The Government Office has issued a dispatch urging the Ministry of Health to alter the implementation of ineffective Covid-19 response measures in a number of provinces.
|A medical worker swabs a local woman for Covid-19 testing. – Photo: VNA|
According to the dispatch signed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, the local media recently reported that provinces are carrying out draconian anti-virus measures or those going against the Government’s guidelines.
For instance, some provinces arbitrarily collect pre-vaccination testing fees from people, while some local authorities constantly change regulations on dining services. Some others increased their Covid transmission risk levels not in line with the prevailing rules, reportedly causing concerns over the coronavirus among local people, leaving a negative impact on public passenger transport activities and many other services.
The Health Ministry is reportedly mapping out new guidelines on the safe adaptation to Covid, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper.
In related news, Nguyen Anh Dung, deputy head of the HCMC Health Department, told a conference held on January 12, that enhancing the grassroots-level medical facilities is among the key tasks of the municipal health authority this year.
However, the current workforce at local medical stations across the city has yet to meet the demand for healthcare services among the city’s population. Medical workers have to handle multiple healthcare programs simultaneously, while doctors have to manage management and medical treatment activities.
The city also faces a shortfall of leadership positions for medical stations, heads of departments and divisions at medical centers due to qualification and State management issues.
Besides, fresh graduates usually do not apply to grassroots-level hospitals due to lower incomes and limited opportunities for expert training compared to those at city-level facilities.
Accordingly, more effective measures need to be taken to improve the healthcare workforce, such as offering expert training and more incentives to retain medical workers at grassroots-level facilities. There must also be cooperation policies between the grassroots- and upper-level hospitals, the health official said.
Việt Nam, Singapore to promote strategic partnership
Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng meets the Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin on Friday. VNA/ Photo Trí Dũng
HÀ NỘI — Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng met the Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday, highlighting that the two countries should continue promoting their strategic partnership.
The Singaporean Speaker emphasised that the strategic partnership between them had developed strongly and deeply in all fields.
Singapore attached great importance to developing relations with Việt Nam, he said, noting that people-to-people exchanges were an important basis for bilateral relations.
He informed the Vietnamese Party chief of the results of talks with the Chairman of Việt Nam’s NA Vương Đình Huệ, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation, agreeing to strengthen exchanges and contacts between parliamentarians as well as cooperation between committees and at international forums.
Party General Secretary Trọng welcomed the visit by Tan, expressing his belief that it would be an important milestone as the two countries move towards the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of establishing a strategic partnership between the two countries in 2023.
Party General Secretary Trọng highly appreciated the multifaceted achievements of the two countries’ cooperation and thanked Singapore for its support to Việt Nam’s socio-economic development.
He highlighted Việt Nam wishes to strongly promote the strategic partnership and cooperation.
The Party chief agreed on the significance of expanding the relationship between the two countries’ people, and suggested that Singapore continue to pay attention to and create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Singapore.
He suggested that the two parliaments continue to improve laws and mechanisms and take specific measures to implement cooperation.
Singapore one of Việt Nam’s leading partners in the region: PM Chính
HÀ NỘI — Singapore has always been one of Việt Nam’s leading partners in the region.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính made the statement meeting with Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin on Friday morning in Hà Nội.
PM Chính said the visit of the Tan Chuan-Jin, which lasted from May 18 to 20, was very important, contributing to promoting the Việt Nam – Singapore Strategic Partnership to become more and more extensive and effective, especially while the two countries are looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and 10 years of Strategic Partnership in 2023.
Chính congratulated Singapore on its outstanding achievements, including always leading the way in the region in catching new development trends of the world, especially in science and technology with its high international prestige and position.
Chính also congratulated the Singapore Sports Delegation, participating in the 31st SEA Games, on their success.
Chính said despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-way trade turnover between Việt Nam and Singapore had still grown positively, reaching US$8.3 billion in 2021, an increase of over 23 per cent compared to 2020.
Singapore was the largest investor of Việt Nam in ASEAN with 2,866 valid projects and total registered capital of $67.5 billion, he said.
Việt Nam – Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) not only made an important contribution to the regional economic development in Việt Nam but also helped spread the working spirit, labour discipline and Singaporean management thinking in Việt Nam, becoming a successful model in economic co-operation between the two countries, he said.
Chính suggested the two sides step up visits at all levels; effectively implement bilateral cooperation mechanisms and agreements, especially the Ministerial Conference on economic connectivity between Việt Nam and Singapore.
Chính said he hoped the two sides would continue to support and create conditions for cooperation in recovery and economic development after the pandemic, focusing on areas where Singapore has strengths and Việt Nam has needs.
The areas include innovation, green energy, digital economy and diversification of the global supply chain, bringing the connection of the two economies towards a new level of “connection on a digital platform” through the effective implementation of the “MoU on Co-operation in the Digital Economy”, signed during President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s visit to Singapore in February, he said.
Chính also expected that Singapore would help to develop VSIP zones in a number of provinces and cities in Việt Nam following the model of smart, high-tech, innovative, environmentally friendly and energy-saving; and the two sides would effectively take advantage of the implementation of free trade agreements, especially Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Regarding co-operation in COVID-19 prevention and control, Chính congratulated Singapore as the country with the highest vaccination rate in the world, having moved to the stage of “adaptation, development and long-term coexistence with COVID-19”.
Chính also thanked Singapore for the valuable and timely support in medical equipment and vaccines that Singapore had given to Việt Nam. He asked that the two sides promote cooperation in the research and production of vaccines and drugs to treat COVID-19.
He suggested that the two countries step up cooperation in the fields of defence and security, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges and seek new development motivations, especially in areas where Singapore has strengths and Vietnam has potential.
Chính asked Singapore to share experiences in digital transformation, for example in the fields of tax collection, banking and population management as well as continue to support Việt Nam in human resource training, especially high-quality human resources and increasing scholarships for managers at all levels in Việt Nam.
On this occasion, Chính also thanked and asked Singapore to continue to create favourable conditions for the community of about 13,000 Vietnamese people living, studying and working in Singapore.
Tan thanked Chính for the warm and respectful welcome, and highly appreciated the thoughtfulness and friendship that the host country Việt Nam has spent for the Singapore sports delegation.
He said Việt Nam’s economy was appreciated as one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. He also said that economic cooperation was an important foundation in the two countries’ relations with huge potential.
Therefore, it was necessary to promote stronger, especially co-operation in the fields of trade, investment, technology and new areas of co-operation, he said.
Singapore’s NA Speaker Tan affirmed that in legislative terms, the Singapore Parliament supported the cooperation between the two Governments and Singaporean enterprises investing in Việt Nam. It also supported the expansion of VSIP Industrial Parks in Việt Nam to tighten and improve the effectiveness of the friendship between the two countries.
The two leaders also exchanged views on regional and global situations and issues of mutual concern, stressing that ASEAN should stick to its position on the East Sea and resolve disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and the importance of ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. —
Successful NA Chairman’s visit helps bolster partnership with Laos: Official
HÀ NỘI — The visit by National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vương Đình Huệ to Laos from May 15-17 was a success, helping further foster the cooperative relations and mutual support between the two parliaments, and bolster the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership between the two countries, according to Chairman of the NA Committee for External Relations Vũ Hải Hà.
Speaking to the Vietnam News Agency following the visit, Hà said that senior leaders of Laos highly valued the first visit by Huệ as the Vietnamese top legislator during the two countries’ Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022, making him the first foreign parliament leader to visit Laos during the ninth tenure of the Lao NA.
The Lao side congratulated Việt Nam on its achievements in socio-economic development and pandemic control, and informed the Vietnamese leader on Laos’ socio-economic targets and tasks as well as its action plan to deal with COVID-19 impacts and boost socio-economic development, he said.
Hà underlined that NA Chairman Huệ’s visit sent out a message that the Vietnamese Party, State, NA and people always have understanding of and sharing with Laos with a spirit of comradeship, brotherhood and mutual support, and Việt Nam always stands by the side of, accompanies and assists Laos to overcome all challenges for further development.
Ha noted that during the visit, NA Chairman Huệ and the Vietnamese delegation conducted 27 official activities, including talks between the NA leader and his Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane.
At the talks and meetings, leaders of the two countries had substantial and deep discussions on cooperation between the two parliaments and two countries as well as regional and international issues of shared concern.
Both sides agreed to work closely in effectively implementing the cooperation agreements reached between the two NAs during the visit for the 2022-26 period, while increasing delegation exchanges between the two NAs and NA agencies as well as parliamentarians’ groups and the People’s Councils of localities sharing the border and twin relations.
The two sides will continue to coordinate in organising conferences to share experience in parliamentary operation, while cooperating in supervising and promoting the implementation of agreements, treaties and cooperation plans between the two Governments, and working together in organising activities to celebrate the bilateral Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022. They will continue to foster collaboration and mutual support at international and regional inter-parliamentary forums such as the ASEAN Inter-Paliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP), and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF).
They also consented to coordinate with the National Assembly of Cambodia to continue improving the process and procedures to upgrade the mechanism of cooperation among the legislatures of the three countries to the NA Chairmen chaired level.
Particularly, Hà said that the Lao NA leader expressed hope to learn from Việt Nam’s experience in Party affairs in NA operation, ensuring the Party leadership over NA operations.
The two NA leaders witnessed the signing and exchange of a number of cooperation documents, including the Cooperation Agreement between the Office of the National Assembly of Việt Nam and the Office of the National Assembly of Laos and the working minutes on electricity purchase from Laos.
NA Chairman Huệ also visited Champasak province where he met Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Governor of Champasak Vilayvong Bouddakham, and laid a wreath at the monument commemorating martyrs of the Laos-Việt Nam Combat Alliance. He also visited the Việt Nam-Laos rubber company, the provincial boarding school for ethnic minority students, and the Consulate General of Việt Nam, and met representatives of the Vietnamese community, Vietnamese businesses investing in four southern provinces of Laos.
Besides the activities of the NA Chairman, delegation members also conducted 10 meetings and bilateral exchanges with the respective agencies and partners of Laos. The exchanges all had substantive and comprehensive contents, demonstrating their determination of urgently implementing high-level agreements in 2022, said Hà.
Regarding the outcomes of the conference co-chaired by the two NAs to share the experience on mechanisms and policies supporting post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and development, Hà said that participants shared their experience in performing the role of a legislature in building laws to promote the national socio-economic recovery and development after the COVID-19 to suit the conditions in each country.
The Lao sides highly valued Việt Nam’s experience in approving support packages. NA Chairman Huệ proposed that the two sides hold another conference in Việt Nam to seek measures to boost the recovery process together.
On the special mechanisms to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses investing in Laos, Hà said that at the meeting with the Vietnamese community in Laos, NA Chairman Huệ, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandon and Lao NA Vice Chairman Sommad Pholsena listened to opinions and requests of the community. They affirmed that Vietnamese-funded projects had made positive contributions to promoting socio-economic development of Laos. They pledged to direct relevant agencies to make suitable policies and mechanisms to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses operating in the neighbouring countries.
Việt Nam is the third largest investor in Laos. The Lao side held that despite a rise of 33 per cent year on year in two-way trade in 2021 to $1.2 billion, the figure has yet to meet the potential of cooperation between the two countries and accounted for a too small rate in the trade revenue of each country.
Both sides agreed on the need to design breakthrough measures to accelerate bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation, making it match the sound special political ties between the two countries, as well as the necessity to continue to design effective solutions to ease difficulties facing Vietnamese businesses in Laos. —
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