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Ministry tries to remove barriers for agricultural produce in Covid-19 hotspot Hai Duong



Purchasing and transporting of agricultural products from Hai Duong province – Vietnam’s largest Covid-19 hotspot – to other localities has been stalled for a few days due to epidemic prevention regulations applied in many neighboring provinces.

Nông sản Hải Dương ách tắc, Bộ khẩn cấp ra biện pháp tháo gỡ

 Hanoians support sales of agro-products from Covid-19 hotspots. 

On February 21 the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported to the Prime Minister on measures to clear away difficulties for commodity circulation and promote agricultural product sales and purchases in Hai Duong province.

The Ministry had discussions about the purchase and delivery of products with major distribution systems in the North, including the Central Group, which runs supermarket chains BigC and Go!, Vincommerce, the owner of Vinmart and Vinmart + chains, BRG Retail, which operates the BRG Mart supermarket chain, and the MM Mega Market chain.

Central Group purchased about 100 tons of vegetables, tubers and fruits from Hai Duong province last week and the volume is expected to increase to 200 tons per week.

MM Mega Market Vietnam has committed to support purchase of agricultural products for Hai Duong province. This firm has ordered 24.3 tons of vegetables per day and will increase output in the coming days. The Vinmart system has also ordered a number of safe agricultural products.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has also worked with relevant agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, provinces and enterprises to discuss solutions to deal with consumers’ hesitancy in using agricultural products and foodstuffs originating from epidemic-hit areas.

However, the biggest problems come from the regulations set by local governments in epidemic prevention. Most of the Covid-19 control stations at the gateways to and from neighboring provinces and cities restrict or ban vehicles entering and leaving Hai Duong.

It is also reported that the request for Covid-19 testing in the Ministry of Health’s dispatch dated February 7 on the transport of goods, which is said to have many inappropriate points, has resulted in difficulty for sales of agricultural products at home and abroad.

This directly affects Hai Duong province and other localities because Hai Duong is at the center of the development triangle of Hanoi – Hai Phong – Quang Ninh.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Health to provide unified guidance on the circulation of people, goods and vehicles between epidemic-hit areas and other localities.

The Ministry also asked Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with the Ministry of Health to issue unified guidance on agricultural, forestry and fishery production processes to ensure disease prevention and sufficient conditions for distribution to domestic and export markets.

Luong Bang



HCM City to focus on AI in aim to become ‘smart city’ by 2030



HCM City leaders look at AI products displayed at an exhibition held on the “Day for AI and IT Enterprises” event recently in HCM City. VNA/ Photo Thu Hoài

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities plan to promote Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of its effort to become a smart city with e-government, e-enterprises and an electronic society by 2030. 

Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the plan, part of the programme on “research and development of AI applications in HCM City for the 2020-2030 period”, will play an important role in smart-city development in the next five years.

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

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

The programme also focuses on researching and developing technologies using AI, developing human resources for AI through education and training, and enhancing academic communications with foreign AI professionals.

The city will focus on developing start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of AI.

The city is encouraging businesses to apply AI  to enhance competitiveness and is also calling for investment in the field and promotion of AI products made by Vietnamese.

The city aims to increase by 20 per cent per year the number of scientific works, AI patents and AI applications, and invite leading AI experts to work short or long term in the city.

It has also called for investment in telecommunications and IoT (Internet of Things) infrastructure, and e-identification platforms in order to develop a digital government and economy.

The city will set up AI hubs that will include AI training centres, AI research clutters and a centre for AI start-ups, which will be connected with one another through the city’s data centre and infrastructure.

Digital government

The city aims to complete its shared database and open data ecosystem by 2025. When the shared database and open data ecosystem are completed, they will be connected to national databases to serve the city’s e-government.

The city also aims to offer all public services online by 2030.

“Data is currently shared and used mostly by the city’s district authorities, administrative departments, people and businesses. So, utility apps will become a necessary tool to serve people better,” Võ Thị Trung Trinh, deputy director of the city Department of Information and Communications, said.

Dozens of apps in the transport, housing, and health sectors have appeared in recent years. They are easy to use and available on both Android OS and iOS operating systems, she said.

The city has introduced apps that help people notify authorities about incidents like broken water pipes, downed power lines and fallen trees.

The city has also digitised about 60 per cent of civil status books, and the work is expected to be available in June. Based on this database, other departments like education and health will upgrade their databases.

Such databases will allow the Department of Education and Training to forecast the school-age population to meet the needs of new students, while the Department of Health will set up a shared medical record system among hospitals in the city and the country.

In addition, the rate of residents and enterprises having electronic accounts for payments is expected to be more than 85 per cent by 2030.

Regarding the digital economy, the city has focused on 10 key sectors, including healthcare, education, transportation, finance-banking, tourism, agriculture, logistics, environment, energy, and human resources. 

By 2030, the digital economy is expected to account for 40 per cent of HCM City’s gross regional domestic product and annual labour productivity will increase at least 9 per cent. —  


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Health Ministry confirms three new Covid-19 patients



Health workers wearing protective suits are seen at a quarantine center. A Chinese expert and two Vietnamese citizens have been confirmed as Vietnam’s latest Covid-19 patients as of this morning, March 3 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – A Chinese expert and two Vietnamese citizens have been confirmed as Vietnam’s latest Covid-19 patients, raising the country’s tally to 2,475 as of this morning, March 3, said the Ministry of Health.

The new patients were taken to quarantine centers in Binh Duong and Kien Giang provinces upon their arrival in Vietnam.

Of them, the Chinese expert entered Vietnam through the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC on February 28. The patient is being quarantined and treated at the Binh Duong Province General Hospital.

The two remaining cases returned home from overseas on February 27 through a border gate in Kien Giang. They are under treatment at the Ha Tien City Medical Center in this Mekong Delta province.

As of now, Vietnam has reported 1,561 locally-infected cases, with 868 recorded since January 27. Further, 1,898 coronavirus patients in the country have been declared free of the disease, while deaths remained at 35.


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Breakfast @ Tien Phong News – March 3



Check out the news you should not miss today:


— Vietnam, as an active and responsible member of the ASEAN Community, is committed to working with other member states of the bloc in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said as he led a Vietnamese delegation to attend a virtual Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Tuesday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.


— Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally on Tuesday night stood at 2,472 with 1,898 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.

— Local authorities in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on Tuesday announced ban on ‘mobile karaoke,’ a kind of entertainment in which people can easily sing karaoke via a bluetooth-connected microphone or speaker and a smartphone app, in the whole province as it causes a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.

— A video has gone viral since Tuesday night as it captured the moment a school guard successfully saved a six grader who climbed out of the third-floor balcony of her school in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1.

— Bluezone, a mobile app commissioned by the Vietnamese government to assist in contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic, has recently been updated with a new feature which allows its over 30 million users to conduct online medical declarations.

— The Ministry of Transport has decided to reopen Van Don Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh from 6:01 am on Wednesday after more than a month of temporary closure to prevent and control COVID-19.

— Police in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang’s An Phu District on Tuesday said they had arrested Mai Van Chup, 56, for investigating a case in which he was allegedly involved in helping people exit Vietnam illegally for VND1 million (US$44) per person.


— Hanoi’s index of industrial production (IIP) in January – February rose 7.5 percent year on year, the Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday, quoting the municipal statistics office.


— Authorities in Quang Ninh Province on Tuesday decided to reopen its intra-provincial tourism activities after the locality had reported no locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases for three weeks.

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