Sun, September 26, 2021

international

Vietnam sends SOS to WHO for vaccine as Covid cases surge in Asean


Covid-19 cases soared in Southeast Asia for the third consecutive day but the death toll was lower on Thursday, collated data showed.

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Asean countries reported 91,362 new cases on Thursday, higher than Wednesday’s 89,577, and 2,188 patients died, lower than the 2,296 the previous day.

The number of Covid-19 cases crossed 9.65 million while the death toll in the region rose to 214,864.

Indonesia reported 16,899 new cases and 889 deaths on Thursday, bringing cumulative cases in the country to 4,043,736 and deaths to 130,182.

The Public Health Ministry said it would allow people to choose the type of vaccine for their third jab, at their own expense. The price will be set at a reasonable rate of around 100,000 rupiah (Bt210). However, the government’s health insurance scheme will cover the vaccine cost for low income earners.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent a letter to the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) and urged its vaccine sharing programme Covax to prioritise Vietnam “in the fastest manner and with the largest volume possible”. The country has fully inoculated just 2 per cent of its 98 million people, among the lowest in Asia. Experts fear that if the low vaccination rate persists, it can turn Vietnam into a new epicenter of Covid-19 infections in Asean instead of Indonesia, and could result in new variants of the virus.

Published : August 27, 2021