COVID-19 in Vietnam, update on 13th July 2020

Over the weekend, 3 new COVID-19 cases were spotted among overseas arrivals entering Vietnam, raising the total patient count in the country to 372. But as all the new patients quarantined upon entry, they pose no threat to public health.

With the domestic COVID-19 situation under control, Vietnam is taking steps to lend a helping hand to international friends. Last Friday, Vingroup, a major Vietnamese corporation, gifted 1,000 ventilators to Singapore, Russia, and Ukraine to assist them with COVID-19 treatment.

3 new cases over the weekend

3 new imported COVID-19 cases were reported in Vietnam over the weekend
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Image credit: Vân Đồn International Airport

Yesterday evening, the Ministry of Health reported that two Vietnamese women, aged 31 and 36 respectively, were the latest COVID-19 cases in Vietnam. They returned to the Cần Thơ International Airport on Thursday on a flight repatriating Vietnamese citizens from Russia.

A day earlier, a 29-year-old Serbian man was also confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus. As an industrial expert, he was granted entry to Vietnam by the government. However, while serving the mandatory 14-day quarantine period following his arrival, the man tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials have confirmed that there is no risk of the new patients infecting others in the community, as they were all closely monitored immediately upon landing.

Patient 91 being discharged from the Chợ Rẫy Hospital in Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam
Image credit: Thời Sự VTV

Meanwhile, 9 previous patients have recovered since our last update, bringing Vietnam’s total recovery tally to 350. All of these 9 are Vietnamese citizens repatriated from other countries. The 43-year-old Scottish man known as Patient 91, who has made a miraculous recovery from the brink of death after a 110-day-long treatment, has also made it back home safely. His flight landed in London yesterday. Vietnam’s effort in saving this critical patient has earned plenty of international praise.

At the moment, Vietnam is only treating 22 COVID-19 patients, 4 among whom have had at least 1 negative test.

Illegal returnees threaten public health

A security post at Móng Cái, Quảng Ninh
Image credit: VNExpress

But despite the promising numbers, the Vietnamese government is still keeping a close eye on things as there are still threats to public health. Reports of illegal returnees who cross borders via unmonitored trails to avoid health checks are not uncommon, and there are even people who try to run away from quarantine, refusing to comply with government regulations.

The latest example of this is 4 Chinese men who escaped from a quarantine facility in the northern border province of Tây Ninh on Saturday. The men, aged between 23 and 33, were caught trespassing through the border on 5th July. They have yet to be found.

A day prior, security staff at Móng Cái City, Quảng Ninh Province spotted 33 Vietnamese citizens who were returning from China without authorization. According to reports, these people went to China to work as common laborers in February, but now had to come back due to job losses caused by the pandemic. They have been taken into a quarantine facility in the area for monitoring, and so far, none have been found positive for COVID-19.

Vingroup gifts 1,000 ventilators to other countries

Vingroup representative gifting the ventilators to Singapore
Image credit: Thanh Niên

On 10th July, Vingroup gifted a total of 1,000 units of the Vsmart VFS-510, their produced-in-house ventilators, to Russia, Ukraine, and Singapore to help these countries treat COVID-19 patients. The biggest batch of 500 devices went to Russia, while Singapore and Ukraine each received 200 and 300 units respectively.

Developed based on the PB560 ventilator model from Medtronic, which has been widely used across Vietnam since the beginning of the pandemic, the Vsmart VFS-510 was just approved for mass production by the Ministry of Health in late June following testing at several leading hospitals in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 update on 13th July 2020

From going above and beyond to save Patient 91 to lending international friends a helping hand, Vietnam has proven that it is more than willing to support anyone affected by COVID-19.

For overseas Vietnamese citizens wishing to come home to seek shelter from the pandemic, Vietnam always welcomes them with open arms, but they need to adhere to regulations set in place for everyone’s safety. The Vietnamese community has spoken up to criticize the illegal returnees’ actions, and rightfully so, as they risk endangering what the entire nation has worked so hard for months to achieve.

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Cover image adapted from Vân Đồn International Airport and Thanh Niên

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