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In Sa Pa, ethnic children forced to peddle on streets in bitterly cold night

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As the mercury of the highland tourist hub of Sa Pa approaches zero, child street vendors of ethnic minorities were still seen roaming through the shivering cold to pursue the remaining tourists.

Despite the effort of Sa Pa authorities to discourage purchasing goods from child street vendors, children of the upland city, the majority being Hmong, are still pushed to the streets to peddle in the cold.

According to Ngoc Anh from the Sa Pa Town law enforcement, families seem to have cooperated and keep their children home after discussing with local authorities, but there is still a street vending group harassing tourists in the town.

The group is organized by parents who gather their kids at specific spots and let the bigger children carry the smaller ones on their back to take advantage of tourists’ pity.

Officials use a loudspeaker to call for visitors not to buy goods from child vendors in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Video: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

If a tourist buys from one of them, the others will quickly swarm around and paster them to purchase more.

“We have imposed a penalty on many cases and led the kids to a social support center, but they jump the wall to escape and resume vending jobs the very next day,” Anh said.

The sight of children braving the cold to sell souvenirs is too heart-wrenching, said Tran Thinh, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City.

“I can do charity work at other places, not just situations like these. The parents are using these kids to sell stuff, which makes me feel like my goodwill is being abused,” Thinh remarked.

A child vendor sells souvenirs to tourists in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs to tourists in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Hoang Thi Vuong, head of Sa Pa’s bureau of culture and information, said local authorities have stepped in to address the issue of street vendors harassing tourists for several years, but their efforts have not paid off.

According to Vuong, officials in the town have implemented a long-term strategy, with the promotion of sustainable business practices to ethnic minority communities being the bottom line.

“We are listening to the wishes of each household. If they want to do retail, we will provide them with locations and capacity training. We will also build policy to support other households who wish to get livelihoods from brocade weaving, artisanal crafts, and tourism,” Vuong revealed.

Child vendors surround a tourist to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surround a tourist to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs on a street of Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs on a street of Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs to a tourist in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

A child vendor sells souvenirs to a tourist in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surrounds tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surround tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Parents of child vendors is seen in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Parents of child vendors is pictured in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors sells foods to tourists in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors sell foods to tourists in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surrounds tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Township. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

Child vendors surround tourists to sell souvenirs in Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Tuan / Tien Phong

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210110/in-sa-pa-ethnic-children-forced-to-peddle-on-streets-in-bitterly-cold-night/58711.html

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Ho Chi Minh City seeks permission to culture novel coronavirus

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities have proposed that the Hospital for Tropical Diseases be allowed to culture the novel coronavirus to better assess herd immunity.

During a working session on Tuesday, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, asked the Ministry of Health to allow the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases to culture the SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory.

The clinical research unit of the University of Oxford, which has been participating in the genome sequencing process at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, has a biosafety level-three laboratory.

This facility meets international biosafety standards and has its safety inspected by the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health. 

The lab has been used to culture viruses such as multi-resistant tuberculosis and influenza.

If allowed to culture the coronavirus, the southern city will be able to better assess herd immunity, according to Dr. Chau.

The evaluation of herd immunity in the city was previously based on antibody concentration and the use of some techniques to replace neutralization reaction, the official elaborated.

However, the neutralization reaction is the most accurate method to evaluate protective antibodies.

To conduct a neutralization reaction, a live virus must be mixed with the serum, Chau stated.

At the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of Health stated that the number of COVID-19 cases in Ho Chi Minh City has been decreasing drastically.

However, the city must not let its guard down as new coronavirus variants could have entered the local community during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, posing a high risk for the elderly and unvaccinated people.

Municipal authorities should have recommendations on pandemic prevention at local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, pagodas, and festival places to minimize the spread of the virus in case a new variant is recorded.

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities have proposed that the Hospital for Tropical Diseases be allowed to culture the novel coronavirus to better assess herd immunity.

During a working session on Tuesday, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, asked the Ministry of Health to allow the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases to culture the SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory.

The clinical research unit of the University of Oxford, which has been participating in the genome sequencing process at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, has a biosafety level-three laboratory.

This facility meets international biosafety standards and has its safety inspected by the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health. 

The lab has been used to culture viruses such as multi-resistant tuberculosis and influenza.

If allowed to culture the coronavirus, the southern city will be able to better assess herd immunity, according to Dr. Chau.

The evaluation of herd immunity in the city was previously based on antibody concentration and the use of some techniques to replace neutralization reaction, the official elaborated.

However, the neutralization reaction is the most accurate method to evaluate protective antibodies.

To conduct a neutralization reaction, a live virus must be mixed with the serum, Chau stated.

At the meeting, a representative from the Ministry of Health stated that the number of COVID-19 cases in Ho Chi Minh City has been decreasing drastically.

However, the city must not let its guard down as new coronavirus variants could have entered the local community during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, posing a high risk for the elderly and unvaccinated people.

Municipal authorities should have recommendations on pandemic prevention at local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, pagodas, and festival places to minimize the spread of the virus in case a new variant is recorded.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20230201/ho-chi-minh-city-seeks-permission-to-culture-novel-coronavirus/71255.html

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S.Korea tops list of foreign visitors to Vietnam in first month of 2023

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South Korea is the country accounting for the highest number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first month of this year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The number of international tourist arrivals in Vietnam in January 2023 amounted to more than 871,000, making an increase of 23.2 percent compared to December last year, the GSO reported recently.

Among the total, some 259,000 travelers were from South Korea, placing the Northeastern Asian country in the first position on the list of international arrivals to Vietnam last month.  

Ranking second was the U.S. with nearly 77,900 tourists and the third place went to Thailand with some 55,000 travelers.

The fourth and fifth positions belonged to Australia and Japan with about 44,000 and 34,000 visitors, respectively.

This image shows a member of the group of 120 South Korean tourists being offered flowers by a local receptionist when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, in south-central Vietnam, on January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

This image shows a member of a group of 120 South Korean tourists getting flowers when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

International travelers to Vietnam by air occupied the largest portion, at 91.9 percent, while those by road and by sea represented 7.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the GSO said.

The figure of foreign arrivals to Vietnam in January 2023 rose 44.2 percent from a year earlier, but it fell 42 percent compared to the same period of 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic had yet to hit the Southeast Asian country. 

Last month saw numbers of visitors to Vietnam from China and Russia, two of Vietnam’s major sources of tourists, reach nearly 47,000 and 12,000, respectively, far lower than over 660,000 and 36,000 in the same period in 2019, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Total tourism revenue in January neared VND46 trillion (US$1.96 billion), lower than the expected monthly average of VND54 trillion ($2.3 billion) for 2023.

The tourism sector has set a goal of welcoming about eight million international visitors in 2023, equal to 45 percent of the 2019 target, the VNAT said.

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South Korea is the country accounting for the highest number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first month of this year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The number of international tourist arrivals in Vietnam in January 2023 amounted to more than 871,000, making an increase of 23.2 percent compared to December last year, the GSO reported recently.

Among the total, some 259,000 travelers were from South Korea, placing the Northeastern Asian country in the first position on the list of international arrivals to Vietnam last month.  

Ranking second was the U.S. with nearly 77,900 tourists and the third place went to Thailand with some 55,000 travelers.

The fourth and fifth positions belonged to Australia and Japan with about 44,000 and 34,000 visitors, respectively.

This image shows a member of the group of 120 South Korean tourists being offered flowers by a local receptionist when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, in south-central Vietnam, on January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

This image shows a member of a group of 120 South Korean tourists getting flowers when they arrived in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, January 1, 2023. Photo: Minh Chien / Tien Phong

International travelers to Vietnam by air occupied the largest portion, at 91.9 percent, while those by road and by sea represented 7.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, the GSO said.

The figure of foreign arrivals to Vietnam in January 2023 rose 44.2 percent from a year earlier, but it fell 42 percent compared to the same period of 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic had yet to hit the Southeast Asian country. 

Last month saw numbers of visitors to Vietnam from China and Russia, two of Vietnam’s major sources of tourists, reach nearly 47,000 and 12,000, respectively, far lower than over 660,000 and 36,000 in the same period in 2019, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Total tourism revenue in January neared VND46 trillion (US$1.96 billion), lower than the expected monthly average of VND54 trillion ($2.3 billion) for 2023.

The tourism sector has set a goal of welcoming about eight million international visitors in 2023, equal to 45 percent of the 2019 target, the VNAT said.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20230201/skorea-tops-list-of-foreign-visitors-to-vietnam-in-first-month-of-2023/71250.html

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Work starts on operation building for Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line

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The groundbreaking for the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line was held on Tuesday.

Upon completion, the operation and management (O&M) building will be the headquarters for Ho Chi Minh City No.1 Urban Railway Company with the primary function of operating the entirety of metro line No. 1.

The facility is located at Long Binh depot in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City.

The construction of the city’s first metro line is about 94 percent complete, Nguyen Quoc Hien, an official from the municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the project developer, said at the ceremony.

The developer, contractor, and consulting team are working hard to complete the remaining categories and prepare for technical test operation of the metro route in 2023, Hien continued.

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building covers an area of more than 1,500 square meters, has two stories, and has a lifespan of 100 years.

The construction is expected to last for nine months.

This year marks an important phase of the project as it will be the transition from the construction of the metro line to the official operation of the route in 2024, according to Hien.

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong stated that 2022 marked many memorable milestones of metro line No. 1, especially the trial operation of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station.

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building is a very important ‘piece’ for the whole project, Cuong stressed.

The official requested that relevant units ensure the progress of the project and put it into operation in 2024.

The city’s first metro line is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railway and 17.1 kilometers of elevated track.

It runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

The project broke ground in August 2012 at a cost of VND43,700 billion (US$1.86 billion), most of which comes from Japan’s official development assistance loans.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

The groundbreaking for the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line was held on Tuesday.

Upon completion, the operation and management (O&M) building will be the headquarters for Ho Chi Minh City No.1 Urban Railway Company with the primary function of operating the entirety of metro line No. 1.

The facility is located at Long Binh depot in Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City.

The construction of the city’s first metro line is about 94 percent complete, Nguyen Quoc Hien, an official from the municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the project developer, said at the ceremony.

The developer, contractor, and consulting team are working hard to complete the remaining categories and prepare for technical test operation of the metro route in 2023, Hien continued.

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The groundbreaking of the operation and management building of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building covers an area of more than 1,500 square meters, has two stories, and has a lifespan of 100 years.

The construction is expected to last for nine months.

This year marks an important phase of the project as it will be the transition from the construction of the metro line to the official operation of the route in 2024, according to Hien.

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong stated that 2022 marked many memorable milestones of metro line No. 1, especially the trial operation of the elevated section from Suoi Tien Terminal to Binh Thai Station.

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

Vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong greets workers at the construction site, January 31, 2023. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tien Phong

The O&M building is a very important ‘piece’ for the whole project, Cuong stressed.

The official requested that relevant units ensure the progress of the project and put it into operation in 2024.

The city’s first metro line is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railway and 17.1 kilometers of elevated track.

It runs from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

The project broke ground in August 2012 at a cost of VND43,700 billion (US$1.86 billion), most of which comes from Japan’s official development assistance loans.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20230201/work-starts-on-operation-building-for-ho-chi-minh-citys-first-metro-line/71248.html

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