VIETNAM SUSPENDS VISAS FOR FOREIGN VISITORS
Vietnam will temporarily suspend visa issuance for foreigners entering the country for a period of 30 days starting from March 18, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said. Cases of visa exemption or those travelling for special purposes (such as experts, business managers, skilled workers) will have to be certified as negative to the virus. The certificate must be issued by the competent authority of the host country and approved by Vietnam.
The measures do not apply to people travelling for diplomatic or official purposes. Those entering must undergo medical checks according to regulations.
VIETNAM QUARANTINES ALL THE US, EUROPEAN AND ASEAN ARRIVALS
In addition to the current cases of concentrated isolation, Vietnam will introduce mandatory quarantine for all visitors from the US, Europe and ASEAN countries; as well as isolation and medical supervision at home, enterprises, accommodation establishments and group supervision for people not under concentrated isolation.
At the same time, Vietnam continues to minimize flights from epicenters to the country. The Ministries of Health, Defence, Public Security and Transport consider and decide the landing location of flights from epicenters to ensure the isolation for people entering Vietnam and epidemic prevention measures.
The Ministry of Defence was assigned to prepare isolation facilities in the army. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism coordinates with localities to prepare more isolation facilities and the Commander of the military zones to receive large numbers of isolated people. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for closely monitoring the pandemic situation in ASEAN countries, the region and the world to propose countermeasures.
VIETNAM TEMPORARILY CLOSED MANY ATTRACTIONS
Thus far, almost the whole country has closed the sights, stopped tourism activities and stopped operating cinemas, bars, online games, karaoke, discos, theaters.
Including Quang Ninh (Ha Long, Yen Tu...), Ninh Binh (Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Cuc Phuong National Park), Hanoi (Hoa Lo Prison Relic, Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam), Thanh Hoa, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien - Hue, Quang Nam (Hoi An, Cu Lao Cham), Quang Ngai (Ly Son), Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria - Vung Tau (Con Dao), Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, An Giang...
20 COUNTRIES ORDER COVID-19 TEST KITS MADE IN VIETNAM
Viet A Company, which manufacture the test kits, said they will send the first shipment of test kits for SARS-CoV-2 virus to 4 countries, including Ukraine, Finland, Iran and Malaysia.
This is the first shipment to be exported in limited quantities. However, there have been 20 countries ordering this product, including many European countries such as Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany, Italy... The highest order is 150,000 tests, equivalent to 5,000 test kit, enough to test for 150,000 people.
In Vietnam, the test kit produced by Viet A Company has been granted a license by the Ministry of Health for mass production since March 4, which used with the imported test kit. Compared to imported test kit, the test kit produced by Viet A has the same amount of waiting time for the result, but the price of domestic products is about 1/2 cheaper.
In addition to the products of Viet A Company and the time for the results of, Vietnam now also has a shipment of 10,000 test kits from Korea. Korean-made test kit consists of 2 types: those giving results after 3 hours (including sample preparation time) and those giving results after 40 minutes, almost the fastest in the world today. In particular, the test kit for quick results have less sensitivity and higher false-negative rate. Currently, both types are being tested for official use.
PEOPLE WITH BLOOD TYPE A MAY BE MORE VULNERABLE TO CORONAVIRUS?
People with blood type A may be more vulnerable to infection by the new coronavirus, while those with type O seem more resistant, according to a preliminary study of patients in China who contracted the disease known as Covid-19.
Of 206 patients who had died from Covid-19 in Wuhan, 85 had type A blood, which was 63 per cent more than the 52 with type O.
According to a paper Chinese medical researchers published on Medrxiv.org on March 11, the study was preliminary, based on blood group patterns of more than 2,000 patients infected with the virus in Wuhan and Shenzhen, and more work was needed.
CHINA HAS ONLY ONE MORE INFECTION WITH COVID-19 ON MARCH 16
China reported 21 new cases of infections on March 16, of those, 20 were imported, data from by the National Health Commission (NHC) showed. China has only one new case in Wuhan.
Regardless of the stringent restrictions imposed to screen, detect and isolate cases, Beijing is still the worst affected area. The international airport in Beijing has a special area for every international flights where every passenger disembarking will be required to have a medical examination.
WHO CONFIRMS TWO CORONAVIRUS CASES AMONG ITS STAFF
The World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Christian Lindmeier said today that two staff members have been confirmed as infected with coronavirus. "The staff had left the office and then at home showed symptoms and were tested and confirmed with COVID-19. We do therefore have two confirmed case." Lindmeier said.
The cases are the first at the WHO and follow a confirmed case at the United Nations (UN) as well one at the World Trade Organization (WTO) last week. It was not clear if the infected staff were working in the coronavirus response.
The last European country to have contracted covid-19
Montenegro’s PM Duško Marković announced on March 17 that Montenegro has confirmed the first two coronavirus cases for the country, as coronavirus spreads to all European countries. According to Reuters, the patients are two women, one from the US and one from Spain.
EU IMPOSES ENTRY BAN FOR 30 DAYS
On the same day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the European Union (EU) would impose an entry ban on travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days to battle the spread of the coronavirus.
Italy remains the country with the highest number of infections in Europe, currently exceeding 30,000 and showing no sign of control.
Switzerland issued a recommendation on March 17 to all citizens to stay at home as more than 2,600 infections and 19 deaths in the country. Swiss health officials admit that the number of infections has increased so fast that they find it difficult to provide data.
Belgium also declared a lockdown for the entire country over the coronavirus crisis from noon on March 18 until April 5, to urge the population to stay at home to prevent the spread of disease.
Turkey has reported the first death from Covid-19, as the total number of infections in the country increased to 98.
The Turkish government introduced new measures to halt the spread of the virus, suspending congregational prayers at mosques and closing restaurants, cafes, movie theaters, wedding and event venues. Flights from a total of 20 countries have been banned.
THE AMERICAS PROCEEDED TO SEAL OFF BORDERS
The Argentine government announced that it would stop all inter-provincial public transport for 5 days, in order to limit the movement during a long weekend from March 21 to 24. Heads of several provinces have also called for people to restrict travel despite facing economic losses.
Moreover, the Argentine government also decided to increase the subsidy for the poor, retired, unemployed and pregnant women at 3,000 pesos (about 45 USD), of those about 5 million retired people, 4.3 million poor children and 550,000 unemployed.
On March 17, Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez announced that the country would close its borders from March 19 in an attempt to stop the spreading infection. Federal and inter-provincial transportations will also be canceled as of March 20.
Bolivia will also reduce the country's working hours to 5 hours/day for both public and private sectors. The government also took many precautions, such as closing schools, universities and academies by March 31, banning all forms of festivals and recreational activities and more participatory meetings of more than 100 people.
Chile has now closed its borders and suspended cultural activities and sports events to limit the mass gatherings.
GOL, Brazil's largest airline, canceled all international flights due to Covid-19 virus.