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U.S. to open CDC regional office in Vietnam

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U.S. to open CDC regional office in Vietnam – PHOTO: WWW.CDC.GOV

HCMC – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will open a regional office in Hanoi to increase its public health engagement in Southeast Asia, the U.S. State Department said after an online ministerial meeting with members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) on September 10.

According to its statement, the United States has donated US$87 million to ASEAN countries to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, proving its commitment to supporting the prevention and detection of and coping with the disease. It will open an office in Hanoi and cooperate in community health development in the region in the future.

The CDC is working with Thailand and Vietnam to fund surveillance systems that can monitor the spread of Covid-19, Thanh Nien Online website reported.

The United States also announced other cooperative programs with the ASEAN and Vietnam. After the second India-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) held in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2019, it will work with Vietnam to host the third edition of IPBF, which bolsters large transactions and connections in the private sector in the United States and the ASEAN.

As for the ministerial conference, Vietnam’s government website reported that the ASEAN countries had assessed the support offered by the United States, especially in the health sector.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/78484/us-to-open-cdc-regional-office-in-vietnam.html

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VN’s COVID-19 update on Sunday morning

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Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/803836/vns-covid-19-update-on-sunday-morning.html

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Commuters in Hanoi and HCM City willing to use metro: JICA survey

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Hanoi and HCM City are willing to use urban railways once they are put into operation, according to a survey conducted by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) of more than 6,000 residents in the two big cities.

The first train of metro line Bến Thành-Suối Tiên in HCM City arrived at the Long Bình Depot on October 13.

JICA conducted the survey about three urban railway lines including Line 1 and Line 2 in Hà Nội and Line 1 in HCM City between March 2019 and last month, with the results released on Friday in Hà Nội.

A dominant proportion of respondents in HCM City (81 per cent) said yes to the question “Will you use the Bến Thành-Suối Tiên metro when it is operated?”

About 66 per cent of respondents in Hà Nội were willing to use the Line 1 metro (Ngọc Hồi-Yên Viên) while 30 per cent of those interviewed were willing to take the Line 2 metro (Nam Thăng Long-Trần Hưng Đạo)

The rate of Line 2 in Hà Nội was lower than Line 1 because all services and railway infrastructures of Line 1 are ready so people are more willing to use it, meanwhile, there is almost no service in the Line 2, said Ken Kumazawa, team leader of the JICA study team.

The most common reasons mentioned by commuters not willing to use the trains in both cities were inconvenient routes and their preference for private vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, according to the survey.

“The urban railway networks will be able to benefit local people by mitigating traffic congestion, air pollution and climate change,” said Kumazawa.

The transport sector contributes a considerable amount to CO2 emissions in both Japan and Việt Nam. About 19 per cent of CO2 emissions in Japan come from the transport sector while the figure is 23 per cent in Việt Nam, he said.

Tokyo, Hà Nội and HCM City are all rapidly growing urban areas. More commuters in Tokyo use the railway for daily travel and Japan has less traffic congestion than megacities like Manila, Mumbai, New Delhi, Jakarta and Bangkok. Meanwhile, Hà Nội and HCM City have a majority of people (60 to 80 per cent) using motorbikes and also a high level of traffic congestion and air pollution, the Japanese expert said.

Trần Ánh Dương, head of Environment Department of the Việt Nam’s Ministry of Transport, said the ministry had committed to building dense urban railway networks in Hà Nội and HCM City.

Hà Nội plans to build eight metro lines covering a total length of 318.9km while HCM City hopes to construct six urban railway routes on 174km. 

The Hà Nội routes and Line 1 in HCM City are under construction with JICA’s support.

Kumazawa said urban railways had become a daily part of Japanese life. In Việt Nam where most people use motorbikes, getting them to change to urban railways would not be easy. In the future, ensuring service quality and showing the environmental positive impacts of the urban railways will surely increase the ridership.

From Japan’s experience, he said a modal shift from motorbikes and cars to the metro was very important. It is estimated that cars discharge 90gCO2 per passenger on each km, motorbikes release 45gCO2 and metro only 20.

“Urban transport can reduce CO2 emissions by way of modal shift, reduction in traffic volume and distance, technology innovation and alternative fuel,” he said.

Murooka Naomichi, senior representative of JICA Vietnam Office said the urban railway systems to be developed in Hà Nội and HCMC will not only meet public demand of transportation but also contribute to the national target of 9 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 committed in the updated Nationally Determined Contribution of Việt Nam, which has been recently submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. — VNS

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/commuters-in-hanoi-and-hcm-city-willing-to-use-metro-jica-survey-683610.html

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Vietnam documents 12 imported coronavirus cases, all Vietnamese returnees from abroad

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Health reported 12 imported cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, all Vietnamese returnees from France, Russia, Germany, and Angola.

They were quarantined upon arrival, the health ministry said.

Two of the new patients who returned from France are being treated in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau while three cases that came back from Russia are being isolated for treatment in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

Among the remaining seven cases, three were repatriated from Germany and four from Angola. They are receiving treatment in Hanoi.

Vietnam has logged 1,160 COVID-19 cases since January 23, when the virus first emerged in the Southeast Asian nation, according to the health ministry’s data.

The number of recovered patients has hit 1,051 while 35 virus-related fatalities have been recorded to date.

Four patients passed away after having been cleared of the pathogen so they were not counted in the nation’s death toll.

Zero domestic infections have been confirmed in Vietnam in the last 52 days.

The health ministry has warned that the pandemic may worsen in the coming winter, insisting that people wear face masks in public, sanitize hands, keep a safe distance, avoid gatherings, and declare health status.  

Vietnam began denying entry to foreign nationals on March 22 but the government allows foreign experts, skilled workers, investors, and diplomats to enter the country on a case-by-case basis, subject to mandatory quarantine.

Though international commercial flights are now suspended, charter planes to the country have been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.

Vietnam currently charges international arrivals for quarantine.

It provided the quarantine service for free in the past.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20201024/vietnam-documents-12-imported-coronavirus-cases-all-vietnamese-returnees-from-abroad/57423.html

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