Vietnam News Today (September 15): HCM City Pilots 'Covid Green Cards' to Control Residents’ Travel

Vietnam News Today (September 15): Vietnam's Covid infection tally rises by 10,496; Vietnam to have at least one homegrown Covid-19 vaccine by year-end; HCM City pilots 'Covid green cards' to control residents’ travel; HCMC coastal district plans to reopen tourism in late September.
September 15, 2021 | 00:46

Vietnam News Today (September 15) notable headlines

Vietnam's Covid infection tally rises by 10,496

Vietnam to have at least one homegrown Covid-19 vaccine by year-end

HCM City pilots 'Covid green cards' to control residents’ travel

HCMC coastal district plans to reopen tourism in late September

Vietnam to impose zero percent tax on 31 commodities imported from Cambodia

Vietnam administers over 30 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

First HCM City district to enter “new normal” from September 15

Post-pandemic economic recovery plans in the pipeline

Hanoi street market left deserted as Mid-Autumn Festival draws near

A man scans a QR code at a Covid-19 checkpoint to enter Hanoi, September 14, 2021. Photo: VnExpress
A man scans a QR code at a Covid-19 checkpoint to enter Hanoi, September 14, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

Vietnam's Covid infection tally rises by 10,496

The Health Ministry confirmed 10,496 new local Covid-19 patients in 33 cities and provinces on Tuesday, down 672 against Monday's tally.

Among the new patients, Ho Chi Minh City recorded 6,312 cases, followed by its neighboring provinces of Binh Duong (2,178), Dong Nai (777), and Long An (379).

The Health Ministry announced another 276 Covid-19 fatalities Tuesday in 11 localities, including 199 in HCMC and 41 in Binh Duong.

Since the new wave emerged in late April, Vietnam has reported 630,662 community infections in 62 of its 63 cities and provinces, with only the northern Cao Bang Province being Covid free. Of the patients, 15,901 have died.

HCMC is the epicenter of the wave with 309,787 cases, followed by Binh Duong with 162,847.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Vietnam has recorded 635,055 infections to rank 47th out of 222 countries and territories. It had the world’s 15th largest population last year, cited VnExpress.

In per capita terms, it ranks 156th, with 6,455 cases per million people.

The number of recovered patients on Tuesday was 12,683, raising the total recoveries to 398,461.

Of those in hospitals, less than 6,000 are severe cases.

The nation of 96 million has vaccinated more than 24.72 million against the new coronavirus, with more than 5.62 million having two doses.

Vietnam to have at least one homegrown Covid-19 vaccine by year-end

By the end of this year Vietnam will have at least one locally-produced Covid-19 vaccine which will be licensed and inoculated for local people from the start of early 2022, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan said on September 14 that Nano Covax, one of the two homegrown vaccines against Covid-19, is entering the third phase of its human clinical trials.

The phase 3a has been completed and its results have been submitted to the MoH for appraisals. Initial results show the vaccine fully meets all safety and immunogenicity requirements, reported VOV.

A volunteer gets the first dose of Nano Covax in the second-phase human trials at the Hanoi-based Vietnam Military Medical University. Photo: VOV
A volunteer gets the first dose of Nano Covax in the second-phase human trials at the Hanoi-based Vietnam Military Medical University. Photo: VOV

However, the MoH’s Advisory Council for the Registration of Circulation of Drugs and Medicinal Ingredients did not approve the results during a meeting two weeks ago, saying they needed more scientific data to show the vaccine proves effective against mutated strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus like Delta, Alpha and others.

Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the developer of the virus, and its research team on September 14 submitted additional data in their report to the council. Health experts are scheduled to meet on September 15 to evaluate the report.

The MoH will appraise assessment reports of phase 3a and 3b before coming to a conclusion, said Dr. Nguyen Ngo Quang, deputy head of the Science-Technology and Training Department under the MoH.

Nanogen had previously submitted a document to the Prime Minister and the MoH requesting for a permission to license Nano Covax for emergency use in Vietnam. However, MoH health experts said they need more time and more scientific data to prove the vaccine is completely safe and effective against the virus.

Vietnam is the first country in Southeast Asia that has conducted the third phase of human trials of a homegrown Covid-19 vaccine.

Another homegrown vaccine Covivac produced by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology is entering the second phase of its human clinical trials.

Vietnam is also testing ARCT-154, a vaccine based on Arcturus’ STARR mRNA technology developed by Arcturus Therapeutics medicines biotechnology company of the US, to see if it is effective against the mutated strain of the Delta variant.

HCM City pilots 'Covid green cards' to control residents’ travel

Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest Covid-19 hotspot, piloted “Covid-19 green cards” on September 14 in District 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio districts, along with in industrial and export processing zones and high-tech areas to control local people’s travel.

People who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days, or those who have recovered from Covid-19 for less than six months, will subsequently be given green cards. “Covid-19 green cards” are issued in the form of a quick respond (QR) code on the "Y te HCM" application for smartphones, according to VOV.

Vietnam News Today (September 15): HCM City Pilots 'Covid Green Cards' to Control Residents’ Travel
“Covid-19 green cards” are issued in the form of a quick respond (QR) code on the "Y te HCM" application for smartphones. Photo: VOV

Each resident will be given a QR code on their smartphone app. For people who do not use smartphones, authorities will instead issue a code via a text message or a physical card printed with a QR code.

The main information associated with the personal QR code will include a medical declaration, a history of vaccination against the virus, including information about both the first dose and the second dose, Covid-19 test results, and health monitoring information for F0 cases who are isolating at home.

Residents are required to make medical declarations on their mobile phone app or access https://khaibaoyte.tphcm.gov.vn/ before going out.

Local people who have “Covid-19 green cards” will be required to present QR codes at checkpoints, workplaces, supermarkets, convenience stores, and food outlets.

As of September 13 Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 303,995 positive Covid-19 patients, thereby making it the largest Covid-19 hotspot nationwide.

The southern city will continue to conduct strict social distancing measures until September 30, with the implementation of this policy being part of local authorities’ efforts to restore the economy and bring the city back to a new normal the near future.

HCMC coastal district plans to reopen tourism in late September

Can Gio, the only coastal district in HCMC, plans to trial a tour with pandemic restrictions on Sept. 30 as part of a city-wide economic reopening.

Can Gio is one of the three localities in Ho Chi Ming City to have brought the outbreak under control and is preparing to revive economic activities starting Sept. 15, besides Districts 7 and Cu Chi.

From Sept. 16 to Oct. 31, the district would consider reopening outdoor entertainment and dining activities on a small scale of less than 20 people based on recommendations of the Health Ministry.

The district also plans to open a tour that enables tourists to only visit a limited area. The first tour is scheduled for Sept. 30, Le Minh Dung, Party Secretary of Can Gio District said.

Can Gio coastal district of HCMC is seen from above, July 2020. Photo: VnExpress
Can Gio coastal district of HCMC is seen from above, July 2020. Photo: VnExpress

Dung did not elaborate on the plan.

Regarding tourism reopening in Can Gio, HCMC Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen said Can Gio should ensure it remains a safe tourist destination since having contained the virus, cited VnExpress.

He said people in HCMC have suffered over three months of social distancing measures at varying levels so they want to travel to a nearby destination to enjoy fresh air and cuisine and return home at the end of the day.

Nen added the city would invite frontline workers to join this tour after several months of fighting the pandemic.

Can Gio, famous for fresh seafood and eco-tourist sites, is home to Can Gio Mangrove Forest, a biological reserve recognized by UNESCO. The district with an area of over 71,300 hectares boasts many traditional craft villages.

HCMC is the epicenter of the fourth Covid-19 wave to hit the country, recording more than 298,000 cases and almost 12,000 deaths since late April.

Since June, the city suspended all tourism activities to contain the spread of the virus.

Vietnam to impose zero percent tax on 31 commodities imported from Cambodia

Vietnam will impose a zero percent tax rate on 31 commodities imported from Cambodia such as live poultry, poultry meat and by-products, lemons and rice.

The list also includes finished pork products and unprocessed tobacco leaves, among others, according to a decree issued by the Vietnamese Government on September 14, reported VNA.

Vietnam will impose a zero percent tax rate on 31 commodities imported from Cambodia such as live poultry, poultry meat and by-products, lemons and rice (Illustrative photo: VNA)
Vietnam will impose a zero percent tax rate on 31 commodities imported from Cambodia such as live poultry, poultry meat and by-products, lemons and rice. Photo: VNA

Decree No. 83/2021/ND-CP stipulating special preferential import tariffs aims to implement an agreement on boosting bilateral trade between Vietnam and Cambodia in 2021-2022.

The document sets quotas for rice with 300,000 tonnes and unprocessed tobacco leaves, 3,000 tonnes each year.

To enjoy the tariff, the products must have certificates of origin (C/O) form S granted by Cambodia's authorized agencies and undergo customs procedures at border gates as mentioned in Appendix III attached in the decree.

The document will take effect from September 13, 2021 to December 31, 2022.

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