Here are today’s leading news stories:
-- Nguyen Quoc Dung, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) Vietnam, on Monday held phone talks with acting Australian Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the SOM Australia on ASEAN and East Asia Summit (EAS) Justin Hayhurst to discuss joint work via regional cooperation mechanisms amid complicated COVID-19 developments.
-- Vietnam’s Ministry of Heath reported zero new COVID-19 case on Tuesday morning, with the country’s tally remaining at 245. A total of 95 patients have recovered so far, and about 18 others are expected to have their recovery confirmed on Tuesday.
-- A total of 63 doctors and nurses at the Hanoi Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital have been quarantined after having contact with Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 243.
-- Regarding a group of 30 men participating in a drinking party at a quarantine facility in north-central Quang Binh Province, only four of them were fined VND200,000 (US$8.5) each on Tuesday for planning and organizing the event.
-- Police in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang have arrested two men, aged 28 and 41, for attacking another man with machetes at a local filling station on April 1 after the victim had failed to pay up his VND80 million ($3,410) debt.
-- The Ministry of Public Security on Monday issued a document that gave warnings about a rise in several types of crime amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
-- Ho Chi Minh City authorities have suspended non-urgent construction projects until April 15 to strictly practice social distancing as per a prime minister directive.
-- The Vietnam Bank for Social Policy has proposed cutting the loan interest rate for poor households by 15 percent from April 1 until the end of the year to assist local residents in coping with the epidemic.
-- The novel coronavirus has infected nearly 1.34 million people and killed more than 74,600 around the world as of Tuesday morning, according to Ministry of Health statistics. More than 278,200 patients have recovered.