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JULY 15: Vietnam builds scenario of 100,000 Covid-19 cases
Minh Vu 22:40, 2021/07/15
The health minister said the infections in Ho Chi Minh City and some southern provinces will be on the rise due to highly transmissible Delta variant.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is building a scenario of having 100,000 Covid-19 cases in the fact that the daily infections surpassed more than 2,000 in the last few days.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long shared the news at the meeting on Thursday [July 15] chaired by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. At the meeting, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long warned that the infections in HCMC would be on the rise in the coming days.

 Cho Ray Hospital's doctors in the newly-built intensive care unit in Ho Chi Minh City on July 15. Photo: Cho Ray Hospital

As of July 15, Vietnam has reported 40,850 infections, including 9,688 convalescents and 207 deaths. HCMC alone reported 117 deaths.

Today, Vietnam confirmed 3,379 Covid-19 cases of community transmission, the highest-ever daily figure since the pandemic broke out in early 2020.

The latest cases were mostly found in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), bringing its tally to 21,493, Bac Giang 5,727, Binh Duong 2,009, Dong Thap 881, Phu Yen 572, Hanoi 564, Long An 564, Dong Nai 503, and Danang 322.

On the same day, HCMC built its largest hospital treating critical Covid-19 patients with a 1,000-bed intensive care unit (ICU). The majority of health workers working in the hospital come from Cho Ray Hospital.

The well-equipped ICU is aimed to “minimize fatalities in the fight against Covid-19” in the southern city.

To seek better solutions for the widespread transmission, PM Pham Minh Chinh today summoned a meeting with heads of 27 cities and provinces from Phu Yen in the central region to the south, the hardest-hit localities in the ongoing outbreak.

Chinh highlighted six missions that the Government and local authorities must do in the coming time, including combating the pandemic in HCMC, the Mekong Delta, Southeast, and the Central Coast; taking care of and protecting people without lack of essential goods; treating confirmed cases to minimize deaths; maintaining social security and ensuring social welfare in any circumstances; tightening control over borders and quarantine zones; soon bringing people and businesses back to normal operations; and maintaining the operation of factories and industrial parks to smooth supply chains.

 A pack and vials of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: AFP 

Vaccine import

On July 15, the Ministry of Health (MoH) approved Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine (or Janssen Ad26.CoV2.S) for emergency use in Vietnam. This is the sixth Covid-19 vaccine approved in the Southeast Asian country besides AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Pfizer, Vero Cell (Sinopharm), and Moderna (Spikevax).

Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine or Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine is a one-shot vaccine that received the US Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization in February 2021.

It was found to have an efficacy of 85.4% against severe disease and hospitalization, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In early June, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long negotiated with Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson & Johnson to buy Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine (or Janssen Ad26.CoV2.S) and also expected the company’s tech transfer.

Johnson & Johnson said it would consider the possibility of tech transfer to the country.

On the same day, 921,400 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Vietnam. The batch is imported by Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC). So far, Vietnam has got nearly 6.4 million doses of AstraZeneca. This kind of vaccine accounts for 71% of the vaccine supply in Vietnam. The remaining is from Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinopharm.

So far, nearly 4.2 million doses have been administered to frontline forces and other priority groups.

To prepare for the upcoming large scale vaccination, Hanoi has built plans for the inoculation that can offer a maximum of 200,000 jabs per day.

Director of the municipal Department of Health Tran Thi Nhi Ha said preparations for the campaign have been ready to vaccinate about 5.1 million adults aged between 18 and 65.

 Covid-19 infections in Vietnam. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu
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