|Photo: VN Express|
No new case in the morning
Eleven new COVID-19 cases, all imported, were recorded in Vietnam in the 12 hours to 6 pm on April 6, the Ministry of Health said. Among the new patients, there are nine males and two females. They are one Indian man, and 10 Vietnamese. They have been quarantined upon their arrival in the country.
Meanwhile, on the morning of April 7, no new cases were found, according to the Ministry of Health.
|Photo: VN Express|
Ten prioritized groups to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations
The Ministry of Health has asked localities nationwide to promptly compile a list of individuals prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations as guided by the Government.
The ten prioritized groups in the free vaccination program include frontline medical staff, army, and public security officers, diplomatic officials and their families who are about to be sent abroad, diplomats and members of UN bodies in Vietnam, teachers, aviation and transport staff, people suffering chronic diseases, people above 65 years of age, those living in pandemic-hit areas, poor people, and social policy beneficiaries.
Vietnam has so far given COVID-19 vaccine shots to nearly 53,000 people in 19 cities and provinces around the country. Many health care facilities providing COVID-19 treatment have finished their vaccinations. On April 1, the first 811,200 doses of the vaccine supplied by the COVAX Facility through UNICEF arrived in Hanoi. COVAX has pledged to give Vietnam over 4.17 million doses by the end of May. Vietnam aims to give COVID-19 shots to 20 percent of its population by the end of this year.
Debt classification policy extended to aid customers impacted by pandemic
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has decided to extend a policy allowing commercial banks to keep debt classifications for COVID-19 affected borrowers unchanged to help customers access bank loans. Previously, many commercial banks were worried if debt classifications were not extended, bad debts would increase sharply. However, commercial banks this year will not be permitted to add profits gained from the loans to their total revenue, according to the new circular.
To qualify for maintaining the debt classifications, the debts must arise from lending and financial leasing activities with the obligation to repay the principals and/or interest from January 23, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Besides, borrowers must be unable to pay the debts and/or interest in time because of decreases in revenues and incomes caused by the impacts of the pandemic.
Despite the extension of the debt classifications, the new circular states commercial banks must set aside money for potentially unrecoverable COVID-19 affected loans within three years, starting from 2021. The central bank last year allowed commercial banks to avoid making the provisions in 2020 to support banks and borrowers affected by the pandemic.
Under the new circular, the ratio of the provisions will increase gradually, from 30 percent of COVID-19-affected loans by the end of 2021 to 60 percent by the end of 2022 and 100 percent by the end of 2023. To control the risk of bad loans, banking expert Nguyen Tri Hieu recommended besides recovering bad loans, banks must set aside provisions for bad and risky loans. Some banks have already increased provisions for risky loans.
So far, Vietnam has reported 2,648 cases of COVID-19. Of the 1,603 domestic infections, 910 cases have been detected since January 27, when the latest outbreak began.
On April 6, six patients were discharged from the hospital, raising the number of recoveries to 2,422, while the fatalities are still kept at 35. Seventeen of those still undergoing treatment have tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, nine others twice, and 16 thrice, according to the ministry’s Department of Medical Service Administration.
There are 36,701 people having close contact with confirmed cases or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present.
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