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Japan to donate 440,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan

Japan is planning to donate another 440,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, split between Việt Nam, Thailand, and Taiwan, Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi announced on September 3.

The vaccines are due in the first half of September, but it is not yet clear at the moment how many each country/region would receive.

Motegi said the decision for more donations was made after a comprehensive evaluation of COVID-19 situations in Việt Nam, Thailand, and Taiwan, including new cases, the healthcare system’s capacity, vaccination progress, as well as the demands for inoculation of Japanese nationals in the three countries/regions.

He said that all three had been making progress in their vaccination drives, including for Japanese nationals living in those countries, but the coverage remained limited due to supply shortage, so he hoped with this latest shipments, both locals and Japanese nationals would get access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The same day, the Japanese embassy in Việt Nam said it was currently coordinating with authorities to carry out vaccination for Japanese citizens and their spouses in Việt Nam in Hà Nội, which would be conducted at clinics where Japanese doctors are available.

The three chosen facilities – Raffles Medical Hanoi, Family Medical Practice Hanoi, and Sakura Clinic Hanoi – are set to open up registration for appointments.

The costs for the vaccination, along with pre-injection COVID-19 tests, are paid for by the Japanese Government and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Việt Nam.

“People’s determination posture” gathers national power

Building the firm postures of people’s determination, all-people national defence and people’s security to lay groundwork for the cause of national defence is one of the important tasks and solutions to carry the country towards a new development period, which is mentioned in the documents of the 13th National Party Congress.

Of which, the “posture of people’s determination” is placed above in its relation with the all-people national defence and people’s security postures, demonstrating a new stride in the Party’s mindset.

The country’s thousand-year-long history showed that when the entire people and army stood united, they could defeat any enemy. From the onset of COVID-19 outbreak, the whole political system defined COVID-19 prevention and control as an urgent task to fulfill the “dual goals” of fighting the pandemic and recovering socio-economic development.

As a bridge between the Party and authorities, the Vietnam Fatherland Front chapters at all levels together with the entire political system held a number of activities, proving the importance of “people’s determination posture” in consolidating resources for pandemic fight.

Businesses, organisations and philanthropists donated about 8 trillion VND (350 million USD) to anti-pandemic work. From May 1 to August 15, VFF chapters at all levels received over 7.6 trillion VND, which has been used to purchase medical supplies and necessities for residents in areas under social distancing order.

In unaffected or less-affected localities, a number of campaigns were launched, receiving the warm response from local people who donated food and necessities to Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces.

Affirming the role and importance of “people’s determination” and “people’s determination posture”, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said meeting the people’s aspirations, the regime and the Party will survive. On the contrary, losing their trust means losing all.

He also described the army as a solid mainstay of the Party, State and people and a core force in building the all-people national defence posture. 

In the fight against the pandemic, military officers and soldiers were a truly solid and reliable mainstay of the Party, State and people, deserving the people’s army and the army in the heart of the people.

Politburo member, Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang asked units in the army to actively learn about and meet the people’s needs. He affirmed that the military is determined to use all means and forces, within and beyond its ability, to wipe out the pandemic and bring the people’s lives back to normal.  

Politburo member, permanent member of the Central Military Commission and Director of the General Department of Politics under the Vietnam People’s Army Gen. Luong Cuong said since the pandemic broke out, officers and soldiers in the army and self-defence militia forces nationwide have fully upheld the spirit of patriotism in service of the nation and people. They are both ready to fight and actively join in the combat against the pandemic.

Thousands of military medical staff and students voluntarily moved to the south to help with the effort. Many military camps have been used as quarantine facilities. The entire army deployed over 1,900 teams and checkpoints with more than 13,000 people, and 190 quarantine facilities serving more than 270,000, and set up 10 temporary COVID-19 treatment hospitals.
The army donated 510 billion VND to the national COVID-19 vaccine fund and deployed vehicles to transport vaccines. A number of units launched blood donation drives, helped farmers in pandemic-hit areas harvest farm produce. Such efforts once again affirmed the role of the heroic Vietnam People’s Army – an absolutely loyal and trustworthy force ready to sacrifice themselves for the Party, State and people, contributing to brightening the noble quality of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”./.

Fishing vessels to be closely controlled to end IUU

Fishing vessels to be closely controlled to end IUU hinh anh 1

Preventing and ending vessels’ illegal fishing overseas is the first requirement to lift “yellow card” warning by the European Commission, said Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Nguyen Quang Hung.

In an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency, Hung said the Fisheries Law and relevant decrees stipulate that fishermen going out to sea must be in the right occupation allowed in the fishing licence. They are banned from fishing in wrong areas and routes, using mines or explosives and destructive fishing tools.

Regarding the size of fishing vessels, the law stipulates clearly that ships with a length of 15m or above are only allowed to fish in sea areas of Vietnam, ships of 12-15m can only work in inshore route, and ships under 12m can operate in coastal route. Fishing wrong areas and routes also means violating the law.

Offshore fishing vessels are also required to install cruise control equipment and maintain operations from departure to arrival. Fishermen at sea must keep a full log of fishing, which is important to trace product origin. Additionally, fishermen are prohibited from using child labour in accordance with the labour law.

Hung said the Government issued Decree No.42/2019/ND-CP regulating fines on administrative violations in fisheries field. Accordingly, if fishermen commit one of the 14 violation behaviours, they will be punished in line with the law.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh asked cities and provinces to take more drastic actions to raise fishermen’s awareness of legal regulations. He hailed Quang Ninh, Binh Dinh, Kien Giang, Ca Mau and Binh Thuan for doing such job well, contributing to reducing the number of violating fishing vessels.

Hung revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is assigning the Directorate of Fisheries to build a draft project on the prevention and control of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), in a bid to lift “yellow card” warning by 2022 and develop fisheries sustainably and effectively.

During its implementation, there will be nationwide specialised inspections and strict punishments if violations are found. Advanced technologies will be adopted in fishing management.

The fisheries sector was required to perfect database on fishing vessels and fishing vessel supervision centre from the central to local levels. A fisheries management centre is also expected to be established at the Directorate of Fisheries.

The project will take more drastic measures and increase patrols while launching drives to inspect and handle fishing vessels violating foreign waters./.

Vietnam attends 36th Meeting of ICAPP Standing Committee

A Vietnamese delegation led by Nguyen Thi Hoang Van, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, attended the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), held online on September 3.

Addressing the event, which brought together representatives from 24 political parties in Asia, Van highlighted efforts of the ICAPP Secretariat in maintaining the operation of the organisation given the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to promoting solidarity, cooperation and experience exchange between political parties, while proposing measures to boost the ICAPP’s activities in the new situation.

The Communist Party of Vietnam will continue to play an active and responsible role in the ICAPP’s activities, for peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world as well, she affirmed.

The delegates reviewed the operation of the ICAPP after the 35th meeting, and focused discussions on the ICAPP’s activities from now to the end of this year and well as in 2022, especially preparations for its 20th founding anniversary, and cooperation between the ICAPP and the United Nations.

The ICAPP was set up in September, 2000 with an aim to boosting exchange and cooperation among political parties in Asia. After 20 years of establishment, it has affirmed its role in promoting cooperation in the region through the role of political parties./.

Hanoi aims to effectively wipe out child labour

Hà Nội is striving to reduce child and juvenile labour (those between seven and 17 years old) to under 1 per cent by 2025.

It is one of the aims of a plan by the municipal people’s committee targeting the period 2021-25, with a vision to 2030.

The plan aims to increase awareness, capacity and responsibility of authorities at different levels, concerned organisations, employers, community and parents in preventing child labour.  

The city will give support to all children at high risk of child labour, or being sold for labour. As many as 90 per cent of children at high risk of child labour will have access to education and proper vocational training by 2025.

Hà Nội is also aiming to reach 90 per cent of teachers and workers at children sponsoring centres, 80 per cent of parents and caregivers, 85 per cent of children and 90 per cent of enterprises, especially small- and medium-enterprises, receiving enough information and education about child labour prevention.

Seventy per cent of households in trade villages will also receive training about child labour prevention.

To reach the target, the city has asked authorities at different levels to insert the targets into plans, duties, strategies and programmes for socio-economic development.

The targets will also be inserted in programmes to set up new rural living styles, welfare and poverty reduction and vocational training policies.

Authorities at different levels will work closely with each other in preventing and reducing child labour, especially in supporting those sold for labour.

The city will improve education programmes to raise community’s awareness about the issue to ensure child rights.

More management and care will be given to children in poor families and employers in trade villages.

As of the end of 2019, Hà Nội had nearly 1.86 million under-16-year-olds, making up 23.2 per cent of the total city population.

Nearly 41,000 children are at high risk of child labour, but the capital city has not reported a case of illegal child labour.

In the period 2016-20, the city regularly gave education on child labour prevention, inspected child care and protection. Thanks to this, nearly 18,000 children and nearly 1,600 households with children at high risk of child labour received support.

Sapa tourism scene quiet amid Covid-19

The previously bustling tourist town of Sapa has become quieter due to travel restrictions and the lack of tourists.

Sapa Church area used to be crowded with tourists but it has recently been much quieter. Vuong Trinh Quoc, chairman of the Sapa People’s Committee said in the past few weeks, they only received 250 visitors. People who want to go to Sapa must be tested for Covid-19 and quarantined.

In 2019, Sapa received 50,000-60,000 visitors. The number of visitors in 2021 as of now only accounts for 0.04% of 2019’s. Most hotels and restaurants are already closed.

“A large number of visitors were from Hanoi and HCM City and nearby provinces. However, these provinces and cities are dealing with a severe outbreak and implementing strict social distancing rules,” Quoc said.   

People in Sapa also go out less and crowds outside public places are banned. Visitors to the markets must wear face masks and have their body temperature taken. A trader said life was getting more difficult since the majority of their customers used to be tourists. Since travelling is more difficult, the prices of everything also get higher.

Nguyen Van Dao, a tour organiser, has been out of a job for the past four months. He and his wife then sell dried salmon floss online to earn some money. But their business is struggling now as transportation is limited.

“Many people have left the city to wait out the outbreak. Some others tried to find other work. Sapa has never lack visitors for so long,” Dao said.

Ninh Binh promotes biodiversity preservation

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Boasting distinctive biodiversity, from abundant species of flora and fauna to rich and varied landscapes, the northern province of Ninh Binh has taken drastic measures to preserve its nature.

The Van Long wetland reserve, located in the north of Gia Vien district in Ninh Binh province, is dotted with spectacular islands and caves.

Covering more than 3,000 hectares, Van Long is considered the Red River Delta’s wetland nature reserve and is home to thousands of land and aquatic flora and fauna.

Among them are rare and endangered species listed in Vietnam’s Red Book, such as Delacour’s langur.

From the start of this year, the provincial Department of Forest Protection has detected 15 gross violations in the forestry sector and imposed fines totalling more than over 5,700 USD.

In the time to come, the department said it will bolster inspections to tackle violations in a timely manner to protect local biodiversity./.

Vietnam administers 20.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

Vietnam has to date administered around 20.8 million doses of Covid-19 for people aged over 18 with 2.8 million given with the second jab, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health has received roughly 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. From now until the end of this year, around 49 million doses of Pfizer vaccine will be brought to Vietnam, including 1.3 million doses in September.  

Vietnam has signed contracts to buy 51 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, including 20 million doses for children aged 12-17.

The Ministry of Health has asked cities and provinces to speed up the Covid-19 vaccination when more vaccines are scheduled to arrive in the country in the fourth quarter of this year.

Localities are urged to provide a second shot for qualified people.

HCM City, the Covid-19 epicentre in Vietnam, needs around 8.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to give the second shot to all of the local 7.2 million adult population by late this year.

The city has prioritised Covid-19 vaccination for some groups, including elderly people, frontline medical staff in the Covid-19 fight and people with underlying medical conditions.

Vietnam’s 76th National Day celebrated abroad

A series of activities have been held by Vietnamese embassies in many countries worldwide to mark Vietnam’s 76th National Day (September 2).

Addressing a meeting held at the Vietnamese Embassy in Moscow, Russia, on September 2, Ambassador Dang Minh Khoi noted under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam over the past 76 years, the Vietnamese people have won glorious achievements in the cause of national defence, construction and development, helping elevate the nation’s prestige and position regionally and globally.

In 2020, Vietnam was one of the few countries achieving positive economic growth. In the first half of 2021, its GDP expanded by 5.64 percent, or 1.82 percent higher than the same period in 2020.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ambassador said, the embassy considers vaccine diplomacy to be a primary task. It has actively worked with Russian ministries and sectors to promote the negotiation and import of vaccines and drugs for COVID-19 treatment, as well as the transfer of vaccine production technology.

Despite living far from the homeland, the Vietnamese community in Russia has also raised 140,000 USD to purchase vaccines, drugs and other medical supplies to send them back to Vietnam.

On the occasion of the event, staff of the Vietnamese Embassy, representatives of the Vietnamese community and Vietnamese students in Russia offered flowers at President Ho Chi Minh’s statue in Moscow.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, a ceremony to celebrate the National Day was held in Cairo by the Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt.

Speaking at the function, Ambassador Tran Thanh Cong emphasised that Vietnam is always proud to have Egypt as a reliable and traditional friend in the history of the struggle for national independence, unification and development.

He said the two countries’ relations are developing well and there are numerous opportunities for extensive and effective bilateral cooperation in various fields such as politics-diplomacy, economy-trade, culture, and education.

Despite the COVID-19 impact, two-way trade between Vietnam and Egypt reached 515 million USD in 2020, up 5 percent compared to 2019.

Ambassador Cong said there is room for cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of industry, agriculture, and logistics. He expressed his belief that bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Egypt will soon reach 1 billion USD in the coming time.

Vietnam’s 76th National Day was also celebrated by Vietnamese diplomatic missions in Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Mongolia and Mexico./.

Germany offers 180,000 COVID-19 test kits to Vietnam

A Vietnam Airlines flight carrying 180,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits worth 615,000 EUR (730,290 USD) donated by Germany to Vietnam left Frankfurt airport on September 3 and is scheduled to land in Cam Ranh International Airport, south central province of Khanh Hoa, on September 4 before being handed over to Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang.

The batch comprises 150,000 test kits provided by the World University Service of Germany (WUS) and 30,000 others offered by Berlin.

Dr. Kambiz Ghawami, President of the WUS, said that the gift aims to show Germany’s solidarity with Vietnamese people, which is hoped to help the country control COVID-19 as soon as possible.

With the support of Vietnam Airlines, in May 2020, the WUS received more than 200,000 face masks as gifts of Vietnam to Germany, he noted, adding that this was evidence of the solidarity between friends that always stand shoulder by shoulder through difficulties.

Earlier on August 19 in Berlin, Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyen Minh Vu symbolically received 30,000 rapid test kits presented by Berlin./.

Deputy health minister urges recovered COVID patients in HCM City to join battle

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn has written an open letter to people who have recovered from the Delta variant of COVID-19, calling on them to join hands in the fight against the pandemic in HCM City.

“Your sharing of experiences and the secrets to conquering the illness will also be part of the city’s disease prevention and control measures today,” he said in his letter on September 3.

He congratulated and thanked the patients who fought bravely and overcame the illness to spark the belief that the city would defeat the pandemic.

“[But] loss, sacrifice and suffering are still there for a number of people infected with the Delta variant and COVID-19 patients [in general]. Our city still has too many difficulties and challenges, requiring drastic and maximum efforts by the local government, city people and medical personnel.

“We understand that you still need time to recuperate after a terrible illness, but we desperately need your contribution in this decisive phase.

“With hope and belief in the successful control of the pandemic, our medical staff eagerly look forward to your participation in the city’s pandemic prevention and control. Any position, any work that you participate in will be appreciated and thanked by me and all the people of the city.”

When they feel adequately healthy, former patients can register to participate in the fight against COVID at the city Department of Health’s personnel division at 028.39309967 or 0907.574.269.

Sơn added: “We will assess the level of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus through rapid tests and arrange the best possible working conditions for you. I firmly believe that your presence at this time will bring positive energy, cheer to the pandemic prevention forces and especially COVID-19 patients. We must definitely go forward and win.”

As of September 2 the country has had 482,497 infections in the fourth wave of COVID, which began on April 27, with HCM City, the epicentre, accounting for 232,585.

The city is discovering thousands of new cases every day and there are hundreds of fatalities.

The city has said it will pay former patients who help health workers in hospitals take care of COVID patients.

At a press conference on September 2 Nguyễn Hòai Nam, deputy director of the city Department of Health, said the city has 116,337 recovered patients who have been discharged from hospitals.

They are a very valuable resource since they have antibodies that make them temporarily immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the city wants to recruit and pay them salaries for caring for patients.

Healthcare authorities would test and assess their antibody levels to assign them with appropriate work, he said.

These recovered patients could offer huge support to frontline health workers in many areas like disinfection so that the latter could focus on their professional tasks, he pointed out.

The city invites them to participate in the fight against the pandemic, he said.

Russia offers to donate curative drugs

The HCMC Department of Health said it has asked the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment and the Drug Administration of Vietnam to consider the use of Reamberin and Cytoflavin in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

It received a letter from the city Department of Foreign Affairs about the offer of donation of the two drugs by Russia’s Polysan Company to the city.

They are used in the treatment of COVID patients in Russia.

The Department of Health wants the Ministry of Health to add them to the COVID treatment regimen so that the city could use the donated medicines.

Medical consultation in nine areas 

The departments of Health and Information and Communication have added a healthcare consultation channel to the portal 1022.

Callers should press No.5 and follow instructions to choose the area in which they want to get advice.

The areas include cardiovascular – blood pressure ( No.1), respiratory diseases (No.2), obstetrics and gynaecology (No.3), paediatrics (No. 4), diabetes mellitus (No. 5), ear, nose and throat (No. 6), dental and oral (No. 7), other diseases (No. 8), and psychological counselling amid COVID-19 (No. 9).

Professors, associate professors and doctors from the Medical Association of HCM City will be on the line on all days of the week at 8-10am, 2-4pm and 7-9pm.

Previously, the city set up the portal 1022 for receiving information on COVID-19 control and prevention in 24 hours.

All calls are free of charge. 

‘Social Welfare’ app launched for COVID support

The HCM City Welfare Centre has launched the ‘An Sinh’ (Social Welfare) mobile phone application for the public to send it information and requests for emergency support.

People can send requests for ambulances, oxygen tanks, medicines, medical equipment for COVID treatment, and emergency assistance.

The requests will be passed on directly to the centre’s management for verification and processing.

It is meant to help reduce the workload for frontline forces while enabling the public to receive quick assistance.

Vietnamese delegation’s performance is higher than expected: official

Vietnamese athletes have finished their competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with a silver medal.

The Vietnamese delegation was temporarily ranked at the 70th in the medal tally at the end of September 2, the 9th day of the Games.

Deputy Director of the Vietnam Sports Administration Nguyen Hong Minh, who is also the head of the Vietnamese delegation, said seven Vietnamese athletes had competed in three sports of swimming, weightlifting and athletics.

They got a silver medal, won by Le Van Cong in the men’s 49kg powerlifting on August 26. The Vietnamese team has ranked 6th in three categories and ranked 7th in another type.

The results reflect the reality and conditions of the athletes, Minh said.

“The performance of the Vietnamese sports delegation at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is higher than we expected,” he said.

Minh attributed the achievement to the efforts and determination, especially the admirable willpower of the Vietnamese athletes with disabilities at the Games.

The Vietnamese delegation is expected to return home on September 4./.

Vietnam condemns use of chemical weapons at UNSC discussion

Vietnam has reiterated the consistent policy in favour of non-proliferation and disarmament regimes, as well as the country’s support for the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in ridding the world of chemical weapons.

Speaking at a discussion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the implementation of Resolution 2118 (2013) regarding the settlement of chemical weapons in Syria, Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN voiced concern over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the current impasse.

He called on the two sides to deepen their technical cooperation in a constructive and non-politicised manner, with the aim of finally settling remaining outstanding issues related to Syria’s initial declaration.

He looked forward to the upcoming meeting between the Foreign Minister and head of the National Authority of Syria and the OPCW Director-General — which should serve as a confidence-building measure – and called for the international community to lend its support to that engagement.

Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, briefed the 15-member Council on her Office’s recent engagement with its OPCW counterparts.

Noting that their work remains subject to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and conditions on the ground, she reported that the Syrian authorities requested talks with the organisation’s Declarations Assessment Team to be pushed back to October from the initially requested date in September.

UNSC members showed their concern over the accusation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, underlining the need to strengthen cooperation between the Syrian Government and OPCW as well as members of the Chemical Weapon Convention to deal with issues related to chemical weapons in the country./.

Vietnamese flag raised in US city of Jersey on National Day

The Vietnamese Consulate in New York, the United States, in collaboration with the administration of Jersey city in the state of New Jersey held a ceremony on September 2 (local time) to raise the Vietnamese flag at the City Hall, marking the 76th National Day of Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Consul Dinh Phuong Mai said the flag raising ceremony is of special significance as it was the first time that the administration of Jersey City has coordinated with the Vietnamese Consulate in New York to host the event on the occasion of Vietnam’s National Day.

The event will mark the start of new exchanges between Jersey City Hall and the Vietnamese Consulate in New York in the near future, she said, hoping such the flag raising ceremony will be held annually locally.

“I think it is an opportunity to promote images of the country and people of Vietnam, and at the same time to strengthen the relationship between the two countries and forge closer ties with the local Vietnamese community towards the homeland,” said the Consul.

At the ceremony, City Council President Joyce Waterman presented Consul Mai with a statement signed by Mayor Steven Fulop stating that on September 2, 2021, Jersey City has honoured Vietnam’s National Day, demonstrating the close friendship between the United States and Vietnam.

Waterman said Jersey welcomes people of different nationalities and cultures, including Vietnam, to come and live in the city to promote mutual understanding and develop altogether.

She stressed the flag raising ceremony in Jersey City is to honour the freedom of cultures./.

Vietnam Spark Board meets to support Vietnam in COVID-19 fight, post-pandemic recovery

Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Ha Kim Ngoc has highly appreciated and expressed his hope that the Vietnam Spark Plan would help set forth breakthrough initiatives for Vietnam to overcome challenges and maintain strong development momentum

He made the statement at the first meeting of Vietnam Spark Board on September 2. The Vietnam Spark Plan was launched by the Boston Global Forum aimed to bring together leaders, strategists, academics, experts in health, technology, and economics to discuss and propose solutions to help Vietnam in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, recover and develop the economy as well as seeking new opportunities for the country when the pandemic ends.

Participants at the meeting were former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, Chairman of the Boston Global Forum, former Acting US Secretary of Commerce Cameron Kerry, Co-Chair of the United Nations Centennial Initiative, Professor Thomas E. Patterson from Harvard University and many other professors and strategists from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The Vietnamese Ambassador said that this event has special meaning as it took place at the proposal of a prestigious organisation in Boston, where President Ho Chi Minh lived and worked in the days when he was searching for a way to save the country.

He emphasised that President Ho Chi Minh had foreseen the future of the Vietnam – US relations and they are following that vision.

The recent successful visit to Vietnam by US Vice President Kamala Harris is a new step in the relationship between the two countries, he said.

The pandemic situation in Vietnam is complicated, causing seriously economic and social impacts, the ambassador said, adding that the Vietnamese government has been taking many measures to fight the pandemic and seek vaccine sources at the earliest time, Ngoc said.

Addressing the meeting, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis expressed his interest and desire to help improve the pandemic situation in Vietnam, saying that the anti-pandemic effort and economic development are interrelated and are of great significance in helping the country overcome the COVID-19.

Professor John Quelch – former Vice President of Harvard Business School and Dean of the University of Miami Business School – said that Vietnam should coordinate with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to build a regional health strategy for vaccine autonomy, care for small businesses and pay attention to people’s mental health.

Other participants also contributed many ideas on developing health and information infrastructure, remote psychological counseling and enhancing the role of women.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, former Editor of VietNamNet Newspaper and Director of the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation, said after the first meeting, the Vietnam Spark Plan would continue to have discussions and was expected to submit a report of the plan to Vietnam by the end of this November./.

Quang Ninh aims to become country’s economic driving force

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has seen a rapid speed of development in its urban areas in recent years. 

The early approval of the province’s urban development programme to 2030 is a prerequisite to focus all investment resources and soon build Quang Ninh into a centrally-run city by 2030.

Quang Ninh has a fairly developed urban system, but there is a difference in terms of the development speed and scale of each area. Fast-growing and large-scale urban centres develop along main traffic routes, concentrated in coastal areas, associating with the development of tourist, service, industrial, and port areas. 

To become a centrally run city by 2030, Quang Ninh province set strategic goals many years ago.

Nguyen Tuong Van, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the province’s target is to develop an urban area system towards a sustainable direction and to build and develop a green economy based on science, technology, and human resources. 

One of Quang Ninh’s breakthrough strategies in the process of accelerating urban planning is investing in infrastructure systems. Up to now, many important infrastructure works have been completed, contributing to the synchronous connection of transport infrastructure in the province and the region. It also helps promote the socio-economic development of the whole region.

During its development process, Quang Ninh always determines that planning must be the first and foremost step. The province has spent a lot of resources and at the same time called for strategic investors to participate in the implementation of key projects, creating a stronger driving force for socio-economic development. 

Regarding the planning work, it was determined that the planning must be relevant to the socio-economic development strategy of the country, the region, and that of sectors and fields.

It was necessary to make a breakthrough based on potential and advantages of the province, ensuring modernity, synchronisation and meeting the international standards.

Since its first planning, the province has invited leading consulting firms such as McKinsey Group, BCG (the United States), Nikken Sekkei and Nippon Koie (Japan) to get involved in. These plannings have closely followed the development space of the province, assuring the connectivity to promote the strengths of each locality in the province and the Red River Delta, and the northern key economic region.

To realise the goal of developing Quang Ninh into a civilised and modern city, the province has identified three strategic breakthroughs in the urban development programme to 2030. They were developing high quality human resources in association with increasing population scale and quality; speeding up the development of synchronised and modern strategic infrastructure, and promoting local cultural identities while shortening the income gap. 

In addition, the province is also finalising the medium-term public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period. Accordingly, priority will be given to allocating state budget capital as a motivation to maximise the exploitation of resources, especially from the private sector. It will also focus on perfecting the synchronous and modern infrastructure system, contributing to promoting socio-economic development in a fast and sustainable manner.

Quang Ninh is viewed as a strategic destination in northern Vietnam and an important link in the northern economic growth triangle of Hanoi – Hai Phong – Quang Ninh.

Over the past five years, Quang Ninh has experienced high and sustainable growth, with an average annual growth rate of 10.7 percent. The average GRDP per capita is estimated at 6,700 USD in 2020, two times higher than the national average.

It topped the PCI rankings for the third year in a row in 2019, according to the PCI 2019 report compiled by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In addition to the PCI, Quang Ninh also led the country in the PAR Index for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019. The province has also been among the best performers in the SIPAS for many years and rose to the top in 2019./.

Online COVID-19 steering centre set up at PM’s office

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Thursday evening directed prevention and control measures for 2,594 communes, wards and towns of 19 southern localities that are undergoing social distancing through an online system set up in his office. 

The online steering and examination centre for COVID-19 prevention and control has been established at the PM’s office after he inspected COVID-19 prevention and control tasks at communes, wards and townships in HCM City, Hà Nội and southern Bình Dương and Đồng Nai Province.

The centre was created by the Việt Nam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT) and the Military Industry-Telecoms Group (Viettel) to connect the PM’s office with communes, wards and towns nationwide.

This is the first online system that helps the PM to quickly and directly examine and guide COVID-19 prevention and control in areas which are considered as the “fortresses” in the fight against the pandemic.

The PM appreciated the efforts of VNPT and Viettel in setting up the centre within a short space of time while ensuring quality.

The centre would serve as a tool to help the Government leader to regularly examine, supervise and direct communes, wards and towns as well as listen to their recommendations and proposals. 

The same day, the PM examined COVID-19 prevention and control tasks at five communes, wards and towns in HCM City, Tiền Giang and Long An provinces.

He asked local authorities to continue implementing social distancing and quarantine measures more strictly and effectively, ensuring social security and making sure every citizen could get access to healthcare, while speeding up testing to promptly detect COVID-19 patients.

He also asked to increasing mobile healthcare centres following the Ministry of Health’s guidance as well as organising vaccinations for people safely and effectively. 

Bad intentions distorting Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19 fail

Although the COVID-19 fight demands a joint effort and solidarity, certain organizations and individuals are distorting the situation to smear the accomplishments of the Vietnamese Party, State, and people.

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam is in a critical period. The administration at all levels, frontline forces, and the public have stepped up their efforts to contain the pandemic.

At the frontline of the fight against the pandemic, medical staff, the army, the police, and other forces are working hard to contain the coronavirus and ensure adequate supplies of food and medicines to everyone, following the motto ‘no one is left behind’.

Military servicemen, policemen, local cadres, and volunteers are on duty around the clock, buying and delivering food and other necessities to people in social distancing areas, and transporting urns containing the ashes of COVID-19 victims to their surviving relatives. These activities are in the Vietnamese tradition of mutual support, love, and solidarity.

In an affront to this noble effort, some people are spreading the ridiculous claim on the Internet that the people performing these selfless activities are just showing off. There have also been articles, including from RFA, RFI, BBC, and other overseas media networks, criticizing efforts by the army to assist pandemic efforts as inappropriate and calling the government’s preventive measures in the southern provinces and Ho Chi Minh City unscientific. Some have accused the government of using deception in its vaccination campaign without giving any justification of this baseless accusation.

All attempts to distort the policies and intentions of the Party and State to contain the pandemic ignore the reality that if the pandemic is allowed to spread, the consequences for everyone will be devastating. The involvement of the army and police forces has encouraged people to comply with pandemic preventive measures. Those forces have maintained public security and social order and managed the delivery of food and other necessities to people who must stay at home to control the spread of the coronavirus. Their efforts have made people feel more comfortable and secure in a difficult period.

COVID-19 vaccination for people (Illustrative photo:
Social distancing is being used in many countries to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Along with other measures – facemasks, disinfectants, limited gatherings, and health declarations – social distancing and vaccination are the keys to ending the pandemic. These are scientific methods recommended by health experts, implemented by the authorities, and supported by the public.

The world has been pushing ahead with COVID-19 vaccination, and positive results are being reported in the US, the UK, and Israel. Vietnam’s goal of achieving nationwide vaccination is based on scientific results that are being seen in countries around the world.

It must be stressed that misrepresentations about Vietnam’s determined fight against COVID-19 are meant to undermine people’s trust in the leadership of the Party and State. But Vietnamese people should not be fooled by these malicious distortions. It is the strong determination of the Party and the solidarity and faith of the Vietnamese people that will win the fight against this pandemic.

When artists join forces to fight against COVID-19

Despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on society, the pandemic cannot hinder local artists from displaying their talents and making contributions to the nation’s fight against the virus.

Recently Vietnamese artists Phuong Thanh, Tran Manh Tuan, and Quoc Daias volunteered to support the ongoing COVID-19 fight by giving live performances at field hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam.

Several other popular singers in the southern city also put on performances outside field hospitals as they sent words of encouragement to frontline healthcare workers and patients suffering from the virus.

Artists, including the likes of Cam Van, Phuong Thanh, Toc Tien, Quoc Dai, Le Minh, Cece Truong and more had the unique experience of singing for up to thousands of COVID-19 patients in field hospital No.11 in Thu Duc City, part of HCM City.

The artists concerted the hospital’s yard into a special stage featuring active and optimistic items, whilst also uplifting the spirits of those in attendance and encouraging viewers.

Along with singers, Vietnamese musicians also contributed their talent to the fight, inspiring an outburst of songs to encourage people to remain home and support the Government’s efforts.

“Ghen Co Vy” which was penned by Khac Hung and released on February 23, 2020 by Min and Erik, immediately became a hit song and has since gone viral on all media platforms. This was a project initiated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health to raise public awareness about COVID-19 prevention.

Most notably, UNICEF has also co-operated with well-known Vietnamese dancer Quang Dang, who is famous worldwide for coming up with a dance in the hand-washing song “Ghen Co Vy” which was released in March, 2020, amid the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also participated to choreograph the moves in the song “Let’s Act Together for Nature”, a product of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, by singer Quan A.P, and Nguyen Jenda.

Musicians An Hieu and Nguyen Van Chung also wrote several impressive songs as gifts in order to encourage and honour the dedication and silent sacrifice of frontline forces whilst contributing to spreading noble values and calling on all people to stay united to weather the COVID-19 crisis.

In the field of fine arts, a number of art auctions were held by painters and charitable groups as part of efforts to raise funds for hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

A painting by artist Bui Hoang Duong is auctioned to raise funds to support COVID-19 hospitals
Recently, over 100 artists and art collectors participated in a painting auction, organised by fine art critic Ly Doi, journalist Van Bay of The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports&Culture) newspaper, and their partner Le Quang Dong. As part of the move, Doi’s staff gathered paintings donated by artists and collectors for display and put them up for auction on Facebook.

Approximately 70 paintings eventually sold for a total of VND1 billion, equivalent to US$43,680. The proceeds will be used to purchase 20 hospital beds, medical equipment, machinery, and medicine for COVID-19 field hospital No.5 in Thuan Kieu Plaza of District 5. 

Meanwhile, Cai luong (Renovated Theatre) artists also contributed to the COVID-19 fight by putting on a number of impressive plays.

In June, several artists from the HCM City-based Tran Huu Trang Cai Luong Theatre released two music videos on YouTube, showcasing the Vietnamese spirit in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The videos, Niem Tin (Belief) and Chung Con La Chien Si (We’re Fighters), feature songs discussing the challenges that doctors, nurses, health workers, and soldiers face during the ongoing national fight. They include messages to encourage and praise the solidarity and bravery of citizens during the pandemic.

This was done alongside a number of writing contests spreading messages of hope amid COVID-19.

Vietnamese publisher Skybooks has invited entries for a writing contest to receive submissions about life at the time of COVID-19 with the aim of exploring beautiful stories and sending positive messages to readers.

The contest provided a platform for young people to share their own experiences on how they worked from home and took care of themselves and their families, along with some of their unforgettable days during lockdown.

Although social distancing measures require the suspension of cultural and entertainment services, artists found their own ways to show their gratitude to frontline forces and their unique contributions to the COVID-19 fight.

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



Việt Nam’s COVID vaccine developer stops third phase trial due to volunteers shortage




COVIVAC vaccine is developed by the Health Ministry’s Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC). —VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — The third phase of clinical trials of Việt Nam’s homemade COVID-19 vaccine COVIVAC have been halted, due to a shortage of volunteers. 

The Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) under the Ministry of Health said that they are struggling to find people to test the drugs because so many have already been vaccinated.

A representative from IVAC told online newspaper on Tuesday that the institute needs around 4,000 volunteers for the third phase to be conducted this month.

The representative said: “The coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine in Việt Nam is very high. Therefore, we have difficulty recruiting volunteers who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine and meet the other criteria of the study. Volunteers from the same community are preferred as we can’t recruit a few volunteers from different places.” 

This institute has been asked to seek out other options, including research on a booster vaccine dose for future use.

COVIVAC has been researched and developed by IVAC since May 2020. It is Việt Nam’s second COVID-19 vaccine, following Nanocovax to enter the clinical trial phase.

The COVIVAC vaccine is a Newcastle vector vaccine (NDV), which binds the protein S expression gene of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and is produced using embryonic chicken egg technology. This technology is also used to produce seasonal flu vaccines circulating in Việt Nam.

According to the report, in phase one, COVIVAC vaccine was tested on 120 people, aged 18-59 years old, distributed into four test groups, 25 people each with vaccine doses of 1μg (microgram), 3μg, 10μg and 1μg + 1.5mg excipient CpG 1018, and the placebo group had 20 people injected with phosphate-buffered saline, pH=7.2.

As a result, all four vaccine dose groups had no adverse reactions to the vaccine. Regarding the immune response, all four different dose groups of COVIVAC vaccine had different levels of immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies and anti-S protein IgG antibodies. —


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Private preschool teachers struggle to earn living due to pandemic



Đào Thị Minh Thúy and her two sons in her rented room in Trung Văn Alley, Hà Nội. —VNA/ Photo Phạm Mai

HÀ NỘI — Thousands of teachers at private kindergarten schools across the country are struggling to earn a living after nearly seven months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Đào Thị Minh Thúy, of Trung Văn Alley, Hà Nội, is a teacher at Tổ Kén Private Kindergarten School. She said she has not received any income since schools closed.

Thúy has already spent all of her savings to cover her daily expenses and bring up her two sons. Now she has to borrow money from her relatives to survive.

“Our lives have become more difficult. My husband, who worked at a local hotel, also lost his job due to the pandemic,” Thúy said.

Thúy said her sons are young, two and four years old, so she has to stay in her rented room to take care of them. She can not get a temporary job to earn a living.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Hồng, a teacher of Ánh Hồng Private Kindergarten School, has also been out of work for over six months. She has just got a job at a hair salon.

“I have to earn living,” she said.

She was very sad after deciding to work at the hair salon, Hồng said.

“I love children and the work of a preschool teacher, but I have no choice,” she said.

Thu Quỳnh, a teacher of TK Bé Yêu Private Kindergarten School, of Hoàng Mai District, said she is now working at a milk shop.

Quỳnh said she tried to wait until her school can re-open, but failed.

“I have to earn money to raise my children, I can’t wait any more,” she added.

She earns about VNĐ7 million (US$309) per month from the job at the milk shop, she said.

The money is not much but it helps cover daily expenses, she said.

“However, from the bottom of my heart, I still want to work as a preschool teacher. I love my job so much,” she said.

Private kindergarten schools have been closed for more than six months in Hà Nội. —VNA/ Photo Phạm Mai

Kindergarten schools dissolved

Trần Thanh Hà, the owner of TK Bé Yêu Private Kindergarten School, said she has had to sell all her equipment and dissolve her school.

Hà said she has run out of money and can not continue paying over VNĐ40 million ($1,770) each month to hire the infrastructure for the school.

“I had to borrow money from the bank to maintain the school over the past months,” she said.

The debt she owes to the bank is in the hundreds of millions of đồng.

“I can’t afford more,” she said.

“There is no way to make money to maintain the school anymore. I cried a lot when I decided to close the school that I established 13 years ago,” she said.

Trần Thị Dâu is the owner of two private kindergarten schools in Biên Hòa City, Đồng Nai Province. She said she has had to find many ways to make money to maintain the schools.

“I run an online shop that sells candies, foods and school supplies to earn money,” she said.

“I have tried hard to maintain the schools, however, if the schools will not be open in the next two months, I will have to dissolve one of them. I can’t bear any more,” she said.

Data from the Ministry of Education shows that 95.2 per cent of private preschool education institutions have had no revenue for at least six months, leading to 81.6 per cent of schools not being able to pay salaries for their teachers.

Minister Nguyễn Kim Sơn said private preschool education institutions are currently responsible for educating 22.3 per cent of preschool-age children.

It is estimated that 90,500 employees are working in private institutions at more than 19,000 facilities across the country. 

However, due to the pandemic, many private preschools have been closed, leading to a lot of teachers moving on to other jobs. This risks leaving 1.2 million children of preschool age with no place to study, he said.

“This is not a small number,” he said.


Deputy Minister Nguyễn Thị Minh said the education ministry has worked with the other ministries and sectors to propose solutions to the Government to remove difficulties for teachers and private preschools.

The ministry has already proposed policies that maintain jobs and support managers and teachers at private preschools, she said.

Preferential credit policies should also be issued to private preschools so that they can repair facilities and purchase teaching equipment to resume their operations, she said.

Statistics from the ministry reveal that there are about 11,210 private preschools that need credit support policies to resume operations, she said.

Sơn said the ministry has also proposed a package of VNĐ800 billion (US$35.3 million) to help private preschools recover their operations after the pandemic.

Đỗ Chí Nghĩa, a standing member of the Nation Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Adolescents, said the Government, the education ministry and other ministries have issued policies to support teachers of private preschools.

Hà, the owner of TK Bé Yêu Private Kindergarten School, said, “This is really good news for teachers and private preschool owners.”

Hà hopes that the Government will soon approve these policies so that the support packages can be used to restore school operations and teachers can continue with their vocation. —


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Vietnam announces 14,508 new COVID-19 cases



The Ministry of Health registered 14,508 additional coronavirus infections in Vietnam on Wednesday, together with 2,704 recoveries and 196 mortalities.

The latest cases, including two imported and 14,506 domestic transmissions, were detected in 60 provinces and cities, the ministry said, elaborated that 8,081 patients caught the virus in the community.

Ho Chi Minh City logged 1,675 of the latest infections, Can Tho City 989, Soc Trang Province 757, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province 756, Tay Ninh Province 729, Binh Duong Province 642, Binh Thuan Province 584, Dong Nai Province 509, Hanoi 467, Khanh Hoa Province 365, Lam Dong Province 222, Hai Phong City 141, Thua Thien-Hue Province 141, Da Nang 99, Quang Nam Province 56, and Quang Ninh Province 23.

Vietnam had confirmed 13,966 locally-acquired infections on Tuesday.

The country has found 1,247,358 community transmissions in all its 63 provinces and cities since the fourth virus wave erupted on April 27. A combined 989,235 of them have recovered from COVID-19.

Ho Chi Minh City has been struck badly with 472,133 patients, followed by Binh Duong Province with 282,873, Dong Nai Province with 87,755, Long An Province with 38,250, Tay Ninh Province with 29,357, Tien Giang Province with 25,030, An Giang Province with 23,404, Dong Thap Province with 22,634, Can Tho City with 18,715, Binh Thuan Province with 17,399, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province with 15,833, Khanh Hoa Province with 13,745, Hanoi with 10,947, and Da Nang with 6,121.

Vietnam logged only 1,570 locally-transmitted infections in total in the previous three waves.

The health ministry reported 2,704 recovered patients on Wednesday, taking the total to 992,052.

The toll has mounted to 25,448 mortalities after the ministry recorded 196 deaths on the same day, including 68 in Ho Chi Minh City, 20 in Dong Nai Province, 19 in Binh Duong Province, 17 in An Giang Province, and the remaining in 16 other provinces and cities.  

Vietnam has documented 1,252,590 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck it early last year.

Health workers have given upwards of 123 million vaccine doses, including 1,348,139 shots on Tuesday, since inoculation was rolled out nationwide on March 8.

Nearly 72 million of the country’s 98 million people have got at least one dose while almost 52 million are now fully vaccinated.

Vietnam aims to fully inoculate 100 percent of its adult population this year. Many provinces and cities are immunizing children aged 12-17 against COVID-19, using Pfizer-BioNTech shots.

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