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All districts and towns in Hà Nội set to yellow, orange coronavirus risk status; Hoàn Kiếm’s in-person dining resumes

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Police officer tells a food seller in Nguyễn Du Ward, Hai Bà Trưng District about COVID-19 prevention and control measures directed by the district People’s Committee. — VNA/ Photo  

HÀ NỘI — As of Saturday, 23 districts and towns in Hà Nội have been classed as yellow COVID risk areas (medium risk), while seven have been labelled orange (high risk).

Hà Nội now has no districts or towns that are green zones where daily activities can go on as normal, and no red zones where the risk of COVID-19 infection is very high.

The seven districts of Cầu Giấy, Nam Từ Liêm, Thanh Xuân, Ba Đình, Gia Lâm, Hoàng Mai and Long Biên are labelled orange.

Hoàn Kiếm District from Sunday has been downgraded to yellow as COVID development in the area was assessed as less serious.

At the commune and ward level, Hà Nội now has 54 green zones, 367 communes and wards in the yellow zone and 158 communes and wards in the orange zone.

On Friday, the city confirmed over 3,000 cases, a record high. Gia Lâm District is the area with the most infections.

The city has recorded 55,113 COVID-19 cases, including 44,625 people being isolated and treated at home. The others are being treated at health facilities and hospitals.

In the past two weeks, Hà Nội has recorded 21,890 infections in the community.

Since April 29, 2021, the city has recorded 307 deaths related to COVID-19.

More than 13.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the city including more than 1.46 million additional and booster injections.

The percentage of people aged 18 and over receiving at least one dose of COVID vaccine is 99 per cent.

More than 97 per cent of people aged 50 and over in the city have received the full two doses of the vaccine.

Following the latest assessment of Hà Nội People’s Committee, Hoàn Kiếm District allows on-site dining in 11 wards: Đồng Xuân, Hàng Bạc, Hàng Bồ, Hàng Buồm, Hàng Đào, Hàng Mã, Hàng Trống, Lý Thái Tổ, Phan Chu Trinh, Trần Hưng Đạo, and Tràng Tiền.

Last week, on-site dining was allowed in just five wards in the district.

Once assessed as yellow, the wards can resume indoor exercise and sports activities. However, indoor sport facilities are only allowed to operate at half capacity, not gathering more than 30 people at a time.

Restaurants and food service establishments, except alcohol, beer and draft beer businesses, are allowed to reopen but not exceed half seating capacity, and must close by 9pm. Staff must receive two doses of COVID-19 vaccine or have recovered from the virus.

The Hà Nội Department of Education and Training on Saturday sent an urgent message, requiring secondary and high schools and vocational training establishments in districts and communes in orange zone to temporarily suspend offline learning to move to online learning for 9th and 12th graders from January 17.  

Meanwhile, students of grades 9 and 12 of schools in districts, communes and wards in green and yellow zones will return to schools. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1115459/all-districts-and-towns-in-ha-noi-set-to-yellow-orange-coronavirus-risk-status-hoan-kiems-in-person-dining-resumes.html

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Vietnam’s child labor rate lower than Asia-Pacific average: official

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Vietnam’s rate of child labor is 9.1 percent, around two percentage points lower than the average in the Asia-Pacific region, an official told a workshop held in observance of World Day Against Child Labor 2022 (June 12) on Friday.

The 9.1 percent equates to more than one million children in the 5-17 age group engaging in labor, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha cited results of a survey done in 2018 by her ministry, the General Statistics Office, and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The country’s child labor rate has been on the decline since 2012, when it was 15.5 percent, according to Ha.

However, the issue has lingered and tends to take place in informal fields, such as household enterprises and manufacturing and production supply chains, which makes it difficult to detect.

Therefore, the Vietnamese government has sped up multiple efforts to end child labor in all its forms, Ha emphasized.

In contrast with the Vietnamese trend, the global child labor rate has been on the rise due to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ingrid Christensen, director of ILO Vietnam.

About 160 million children, nearly ten percent of the earth’s total number of kids, are currently victims of child labor, Christensen said.

The director advised that Vietnam should step up poverty reduction programs and policies, increase vocational training opportunities for children, especially in rural areas, invest in a child protection system, and improve household livelihoods as a way to prevent child labor, contributing to lowering the global child labor rate.

Meanwhile, many enterprise representatives, who attended Friday’s workshop, suggested imposing heavy sanctions and even criminal punishments on child labor violators.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220528/vietnams-child-labor-rate-lower-than-asiapacific-average-official/67345.html

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Review finds threatened langur species in mountain in southern Vietnam

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Seven groups of black-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nigripes), an endangered species, are living in Chua Chan Mountain in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam, according to a local review.

The People’s Committee of Dong Nai announced the result of the review, of which the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development took charge, on Friday.

The seven groups include around 159 to 192 black-shanked douc langurs, which have grown well and are in the expanding stage of population growth.

In particular, each herd has adult and semi-adult males and females, juveniles, and newborns. 

Officers also noticed the langurs’ separating from their original herd and merging into a new group during the review process.

A pregnant black-shanked douc langur is spotted in Chua Chan Mountain, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo: V. Dung / Tien Phong

A pregnant black-shanked douc langur is spotted in Chua Chan Mountain, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo: V. Dung / Tien Phong

In addition, the officers identified 154 plant species that are food for the black-shanked douc langurs, accounting for 48.7 percent of the total plant species in the reviewed area. 

The langurs do not eat bark, other animals, and insects.

The related departments of Dong Nai have proposed a number of urgent solutions for conserving these rare packs of langurs.

Chua Chan Mountain, also known as Gia Ray or Gia Lao Mountain, is the second-highest mountain in Vietnam’s southeastern region after Ba Den Mountain in Tay Ninh Province, with an altitude of 837 meters.

It is one of the charming and unique landscapes in Dong Nai and an attractive tourist destination for nature exploration. 

The mountain has been recognized as a national scenic relic since 2012.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220528/review-finds-threatened-langur-species-in-mountain-in-southern-vietnam/67344.html

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Workers in need of affordable social housing

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An affordable social housing zone in Định Hòa Ward, Thủ Dầu Một City, in the southern province of Bình Dương. VNA/ Photo Chí Tưởng

BÌNH DƯƠNG — Nguyễn Thị Huệ Lan wants to buy an affordable social house, but she has been unable to access the market.

Lan is from the southern province of Bình Phước but has lived and worked for many years in Thủ Dầu Một City, Bình Dương Province.

After saving for a long time, Lan is looking to buy a social house this month as her long-time residence. But she has found that many of them already have owners and new projects are not yet ready.

Hữu Phước, from Bến Tre Province though now in Bình Dương Province, said that he has recently moved into a new 30-sq.m social house, which he bought for VNĐ200 million (US$8,500).

In order to buy the house, Phước had to sign up a year ago. Workers cannot buy houses without waiting as the demand for social houses was very high. All social houses are sold right after being built.

Phước said that social houses used to be sold at VNĐ100 million ($4,200), which is suitable for low-income workers, but prices have risen since. The reason for house price increases is that construction materials have increased, pushing up social house prices and making it more difficult for low-income workers to access the market.

Bùi Minh Trí, the head of the Bình Dương Management Board of Industrial Zones, told Vietnam News Agency that the province had 28 industrial zones attracting more than 1.5 million workers, mainly from other provinces. Therefore, housing demand is very high.

The province has implemented many policies to build thousands of social houses at reasonable prices for employees, to create favourable conditions to live and work in the province.

Bình Dương Province has invested in 86 social house projects over nearly 200ha. However, this is not enough to meet demand.

Phạm Ngọc Thuận, general director of the Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (often called Becamex IDC) said that the province had completed 47,500 social houses for workers and low-income people. However, as demand is still very high, the project could not keep up with the people’s needs.

At present, Becamex IDC is building 20,000 social houses in Thuận An City, Thủ Dầu Một City, Bến Cát Town and Bàu Bàng District with a total investment of about VNĐ9.5 trillion ($405.8 million). The first stage is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of next year.

The houses will be sold for between VNĐ120-500 million ($5,100-21,300) each, depending on area and type. Workers can also hire them out for VNĐ750,000 ($32) per house per month.

Bình Dương Province is striving to build one million social houses for workers in the period 2021-25, with a vision to 2030.

Director of the provincial Department of Construction Võ Hoàng Ngân said that the province plans to have one million social houses for workers to create better living conditions for them.

The lease and sale of social houses are managed based on regulations.

The department encouraged boarding house owners to upgrade their houses to the department’s standards to raise workers’ living conditions.

People borrowing money to build or repair boarding houses will receive preferential policies.

Chairman of the Bình Dương People’s Committee Võ Văn Minh said that as the province developed industrial production, social housing for low-income people was very important and has received much consideration from the province.

The province encourages people to invest in building social houses to make stable residences for workers.

In the northern province of Thái Nguyên, where around 200,000 workers live in industrial zones, more than 60 per cent of workers come from other provinces, meaning the demand for social houses is always high.

Trịnh Việt Hùng, chairman of the Thái Nguyên People’s Committee, said that the province now had 50 places approved to build social houses.

However, he said, it was difficult to implement the project because capital from the State budget was limited.

The province has called for investors to join the work of building social houses for workers.

On the other hand, the province will also have supportive policies for workers to buy social houses with preferential interest rates from banks.

It is scheduled that in August this year, the province will have started two social housing projects of more than 1,600 houses.

By the end of last year, Việt Nam completed 266 social house projects with more than 142,000 houses, with a total area of more than 7.1 million square metres. —

 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1205734/workers-in-need-of-affordable-social-housing.html

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