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HCM City aims for ‘smart city’ status by 2025




A view of HCM City. The city will focus on major transport projects, among other initiatives, to become a smart city by 2025. VNA/ Photo Hằng Trần

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities will continue to resolve flooding and traffic congestion, build major transport works, and streamline administrative procedures to reach “smart city” status by 2030, a city official has said.

Speaking at a recent city People’s Council meeting, Nguyễn Thanh Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said that two transport projects worth more than VNĐ12 trillion (US$521.8 million) have been approved.

These include An Phú Intersection in Thủ Đức new city and the renovation of Tham Lương, Bến Cát and Nước Lên canals, to be implemented from now to 2025, according to Phong. 

It will cost VNĐ3.926 trillion to build An Phú intersection, including VNĐ1.8 trillion from the central State budget and VNĐ2.126 trillion from the city budget.

The three-level intersection will have overpasses and a tunnel. It will start from the approach road to the HCM City-Long Thành-Dầu Giây expressway and end at the Lương Định Của Street, which often sees serious congestion.

In addition, the upgrade of the Tham Lương, Bến Cát and Nước Lên canals will need VNĐ8.2 trillion, including VNĐ4 trillion from the State budget and VNĐ4.2 trillion from the city budget.

The 32km-long project goes through District 12 and Bình Tân, Tân Phú, Tân Bình, Gò Vấp, Bình Thạnh and Bình Chánh districts.

It is expected to help reduce flooding in the central business district and the northwestern part of the city. It will also improve waterway connections between the city and southern provinces.

‘Smart city’ status by 2025

Phong said the city would focus on “research and development of AI applications in HCM City” in order to become a smart city by 2025.

Under the programme to become a smart city by 2025, a database of all sectors, ranging from housing, transport and environment to healthcare, will share data with all of the city’s administrative departments.

This will help social organisations, businesses and residents have better access to public information and services online through mobile devices and other means, according to Phong.

The city will also focus on developing AI technologies and improving human resources by using AI in education and training, and enhancing academic communications with foreign AI professionals.

In addition, an innovative urban area in the eastern part of the city will continue to be built. The city has already approved the establishment of Thủ Đức new city by merging the three eastern districts of 2, 9, and Thủ Đức.

The new city will cover more than and be home to more than 1.1 million people. It is expected to promote economic growth in the city and the southern region.

It will serve as a centre for three main functions: scientific and technological research and application; education and training of high-quality human resources; and production and trade of hi-tech products and services.

It is expected to contribute a third of the city’s GDP, accounting for 7 per cent of national GDP.

The city has been working on the eastern innovative urban area project, including the Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area in District 2, the Northwest urban area, and the Cần Giờ sea tourist urban area, according to Phong.

Phong pointed out that the city needs more capital for public investment in infrastructure.

He said, for example, from 2016-2021, the city needed VNĐ302.8 trillion to implement nearly 1,950 public transport projects, but the city only managed to allocate about half of that amount.

The city has asked the central government for permission to raise the budget-revenue retention ratio to 24 per cent in the 2021-2025 period, and 33 per cent in the 2026-2030 period. The latter ratio was granted to the city back in 2003. The ratio refers to revenue that the city gives to the central government.

“The new ratio will ensure that the city will achieve sustainable development,” according to Phong.

With a population of 13 million, HCM City, as the nation’s economic locomotive, contributes 24 per cent of the country’s GDP and 27 per cent of the national budget. —





HCMC reports another coronavirus case



HCMC reports another coronavirus case

The building where two Covid-19 suspects work on Pasteur Street, HCMC’s District 3 is isolated on May 18, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

A woman working with a man who tested positive for the new coronavirus on Tuesday morning has also got infected, HCMC Health Department announced.

Her first test result arrived as positive Tuesday night after the city tracked down 59 people who have had contact with the 35-year-old man who lives in Thu Duc City, works at an auditing company District 3, and has tested positive at least twice.

According to the city’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the woman, 34, lives in Tan Kieng Ward of District 7 and also works at the auditing company.

She had visited northern Hai Phong City, a coronavirus hotspot, from April 24 to May 5.

She flew back to HCMC on May 5 on Vietnam Airlines flight VN1179 and ran a fever three days later. She bought medicine to treat herself and did not have her health checked at any healthcare facilities.

She took sick leave for three days after that and returned to work on May 11.

The city is tracing down passengers on the flight and people that have come into close contact with her.

The Thu Duc man has not been recorded by the Health Ministry as a Covid-19 patient.

He had visited Vinmec Hospital on Monday for symptoms including fever, coughing and sore throat and then his samples were taken for testing.

His mother, wife and two children who live with him have tested negative at least once.

For the ongoing Covid-19 wave that broke out in Vietnam three weeks ago, the health ministry has confirmed just one patient in HCMC. No new local transmission has been linked to the city for 75 days.

Nationwide, the new wave has seen 1,473 cases recorded in 28 cities and provinces.


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New Covid-19 cases continue to surge in Bac Giang



A medical worker handles test tubes containing samples for Covid-19 testing. Vietnam reported 48 new domestic Covid-19 cases on Tuesday evening – PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH

HCMC – Thirty-three out of 48 new domestic Covid-19 cases confirmed this evening, May 18, were detected in Bac Giang, keeping the northern province the biggest Covid-19 hotspot in the fourth Covid-19 wave.

The new cases in the province are people that had close contact with Covid-19 patients and had been quarantined before testing positive.

The province accounted for more than half of today’s Covid-19 tally, with 96 cases out of the country’s total of 152.

Among the remaining cases, 13 were reported in Bac Ninh Province, while Dien Bien and Thai Binh provinces had one case each. They were detected at quarantine centers or areas that are currently under lockdown.

Up to now, Vietnam has reported 4,512 Covid-19 cases, including 1,473 domestic infections in 28 cities and provinces in the latest outbreak starting late last month.

Bac Giang and Bac Ninh have been hit the hardest by the fourth Covid-19 wave, with 507 and 306 cases to date, respectively.

The Ministry of Health has asked some frontline hospitals and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to help Bac Giang Province with Covid-19 testing. The province is now capable of performing some 1,500 Covid-19 tests a day.

Many localities such as Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Yen Bai and Hai Duong have sent medical workers and equipment to Bac Giang to help the province fight off Covid-19.

For Bac Ninh Province, the Health Ministry has asked Bach Mai Hospital to send experts and mechanical ventilators to Bac Ninh Province General Hospital to assist the hospital in treating Covid-19 patients and restrict sending patients to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.


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Married Vietnamese couple probed for trading large amount of personal data



Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has initiated legal proceedings against a married couple who own an IT company for collecting and trading a large amount of personal data.

Officers confirmed on Monday they had begun probing Du Anh Quy, 33, and his wife – 29-year-old Lai Thi Phuong – for illegally exploiting information on computer and telecommunications networks.

Fifteen others are also being investigated for being involved in a ring that appropriated and traded a large amount of data in many provinces and cities.

Police investigation showed that VNIT TECH, owned by Quy and Phuong, operated in the field of information technology.

Since 2020, the couple had illegally collected, appropriated, and purchased nearly 1,300GB of data containing information of individuals and organizations nationwide.

The personal data relates to many fields, namely electricity service customers, parents, students, bank customers, business registration information, state agency personnel, insurance, household registration, telecommunications data, mobile phone subscribers, electronics customers, and customers of real estate projects, among others.

Lai Thi Phuong is in this photo provided by police officers.

Lai Thi Phuong is shown in this photo provided by police officers.

The data was publicly sold on many websites, accounts, pages, and groups on social networks such as Facebook, Zalo, and Telegram, as well as hacker forums.

Members of the ring also offered warranty policy and the capacity to update and extract the data at the request of buyers.

The data was collected from many sources and by many different methods, including by taking advantage of administration rights of information systems at some agencies and businesses.

Many buyers were individuals and businesses operating in such fields as insurance, foreign language teaching, and real estate, according to police officers.

Businesses that owned the stolen data showed the lack of responsibility in the management of their customers’ information and data, the officers said.

They also took no action although their customers’ information and data were sold publicly for a long time.

Some of them showed signs of providing customers’ information and data for a third party for illicit profits, officers stated.

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