Scepticism about vaccines clouds outlook for defeating coronavirus

 John CarterSenior Editor, Political Economy

23 January 2021

Hello again, 

Having overcome the challenges of developing coronavirus vaccines and begun the process of distributing them worldwide, a crucial question has cropped up: will people in high-risk areas voluntarily take the jab? In this issue of Global Impact, we explore the resistance to vaccinations amid concerns about quality, effectiveness and possible side effects. 

Bhavan Jaipragas, Senior Correspondent, Asia Desk

You can bring the vaccine to the people, but will they take the jab?
In the span of a year, Singapore has gone from being hailed as the gold standard in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic to suffering an embarrassing surge of cases among migrant workers to once again reasserting itself as a success story.What lies ahead for the wealthy Southeast Asian city state in its fight against the virus may well be a harbinger of what’s to come for the rest of Asia – and the world. One big problem on the horizon is “vaccine hesitancy” among sceptical Singaporeans who argue they don’t need to be inoculated since the country has done such a good job keeping the numbers down.
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Vietnam Airlines staff apologize in chorus after Covid-19 community transmissions

Vietnam Airlines staff on a flight during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Tien Phong Newspaper.
Vietnam Airlines staff on a flight during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by Tien Phong Newspaper.

By Long Nguyen   December 3, 2020 | 06:44 pm GMT+7 vnexpress

Since December 2, a host of Vietnam Airlines flight attendants have posted the #WeApologize hashtag, saying sorry on behalf of their colleague, “patient 1342,” who violated quarantine rules and spread the novel coronavirus to the community.

“What happened was unexpected, our colleague was wrong, and we apologize on his behalf,” a female flight attendant said on her Facebook page.

Promising to strictly follow the rules and not cause any similar incidents in future, many also expressed the hope people will stop criticizing and even abusing them on social networks and in real life.

“We have been worried at work as some of our colleagues have been discriminated against and abused. I want to repeat we are sorry for what happened,” another flight attendant wrote on Facebook.

A flight attendant posts on her Facebook, using the #WeApologize hashtag on December 2, 2020.
A flight attendant posts on his Facebook page, using the #WeApologize hashtag on December 2, 2020.

Previously, local news said verbal abuse and ostracism were reported by Vietnam Airlines staff. On December 3, a stranger attacked an attendant with a burning cigarette while the uniformed victim was waiting at a red light.

These posts from Vietnam Airlines flight attendants have attracted attention from netizens, who have shown encouragement and support, hoping the staff would overcome the upheaval soon.

The soured image of Vietnam Airlines attendants in the public eye was by

Under Covid-19 prevention protocols, flight crews must isolate themselves on returning to Vietnam. But the flight attendant, “patient 1342,” who returned to Vietnam from Japan on November 14 and entered quarantined for four days at a facility managed by Vietnam Airlines in HCMC’s Tan Binh District, went to another quarantine area and contracted the virus from a crew member who had returned from Romania.

Vietnam Airlines staff on a flight during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Tien Phong Newspaper.
Vietnam Airlines staff on a flight during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by Tien Phong Newspaper.

After two tests showed he was negative for the coronavirus, he was let go but told to isolate himself at home.

But he came into contact with his mother and two friends, including an English language teacher who stayed with him for a few days.

On November 29, 15 days after he returned from Japan, he tested positive for the virus, and the next day the teacher did too. The latter had meanwhile spread the virus to a nephew and a student of his.

On December 3, local police said the flight attendant could be charged with “spreading dangerous infectious diseases to humans.”

Vietnam has recorded 1,358 Covid-19 cases so far, 119 still active. Thirty-five have succumbed to the disease, many of them elderly with underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney failure.Related News:

Coronavirus kills 15,000 U.S. mink, as Denmark prepares for nationwide cull

Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 09:16 GMT+7 tuoitrenews

Coronavirus kills 15,000 U.S. mink, as Denmark prepares for nationwide cull
FILE PHOTO: Mink are seen at the farm of Henrik Nordgaard Hansen and Ann-Mona Kulsoe Larsen near Naestved, Denmark, November 6, 2020. Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen via Reuters

CHICAGO — More than 15,000 mink in the United States have died of the coronavirus since August, and authorities are keeping about a dozen farms under quarantine while they investigate the cases, state agriculture officials said.

Global health officials are eying the animals as a potential risk for people after Denmark last week embarked on a plan to eliminate all of its 17 million mink, saying a mutated coronavirus strain could move to humans and evade future COVID-19 vaccines.

The U.S. states of Utah, Wisconsin and Michigan – where the coronavirus has killed mink – said they do not plan to cull animals and are monitoring the situation in Denmark.

“We believe that quarantining affected mink farms in addition to implementing stringent biosecurity measures will succeed in controlling SARS-CoV-2 at these locations,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture told Reuters on Tuesday.

The USDA said it is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state officials and the mink industry to test and monitor infected farms.

The United States has 359,850 mink bred to produce babies, known as kits, and produced 2.7 million pelts last year. Wisconsin is the largest mink-producing state, followed by Utah.

Sick mink in Wisconsin and Utah were exposed to people with probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases, the USDA said. In Michigan it is still unknown if the mink were infected by humans, according to the agency.

In Utah, the first U.S. state to confirm mink infections in August, about 10,700 mink have died on nine farms, said Dean Taylor, state veterinarian.

“On all nine, everything is still suggesting a one-way travel from people to the minks,” he said.

Coronavirus testing has been done on mink that die and randomly on the affected farms, Taylor said. Like people, some mink are asymptomatic or mildly affected, he said.

The CDC said it was supporting states’ investigations into sick mink, including testing of animals and people.

“These investigations will help us to learn more about the transmission dynamics between mink, other animals around the farms and people,” the CDC said. “Currently, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to people.”

Coronavirus is thought to have first jumped to humans from animals in China, possibly via bats or another animal at a food market in Wuhan, although many outstanding questions remain.

Monitoring U.S. mink for virus symptoms and quarantining infected farms should limit the disease’s spread if cases are caught early, said Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

“I’m fairly confident that as long as they have that surveillance going and it’s strong enough, then they should be able to prevent the spread,” he said.

U.S. authorities are urging farmers to wear protective gear like masks and gloves when handling mink to avoid infecting the animals.

In Wisconsin, about 5,000 mink have died on two farms, State Veterinarian Darlene Konkle said.

One farm is composting the dead mink to dispose of the carcasses without spreading the virus, Konkle said. Authorities are working with the second farm to determine how to dispose of the mink, and dead animals are being kept in a metal container in the meantime, she said.

Michigan declined to disclose how many mink have died, citing privacy rules.

State officials said they are working with the USDA to determine whether farmers can sell the pelts of infected mink. The pelts are used to make fur coats and other items.

The coronavirus has also infected cats, dogs, a lion and a tiger, according to the USDA. Experts say mink appear to be the most susceptible animal so far.



Linking Air Pollution To Higher Coronavirus Death Rates

recent Harvard analysis led by Professor Francesca Dominici along with Doctoral student Xiao Wu and Assistant Professor Rachel Nethery is the first nationwide study to show a statistical link between COVID-19 deaths and other diseases associated with long-term exposure to fine particulate matter. The paper has been submitted for peer review and publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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A drugmaker reports positive results for a potential treatment

New York Times coronavirus brief

The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced that a single infusion of its monoclonal antibody treatment was shown to drastically lower levels of the coronavirus in newly infected patients and lower the likelihood of requiring hospitalization.
It is the first potential treatment for patients with mild or moderate Covid-19. (The two other treatments that have proved helpful, the antiviral remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone, are only for the seriously ill.)
Scientists used blood plasma from Covid-19 survivors, isolating and testing their antibodies to find the most powerful ones. They then manufactured vats of antibodies to make the drug. In a trial of more than 450 newly diagnosed Covid-19 patients, Eli Lilly said, only about 1.7 percent of those who received the drug ended up in the hospital, compared with 6 percent who were given a placebo — a 72 percent risk reduction. Those treated with the drug reportedly also had fewer symptoms, and the levels of virus in their bodies plummeted.
Other companies are also working on treatments with monoclonal antibodies, but they are difficult and expensive to make. A single dose could cost thousands of dollars. They offer only a temporary solution, with the antibodies lasting about a month.
But without a vaccine — the only way to elicit a lasting immune response — the treatment could give doctors another weapon in an arsenal with few options.
The study will eventually enroll 800 patients in the U.S. of all ages and risk categories, including people in nursing homes. Eli Lilly has already started manufacturing 10,000 doses in hopes that these interim results, which have not yet been peer reviewed, will bear out.

The company plans to discuss the state of the trial with the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the possibility of emergency use authorization to market the drug.
Here’s our treatment tracker.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 count approaches 1,000

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 22:04 GMT+7 tuoitrenews

Vietnam’s COVID-19 count approaches 1,000
A health worker handles a piece of equipment at a hospital in Vietnam. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam recorded four new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with its total nearing 1,000, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The four patients include two in Da Nang, one in neighboring Quang Nam Province, and one in northern Hai Duong Province.

Patient No. 990 is a 25-year-old medical worker at Da Nang Family Hospital.

Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s COVID-19 count approaches 1,000”

Should violators who illegally take Covid-19 infected people into Vietnam receive the death penalty?

vietnamnet | 17/08/2020    12:50 GMT+7

“The death penalty could be considered for such act in accordance with the Penal Code. In this very urgent situation, when the whole country is trying hard to fight Covid-19, it is necessary to strictly punish such acts for deterrence.”
Có thể xử tử hình kẻ tiếp tay, đưa người nhiễm Covid-19 vào Việt Nam không?
Chinese people who illegally entered Vietnam are detected by traffic police on Noi Bai – Lao Cai expressway. (Photo: Lao Cai newspaper)

This is the opinion of National Assembly (NA) deputy Bui Van Phuong, member of the NA Economic Committee, vice head of the NA delegation of Ninh Binh province in response to the proposal of the HCM City Center for Disease Control (HCDC): “It is necessary to impose heavy sanctions against people who illegally enter the country, to consider imposing special criminal penalties on those who give a hand to illegal entry.”

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Bệnh nhân Covid-19 thứ 16 tử vong

Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic - Nhan Dan Online

Thứ ba, 11/8/2020, 18:25 (GMT+7)

Bệnh nhân 832″, 37 tuổi, ở Quảng Trị, chiều nay được xác định tử vong vì suy tim trên nền bệnh lý nặng và mắc Covid-19.

COVID-19: Vietnam reports 29 new cases, another fatality – Total 84 cases

Chia sẻ | FaceBookTwitter Email Copy LinkInterested009/08/2020    18:43 GMT+7

Vietnam has confirmed 29 new coronavirus cases and another fatality of the disease, all closely tied to Da Nang outbreak, the Ministry of Health said in its August 9 update at 18.00hrs.

19 cases aged 7 to 85 were registered in Da Nang City, the epicenter of the outbreak. They include 8 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 3 patients given treatment at Da Nang Hospital, three caregivers, a medical worker, a servant, along with three others.

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Vietnam confirms 11th Covid-19 death

VNE – By Chi Le    August 9, 2020 | 05:44 pm GMT+7

Vietnam confirms 11th Covid-19 death
A medical staff takes samples of a person to test for the novel coronavirus in Quang Nam Province on August 9, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.

A 55-year old woman in Da Nang is the country’s 11th Covid-19 fatality, the Healthy Ministry confirmed Sunday afternoon.

“Patient 456”, a resident of the central city’s Hai Chau District, was admitted to the Hoan My-Da Nang General Hospital on July 28 and tested positive for the novel coronavirus on July 29. She’d had hypertension for years.

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Vietnam reports second-largest daily hike in COVID-19 cases with 43 new patients – total 713 patients

Wednesday, August 05, 2020, 18:30 GMT+7 Tuoitre

Vietnam reports second-largest daily hike in COVID-19 cases with 43 new patients
A health worker disinfects an area visited by a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient in Vietnam. Photo: Tr. T. / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam documented a total of 43 new cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Wednesday, including 42 local infections and one imported patient who was quarantined upon arrival, the second-largest single-day increase in cases since January.

Vietnam reported two new coronavirus patients on Wednesday morning, both registered in the central province of Quang Nam and traced to Da Nang, a neighboring city that is the country’s outbreak epicenter.

Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam reports second-largest daily hike in COVID-19 cases with 43 new patients – total 713 patients”

Đắk Lắk: Cả 328 người cách ly đều âm tính Covid-19 đợt 1

Lực lượng liên ngành tỉnh Đắk Lắk đã trang bị hoàn chỉnh 2 cơ sở cách ly tiếp theo, để chiều ngày 5/8 tiếp tục đón số người danh sách F2 (tiếp xúc gián tiếp với bệnh nhân covid-19) về từ các huyện thị, sau khi khu cách ly đầu tiên kín chỗ.  

Cán bộ nhân viên y tế mừng vui khi biết tất cả âm tính Covid19-đợt 1 xét nghiệm

> Những ‘chiến binh áo xanh’ trong tâm dịch Đắk Lắk
> Trắng đêm trực chốt cách ly ở Đắk Lắk

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TP HCM phạt người không đeo khẩu trang nơi công cộng

VNE – Thứ hai, 3/8/2020, 20:05 (GMT+7)

Người dân ở thành phố không đeo khẩu trang nơi công cộng sẽ bị xử phạt mức cao nhất 300.000 đồng, từ ngày 5/8.

Đội trật tự đô thị phường Bến Nghé, quận 1, xử phạt người không đeo khẩu trang trên phố đi bộ Nguyễn Huệ, chiều 15/4. Ảnh: Quỳnh Trần.
Đội trật tự đô thị phường Bến Nghé, quận 1, xử phạt người không đeo khẩu trang trên phố đi bộ Nguyễn Huệ, chiều 15/4. Ảnh: Quỳnh Trần

Yêu cầu này được Chủ tịch UBND thành phố Nguyễn Thành Phong đưa ra tại cuộc họp Ban chỉ đạo phòng chống dịch bệnh Covid-19 của TP HCM chiều 3/8.

Việc xử phạt không đeo khẩu trang nơi công cộng được TP HCM cũng như các địa phương khác thực hiện từ cuối tháng 3 khi Covid-19 bùng phát. Tuy nhiên, sau khi hết thực hiện cách ly xã hội từ ngày 23/4, việc đeo khẩu trang nơi công cộng chỉ dừng lại ở mức khuyến cáo.

Theo Nghị định số 176/2013, người dân không đeo khẩu trang nơi công cộng sẽ bị xử phạt từ 100.000 đến 300.000 đồng. Trong khoảng một tháng áp dụng trước đó, TP HCM đã xử phạt hơn 4.300 trường hợp với gần 870 triệu đồng.

Theo ông Phong, việc đeo khẩu trang đã được khẳng định có thể tránh lây lan dịch bệnh cho người khác và bảo vệ sức khỏe cho người sử dụng. “Sở Công thương phải nắm nguồn cung ứng khẩu trang, chủ động thông báo các điểm bán để người dân dễ dàng mua vì đã xử phạt thì phải bảo đảm đủ nguồn cung”, ông Phong nói.

Bí thư Thành uỷ Nguyễn Thiện Nhân cũng cho rằng việc đeo khẩu trang là một trong những biện pháp cơ bản để tránh dịch bệnh lây lan. Việc này rất dễ làm, không tốn nhiều tiền nhưng nhiều nước bỏ lơi và đã bị “vỡ trận”.

“Ngoài đường hiện có ít nhất 20% người không đeo khẩu trang. Người không đeo không những tự rước bệnh vào mình mà còn nguy cơ lây cho người khác. Đeo khẩu trang hơi cực tí thôi nhưng đi đâu cũng nên đeo để giữ an toàn”, ông Nhân nói và khẳng định thành phố bảo đảm không thiếu khẩu trang cho người dân.

Chủ tịch UBND thành phố Nguyễn Thành Phong cũng cho biết đã đồng ý việc tái lập các chốt kiểm soát ở cửa ngõ TP HCM để phòng chống Covid-19.

Trước đó, thành phố đã lập 62 chốt kiểm soát, hoạt động 24/24 từ ngày 4/4 để phòng chống dịch. Lực lượng tham gia là Công an thành phố, Sở Y tế, Bộ Tư lệnh thành phố, Thanh tra giao thông, Ban Quản lý An toàn thực phẩm, quản lý thị trường.

Trong đó, 16 chốt chính (cấp thành phố) đặt tại: Trạm thu phí Long Phước (cao tốc TP HCM – Long Thành – Dầu Giây), cao tốc Trung Lương, cầu Đôi (đường Trần Văn Giàu), đường Ba Làng, đường Xuyên Á (quốc lộ 22), cầu Phú Cường, cầu Vĩnh Bình, cầu vượt Sóng Thần, quốc lộ 1K, quốc lộ 50, quốc lộ 1A, cầu Đồng Nai, Bến xe Miền Tây, Bến xe miền Đông, sân bay Tân Sơn Nhất, cảng Cát Lái.

Đến ngày 23/4, chính quyền thành phố dừng hoạt động các chốt này vì dịch bệnh đã được khống chế, TP HCM dừng cách ly xã hội theo Chỉ thị 19 của Thủ tướng.

Sau 19 ngày hoạt động, các chốt chính đã kiểm tra gần 270.000 xe, trong đó có 235.000 ôtô; gần 600.000 người được kiểm tra y tế, đo thân nhiệt, bao gồm cả 3.000 người nước ngoài; hơn 130.000 người được yêu cầu khai báo y tế.

Hữu Công

Bệnh nhân COVID-19 thứ 8 tử vong

04/08/2020 11:38 GMT+7
TTOBệnh nhân 496 ở Hòa Vang, Đà Nẵng tử vong sáng 4-8 với chẩn đoán suy thận mãn giai đoạn cuối, nhiễm trùng huyết, suy tim cấp và COVID-19.

Sáng 4-8, Thứ trưởng Bộ Y tế Nguyễn Trường Sơn – trưởng bộ phận thường trực đặc biệt chống dịch COVID-19 của Bộ Y tế tại Đà Nẵng, thông tin về trường hợp tử vong của bệnh nhân COVID-19 và cho biết hiện nay còn một số bệnh nhân có nguy cơ tử vong cao trong thời gian sắp tới do bệnh lý nền nặng và tuổi cao. Tiếp tục đọc “Bệnh nhân COVID-19 thứ 8 tử vong”

Vietnam Says Early August ‘Decisive’ in Containing Coronavirus

By Reuters, Wire Service ContentAug. 3, 2020, at 1:21 a.m.

U.S. News & World Report

Vietnam Says Early August ‘Decisive’ in Containing Coronavirus


FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A man wears a protective mask as he drives past a banner promoting prevention against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hanoi, Vietnam July 31, 2020. REUTERS/Kham/File PhotoREUTERS


HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam is in the midst of a “decisive” fight against the novel coronavirus, the prime minister said on Monday, with the focus on Danang city where infections have appeared in four factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700 people.

Vietnam, widely praised for its mitigation efforts since the coronavirus appeared in late January, is battling several new clusters of infection linked to Danang after going more than three months without detecting any domestic transmission.

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