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Ho Chi Minh City about to kick off largest-ever COVID-19 vaccination drive on weekend

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A mass coronavirus inoculation drive with over 800,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses will be carried out in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday at around 1,000 vaccination points, a high-ranking health official has said.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son made the statement on Thursday when he joined the municipal Pasteur Institute to inspect the storage of 836,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine jabs having been allocated by the central government to the city.

These doses, developed by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, are among nearly one million shots of the vaccine the Japanese government donated to Vietnam on Wednesday. 

This allocation reflected a priority the government and the National Vaccine Steering Board has given to the nine-million-strong city to help it expand the immunization coverage and thereby drive back the increasing COVID-19 spread, which has so far affected the entire southern city, Deputy Minister Son said. 

The vaccine doses underwent required tests lasting for 48 hours at the Vaccine Testing Institute for safety certification before use, the deputy minister said.

This supplied photo shows the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment upon its arrival in the Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi on late June 16, 2021.

This supplied photo shows the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment upon its arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on June 16, 2021.

The vaccination drive is expected to start on Saturday at 1,000 points of inoculation citywide and will last for five or seven days, making it the largest-ever mass COVID-19 immunization in the city.

The inoculation will be intended for priority subjects designated by the government and others including essential service providers, teachers, health workers, people working at administrative agencies, people over 65 years old, and workers at industrial parks and export processing zones.

Each point will vaccinate 200 people per day, which means a total of 200,000 people can receive injections per day.

City authorities have drawn up a plan to mobilize all possible health workers and facilities for the mass inoculation, the deputy minister said, adding that lists of vaccination must be made available within Friday.

“It is a principle that this mass immunization is conducted quickly but must ensure absolute safety for vaccinated people,” Son requested.

Ho Chi Minh City health authorities recently reported that around 11,000 locals have been vaccinated since June 3, bringing the total number of inoculated people to about 84,000 since the city began its immunization program on March 8.

Nationwide, nearly two million vaccine shots had been administered and 90,000 people had received the full two doses by Thursday, according to the health ministry’s data. 

The ministry confirmed 121 new coronavirus cases at noon on Friday, including 119 domestic and two imported cases, of which 59 were detected Ho Chi Minh City.

The new cases have taken the Southeast Asian country’s tally of patients to 12,424, including 62 deaths, since early 2020.

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave appeared in Vietnam, the country has documented 9,114 domestic infections.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210618/ho-chi-minh-city-about-to-kick-off-largestever-covid19-vaccination-drive-on-weekend/61597.html

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Typhoon Noru weakens after wreaking havoc in central Vietnam

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Typhoon Noru weakened on Wednesday morning after making landfall and wreaking havoc in central Vietnam, while heavy downpours are still in the forecast over the next few days.

The typhoon made landfall between Da Nang City and Quang Nam Province at around 3:30 am on Wednesday, unleashing winds of 103-133km per hour, according to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

At 7:00 am the same day, the wind speed decreased to between 62 and 74km an hour.

A restaurant is damaged in Da Nang City, Vietnam following the landfall of Typhoon Noru, September 28, 2022. Photo: Le Trung / Tien Phong

A restaurant is damaged in Da Nang City, Vietnam following the landfall of Typhoon Noru, September 28, 2022. Photo: Le Trung / Tien Phong

The storm is expected to travel west in the next 12 hours and be downgraded to a tropical depression and later a low-pressure area.

Due to the influence of the storm, provinces in central Vietnam and the northern part of the Central Highlands recorded massive rainfall of about 200-300 millimeters on Tuesday night.

More downpours are forecast for these localities on Wednesday and Thursday, posing a high risk of flash floods and landslides in mountainous areas as well as serious flooding in low-lying locations.

People fix power lines in central Vietnam following the landfall of Typhoon Noru, September 28, 2022. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tien Phong

People fix power lines in central Vietnam following the landfall of Typhoon Noru, September 28, 2022. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tien Phong

On Wednesday morning, scores of uprooted trees were recorded in Da Nang, according to the observations of Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper reporters.

Many roofs of houses were also seen lying on the streets.

Some residents began cleaning up areas around their homes even though the city was still affected by strong winds.

Officers remove an uprooted tree from a street in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: B.D. / Tien Phong

Officers remove an uprooted tree from a street in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: B.D. / Tien Phong

In Quang Nam, residents also reported uprooted trees and blown-away roofs following the landfall of Noru.

Multiple houses were submerged as serious floods hit the province’s Phu Ninh and Tay Giang Districts.

In north-central Quang Tri Province, nearly 1,400 people in Vinh O Commune were isolated after a bridge was swept away by floodwaters.

Officers remove an uprooted tree from a street in Da Nang City, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tien Phong

Officers remove an uprooted tree from a street in Da Nang City, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tien Phong

Authorities in north-central Thua Thien-Hue Province reported that more than 70 houses had their roofs blown away and eight others collapsed during the storm.

Noru and its circulation affected the power supply to about 1.2 million households in the central and Central Highlands regions, according to Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

Fishermen check their boats following the landfall of Typhoon Noru, September 28, 2022. Photo: Truong Trung / Tien Phong

Fishermen check their boats following the landfall of Typhoon Noru, September 28, 2022. Photo: Truong Trung / Tien Phong

A utility pole is broken due to strong gusts in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: B.D. / Tien Phong

A utility pole is broken due to strong gusts in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: B.D. / Tien Phong

A neighborhood is flooded in Phu Ninh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Le Trung / Tien Phong

A neighborhood is flooded in Phu Ninh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Le Trung / Tien Phong

A neighborhood is flooded in Phu Ninh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Le Trung / Tien Phong

A neighborhood is flooded in Phu Ninh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Le Trung / Tien Phong

A house is submerged in Tay Giang District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: P.L. / Tien Phong

A house is submerged in Tay Giang District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: P.L. / Tien Phong

A house has its roof blown away in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Van Linh / Tien Phong

A house has its roof blown away in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Van Linh / Tien Phong

A house has its roof blown away in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Van Linh / Tien Phong

A house has its roof blown away in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, September 28, 2022. Photo: Van Linh / Tien Phong

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220928/typhoon-noru-weakens-after-wreaking-havoc-in-central-vietnam/69294.html

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Concurrence of rain, high tide causes misery on Ho Chi Minh City streets

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A rainstorm triggered by the circulation of Typhoon Noru coincided with high tide peaking on the Saigon River on Tuesday afternoon, submerging roads and stalling vehicles in Ho Chi Minh City.

The water level in canals across Ho Chi Minh City began to rise and flow into the streets at around 5:00 pm.

As a result, several streets in low-lying District 7 such as Tran Xuan Soan and Huynh Tan Phat were dozens of centimeters below water, impeding traffic.

An alley down Huynh Tan Phat Street is submerged under floodwaters in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 27, 2022. Photo: Tien Phong

An alley down Huynh Tan Phat Street is submerged under floodwaters in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 27, 2022. Photo: Tien Phong

Many commuters tried to wade through the inundated routes, while several others ended up with broken-down vehicles.

Local vendors also struggled as floodwaters submerged their stalls.

A woman displays her food stall on a flooded alley down Huynh Tan Phat Street in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 27, 2022. Photo: Tien Phong

A woman displays her food stall on a flooded alley down Huynh Tan Phat Street in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 27, 2022. Photo: Tien Phong

“This road has been flooded every tidal season for more than ten years,” said Le Thi Ly, a 56-year-old resident of Huynh Tan Phat Street.

“Every time floodwaters flow into our houses, we have no choice but to move furniture to higher positions to avoid damage. 

Floodwaters inundate a residence in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 27, 2022. Photo: Tien Phong

Floodwaters inundate a residence in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 27, 2022. Photo: Tien Phong

“I hope the local tidal sluice project will soon be operating so that we will be less miserable every high tide season.”

Ly, like many other local residents, had to use boards to keep water out of her house.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220928/concurrence-of-rain-high-tide-causes-misery-on-ho-chi-minh-city-streets/69293.html

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Vietnamese deputy foreign minister expelled from Party

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Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung was expelled from the Party following his arrest over the allegations of receiving bribes during the organization of repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chaired a meeting of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on Tuesday to consider the disciplinary actions against Deputy Minister Dung and Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant to the permanent deputy prime minister.

The Secretariat stated that Dung lacked responsibility and violated the Party’s regulations and state’s laws in directing and organizing repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deputy minister was also investigated and arrested on suspicion of bribery.

Meanwhile, Linh took advantage of his position, compromised working principles, and violated the Party’s regulations and the state’s laws during the selection of enterprises to organize repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Linh was apprehended later the same day on suspicion of receiving bribes during the organization of repatriation flights.

Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant of the permanent deputy prime minister, in this photo provided by officers

Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant to the permanent deputy prime minister, is seen in this photo provided by officers

The violations of Dung and Linh resulted in serious consequences and adversely affected the reputation of the Party organization.

The Secretariat thus decided to expel both Dung and Linh from the Party.

The arrests of Dung and Linh were part of a wider investigation where officials were accused of taking bribes from Vietnamese citizens abroad who wanted to return to the country when commercial flights were not available during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the Ministry of Public Security launched an investigation into the case in late January, a score have been prosecuted and detained, including many officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Transport, and former leaders and officials of the Immigration Department.

During a press meeting in June, investigators stated that the bribes were worth tens of billions of dong. (VND10 billion = US$421,100). 

Vietnam organized nearly 2,000 repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220928/vietnamese-deputy-foreign-minister-expelled-from-party/69291.html

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