on June 11. However, the team returned to 92nd position after losing 2-3 to UAE four days later.

Placed second behind Vietnam in Southeast Asia is Thailand, which fell 14 places to 120th. In the last three games of second World Cup qualification round, Thailand drew one and lost two. Other teams in the SEA region have also dropped at least one place.



Vietnam in the second World Cup qualification round in June 2021. Photo: VnExpress

In Asia, Vietnam stands in the 13th position. Japan remains on top, followed by Iran and Australia.

Japan and Australia are in the same group as Vietnam in the final round of the World Cup qualifiers. The other teams in the group are China, Saudi Arabia and Oman, according to VnExpress.

Belgium stayed atop of the world ranking, followed by Brazil and France.

Vietnam will play the first game of final World Cup qualification round against Saudi Arabia on Sept. 2 and against Australia five days later.





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Rosie Nguyen

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