Vietnam News Today (August 4): Shippers in Ho Chi Minh City Receive Covid Vaccine Jab

Vietnam News Today (August 4): Daily Covid-19 count reaches 8,377, over 50,000 recover from nCoV; Shippers in HCM city receive Covid vaccine jab; Vietnam poised to start clinical trials of third Covid-19 vaccine this month; HCMC prepares support center for the poor.
August 03, 2021 | 22:51
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Vietnam News Today (August 4) notable headlines

Daily Covid-19 count reaches 8,377, over 50,000 recover from nCoV

Shippers in HCM city receive Covid vaccine jab

Vietnam poised to start clinical trials of third Covid-19 vaccine this month

HCMC prepares support center for the poor

HCM city economy remains strong despite Covid

Vietnam, US continue to cooperate to address post-war consequences

Vietnam sees 15.5 percent rise in exports in EU market

Vietnam serves as coordinator for ASEAN-RoK relations

Industrial property segment sees rising FDI despite new Covid-19 outbreak

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Daily Covid-19 count reaches 8,377, over 50,000 recover from nCoV

The nation’s daily infection tally rose to 8,377 following the detection of a further 4,851 fresh Covid-19 cases, including 37 imported infections, the Health Ministry said in its August 3 evening update.

Among the 8,429 domestic cases logged in the day, Ho Chi Minh city continued to record the highest number at 4,171, trailed by Binh Duong (1,606), Long An (566), Dong Nai (364), Tay Ninh (298), Khanh Hoa (189), Dong Thap (141) and Can Tho (120). In addition, community infections were also detected in other 18 localities.

Of the total figure regarding local cases, 883 were detected among the local community, with the remaining being found in quarantine or in areas currently under lockdown, cited VOV.

As of the afternoon of August 3, Vietnam registered a total of 170,190 Covid-19 infections, including 2,324 imported and 167,866 domestic cases.

The number of domestic infections recorded during the latest wave of the pandemic has climbed to 166,296, with 48,057 patients having recovered from the virus.

The same day also the Treatment Subcommittee under the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control confirmed an additional 190 fatalities relating to Covid-19 across 10 provinces and cities, with 166 recorded in Ho Chi Minh city, the current biggest hotspot in the ongoing pandemic wave.

Four out of 62 provinces and cities have stayed fee from the SARS-CoV-2-virus for 14 days, while 9 other provinces have recorded no secondary infections.

The country discharged 3,866 patients on August 3, raising the number of recovered patients since the start of the pandemic to 50,851.

Shippers in HCM city receive Covid vaccine jab

Hundreds of ride-hailing drivers and e-commerce shippers received their Covid-19 vaccine shots Monday as the city steps up vaccination efforts.

HCMC continued with its Covid-19 vaccination campaign Monday, which now also includes shippers. At Pham Van Hai Primary School in District 11, hundreds were on-site from early morning to complete vaccination procedures.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

Previously, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade had requested the Department of Health to prioritize vaccinating around 62,000 shippers in Ho Chi Minh city during its social distancing period.

After having their body temperatures checked and hands sanitized, shippers filled out personal information forms prior to vaccination.

Nguyen Hai Van, an official who oversaw the vaccination session at Pham Van Hai school, said around 150 shippers were vaccinated within the day, according to VnExpress.

Half a month after he signed up for vaccination, Vo Nghe Ky, 24, got a text to inform him of his time and place for vaccination.

"These past few months when the new coronavirus wave broke out, I went out to work worried and anxious as I made contact with many people. After getting vaccinated, I would stay off work for two days to recover," he said.

HCMC is trying to speed up its Covid-19 vaccination campaign across all districts. The city expects to administer around 930,000 shots within the next two weeks.

Vietnam poised to start clinical trials of third Covid-19 vaccine this month

The Ministry of Health has recently granted approval for clinical trials to begin on the ARCT-154 Covid-19 vaccine, with medical tests set to begin on August 8 at Hanoi Medical University.

The ARCT-154 vaccine has been purchased from California-based Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc by Vingroup, the nation’s largest private conglomerate, through its subsidiary VinBioCare Biotechnology Joint Stock Company.

The vaccine has been developed based on mRNA technology for the purpose of preventing Covid-19 and targeting fast-spreading variants such as Alpha and Delta strains, with the technology being transferred by Arcturus to Vingroup, VOV reported.

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Moving forward, Vingroup will co-operate with the Health Ministry to conduct phase three of clinical trials of the mRNA-based candidate ARCT-154 in approximately 20,000 adults.

The initial two phases which took place in Singapore and the United States have ensured the vaccine's safety, according to a Vingroup representative.

Vingroup is therefore set to apply for approval for emergency use of the vaccine in the nation this year, with production set to start in early 2022. A facility owned by VinBioCare is currently under construction and is expected to produce 200 million doses annually, with the site projected to produce the first batches of the vaccine by early next year.

Arcturus Therapeutics is a leading clinical-stage messenger RNA medicines company which primarily focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of therapeutics for rare diseases and vaccines.

At present, there are three vaccines under development in the nation, with the first vaccine, Nanocovax, being developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC and already in its third and final phase of human trials.

The second vaccine, Covivac, is being developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) and is in phase two of trials.

The ARCT-154 vaccine therefore represents the country’s third Covid-19 vaccine to be clinically tested on humans.

Moreover, Russia's Sputnik vaccine will be piloted for pipe processing in the nation, with the first batch being sent to Russia for quality control. The country has secured deals for 130 million doses so far and is in the process of negotiating with other manufacturers for another 40 million doses in the near future.

The nation is making all-out efforts to get 70% of the population vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the first quarter of next year.

HCMC prepares support center for the poor

A support center with several outlets to provide necessities for poor people including factory workers will be set up in HCMC.

Nguyen Ho Hai, deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, said at a meeting Monday that the policy has been approved and the city will complete the legal and procedural steps soon for its establishment and operations.

This center will closely monitor data of people in need to guarantee there will be no shortage of essential goods and no person in difficult that will be left out, Hai said.

Many people staying in HCMC are migrants who do not have household registration in the city, Hai said, explaining why the support center was needed.

Poor people receive free meals from a restaurant in HCMC's District 1, June 2021. Photo: VnExpress
Poor people receive free meals from a restaurant in HCMC's District 1, June 2021. Photo: VnExpress

HCMC is now the epicenter of the ongoing Covid-19 wave in Vietnam and has gone through more than 60 days of social distancing measures at various levels.

The city is now imposing the most stringent social distancing rule in line with Directive 16, which requires people to stay at home and only go out for essential purposes, while the operations of all non-essential service providers are suspended. Lottery sales is banned as are food and drink takeaway services, leaving many unemployed, reported VnExpress.

The support for poor families, if done effectively, will help prevent people from leaving the city en masse for their hometowns as has happened in recent days, Hai said.

Such "spontaneous" trips to go back to their hometowns pose the risk of spreading infection, and at the same time, could cause labor shortages and disruption of the production chain once the outbreak in the city is put under control, he said.

While the city has already mobilized many sources to support those adversely affected by the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, more measures are necessary "to ensure that no one is left to starve during the social distancing period," he added.

HCM city economy remains strong despite Covid

Despite struggling to cope with a Covid-19 resurgence, Ho Chi Minh city managed to achieve positive economic growth in the first seven months of the year, according to the city Statistics Office.

Its industrial production index (IIP) increased by 2.3 percent during the period, with its four key industries, food and beverage, pharmaceutical chemistry, electronics, and mechanical engineering growing by 2.15 percent annually on average.

This is considered a bright spot in the context that the city has to cope with the fourth wave of the pandemic, while a number of its partner countries are also dealing with the pandemic, affecting imports of raw materials.

The city needs to continue to perform pandemic prevention tasks well and promote production at locations where there are no infections, the office said.

Despite being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city's economy has achieved positive growth in the year to date. Photo:nld.com.vn
Despite being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the city's economy has achieved positive growth in the year to date. Photo:nld.com.vn

Enterprises need to keep a close eye on the situation and safely and effectively carry out production, it added.

Exports by city enterprises (including crude oil) rose by 8.8 percent to over US$24.6 billion, cited VNA.

The pandemic impacted retail sales of consumer goods and services, which reduced by 1.8 percent to VND583.19 trillion (US$25.5 million), but the tourism and travel industry was affected the most.

An official from the city tax department said it was expected that collections in the coming months would be affected.

Le Duy Minh, director of the department, said to help enterprises, business households and individuals revive their business, the department had strived to help them get VAT refunds quickly.

Tax collection for the rest of the year would be a struggle and require comprehensive and effective measures, he said.

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