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ADB approved $60mln package to help improve climate resilience of infrastructure for ethnic minorities in Việt Nam

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Farmers in An Lão District, the south-central province of Bình Định, clearing up a field after a serious flood in October 2020. — VNA/ Photo Tường Quân

HÀ NỘI — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $60 million financial package to improve the climate resilience of the transport and water supply infrastructure in Việt Nam’s south-central coastal provinces of Bình Định and Quảng Nam.

The money will specifically target remote upland districts with large ethnic minority communities.

The Climate Resilient Inclusive Infrastructure for Ethnic Minorities Project I, will upgrade 121.8km of roads using climate-resilient design standards, construct 115km of water supply pipelines, and help provide reliable weather and climate data in a timely, cost-effective manner. About 243,000 people, including 126,300 from ethnic minority groups, are expected to benefit from the project.   

“The project aims to improve the living conditions of ethnic minority communities in remote areas of Việt Nam,” said ADB Programs Officer Nguyễn Hồng Anh.

“It will better link remote rural production sites with markets and processing facilities for crops such as acacia and boost beneficiaries’ access to health, education, and market services. The project will also expand access to safe water supply and irrigation.”

The financing package includes $58 million in regular ADB loans and a $2 million grant from ADB’s High-Level Technology Fund. The grant will fund the supply and installation of data systems for climate risk management. In addition, the project will include $21.73 million in financing from the Government of Việt Nam.

Việt Nam’s economy grew 7.0 per cent on average from 2016 to 2018, but it slowed to 2.9 per cent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significant gaps exist between the economically booming coastal communities and the interior upland areas with a high ethnic minority population.

About 87 per cent of ethnic minority households in Bình Định and 55 per cent in Quảng Nam are poor or near poor, compared with the provincial poverty rates of 5.5 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.

These areas are challenged by low-quality, fragmented transport and water resource infrastructure. Most of the ethnic minority communities are often isolated during the rainy season, cut off by flooded roads situated in hilly or mountainous terrain. Less than 60 per cent of households within the project area have access to reliable and safe water supply. Limited access to water and poor sanitation have led to high incidence of waterborne diseases and poverty.

Việt Nam faces a high risk of disasters and climate change. The country experiences an estimated annual average loss of $2.37 billion due to natural hazards, especially floods, with Bình Định and Quảng Nam among the most affected areas. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1020030/adb-approved-60mln-package-to-help-improve-climate-resilience-of-infrastructure-for-ethnic-minorities-in-viet-nam.html

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Ho Chi Minh City seeks permission to culture novel coronavirus

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities have proposed that the Hospital for Tropical Diseases be allowed to culture the novel coronavirus to better assess herd immunity.

During a working session on Tuesday, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, asked the Ministry of Health to allow the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases to culture the SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory.

The clinical research unit of the University of Oxford, which has been participating in the genome sequencing process at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, has a biosafety level-three laboratory.

This facility meets international biosafety standards and has its safety inspected by the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health. 

The lab has been used to culture viruses such as multi-resistant tuberculosis and influenza.

If allowed to culture the coronavirus, the southern city will be able to better assess herd immunity, according to Dr. Chau.

The evaluation of herd immunity in the city was previously based on antibody concentration and the use of some techniques to replace neutralization reaction, the official elaborated.

However, the neutralization reaction is the most accurate method to evaluate protective antibodies.

To conduct a neutralization reaction, a live virus must be mixed with the serum, Chau stated.

At the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of Health stated that the number of COVID-19 cases in Ho Chi Minh City has been decreasing drastically.

However, the city must not let its guard down as new coronavirus variants could have entered the local community during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, posing a high risk for the elderly and unvaccinated people.

Municipal authorities should have recommendations on pandemic prevention at local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, pagodas, and festival places to minimize the spread of the virus in case a new variant is recorded.

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities have proposed that the Hospital for Tropical Diseases be allowed to culture the novel coronavirus to better assess herd immunity.

During a working session on Tuesday, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, asked the Ministry of Health to allow the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases to culture the SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory.

The clinical research unit of the University of Oxford, which has been participating in the genome sequencing process at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, has a biosafety level-three laboratory.

This facility meets international biosafety standards and has its safety inspected by the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health. 

The lab has been used to culture viruses such as multi-resistant tuberculosis and influenza.

If allowed to culture the coronavirus, the southern city will be able to better assess herd immunity, according to Dr. Chau.

The evaluation of herd immunity in the city was previously based on antibody concentration and the use of some techniques to replace neutralization reaction, the official elaborated.

However, the neutralization reaction is the most accurate method to evaluate protective antibodies.

To conduct a neutralization reaction, a live virus must be mixed with the serum, Chau stated.

At the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of Health stated that the number of COVID-19 cases in Ho Chi Minh City has been decreasing drastically.

However, the city must not let its guard down as new coronavirus variants could have entered the local community during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, posing a high risk for the elderly and unvaccinated people.

Municipal authorities should have recommendations on pandemic prevention at local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, pagodas, and festival places to minimize the spread of the virus in case a new variant is recorded.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20230201/ho-chi-minh-city-seeks-permission-to-culture-novel-coronavirus/71255.html

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S.Korea tops list of foreign visitors to Vietnam in first month of 2023

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South Korea is the country accounting for the highest number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first month of this year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The number of international tourist arrivals in Vietnam in January 2023 amounted to more than 871,000, making an increase of 23.2 percent compared to December last year, the GSO reported recently.

Among the total, some 259,000 travelers were from South Korea, placing the Northeastern Asian country in the first position on the list of international arrivals to Vietnam last month.  

Ranking second was the U.S. with nearly 77,900 tourists and the third place went to Thailand with some 55,000 travelers.

The fourth and fifth positions belonged to Australia and Japan with about 44,000 and 34,000 visitors, respectively.

This image shows a member of the group of 120 South Korean tourists being offered flowers by a local receptionist when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, in south-central Vietnam, on January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

This image shows a member of a group of 120 South Korean tourists getting flowers when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

International travelers to Vietnam by air occupied the largest portion, at 91.9 percent, while those by road and by sea represented 7.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the GSO said.

The figure of foreign arrivals to Vietnam in January 2023 rose 44.2 percent from a year earlier, but it fell 42 percent compared to the same period of 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic had yet to hit the Southeast Asian country. 

Last month saw numbers of visitors to Vietnam from China and Russia, two of Vietnam’s major sources of tourists, reach nearly 47,000 and 12,000, respectively, far lower than over 660,000 and 36,000 in the same period in 2019, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Total tourism revenue in January neared VND46 trillion (US$1.96 billion), lower than the expected monthly average of VND54 trillion ($2.3 billion) for 2023.

The tourism sector has set a goal of welcoming about eight million international visitors in 2023, equal to 45 percent of the 2019 target, the VNAT said.

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South Korea is the country accounting for the highest number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first month of this year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The number of international tourist arrivals in Vietnam in January 2023 amounted to more than 871,000, making an increase of 23.2 percent compared to December last year, the GSO reported recently.

Among the total, some 259,000 travelers were from South Korea, placing the Northeastern Asian country in the first position on the list of international arrivals to Vietnam last month.  

Ranking second was the U.S. with nearly 77,900 tourists and the third place went to Thailand with some 55,000 travelers.

The fourth and fifth positions belonged to Australia and Japan with about 44,000 and 34,000 visitors, respectively.

This image shows a member of the group of 120 South Korean tourists being offered flowers by a local receptionist when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, in south-central Vietnam, on January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

This image shows a member of a group of 120 South Korean tourists getting flowers when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

International travelers to Vietnam by air occupied the largest portion, at 91.9 percent, while those by road and by sea represented 7.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the GSO said.

The figure of foreign arrivals to Vietnam in January 2023 rose 44.2 percent from a year earlier, but it fell 42 percent compared to the same period of 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic had yet to hit the Southeast Asian country. 

Last month saw numbers of visitors to Vietnam from China and Russia, two of Vietnam’s major sources of tourists, reach nearly 47,000 and 12,000, respectively, far lower than over 660,000 and 36,000 in the same period in 2019, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Total tourism revenue in January neared VND46 trillion (US$1.96 billion), lower than the expected monthly average of VND54 trillion ($2.3 billion) for 2023.

The tourism sector has set a goal of welcoming about eight million international visitors in 2023, equal to 45 percent of the 2019 target, the VNAT said.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20230201/skorea-tops-list-of-foreign-visitors-to-vietnam-in-first-month-of-2023/71250.html

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Work starts on operation building for Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line

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The groundbreaking for the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line was held on Tuesday.

Upon completion, the operation and management (O&M) building will be the headquarters for Ho Chi Minh City No.1 Urban Railway Company with the primary function of operating the entirety of metro line No. 1.

The facility is located at Long Binh depot in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City.

The construction of the city’s first metro line is about 94 percent complete, Nguyen Quoc Hien, an official from the municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the project developer, said at the ceremony.

The developer, contractor, and consulting team are working hard to complete the remaining categories and prepare for technical test operation of the metro route in 2023, Hien continued.

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building covers an area of more than 1,500 square meters, has two stories, and has a lifespan of 100 years.

The construction is expected to last for nine months.

This year marks an important phase of the project as it will be the transition from the construction of the metro line to the official operation of the route in 2024, according to Hien.

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong stated that 2022 marked many memorable milestones of metro line No. 1, especially the trial operation of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station.

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building is a very important ‘piece’ for the whole project, Cuong stressed.

The official requested that relevant units ensure the progress of the project and put it into operation in 2024.

The city’s first metro line is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railway and 17.1 kilometers of elevated track.

It runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

The project broke ground in August 2012 at a cost of VND43,700 billion (US$1.86 billion), most of which comes from Japan’s official development assistance loans.

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The groundbreaking for the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line was held on Tuesday.

Upon completion, the operation and management (O&M) building will be the headquarters for Ho Chi Minh City No.1 Urban Railway Company with the primary function of operating the entirety of metro line No. 1.

The facility is located at Long Binh depot in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City.

The construction of the city’s first metro line is about 94 percent complete, Nguyen Quoc Hien, an official from the municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the project developer, said at the ceremony.

The developer, contractor, and consulting team are working hard to complete the remaining categories and prepare for technical test operation of the metro route in 2023, Hien continued.

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building covers an area of more than 1,500 square meters, has two stories, and has a lifespan of 100 years.

The construction is expected to last for nine months.

This year marks an important phase of the project as it will be the transition from the construction of the metro line to the official operation of the route in 2024, according to Hien.

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong stated that 2022 marked many memorable milestones of metro line No. 1, especially the trial operation of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station.

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building is a very important ‘piece’ for the whole project, Cuong stressed.

The official requested that relevant units ensure the progress of the project and put it into operation in 2024.

The city’s first metro line is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railway and 17.1 kilometers of elevated track.

It runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

The project broke ground in August 2012 at a cost of VND43,700 billion (US$1.86 billion), most of which comes from Japan’s official development assistance loans.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20230201/work-starts-on-operation-building-for-ho-chi-minh-citys-first-metro-line/71248.html

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