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High-school final exams are over as families sigh with relief

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At 3.30 pm July 8, the time for the English exam, the last exam for the 2021 high school finals ended, and the exam organizers felt relieved. 

High-school final exams are over as families sigh with relief

The first phase of the high school finals has wrapped up to the relief of millions of families. Parents feel relieved not only because their children have finished general education, but also because the children stayed safe in the midst of the pandemic.

In March 2003, when giving birth to a daughter, Thuy Linh in District 2, HCM City and her family members felt happy because the girl was born in the Year of the Golden Goat, but the SARS epidemic was ravaging. The deadly disease had a reported mortality rate of 9.6 percent.

When the girl turned 18 years old and needed to attend the most important exam in her life, her family once again faced a new challenge – the Covid-19 pandemic, similar to the disease they once faced years ago.

HCM City decided to organize the high school finals in early July. Linh, like tens of thousands of parents, wondered if municipal authorities should organize the national exam at this moment because of the pandemic.

But finally, on July 6 morning, she brought her daughter to the exam room at Tran Dai Nghia High School.

“Whether to attend the exam or not was decided by her and I need to respect her decision,” Linh said.

At noon July 6, when hearing that an examinee at the examination site located at Le Quy Don High School was found positive for nCoV, Linh and many other parents panicked. A friend of her daughter, who was an examinee in the same exam room with the F0, had to stay at the school at night.

“I shed tears as I felt sorry for the students who had to attend the exam in such a severe moment. They already had to experience tough academic years with long online studying,” she said.

During the two-day high school finals in HCM City, many students were found related to Covid-19 and tens of students were put under quarantine. This was the only locality which retained examinees overnight as they were in the same exam room with F0, and discovered the highest number of suspected infections and F1s.

Also, 404 examinees in two examination sites in Nha Trang City, 257 examinees in one examination site in Dong Thap, 472 in one examination site in Bac Giang and two examination sites in Phu Yen had to stop the exam before the beginning or during the exam time after nCoV infected examinees were found.

Before the exam took place, a lot of teachers and students in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang unexpectedly had to spend quarantine while they were reviewing for the exam.

Great efforts under pressure

The first phase of the high school finals has wrapped up to the relief of millions of families. Parents feel relieved not only because their children have finished general education, but also because the children stayed safe in the midst of the pandemic.

At 3.30 pm July 8, the time for the English exam, the last exam for the 2021 high school finals ended, and the exam organizers felt relieved.

Deciding to organize the high school finals in the first phase, HCM City, which is currently the COVID epicenter, was put under pressure. However, efforts were made to ensure a safe exam with the strongest determination. More than 100,000 examinees, teachers and officers had samples taken for testing, just two days before the exam began.

On July 8 evening, at the press conference held after the high school finals finished, Nguyen Van Hieu, Deputy Director of the HCM City Education and Training Department, said the exam took place under an extremely tense situation, but it succeeded.

According to Hieu, a survey of 85,000 parents was conducted, which found that the wishes of students varied. More than 63 percent of parents agreed to let their children attend the first phase of the exam, but only 29.97 percent of these parents felt secure.

When asked students if they wanted to attend high school finals in the second phase, to be held some days later, most of them said they wanted to attend the first phase. Finally, 95.26 percent of students registered to attend the first phase.

“As the exam organizers, we want to satisfy students’ wishes,” he said.

One hour before the press conference in HCM City, a press conference was held in Hanoi by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). Mai Van Tinh, Director of the Quality Assurance Department, affirmed that the exam “basically achieved the goal of ensuring safety for students”.

The most serious incident occurred during the math exam on July 7 afternoon. Information spread on social networks that the exam questions had leaked out. The police found an examinee who brought a smartphone into the exam room at Le Thuy High School in Quang Binh province.

To prepare for the high school finals, MOET released a series of decisions to respond to the complicated developments of Covid-19.

The decision near the exam day was permission to organize exam for F1 and F2 students on July 7-8 if students wanted it. Local authorities would be responsible for ensuring safe conditions for the exam.

On July 5, MOET released a dispatch on changing the exam councils for students because of Covid-19. 

Phuong Chi – Phuong Thu

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/high-school-final-exams-are-over-as-families-sigh-with-relief-755267.html

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Dong Nai allows resumption of 145 taxis to transport patients to hospitals

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A street is under lockdown in Dong Nai. Dong Nai Province has allowed 145 taxis to resume operations to transport patients to hospitals during the shelter-in-place period – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Dong Nai Province has allowed 145 taxis to resume operations to transport patients to hospitals during the shelter-in-place period, while permitting shippers to return to work from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. each day.

The 145 taxis, which belong to the Mai Linh, Saigon, Lado and Long Thanh taxi operators, will also be used for essential cases, mainly medical purposes, including transporting people from/to quarantine centers, the Dong Nai Department of Transport said on August 5.

The provincial department granted QR identification codes to the taxis to make it easier for anti-virus forces to check and control the operation of these vehicles.

During their operations, these taxis must comply with Covid-19 safety protocols and make hand sanitizers and face masks available, while the drivers must have a negative Covid-19 test certificate and make online heath declarations before work.

Earlier, the Dong Nai Department of Industry and Trade allowed delivery workers, or shippers, to return to work in the daytime, the local media reported.

These shippers were told to have identifying characteristics such as a uniform, boxes, a business logo or a travel permit. Each delivery man is allowed to work at only one commune, ward or district.

The provincial government on July 31 decided to continue adopting the social distancing order under the prime minister’s Directive 16 for 15 more days from August 2 until 15 and imposed night movement restrictions.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/83567/dong-nai-allows-resumption-of-145-taxis-to-transport-patients-to-hospitals.html

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Girl falls to death at apartment building in Hanoi

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A 12-year-old girl died after falling from the 12th floor to the third floor of an apartment building in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred at the HH4C building in Linh Dam apartment complex in Hoang Mai District at around 10:00 pm on the same day.

Residents of the building heard a loud bang at that time and ran outdoors to check.

At the skylight area on the third floor, they saw a girl lying immobile.

The victim died on the spot, according to local authorities.

She was later verified to live in a flat on the 12th floor of the apartment building, a representative of its management board told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper on Wednesday morning.

The girl was determined to have fallen from the window ventilator of her flat to the skylight.

“The girl’s parents had separated,” the management board’s representative said.

“During their investigation, the authorities discovered a suicide note allegedly written by the girl.”

Hoang Mai District police are investigating to clarify the cause of the incident.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210804/girl-falls-to-death-at-apartment-building-in-hanoi/62418.html

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Health ministry told Nanogen to submit human trials data to health ministry before August 15 for reviews

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The health ministry on Monday asks HCM City-based biopharmaceutical company Nanogen, developer of the Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccine Nano Covax, to submit results of phase 2 and initial phase 3 trials to be reviewed for emergency approval.

Health ministry told Nanogen to submit human trials data to health ministry before August 15 for reviews
Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan (middle) inspects a vial of Nano Covax, the frontrunner of the Vietnamese COVID-19 vaccine. — Photo from the Ministry of Health

Deputy Health Minister Tran Van Thuan, leader of the ministry’s special task force on clinical trials and development of COVID-19 vaccines, made the request during a progress meeting with experts, as the country deals with a severe fourth wave of infections while vaccine supply is still limited amid a global shortage.

The meeting included leaders of the Department of Science and Technology-Training (under the health ministry), the Military Medical Academy, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and the Pasteur Institute in HCM City and was held to review the current progress and find ways to facilitate the clinical trials and push for reports on data of phase 1, 2, 3 (a, b) of the Nano Covax vaccine. 

Phase 3 trials are being conducted with 13,000 volunteers, divided into two phases, 3a with 1,000 people and 3b with 12,000 people.

13,000 first doses in phase 3 have been administered, with the second dose expected to be completed before mid-August, according to the company.

Surrogate virus neutralisation tests (sVNT) for the 1,000 people involved in phase 3a, revealed 100 per cent production of neutralising antibodies at levels higher than 30 per cent, but further monitoring is needed.

In tandem with applying for conditional approval for emergency use, Nanogen is also requesting the health ministry to consider phase 3c trials, which would involve 500,000 to 1 million volunteers. Trials of the vaccine on children 12-18 years old would be conducted once the full approval is obtained.

Deputy Minister Thuan said the ministry is anticipating the domestically researched and manufactured COVID-19 vaccine will help protect the health and lives of the Vietnamese people, be more proactive in vaccine rollout and reduce dependency on foreign vaccine imports.

“The good news is the [Nano Covax] vaccine seems to be safe and can elicit high level of [SARS-CoV-2] neutralising antibodies,” he said. “But we have not yet had enough data on the protective properties of the vaccine, more time and more study is needed.”

The Ministry of Health has always supported and created the most favourable conditions for companies and individuals to participate in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, having mobilised many industry-leading scientists in the country’s to participate in the assessment of vaccines.

The health official wants Nanogen to submit a report on research results for phase 2 and initial phase 3, so that the National Ethics Committee in Biomedical Research could start evaluation for emergency approval for Nano Covax.

Source: Vietnam News

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/health-ministry-told-nanogen-to-submit-human-trials-data-to-health-ministry-before-august-15-for-reviews-762312.html

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