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Da Nang awaits permission to use drones for COVID monitoring

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The People’s Committee of Hai Chau District in central Da Nang City has piloted the use of drones for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and enforcing the social-distancing of local residents in quarantine zones and small alleys in the city.

Da Nang awaits permission to use drones for COVID monitoring

A member of the Da Nang Development Association controls a drone for COVID-19 monitoring in Hai Chau District in central Da Nang City. 

Those who are found breaking the rules during social distancing will be sanctioned, it said.

The move was the local authority’s effort in tightening measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 after nearly two weeks of implementing social distancing. Violations such as mass gatherings have been reported in small alleys.  

On August 29, Vu Quang Hung, secretary of Hai Chau District’s Party Committee, told Thanh Niên (Young) newspaper that the district was still waiting for the Military Region 5’s approval for licensing the use of drones to monitor residents in some areas.

This is one of the solutions to combat the pandemic when the city requires people ‘to stay where they are.’

Hung also said local functional forces, in cooperation with the city’s Development Association, implemented the pilot of 15 drones in the district.

“We recorded some good results in the flight test. People were more aware when they saw drones on patrol. In addition, we have deployed more than 40 drones operating in small alleys, bringing the total number of cameras at these areas to about 60,” he said.

Da Nang awaits permission to use drones for COVID monitoring
A drone is seen operating in Hai Chau District in central Da Nang City.

According to Hung, the locality called upon for the support of the Da Nang Development Association for drones instead of using the local budget.

Vice Chairman of Hai Chau District’s People’s Committee Truong Thanh Dung said the military had warned about flying drones in the area on Sunday afternoon.

“The flight test was implemented in the two wards of Hoa Thuan Dong and Binh Hien. I was at the flight test and recorded quite good results. Many people rushed back to their home after finding monitoring drones,” he said.

Dung said it was just a test flight, and the district was still waiting for the military’s approval.

He said there were restricted areas or completely banned areas for drones, so the district would only use drones to monitor the pandemic in small alleys.

In reply to concerns that surveillance drones would be ineffective in small alleys, Hung said the district would install more surveillance cameras at these locations.

Chairman of the Da Nang Development Association Tran Huu Duc Nhat said as long as operators were well equipped with knowledge of handling situations and had technique, there would be no problem using the drones in smaller areas.

Nhat said the flying of 15 drones recorded some difficulties in small alleys, but experienced operators could handle the situation well.

Drones would transmit live images to local leaders, so that they could easily detect violators, especially those in red zones who intentionally went out during social distancing. 

Support package

The city’s People’s Committee yesterday announced that it had approved a package of more than VND71 billion (US$3.1 million) to support 50,000 households in need of food and medical supplies in the city.

Of that, VND25 billion was given to the Department of Industry and Trade and the rest to local district authorities. The Department of Industry and Trade has purchased food boxes worth VND500,000 per box to give to those in need.

The city’s People’s Committee has approved the financial support of VND29.05 trillion for those who work for the management boards of residential areas, apartment complexes or villages to fight the pandemic. As estimated, each will be given VND1 million. 

Source: Vietnam News

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/da-nang-awaits-permission-to-use-drones-for-covid-monitoring-770699.html

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More endangered gray-shanked douc langurs found in central Vietnam

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Nonprofits Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and GreenViet have recently found 10 herds of 104 endangered gray-shanked douc langurs after surveying ten forests in Ba To District in the central province of Quang Ngai.

“These are very rare douc langurs that need urgent conservation,” said Ngo Vinh Phong, head of the Quang Ngai Forest Protection Department.

They are included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species.

In the world, the gray-shanked douc langur is only found in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, according to Tran Huu Vy, director of GreenViet. 

An endangered gray-shanked douc langur and its infant are seen in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Quoc Huy / Tien Phong

An endangered gray-shanked douc langur and its offspring are seen in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Quoc Huy / Tien Phong

In Vietnam, it is estimated that there are only 2,200 – 2,500 gray-shanked douc langurs in the wild, distributed in Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai Provinces.

Vy and many experts are calling for the establishment of a nature reserve at the place where the 104 gray-shanked douc langurs were discovered in Ba To District.

The new reserve will border existing nature reserves in Gia Lai and Binh Dinh Provinces.

Endangered gray-shanked douc langurs are hunted in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: T.M. / Tien Phong

Endangered gray-shanked douc langurs are hunted in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Photo: T.M. / Tien Phong

Reports showed that about 86 gray-shanked douc langurs were caught in the central and Central Highlands provinces in the 2010-20 period. 

In Ba To District, forest rangers caught a case of five gray-shanked douc langurs being hunted and launched legal proceedings against the people involved.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221202/more-endangered-grayshanked-douc-langurs-found-in-central-vietnam/70279.html

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Ho Chi Minh City’s sky turns gray due to air pollution

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The sky of Ho Chi Minh City had a dull gray color with a thick layer of gloomy mist as air pollution worsened on Thursday morning, according to experts.

Many buildings and skyscrapers were covered by the leaden mist around 9:00 am and 10:00 am as observed by Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper.

The foggy, murky weather often occurs in the southern region in the year-end season, the experts said.

This image shows the gloomy sky of the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky of the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Le Phan / Tien Phong

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment called this phenomenon photochemical smog, a term used to describe a form of air pollution that occurs in the troposphere and is caused by sunlight acting on emissions.

Compounds created from this procedure are harmful to human health and reduce visibility.

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Monitoring results from November 14 to 20 showed that 42.9 percent of the total suspended particulate (TSP) values, all noise indicators, and 9.5 percent of the fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) indicators did not meet requirements.

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

This image shows the gloomy sky in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on December 1, 2022. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Meanwhile, Le Thi Xuan Lan, former deputy head of the southern hydro-meteorological station, who calls the phenomenon ‘dust-mixed smog,’ explained that as the rainy season has not ended yet, humidity remains high in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Suspended dust clings to water vapor, so we can see it more clearly,” Lan said. 

“This is a sign of air pollution.”

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221201/ho-chi-minh-citys-sky-turns-gray-due-to-air-pollution/70281.html

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Ho Chi Minh City to conduct test run of first metro line’s elevated section this month

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Ho Chi Minh City is expected to conduct a test run along the elevated section of its first metro line later this month, according to secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen.

During a meeting on Wednesday, Nen directed relevant agencies to speed up and put into use key projects, especially the long-stalled metro line No. 1.

According to the report of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, the metro line project is now 92.89 percent complete.

The developer and contractor are expected to conduct the trial run of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station in late December.

In late January, the developer will carry out the trial operation of the elevated section along with the automatic train protection (ATP), automatic train operation (ATO), and automatic train supervision (ATS) systems.

The developer will strive to complete the installation of equipment on the entire route by April.

The trial operation of the entire route is expected to take place in August, while the project will come on stream by the end of 2023.

Metro line No. 1 is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railways and 17.1 kilometers of elevated tracks.

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 line has 17 trains, each consisting of three cars and designed to run at up to 110 kilometers per hour above the ground and 80 kilometers per hour underground.

Each Japanese-manufactured train is 61.5 meters long and can carry 930 passengers, including 147 seating and 783 standing guests.

The metro project, which started in August 2012, carries a price tag of VND43.7 trillion (US$1.9 billion).

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20221201/ho-chi-minh-city-to-conduct-test-run-of-first-metro-lines-elevated-section-this-month/70282.html

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