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Back Stories » Vietnam » Weekly Stories Roundup: New Covid-19 Cases, 'Adorable Home' Goes Vietnamese & Wildlife Trade Ban

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Each week, we digest the most important stories from the capital, the rest of Vietnam and beyond, and summarize them in short paragraphs so you can easily keep up with current affairs.

Covid-19 Cases Surge

After three weeks without any new reported Covid-19 infections, Vietnam has had a challenging seven days. Last Friday, the 17th case was reported - a young Vietnamese woman who had returned to Hanoi from London after attending the Milan Fashion Show and visiting France.

This led to a set of rapid developments, as Vietnam's case total is now 44, with all but nine of the latest 28 infections linked to that Hanoi-London flight. Most of the infections from that flight involve British nationals who were in business class with the Vietnamese woman in question.

Nine cases have been detected in Binh Thuan Province. These are linked to a Vietnamese businesswoman who flew from Washington DC to Saigon via Qatar and then took a private car to Phan Thiet. All nine individuals are being treated at the main provincial hospital.

In response to these developments, the government has mandated health declaration forms for anyone entering Vietnam, while also suspending the visa waiver program for citizens of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Germany and France. This program had already been suspended for South Korea and Italy amid major outbreaks there.

Popular Mobile Game 'Adorable Home' Now Available in Vietnam

In much lighter news, the mobile sensation in which players work to build a happy home and successfully raise cats added Vietnamese as a language option. Adorable Home has exploded in popularity in Vietnam, and players can no accrue "love," purchase furniture, clip their cat's nails and discover other whimsical quirks in their native language.

Vietnam to Crack Down on Illegal Wildlife Trade

In response to a petition submitted by 15 conservation NGOs, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to draft a directive banning the wildlife trade by April 1.

Vietnam is a major hub for the trade of ruinous illegal wildlife products such as pangolin scales, bear bile and rhino horn.

Singapore to Introduce the Vietnamese Language to School Curriculum

Singapore's Ministry of Education (MoE) will introduce Vietnamese and Thai studies alongside increased attention to Malay and Chinese.

In a press release issued last week, the MoE released plans to refresh curriculum in response to "an increasingly complex, interconnected and tech-driven world." Students aged 12–18 will be provided "age-appropriate digital resources" to learn Vietnamese along with a number of other initiatives to increase digital competencies and a focus on the history, geography, culture and economies of ASEAN countries.

[Top image via CDC]

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