Covid-19 weekly update in Vietnam - Week 2 September, 2021

During the past week, in some high-case areas such as Tien Giang, the rate of new Covid-19 cases in the community dropped sharply to 70% compared to the previous week. In addition, the national average daily COVID-19 deaths dropped by 30%. This figure shows that Vietnam is gradually succeeding in disease treatment.

The rate of new Covid19 cases in the community in the past week decreased compared to the previous week in some locations with a large number of cases. For example, Da Nang decreased by 60%, and Binh Duong decreased by 27%. The average daily number of deaths across the country has also gone down by 30%.

Moreover, Ho Chi Minh City has decreased significantly in 2 criterias: the number of infected cases and the number of deaths. In particular, the number of deaths decreased by 30%. To date, the number of financed vaccines has reached almost 160 million doses. Currently, Vietnam has received more than 34 million doses of vaccine and has injected over 27 million doses. It shows that the prevention and control measures of the epidemic have had many positive results.

Regarding vaccination progress, the Ministry of Health requires 5 provinces and cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Dong Nai, and Binh Duong to complete the first dose of vaccine for people over 18 years old before September 15.

At present, besides importing more vaccines, the Ministry of Health is accelerating the import of Remdesivir (1.7 million doses) to treat patients with moderate and severe coronavirus symptoms. On the other hand, Vietnam will collaborate with a French company on phase 3 of human trials and transferring production technology to produce XAV-19 polyclonal antibodies to treat Covid19.

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan highly appreciated the results that XAV-19 had achieved after phases 1 and 2. He also affirmed that Vietnam was ready to cooperate in phase 3 and to receive technology transfer with the desire to supplement the source of medications for Covid19 treatment if the XAV-19 results are safe and effective.

Since July 24, Hanoi has gone through the 4th time of social distancing. The number of community infections and F0 gradually decreased. In the first phase, the number of cases accounted for nearly 50% of the community; the first half of the second and third phases accounted for about 30%; then from the end of the third phase to the beginning of the fourth phase, this number dropped to 8.7%. Although the number of F0 has decreased, Hanoi has not been able to filter out all F0 cases from the public.

Therefore, starting from September 6, Hanoi will divide its localities into three zones for the application of different measures to prevent and control Covid 19 :
      +) Zone 1 (Red Zone) must strictly comply with Directive 16, due to the high population density. This means that residents of Zone 1 are encouraged to stay in their homes unless for food, emergencies or work in essential enterprises.
Zone 1 includes 10 districts: Tay Ho, Ba Dinh, Cau Giay, Hoan Kiem, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung, Thanh Xuan, Ha Dong, Thanh Tri, Hoang Mai and parts of five districts: Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem, Hoai Duc, Thanh Oai, and Thuong Tin.
      +) Zone 2 (Yellow Zone) which covers five districts: Long Bien, Gia Lam, Dong Anh, Soc Son, and Me Linh, will follow Directive 15.
      +) Zone 3 (Green Zone), where also apply Directive 15, covering 10 districts Ba Vi, Son Tay, Phuc Tho, Dan Phuong, Thach That, Quoc Oai, Chuong My, My Duc, Ung Hoa, Phu Xuyen, and parts of five districts Bac Tu Liem, Nam Tu Liem, Hoai Duc, Thanh Oai, and Thuong Tin.
division of isolated zones in Hanoi
Division of zones in Hanoi - Source: VnExpress

Zone 2 and 3 will adopt loose measures to organize the restoration of production and business, gradually reopening production and business activities.  

As the capital of Vietnam, an important economic-political center of the country, Hanoi can not continue to prolong the strict lockdown. Therefore, Hanoi authorities are focusing on improving treatment capacity and taking the initiatives in case of any increases in the number of infections. The city has also assigned specific tasks to each hospital, ensuring human resources and necessary medical equipment, especially medical oxygen so that there will be no cases of lack of oxygen.

In addition, from 6 September, the city will continue to conduct mass testing for all residents of the city. Furthermore, Hanoi promotes vaccination for 18-year-old and older people, including pregnant women. To date, about 73.3% of people aged 18 and above had received their first dose of Covid19 vaccination.

The Hanoi police department also focused on strengthening the security of checkpoints to detect and confront people violating stay-at-home orders. For prioritized groups, both old and new travel permits are accepted.
policeman checking travel pass
A police officer checking new travel permits - Source: Báo Công an nhân dân

In the past week, the number of cases in HCM has changed day by day and it is still the city with the highest number of infections in the country. However, after implementing strict social distancing, the city is making positive changes in the direction of controlling the epidemic. With these efforts and results, the city is aiming to gradually loosen social isolation.

From the beginning of the second week of September, Ho Chi Minh city requested increased COVID-19 testing in the area in order to detect infections in the community and to zone high-risk places. Thereby expanding and controlling safe zones, the responsible forces of the city are trying to control the epidemic by September 15. Moreover, to ensure social security, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also asked the city to urgently provide medical and food support for the habitants.
providing goods for isolated residences
Ensuring social security and safety for the people of Ho Chi Minh City - Source: Bộ Y Tế

Based on the actual situation, the epidemic in the city is expected to have a positive change after September 15. Ho Chi Minh city proposed seven key strategies for combating COVID-19:
    1. Covering the vaccines for people living in the city
    2. Social distancing is associated with the "COVID-19 green card"
    3. Actualising of the message "Living healthy in an epidemic environment".
    4. Caring and managing F0 patients replied on the community
    5. Improving treatment efficiency, reduce COVID-19 deaths  
    6. Monitoring the epidemiology to be ready to respond to a breakdown.
    7. Restoring the health system to respond to inhabitants's healthcare needs

Because of the economic situation, the city is gradually going to restore the economy in a "safe" way, ensuring the lives and health of the people. Along with the presence of the "COVID Green Card", which is a unified and primary tool for controlling populations. According to the plan, the card will be issued from the electronic database system of individuals that fully meet the requirements of epidemic prevention. In general, Ho Chi Minh City can gradually reopen with specific conditions that are important to ensure epidemiological safety.
covid green card in vietnam
"COVID green card" accompanies Ho Chi Minh City to restore the economy - Source: Sức Khỏe Đời Sống

In addition, the city also deployed a plan to mobilize F0 patients who have recovered from the disease to participate as volunteers to help the medical team in epidemic prevention from September 10 to December 31, 2021. According to this, the Department of Information and Communications cooperates with the city's newspapers and radio stations to strengthen communication and meaning of the program for candidates to register to participate. As a result, by the end of September 10, 1700 F0 patients who had recovered from the disease volunteered to participate in COVID-19 prevention and control activities. Currently, the Department of Health has allocated 908 volunteers to the field hospitals and the F0 treatment area.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh directed the pilot project to attract international tourists to Phu Quoc from now to the end of the year, expected to welcome about  2-3 million people. This project is good news for the country's economy in general and the tourism industry in particular.

Regarding the method, Phu Quoc will be the first place to apply for the "vaccine passport" to welcome international tourists, which is very popular in many countries around the world. The international tourist market expected to be selected during this period will come from countries and territories with potential and high safety in terms of Covid-19 epidemic prevention in some areas.
Phu Quoc island ready to welcome guests
Phu Quoc is ready to welcome tourists when the epidemic situation is under control - Source: Người lao động

After Phu Quoc, Vietnam is expected to open to international visitors in Ha Long, Hoi An, Nha Trang… and to perform many tourism stimulus programs. Tourism products will be associated with post-Covid-19 trends such as sustainable tourism, tourism with nature, health care, and safe tourism. In addition, products of night tourism, cuisine, eco-tourism, golf... are also invested and developed.

Stay in touch with Mr Linh’s Adventures for more weekly updates on Vietnam’s pandemic and tourism situation

* Source: Người Lao Động, Công An Nhân Dân, Tuổi Trẻ, VnExpress, Sức Khỏe Đời Sống, HCDC, Sở Y Tế, Báo Tiền phong, Vietnamnet.

Published on 13th September, 2021
Written by Ha Thu and Ha Phuong,  Interns at  Mr Linh’s Adventures

Previous weeks updates
- Week 1. September 2021
- Week 4. August 2021

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