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Magnate, wife provide over $1.5mn, lend estate to fight COVID-19, saline intrusion in Vietnam

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 17:28 GMT+7
Magnate, wife provide over $1.5mn, lend estate to fight COVID-19, saline intrusion in Vietnam
Jonathan Hanh Nguyen (L) gives a board to represent his donation to Vietnam's fight against COVID-19 and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, March 20, 2020. Photo: Dan Thuan / Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese tycoon and his wife have committed more than US$1.5 million and lent a major piece of land to the government as support for the combat against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta.

The chairman of Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG), Jonathan Hanh Nguyen, has agreed to let authorities in southern Tay Ninh Province, bordering Cambodia, use 5,000 square meters of the premises of the group’s duty-free supermarket near Moc Bai International Border Gate in Ben Cau District for quarantine purposes, his spokesperson told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday.

IPPG is regarded as one of the biggest multi-business corporates in Vietnam, operating in different fields, including fashion, F&B, real estate, and non-aviation service.

The premises can be used to set up a collective isolation camp for Vietnamese returnees from Cambodia, the spokesperson said.

Vietnam has denied entry to all foreigners since March 22 and demands all entrants declare their health status and be quarantined in collective camps for 14 days -- the advised incubation period of the virus.

“We think that our contribution in the form of land usage for quarantine is one way to stand shoulder to shoulder with our country to fight the epidemic,” the spokesperson said.

The IPPG will coordinate site clearance and outfitting with the Tay Ninh Department of Health.

Johnathan Hanh Nguyen also donated VND30 billion for the government to fight COVID-19 and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta on March 20, as the region is battling historic saltwater incursion.

He and his wife had given away over VND6 billion to build nine negative pressure rooms to treat COVID-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City so their total donations amounted to more than US$1.5 million. On March 9, their daughter, 23-year-old Nguyen Thao Tien, was taken back to Vietnam from the UK on board a charter flight for COVID-19 treatment. The cost for the plane was believed to be around $360,000.

Tien has tested negative for the virus for the first time and is still being treated in Ho Chi Minh City.

“I trust Vietnamese doctors so I put my daughter’s life in their hands,” Jonathan Hanh Nguyen said.

“It’s the right decision.

“She is recovering.”

Seventeen out of the confirmed 134 cases had exited Vietnam's hospitals by Friday last week, with no death having been reported so far.

Vietnam treats local patients for free but the country charges foreigners a fee for their treatment.

Quarantine and testing expenses are waived for all people.

Vietnam had quarantined 46,933 infected patients' close contacts and arrivals from epidemic-hammered regions by Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest statistics.

Health workers have tested 24,311 people to date, with 34,177 samples returning negative.

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