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Today’s Covid News: US retail groups call on Biden to donate more vaccines to Vietnam
Minh Vu 21:35, 2021/09/25
Vietnam is seeking different ways to get more vaccines and speeding up its inoculation campaign.

The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) in a letter sent to US President Joe Biden on Friday [Sept 24] proposed the Biden Administration send additional vaccines to their key apparel and footwear partners in Asia, particularly Vietnam.

 Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the government meeting on Sept 25. Photo: VNA

The vaccines will help their Vietnamese partners mitigate the impact on the industry as Vietnam is the second-largest supplier of footwear to the US behind China.

SFIA made the proposal shortly after Biden announced that the US government would send 500 more million vaccine doses to developing and low-income countries.

In his letter to the president, SFIA President and CEO Thomas Cove welcomed this news and highlighted the urgent need to expand these efforts in Vietnam.

“Our industry has never experienced global disruptions and pricing dislocations of this magnitude,” Cove wrote. “With Vietnam being the second-largest foreign source of sports and fitness products to the United States, we ask that you support an aggressive effort to direct vaccine/testing/PPE resources to Vietnam and other key American partners.”

Earlier in mid-August, more than 90 brands joinly wrote to Joe Biden urging him to make more Covid-19 vaccines available to Vietnam because of the country’s importance in their supply chains.

Leading brands, including Gap, New Balance, Nike, PVH Corp, VF Corp, Adidas, ASICS, Levi Strauss & Co, Patagonia, and Ralph Lauren – all members of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) – signed the letter.

The ongoing outbreak of the pandemic has put brakes on production in Vietnam, including apparel and footwear production since July.

So far, the US has donated to Vietnam six million doses of vaccines.

To soon resume economic activities in big cities, Vietnam is making efforts to get more vaccines. In the latest move, over one million doses of Cuba’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine Abdala, including 150,000 doses donated, are on their way to Vietnam along with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc who has finished a tour to Cuba and the UN Headquarters in New York.

This is the first batch in the 30-million contract that Cuba secured to supply to Vietnam. The vaccine is developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) who said that the vaccine has been registered in more than 30 countries and certified by the WHO.

Today [Sept 25], a batch of more than 400,000 Japan-donated vaccine doses arrived in Ho Chi Minh City to help the pandemic fight there.

The latest batch totals Japan’s donations to 3.58 million doses, according to the Embassy of Japan.

As of Sept 25, nearly 38 million doses have been administered in Vietnam, including 7.5 million people fully inoculated.

Vietnam pushes economy reopening

To serve the reopening plans, the Ministry of Transport on Sept 24 finished its draft plan on passenger transport. Under which, it requires no vaccine or Covid-19 recovery certificates for passengers of aviation, road, railway, maritime, and inland waterways.

Meanwhile, for all means of transport, drivers and staff are required to get at least one shot of vaccine.

On Sept 25, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked affected localities to get ready to resume economic activities after the end of this month.

Accordingly, heads of cities and provinces set up working teams specializing in recovery plans to proceed with economic development programs based on the health sector’s anti-pandemic guidances, Chinh said at the virtual meeting that ứa connected to more than 10,000 communes nationwide.

It means that the National Standing Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control and localities agreed to change the goal of "zero-Covid" status to safe and flexible adaptation and effective control of the Covid-19 pandemic to conduct economic recovery.

Vietnam saw additional 9,706 Covid-19 infections and 180 deaths over the past 24 hours. The number of infections and deaths fell 8% and 16%, respectively over the past week.

 Vietnam Electricity (EVN) donates tablets for children in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times
Hanoi

Hanoi’s education sector has built back-to-school plans before it submits the roadmap to the city’s authorities. Under the plans, all people coming to schools need to be available for temperature scanning and no guests are allowed to enter the schools.

Hanoi has relaxed lockdown since Sept 21 and is in line with Directive 15 that allows the opening of essential services and gathering of no more than 10 persons in public. State agencies and businesses are required to apply working rotation with half of the personnel in-person in the offices.

In the fresh outbreak that flared up in late April, Hanoi underwent four times of social distancing with nearly 4,000 infections and 33 deaths.

As of Sept 25, Hanoi has undergone four days with less than 10 infections/day.

So far, more than 95% of its adults aged above 18 have been vaccinated. The city targets to complete the vaccine coverage (two doses) in November.

 Vietnam's coronavirus cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu
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