Turkey sent medical aid to Vietnam on Sunday amid COVID-19 pandemic. A Turkish Airlines (THY) airplane carrying the aid landed at Hanoi. The donation comes after an October phone call between Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Oktay had pledged the aid for the Asian country, along with the delivery of 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
Sunday’s shipment included ten ventilators, 10 patient monitors, 20,000 N95 masks, 4,000 protective suits for health care staff, 100,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits, along with other assorted health care equipment.
Chinh had thanked the Turkish government for the gesture during his call with Oktay, and said he looked forward to sharing experiences and working closely with Turkey in combating the pandemic and reopening the economy. Oktay had also pledged that Turkey was also ready to share with Vietnam the “development results” of its locally developed vaccine, Turkovac, and mutually recognize vaccine passports, according to a report in the Vietnamese media.
Vietnam had been praised for its response to the pandemic, recording only a handful of COVID-19 cases in 2020 and just 35 deaths, but numbers spiked in April 2021, leading to more than 1.6 million cases and more than 30,000 deaths being recorded to date. The country aims to vaccinate all of its adult population with a coronavirus booster shot by the end of the first quarter of next year, the health ministry said last week. Vietnam has seen a surge in daily infections since it lifted most of its movement restrictions in October, but has not reported any cases of the omicron variant. “The COVID-19 situation has been evolving in a complicated manner recently, with a rising trend in new infections,” the ministry said in a statement in December. More than 62% of its population of 98 million have received at least two vaccine shots.
Since the pandemic began, Turkey has delivered aid, ranging from vaccines to medical equipment, to 157 countries and 12 international organizations.