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Vietnamese health minister and Hanoi mayor arrested for Covid profiteering

VIETNAM’S Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long and Hanoi Mayor Chu Ngoc Anh have been arrested for Covid profiteering.

The pair have also been expelled from the ruling Communist Party.

An investigation concluded earlier that mismanagement in the science and health ministries had allowed Viet A Technology Corporation to inflate prices for test kits supplied to hospitals and health centres in Vietnam.

Viet A’s director Phan Quoc Viet has admitted inflating the selling price of each test kit (paid for by the state) to 470,000 dong, or just over £16, allowing the firm to cream off significant profits while giving a cut to state officials who agreed to pay the inflated price.

Vietnam adopted a strict zero-Covid policy until mid-2021, with around 43,000 people dying from the virus — a death rate of approximately 440 per million, nearly 50 times higher than neighbouring China’s, though far lower than the over 2,500 per million deaths in Britain.

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