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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 6

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Notice for automatic stay extension for foreigners stranded due to COVID-19

The Viet Nam Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security has issued a notice for automatic stay extension for foreigners stranded in Viet Nam due to COVID-19.

1. Foreigners who entered Viet Nam on visa waivers, e-visas or tourist visas from March 1st, 2020 are entitled to automatic stay extension until July 31, 2021 and can depart from Viet Nam without having to apply for stay extension.

For those who entered Viet Nam before March 1st, 2020, the same automatic stay extension until July 31th, 2021 can be considered, subject to provision of proof that the person was stranded in Viet Nam due to COVID-19, accompanied by a diplomatic Note (with Vietnamese translation) from relevant diplomatic missions, or a written document from relevant Vietnamese authorities confirming that the person was required to undergo mandatory quarantine or treatment for Covid-19, or advice of other force majeure. The person is required to present the diplomatic Note or written document on departure from Vietnam.

2. During “automatic stay extension” period, foreigners are required to complete temporary residence and health status declaration.

3. Foreigners who are not subject to Paragraph 1 or violate Vietnamese laws will be treated according to applicable laws of Viet Nam./.

Party chief to attend CPC and World Political Parties Summit

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong will lead a high-ranking Party delegation to attend the Communist Party of China (CPC) and World Political Parties Summit, slated for July 6.

His attendance will be made at the invitation of the CPC Central Committee.

The summit, themed “For the People’s Wellbeing: the Responsibility of Political Parties,” will be held virtually.

More provinces stop HCM City flights over COVID-19 concerns

The Ministry of Transport has approved a proposal by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to stop flights from HCM City to Thanh Hóa, Thừa Thiên-Huế, and Quảng Nam provinces with effect from July 5 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The CAAV said the three central provinces had made the request.

But it would consider special flights carrying medical staff and supplies for exemption.

Hải Phòng City and eight provinces, the others being Quảng Ninh, Quảng Bình, Gia Lai, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu, and Nghệ An, have so far stopped flights to and from HCM City, which is suffering intense coronavirus outbreaks since late May that have seen caseload soaring past 6,000.

Other places such as Phú Quốc, Đà Lạt and Vinh require passengers to arrive with a negative PCR test certificate. 

Deputy PM Đam urges HCM City to use technology to fight virus

Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam called on HCM City’s leaders to employ the latest technology to improve testing and contact tracing in an online meeting on Monday.

Đam, also head of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19, said testing and tracing must be done with care and high accuracy. 

“We must avoid collecting too many samples and being unable to process them in a timely manner. Each test result must provide enough information so contact tracing can be done effectively,” said the deputy PM.

He asked the city to tighten monitoring of people entering and exiting virus hotspots while taking steps to keep up the flow of goods. Bus and truck drivers soon will have to provide negative test results upon entry to the city while residents must complete health declaration forms online if they intend to travel. 

HCM City’s leaders said residents will also require QR codes as proof of being COVID-19 negative to enter certain restricted places while the city is to keep other preventative measures in place to ensure safety for students during the upcoming high school examination.

HCM City’s COVID-19 investigation, tracing and sampling have improved in effectiveness in the last few days even as new daily incidence has hit triple digits, the city Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention said.

Unlike earlier staff at health centres in districts and health stations in wards, communes and towns are now only tracing contacts and taking samples for testing, and perform no other tasks.

This has helped ensure all possible infections are investigated within one hour after health officials get test results and six to 10 hours in the case of F1 [people who came in contact with patients] as against 12 hours previously.

Speaking at a meeting with the People’s Committee on Sunday Nguyễn Hoài Nam, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said his agency has instructed hospitals and health centres in districts and Thủ Đức City to take samples from F1 cases to testing establishments within two hours.

Samples taken in the community should be taken within 24 hours, he said.

Testing establishments have been instructed to provide results for community samples and F2, or those who were in contact with F1, within 24 hours. Earlier it used to take up to 48 hours.

The city shuts down areas within a maximum of one hour if a person tests positive there, and begins investigation, tracing and sampling.

Deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, Ngô Minh Châu, said the city would set up a testing administration centre to improve its testing regime. 

Testing teams are being set up across the city, which needs to do two million rapid tests.

The city will add 10-30 personnel to every district and Thủ Đức City to investigate and trace contacts.

Việt Nam’s national COVID-19 caseload topped 20,000 on Monday morning after the Ministry of Health announced 328 new cases. 

277 more cases added to national tally over last 12 hours

Vietnam detected 277 more local coronavirus infections, mostly in Ho Chi Minh City, over the last 12 hours to 6:00am on July 6, according to the Ministry of Health.

HCM City, the country’s current largest COVID-19 hotspot, recorded 230 cases while the remainders were found in Phu Yen (18), Dong Nai (11), An Giang (10), Hung Yen (5), Vinh Long (2), and Ha Nam (1).

Of the total, 228 cases were discovered in quarantine and sealed-off areas.

The new infections brought the national count to 21,312, including 19,441 domestic and 1,871 imported cases.

There were 17,871 cases reported since April 27 when the fourth wave of outbreaks hit the nation.

A total of 8,022 patients were given the all-clear from the virus, while the death toll reached 90.

Among active patients undergoing treatment, 311 have tested negative to the virus once, 133 twice and 74 thrice.

On July 5, 13,988 people were given COVID-19 vaccine nationwide. As of 4pm same day, about 3.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered, with 226,858 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

A total of 243,769 people having close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are under quarantine across the nation./.

Vietnamese intern missing during sea swimming in Japan

A Vietnamese intern went missing while swimming at a beach in Onga district, Japan’s Fuku oka prefecture.

Nguyen Van Minh, 20, is working for Ikeda construction company, the Vietnamese Consulate General in Fukuoka said on July 5.

Minh and another intern – Cao Van Minh, 23, went fishing and swimming at the Ashiya beach on July 4. Drowning Cao Van Minh was rescued by local residents while he was trying to save his friend.

After learning about the incident, Japanese competent forces began search and rescue operations. However, as of 6:30pm, Nguyen Van Minh remained missing.

The Vietnamese Consulate General is closely coordinating with the Japanese side in the search work.

Cao Van Minh is now in stable condition./.

Contest on short films offers funds to five filmmakers

Five filmmakers have been given VNĐ300 million (US$13,000) each from the CJ Short Film Making Project to make short films.

Contest judges were Việt Nam’s leading filmmakers Phan Đăng Di, Nguyễn Hoàng Điệp, Trịnh Đình Lê Minh, Trần Thanh Huy, and Trần Thị Bích Ngọc, who were all present at the presentation and Q&A round held online on June 26.

The selected projects’ themes were inspired by real stories about love, family love, and love of nature and the country.

Filmmaker Trần Thị Hà Trang’s project called Cá Mặt Trăng (Moonfish) features a self-discovery journey of a hearing-impaired child, while Hương Kỳ Trong Trăng (Dreaming a Dream) of Lê Can Trường is about a man lost in his illusions.

Đàm Quang Trung tells a story about a tomb builder and his memories of a forgotten village in his film project Những Con Voi Bên Vệ Đường (Elephants on the Streets).

Meanwhile, Đào Thu Uyên’s Người Mẹ Nuốt Chửng (Swallowed Mother) is about a widow living with her disabled child, but stuck with a jealous boyfriend.

Hồ Thanh Thảo also features a widow’s fight against a stranger, who causes bad luck for her son, in her dreams in the work Điềm Báo (Fortune-telling).

During the filmmaking process, the filmmakers will be mentored by five judges to ensure that their films meet qualifications for international film festivals.

Film production will be finished on November 24, and all five films will premiere in January 2022.

The organisers, CJ Cultural Foundation and CJ CGV Vietnam, will offer financing to filmmakers to help them register to participate in top international film festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Busan.  

The judges said that the five projects would have the opportunity to go further at top film festivals, because all contestants had a clear vision in directing and careful preparation.

The CJ Short Film Making Project, initiated in 2018, aims to bring works by Vietnamese filmmakers to top international film festivals.

Many productions from the contest have been selected to screen and compete at over 50 international film festivals around the world.

This year, the contest has received 298 entries.

All the entries feature different genres, and various topics and stories covering various aspects of life and humanity. 

PM approves chairman, vice chairmen of Hanoi People’s Committee

The Prime Minister has approved the election of Chu Ngoc Anh as Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee for the 2021 – 2026 term.

The approval was also given to the election results of the vice chairmen for the People’s Committee, namely Le Hong Son, Nguyen Trong Dong, Duong Duc Tuan, Ha Minh Hai, Chu Xuan Dung, and Nguyen Manh Quyen.

At its first meeting in late June, the 16th Hanoi People’s Council elected Chu Ngoc Anh, member of the Party Central Committee, Vice Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee in the 15th tenure (2016 – 2021), as Chairman of the People’s Committee for the 16th term (2021 – 2026).

Anh won over 92 votes of the 94 council deputies present at the event, equivalent to 97.87 percent.

Le Hong Son, Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee in 2016 – 2021, was re-elected Vice Chairman for the new tenure.

Along with Son, the council also re-elected the other five vice chairmen in the previous term, namely Nguyen Trong Dong, Duong Duc Tuan, Ha Minh Hai, Chu Xuan Dung, and Nguyen Manh Quyen, for another tenure./.

First working day of 13th Party Central Committee’s third session

The 13th Party Central Committee kicked off the third session in Hanoi on July 5 morning.

At the plenary sitting in the morning, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chaired and delivered the opening speech of the meeting.

Vo Van Thuong, Politburo member and Permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, presented the Politburo’s proposal on the working plan of the Party Central Committee in the 13th tenure.

Pham Minh Chinh, Politburo member and Prime Minister, presented a report by the Government’s Party committee on the implementation of the medium-term plans for socio-economic development, national finance, and public investment during 2016 – 2020, along with the draft plans for 2021 – 2025.

After that, the Politburo submitted proposals on the draft working regulations of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat in the 13th tenure; those of the Inspection Commission; the draft regulations on the implementation of the Party’s Statute; along with the draft rules on the Party’s inspection, supervision, and discipline work.

In the afternoon, members of the Party Central Committee held group discussion about the implementation of the medium-term plans on socio-economic development, national finance, and public investment during 2016 – 2020, and the draft plans for 2021 – 2025./.

Ca Mau takes measures to prevent erosion, adapt to climate change

The southernmost province of Cà Mau is speeding up efforts to prevent erosion to ensure sustainable development and adapt to climate change.

In recent years erosion along its rivers, canals and coasts have occurred not only in the rainy season but also in the dry season because of the increasing impact of climate change and human factors.  

In Năm Căn District, one of the coastal districts hardest hit by river erosion, there have been around 20 instances this year, which caused damage to properties.

They occurred mostly along major rivers with strong flows, especially in Năm Căn Town and the communes of Hàng Vịnh, Hiệp Tùng, Đất Mới and Tam Giang.

On June 16 a 30-metre stretch was eroded in Tam Giang, which affected three charcoal making kilns.

Nguyễn Thành Đạt, their owner, said the erosion occurred rapidly and caused him losses of VNĐ80 million (US$3,500).

Another occurred in Năm Căn Town’s Hamlet 7 a few days later, causing three houses to slide into the river.

Erosion often occurs at night, also threatening the safety of people, according to locals.

In Năm Căn District, people normally live along rivers, and most of their houses are poorly constructed or makeshift. The district Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue said therefore they would be damaged when there are natural disasters like storms.

The district borders the sea, and so riverine erosion occurs frequently due to high tides and strong currents.

Its dyke system lacks investment and so is easily breached when there is a tropical depression or high tide.

Trần Đoàn Hùng, deputy chairman of the district People’s Committee, said the frequency and scale of erosion increased in recent years, and so the top priority now would be for preventing it.

The district has petitioned the province People’s Committee to build embankments along some major rivers to prevent erosion.

It regularly conducts inspections to identify erosion – prone areas and has increased advocacy to enhance people’s awareness of the threats to their property and safety and how to safeguard them, including by putting up warning signs in risky areas.  

The district has identified 25 new areas this year with a total length of 50km.

In another district also severely hit by river erosion, Đầm Dơi, there have been 30 cases this year, which have damaged houses and infrastructure.

The province has had 61 cases affecting a total of more than 1km so far this year, according to the province People’s Committee. 

Of its 254km of coast, 150km suffer from severe erosion, with the sea eating away 20 – 50 metres of land each year adding up to 450ha.

The province has built more than 50km of sea dykes in the last 10 years.

The biggest difficulty in protecting the coast from erosion is the lack of funds since private investment is not allowed, according to the province People’s Committee.

The province is soliciting investment in the marine economy accompanied by construction of soft dykes, renewable energy and aquaculture in coastal areas, and is creating mudflats for mangrove forests to prevent erosion.

Lê Văn Sử, deputy chairman of the province People’s Committee, said to develop Cà Mau and the delta’s other provinces sustainably and adapt to climate change, the Government should offer incentives for investing in infrastructure for rural development and agriculture.

The province needs investment in infrastructure since its existing transport systems of waterways and roads are inadequate and not well linked, according to the official. 

Vietnam, Egypt discuss ways to deepen bilateral ties

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on June 5 held phone talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry to discuss measures to promote bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries at multilateral forums.

During their talks, the two ministers expressed their joy at the fruitful development of the Vietnam – Egypt relationship in recent times, and pledged to further deepen all-around cooperation between the two countries.

They agreed to resume exchange of delegations at all levels and closely coordinate in issues of common concern, and support candidacy of each other at international organisations.

FM Son suggested the Egyptian side support Vietnam and the African Union (AU) to set up official relations.

The two officials affirmed to exert their efforts to lift bilateral trade turnover to 1 billion USD as planned, and share experience and take measures to promote post-pandemic tourism recovery.

They exchanged views on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and support for efforts to solve relevant issues by peaceful measures through negotiations.

The Vietnamese diplomat took the occasion to invite Shoukry to visit Vietnam. The Egyptian minister accepted the invitation, and expressed his wish to welcome Son to Egypt at a suitable time./.

Young man earns huge profits from koi fish

A young man in Quang Nam Province has earned big profits from raising koi fish.

Pham Hung Thinh said he decided to set up a koi fish farm after visiting his friend’s farm and saw how it operated. With his passion for the fish, he immediately built his own farm. However, all of his first fish died because of his lack of experience.

Thinh then went to learn from other fish owners online.

As of now, his farm covers 300 square metres with all required equipment. He is raising 6,000 koi fish. According to Thinh, the ponds must be 0.8-1.5 metres deep and the water must be clean with a pH of 6 to 8. A koi fish is sold for VND350,000 (USD15) per kilo. Koi fish whose parents are imported from Japan cost VND550,000 per kilo.

“When you first raise the fish, it’s better to mix salt into the water to help the fish adapt to the new environment and treat the wounds they may suffer during the transportation,” he said. “The koi fish was sold at several weeks old or up to three months old. Bigger fish are more expensive.”

Thinh said his customers are mostly from neighbouring provinces and cities including Danang. He is now breeding more affordable fish to get more customers. Each year, Thinh earns about VND300m (USD13,000) from the fish.

“I have to “hunt” for rare and healthy fish from other farms to breed. It’s a really time-consuming task so you have to be passionate,” he said.

Thinh plans to expand the farm to import more koi fish from Japan. The imported fish cost several million VND per fish. However, Thinh said he had a lot of customers searching for them.

New tourist magnet in Gia Lai province

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An ancient stone stream has been discovered in Chu Pah district, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. Since news of the discovery became public, many tourists have flocked to the site to take Instagrammable photos featuring the unique local geography.

Ia Ruai Stream flows through many villages in Ia Ly township before spilling out into the reservoir of the Ia Ly Hydropower Plant.

Believed to date back over 100 million years, the two sides of the stream have hexagonal stone blocks arranged closely together. They are similar to rock formations at Ganh Da Dia (or Reef of Plates), a special national relic site in the nearby coastal province of Phu Yen.

According to Chu Pah district’s Culture and Information Division, Ia Ruai Stream has potential in tourism so needs to be protected.

It suggested the district People’s Committee upgrade the road leading to the stone stream and plant trees along the roadside to provide shade for tourists.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it will conduct a survey to develop a plan for tourism development and compile a dossier in the near future requesting recognition for the stream as a national relic site./.

Photography exhibition highlights values of life amidst pandemic

“Things that count” is the theme of a photography exhibition being held jointly by the Belgian Embassy in Vietnam and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Belgium) at the Matca Space for Photography in Hanoi.
Taking place until July 7, the exhibition is an online collaboration between young photographers from Europe and Vietnam, highlighting values of life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

During a 10-week period from March to May 2021, students from the Photography department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, held exchanges with young Vietnamese photographers about important current topics in modern society, especially during the times of uncertainty due to COVID-19.

The ten values include family, safety, gender, heritage, humour, intimacy, freedom, power, knowledge, and faith.

The resulting images and fragments of the written communication between the participants were published online, where perspectives were shared and friendships developed.

Several artworks from this project were selected for the exhibition at the Matca Space for Photography.

Close to 108,260 ha of new forest planted during year’s first half

A total of 108,258 ha of forest were planted in the first six months, up 22% year-on-year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, during the period, the entire nations prepared nearly 650 million saplings for afforestation, an annual increase of 43%.

To date, the rate of forest grown with certificated saplings has reached 87%. The number of scattered trees planted for forestry purpose stood at 38.6 million, while the volume of timber output was about 7.95 million cubic metres, both up 5.7% annually.

Vietnam is working on a project to grow one billion trees nationwide between 2021 and 2025. They will include 690 million trees in urban and rural areas, and 310 million others in protection, special-use, and production forests.

This project aims to protect the ecosystem, improve the scenery, respond to climate change, boost socio-economic development, improve the quality of people’s life, and foster the country’s sustainable development.

Nghe An reports first Covid-19 death

A local woman in Nghe An Province who suffered from severe Covid-19 and underlying conditions died last night, making it the first Covid-19 death in this north-central province, the Nghe An Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced this morning, July 5.

The deceased was a 71-year-old resident of the province’s Vinh City. She was admitted to the Center for Tropical Diseases at the Nghe An Friendship General Hospital for medical treatment on June 25, the local media reported.

She had a medical history of diabetes, hypertension and osteoarthritis, among others.

Due to her old age and many underlying conditions, her health conditions worsened and she was pronounced dead last night.

The CDC Nghe An this morning also reported another suspected coronavirus case, who is a local resident in Vinh City and came into close contact with a previously confirmed Covid-19 patient.

Since June 13, Nghe An has reported 124 locally-infected cases. Of them, Vinh City recorded 83 cases, Dien Chau District had 18 cases and Quy Hop District had five cases.

This morning, the neighboring province of Ha Tinh reported two more locally-infected cases. These two had direct contact with previously confirmed coronavirus patients and had been placed in quarantine earlier. From June 4 to date, Ha Tinh has confirmed 120 domestic infections.

HCMC tests representatives of households for Covid-19

HCMC is conducting a large-scale Covid-19 screening campaign by testing representatives of households. Accordingly, households with fewer than five people will have one member tested, while those with more than five people will have two members tested.

According to the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC), members with a high risk of Covid-19 infection had their samples taken, such as those traveling a lot or meeting with many other people, news site VnExpress reported.

As for areas on lockdown and areas linked to Covid-19 cases, all residents must have their samples taken for Covid-19 testing.

The city is holding a large-scale Covid-19 screening program. Accordingly, districts must prevent large gatherings and keep a safe physical distance from each other.

According to HCDC, besides RT-PCR tests, the employment of quick tests in high-risk areas is important to quickly detect infections.

The city will enhance RT-PCR tests in the coming weeks to increase the testing capacity to 500,000 samples per day. The city has decided that the samples of people in direct contact with Covid-19 cases and those at centralized quarantine facilities must be transported to labs within two hours.

In addition, the testing results of direct contacts of confirmed cases must be made available within 12 hours and the results of those in indirect contact will come out within 24 hours.

The samples will be handed over to labs three times a day, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and before 11 p.m.

HCMC will establish a center to coordinate Covid-19 testing to ensure a smooth process.

Binh Phuoc fines restaurant US$14,000 for breaking Covid-19 prevention rules

The authorities of Dong Xoai City, Binh Phuoc Province imposed a fine of over VND321 million (US$14,000) on Huong Phu Sa Restaurant in Tan Phu Ward, Dong Xoai City due to its violation of Covid-19 prevention and control regulations.

More than 100 people from Ho Chi Minh City, other provinces of Binh Duong, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc are side by side in Huong Phu Sa Restaurant without SARS-CoV-2 testing records.

Yesterday morning, the functional forces of Dong Xoai city inspected the restaurant where an event was happening with more than 100 people from Ho Chi Minh City, other provinces of Binh Duong, Tay Ninh, Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc.

At the site, people were side-by-side without complying with Covid-19 prevention and control regulations. It was remarkable that many people had not submitted SARS-CoV-2 testing records or their records have expired.

For this reason, local functional forces required all those people at the restaurant to perform health declaration and epidemiological checks. Besides, the medical forces carried out the disinfectant at the entire restaurant.

Huong Phu Sa restaurant’s owner is Nguyen Tu The, former senior lieutenant colonel of the Department of Public Security of Binh Phuoc.

Fish sent from coastal province as gifts to virus-hit HCM City

Members of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club felt relieved to see the fish they sent from the central province of Quảng Bình arrived safely in HCM City on Sunday morning after nearly thirty hours of travel.

After opening the foam boxes and seeing that the fish was still fresh and the ice had hardly melted, volunteers in HCM City immediately sent photos to their friends in Quảng Bình.

“We did it! The first shipment of three tonnes of fish and 100kg of dried baby shrimp reached HCM City safe and sound,” Bùi Xuân Hoàng, a member of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club said. As an admin of the club’s Facebook page, he quickly created a post to share the pride and happiness with all people who joined the programme ‘Quảng Bình sends fish to HCM City’.

The programme was launched by the tourism club on June 28, calling on people to donate fish, food and money so they could buy fish and send it to people who are hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in HCM City.

Trần Thị Thùy Dung, head of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club, said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in HCM City have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced, making them struggle to make ends meet.

People in Quảng Bình wanted to do something for people in HCM City, especially those in locked-down areas and poor workers who usually buy food in traditional or streetside markets which are closed due to social distancing, Dung said.

“Seeing the practical demand of people in locked-down areas and the advantages of the coastal province of Quảng Bình, we came up with the idea to send them fish,” Dung said.

She added that it’s now mackerel scad season which was very tasty and had reasonable prices – about VNĐ25,000 per kilo, so they decided to buy the fish for people in HCM City.

On the early morning of June 30, members of the club went to Nhân Trạch Fish Market to buy three tonnes of scad from fishermen. The fish was quickly carried to a frozen storehouse, processed and packed.

Together with members of the club, volunteers, including staff of local restaurants, processed, cleaned, packed and froze the fish.

Dung said Á Châu Transportation Joint Stock Company helped transport the fish to HCM City free of charge. Once the fish arrived at the company’s storehouse in HCM City, boxes of fish would be transferred to smaller trucks to deliver the fish to charity food stalls or locked-down areas. Trade unions, women’s associations and volunteers would help distribute the fish to needy people.

Hoàng said they spent all of Friday night packing and loading hundreds of boxes of fish on the truck so it could depart from Quảng Bình early on Saturday morning.

Volunteers help put ice into boxes to keep the fish fresh before a nearly-30-hour-long from Quảng Bình to HCM City by truck. Photo Courtesy of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club
“Our club has 50 members. There are more women than men, including some female members who have small children. However, we all join wholeheartedly,” Hoàng said, adding that 120 fish boxes were loaded onto the truck.

Hoàng said that they together carried out activities for the community, like cooking, offering free meals for people in flood-hit areas last October and a programme to buy plastic waste.

Hoàng said last October when the central province of Quảng Bình was hit hard by serious flooding, people from HCM City supported Quảng Bình a lot.

“Now, it’s Quảng Bình’s turn,” he said.

Fish from Quảng Bình reached HCM City on Sunday morning and then, was given to people in locked-down areas in the city. Photo Courtesy of the Quảng Bình Tourism Club
Hoàng’s team set a target to raise funds and send 20 tonnes of fish to HCM City. The second shipment is expected to reach the city this week.

Thái Thu Hoài, a Quảng Bình native now living in HCM City, said she burst into tear when seeing images of Quảng Bình fish being sent to people in HCM City.

Last year, she brought many gifts from HCM City to her hometown to support flood-hit residents and now, she witnessed the share and care of Quảng Bình to HCM City, she said.

The Quảng Bình Tourism Club is continuing to solicit donations to send fish to people in HCM City. 

Health services resume at Đà Nẵng hospital

Healthcare service has resumed at Đà Nẵng City’s General Hospital after a patient’s caregiver tested positive for SARS-COV-2 on June 29.

After the case was detected, all doctors, nurses, in-patients and their caregivers were tested.

Director of the hospital, Dr Lê Đức Nhân said only patients who test negative can stay for treatment, and nurses are assigned to care for patients instead of their relatives.

He said the hospital can accommodate 1,100 in-patients at half capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

All 2,500 doctors, nurses and patients will be tested every Tuesday, he added.

Nhân said 3,500 test samples had returned negative for SARS-COV-2 in relation to the caregiver who tested positive.

In Quảng Ngãi Province, a mass test programme has been conducted for residents in at-risk areas including markets, medical facilities, shops and transport workers.

Doctors from Thiện Nhân Hospital said they offered SARS-COV-2 tests for all residents in the province as well as people in quarantine centres.

Students and workers who will go abroad soon will be given tests and COVID-free certificates from the hospital and mobile test service.

The provincial health department said 13,000 residents out of 26,000 in the locked-down Phổ Thạnh and Phổ Châu wards in Đức Phổ Town have been tested for SARS-CoV-2.

Mobile COVID-19 tests are taken at a public site in the central province of Quảng Ngãi. Photo courtesy of Tràn Kim Tuyến  
It said a 150-bed health centre in Bình Sơn District has set up to treat COVID-19 patients in the province.

Doctors at the provincial Pediatrics and Obstetrics Hospital said a COVID-19 mother gave birth at the hospital on Thursday.

They said the 3kg baby girl and mother were healthy.

Regular tests have been assigned for 2,500 workers and engineers at the Bình Sơn Refinery and petrochemical joint-stock company.

The company said it has maintained non-stop operation of the plant by setting up safe and private work zones for 1,000 key engineers and managers.

Quảng Ngãi began social distancing orders from June 30 as 86 people had been infected with SARS-COV-2 between June 25 and July 1.

It said 23,000 people out of the 1.5 million population have been vaccinated so far.

All bus routes from COVID-19 hotspots to the province have been banned. 

Runaway COVID-19 patient caught in coach, other passengers and driver become F1

A COVID-19 patient who left a quarantine facility unauthorised was found travelling on a coach with 28 other passengers.

The man is from the northern province of Hà Giang and was working in Bắc Giang. He tested positive for coronavirus on May 31 and was being held at the 110 Military Hospital.

On Sunday morning he left the medical facility in Bắc Giang City but was found around noon that day on a coach travelling from Hà Nội to Hà Giang Province.

The coach was stopped in Hàm Yên District, Tuyên Quang Province.

All the passengers on the coach, and the driver, have been quarantined. The man has been returned to a medical facility and police are currently investigating the incident. 

Nghe An and Yen Bai elect key positions

The 18th People’s Council of the central province of Nghe An held its first meeting for the 2021 – 2026 tenure on July 4 to elect titles under the authority of the Provincial People’s Council. 

At the meeting, Member of the Party Central Committee and Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee Thai Thanh Quy was elected as Chairman of the 18th People’s Council of Nghe An Province for the 2021 – 2026 tenure.

Member of Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee Nguyen Nam Dinh and Provincial Party Member Nguyen Nhu Khoi were both elected as Vice Chairmen of the 18th Provincial People’s Council, 2021 – 2026 tenure.

Deputy Secretary of the Nghe An Provincial Party Committee Nguyen Duc Trung has been elected to continue as Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee for the 2021 – 2026 tenure.

Le Hong Vinh, Hoang Nghia Hieu, Le Ngoc Hoa and Bui Dinh Long continue to hold their positions as Vice Chairpersons of the Provincial People’s Committee. Deputies at the meeting also elected 22 members of the Provincial People’s Committee for the 2021-2026 tenure. 

Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Yen Bai Provincial Party Committee Ta Van Long was elected as Chairman of the 19th Provincial People’s Council.

Also on July 4, the 19th Yen Bai Provincial People’s Council, 2021-2026, convened its first session.

At the meeting, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee Ta Van Long was elected as Chairman of the 19th Provincial People’s Council.

Vice Chairpersons of the Provincial People’s Council, 2016-2021 tenure Vu Quynh Khanh and Hoang Thi Thanh Binh have been elected to continue as Vice Chairpersons of the Yen Bai Provincial People’s Council, 2021-2026 tenure.

The Provincial People’s Council also approved a resolution to establish the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and elected the titles of Heads and Deputy Heads of Departments under the Provincial People’s Council.

18 members of the Provincial People’s Committee and judges of the Provincial People’s Court for the 2021-2026 tenure were also elected at the meeting.

Donations for national COVID-19 vaccine fund reach over VND8.04 trillion

The national COVID-19 vaccine fund has received over VND8.043 trillion (over US$350 million) as of the afternoon of July 4, its management board announced.

The sum was raised by 360,005 organisations and individuals, according to the board.

The use, management and opening of accounts at the State Treasury are publicised via mass media daily.

Vietnam will need VND22.5 trillion to buy 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate 75 million people in order to achieve herd immunity.

The board has opened 21 bank accounts for donations in Vietnam dong, US dollar and euro at the State Treasury of Vietnam, and the six commercial banks of BIDV, Vietcombank, VietinBank, HDBank, Agribank and TPBank.

Vietnam posted 328 more local COVID-19 infections in the 12 hours prior to 6am on July 5, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced.

Ho Chi Minh City, which is currently the country’s largest pandemic hotspot, recorded the majority of the infections with 175 cases, closely followed by the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap with 100 cases.

Twenty-three of the remainder were detected in Phu Yen, nine in Hung Yen, eight in Khanh Hoa, six in An Giang, two each in Long An and Ba Ninh, and one each in Lang Son, Dong Nai, and Soc Trang.

Of the new infections, 272 were found in quarantine and sealed-off areas. The new infections brought the national tally to 20,261, including 18,403 domestic and 1,858 imported cases.

Hanoi to restore cultural values of lake in Temple of Literature complex

The management centre of the Temple of Literature in Hanoi has announced plans to restore the cultural values of a lake known as Literature Lake as part of this special national site.

Literature Lake is an important part of the Hanoi Temple of Literature, covering a total area of 12,000 square metres, including the water area, surrounding gardens, and an island in the heart of the lake called Kim Chau.

Under the plan, the management will kick off a project this month to restore a now-defunct pavilion on the islet.

Due to the ravages of time, this space has been deserted, invaded and encroached multiple times throughout history, making the preservation work particularly difficult.

Since 2006, the lake has been transferred to the management of the Temple of Literature Cultural Centre.

In the past, the pavilion on Kim Chau Islet was a venue for men of letters in the Thang Long Imperial City to gather to discuss literary works. But it has already been destroyed.

With the restoration of the pavilion and refurbishment of the lake, the cultural values of the lake and the broader Temple of Literature will be further promoted.

Cultural village reopens, featuring a variety of cultural activities

A series of activities showcasing the unique features of rural markets in the north of Vietnam has kicked off the reopening of Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism on the outskirts of Hanoi. 

A number of traditional activities will be held in Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism this July, including children’s traditional games. Photo courtesy of the village

The tourist attraction has been reopened as the COVID-19 pandemic has been basically controlled in the capital in recent days.

Visitors to the village from July 1-31 can experience daily activities of Vietnamese ethnic minorities, including traditional craft demonstrations, culinary introductions, folk games and dances.

According to Trịnh Ngọc Chung, acting head of the management board of Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, the highlight of the activities in July is the ‘Rural Market-Children’s Memory’ event that will take place on July 23-25.

“The space of the rural market will recreate ancient cultural features, taking visitors on a journey back to a humble and rustic memory via trading scenes, folk games and dances that are typical of northern Vietnam,” he said.

A path shaded with bamboo arches and conical hats will lead tourists to the rural market. About 15 booths equipped with bamboo tables and chairs will offer a variety of specialities of the north like rice paper, rice cakes, peanut candies, boiled maze and bánh cuốn (steamed rolls made of rice flour).

Other traditional items are also sold at the market like traditional toys and craft products. The organisation board has also invited 20 ethnic artisans to introduce and make traditional handicrafts.

An integral part of ‘Rural Market-Children’s Memory’ event is an abundance of folk games inviting tourists to take part in, such as rope jumping, tug of war and stilts walking.

Chung said the management board of the village is still making great efforts to introduce and recreate the rituals of Việt Nam’s 54 ethnic groups through a variety of activities.

For example, traditional rituals of the Khmer and Ê Đê ethnic minorities will be held in the village on July 25 and 31, respectively.

“We have prepared two scenarios for the activities of the village in July. In case the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic becomes complicated, the activities will take place on an appropriate scale and if the pandemic is under control and there are specific directives from authorities, all the events will be organised according to plan,” he added.

About 100 people from 13 ethnic groups are expected to present at the activities of Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism this July, including Tày, Nùng, Dao, Mông, Khơ Mú, Mường, Thái, Tà Ôi, Cơ Tu, Ba Na, Xơ Đăng, Ê Đê and Khmer.

HCM City improves tracing, sampling as COVID rages

HCM City’s COVID-19 investigation, tracing and sampling have improved in effectiveness in the last few days even as new daily incidence has hit triple digits, the city Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention said.

Unlike earlier staff at health centres in districts and health stations in wards, communes and towns are now only tracing contacts and taking samples for testing, and perform no other tasks.

This has helped ensure all possible infections are investigated within one hour after health officials get test results and six to 10 hours in the case of F1 [people who came in contact with patients] as against 12 hours previously.

Speaking at a meeting with the People’s Committee on Sunday Nguyễn Hoài Nam, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said his agency has instructed hospitals and health centres in districts and Thủ Đức City to take samples from F1 cases to testing establishments within two hours.

Samples taken in the community should be taken within 24 hours, he said.

Testing establishments have been instructed to provide results for community samples and F2, or those who were in contact with F1, within 24 hours. Earlier it used to take up to 48 hours.

The city shuts down areas within a maximum of one hour if a person tests positive there, and begins investigation, tracing and sampling.

Deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, Ngô Minh Châu, said the city would set up a testing administration centre to improve its testing regime. 

Testing teams are being set up across the city, which needs to do two million rapid tests.

The city will add 10-30 personnel to every district and Thủ Đức City to investigate and trace contacts. 

Seas and islands – Existing space for nation

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On October 22, 2018, the Party Central Committee in the 12th tenure issued Resolution No 36-NQ/TW on the strategy for the sustainable development of Vietnam’s marine economy to 2030 and vision to 2045, in which the overall goal by 2030 is to turn the country into a strong maritime nation.
 
The adoption of the Resolution demonstrates the Party’s strategic vision and consistent views on seas and islands in the cause of national construction and defence. The entire political system and the country’s people have been making major efforts to synchronously and drastically implement the measures and solutions in the Resolution to reach the targeted goals.

Over past years, the army and the people have recorded important achievements in carrying out the dual tasks of developing the marine economy and protecting the country’s sovereignty over its seas and islands.

In particular, all levels and branches from the central to local levels and the people have a deeper understanding about the key content of the Party’s viewpoint on protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment to build and develop the country, as well as the legal basis and historical evidence of Vietnam’s sovereignty and maritime interests in the East Sea.

The political system, laws, and State management apparatus on seas and islands have also been improved and brought into play. After the Resolution on Vietnam’s maritime strategy to 2020 was adopted in 2007, the National Assembly and the Government issued a host of legal documents governing various fields relating to the country’s seas and islands, thereby creating a legal basis for the implementation of management, protection, and economic development of the seas.

On that basis, central and local ministries, departments, and branches have concentrated all resources on investing in building infrastructure and creating a stable and solid position for production, fishing activities, and resources exploitation. Many new policies have created favourable conditions for people to settle down on the islands.

Vietnam’s marine and coastal economy has posted many achievements to date, becoming a driving force in national development. The role and proportion of the marine economy in the national economy has increased markedly, with islands such as Van Don, Cat Hai, Con Dao, and Phu Quoc developing into economic centres.

In addition, propaganda on seas and islands and national defence and security education works have been bolstered, especially among fishermen and forces directly operating at sea and in coastal areas, helping to strengthen solidarity and the attachment between people on the islands and the armed forces, contributing to building stronger national defence and security on seas and islands./.

Ninh Thuan reports first Covid-19 case in fourth coronavirus wave

The anti-Covid-19 steering committee of Ninh Thuan Province yesterday morning, July 4, convened an urgent meeting after the central coast province reported its first Covid-19 case by community transmission in the nation’s fourth coronavirus wave, which began on April 27.

The patient was identified as a 31-year-old local resident of Go Cu Hamlet, Ho Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District, in the province, reported Thanh Nien newspaper.

He and two of his family members earlier went to HCMC to work as workers and temporarily reside in the city’s District 12. On July 1, they visited Xuyen A Hospital in the city to take a Covid-19 test and their results came out negative.

While they were en route from HCMC to their home town in Go Cu Hamlet the following day, they stopped by a petrol station in Dong Nai Province but do not remember the address and the name of the station. By the afternoon of the same day, they went to a local medical center to make a health declaration and were asked to self-quarantine at home.

On July 3, the Ninh Thuan Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted an aggregated Covid-19 test for these three, with the result coming out as positive. The CDC Ninh Thuan then conducted separate Covid-19 tests for them and found that the 31-year-old man was infected with the disease. The man was taken to the Ninh Thuan Provincial General Hospital for medical treatment, while his two family members were sent to a local concentrated quarantine center.

The local authorities discovered 17 people coming into close contact with the patient. The 17 were sent to a local quarantine facility and tested negative for the coronavirus once. Besides this, 142 others had indirect contact with the patient and were asked to self-quarantine at home, with their test results returning negative.

Health workers have disinfected local areas linked to the patient.

International experimental music concert to take place in Hanoi 

The performance features women who transcend limits to express themselves freely and their creativeness.
Five female international music composers and performers, who are from Vietnam, France, Germany, and Ghana, will hold an experimental music performance titled “Drifting Intervals” at 7pm on July 17 at Hanoi-based Goethe Institute.

The performance will be opened with free admission, however, a donation is recommended, starting from VND100,000 ($4.3).

The performance features women who transcend limits to freely express themselves and their creativeness. They learn about different cultures and enrich their own experiences to make their life more interesting.

Being started from the idea of artist Luong Hue Trinh, material in each commissioned composition of “Drifting Intervals” music project is the personal outlook of Vietnam-Germany cultural exchange. Not only that, delicacy and sensitivity of these artists will also be shown in the improvisation section.  

Based in Germany, Eva Zöllner is one of the most active accordionists of her generation who devotes herself to contemporary music.  As an internationally acclaimed soloist, she appears in projects ranging from experimental solo performances to concerts with renowned ensembles. 

Artist Séverine Ballon is from France. As a cellist and composer, the artist has deeply been engaged in the development of her repertoire. Ballon’s practice draws as much on key works from the repertory as on her numerous collaborations with composers, working in the intimacy of the fabric of sound. Her solo CD, ‘Solitude’, was released on label Aeon/Outhere in 2015 and her debut-CD as a composer “Inconnaissance” was released on the label All That Dust.

Coming from Ghana, Ute Wassermann is a voice artist, music composer, and improviser. The female artist is renowned for her many-voiced and extreme vocal sound language. Her methods to extend the voice include the use of bird whistles, lo-fi electronics, resonators, and field recordings.

Two female artists representing Vietnam in the performance are a multimedia composer and electronics improviser Luong Hue Trinh and well-known Dan bau (Vietnamese traditional monochord music instrument) soloist Ngo Tra My. Numerous interviews, commissions, as well as concerts that Trinh has organized, were broadcast on radio, exhibited, and performed live on stages in Asia, Europe, Africa and America. Meanwhile, My takes part in many different fields of music, including teaching Vietnamese traditional music, performing and researching contemporary and experimental music. 

WeLoveU presents pacemaker replacement surgery cost to poor child patient

The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) on July 5 handed over 80 million VND (3,494 USD) as a donation for the cost of a pacemaker replacement surgery provided by the International WeLoveU Foundation to a girl undertaking treatment in the National Children’s Hospital.

Addressing the ceremony, Luong Thi Hong Thuy, head of the VRC’s Department of External Relations and Development said that the amount will cover the cost of the surgery for Ha Nguyen Quynh Chi, a patient suffering a complicated heart disease from a needy family in Thanh Tri district of Hanoi.

Chi’s father, Ha Manh Hung, said that the gift is of great help for his daughter and family in this hard time. He thanked the VRC and International WeLoveU Foundation for the support.

According to Dr Nguyen Thanh Hai, head of the department for examination and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases at the National Children’s Hospital, each day the hospital receives many children from families who cannot afford treatment fees.

He thanked the VRC for supporting the hospital over the years, and called on donors to give needy patients a helping hand.

For his part, Jin Hyun Ok, General Secretary of the International WeLoveU Foundation in Vietnam said that the foundation will continue to join hands with the VRC in relief activities in Vietnam in the future./.

Vietnam-UK relations developing at the best stage: diplomat

The bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the United Kingdom (UK) is at the finest development stage and still holds much potential for further growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long said during his online meeting with members and partners of the Vietnam-UK Network (VUKN) on July 5.

Long briefed them on the latest achievements in bilateral ties, especially in trade, education, security defence and people-to-people exchange.

According to him, two-way trade rose by 25 percent in the first six months of 2021, and the goal to raise it to 10 billion USD in the next five years is feasible.

Potential for trade cooperation remains huge, especially in the context that Vietnam is entering a new economic development stage with average per capita GDP targets of 3,500 USD by 2025 and 7,000 USD by 2030.

As one of Vietnam’s leading partners, the UK can meet the country’s economic development demand in its strong fields such as science-technology, he stated.

The diplomat affirmed that education is the priority in bilateral collaboration, and the UK is Vietnam’s leading partner in this field, with 74 trans-national programmes of 23 British universities.

Cooperation in defence security has also developed as well, as the UK is expanding its presence in the East Sea and Southeast Asia and considering Vietnam its main partner in the Indo-Pacific, he added.

VUKN President Warwick Morris suggested the two countries intensify cooperation in health, particularly in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in science technology and mechanics./.

More support for people affected by COVID-19 pandemic

A number of overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Ho Chi Minh City on July 5 organised a programme entitled “Sharing love during the COVID-19 pandemic” with an aim of supporting poor households who are affected by COVID-19 with a total capital of over 1 million VND (43,520 USD).

The programme will last until July 20 and might be extended depending on the people’s demand and donors’ contributions.

On the same day, Dinh Vinh Cuong, a Vietnamese businessman in Japan, chairman of 365 Group, Le Ba Linh, an overseas Vietnamese in Thailand, chairman of the Board of Directors of Pacific Foods Joint Stock Company, together with some donors, opened the “Zero-dong supermarket” and started providing free meals for poor workers facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tan Binh district and surrounding areas.

Accordingly, on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, the poor and those in need can go to the zero dong supermarket located at Ot do (Red Chili) Restaurant in Tan Binh district’s Ward 13 to receive daily necessities and food. Free meals will be provided on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the programme, Phung Cong Dung, Chairman of the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs in HCM City, appreciated the affection and cooperation of overseas Vietnamese businessmen in ensuring social welfare, supporting the poor overcoming difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the context of facing many difficulties in production and business due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs in HCM City does not only promote the good tradition of the nation  but also shows the sense of responsibility of the Vietnamese people towards society and the community in difficult times.

On July 5 morning, 250 gift packages, worth about 200,000 VND (8.7 USD), were given to poor people and 100 free meals were delivered to quarantine or blockade areas in Tan Binh district.

On the occasion, Ngo Pham Tran, an overseas Vietnamese residing in Taiwan (China) awarded five scholarships, worth 200 million VND (8,600 USD) each to five outstanding students who overcome difficulties to study well.

Also on July 5, Phuong Trang Group donated more than 50,000 rapid antigen test strip for COVID-19, value at 7 billion VND (304,490 USD) to the centre for disease control of Lam Dong province. The rapid tests will be distributed to quarantine or blockade areas to enhance the efficiency of testing activities. Earlier on May 26, the group has offered 10 billion VND in assistance to the fight against the pandemic in the locality./.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnam-news-headlines-july-6-753050.html

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Côn Đảo to return to ‘new normal’ under province’s proposal

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Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province is drafting plans for reopening after September 22. — Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn

HCM CITY — Several wards and communes in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province are expected to continue to be under the Government’s Directive 16, while Côn Đảo District would return to a “new normal” state.

The provincial Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Tuesday held a meeting on epidemic prevention and control plans after September 22 to discuss ending the province’s 5th social distancing period.

Directive 16 would continue to be applied in wards Nguyễn An Ninh, Thắng Nhất, Thắng Nhì, 1, 10 and 11, located in various districts.

Some communes and towns in Long Điền District, namely Phước Hưng, An Ngãi and Long Hải, will also be under Directive 16.

Bà Rịa City, Phú Mỹ Town, Châu Đức District, Đất Đỏ District and Xuyên Mộc District, together with the remaining communes and towns of Long Điền District, will be under the more relaxed Directive 15.

Production and business activities in Côn Đảo District will resume in a new normal state. However, traffic from the mainland to the island must be carefully monitored.

Districts such as Châu Đức, Đất Đỏ, Xuyên Mộc and Bà Rịa City aim to slowly recover and carefully open some types of economic activities in four stages.

During the first stage, between September 23 and 30, those areas will loosen travel control in the “green zone” and reopen supermarkets, retail store chains, small businesses selling essential items, traditional markets and take-away food services, and resume agricultural, forestry and fishery production activities.

The second stage, from October 1 to 31, involves tourism at hotels with closed services.

If the epidemic continues to be controlled well and Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu returns to the new normal, the third stage, from November 11 to December 31, will be implemented.

The locality will allow tourist and resort establishments to welcome guests who are fully vaccinated. Real estate agencies, and security and insurance activities will be permitted to open, and intra-provincial public transport will operate at 50 per cent capacity. Education, training services and sports activities would be limited to no more than 20 people.

All economic activities in the last stage will reopen in 2022.

Vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Trần Văn Tuấn is seeking feedback from authorities and will announce the final plan soon.

As of September 21, after more than two months of social distancing, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu had recorded 3,943 COVID-19 cases. — 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1036762/con-dao-to-return-to-new-normal-under-provinces-proposal.html

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Five teens killed in road crash during Mid-Autumn Festival in northern Vietnam

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Five teenage boys were killed and two others injured following a road accident involving four motorbikes that were traveling at high speed in the northern Vietnamese province of Phu Tho on Tuesday night.

The crash took place along a street in Minh Tan Commune, Cam Khe District at around 10:30 pm, according to Nguyen Hong Son, chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee.

A total of seven teenagers were traveling on four motorbikes at high speed when they crashed into one another.

Four of them were killed on the spot, while the other three were admitted to the hospital with serious injuries.

One of the injured later died at around 1:00 am on Wednesday.

The five deceased victims were identified as Nguyen Ngoc Duy, 16, Nguyen Trung Dung, 16, Doan Quoc Hoi, 17, Nguyen Thanh Toan, 18, and Nguyen Truong Son, 16, according to An Toan Giao Thong (Traffic Safety) newspaper, which is managed by the National Committee for Traffic Safety.

Khuat Viet Hung, vice-chairman of the committee, has requested authorities in Phu Tho to promptly carry out an investigation and find out the cause of the accident.

Hung directed competent authorities to check whether the victims were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to verify any signs of illegal street racing.

The boys are believed to have been celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival prior to the crash, the provincial traffic safety committee reported.

The National Committee for Traffic Safety also asked their family members to pay attention to pandemic prevention and control measures when organizing funerals for the victims.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210922/five-teens-killed-in-road-crash-during-midautumn-festival-in-northern-vietnam/63216.html

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Benchmarks for entry to universities are too high, parents and students complain

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The required benchmarks for admission to universities this year have been described as “abnormally high” by some.

Benchmarks for entry to universities are too high, parents and students complain

Even excellent students who got 9 out of a 10 score for every exam subject may not be accepted at some universities.

On September 16, when universities announced the benchmarks for admission, N.H.N. from Thanh Hoa realized she could not enroll in any of the 11 majors she wanted.

With 25.6 score from the high school finals, N knew that she would not have opportunities at top-tier schools, so in addition to the application for six majors at the Hanoi Foreign Trade University and National Economics University (NEU), she also applied for majors at Thuongmai University and the Academy of Policy and Development.

The majors in 2020 had required a benchmark score 4-5 points lower than the score N received this year, so she felt secure about her choice.

However, the benchmark for the Economics Law major at the Academy of Policy and Development increased by five, from 21 last year to 26 this year, which meant she could not attend the school.

Many other students who had relatively high scores from the high school finals did not meet requirements for their preferred schools because the required benchmarks for admission to schools are higher this year.

Candidates need to have 2-4 exam scores higher than the previous year on average to be enrolled in universities.

Thuy Tram, a parent in Hanoi, said that 20 years ago, examinees with a 27 score would be the best students at schools. She said the current exams were not designed well. In principle, there should be both easy and difficult exam questions, which find excellent students who can answer difficult questions.

Bui Duc Trieu from National Economics University said that one of the reasons behind the high benchmark this year was the easy exam questions, and that in the future, schools will have to consider other methods of enrollment to ease reliance on the results of high school finals.

In 2020, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) stated that the high school finals are organized simply to recognize students as finishing the general education program, instead of being used as the university entrance exam. Universities are allowed to enroll students using their own criteria instead of relying solely on exam results as before. 

Thuy Nga – Thanh Hung

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/benchmarks-for-entry-to-universities-are-too-high-parents-and-students-complain-776483.html

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