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Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (Feb 21): No new cases, thousands signed up for testing in hotspots

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

February 21, 2021 | 10:27

Quang Ninh Province, currently Vietnam's second-biggest Covid-19 hotspot, collected almost 12,700 samples in just four days after it offered to test on-demand.

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Photo: VN Express

No new cases in the morning

On the morning of February 21, the Ministry of Health did not record positive cases of COVID-19. Total number of community infections reaches 776 in the past 25 days.

Over the past 24 hours, Hai Duong recorded 6 more cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in this province to 596 cases. Thus, from January 28 to February 21, the Ministry of Health recorded 776 cases of community infections, in 13 provinces including Hai Duong (596), Quang Ninh (60), Ho Chi Minh City (36), Hanoi. (35), Gia Lai (27), Binh Duong (6), Bac Ninh (5), Dien Bien (3), Hoa Binh (2), Hung Yen (2), Bac Giang (2), Hai Phong (1), and Ha Giang (1).

Hai Duong is still the most severely hit province. The Ministry of Health continues to put effort into this province, directed the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and Bach Mai Hospital to immediately support and establish laboratories in Hai Duong city, Chi Linh city, and Cam Giang district, further accelerate the work of sampling and testing. On the morning of February 20, the rapid response team of Cho Ray Hospital, including test technicians and medical equipment engineers, also came from Ho Chi Minh City to Hai Duong to help stamp out the pandemic.

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Photo: Vietnam Plus

OVs in Malaysia get support for COVID-19 prevention

The Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia, on behalf of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented medical equipment, antibacterial cloth face masks, and sanitizer to the Vietnamese community in the country at a ceremony in February 20. The activity is part of the programs conducted by the committee to support overseas Vietnamese in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Tran Viet Thai touched upon difficulties and challenges facing mankind amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, including the Vietnamese community in Malaysia. The committee has made every effort to support the Vietnamese community in the fight against the pandemic, helping them overcome difficulties posed by the health crisis, he stressed.

The ambassador also announced the COVID-19 vaccination program for foreigners in Malaysia, which is expected to be held in May or June. He affirmed that the embassy will serve as a bridge to support Vietnamese citizens in this program. The Vietnamese Party and State always pay attention to the Vietnamese community abroad in general and Vietnamese ex-pats living and working in Malaysia in particular, Ambassador Thai said. He also highly appreciated contributions by overseas Vietnamese to the homeland’s development.

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Photo: VN Express

Thousands signed up for testing in hotspots

Quang Ninh Province, currently Vietnam's second-biggest Covid-19 hotspot, collected almost 12,700 samples in just four days after it offered to test on-demand. All the samples so far have tested negative. The province launched the service on Tuesday to enable people to travel after the Lunar New Year holidays ended.

The seven-day Tet break, which ended that day, saw people all over the country go home to their extended family to celebrate the new year, increasing the chances of the disease’s spread. Until Quang Ninh offered it on demand, all Covid-19 testing in the country had been mandatory and free based on contact tracing as authorities sought to combat the infection. The province has authorized six healthcare facilities to offer the test at a maximum cost of VND734,000 ($32).

They are Quang Ninh Province Hospital, Bai Chay Hospital, Quang Ninh Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital, Quang Ninh Center for Disease Control, Vietnam - Sweden Hospital, and Vinmec International General Hospital. If companies and other organizations want their employees to be tested, the hospitals send personnel to collect samples.

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Photo: VN Express

Ho Chi Minh City re-tests foreign experts who entered the city

On February 20, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City asked all units to raise their highest level of vigilance with Covid-19, to actively re-test already entered foreign experts.

Doctor Nguyen Tri Dung, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC), said that in recent days, the health sector has been monitoring and evaluating Japanese experts entering Ho Chi Minh City since January 2021. According to data, nearly 700 Japanese experts have entered Ho Chi Minh City since January 1, of which more than 200 experts are working in the city.

"Since February 18, HCDC has transferred expert information to districts for verification, investigation, and sampling for prevention of COVID-19," said Dung.

This move was made after the death of "patient 2229", 54 years old, Japanese nationality, expert of Mitsui Vietnam Co., Ltd, who entered on January 17 at Tan Son Nhat airport, concentrated isolation in Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City from January 17 to 31. His test results were negative for the coronavirus 2 times, however, he was found dead after flighting to Hanoi, tested positive for COVID-19.

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Valerie Mai