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Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport mobilizes 2,000 surveillance cameras for contact tracing of passengers

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Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport has established a monitoring center with 2,000 surveillance cameras to document human contact at the airdrome, which will help with possible attempts of COVID-19 contact tracing in the future.

To Tu Ha, director of Noi Bai International Airport, confirmed the new surveillance system during his report to Le Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Transport, and Nguyen Manh Quyen, deputy chairman of Hanoi, during a quality examination of Noi Bai’s passenger servicing and epidemic prevention protocols on Tuesday.

All entrances of Noi Bai are equipped with body temperature scanners and patrolled by security officers, who will single out passers-by with a body temperature over 37.5 Celsius degrees, according to Ha.

“Those who cross the gates with their masks off or pulled down under their noses will immediately receive a warning from the automatic alarm system,” Ha said about the airport’s latest technology for epidemic prevention.

During the examination, Deputy Minister of Transport Tuan required aviation officers and the management of Noi Bai to clarify their current safety proceedings in order to make sure that all departing and arriving passengers fulfill medical requirements.

Trinh Ngoc Thanh, deputy CEO of national carrier Vietnam Airlines, said the company has prepared all safety measures and successfully relaunched many flight routes to and from Noi Bai in the past few days.

On October 10, Noi Bai Airport reopened the Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City flight route after months of shuttering all domestic arrivals and departures.

Passengers from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Hanoi must present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, with the second jab taken no less than 14 days and no more than 12 months from their departures.

Hanoi authorities also require passengers to present coronavirus-negative test results issued within the last 72 hours, comply with epidemic safety rules, and fulfill medical declarations before they can board their flights.

Otherwise, they can show proof of COVID-19 recoveries that were issued in the past six months.

Upon arrival in Hanoi, passengers will spend seven days in self-isolation at home, and will not be required to enter centralized quarantine centers if they have fulfilled medical requirements for the flight.

On July 22, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) introduced a ban on regular domestic flight routes between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as other municipalities that are upholding social distancing under the prime minister’s Directive No. 16, which is equivalent to a complete lockdown order.

Since then, Vietnam Airlines has been the only carrier allowed to fly on the Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City route with the frequency of two flights a day.

On August 30, the CAAV asked all carriers to suspend ticket sales for domestic flights and refund passengers for tickets issued prior to July 21, given the complicated situation of COVID-19 in Vietnam.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211013/hanois-noi-bai-airport-mobilizes-2000-surveillance-cameras-for-contact-tracing-of-passengers/63566.html

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Islanders encouraged to take up organic farming

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Garlic and onion farms on the Lý Sơn Islands, off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province. The islands have been turning to organic agriculture for more sustainable development. Photo courtesy of Lê Xuân Thọ 

LÝ SƠN ISLANDS — Organically grown crops have been designated a key part of sustainable development on the Lý Sơn Islands, 30km off the coast of central Quảng Ngãi Province. Lý Sơn garlic and onions are popular throughout the country. 

However, the transfer to organic farming faces hurdles from low productivity, a lack of policies supporting farmer-business partnerships and poor protection of the Lý Sơn garlic brand, which is discouraging farmers from organic farming.

Although earning Geographical Indication (GI) status, organic garlic and purple onion farms occupy less than one per cent of the islands’ total 330ha of farmland. 

Farmers on the islands are still hesitant to transfer from traditional agricultural practices to organic farming, fearing low productivity, high production costs and an unstable market.

 

Farmers begin a new garlic crop in Lý Sơn Islands. The Islands’ agriculture will be going ‘green’ for a better environment and income in the coming years. Photo courtesy of Phạm Văn Công 

Phạm Văn Công, CEO and founder of the DORI Joint Stock Company, said only 10 farmers over 3ha are have started organic garlic farming since 2016.

Công has seen success in processing garlic into high-value dried roots, wine and essential oil products, five years after starting to trade.

“It takes at least three years to clean the chemically contaminated farmland with bio-fertiliser, manure, humus and grass, and absorbing ‘green’ nutrition,” he explained.

“Local farmers do not have enough financial reserves to last the first years of preparation for organic-based farming,” he said.

Công also said that strong farmer-business partnerships have not yet been built to make organic farms larger on the islands.

 

Garlic growing on Lý Sơn Islands. Photo courtesy of Lê Xuân Thọ 

A report from the islands’ People’s Committee said farmers produce 2,500 tonnes of garlic and 6,500 tonnes of purple onion per year, with an annual revenue of VNĐ200 billion ($8.8 million).

Chairwoman of the Lý Sơn Islands District People’s Committee, Phạm Thị Hương, said traditional farm produce (garlic and purple onion) does not have a stable market price due to poor connections between the islands and mainland.

Hương said garlic is usually sold from VNĐ80,000 to VNĐ150,000 per kilo, but can go down to a mere VNĐ30,000. 

She said the COVID-19 pandemic has kept more than 100 tonnes of garlic on the island, and the price offered was below VNĐ30,000 per kilo. 

A few years ago, the islands original garlic suffered unfair competition from garlic produced in other provinces like Khánh Hòa and Bình Thuận.

 

Garlic roots from an organic farm on the Lý Sơn Islands of Quảng Ngãi Province. Garlic is one of the most famous exports from the islands. Photo courtesy of Dori 

Green change

The islands, known as the Kingdom of Garlic in Việt Nam, have around 22,000 inhabitants, of whom 73 per cent make their living from farming garlic and spring onions, alongside fishing.

Farmers grow garlic on terrain that formed from volcanic eruptions 25 to 30 million years ago, creating the special scent that the Lý Sơn garlic is famous for.

Traditional farming methods rely on chemicals and the over-use of natural resources, though islanders have gradually begun to recognise the dangers of environmental pollution, exhausted soil and high saline intrusion. 

Local farmers on the islands have been encouraged to apply safe farming techniques that use bio-fertiliser and bio-pesticide, rather than continuing to exploit coral sand and basalt soil as before. 

Compost livestock waste, green leaves and seaweed are used to create ‘green’ soil bases that replace these basalt and coral sand mixtures.

The first ‘green’ crop only collected 30 per cent of the traditional capacity, but yields doubled after the second and third years. Organically produced garlic also fetches a higher market price. 

Đặng Quang Trọng, who developed a 400sq.m organic farm, said each ‘green’ garlic kilo was sold for between VNĐ250,000 ($10.8) and VNĐ350,000 ($15.2).

Traditional farming requires at least 40 tonnes of chemical fertiliser and leads to 10,200cu.m of farm soil being dumped for every garlic crop produced. The 3,000sq.m dumpsite for agricultural waste on the islands was overloaded. The cost of cleaning the chemically contaminated farm soil stands at VNĐ20 billion each year, a report from the islands’ committee unveiled.

On top of this, farmers often mix sand from coastal coral reefs and basalt dug up from defunct volcanoes, which has led to serious coastal erosion and damage to the ancient volcanoes – one of the biggest tourist attractions on the island. 

Võ Trí Thời, an official from the district’s Peoples’ Committee, said the islands plan to develop 100ha of VietGAP farms that promote using compost and bio-fertiliser, instead of chemical agricultural material.

Organic farming trailblazer, Phạm Văn Công, explained that farmers need financial guarantees and supportive policies from local authorities to help them through the first three years of organic farming.

 

Garlic products, including wine, dried garlic and black garlic, on sale at a shop in Quảng Ngãi Province. Photo courtesy of Dori

“Farmers can not find support to help them survive the low output of the initial three years of changing from chemical-based agriculture to organic farming. Organic farm produce also needs sales promotions, brand protection and respect in the market,” Công said.

He agreed that organic agriculture is not easy, but success is still ahead.

“I do hope more farmers will follow our organic demonstrations to turn the islands green.”

The islands have been designed as a ‘zero’ carbon and eco-tour site, through the promotion of renewable energy projects like solar, wind, tide and desalination, which turns seawater into freshwater. —  

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1063223/islanders-encouraged-to-take-up-organic-farming.html

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Residents booked for violating pandemic prevention rules on Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown pedestrian street

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Many people have been booked for violating pandemic prevention and control measures as they hang out with their friends along Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in Ho Chi Minh City.

Residents flocked to the Nguyen Hue promenade in downtown District 1 on Thursday evening to have a walk, get some fresh air, and chat with friends, according to the observation of Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper reporters.

Many of them parked their motorbikes on the sidewalk to have a chat and grab a bite, but did not follow pandemic response measures including wearing face masks in public and keeping a safe distance.

At around 7:30 pm, a group of district-level police officers patrolled the street and booked dozens of people for wrong parking and violating pandemic prevention and control regulations.

Several violators did not cooperate at first but eventually had to accept administrative fines after the officers provided the evidence of their offenses.

In one of the cases, L.V.D., 25, was booked for failure to wear a face mask in public places and illegal parking.

As D. denied his wrongdoings, an officer showed the video footage of him pulling the face mask down to his chin while talking to his friend.

The offender had no other choice but to sign the violation record, facing fines worth VND1-3 million (US$44-132) for failure to wear face masks in public and VND200,000-300,000 ($8-13) for illegal parking.

Residents are booked for parking their motorbikes on the roadway along Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021. Photo: D.T. / Tien Phong

Residents are booked for parking their motorbikes on the roadway along Nguyen Hue Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021. Photo: D.T. / Tien Phong

According to Major Dinh Tien Dung, deputy head of District 1’s traffic and order police unit, many people did not put on face masks or wore them improperly.

They only put on one when they saw police officers approaching, Dung continued.

“We decided to use cameras to film their violations from afar so that they won’t be able to deny their wrongdoings,” he said.

A young man pulls down his face mask while walking on Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021 in this supplied photo.

A young man pulls down his face mask while walking on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in Ho Chi Minh City, October 21, 2021 in this supplied photo.

Major Dung added that his unit had booked more than 200 of such violations on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street since the beginning of the week.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality since the fourth outbreak began on April 27, with over 422,200 local infections.

The city had imposed social distancing measures at various levels since May 31 before loosening multiple restrictions on October 1, because most of its adult population had been vaccinated with at least one dose.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211022/residents-booked-for-violating-pandemic-prevention-rules-on-ho-chi-minh-citys-downtown-pedestrian-street/63726.html

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Ministry asks localities to increase inter-provincial passenger transport

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Coaches at Gia Lâm station in Hà Nội’s Long Biên District. —VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Transport has issued a document asking People’s Committees of cities and provinces to coordinate on the implementation of temporary guidelines on transport activities.

The measures are to ensure safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has issued Resolution No.128/NQ-CP on temporary regulations on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19. To implement the resolution, the Health Ministry has promulgated temporary medical guidance and the Transport Ministry has also released temporary guidelines on transport activities in the five areas of land, inland waterway, maritime, railway and aviation. 

Therefore, to ensure smooth and concerted transport activities, People’s Committees of cities and provinces were asked to direct local agencies and units to follow the ministry’s guidelines, and instruct departments of transport to increase passenger volume on fixed intra-provincial and inter-provincial routes licensed by the provincial authorities.

The ministry also suggested localities resume other routes depending on the local level of pandemic risk, while striving to maintain from 10 per cent to a maximum 50 per cent of licensed trips per month in line with requirements in the temporary guidelines.

In a report reviewing passenger transport activities on fixed routes during one week of resumption from October 13-18, the ministry said authorities of 48 provinces and cities had allowed the resumption of inter-provincial routes, while in 15 other localities, the transport departments had submitted plans to resume routes to the municipal/provincial authorities. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1063729/ministry-asks-localities-to-increase-inter-provincial-passenger-transport.html

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