World Bank provides $6.2 mln to support Vietnam’s Covid-19 fight

By Nguyen Quy   July 30, 2020 | 08:20 pm PT
World Bank provides $6.2 mln to support Vietnam’s Covid-19 fight
A medical staff takes samples of a man in Hanoi for Covid-19 test, July 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.
The World Bank will provide Vietnam with $6.2 million in non-refundable aid to strengthen its coronavirus surveillance and testing capacities amid a fresh outbreak.

"The Covid-19 situation in Vietnam is evolving quickly," Stefanie Stallmeister, acting country director for the World Bank in Vietnam, said at a ceremony on Thursday where the agreement was signed.

"This emergency operation will not only support the government to quickly monitor and respond to Covid-19 but also contribute to building a resilient health system for future health emergencies," she said.

The grant is expected to help strengthen the capacity of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and other agencies nationwide to evaluate community immunity to Covid-19.

The money will support 200 laboratories to improve their surveillance and testing capabilities.

It will also fund the purchase of equipment by the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals for research into and development of new vaccines and quick diagnostic tests.

Vietnamese researchers are working hard to get a Covid-19 vaccine ready for human clinical trials by the end of this year.

The country is struggling with a new wave of Covid-19 infections, with 93 cases confirmed within just in a week after the first was reported last Saturday, ending a 99-day streak of no local transmission.

There were 45 new cases on Friday morning, the largest number reported in one day since the first ever cases were detected in February. The country has now had 509 patients, 369 of whom have recovered.

Hanoi and HCMC, where two cases were reported each, have been speeding up mass testing of those returning from Da Nang.

On Thursday Hanoi started testing some 21,063 people who had visited Da Nang, a central holiday getaway that has been a big draw for travelers since restrictions were eased.

Around 22,000 people returned to HCMC from Da Nang, and 32,000 to Hanoi.

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