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PM sends condolences to families of 13 dead officers and soldiers



Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent his deepest condolences to the families and relatives of officers and soldiers, who were buried by a landslide, on their way to Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant on a rescue mission in Thua Thien-Hue.

Major General Nguyen Van Man (second, right), deputy commander of Military Zone 4 visits flood-hit areas in Phong Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue Province last Sunday. Photo courtesy of Military Zone 4

The condolences were included in a message sent to the Ministry of National Defence, the provincial People’s Committee and relevant agencies on Thursday.

Following the message, Phúc told the ministry and the committee to visit and support the families and relatives of the officers and soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The ministry and committee were also ordered to prepare the funeral ceremony for the officers and soldiers.

He also tasked the ministries of national defence and transport to co-operate with the committee and relevant agencies to mobilise all forces to find 16 missing workers of Rào Trăng 3 Hydro-power Plant.

The ministries and agencies were ordered to ensure safety for the soldiers on rescue missions.

The message also warned that currently, a new tropical low-pressure system was forming in the East Sea.

It has begun to cause torrential rain in the central region, including the areas where the soldiers are.

Therefore, PM Phúc required all agencies to closely watch the developments of the tropical low-pressure system and prepare plans to cope with it, ensuring safety for local people and property.

In response to the Prime Minister’s order, the rescue forces on Friday morning dispatched more soldiers and vehicles to clean up soil and rocks to reach Rào Trăng 3 Hydro-power Plant and look for the 16 missing workers.

13 victims’ identities confirmed

The identities of the 13 officers and soldiers, most of them high-ranking officers, were confirmed on Thursday evening.

Major General Nguyễn Văn Man, deputy commander of Military Zone 4.

Colonel Nguyễn Hữu Hùng, deputy head of the Search and Rescue Department, Ministry of National Defence

Lieutenant Colonel Bùi Phi Công, deputy manager of Military Zone 4’s Logistics Department

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Tiến Dũng, deputy head of the Military Zone 4’s Operation Office

Lieutenant Colonel Hoàng Mai Vui, deputy head of Motorcycle Office, Technical Department, the Military Zone 4

Lieutenant Colonel Lê Tất Thắng, deputy brigade commander, chief of staff of the 80th Information Brigade, Military Zone 4

Lieutenant Colonel Trần Minh Hải, deputy chief of staff, Military Command of Thừa Thiên Huế Province

Captain Tôn Thất Bảo Phúc, head of engineering force division, Military Command of Thừa Thiên Huế Province

Captain Nguyễn Cảnh Cường, company commander, the 80th Information Brigade, Military Zone 4

Lieutenant Đinh Văn Trung, the 80th Information Brigade, Military Zone 4

Lieutenant Trương Anh Quốc, Military Command of Thừa Thiên Huế Province

Nguyễn Văn Bình, chairman of the People’s Committee of Phong Điền District

Phạm Văn Hưởng, head of Information and Communication Department of Thừa Thiên Huế Portals –

The bodies of the victims were taken to 268 Military Hospital in Thừa Thiên Huế Province. — VNS



Two Laotian nationals caught in possession of significant drugs haul



Border guards operating in the northern province of Dien Bien recently detained two Laotian citizens as they were in the process of attempting to smuggle a large quantity of drugs into the nation.

The pair were caught red-handed along the country’s border with Laos in Pa Kha hamlet of Na Bung commune in Nam Po district at 10 p.m. on December 3. According to Dien Bien border guards on duty at the time, the Laotian nationals were in possession of 90,000 pills of recreational drugs.

As a means of smuggling the drugs into the nation, the pills had been tightly wrapped inside a number of nylon bags before being hidden within their backpacks.

The drug traffickers were later identified as Vang Chong Vu, 35, and Vang A De, 26, both of whom have Laotian nationality and reside in Samphanh district of Phongsaly province in Laos.

Upon being questioned by local police forces, the pair confessed to transporting the large drugs haul from Oudomxay province in Laos across the border, with the intention of selling the drugs to a Vietnamese person named Tu at price of VND800 million, equal to US$34,782.

At present, the case remains under further investigation. VOV


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All direct contacts of recent local coronavirus infections in Ho Chi Minh City negative



The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control said on Saturday morning that all people in direct contact with recently announced local COVID-19 cases had tested negative for the virus.  

A total of 2,261 people in contact with patients 1,342, 1,347, 1,348, and 1,349 were tested for the novel coronavirus.

Among them, 861 were F1 individuals – people who had direct contact with positive COVID-19 cases, and 1,400 were F2 people who had direct contact with the F1s.

In addition, 655 others were tested for community review, bringing the total number of people taking the virus test to 2,916.

Results of 2,528 samples returned negative for the virus, while the remaining 384 community review samples are still waiting for test results.

As many as 295 people are being quarantined in concentrated centers whereas nearly 566 others are isolated at home or other accommodations, and four are monitored at medical facilities.

Ho Chi Minh City recorded no new local COVID-19 cases for three days in a row as of Saturday morning.

The four patients 1,342, 1,347, 1,348, and 1,349 are now in good health, said Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control.

Before patient 1,342’s third test returned positive for the virus, he had developed some mild symptoms such as fatigue, stuffy nose, sore throat, sputum, and decreased appetite, while the other three cases were asymptomatic.

Patient 1,342, a 28-year-old flight attendant with Vietnam Airlines, tested positive for the novel coronavirus on November 28 while self-quarantining.

He returned to Vietnam from Japan on flight VN5301 on November 14 and was quarantined at a facility managed by Vietnam Airlines at 115 Hong Ha Street in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City from November 14 to 18.

When staying at the quarantine center, the flight attendant came into contact with his colleague, patient 1,325, who was also put in quarantine there, but in a different isolation area.

As patient 1,342’s first two tests for the virus while at the quarantine facility returned negative, the flight attendant was let go to self-isolate at home, as per regulations.

He hosted a male friend during the self-quarantine at his home.

The flight attendant also visited several public places, including his university, and came into contact with many others during that period.

He was registered as patient 1,342 on November 29.

The friend who stayed with him was confirmed as patient 1,347 on Monday.

Two other individuals who had been in direct contact with the friend were then confirmed as patients 1,348 and 1,349 on Tuesday.

Vietnam has recorded 1,361 coronavirus patients as of Saturday afternoon, with 1,220 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

Before the detection of patient 1,347, the country had gone 88 days with zero domestic infections.

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Central province to quarantine HCMC entrants to stem Covid-19 spread



Central province to quarantine HCMC entrants to stem Covid-19 spread

Body temperature scanners are put at the Chu Lai Airport in Quang Nam Province for Covid-19 prevention, July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.

Quang Nam Province would place people that have frequented the same HCMC locations as its current Covid-19 cases into centralized quarantine upon entry.

The decision applies to those who have visited 16 HCMC locations, including certain gyms, karaoke parlors, malls and restaurants frequented by newly confirmed Covid-19 cases, Tran Van Tan, the province’s deputy chairman, said Saturday. They would have to report to authorities immediately and enter centralized quarantine for 14 days, he stressed.

“They will be tested for the novel coronavirus twice as per existing protocols. Once the centralized quarantine period is up, they would be self-isolated at home for 14 days,” he said, adding the move seeks to actively prevent Covid-19 from entering Quang Nam.

Besides the 16 locations, those entering Quang Nam from HCMC’s Tan Binh, Binh Tan, District 6 and District 10 are also requested to self-isolate at home for 14 days. The province has also ramped up Covid-19 prevention efforts, including telling people to wear masks outside their homes.

In central Nghe An Province, the provincial department of health on Friday requested relevant authorities to track the health status of anyone entering the locality from HCMC recently. Those suspected to be infected, came in contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases or stem from locations with high risks of infection must be tested and quarantined, the department stated.

The Nghe An Center for Disease Control (CDC) must be ready to perform mass Covid-19 testing if requested as well, the department added.

Quang Nam and Nghe An’s measures came after Vietnam’s first Covid-19 community transmission case in nearly three months was confirmed in HCMC on November 30.

The patient, a 32-year-old English teacher in HCMC, has since infected at least two others: his one-year-old nephew and a 28-year-old student. All these cases originated from another Covid-19 patient, a 28-year-old Vietnam Airlines flight attendant who breached quarantine protocols and got himself infected by another crew member.

As of Saturday, HCMC has four Covid-19 community transmission cases.

Vietnam has recorded 1,365 Covid-19 patients so far, including four imported cases reported Saturday evening. Thirty-five have succumbed to the disease, many being elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes or kidney failure.


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