COVID-19 Cases Surge in Vietnam as Laos Receives More Vaccine From China — Radio Free Asia

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Cases of COVID-19 an infection proceed to climb in Vietnam following a brand new outbreak of the pandemic on Jan. 28, with 45 new instances found simply in the final day, over 10 of them of them in southern Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, sources in the nation say.

The whole variety of confirmed infections in Vietnam has now risen to 2,050 in 11 separate provinces or cities, with 35 reported deaths, based on state media quoting Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

“Everyone here is very anxious,” Vo Xuan Son—a physician on the metropolis’s EXSON International Medical Clinic—informed RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Monday. “In Saigon, over 10 COVID cases were reported only this morning,” Vo added, referring to Ho Chi Minh City by an older identify.

“No one knows why the pandemic has broken out again, because people are getting contradictory information,” Vo mentioned, including, “It may have been surging again for a while now, resulting in [so many] people being found positive in a single day.”

“The problem with the outbreak here is that we don’t know yet where it started. The virus this time doesn’t appear to be the UK variant, so people think that what we’re seeing now may have been around for a long time.”

Vo mentioned it’s too quickly to foretell how efficient makes an attempt at controlling the brand new outbreak shall be. “But surely handling the epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City this time will be more complicated than it was in Chi Linh City or in Da Nang, which were hit a few months ago,” he mentioned, including that traces of transmission have been tough to hint.

“I stay at home all day because of the spread of COVID-19,” one metropolis resident informed RFA. “Local authorities are not releasing much information about the pandemic or about the positive cases in the community,” he mentioned.

“The anti-pandemic measures now in place are the same ones we’ve had for a long time.”

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc referred to as on Monday for metropolis medical companies to take stronger measures to regulate the additional unfold of the illness, implementing social distancing in some elements of town.

Also on Monday, Vuong Dinh Hue—Communist Party chief in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi—warned that metropolis authorities would deal harshly with anybody discovered to not have declared their situation of well being inside 12 days of a analysis of an infection.

Law-enforcement authorities in Hanoi final week proposed 15 penalties in instances of residents intentionally concealing instances of an infection, with fines going as excessive as VND $200 million and jail phrases going as much as 20 years, state media mentioned.

More vaccines from China

The authorities of Laos has in the meantime acquired an extra 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China—most of it to be used by individuals designated high-risk people, together with well being employees and officers working on the border-crossings with neighboring nations.

The new batch follows a supply on the finish of January of two,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine used to vaccinate well being employees at a particular COVID-19 unit in a 150-bed hospital in Vientiane.

Lao officers are actually assembly to determine tips on how to distribute the vaccines, an official from the nation’s Department of Health informed RFA’s Lao Service on Monday, including that these shall be given to “high-risk” teams first.

“They will be looking first for medical workers and others who work with high-risk persons in hospitals and clinics around the country,” the official mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity.

Though members of most of the people, migrant employees, and individuals over 65 years of age won’t be vaccinated for now, “they are being considered,” he added.

The official informed RFA that he had already acquired the vaccine himself, and that whereas he suffered no unwanted effects, there had been “some minor problems, including a dryness of the skin after the injection, that have already been cleared up.”

“There is still a risk of infection, though, since the World Health Organization has said these vaccines don’t provide 100 percent protection,” he mentioned.

Also talking to RFA, a well being official in the capital Vientiane mentioned that he’ll obtain the vaccine quickly himself, including that although he has confidence in the vaccine, he’ll nonetheless proceed to guard himself from an infection.

“Even after we are vaccinated, we will have to wear our N95 mask whenever we go anywhere. We don’t dare take any risks,” he mentioned.

Health officers in Luang Prabang and Savannakhet provinces mentioned they’re additionally wanting ahead to receiving the vaccine, and that they consider the vaccinations whereas not one hundred pc efficient will shield them from extreme instances of an infection even when they fall unwell.

China has promised to finally ship Laos 1,500,000 doses of their COVID-19 vaccine—sufficient to vaccinate 10 % of the nation’s inhabitants—and shipments of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and vaccines from the WHO-backed COVAX group are anticipated to reach in April.

Laos has up to now reported a complete of 45 instances of COVID-19 an infection, with 4 instances nonetheless being handled in hospital for gentle signs, and 41 reported cured.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese and Lao Service. Translated by Huy Le and Sidney Khotpanya. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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