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Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi to visit Viet Nam this week

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Viet Nam and co-chair the 13th Meeting of the Viet Nam – China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation from 10 to 12 September, 2021.

The visit will be made at the invitation of Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son./.

HCM City, Hanoi accelerate testing, vaccinations against COVID-19

HCM City, Hanoi accelerate testing, vaccinations against COVID-19 hinh anh 1

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are taking every effort to speed up testing and vaccinations against COVID-19 as the two largest cities of Vietnam continue experiencing complex developments of the pandemic.

Ho Chi Minh City’s Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control held a press briefing on September 7 to update information about vaccination situation in the city.

Vietnam’s current biggest COVID-19 hotspot has to date injected over 6.72 million people. It is striving to give the first jab for all people aged from 18 and the second shot for those who are due to receive the next injection.

Amidst the complicated developments of the pandemic, the Prime Minister has requested the Defence Minister, the Secretaries of Party Committees and Chairpersons of People’s Committee of Hai Phong city and Bac Giang, Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh and Hoa Binh provinces to proactively prepare human resources to be ready to support Hanoi in rapid testing, classification of patients for suitable care and treatment, tracing of possible contacts with patients, and organisation of vaccination against COVID-19 when necessary.

As of September 6, Hanoi had administered 2.4 million vaccine doses, covering about 35 percent of the city’s population aged 18 and above. According to the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control, in the coming days, the city will accelerate vaccination when sufficient vaccines are allocated.

In compliance with an official dispatch issued by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh, the capital city will conduct mass testing for all residents from September 6-12.

Accordingly, those living in locked-down, quarantine and extremely high-risk areas will be tested every 2-3 days. Others in high-risk areas will have samples collected every 5-7 days to “filter out” COVID-19 cases from the community./.

Coronavirus hotspot considers ‘green cards’ to ease measures

The authorities of Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam, are planning to apply “green cards” in order to ease social distancing restrictions for people who have received one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

During a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on September 7, Phan Van Mai, head of the HCM City administration, said the city is considering applying “COVID-19 vaccine green cards”, adding that groups of healthcare experts and economists are making plans for its implementation.

HCM City has extended its shelter-in-place mandate to mid-September in a continued effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has also established a working group tasked with developing a plan for both the COVID-19 fight and economic recovery after September 15, with pandemic containment, social welfare policies, and economic development among the pillars of the plan.

To ease social distancing measures and gradually restore services, all stakeholders must feel safe, meaning they must be fully vaccinated, Mai explained the administration’s ‘green cards’ proposal.

He therefore expressed hope that the Government would provide the city with additional COVID-19 vaccines to help all residents get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Dr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Health, said the local health sector is speeding up COVID-19 vaccination, considering this a priority along with testing.

The sector should be assured that it will be provided with a sufficient supply of vaccines to ensure everyone is fully inoculated against COVID-19, he said.

According to Nam, the city aims to raise the vaccination rate among those who receive their second shot to 50% by late September, 80% by October 15, and 100% by the end of this year.

Vietnam stresses roles of international law in addressing global challenges

The UN Security Council (UNSC) needs to seek solutions for emerging challenges to global peace and security based on the UN Charter and international law, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, told the UNSC briefing with the Elders on September 7.

Quy underscored the importance of multilateralism and the central role of the UN in preventing and addressing global challenges. He called on the UNSC to focus its work on preventing and solving conflicts, as well as building peace and consensus, saying that it is critical to reform the UNSC for improved transparency, democracy, representativeness and effectiveness.

It is crucial to support the role of regional organizations, such as the African Union, in maintaining international and regional peace and security, he said, noting that ASEAN has affirmed its centrality in the regional security architecture.

Founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders are an independent group of global distinguished leaders working together for peace, justice and human rights./.

Top legislator’s tour to Europe, Belgium create new momentum for bilateral ties: diplomat

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s visit to Europe and Belgium on September 8-9 will create a new impetus to push bilateral relations to a new height, especially in the context that the COVID-19 pandemic is hampering high-level delegation exchanges, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and head of Vietnam’s delegation to the EU Nguyen Van Thao told the Vietnam News Agency.

Thao affirmed that the EU is a very important partner of Vietnam in all fields, with the two sides establishing diplomatic relations 50 years ago and having achieved many encouraging achievements, reflected through the signing of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and eight dialogue frameworks between the two sides.

The EU has only inked FTAs with four partners, namely Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Vietnam, of which only Vietnam is a developing country, he said, stressing that this shows the EU attaches great importance to Vietnam’s role in the region, and Vietnam also affirms that the EU is a comprehensive partner with great potential for development and cooperation.

Regarding the Vietnam-Belgium relations, the diplomat said that Vietnam is also an important partner of Begium as the two countries set up strategic partnership in agriculture – the field that has great contributions to their development.

“Therefore, we need to take measures to promote the relationship with Belgium in a more substantive and effective manner for both sides,” stated Thao.

Belgium is one of the leading European countries in renewable energy, green energy and sustainable development, and has strengths in logistics, transportation and accreditation. Therefore, cooperating with the country, Vietnam can go on the right track towards the development of renewable energy, green energy and sustainable development, and can step up exports, he added./.

HCMC extends mobility restrictions until Sept 15

The current stringent anti-pandemic measures in HCMC will be extended until September 15, said HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai, adding that residents in coronavirus-free areas would be allowed to go shopping once a week.

The draconian stay-at-home mandate started on August 23, banning all residents from going out from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and only allowing people with a mobility permit to go out for work or service in the Covid-19 fight. It was originally scheduled to expire on September 6.

At a meeting of the municipal Party Committee on September 6, Mai said the city’s forces and the forces coming from the central agencies and other provinces would remain unchanged. However, some adjustments will be made in certain areas depending on the situation, the local media reported.

Besides allowing residents in safe areas to go shopping once a week, the city has opened goods transit points at the Binh Dien and Hoc Mon wholesale markets.

In addition, districts 7 and Cu Chi can allow residents to visit wet markets twice a week if they meet the anti-virus requirements. The city also allowed takeaway services in these districts.

Mai said the city would focus on formulating a plan to fight the pandemic and help the economy recover after September 15.

The municipal government has established a steering committee to come up with the plan. Before September 15, the steering committee must devise the plan and the city can gradually resume activities and ease restrictions step-by-step.

The city will continue intensifying testing in line with the Ministry of Health’s guidance. It will also test those working at checkpoints.

Mai asked Thu Duc City and districts to increase testing in the community to detect positive Covid cases by September 15.

As for the vaccination, districts should focus on inoculating vulnerable people, such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those participating in socioeconomic activities. The city assigned the Department of Health to study groups of people who can leave home in the foreseeable future.

The municipal chairman stressed that the competent agencies must closely control the Covid cases confined to their homes, show them how to take care of themselves and promptly provide them with medicines and medical oxygen to prevent them from getting worse.

Moreover, the city will open more branches of national intensive care centers in the city to enhance the Covid treatment capacity in a bid to reduce the death rate.

Mai also asked the Department of Health to direct medical centers to register their demand to mobilize those who already recovered from Covid to join the fight against the pandemic and quickly train them to support the treatment of other patients.

As for welfare policies, Mai said some two million households with 5.3 million residents were in urgent need of relief aid.

The municipal government has proposed providing each of these residents with VND750,000 per month. Departments, agencies and districts must review and make a list of disadvantaged residents before September 15.

The city will provide the aid in September and October and will reconsider the plan based on the developments of the pandemic.

Speaking at the meeting, secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen said since August 31, the city’s Covid fatalities had dropped. Many pandemic clusters had been brought under control and the lockdown in many areas had been lifted.

Until September 15, the city must prepare to safely live with Covid-19 and ensure social welfare for residents.

Nen also required accelerating the vaccination, especially in districts 3, Go Vap, Binh Tan and Tan Phu.

The city has chosen districts 7 and Cu Chi to pilot the new normal after September 15.

Activities must not be resumed if plans have yet to be worked out and medical safety must be the first priority, Nen noted.

The municipal government has also issued Directive 11 enhancing social distancing and anti-pandemic measures in the city to try to bring the pandemic under control before September 15. However, daily new cases have remained high. For example, HCMC as the country’s current epicenter of the pandemic, reported 7,122 cases yesterday (September 6), compared to the country’s total of 12,477.

Working teams in wards, communes and towns should be established to check, remind and encourage residents to strictly comply with anti-pandemic regulations, go shopping for residents and develop social welfare policies.

The teams will also enhance control over residents traveling on streets during the social distancing period.

Foreign sailors docked at Thanh Hoa port test positive for COVID-19

The Centre for Disease Control of the north central coastal province of Thanh Hoa said on September 7 that it has received two sailors testing positive with COVID-19 of Indonesian ship AUVIRGO, which is docked at the province’s Nghi Son Port.

Relevant forces have brought the two patients to the Thanh Hoa Lung Hospital for quarantine and treatment.

Meanwhile, other sailors were asked to self-quarantine at the vessel and report to State management agencies at the port.

On September 6, upon learning that the ship, with 21 Indonesian sailors aboard and carrying nearly 4,300 tonnes of cooking oil from Singapore, was to arrive in an area near the Nghi Son Port, disease control officials went to the vessel to conduct COVID-19 antigen testing for all the seamen. Then their samples sent to the provincial CDC for SARS-CoV-2 testing were confirmed with the real-time PCR method./.

State employee detained for receiving bribes for Covid-19 vaccination shots

A state employee in Ward 2, HCM City, has been detained for receiving bribes to provide vaccination shots to people from other wards.

The police in District 2 detained and prosecuted Truong Manh Thao, 37, on September 7 for abusing position.

According to Thao, he had received over VND10m (USD437) and arranged vaccination shots to nearly 20 cases from other wards and districts in the past four months. He received VND1m to VND3m on each case.

On August 21, the police in HCM City also prosecuted Le Thi Kim Dung for the same accusation.

Dung admitted to selling each vaccination shot for VND2m (USD87) to VND4m. She even advertised on Facebook to find customers.

The police said Dung had successfully arranged 21 cases and earned over VND60m (USD2,600).

Hai Duong City eases anti-pandemic measures from today

Hai Duong City in the province of the same name has decided to ease anti-Covid-19 measures, including allowing the resumption of cultural and sporting activities and religious events starting from today, September 8.
These activities are not allowed to have more than 10 persons each, while people in public places are asked to maintain a safe physical distance of at least two meters from each other, the local media reported.

In addition, essential events and conferences must take place in a safe manner.

Under the municipal government’s decision, households must continue to strictly follow Covid-19 safety protocols and restrict the organization of parties and gatherings.

Several non-essential services in the city such as bars, discos, gyms, cinemas, massage and karaoke parlors, game shops, public swimming pools and night clubs remain suspended.

Healthcare facilities are allowed to reopen, but must comply with Covid-19 safety protocols and conduct Covid-19 screening on patients at entrance gates.

The municipal government also tasked the anti-virus steering committees of wards and communes with closely monitoring people who return to their localities to quickly detect positive Covid-19 cases.

In the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic, which began in late April, Hai Duong Province reported 167 Covid-19 infections and three deaths.

The province has gone over 14 consecutive days without any new Covid-19 infection in the community.

NA Chairman receives IPU Secretary General

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue hosted a reception for Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong on September 7 during his trip to attend the 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments (WCSP5) in Vienna, Austria.

The Vietnamese NA leader appreciated the contributions made by the IPU Secretary General to the organization of the WCSP5, and to the IPU’s activities amidst the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable changes in the world’s geopolitical situation.

The IPU Secretary General said the attendance of NA Chairman Hue and the Vietnamese delegation at the WCSP5 again showed that Vietnam is a responsible and active member of the IPU.

He shared the viewpoint expressed by the Vietnamese NA leader at the first plenary debate of the WCSP5 on promoting multilateral cooperation to respond to global challenges for the world’s development. He underlined the importance of parliaments in the world to the settlement of global issues, saying that he hopes Vietnam will actively participate in the process.

The two sides compared notes on the role of the UN, the key organization in multilateral cooperation, and valued the UN’s strong commitment as expressed in the messages of the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN General Assembly sent to the WCSP5.

Chungong also welcomed the proposal of Chairman Hue to further reform and enhance the effectiveness of IPU’s operation and role. Hue suggested strengthening the tripartite partnership among the UN, IPU and Vietnam, promoting more substantial engagement of parliamentary meeting mechanisms alongside UN activities, and increasing IPU’s support for Vietnam in training in multilateral parliamentary diplomacy./.

Hanoi completes 81.78 percent of mass testing plan

Hanoi had fulfilled 81.78 percent of its target to collect 1 million samples for mass COVID-19 testing, according to the municipal Department of Health.

Of the 685,519 samples showing results, 11 tested positive with COVID-19. Seven were in Thanh Xuan district, two in Thanh Tri, and one each in Ha Dong and Thuong Tin.

The mass testing work is being carried out in the city with the aim of separating infections from the community and assessing the level of risk in each area for designing appropriate pandemic prevention and control measures.

The capital city documented four new COVID-19 cases in the past 12 hours to 6am on September 8. The patients, three females and one male, all reside in Ba Dinh district and have been quarantined at home.

Since April 29, the capital city has logged a total of 3,623 COVID-19 infections, including 1,571 local ones./.

Deputy Defence Minister meets new Philippine defence attaché

Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien hosted a reception for the new Defence Attaché of the Philippines, Col. Ulysses S. Mancao, on September 7.

Welcoming the newly-appointed Philippine Defence Attaché, Chien affirmed that the bilateral relations have flourished since Vietnam and the Philippines set up diplomatic ties 45 years ago.

He said the Vietnamese Government and Ministry of National Defence attach importance to the Vietnam-Philippines strategic partnership, which serves as a foundation for the countries’ defence cooperation to obtain positive results in multiple fields, including exchanges of delegations at all levels, especially of high-ranking officials; training; and dialogue mechanisms and consultations.

The Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister voiced a hope that Col. Mancao will continue to promote existing cooperation activities including dialogue mechanisms and consultations and training, while bolstering cooperation in military medicine, particularly in access to COVID-19 vaccine, medical equipment and medicine; as well as supporting each other at multilateral regional forums.

For his part, Col. Mancao spoke highly of the role of the Vietnam People’s Army in the COVID-19 fight. He pledged to spare no efforts to promote the countries’ practical and efficient defence cooperation./.

Việt Nam chairs opening ceremony of 15th ASOSAI Assembly

The 15th assembly of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) convened on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Trần Sỹ Thanh, Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Việt Nam.

The meeting was held as an online conference, with representatives from supreme audit institutions joining from the host country of Thailand and other ASOSAI member countries.

Thanh is also Chair of ASOSAI for the 2018-21 term.

Speaking at the meeting, the Vietnamese auditor general praised the efforts of all member countries to organise the online conference amid the complicated COVID-19 situation in the region and around the world.

“As COVID-19 is leaving huge impacts on the economy and social development of most Asian countries, the ASOSAI community has come together and come up with timely initiatives and solutions to adapt to the pandemic,” he said.

It’s an incredible effort from all supreme audit institutions (SAI), especially SAI Thailand, which is the host of the 15th ASOSAI assembly, and SAI China, its Secretary General, who worked closely with SAI Việt Nam to make the conference happen, he added.

During its three years as ASOSAI Chair, the State Audit Office of Việt Nam had tried its best to implement the Hanoi Declaration on “Environmental Auditing for Sustainable Development”, which was approved at the 14th ASOSAI assembly in Hà Nội in 2018, he said.

Thailand’s State Auditor General Chanathap Indamra agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic was changing every sector, including auditing, therefore this meeting between the supreme audit institutions was of the utmost importance to all ASOSAI member countries.

“We highly value your participation today. This is the 15th time we all sit down together to discuss how to help ASOSAI grow. Thailand’s State Auditor is honoured to take on the chairmanship of ASOSAI for the 2021-24 term,” he said.

This ASOSAI Assembly would not have been successful without the support of Việt Nam and China amid complicated developments of the pandemic, he added.

Aleksei Kudrin, Chair of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), said that the 15th ASOSAI Assembly held in an online format had demonstrated the flexibility of the audit community.

The Bangkok Declaration adopted at this assembly would be the key document to orient the main activities of the ASOSAI in the future, he said.

He thanked the State Audit Office of Việt Nam for its efforts to address many important issues, helping to promote ASOSAI’s reputation in Asia.

After the opening ceremony, the 15th ASOSAI Assembly started the first and second plenary sessions, the 8th Symposium and the 57th Governing Board Meeting.

Over 795,000 COVID-19 hit workers eligible for assistance

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has confirmed the list of over 795,000 workers from more than 29,300 employers who are eligible for financial support in 62 out of 63 cities and provinces under the Government’s Resolution 68/NQ-CP and the Prime Minister’s Decision 23/QĐ-TTg on policies supporting employees and employers affected by COVID-19.

Of them, over 613,000 had their labour contracts suspended and more than 80,000 quit jobs to receive aid worth 1 million VND each while over 1,000 others were given professional training to continue with their jobs.

More than 613 units had to borrow loans to pay salary for over 45,800 workers who became unemployed due to the pandemic.

Other 151 units also proposed accessing loans to pay workers in the fields of transportation, aviation, tourism, lodging and sending Vietnamese workers abroad.

As of September 5, the VSS allowed 471 units with 87,237 COVID-19 hit workers to suspend payment to pension and death benefit funds in 47 out of 63 cities and provinces with a total amount of 588.3 billion VND (25.5 million USD)./.

Wild plant cures hangovers and more

Phan Trung Kiên, an agricultural engineer in a small village in the Hà Nội suburbs, has always known that his local herb cà gai leo was more than just a regular wild plant.

The special plant, especially the fruit, can bring health benefits to those who take it regularly. His mother would often brew the plant into a medicinal drink when he was younger.

“I remember many times my mother boiled the plant and urged me to drink it as a way of keeping me healthy when I was small,” he said. “She also made it whenever I got drunk. That’s her way to help me get rid of a hangover and ease liver damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.” 

Born into a farming family in Đoàn Kết Village in Chương Mỹ District, Kiên has always had a keen interest in local agricultural produce.

After graduating from Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Kiên conducted research into cà gai leo (Solanum procumbens) and was glad to know it was recognised as a herbal medicine.

“It’s a a valuable herbal plant that has positive effects on stabilising liver cells and enhancing liver function,” he said.

Research by the National Institute of Medical Substances shows that Haima, a medicinal product extracted from the plant, can help cure hepatitis B.

Kiên and his friends decided to establish a cultivation area for the herbal plant in Miếu Môn Commune in 2015.

“The plant often grew in the wild, and local people picked it to use as a herbal medicine. We decided to grow it as raw material for pharmaceutical businesses,” he said.

Shortly after he started growing herbal plants, Kiên had the same problem as many farmers in his hometown. The price of the plant quickly decreased from VNĐ150,000 per kilogram to VNĐ35,000 per kilogram after he expanded the growing area to 20ha.

Kiên knew that he would never get the best price when he only sold the raw material, so took a bold decision to make the final product himself.

Kiên dried the plant and packed it to make tea and sold it to his customers. He also labelled the branches and made tea bags to give customers more choice. He even learnt how to market the product online to expand his customer base.

Things went well. In 2016, Kiên established Thăng Long Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company to facilitate production expansion and shape new products.

His products were registered at the National Office of Intellectual Property under the new name Sadu, which signifies organic and medicinal products.

Kiên said it was a long journey to make the tea brand well-known and win consumer hearts. He suffered losses and learnt many lessons along the way.

Overspending on a watering system caused much waste and his inexperience processing the plant made the product less tasty, but he learnt from his mistakes.

“Usually, the herbal plant can be harvested from the first crop in six months, and the next crop every four months. The income is four to five times higher than that of a rice crop,” he said.

Now Kiên has more than 100ha, bringing jobs for 75 workers with an income of between VNĐ5-15 million (US$219-657) per month.

He also built a closed model from planting and preliminarily processing, to processing raw materials and finished product. Each product has a barcode for easy traceability.

He also learnt new marketing strategies to be able to sell the products during the pandemic.

Introducing the products to big stores or supermarkets was no longer a good method, so Kiên promoted online sales and registered his products on e-commerce platforms such as OCOP (one-commune-one-product) model, which has been set up by the city to support businesses and cooperatives during the pandemic.

“I’m thinking of expanding the market of herbal plants in the future. Organic and healthy herbal plants will bring more choices for consumers and at the same time create jobs for people in my hometown,” he said. 


A-maze-ing system helps keep drivers safe

For more than two weeks, people living in two wards of Văn Chương and Văn Miếu, Đống Đa District, Hà Nội, have been living under lockdown.

Providing basic necessities for 21,000 people in this area is a huge challenge for local authorities.

And it’s also a challenge for delivery drivers, who while providing a valuable service, must do so in a safe way and stick to social distancing regulations.

That’s why part of the area has been sectioned off into an intricate maze-like system so delivery drivers can stay apart from the many others visiting the area.  

Nguyễn Thành Hưng, a member of COVID-19 Prevention Headquarters in Đống Đa District, said: “Because of the lockdown situation, all people from 7,100 households of these two wards are not allowed to leave their homes, except for having COVID-19 tests or going to medical facilities for treatment.

“To ensure the needs of local residents, the headquarters has implemented a plan to provide essential goods from outside and inside to the people. We developed a process to receive and transport relief to people in the red areas of two wards, including 3,000 households. Besides, we receive goods from outside and deliver to the families in lockdown three times a week, within a certain time frame to ensure social distancing.

“We have a system to receive goods at four open checkpoints at the edge of lockdown areas and 15 points of distribution of goods inside these two wards. From there, volunteers from COVID community teams, the Youth Union, and Women’s Union, take the goods and deliver them to families.”

At first glance, the system looks like a complicated maze for all those arriving to negotiate before they can provide supplies for residents inside the lockdown areas.

At the checkpoints, people coming from outside will be instructed to fill out the shipping declaration forms and follow the special passage to keep their distance. Goods will be gathered at transit points and taken to distribution points inside the lockdown area.

Trương Ngọc Anh, a driver from Đồng Xuân Company, said: “We use six vehicles to help deliver goods to people locked down in Văn Chương and Văn Miếu wards. Together with members from the Youth Union, we receive goods and load them into the vehicle.

“After the goods are disinfected, I will drive them into the blocked area and unload them at the distribution point. Representatives of residential groups will take them and deliver to families.”

The system may be a little complicated to begin with, but the drivers quickly understood how to use it.

Lê Thúy Hằng, a resident from Hai Bà Trưng District, brings supplies for her niece living inside the red area.

She said: “I’ve been here twice to send my niece a lot of food and fruits. At first, I felt surprised and confused when using the system, but the police and volunteers here are very helpful. I feel very secure about my family members who are in lockdown.”

The second form of supplying necessities comes from the service of four convenience stores that continue to operate inside the area.

Regional Manager of VinMart+ system Lê Khắc Bình said: “In response to the city’s pandemic prevention and control requirements, four of our convenience stories have been operated in lockdown area in Đống Đa District to help provide essential goods for the people in lockdown and to reduce the pressure on local authorities in supplying goods. Each store is capable of handling hundreds of orders per day. All orders are processed online through our website and several Zalo groups. Our staff will prepare each order and deliver them to people.”

Starting a working day at 5:30am and ending at around 10pm, the employees of these stores, who are performing “three on-site services”, are working hard to serve residents.

Being away from family for weeks, their job is even more difficult because the needs of people are very high and diverse, plus they have to take on the additional task of directly delivering goods to each household.

“All the staff in these areas received at least one dose of the vaccine,” Bình added.

“They have to ensure to keep a distance and use non-cash payment. This is an important ‘shield’ to ensure the health and safety of employees, customers and the community.

“We have all clearly defined our roles and responsibilities during the current stressful period, trying to overcome difficulties to ensure adequate service for people.” 

NA Chairman meets Cuba’s legislator in Austria

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue met with Vice President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba Ana María Mari Machado on September 7, as part of his trip to Austria to attend the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (WCSP5).

The top legislator of Vietnam thanked Cuba for its good will in cooperating with Vietnam in vaccine technology transfer and vaccine production, as well as its intention to provide a large amount of Cuba’s Abdala COVID-19 vaccine in the coming time.

He also spoke highly of Cuba’s sending delegations of medical workers to help countries fight COVID-19 despite facing difficulties caused by the economic embargo against the country.

For her part, Ana Maria Mari Machado appreciated Vietnam’s valuable support for Cuban people in the times of hardships triggered by COVID-19.

She underlined that Cuba stands ready to cooperate with Vietnam in vaccine technology transfer to support the country’s COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.

The legislators agreed that Vietnam and Cuba need to maintain the exchange of delegations at all levels to share information and experience in fields that they hold strengths in, contributing to their national construction and development causes.

They also consented that the two parliaments should boost their cooperation and turn their ties into a significant cooperation channel in the bilateral relations./. 

Vietnam receives more congratulations on National Day

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Argentina and other foreign leaders have extended congratulations to Vietnamese leaders on the occasion of the 76th National Day (September 2).

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Argentina Victor Kot sent a letter of congratulations to General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong.

Presidents of the United Arab Emirates (UEA) Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan cabled a congratulatory message to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

President Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also got congratulations from Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Jordan’s King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of Morocco Mohammed VI and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also extended greeting to President Phuc.

Prime Minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana Mark Phillips, and Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh sent congratulations to PM Chinh.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son also received greetings from Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs of Kuwait Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, and Foreign Minister of Guyana Hugh Hilton Todd./.

President lauds Vinh Phuc for anti-pandemic efforts

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 7 lauded the northern province of Vinh Phuc for its efforts in fighting COVID-19 and maintaining the operation of businesses in the locality amid the pandemic spread.

None of the enterprises in Vinh Phuc have to suspend their operations, contributing to job generation and budget collection, Phuc said at a working session with local leaders as part of his trip to the province.

He also commended the province’s social welfare work with no one left behind, and suggested the locality seek new growth momentum as well as solutions to spur socio-economic development.

Vinh Phuc should pour more investments into education-training, scientific-technological development and personnel quality improvement, speed up urbanisation, and preserve and promote traditional cultural values.

The same day, the President visited the Vinh Phuc High School for Gifted Students where he applauded efforts of teachers and students given the pandemic spread.

He urged the school to work harder to raise the quality of teaching and studying, apply technologies and reform teaching methods, saying students need to better their morality, enrich their knowledge and nurture dreams./.

Doctors warn patients against food supplements

Many patients are becoming confused between food supplements and medicine after watching misleading advertisements, and giving up doctors’ prescriptions and making their conditions worse, doctors have said.

At various hospitals, there have been a number of cases of people’s illnesses worsening due to using food supplements instead of medicine.

QT, from Đan Phượng District in Hà Nội, said that her father, 70, often had a headache. When she advised her father to go to the hospital for a medical examination he refused.

Recently, he watched advertisements and listened to advice from neighbours and bought food supplements to drink with the hope of easing his headache.

After six months of using food supplements, his condition worsened. Besides the headaches, he had difficult breathing, bone pains, back pains and prolonged bouts of coughing.

QT finally took her father to the Hà Nội Oncology Hospital, and doctors discovered that he had late-stage lung cancer.

Now he only has days to live as he was hospitalised too late.

Another case is NVN, 65, from the northern province of Thái Bình. She suffered from diabetes for many years and had been in stable condition thanks to using medicine. But recently, after hearing an advertisement that a food supplement could treat the disease without any side effects, she decided to quit taking doctor’s prescription.

After two weeks of taking the supplement, she suffered from difficult breathing, oedema, high blood pressure and tiredness. She was taken to the National Hospital of Endocrinology for emergency aid.  

Doctors from the National Hospital of Endocrinology said that they had to give emergency aid to many patients who had intentionally given up doctors’ prescription to use food supplements instead.

A 64-year-old male patient who had diabetes for three years, high blood pressure for two years and liver disease was worried that the doctor’s prescription would cause side effects, and believed a food supplement would cure him after watching an advertisement.

He refused to use medicine and took food supplements instead. After 20 days, he was hospitalised with respiratory failure, as well as heart and liver effusion.

Associate Professor Lê Văn Quảng, director of K Hospital, which specialises in cancer diseases, said, “At present, many patients have cancer at an early stage and can be cured better if they go to hospital early. But they believe in advertisements, which overstate the effect of food supplements. They then refuse medicine or discontinue their treatment.”

After a long time using food supplements they do not receive any results and return to hospital, but it is too late.”

Hoàng Khánh Toàn, a doctor from the 108 Military Hospital, said at present, many advertisements emphasize food supplements as a miracle that can cure any disease. And they are sold at very high prices.

It is very dangerous because many patients quit their treatment to use food supplements with serious consequences, and lose a lot of money.

Phạm Thúy Hường, deputy director of the National Hospital for Endocrinology, said: “To protect their own health, patients should meet doctors for proper professional advice, and not use food supplements with unclear origins and no scientific foundations, which have not been checked and certificated by the Ministry of Health.”

Food supplements can support treatment only, but they cannot cure disease, she said.

Thus patients should research carefully before buying food supplements to avoid losing money.

Dr Phạm Thị Lưu, from the Diabetes and Endocrinology Ward of the Bạch Mai Hospital, said patients must strictly follow treatment advice of doctors, and not believe advertisements that state food supplements can cure disease.

Before buying any food supplements, patients should ask questions, including whether the supplements have clear origin, what the manufacturer is, what the ingredients are, and if the label is clear enough and the distributor reliable. 

Vietnam, Singapore eye stronger cooperation in different spheres

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan on September 7 said the two countries should strengthen cooperation in politics, economy, trade, investment and education-training to promote their strategic partnership.

During their phone talks on the day, FM Son highly valued Singapore’s support to Vietnam, especially its commitment to provide Vietnam with essential medical supplies for the COVID-19 fight.

He highlighted the Singaporean Temasek Foundation’s donation of 16 ventilators and a large quantity of medical supplies to Vietnam on September 6, describing this as a vivid demonstration of the close ties and strategic partnership between the two countries.

Son congratulated Singapore on the full vaccination of 80 percent of its population, the first country in the world to reach the target, and called on Singapore to consider giving or transferring its unused vaccines to Vietnam as soon as possible, including transferring through the COVAX Facility.

The Singaporean FM, for his part, stressed that Singapore always attaches importance to the strategic partnership with Vietnam.

Sharing difficulties caused by COVID-19 in some Vietnamese cities and provinces, the minister expressed his belief that Vietnam will soon put the pandemic under control.

The Singaporean government stands ready to help neighbouring countries, including Vietnam, with medical supplies, test kits and vaccines as soon as possible, he said.

The official noted his hope that the two sides will soon be able to open doors, facilitating the travelling of their citizens.

The ministers agreed to organise the 14th political consultation between the two foreign ministries at an early date to comprehensively review cooperation areas, creating prerequisites for making preparation for high-level visits in the time ahead./.

Photo exhibition in Czech Republic promotes beauty of Viet Nam

A photo exhibition is on display in Prague, the Czech Republic, showing the landscapes and people of Việt Nam.

The exhibition held by the Embassy of Việt Nam in the Czech Republic and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s Prague bureau introduces the daily lives of Vietnamese in the European nation and their charitable activities helping Czech authorities and people battle COVID-19.

“It is impressive to see the photos at the exhibition,” said former Deputy Minister of Finance Dr Martin Pros at the exhibition’s opening ceremony.

“I have many Vietnamese friends because I’m living in Libus, Prague, which is home to the largest Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic. We always appreciate support from Việt Nam when COVID-19 broke out.”

The Vietnamese community was recognised as the 14th ethnic minority group in the Czech Republic in 2013.

The exhibition also features the Việt Nam – Czech Republic traditional friendship through meetings of high-ranking officials.

Journalist Pavel Novak, another visitor at the exhibition, said he likes to discover Vietnamese culture.

“I love Vietnamese culture and I have been studying Vietnamese for one year,” he told the VNA correspondent.

He also expressed his desire to visit Việt Nam because he heard a lot about the beautiful country with wonderful nature including waterfalls and white sand along the coast.

He hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will end soon making life in the Czech Republic and Việt Nam return to normal and flights will resume operations so that he will have a chance to go and see Việt Nam’s beaches.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy, photos at the exhibition will also be placed on display in other localities of the host country during cultural events of the Vietnamese community in an attempt to promote images of Việt Nam and strengthen the two nations’ friendship.

The exhibition was one of the activities held in Europe to mark the 76th National Day of Việt Nam. 

Hanoi speeds up vaccination drive

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The capital of Hanoi had opened more than 1,200 vaccination facilities as of September 6 to ensure all citizens aged 18 and above can receive their first COVID-19 vaccine shot before September 15.

On the evening of September 6, around 200 residents from Nhan Chinh ward were informed about their vaccination schedule. They underwent rapid antigen testing, and have strictly followed the Ministry of Health’s 5K message.

Thanh Xuan is now the largest COVID-19 hotspot in the capital. In a bid to ensure high vaccination coverage, the district has mobilised the private healthcare sector to engage in the drive and has set up vaccination and rapid testing facilities in the evenings and on weekends.

Around 1,200 vaccination facilities, including more than 800 fixed sites and mobile units, will be opened around the city. These are also places where samples will be taken for testing.

Hanoi has just received more than one million additional doses of vaccine. Local people can register until September 15 via the vaccination portal or with local authorities./.

Vietnam chairs 395th session of UNESCAP advisory committee

Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Phan Chi Thanh, who is also Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UNESCAP, on September 7 chaired the 395th session of UNESCAP’s Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives and other Representatives Designated by Members of the Commission (ACPR).

The online event brought together nearly 100 representatives from members, associate members and observer countries of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

The meeting focused on regional priorities during the implementation of the resolution of the 77th session of the commission adopted last April, with the theme of “Regional cooperation to build back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific.”

The delegates also looked into measures to push ahead with the realisation of the 2030 UN agenda on sustainable development in the region.

They shared the view on the need to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and effective, quality, safety and affordable treatment, which, they said, is the core of the pandemic combat as well as post-pandemic recovery.

International solidarity and cooperation is significant to ensuring the fair access and handling internal inequalities at all levels, they said.

Participants discussed outcomes of the 7th session of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction last April, along with preparations for major UNESCAP events in the time ahead like the 3rd session of the Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development slated for October, the 2nd Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific in November, and the 4th Ministerial Conference on Transport in December.

The UNESCAP maintains close cooperation and consultation between the members and the secretariat through the ACPR. The ACPR is composed of UNESCAP members and associate members and meets regularly to advise and exchange views with the Executive Secretary on the Commission’s work./.

Top legislator meets with Japan’s upper house chief in Austria

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue met with President of Japan’s House of Councillors Santo Akiko in Vienna on September 7 as part of his trip to Austria to attend the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (WCSP5).

The two sides noted with pleasure the fruitful development of the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership in such areas as diplomacy, economy, trade and investment.

They shared the view that exchanges through the parliamentary channel have been enhanced, contributing to intensifying political trust, people-to-people exchanges and coordination between the two countries at regional and international forums.

During the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have provided each other with valuable and timely support, they said.

Hue thanked Japan for its provision of nearly 3 million doses of vaccines for Vietnam, saying this is a noble gesture amid the complex development of the pandemic.

The Vietnamese top legislator also called on Japan to further help Vietnam with medical supplies and unused COVID-19 vaccines, and consider cooperation in the production of COVID-19 vaccine and drug.

For her part, Santo thanked Vietnam for presenting medical masks to Japan last year, and described the gifts as a demonstration of the fine relations between the two countries.

The two leaders affirmed Vietnam and Japan will continue to support each other in pandemic containment and post-pandemic recovery, boost collaboration between legislative agencies and carry forward the role of friendship parliamentarians’ groups to promote cooperation initiatives.

Santo said she hoped for more activities to step up cooperation and exchanges between people of the two countries, especially the young.

Hue asked that Japan pay more attention and care to the Vietnamese community in the country and encourage Japanese firms to increase their investments in Vietnam, towards recovery and development in the “new normal”.

The two sides consented to exchange official visits when conditions permit./.

Dong Thap receives medical supplies for COVID-19 prevention

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF)’s chapter in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, on September 7, received medical supplies for COVID-19 prevention and control from organisations inside and outside the locality.

Of the aid, the Samaritan’s Pure International Relief organisation donated 110,000 medical masks, 1,000 protective suits, and 1,000 antiseptic gel bottles worth about 400 million VND (17,575 USD) in total; Mobifone Dong Thap 120,000 medical masks valued at 80 million VND; and the local association of female entrepreneurs 500 protective clothes, 2,000 gloves, and eight boxes of N95 masks worth 50 million VND.

At the handover ceremony, Vo Ngoc Thanh, Vice Chairman of the provincial VFF chapter, said he appreciated the assistance, saying such donations are important given complicated developments of the pandemic.

The donations will be distributed to the province’s localities and units serving frontline forces.

As of September 6 morning, the chapter had received 41.7 billion VND in financial assistance and over 25 billion VND worth of medical supplies and necessities for the province’s pandemic prevention work.

As of 6am on September 7, Dong Thap had recorded a total of 7,578 COVID-19 cases, including 5,672 recoveries and 163 deaths./.

Code of conduct set to regulate artist behaviour

Artists are required to be transparent about charity work, contribute to the community and create a positive impression, according to the code of conduct being drafted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The code aims to promote traditional cultural values and raise artists’ awareness of their responsibilities and moral standards to contribute to national sustainable development.

Notably, freelance artists, who are not members of any state arts organisations, will also be subject to the code.

Specifically, the code states that artists have to abide by laws and respect the legal rights of organisations and individuals.

Behaviour ranging from speech, image, costumes and lifestyle are required to match social moral values, national cultural traditions and customs.

Additionally, the code highlights personal responsibilities, cautiousness and calmness in handling information in a civilised manner.

The artists are also expected to pay respect to the public; be dedicated to their creative work to serve the audience and the nation; listen to audience feedback to perfect themselves and the quality of their artworks; and be honest, well-behaved, polite and friendly to the audience. They must not take advantage of their reputation for their personal benefit.

The draft clearly states the code of conduct in artists’ charity activities. Specifically, they are required to be responsible and transparent about charity activities, contribute to the community, create positive impressions among the audience, maintain a healthy lifestyle and preserve their own prestige in the eyes of the audience.

Artists are expected to uphold their personal credit to spread humane values, good deeds, beautiful images and proper behaviour in the community. Therefore, they must not participate in advertisements with untrue information nor superstitious activities that violate the law.

The code also states that artists must be responsible and honest in their speech, not use offensive language as opposed to national customs and traditions when participating in any press, media and social activities.

All comments to the drafts sent to the ministry before July 2021 have been used as the basis for appropriate adjustments and the release of the complete set of regulations.

According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tạ Quang Đông, the code is a behavioral framework and not a legal norm. However, it is the basis for ministries, departments and branches to develop their own rules to apply to members and affiliated members.

Singer Thủy Tiên distributes charity money to flood victims in the central region in 2020. — Photo
Associate Professor Bùi Hoài Sơn, the standing member of the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture and Education, stressed the necessity of issuing a code of conduct for artists by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as there had been a lot of deviant and inappropriate behaviour by artists in recent times, particularly on social networks.

“Artists play a very important role in building human personality. Artists are associated with art and in its turn, art is associated with truth, goodness and beauty – the values ​​that guide cultural development for society. Art or artists are not merely oriented to entertainment purposes, but to orient people to good values ​​in life, so we always appreciate the role and position of artists as well as art in the general development of society,” he said.

“In order to create conditions for artists to further promote their role in society, we must have a code of conduct for artists and writers.

“I think that the Theatre Artists Association plays a very important role in developing, guiding, checking and supervising the implementation of this code of conduct. By doing so, we will create the proper direction for artistic activities.” 

The drafting of the code of conduct has received much support from the audience and even artists themselves as many Vietnamese stars have been caught up in scandals like a lack of transparency in distributing charity money, shocking and careless statements on social networks and joining advertisements with unverified information.

Senior actress Lan Hương, star of the TV drama series Sống Chung Với Mẹ Chồng (Living with Mother-in-Law), said that the code of conduct was the desire of many true artists.

“The code of conduct that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is about to issue is necessary, but in my opinion, it should have been released sooner, then there would not have been so many scandals among Vietnamese artists like now,” she said.

“I hope that this code of conduct will help artists understand their roles and responsibilities and therefore behave more culturally to bring many good things to life.” 

HCM City installs 100 QR code scanning cameras at COVID-19 checkpoints

Ho Chi Minh City’s police said on September 7 that they are installing 100 QR code scanning cameras at COVID-19 checkpoints to minimise the contact and risk of disease transmission.

According to a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Security, the installation of cameras will create favourable conditions for people to move through the checkpoints and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections among forces working there.

Previously, the city’s police piloted the installment of cameras to replace the use of personal phones for officers in Districts 1 and 3 and it proved to be effective.

Major Le Manh Ha, of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Security, said that they are updating the list of travel permit holders as well as those who are allowed to travel on the road without a permit into the national population database.

Ha said local police will use QR codes, which are used for making declarations, to oversee the travel of people. Officers at checkpoints will simply scan the QR codes of commuters to know whether they are eligible for travel or not

It will help prevent the case that a person, who is a COVID-19 patient, still go out, he said./.

President attends new-school-year opening ceremony in Yen Bai province

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 7 attended a ceremony to open the 2021-2022 academic year at the ethnic minorities boarding high school in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai, which recorded no new COVID-19 infections in half a month.

Founded in 1982, the school has to date educated over 4,000 students. In the new school year, it runs 12 classes for 422 students from different ethnic groups residing in the five local districts of Van Chan, Luc Yen, Van Yen, Tran Yen, and Yen Binh.

At the ceremony, the President performed the traditional act of beating the drum to kick off the new school year.

In his speech, he informed that 16 million out of more than 23 million students nationwide had to begin the academic year with online ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to efforts made by the Government and Yen Bai authorities, the school can hold the meaningful event face-to-face, Phuc said.

He said he hailed the provincial authorities for paying attention to education, particularly at ethnic minorities boarding facilities. The percentage of schools meeting national standards in Yen Bai reached 60 percent.

The State leader ordered the education sector, particularly boarding schools, to be active in building learning and teaching plans in response to the developments of the epidemic, ensuring safety for teachers and students.

Earlier on the same day, President Phuc had a meeting with the provincial Party Committee during which he said Yen Bai holds many potential, particularly regarding forests, forest land and human resources.

He requested the local authorities develop the province while protecting the environment as well as pay attention to implement policies for ethnic affairs, promote its human resources, and preserve the local ethnic groups’ traditional cultures./.

Vietnamese, Chinese Party inspection commissions step up collaboration

Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Inspection Commission Tran Cam Tu held phone talks with Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee’s Commission for Discipline Inspection Zhao Leji on September 7.

Both sides shared the view that ties between the two Parties and nations have kept growing with high-level meetings maintained regularly in flexible forms. Exchanges between ministries, agencies and localities have been promoted, contributing to consolidating political trust. Bilateral economic and trade ties have also improved, along with increasing mutual support in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Tu expressed a wish to continue maintaining regular high-level exchanges between the two Parties and countries in flexible forms, improving the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms between the two Parties, sharing experience and working closely together in fighting the pandemic, as well as maintaining a peaceful environment conductive to each side’s development, and properly settling differences, including issues at sea, by peaceful means in line with international law.

About ties between the two commissions, Tu suggested the Chinese side assist Vietnam in intensive training on inspection, corruption prevention and control in various forms and at appropriate level.

Zhao, for his part, hailed the Vietnamese Party and State for their results in Party inspection, supervision and discipline, the fight against corruption over the past years, and especially efforts in combating COVID-19.

The two sides agreed to work closely together and exert greater efforts to effectively carry out agreements reached by the senior leaders of the two Parties and States, towards continuing to carry forward the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a healthy, stable and sustainable manner, for the long-term benefits of the two Parties, countries, sectors and peoples./.

Wildlife traffickers arrested in northern Dien Bien province

Police in the northwestern border province of Dien Bien have caught red-handed two suspects when they were transporting two wildlife animals.

The suspects are Dao Huy Thanh, born in 1988, and Lo Van Hon, born in 1994, both residing in Dien Bien district’s Muong Nha commune.

The pair admitted they were transporting two pangolins weighing 9.5kg in total for sale after buying them from a local resident.

Pangolins are listed in group 1B of Vietnam’s Red Data Book, which means they are in danger of becoming extinct and are protected from being exploited or used for commercial purposes.

The case is under further investigation, while the endangered animals were transferred to the wildlife rescue centre in the northern region./.

Vietjet flies nearly 1,000 policemen to support HCM City’s COVID-19 fight

Vietjet Air flights on September 6 carried nearly 1,000 public security officers and soldiers to Ho Chi Minh City to support the city’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will be deployed to localities to perform duties at concentrated quarantine facilities, checkpoints and COVID-19 treatment hospitals, as well as coordinating with frontliners in the combat.

All of them were vaccinated against COVID-19 and had negative test results for SARS-CoV-2 on September 5.

Vietjet flies nearly 1,000 policemen to support HCM City’s COVID-19 fight hinh anh 2
A VietJet Air flight carrying public security officers and soldiers to Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)
Over the past time, Vietjet Air has conducted many flights carrying thousands of personnel and thousands of tonnes of goods to assist localities in fighting the pandemic.

The carrier has also organised many flights carrying vaccines and medical equipment and supplies to localities across the nation./.

Russia-Vietnam eSports championship helps tighten humane cooperation

A special eSports championship between Russia and Vietnam – a version of The World of Unique Gamers charity project (WUG2021_v2) took place at Yota Arena in Moscow last weekend.

The event attracted the participation of children and teenagers with special needs, mainly Russians, thus helping them to better integrate into the society and show off their strengths.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Tran Canh Hung, First Secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, affirmed that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the championship will contribute to strengthening the relationship and humane cooperation between Vietnam and Russia, and attract more attention from society to children and teenagers with disabilities.

Nhikolai Nechaev, who leads The World of Unique Gamers charity project, said that the event offered a good chance for young gamers to make friends and compete with each other.

Through the event, the organisers want to promote the fine relationship between Russia and Vietnam as well as the Southeast Asian nation’s culture to Russian children and teenagers./.

Vietnamese, Indonesian parliaments strengthen cooperation

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue met Speaker of the Indonesian People’s Representative Council (Lower House) Puan Maharani in Vienna, Austria on September 6 (local time), on the occasion of his attendance at the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (WCSP5).

Both sides expressed their satisfaction about the development of bilateral ties over the past 65 years, especially since the upgrading of their relationship to strategic partnership level in 2013.

They agreed to further strengthen political trust, maintain high-level exchanges, both online and offline, including facilitating the exchange of delegations via parliamentary channels, working closely together at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), and realising the cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese legislature and Indonesian Lower House.

The two sides shared the view that each country’s legislature needs to raise voice at regional and global forums to facilitate countries’ fair, open and transparent access to vaccines in parallel with vaccine research and production.

Chairman Hue said despite difficulties caused by the pandemic, two-way trade still hit 8.2 billion USD last year, closer to the 10 billion USD mark. In the spirit of strategic partnership, he suggested both sides coordinate in dealing with issues of shared concern such as trade and Indonesia create favourable conditions for Vietnam to export farm produce and fruit, offer humane treatment to Vietnamese fishermen, and step up negotiations on demarcation of economic exclusive zones.

On regional and global issues, the Vietnamese leader underscored ASEAN’s central role in maintaining peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom. He called for soon building a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Amid challenges caused by the pandemic, Vietnam and Indonesia need to enhance cooperation, particularly within the ASEAN-AIPA framework, he said, adding that parliaments must improve their guiding roles in fighting COVID-19 and working closely together to recover the economy.

He congratulated Indonesia on taking the role as Chair of G20 Summit next year and hoped that ASEAN member states could attend the important event.

Maharani, for her part, affirmed that the Indonesian Lower House is ready to cooperate with the Vietnamese NA, and raise a voice to the Indonesian Government to increase joint work with Vietnam, towards curbing the pandemic and boosting recovery post-pandemic./. 

Further evaluation needed for home-grown vaccine Nano Covax: Deputy Minister

Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC was asked to provide more information regarding safety, immunogenicity, and protection effects before a registration certificate of circulation for its Nano Covax can be granted, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan has said.

Speaking at a press conference following the Government’s monthly meeting on September 6, he said three types of COVID-19 vaccines are being developed in Vietnam.

The deputy minister said the result of clinical trials of Nano Covax vaccine has been submitted to the National Committee for Ethics in Biomedical Research under the Ministry of Health.

However, there is still some issues that need to be solved, he said, adding that the company was requested to provide more information about safety, immunogenicity, and protection effects.

“We hope to have a home-grown vaccine as soon as possible but the vaccine is a special product that does not only affect a person but also the whole community and even a generation,” Thuan said, adding that the policy of the Government and the Ministry of Health is that it must follow strict regulations and be safe and effective.

Regarding vaccine diplomacy, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu said that Vietnam has now implemented very drastic vaccine diplomacy via bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and through a network of diplomatic representative agencies abroad to access not only vaccines but also treatment medicines.

In addition, the country also urged AstraZeneca and Pfizer to fulfill their commitments to vaccine supply while calling for aid, borrowing vaccines from abroad, and promoting new contracts to buy vaccines from other countries at the same time, he said.

Vu thanked countries, overseas Vietnamese, and organisations for their support, and looked forward to receiving more cooperation and assistance in the coming time./.

Top legislator hails UN’s contributions to Vietnam’s development

The United Nations (UN) always plays an important role in Vietnam’s foreign policy and accompanies the country in the process of national construction and development, thus creating favourable conditions to enhance its position and image in the international arena and deepen its relations with other nations around the world.

The statement was made by National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue during his meeting with Director-General of the UN Office at Vienna (UNOV) Ghada Fathi Waly on September 6 as part of his trip to Austria to attend the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (WCSP5).

Hue thanked the UN for its timely and effective support and advice to Vietnam’s national building and development cause, as well as its assistance to the country in getting access to financial resources for poverty reduction, sustainable development and social welfare assurance.

The Vietnamese legislature’s cooperation activities with the UN in the region have brought about practical results, serving activities of NA agencies and helping to improve skills of lawmakers, he said.

Hue also thanked the UN for assisting Vietnam in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, showing his hope to receive more support in post-pandemic economic development and addressing negative impacts of the pandemic on people’s livelihoods.

The top legislator also expressed his wish that the UN will continue to promote its role in maintaining international peace and security, promoting respect for international law, and supporting countries, including Vietnam, in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He proposed the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, of which Waly is also the Executive Director, to continue assisting Vietnam in preventing and combating new types of crimes such as cybercrime and crimes related to digital currency and virtual assets.

For her part, Waly affirmed the UN’s commitment to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam, adding that in the coming time, the UN will focus on intensifying cooperation with parliaments, including the Vietnamese National Assembly.

She hoped Vietnam will soon join the crime prevention network in Southeast Asia and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; and step up cooperation in cybersecurity and anti-money laundering.

Waly also appreciated and supported Vietnam’s proposal made at the UN Security Council’s online high-level open debate on enhancing maritime security on the establishment of a network of mechanisms and initiatives on regional maritime security coordinated by the UN to increase information and experience sharing, coordinate in taking action, and promptly respond to common challenges. She affirmed the UN’s willingness to assist Vietnam in ensuring maritime security.

The official said that the UN and Vietnam have many potential areas for cooperation, but should select urgent fields such as women’s empowerment and poverty reduction to boost collaboration first, and proposed the establishment of a tripartite cooperation model including the United Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and Vietnam./.

Number of Covid-19 related deaths tends to decrease

Doctor Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health informed that Ho Chi Minh City confirmed 233 deaths related to SARS-CoV-2 on September 5, tending to fall even as coronavirus infections are rising.

According to Deputy Head of the Municipal Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control Pham Duc Hai, by 6 p.m. on September 5, the Ministry of Health announced 251,933 Covid-19 cases, including 251,473 infections in the community and 460 imported ones.

On September 5, the city recorded 2,915 recovered patients, bringing the total of discharged patients from medical facilities to 128,396 ones from January 1 up to now.

Currently, the city health sector is treating over 9,000 coronavirus infections, including 1,053 cases with ventilators and 22 severe patients being under ECMO treatment.

The death rate of those people putting on ventilator and ECMO treatment is 30 percent to 50 percent.

The Ministry of Health just directed the stricter implementation of solutions to reduce Covid-19 related deaths in Ho Chi Minh City and the Southern provinces and cities.

Besides, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee urged the strengthening SARS-CoV-2 test in the whole city from now to September 15. All residents in the red and orange areas must be performed rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test at least three times and local people living in the green and yellow areas have to be carried out the test at least once or twice by September 15.

As for the vaccination process, HCMC has run out of 6,553,548 doses of vaccines so far.

Amid a shortage of Moderna vaccine, Doctor Nguyen Hong Tam, Vice Director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) said that the Ministry of Health provided four vaccines against coronavirus, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Verocell to HCMC.

The second routine dose is delayed a few weeks as scheduled but it would not affect the vaccine effectiveness so that the local residents should not worry much.

The information was shared at a press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control in the city.

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



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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President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets embassy’s staff in Russia

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc met the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and representative agencies in Moscow, Russia, on November 30.

The President said that he had just had very successful talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders discussed 20 issues related to cooperation between the two countries, upon which they reached high consensus, he said, adding that the Russian President supported many issues raised by Vietnam.

The two leaders agreed to issue a joint vision statement on the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership until 2030.

While appreciating the preparations for the visit made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies, and especially the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, the President asked the agencies to perform well the tasks assigned by the Party and the State as well as to nurture the good relationship between the two countries. He also underlined the need to promote bilateral trade and cooperation in the fields of economy, defence, security, science and technology.

He emphasised that Russia is a leading important partner in Vietnam’s foreign policy.

The Vietnamese President noted that staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia to implement the Politburo’s Conclusion No. 12-KL/TW on overseas Vietnamese affairs in the new situation, the task of citizens protection and supporting the lives of overseas Vietnamese to have more practical activities and contribute further to the homeland./.

Dak Lak woman dies after receiving Vero Cell jab

A woman living in the Central Highland province of Dak Lak has died after she was given a Vero Cell vaccine shot against COVID-19, local authorities confirmed on November 30.

The woman, 41, received the second shot of the Vero Cell vaccine produced by China’s Sinopharm at a vaccination site in Buon Me Thuot city of Dak Lak on November 29, a representative of the provincial Centre for Disease Control said.  

After being closely monitored at the vaccination site for 30 minutes, she returned home without any abnormal symptoms.

However, one of the woman’s relatives found her ‘in an unconscious state’ early on November 30 and immediately took her to Tay Nguyen General Hospital for emergency treatment.

At the hospital, the woman did not survive and doctors confirmed she had died of unknown causes before hospitalisation.

The victim was said to have suffered from nephrolithiasis or kidney stone.

This is the fifth adult victim of COVID-19 vaccination in Vietnam.

Earlier, four employees of a shoemaking company in Thanh Hoa province also died after being given a Vero Cell shot.

Also on November 30, a 12-year-old boy in Binh Phuoc province, southern Vietnam, died following a Pfizer shot. He was the third young victim of COVID-19 vaccination in Vietnam.

Another teenager dies after receiving COVID-19 vaccine shot in Vietnam

The southern province of Binh Phuoc has established a team of health experts to examine the cause of the passing of a 12-year-old boy after he was given a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

The boy suffered from abnormal symptoms after receiving the vaccine shot on November 29, confirmed a representative of the Binh Phuoc provincial Department of Health.

He was transferred to a military hospital in Binh Phuoc and then a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for emergency treatment. However, he died on November 30 morning.

Professionals are expected to meet on December 1 to look into the case, said the provincial health official.

Binh Phuoc is carrying out a COVID-19 vaccination campaign for children aged 12 to 15, using the Pfizer vaccine. It aims to inoculate 66,900 people in this age group.

This is the third young victim of COVID-19 vaccinations in Vietnam.

The past week saw two other students die in Hanoi capital and neighbouring Bac Giang province following Pfizer vaccination.

Experts from the Ministry of Health said on November 30 that the two deaths were not related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Both victims suffered from anaphylaxis, an acute and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction after vaccination.

Floods claims four lives in central Vietnam

At least four people have died and tens of thousands of houses have been submerged after heavy rain triggered severe flooding in central Vietnam, said the National Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Control on November 30.

In Binh Dinh province alone, floods have left three dead and nearly 24,000 houses and hundreds of hectares of rice and subsidiary crops inundated.

Parts of national highways 1, 14H, 19C, 27, 29 and 40 in Binh Dinh, Quang Nam and Phu Yen were deep under water, disrupting traffic.  

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said water levels in major local rivers are expected to rise to or even surpass the third alert level – the highest warning level – in coming hours.

It warned about widespread flooding and flash floods as well landslides in central provinces from Quang Ngai to Khanh  Hoa and in the Central Highlands region.

The National Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Control requested localities in the central region to evacuate local residents from low-lying areas, to a higher ground and ensure a sufficient supply of essential food for evacuees.

National squad depart for Singapore in quest of defending AFF Cup title

Coach Park Hang-seo and his players of the Vietnam national team left for Singapore on December 1 as they head to compete and defend their championship title at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup 2020.

The Vietnamese team aim to defend their championship title they secured in 2018.
The squad held a warm-up session at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City in the morning before flying to Singapore in the afternoon.

Upon arriving in Singapore, the players will train at the stadium of Hougang United FC, which is located roughly 20 minutes from their accommodation.

On November 29, Park announced a shortlist of 30 players for the national line-up, comprising four goalkeepers, 13 defenders, eight midfielders, and five strikers ahead of the tournament. Notably, striker Do Hung Dung, who has just recovered from an injury, was also called in for the line-up. 

The largest Southeast Asian football tournament is scheduled to be held from December 5 to January 1, 2022, in Singapore with the participation of 10 national teams from regional countries.

AFF cup holders Vietnam play in Group B alongside Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos. They are scheduled to take on Laos on December 6, Malaysia on December 12, Indonesia on December 15 and Cambodia on December 19.

Park and his players have set a target of defending their championship title they secured in 2018.

Vietnamese, French experts share experience in marine pollution control

Vietnamese, French experts share experience in marine pollution control hinh anh 1

A seminar on marine pollution control was held in both in-person and online forms on November 30 by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and the Embassy of France in Hanoi.

Vietnam currently ranks fourth in the world in marine pollution with nearly 40,000 tonnes of domestic solid waste discharged by 28 coastal provinces and cities each day, DAV Deputy Director Nguyen Hung Son said, adding that meanwhile, the country lacks extensive research studies on marine pollution and assessment of its impacts on security and national defence.

He noted that even though Vietnam has proactively coordinated with international organisations, including the UNDP, on ocean plastic waste, but bilateral cooperation in the field remains modest.

Son said he believes that fighting marine pollution is a suitable content for cooperation between Vietnam and France, which suits the common interests of the two countries and reflects the development of bilateral cooperation in economy, development and regional security, especially in non-traditional security issues.

At the event, participants presented their ideas to bolster mutual understanding and highlight the priorities of the two countries regarding non-conventional security issues in the region so as to seek practical measures to boost cooperation in the coming time.

They called on France to share outcomes of research studies on the East Sea with Vietnam, provide equipment to serve deep-sea research activities and arrange training courses./.

Hoi An to host diverse activities to mark festive period

A wide range of activities are set to be held to celebrate Christmas and welcome in the New Year in the ancient town of Hoi An, with a focus on stimulating tourism demand after a prolonged period of being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Van Son, chairman of the Hoi An City People’s Committee, revealed that the locality plans to deploy a broad range of activities, including street art performances, documentary screenings, and a trade fair in Tan Thanh fishing village, in order to welcome the Christmas period.

Furthermore, other events will also be held to celebrate the New Year, including the opening of Hoi An Market and the launch of the second Hoi An Heritage Culinary Market, while New Year’s Eve is scheduled to take place from 22:30 p.m. on December 31 to 1 a.m. on January 1, 2022.

Moreover, a programme aimed at welcoming the first group of tourists to the ancient town of Hoi An will begin at 9:00 am on January 1, 2022, at Chua Cau, also known as Japanese Bridge.

Son emphasized that residents and visitors participating in these events will be required to abide by the 5K message set by the Ministry of Health, while international visitors to the central city via charter flights will not be permitted to get involved in these activities.

Local restaurants, hotels, and other business establishment will decorate the old quarter with an array of lanterns as part of the occasion, according to the local authorities.

Other street food and beverage establishments located on Nguyen Phuc Chu road will reopen on the roadside from 4pm to 1am from December 24 to December 31.

Frequency of domestic flights increase from December 1

The Ministry of Transport has allowed increasing the frequency of flights on many domestic routes.

Under a decision signed by Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan on November 30, the numbers of two-way flights on Hanoi – Da Nang, Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City routes will be raised to a maximum of 16 per day from December 1-14.

From December 15, the maximum number of daily two-way flights will be 20 on those three routes, and 9 on other routes.

The decision also mentioned conditions for passengers, such as owning certificates of full vaccination against COVID-19 or recovery from the disease, and testing negative to SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR or rapid antigen testing methods.

Besides, all passengers have to make health declarations.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) also announced that it completely agrees with the Health Ministry’s proposal on the suspension of international flights to and from African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique due to the emergence of Omicron variant there.

The CAAV also agreed to halt the issuance of entry visa to passengers going to or arriving from the above nations.

Flights carrying Vietnamese citizens home under the combo package plan must receive permission from the ministries of foreign affairs, health, transport, national defence and public security./. 

Five Vietnamese airports receive Airport Health Accreditation

Five local international airports have been granted Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) by the Airports Council International (ACI) for maintaining COVID-19 pandemic safety and prevention measures.

The Vietnamese airports to earn AHA include Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Da Nang International Airport, Noi Bai International Airport, Phu Quoc International Airport, and Cam Ranh International Airport.

The AHA is designed to assist airports around the world in proving to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they place the health and safety of passengers as their top priority. Indeed, this is done through the establishment of specific safeguard measures as part of the fight against the potential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to be certified by the ACI, airports are assessed across a number of categories, including cleanliness and disinfection, physical distancing, staff protection, physical layout, passenger communication, and passenger facilities.

A number of provinces and cities nationwide, including Phu Quoc island in the southern province of Kien Giang, Nha Trang city in the central coast of Khanh Hoa province, and Hoi An City in the central province of Quang Nam, recently welcomed back international tourists. In line with this, all visitors from overseas are must come into the country through the COVID-19 vaccine passport pilot scheme.

Vietnamese delegation attends 143rd IPU Assembly, related meetings

A Vietnamese delegation led by Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for External Relations Vu Hai Ha attended the 143rd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-143) and related meetings in Madrid, Spain, from November 27-30.

Speaking at the plenary debate, the head of the Vietnamese delegation affirmed that Vietnam is fully aware that the building of democracy must be based on the will of the people and the strength of the national great solidarity, in order to build a law-governed socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people.

In the fight against COVID-19, the country follows the policy of combating the pandemic and protecting people’s health while maintaining socio-economic development, carrying out policies that support firms and people to surmount difficulties and ensuring social welfare.

The NA has promptly approved proposals of the Government regarding budget and COVID-19 prevention and control measures, he added.

The Vietnamese head delegate put forward recommendations on bolstering cooperation and mitigating risks triggered by current challenges, such as consolidating peace, security, stability and cooperation at the global, regional and national levels, and strengthening cooperation on digital transformation and information technology application.

He called on countries’ parliaments to step up law building and keep a close watch on policy implementation; support the development of parliamentary diplomacy and enhancement of the role and mission of the IPU; and promote cooperation mechanisms between the IPU, the United Nations, international organisations, and regional parliamentary organisations and members.

Members of the Vietnamese delegations attended and contributed opinions at meetings of the Committees on Peace and International Security, Sustainable Development, Democracy and Human Rights, and UN Affairs; the Forum of Women Parliamentarians; and the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP).

On the occasion, Ha discussed Vietnam’s cooperation in the IPU with the President and Secretary General of the IPU, and engaged in meetings with leaders of delegations from Peru, South Sudan, Russia, the UK, Cuba, Cambodia, India and Italy./.

PM chairs first meeting of National Committee on Digital Transformation

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired the first meeting of the National Committee on Digital Transformation via videoconference on November 30.

The PM, who is chairman of the committee, said the debut of the committee is meant to realise the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress regarding digital transformation, in the context of digital transformation becoming a common trend of the world and an objective requirement of national development.

He instructed ministries and agencies to build decrees related to digital transformation, including electronic identification to protect personal data, regulations on the management and operation of the national database on population, among others, to submit to the Government.

Chinh hailed ministries, agencies and localities for their achievements in digital transformation, especially in three pillars of digital Government, digital economy and digital society. At the same time, the PM pointed to outstanding shortcomings in the field, such as a low ranking in terms of e-Government, the incomplete legal environment for e-Government and slow progress of building national and specialised databases.

As Vietnam is one of the fastest countries globally to issue national guidelines and strategies on digital transformation, the country was named the top riser in East Asia and the Pacific in the 2021 rankings compiled by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness during 2018-2020.

Between 2022 and 2025, the committee set the goal of meeting 53 criteria for digital Government, digital economy and digital society./. 

COVID-19: New cases on November 30 top 13,972

Vietnam recorded 13,972 cases of COVID-19 in 61 localities during 24 hours from 4pm November 29 to 4pm November 30, including 6 imported cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

Ho Chi Minh City continued to record the highest number of infections with 1,497, followed by Can Tho with 981 and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province with 860.

The national tally reached 1,238,082.

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, 5,788 patients nationwide are in serious conditions, with 602 requiring invasive ventilation and 15 on life support (ECMO).

On the day, the country saw 197 deaths from the disease. The death toll now hits 25,252.

A further 14,624 patients were given the all-clear, taking the total number of recoveries to 989,348.

By November 29, the country had injected over 122.08 million doses of vaccines to date, with more than 50.94 million people now fully inoculated./.

Foreign tourist arrivals to Vietnam up over 42 percent

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Vietnam welcomed over 15,000 foreign tourists in November, up 42.4 percent from the figure in October, the General Statistics Office announced on November 29.

The rise is attributed to the Government’s decision to allow a pilot programme to welcome back international tourists.

The travelers joined package tours and entered Vietnam via either charter flights or international commercial flights to designated places and tourism facilities such as Phu Quoc (Kien Giang), Khanh Hoa, and Quang Nam, among others.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, in the first 11 months of this year, the number of foreign tourist arrivals to Vietnam was 140,100, down over 96 percent year-on-year.

Of the total, the number of visitors arriving by air accounted for around 69 percent, down 97 percent while those by road accounted for 30 percent, down 9 percent./.

Binh Dinh ready to become 6th destination to welcome int’l visitors

The central province of Binh Dinh is preparing to become the sixth destination for international tourists before January 2022, together with Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh.

Lam Hai Giang, Vice Chairman of the Binh Dinh Provincial People’s Committee, said the tourism industry had been seriously affected and the country needed to work hard for recovery. However, the opening of international tourism depended on disease control as well as vaccine coverage.

“The connection among localities and businesses in tourism recovery and development is very necessary. Without this connection, the tourism industry will struggle,” Giang said.

He said that the province planned to welcome guests on package tours because it was not safe to receive individual visitors. The province was considering criteria and conditions for tourists. Binh Dinh would set criteria for arrivals to the province to ensure safety.

“Binh Dinh was supposed to be a new destination, but ‘new is old if we don’t know how to renew ourselves’. The province wants to offer the most comfortable experience for guests. This is why procedures for picking up passengers and traffic hubs must be simple and safe. The province will introduce measures to both ensure pandemic control and create comfort for visitors,” he added.

Ultimately, the success of the programme would depend on the efforts of businesses. Enterprises needed to be ready in terms of facilities, human resources and having new products for customers.

Tran Van Thanh, Director of Binh Dinh’s Department of Tourism, said that the province was developing specific plans.

On average, Binh Dinh welcomes around 200,000 international visitors every year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021, the province only received 77,000 visitors.

“We are continuing to research and focus on the East Asian, Southeast Asian and US markets. To prepare to welcome international guests, Binh Dinh gives priority to safety and flexibly adapting according to the Government’s policy. Accordingly, Binh Dinh has strongly implemented COVID-19 prevention measures.”

In addition, it is necessary to encourage tourism businesses to meet 3-4-5 star standards and prepare conditions to welcome guests.

In 2022, if the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, the province will continue to increase the number of tourists, trying to welcome 80,000 – 100,000 domestic visitors.

In the second half of 2022, the province wishes to welcome international guests. Accordingly, the province could welcome 400,000 domestic tourists and over 100,000 international visitors.

Nguyen Hoang Vu, Chairman of Binh Dinh Tourism Association, said that the 4th wave of COVID-19 lasted for a long time, severely affecting the society and the economy. However, Quy Nhon City had vaccinated 97 per cent of the population and was ready to welcome tourists, ensuring the dual goals of both economic development and pandemic prevention.

“Human resources are also an important factor that Binh Dinh needs to pay attention to in stimulating tourism demand. We are facing a lack of human resources in tourism and need a long-term plan for human resources to serve the upcoming tourism development,” Vu said.

Vu The Binh, Permanent Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that Binh Dinh has great potential to become the tourist centre of the South Central region. However, the perception of tourism development in localities was not uniform and neither were their policies. Bình outlined two issues. The first was to always ensure COVID-19 prevention and get people vaccinated, while the second was to prevent further outbreaks.

“Businesses will understand the problems. We must believe in them. The decisive issue is that the locality comes up with a specific and feasible solution, and businesses need to implement it seriously on ways to prevent COVID-19,” he added.

Nguyen Manh Quan, Permanent Deputy General Director of Bamboo Airways, said that domestic tourism would be a focus in the fourth quarter. However, the Government and businesses also needed to consider the restoration of flight routes, spreading the message of green tourism with specific criteria. In terms of stimulating demand, the main goal was to create green products.

“Currently, Vietnam has five localities that are eligible to welcome international visitors. If Binh Dinh could become the 6th tourism destination, the development opportunities for the industry would be better. It needs the Government’s support as well as the efforts of localities and businesses,” Quan said.

He added that Bamboo Airways had operated international flights to Vietnam. Most flights, after a rigorous testing and isolation process, ensured safety, and it was very rare that cases arise. This would be an important condition to enter the opening phase to welcome international guests as well as participate in recovery.

Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of the Da Nang Tourism Association, suggested that Binh Dinh province’s leaders create conditions for businesses to overcome difficulties. Service facilities, destinations, and tourism companies in the province needed to quickly offer unique product packages.

For each stream of visitors, it was necessary to have a different ecosystem for travel companies to easily deploy and exploit their strengths. Travel businesses also needed more distinctive products.

From a business perspective, Bui Hai Huyen, member of the Board of Directors, General Director of FLC Group, proposed to get early approval to recognise Binh Dinh as a green destination as soon as possible, before January 2022.

The province should continue to promote co-operation with neighbouring localities to attract tourists. It also needed to quickly give detailed instructions to service providers, tourists and residents. Finally, the province could promote communication, co-ordinate with FLC Group to make Binh Dinh a new and attractive destination. Travel companies needed to come up with initiatives for Binh Dinh in general and FLC in particular to introduce and promote products to foreign travel agencies.

“To prepare for welcoming international guests, FLC also commits that Bamboo Airways and the group’s ecosystem will comply with the instructions by agencies in welcoming international passengers; continuously upgrade services and strengthen disease control capacity. In addition, FLC has expanded vaccination coverage. Currently, all staff of Quy Nhon and FLC have had two doses of vaccines. We have built a self-contained, safe, full-service tourism programme and submitted it to Binh Dinh Province with the hope of early approval to prepare to welcome international guests,” she added./.

US company supports HCM City’s COVID-19 fight

Authorities of Ho Chi Minh City on November 30 received nearly 5 million N95 medical face masks worth 34.1 billion VND (1.5 million USD) presented by US company RAAS Nutritionals LLC. to support the city’s COVID-19 fight.

Addressing the handover ceremony, Chairwoman of the municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee To Thi Bich Chau hoped that HCM City will continue to receive support from businesses and RAAS Nutritionals in particular in the battle against the pandemic.

Following the ceremony, the face masks were distributed to the HCM City High Command, Department of Health and various hospitals of the city.

To date, the southern hub has received assistance worth more than 2.74 trillion VND worth of medical equipment, supplies and medicines from 210 organisations and individuals at home and abroad to support the fight against COVID-19, Chau added./.

Vietnam Airlines successfully operates first direct flight to US

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A flight coded VN98 of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City landed safely at San Francisco Airport in the US on November 29.

The flight, which took 13 hours and 45 minutes, marked a mile stone in the development history of the Vietnamese aviation industry as well as the Vietnam Airlines.

From November 28, Vietnam Airlines regularly operates two flights per week between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco. The airline plans to increase the number to seven flights after the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled and the Vietnamese government allows the reopening of regular international routes.

Vietnam Airlines also considers opening more routes to Los Angeles. All flights between Vietnam and the US will use the most modern wide-body aircraft, such as Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

On November 4, the national flag carrier officially received a permit from the US Federal Aviation Administration to operate non-stop commercial flight service between the two countries./.

Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Festival slated for December

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The 17th Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Festival will be held from December 4-25. The annual event will take place at a time when the city embarks on the second stage of restoring tourism activities while safely adapting to COVID-19.
In particular, the festival will be also open virtually on the event’s website, the portal of the municipal Tourism Department, Shopee e-commerce site and Traveloka online tour agent.

On both 2D and 3D platforms, the festival will draw 100 virtual stalls by prestigious tour agents and tourism sectors of cities and provinces.

New destinations, local signature tourism products and the latest technologies used in the sector will be introduced to the public.

Co-organised by the municipal Tourism Department and the Tourism Association, the 2020 festival attracted over 200 businesses, 59 cities and provinces nationwide./.

Vietnam – Korea Training Cooperation Centre debuts in HCM City

The Vietnam – Korea Training Cooperation Centre (VKTCC), based in Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), officially debuted on November 30.

The centre is a joint effort with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) of the Republic of Korea, with the involvement of the Ho Chi Minh City Centre of Supporting Industries Development (CSID), and Vietnamese and Korean enterprises.

It is expected to become a prestigious training model in Vietnam and provide quality workforce up to RoK standards for firms in and outside the SHTP, contributing to the municipal breakthrough programme on human resource and cultural development for the 2020-2025 period and the national programme on hi-tech development till 2030.

Head of the SHTP management board Nguyen Anh Thi said the centre will train and provide quality workforce in the fields of precision engineering, automation, digital transformation and smart production, thus helping Vietnamese firms participate deeper in the global value chain amid the fourth industrial revolution.

It will also help with the transfer of RoK’s advanced technologies to improve Vietnamese enterprises’ production capacity, and assist domestic enterprises in raising labour productivity and product quality via training courses and programmes evaluating workers’ vocational skills based on RoK standards./. 

Vietnam works closely with WHO, US CDC to deal with Omicron threat

Vietnam is working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) in its response to new coronavirus variant Omicron, according to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

The Ministry of Health on November 30 held a meeting on the threats of the very concerning variant with WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park, CDC Southeast Asia Regional Director John MacArthur, and Director of US CDC Vietnam’s Global Health Security Programme Matthew Moore.

Long said as of November 30 morning, Vietnam has not recorded any case of COVID-19 with the new variant.

The ministry last week asked the government to halt flights to/from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Mozambique, as well as suspend the issuance of visas for passengers coming from these countries.

The ministry has also asked to step up surveillance to promptly detect abnormal signs at COVID-19 outbreak clusters, and ordered the Pasteur institutes and the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology to perform genome sequencing on suspect cases with Omicron, especially ones with a history of travel to southern Africa.

The WHO and CDC representatives all stressed the four important steps in dealing with Omicron, including enhancing testing and surveillance to detect the cases, speeding up vaccination, boosting the capacity of the medical system – especially at the grassroots level – to make them able to deal with growing outbreaks, and stepping up communication on COVID-19 prevention and control measures and making public the genetic sequences of COVID-19 cases for further analysis by researchers and experts.

At the meeting, leaders of the Health Ministry together with the representatives of WHO, US CDC in Southeast Asia and US CDC in Vietnam agreed to be ready to share the results of the genetic sequencing of COVID-19 cases.

Long said Vietnam to date had administered 120 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and progress had been steady recently, especially with the rollout of vaccines for children aged 12-17 in more than 30 localities around the country.

He also urged the public to follow COVID-19 prevention and control measures but not to panic or become overly anxious in the face of the Omicron variant./.

PM outlines three priorities for ASEAN sub-regional cooperation

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended and delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the ASEAN High-Level Forum on Sub-Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth on November 30.

The forum, the first of its kind, provided ASEAN member states and their partners, regional and international organisations, and business community with a chance to discuss opportunities, challenges, potentials and orientations to promoting sub-regional development cooperation.

Speaking at the event, PM Chinh stressed that due to ASEAN’s diversity, the development of sub-regions, which are all in important geographical locations, needs the bloc’s attention.

Together with stepping up regional connectivity, it is important to connect areas and zones and ensure that they catch up with the common development of the region, he said.  

He also called for strengthened solidarity and close cooperation among regional countries, which he said is a prerequisite to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth.

The Vietnamese leader pointed out three priorities that need to be promoted in sub-regional cooperation, including making the people the centre, goal and driver of development, enhancing regional and global coordination to improve capacity for sustainable sub-regional development, and strengthening infrastructure, economic and cultural connectivity to narrow development gap, thus facilitating sub-regional economic development.

Participants at the event suggested accelerating connectivity, promoting global integration and green growth, sustainably using and managing natural resources, responding to disasters and climate change, pushing digital transformation, developing human resources and bolstering tourism.

They underscored the reciprocal complementarity between sub-regions’ development efforts and ASEAN’s connectivity process, thus agreeing on a need to effectively capitalise on cooperation potential of sub-regions to offer more opportunities to enterprises in and outside the region.

Delegates spoke highly of Vietnam’s role and contributions to promoting sub-regional development cooperation for the goal of even and sustainable growth in the region.

Ideas and recommendations at the event will be submitted to ASEAN leaders for consideration./. 

Forum fosters sub-regional development in line with ASEAN community building

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended Vietnam-initiated ASEAN high-level forum on sub-regional cooperation for sustainable development and inclusive growth held in both in-person and virtual forms on November 30.

The event was also joined by Lao PM Phankham Viphavanh and Cambodian Deputy Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn.

ASEAN is home to sub-regions with different growth, strengths, difficulties and advantages, Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung said, pointing out that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has yet to pay full attention to sub-regional development.

As ASEAN firms have not taken the advantage of seeking business opportunities in sub-regions, Vietnam put forward the organisation of the forum to integrate the development of the sub-regions into ASEAN’s process.

At the forum, participants highly valued Vietnam’s initiative as precise and timely, amid ASEAN’s recovery in the post-pandemic period.

The holding of the forum also underlined ASEAN’s central role at the ‘home ground’, as the organisation is responsible for linking and guiding sub-regions in all fields, therefore ensuring resources, development, peace, stability in the region and the world.

Dung believed that the event is the continuation of Vietnam’s efforts when it assumed the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, with the aim of promoting the development of sub-regions in accordance with the ASEAN community-building process.

This is a suitable approach supported by nations, so that ASEAN can uphold its role in a large area and sub-regions, he affirmed.

Dung stated that through the forum, leaders of countries in sub-regions and ASEAN will reach consensus on policies so as to create mechanisms facilitating businesses.

It also enabled ASEAN nations to learn difficulties facing enterprises in a bid to seek solutions, and helped businesses realise their strengths in the sub-regional development process./.

Valuable archaeological findings in spite of COVID-19 pandemic

Despite facing many difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, archaeological activities still took place across the country with new diverse and valuable discoveries and research results, Nguyen Duc Minh, Vice chairman of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) said on November 30.

He made the remark at a conference reviewing archaeological excavation results co-organised by the Institute of Archaeology under the VASS in coordination with the Department of Culture and Sports of Ninh Binh province.

The VASS Vice Chairman said the conference, held in both in-person and virtual forms, offers a chance for archaeologists and related researchers to exchange information on new discoveries and academic debates, opening up opportunities for cooperation in research, conservation and promotion of value of national cultural heritages.

These findings have contributed to improving understanding of the origin and evolution of humans as well as the cultural layers and socio-political institutions in history, affirming the values of cultures and civilisations of Dai Viet (Great Viet) in association with glorious victories against foreign invaders to defend the independence of the nation.

Outstanding findings announced at this conference include the discovery of relics that demonstrate the evolution of humans and cultural artifacts of prehistoric people in the provinces of Lang Son, Thai Nguyen, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Phu Tho, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Excavations and studies are being conducted at Kinh Thien Palace (Hanoi), Ho Dynasty Citadel (Thanh Hoa) and Yen Tu relic site (Quang Ninh and Bac Giang).

The highlight of the archaeology activities during the past year is the continued excavation of Hoa Lu Ancient Capital relic site in Ninh Binh province with new discoveries that contribute to clarifying the palace architecture and cultural identity of the Dinh – Le dynasties in the national history.

The conference is scheduled to end on December 1./.

Day to be chosen to promote mother language among overseas Vietnamese

Some experts and officials have voiced their support for the date September 8 to be selected as the day in honour of the Vietnamese language in the overseas Vietnamese community.

Speaking at a workshop held in Hanoi on November 30, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu, who is also Chairman of the Foreign Ministry’s State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, said to the 5.3 million Vietnamese living in over 130 countries and territories, the Vietnamese language is a national pride and also a “solid fulcrum” for the country’s culture.

The maintenance and promotion of the language, which is a tool for spreading cultural values of the nation, is an important task holding practical, scientific, and human significance, he noted.

Other participants in the event underlined the necessity for a day in honour of the Vietnamese language so as to enhance the love for and pride in the mother language and encourage expatriates to maintain and bring into play the homeland’s cultural identity.

Dr. Nguyen Thien Nam, former dean of the faculty for Vietnamese studies and language at the University of Social Sciences and Humanity (Vietnam National University, Hanoi), said September 8 should be chosen as the day in honour of the language among overseas Vietnamese.

He explained that this was the day when the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) launched the “Binh dan hoc vu” (mass education) campaign in 1945. On that day in 1962, then President Ho Chi Minh delivered a speech on the Vietnamese language at the third congress of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association.

Echoing the view, an official from the Continuing Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Training supported the date September 8 to be chosen for the purpose. He also recommended organising a competition on books and documents teaching the language for overseas Vietnamese, and developing a language teaching website for the expatriates.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism suggested commending the individuals, organisations, and communities with substantial contributions to popularising the Vietnamese language abroad./.

Nearly 28.2 trillion VND from unemployment insurance fund given to pandemic-hit labourers

More than 12.32 million labourers affected by COVID-19 have received total support of nearly 28.2 trillion VND (1.24 billion USD) from the unemployment insurance fund so far, according to the Vietnam Social Security (VSS).

The result was recorded in two months of implementing the Government’s Resolution 116/NQ-CP and the Prime Minister’s Decision 28/QD-TTg on assisting pandemic-hit labourers and employers from the unemployment insurance fund from October 1 to November 29.

The VSS said that it has agreed to allow nearly 152,900 labourers from 810 facilities in 57 localities across the country to temporarily postpone retirement and survival insurance payment with total amount of over 1.07 trillion VND, while approving a list of 2.7 million workers from 67,700 companies enjoying support policies.

Of the labourers, 1.85 million have had their labour contracts temporarily suspended or taken unpaid leave, and 537,700 stopped working to receive support of 1 million VND each. As many as 1,024 employers have accessed loans to pay for 82,500 labourers who became unemployed due to COVID-19 .

On October 1, the Government issued Decision No. 28/QD-TTg providing regulations on the implementation of support policies for employees and employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, using the unemployment insurance fund.

Accordingly, different levels of allowances from 1.8 million VND (79 USD) to 3.3 million VND (144.8 USD) will be given to each labourer depending on the time they has paid unemployment insurance premiums./.

Vietnam squad for AFF Cup 2020 named

Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has announced a 30-man squad ahead of the upcoming AFF Cup 2020, according to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).

Most notably, midfielder Do Hung Dung was added to the list after recovering from a serious injury which had caused him to miss the recent World Cup qualifiers.

Vietnam’s 30-man squad for the AFF Cup 2020 consists of four goalkeepers, 13 defenders, eight midfielders, and five forwards.

According to the schedule, the largest Southeast Asian football tournament will be held from December 5 to January 1, 2022, in Singapore.

Vietnam will go into the competition as the defending champions and will play in Group B alongside Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos.

Elsewhere, Group A consists of Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and the winner of the play-off match between Timor-Leste and Brunei./.

Vietnam attends 59th meeting of Asian – African Legal Consultative Organisation

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, officials from the ministries of Public Security and Justice, and some researchers and practitioners of international law in Vietnam are attending the 59th meeting of the Asian – African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) via videoconference.

The Vietnamese delegation delivered speeches which highlight international law, respect for the rule of law at the international level, and support for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

They also shared the country’s experience in handling external relations, as well as its viewpoints on the codification and progressive development of international law, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The AALCO, comprising 47 member states, is an international inter-governmental organisation established in 1956 in the Non-Aligned Movement of Asia and Africa. It aims to promote dialogue, exchange viewpoints, and enhance cooperation in many areas of international law.

Taking place from November 29 to December 1, this year’s event in Hong Kong (China) focuses on such legal issues as activities of the International Law Commission and international law in cyberspace. It is set to elect the AALCO Secretary-General for the 2021 – 2025 tenure.

Vietnam officially became an AALCO member at this organisation’s 56th meeting in Kenya in 2017 after serving as an observer for a period of time./.

Bac Giang city strives to become green urban area

Bac Giang city in the northern province of the same name will mobilise all resources to develop in the direction of green and smart urban area, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Dang Dinh Hoan has said.

To realise the target, the city has set to basically fulfil criteria for the first-tier urban area by 2025 and be recognised as one by 2030.

It aims to raise per capita income of local residents to 8,500-9,000 USD a year and call for more than 100 trillion VND (4.41 trillion USD) in social sources for development.

Bac Giang city will invest in and build two or three green and smart urban areas, two to four three- and five-star hotels, two to three nightlife economy zones and a 100-ha park.

It aims to be among top 10 provincial cities of the country in terms of smart urban area index; and raise the digital economy’s share in the gross regional domestic product to about 30 percent and at least 20 percent in each sector.

The city will work to put power lines underground, build more parks, recreation sites and garbage depots in the city, and invest in a waste-to-energy plant.

It is set to bolster management and supervision over the quality of water in rivers and lakes, as well as the collection and treatment of wastewater at urban areas, industrial parks and clusters. Due attention will be paid to firms’ discharge activities and environmental pollution treatment at craft villages, and safety and order in urban areas.

The application of new technologies in agricultural production will be promoted and a smart urban management centre will be set up to help with management work.

A security camera system will be installed in the city’s central area, key traffic spots and public places. Digitalisation in archive is due to be carried out across all fields, together with e-government applications.

In the coming time, Bac Giang city will mobilise all resources to take the lead in digital transformation, particularly in information technology (IT) and communications to meet demand for the building of the digital government and the city’s socio-economic development.

Priorities will be given to investment in and development of sectors that generate high added value like production of hardware and software, and support services of IT and communication, with an aim to create a smart urban foundation for Bac Giang city.

The city, spanning 66.77 sq.m, has 16 administrative units of communal level. It is the political, economic and cultural hub of Bac Giang province.

Situated on an artery road linking Hanoi with Lang Son, and the Huu Nghi international border gate, the city has a favourable location on an economic corridor running through the four localities of Lang Son, Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh. 

Bac Giang city has made strides over the years, with an average annual economic growth rate in the 2011-20 period hitting 11.7 percent. Meanwhile, budget collection surged 38 percent against the estimates. Urban planning and management have improved as infrastructure has been upgraded and rural area given a facelift.

Many major constructions and projects have been completed and helped improve urban quality and landscape in the city, notably the Hanoi-Bac Giang and Bac Giang-Lang Son expressways, the Dong Son bridge and the southern urban area, among others.

A number of big investors such as Toyota, Honda and Hyundai have channeled investment into the city. Bac Giang is now home to about 100 cooperatives and more than 4,000 firms, of them 1,670 are newly established ones with registered capital worth 7.54 trillion VND. There are 40 foreign direct investment projects totalling over 236 million USD.

Bac Giang city has to date earned 71.27 out of 100 points to become first-tier urban area./.

Russia, Vietnam strive to further promote partnership: Russian media

Russia’s TASS news agency has run an article highlighting the talks between Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, especially the joint statement adopted by the two leaders.

The statement was issued following the talks between the two Presidents in Moscow on November 30, which outlines the vision on the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries until 2030, the article said.
The statement confirmes the “mutual intent for further promotion of relations of comprehensive strategic partnership” and notes the intent “for further deepening of bilateral relations and escalation of these relations to a new level,” it said.

In a recent article, RIA Novosti news agency stressed the significance and urgency of the Vietnam-Russia cooperation across spheres, contributing to peace and stability in the region and the world.

It cited the joint statement as reporting that Russia and Vietnam will work to ensure security and freedom of aviation and navigation and unhindered trade in the East Sea.

Rossyiskaya Gazeta newspaper quoted Putin at the talks as saying Vietnam is a strategic partner of Russia.

Other Russian newspapers also covered the talks between the Vietnamese and Russian leaders, and emphasised that Vietnam is a loyal and reliable friend, and a strategic partner of Russia.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondents, Prof. Vladimir Kolotov, Director of the Ho Chi Minh Institute at St. Petersburg University in Russia, said the joint statement is of historical significance.

The document puts forth joint work for the two countries in the time ahead and creates a firm foundation to further the bilateral cooperation.

He spoke highly of the vision of the two countries’ high-ranking leaders on security, safety and freedom of aviation and navigation in the East Sea, respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), and the importance of maintaining a peaceful environment in the East Sea.

Kolotov expressed his belief that the two countries will soon comprehensively and effectively implement the joint statement, helping to elevate their relations to a new height./.

HCM City braced for Omicron variant of COVID: steering committee

HCM City is prepared to cope with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 first detected by South Africa, Phạm Đức Hải, deputy head of the city Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control told a press meeting on November 29.

Without going into details, he said the city had strengthened co-operation between public and private medical establishments and between traditional and western medicine systems, and got military medical personnel to help mobile medical stations treat patients at home.  

It had instructed hospitals to send doctors and nurses to health centres in communes, wards and towns to help treat COVID patients, he said.

People should not be too worried about the new variant, but strictly comply with preventive measures like wearing masks, disinfecting hands regularly, avoiding congregations, and keeping a safe distance to reduce the risk of infection, he said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible than other variants like Delta.

“The number of people testing positive has risen in South Africa, but epidemiological studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors,” WHO says.

Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of the new variant.  

Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of the city Department of Health Office, said there was no shortage of beds for COVID patients and that her agency was seeking to provide better care including for people being treated at home to reduce mortality.

It has called on the Ministry of Health to provide a booster vaccine shot to people in the city, she said, adding, “We expect to get the Ministry of Health’s instructions on the booster shot soon.”

Relevant agencies are seeking to speed up the second shot, including for most young people aged 12-17, she added.  

WHO has said that vaccines remain critical to reducing severe symptoms and death, including against the dominant variant now, Delta.

The city has treated 14,580 patients as of November 28, including 574 children under 16, 374 severely ill patients requiring ventilators and 14 needing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

The city’s risk designation remains medium.

Districts 1,6,7,8,11, Tân Bình, Bình Chánh, Củ Chi, and Cần Giờ are at low risk, and the remaining 11 districts and Thủ Đức City are at medium risk. 

HCM City: Private healthcare sector to help with home-based care of COVID-19 patients

HCM City’s Department of Health is working to expand the involvement of private healthcare in home-based care of COVID-19 patients in an effort to reduce the burden on public health stations.

Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of office at the city’s department, said that all private clinics can partake in this pilot programme. The plan will be submitted to the city for approval.

HCM City has 319 fixed medical stations and more than 340 mobile stations that care for COVID-19 patients at home. Staff at the stations come from the city’s hospitals and district-level medical centres, and they can be mobilised for different areas if necessary.

Many health care stations are under strain due to the rising number of COVID-19 patients, and some are asking patients to visit the stations for medicine since they cannot easily deliver them to households.

Private hospitals have been taking part in the city’s fight against the pandemic by admitting COVID-19 patients, and doctors from various private hospitals have also registered for HCM City’s programme to provide free medical check-ups and consultations to locals via mobile phones.



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