Vietnam has added to concerns over global supplies of coffee as the South East Asian country’s biggest city remains in lockdown. The exporting hub of Ho Chi Minh has been kept under tough travel restrictions after a surge in cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Vietnam is a major producer of robusta, the bitter tasting bean used in instant coffee and some espresso blends.
Vietnam hunted for survivors on Thursday after landslides triggered by Typhoon Molave, one of its strongest storms in decades, lashed a central region already reeling from weeks of heavy rains that have killed at least 160 people. Hundreds of soldiers with heavy equipment were deployed to landslides in remote areas of Quang Nam province, where 19 people were killed and 12 were missing.
Vietnam is evacuating 80,000 people from the central city of Danang and reimposing disease-prevention measures after four local coronavirus cases were detected, the first to be recorded in the country for more than three months. Life had returned to normal for many in the country, which had been praised widely for taking quick action to contain Covid-19 and was on the brink of reaching 100 days without any new local infections.
For the first time since the Vietnam War, a US Navy aircraft is visiting a Vietnamese port, indicating the growing strategic relationship as China increases its military buildup. Daniel Kritenbrink, US ambassador to Vietnam, said ‘…we have gone from former enemies to close partners’ and the visit ‘demonstrates our commitment to the US- Vietnam partnership.’
Families in Vietnam on Wednesday began receiving the bodies of their loved ones who died in a container truck in England last month. So far 16 of the 39 victims’ bodies have been flown to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport and then taken to their families’ homes by ambulance. The repatriation came two days after a man accused of driving the truck pleaded guilty to assisting in plotting illegal immigration in British court.