Covid: Vietnam urges vigilance as neighbouring nations battle infection spikes
Vietnam on Wednesday warned against mass gatherings ahead of long public holidays this weekend and said it would speed up its vaccine rollout amid a worsening coronavirus situation among its neighbours.
"A new Covid-19 outbreak is threatening to happen, especially during the upcoming holidays," the health ministry said in a statement.
It called for "unanimity and determination" among the public to keep the virus at bay.
Vietnam has been widely praised for its record in containing its outbreaks quickly through targeted mass testing and a strict, centralised quarantine programme.
That has helped keep its case tally to 2,865, with only 35 deaths reported since the pandemic began, one of the best records in Asia.
"For the sake of the country, of the community and of the people, each citizen should be unanimously determined to hold on to our success in preventing and fighting against Covid-19," the statement said.
The ministry separately said provinces, especially those bordering Cambodia, need to increase vigilance due to people illegally crossing the border into Vietnam.
Cambodia has seen its case total jump from about 500 to 11,000 in the past two months, with 82 deaths, while nearby Thailand's infections tally has more than doubled in April alone to nearly 62,000, with 178 fatalities.
Cases in Laos have nearly doubled since Saturday, to over 600, according to its state media.
"The global disease situation is evolving in a complicated manner, especially in some neighbouring countries, putting huge pressure on Vietnam," Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said in the statement.
The government on Wednesday said its Covid-19 vaccine rollout would be expedited, with the aim of administering all of the 928,800 AstraZeneca doses it has received so far by May 15. About 260,000 people have so far been inoculated.
Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don't kill children and the elderly.” Duterte, who steps down on June 30 when his turbulent six-year term ends, has presided over a brutal anti-drugs crackdown that has left more than 6,000 mostly petty suspects dead.
China's foreign minister told the United Nations' human rights chiefWang Yie hopedMichelle Bachelet'sr landmark visit would help to "clarify misinformation", ahead of her visit to the Xinjiang region. Bachelet is expected to visit the Xinjiang cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a six-day tour -- the first to China by a top UN rights official since 2005.
Pakistan is headed for long term instability with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif facing a political challenge from his ousted predecessor Imran Khan Niazi in the form of long-march to Islamabad tomorrow amidst free falling Pakistani Rupee and a neutral Pakistan Army. Apparently, the call for the march was primarily for people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab with parallel protests in Quetta in Balochistan and local protests in Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad and Karachi of Sindh Province.
Chinese premier Li Keqiang has sent a congratulatory note to newly elected Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, Beijing's state media reported, ending a year-long freeze in diplomatic contact between the two countries. China cut off diplomatic and trade channels with Australia in a largely symbolic act of fury last May, following clashes over issues including human rights, espionage and the origins of Covid-19.
China on Monday said it would take 'targeted steps' to revive and support the world's second largest economy as it struggles to deal with a resurgence of Covid cases that have prompted stringent lockdowns, disrupted industrial and manufacturing activities, and affected global and domestic supply chains and consumption. The measures - totalling tens of billions of dollars - include stimulus for companies, unemployment benefits, boost to infrastructure.