Nearly 100 cases of the A/H1N1 flu virus have been reported in eight cities and provinces as of today, but most of the cases reported were mild, according to the Ministry of Health.
Ha Noi topped the localities with 67 cases confirmed, followed by HCM City with 22 cases.
The first death related to influenza in Viet Nam this year was a 52-year-old male patient from Dong Anh District in Ha Noi who died on January 27. He had been admitted to Bach Mai Hospital suffering from a shortness of breath and a fever, and tested positive for the A/H1N1 flu virus on January 22.
The hospital said the patient had years-long alcohol and smoking addiction.
Nguyen Van Binh, head of the ministry's Preventive Medicine Department, said that the warmer weather and temperature fluctuations were not favourable conditions for the flu to circulate.
Viet Nam plans to buy 1 to 5 million doses of Pandemrix, a type of vaccine which is widely used to combat the virus. Groups that are highly susceptible to the influenza including the elderly, those with chronic diseases, children and pregnant women would be eligible for a free shot, but the vaccine has yet to arrive in Viet Nam.
Illegal firecrackers kill 54, injure 11,440 over holidays
There were 54 deaths from firecrackers between January 31 to February 8 – 11 times of last year's death toll over the Lunar New Year holiday, according to the health ministry.
There were also 11,440 accidents over Tet this year compared to 77 at the start of the Year of the Tiger.
The Government banned firecrackers in 1995.
Nguyen Van Nam, 18, from Hung Ha District in northern Thai Binh Province lost his eyesight and one hand after a home-made firecracker he was holding exploded on February1. He was initially treated at Ha Noi's Hospital 103, where his mangled hand was amputated, before receiving further treatment at Viet Duc Hospital and the National Eye Hospital.
Ha Noi's Hospital 103 treated 13 firecracker victims over the holiday period, compared to six cases last year, Doctor Hoang Cuong said.
Most of the accidents resulted from firecrackers being thrown at the victims, he added.
Meanwhile, the health ministry said there were no new outbreaks of infectious diseases over Tet.
Foot-and-mouth, rabies cases fall
The People's Committee of Dien Bien Province has reported a drop in the number of cases of rabies and foot-and-mouth disease in Tuan Giao District.
The diseases have been affecting the districts of Dien Bien and Muong Ang.
Three people have died from rabies since last May and nearly 900 cows and buffaloes were hit by foot-and-mouth disease in the last two months.
Two injured fishermen saved after tornado
Two fishermen seriously injured in a tornado were rescued on Tuesday in Hoi An.
Father and son Nguyen Lan and Nguyen Duy Tan from Bai Ong Village on Cu Lao Cham Island were fishing when their boat was flipped over by the tornado on Monday. They were rescued by fellow fishermen and are recovering in hospital.
Five-year-old child brought back to life
Tran Quoc Thang was saved from dengue fever on Tuesday at Soc Trang General Hospital thanks to a blood donation, said the hospital's deputy director Nguyen Hoang Cat.
Five-year-old Thang from Phu Tan Commune in the province's Chau Thanh District was hospitalised with serious dengue fever and anaemia. Thang has a rare blood type, B Rh (-), which was not available at the hospital.
A hospital official with the same blood type volunteered to donate blood to Thang, which helped him recover.
Cold spell expected to return to North
A cold spell will hit the country's northern provinces at the end of the week, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Temperatures will drop to 10 degrees Celsius in the country's mountainous areas and is expected to hit 13 degrees Celsius in Ha Noi.
The four-day cold spell is also expected to cause light and drizzling rains throughout the northern and central parts of the country.
World Bank funds housing for 10,000
New housing, roads, lighting and water systems have been built for around 9,400 families in HCM City under a project that received a World Bank loan of US$426,8 million.
The bank also offered loan to set up the same projects to Can Tho, Da Nang, and Ha Noi.
Le Thanh Liem, the project's director, said 45 apartment buildings in 33 poor areas in HCM City were built for low-income families and fire-prevention programmes were also set up.
Liem said that when the project was completed, around 1.7 million residents would benefit.
Le Thi Tuyet Mai, a resident of the city's District 6, said the new infrastructure, as well as a loan from the WB project, had increased her restaurant's earnings.
Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the city People's Committee, has told agencies to deal with site delays in order to complete the project by the deadline in 2014.
Two students drown in Phu Yen Province
Two students from Tran Binh Trong High School drowned while bathing in a local stream with a group of friends on Monday afternoon in Phu Hoa District in central Phu Yen Province.
The district People's Committee's chairman, Dang Khi, said their friends ran to seek help but were unable to save their friends.
These students could not swim.
Man arrested for scattering nails
The anti-crime group in Phu Hoa Ward, Binh Duong Province, caught a 30-year-old man red-handed scattering nails on Binh Duong Avenue in Thu Dau Mot on Monday.
Nguyen The Cuong, from Thanh Hoa Province, was found with 120 triangle-shaped nails.
Cuong was then sent to the local police.
Local residents said dozens of drivers had their vehicles' tires shredded by nails during Tet.