Vietnam lifts coronavirus quarantine in Hanoi commune

UNTV News   •   May 6, 2020   •   359

Vietnamese authorities lifted quarantine in a rural commune in Hanoi on Tuesday (5 May), 28 days after placing the area under isolation.

The Ha Loi commune, a floral and vegetable farming area, some 20 kilometres from downtown Hanoi, recorded Vietnam’s 243rd coronavirus patient on April 6, and was put in lockdown 2 days later.

As soon as barriers were removed at midnight, hundreds of residents in the area came out, chanting, cheering and waving flags to celebrate what they described a “victory and liberation over the Covid-19 outbreak”.

At a ceremony taking place at midnight on Wednesday (May 6), officials announced that all 2,700 households, with a population of 11,500, in the commune are free of the virus.

Khong Minh Tuan, Deputy Director of Hanoi’s Centre for Disease Control, hailed it “a great success”.

Despite ending the quarantine, Hanoi authorities still identified Ha Loi commune as a high-risk area. Residents have been asked to limit their movements until May 11, as well as practice social distancing, and wear face masks.

Even though Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s poorer nations, its efforts against the virus, praised at home, have ensured its tally of infections is lower than those of many neighbours.

Vietnam has registered a total of 271 coronavirus cases and has reported no deaths. Its proven infection rate is lower than any regional nations except Myanmar and Laos, where testing has been limited. Over 30,500 people have been quarantined, and 261,000 tests have been carried out so far. (Reuters)

(Production: Thinh Nguyen, Minh Nguyen)

Japan to ease entry for Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, NZ – Abe

UNTV News   •   June 19, 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday (June 18) said his country would ease entry restrictions for people coming from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

Speaking at a news conference on a day after the parliament session closed, Abe said Japan, which bans entry from more than 100 countries, will start coordinating discussion with the four countries.

Abe emphasised Japan needs a measure to restore people’s livelihoods and the economy hit by the new coronavirus pandemic. “We need a measure which controls the risk of infections with as few restrictions as possible, a measure which focuses more on protecting our jobs and livelihoods,” he said.

Abe also delivered an apology at the beginning of the news conference, over the arrests of former justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, upper house lawmaker Anri Kawai, on suspicion of vote-buying. “I’m keenly aware of my responsibility as I once appointed him (Katsuyuki Kawai) Justice Minister,” Abe added.

Support for Abe, who had close ties to the ex-justice minister, has declined over what critics say is his clumsy handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a furore over efforts to extend top prosecutors’ retirement age, and questions about government programmes to support tourism and smaller companies. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai)

Kindergartens, primary schools reopen as Vietnam eases virus restrictions

UNTV News   •   May 11, 2020

Kindergartens and primary schools in Vietnam took children’s temperatures at the gates when they re-opened on Monday (May 11) after a months-long closure over the coronavirus pandemic, following last week’s partial re-opening of other schools.

With just 288 infections and no deaths, the Southeast Asian nation has seen no community infections for nearly a month, putting it on course to resume activities sooner than most others in the region.

Medical staff could be seen taking the body temperatures of students and having them wash hands with sanitiser at the entrances to several kindergartens in Hanoi. Staff enforced safe distancing for student’ seating arrangements during class.

“The kids were being kept at home for three months and it stressed the adults out. It felt weird, very difficult to describe, because the kids were just doing everything in the house, while the adults were in the same situation, as everybody stayed in the same house…so we were looking forward to putting them back in school,” said Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, just after dropping off her granddaughter at a Hanoi kindergarten.

The school re-opening is Vietnam’s latest step in lifting virus curbs, although international commercial flights and dance clubs and karaoke bars remain banned.

Schools for older children reopened partially last week. (Reuters)

(Production: Thinh Nguyen, Minh Nguyen)

Vietnam quarantines rural community of 10,000 due to coronavirus fears

UNTV News   •   February 14, 2020

Vietnamese authorities on Thursday (February 13) quarantined a community of 10,000 people near the capital, Hanoi, for 20 days because of fears the coronavirus could spread there, two local officials told Reuters.

The rural commune of Son Loi, in the northern Vietnamese province of Vinh Phuc, 44 km (27 miles) from Hanoi, is home to 11 of the 16 coronavirus cases in the Southeast Asian country, including a three-month-old baby.

“The epidemic has affected the life of the villagers badly, especially farmers like me. We cannot sell our goods. No one would buy anything from us once they know we are from Son Loi, then they would avoid us as if we were spreading leprosy,” a despondent local resident who chose to stay outside the quarantined zone before the lockdown, told Reuters

The southeast Asia country has made plans to quarantine hundreds of its citizens returning from China, including 950 at military camps outside Hanoi, and another 900 at temporary facilities on the Vietnam-China border. (Reuters)

(Production: Thinh Nguyen, Minh Nguyen)

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