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Vietnam enters 45th straight day without locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases

Vietnam records no new COVID-19 case over the past 12 hours to 6am on October 17, leaving the national count at 1,124, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

As such, the country has entered the 45th straight day without locally-transmitted cases, while it is the 60th day for Hanoi and the 77th day for Ho Chi Minh City.

A total of 1,031 patients have recovered, and the death toll remains at 35.

Among patients still under treatment, seven have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, four negative twice and 12 negative thrice. There is no patient in serious condition.

A total of 13,090 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-affected areas are being quarantined nationwide, with 166 at hospitals, 11,727 at concentrated facilities and 1,197 at home or accommodations.

One more body found at Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant

The body of another victim of the landslides that hit the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue was found on October 16, raising the death toll from the incident to two.

The victims are among 17 workers buried by a landslide on a construction site near the hydropower plant.

The victim is now being identified. The location of the body has helped rescuers determine where the remaining workers may be.

The first victim was found on October 14. Fifteen others are still listed as missing.

About 40 workers safely moved to the Rao Trang 4 plant, which was reached on the evening of October 13 by a team from the provincial police.

On the morning of October 16, a working team from central agencies, led by Politburo member, member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, and head of the Party Central Committee, Pham Minh Chinh, arrived at Phong Xuan commune in Phong Dien district, to direct search and rescue efforts.

On October 16, the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat sent a dispatch to Party Committees in cities and provinces and central agencies calling for stronger efforts in natural disaster prevention and response and in overcoming the aftermath of floods in the central region./.

Military Region 4 urged to search for workers missing in Rao Trang 3 incident

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested that Military Region 4 repress its anguish and continue coordinating with relevant units in central Thua Thien-Hue province in searching for workers still missing after a landslide near the construction site of the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant.

Seven officers of Military Region 4, including its Deputy Commander Major General Nguyen Van Man, were among 13 people buried by another landslide at Ranger Station 67 while on their way to the hydropower plant to rescue the missing workers.

The bodies of all 13 members of the 21-strong rescue team had been found as of 7.30pm on October 15.

Visiting Military Region 4 in central Nghe An province on October 16, PM Phuc said he was touched by the responsibility and strong will of the officers and soldiers of the Defence Ministry and Military Region 4, and the sacrifice they made is a great loss for the ministry as well as Military Region 4.

He asked the ministry and Military Region 4 to organise a solemn funeral for them and extend his condolences to their families.

Military Region 4 was requested to ensure security and safety for local people and avoid unexpected incidents in the context of more storms being forecast to hit the central region.

The Government leader also announced assistance of 10 million VND (430 USD) to each family of the deceased.

The 21-strong rescue team was set up on October 12. They stopped at Ranger Station 67 to rest for the night. A rocky landslide suddenly hit the station at midnight, and only eight of the team successfully managed to escape.

Of the 17 workers reported buried by a landslide near the construction site of the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant, two have been found dead. The other 15 are still listed as missing./.

Museum dedicated to celebrated poet To Huu opens in Hanoi

browser not support iframe.The opening ceremony took place on October 11 and was attended by President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council Nguyen Xuan Thang.

To Huu was born Nguyen Kim Thanh in central Thua Thien-Hue Province in 1920. His poems were a great source of inspiration for Vietnamese soldiers and citizens for decades.

The To Huu Museum was redesigned and upgraded from a memorial house with the assistance of former Director of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology Nguyen Van Huy and graphic designer Dam Ca.

Covering 120 square metres, the museum provides visitors with a comprehensive view of the poet, whose life and career were closely associated with the country’s revolutionary history, through original documents, photos, and other artefacts on display, supported by a multimedia information system.

The museum also features a section that recreates part of the house at 76 Phan Dinh Phung Street where he and his family lived for more than 40 years until his passing in 2002.

The museum is open to visitors every Saturday from 10am to 5pm./.

ASEAN Student Contest on Information Security to open on Oct 17

A total of 121 teams from 31 Vietnamese colleges and universities and 37 teams from those in six other ASEAN member states will kick off the starting round of the 2020 ASEAN Student Contest on Information Security on October 17.

According to the organising board, the Vietnam Information Security Association (VISA), the first round, a new feature this year, will last for four consecutive hours.

Each participating university will choose up to three best teams to compete in the Qualifying Round, which is scheduled for October 31 and lasts eight hours.

Ten teams from Vietnam and six teams from other ASEAN member nations (one team each nation) are expected to rival at the final round slated for November 28.

In the eight-hour finale, contestants will be tested on their ability to counter-measure cyber-attacks against their opponents and to defend their own computer networks.

Grand Prize and Second Prize winners will receive certificates of merit from the Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training at an international workshop marking Vietnam’s information security day, which is expected to take place on December 2.

The contest is a Capture-The-Flag competition for students in the bloc to encourage them to study and cultivate practical and team-working skills. It aims at fostering cultural and academic exchange among information security students in ASEAN.

Philippines wants entire population vaccinated for COVID-19

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on October 14 that the government has the money to procure coronavirus vaccines but he would need more as he wants to inoculate the country’s entire population, Reuters reported.

The government aims to get vaccines to all Filipinos, which Duterte said now number around 113 million, but priority will be given to the poor, the police and military personnel.

“All should have the vaccine without exception,” Duterte said in a late-night televised address.

He said he preferred COVID-19 vaccine supplies to come from either Russia or China. Both have submitted applications to conduct clinical trials for their inoculations in the Philippines.

Apart from China’s Sinovac Biotech and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, the Philippines is also evaluating Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit’s application to conduct Phase 3 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Philippines recorded 1,910 new coronavirus infections on October 12, and 78 more fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 346,536 cases, the highest in Southeast Asia, and 6,449 deaths.

It has been gradually reopening the economy to allow more businesses to resume operations and more people to go back to work, but partial restrictions in and around the capital Manila remain to keep the virus spread in check./.

Hoa Binh lauches domestic tourism promotion programme

The northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh on October 14 launched the second domestic tourism promotion programme in 2020, introducing a safe and attractive tourist destination.

The programme, responding to the campaign initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to encourage Vietnamese people to visit domestic destinations, highlighted the diverse landscapes and cultural values of the locality.

Addressing the event, Vice Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Ngo Hoai Chung said that the campaign targets not only Vietnamese people at home but also foreigners living in the country.

He stressed the need for travel firms, accommodation facilities and tourism service suppliers to strictly follow guidelines on preventive measures against COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hoa Binh province Nguyen Van Toan requested travel firms to make sure discount in price does not go with reduction in service quality.

He urged tourism businesses to strengthen their promotion programmes in Hoa Binh to speed up the sector’s recovery.

Within the programme’s framework, Hoa Binh organised a famtrip for representatives from travel firms, media agencies and tourists in Hoa Binh lake to explore the ecotourism in the lake.

Statistics from the Hoa Binh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, since the beginning of 2020, due to impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visitors to Hoa Binh reached only 39.4 percent of the target. Total revenue from tourism is about 970 billion VND.

Hoa Binh has developed nine community-based tourism sites, including Lac village in Chieng Chau commune, Pa Co village in Pa Co commune, and Da Bia village in Tien Phong commune. The province also has a number of high-end resorts, including Ba Khan Village Resort, Mai Chau Hideaway, Mai Chau Mountain View Resort, and Serena Kim Boi Resort.

HCM City pilot to build temporary structures on agricultural land

The HCM City People’s Committee has launched a pilot programme to build temporary structures on agricultural land in Củ Chi, Cần Giờ and Nhà Bè districts.

The structures, which are for agricultural production only, include huts, farmhouses, canals, poultry houses, and houses for growing plants. 

Huts and farmhouses must be made of eco-friendly materials that can be easily dismantled, like bamboo, wood and leaves, and have an area of no more than 15sq.m.

The other structures can have a maximum area of 1,000sq.m and maximum height of six metres, with only one floor.

If owners want to change the function, they must inform the district’s people’s committees via documents. Owners can use only five per cent of the agricultural land to build the works.

The city People’s Committee also asked three districts’ People’s Committees to manage and check the implementation of the programme and regularly send reports to the city.

The districts should send a list of structures to the city’s Department of Construction each month to issue certificates of construction or to stop illegal works.

The programme will be implemented over a three-year period. 

Losing hearing does not discourage young man in Quảng Ninh from helping others

Lê Thế Duyệt,donates blood. He has donated blood 18 times. —Photo

Not only did Lê Thế Duyệt set up the blood bank in Quảng Ninh Province, he is also a regular donator, 18 times to be exact.

Duyệt likes to help others in less fortunate positions than him, and he knows giving blood is often giving the gift of life.

Despite losing his hearing in an accident when he was small, Duyệt is active in a number of volunteer activities.

“I feel sympathetic with people suffering from illnesses, having accidents or infected with fatal diseases,” he said.

“I may not be able to help much, but small charitable activities such as giving blood or fundraising for poor children will bring them joy.”

The live blood bank club had only five members when it started in 2015 and faced challenges in maintaining its operation because many people didn’t know about giving blood.

Now the club has 100 official members and more than 2,000 collaborators in the province. Many of them have donated blood more than 20 times.

“As long as I stay healthy, I still want to donate blood,” said the 32-year-old. “I just hope everyone will understand the meaning of blood donation. I want to establish a club of rare blood types in the near future for those in need.”

Since the club was formed, more than 4,000 units of blood and 3,000 units of platelets have been donated.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donation drives have been held at the Quảng Ninh’s general hospital, Bãi Cháy Hospital, and the provincial Maternity Hospital and collected 1,000 blood units, helping patients in need.

Vũ Thị Hồng Thoa, vice president of Quảng Ninh’s live blood bank club, who had donated  blood and platelets 22 times, said the club members were ready to donate blood whenever someone needs no matter the weather or time of day.

Duyệt is always active in not only blood donation but also in voluntary activities for children with Thalassemia and other fatal diseases and residents hit by floods in the northern mountainous areas, she said.

Nguyễn Quyết Tiến from Quảng Ninh Province’s Red Cross, who has followed up the club’s activities and helped Duyệt since the early days, said blood and platelet donation had been supported by local residents in recent years, especially the youth. Every year, blood donation campaigns at offices and residential areas and ‘Red Sunday’ programme collects thousands of blood units to contribute to the blood bank of Quảng Ninh Province.

Duyệt has made a lot of contributions to the province’s voluntary blood donation. He is so very enthusiastic that when someone needs blood, regardless of day and night, he calls on club members to make donation to promptly save the patients, Tiến said.

Thanks to his contributions to the provincial voluntary activities, Duyệt received the outstanding youth leader award from the Việt Nam Youth Union of Quảng Ninh Province in 2016 and was selected as one of young excellent faces of the province in 2017.

“Our help may be just humble but we feel motivated after receiving thanks from the blood receivers. Life is more meaningful and we are encouraged to continue our good deeds,” Duyệt said. 

Book donation programme hands out 40,000 books to primary schools

A total of 10,000 books on various subjects are being donated to 100 primary schools in HCM City under the HansaeYes24 Foundation’s book donation programme.

The annual programme aims to foster the love of reading, raise awareness about the importance of reading for school-aged children, and expand access to book reading at primary schools.

Books on various subjects like history, science, literary, culture and children’s stories are being delivered to schools this month.

Schools will have bookshelves to store the books, making it easier for reading.  

As many as 40,000 books have been given to 400 primary schools in the city since the programme was launched by the South Korea-based Hansae company in coordination with the city’s Department of Education and Training in 2017. 

Australian media outlet shines light on Vietnam’s COVID-19 fight success

Australian news website published an article on October 15 detailing how Europe could learn from the success of countries like Vietnam in containing the second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The article outlines how Europe is currently facing a COVID-19 resurgence, with outbreaks occurring in the UK, Spain, and France, with each country reporting thousands of new cases daily.

Most notably, the present infection rate now stands higher compared to March and April across many countries, following restrictions being significantly eased over the summer.

Due to this, many areas have been forced to re-introduce varying levels of restrictions, although most countries are resisting implementing nationwide lockdowns.

The article states that in order to deal with the second wave of COVID, the various Governments of European countries could potential study the success enjoyed by several Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Although there may have been an undercounting of cases and deaths, this doesn’t detract from the overwhelming success that these nations have enjoyed.

The Australian news outlet notes that Vietnam’s total number of cases stands at just 1,113, an extremely low figure for a population of approximately 100 million. One tactic used by health authorities has been targeted testing, which focuses testing efforts on high-risk individuals, along with on buildings and neighbourhoods that have had confirmed cases.

The article also highlights the early preventive measures implemented by Vietnamese health authorities, including extensive contact tracing, aiming to identify those at risk of exposure regardless of symptoms displayed.

Vietnam has also set up quarantine facilities for infected people and international travelers, therefore minimising the potential spread of COVID-19.

The article describes that having gained experience from the SARS and avian flu epidemics, many Asian countries immediately took the threat of COVID-19 seriously.

Furthermore, many countries also implemented strict measures such as wearing face masks and imposing social distancing early. Targeted testing, education, and the participation of the community are critical in successfully responding to COVID-19, the article concludes.

Da Nang police bust VND10 trillion football gambling ring

Police forces in Da Nang successfully broke up an online football gambling ring on October 13 with a value of VND10 trillion, making the group the largest ever detected within the locality.

The ringleader of the gang was swiftly identified as 35-year-old Bui Manh Tri of Thanh Khe district in Da Nang.

Furthermore, Tri’s assistants, including Le Ha Viet Hung, 35, and Bui Van Nhan, 27, both of whom are also from Thanh Khe district, were arrested on the same day.

Upon conducting a search of each of their homes, the investigation team made up of local police forces was able to seize 27 smartphones, VND3 billion in cash, two cars, one gun, along with plenty of other incriminating evidence.

In recognition of their efforts, the administration of Da Nang rewarded the local police investigation team with VND200 million in cash on October 14 as thanks for cracking down on the largest online gambling ring ever discovered within the locality.

Vietnam supports Myanmar in combating COVID-19

A representative of the Vietnam-Myanmar Friendship Association has handed over VND540 million and medical equipment to the Myanmar Embassy in Hanoi to help Myanmar people fight against COVID-19. 

The money and equipment was donated by organisations, businesses and individuals through a donation campaign launched by the Vietnam-Myanmar Friendship Association.

Addressing the hand-over ceremony on October 14, Chu Cong Phung, president of the Vietnam-Myanmar Friendship Association, noted that the campaign has received great support from many philanthropists, including those who studied and worked in Myanmar or those who have never visited the country.   

After 10 days, campaigners have raised more than VND540 million and received medical equipment, including nearly 40,000 face masks and hundreds of bottles of sanitizer for Myanmar people, Phung said.

Myanmar ambassador Kyaw Soe Win thanked Vietnamese people for their valuable support, and noted Vietnam’s success in COVID-19 containment creates a source of encouragement for Myanmar’s fight against the pandemic.

Myanmar wants to learn from Vietnam’s experience and boost cooperation on public health and community-based health care, said the ambassador.

Vietnam records outstanding achievements in paediatric heart surgery

The Children Heart Centre under the Hanoi-based Vietnam National Hospital of Paediatrics has been hailed for its significant achievements in paediatric heart surgery.

Compared with its peers in a group of 36 children’s hospitals around the world, in 2019, the Vietnamese centre made major strides in paediatric heart surgeries, including in operations on complicated heart disease patients with low weight, thereby minimising its lowest mortality rate.

A surgery summary in 2019 based on the database from the International Quality Improvement Collaborative (IQIC) – a partnership between Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and a number of units – showed that the Children Heart Centre under the Vietnam National Hospital of Paediatrics conducted 1,176 surgeries. Of these, 13.6% were on new-borns, 60% on infants to one-year-old babies, and 26.4% on babies and children from 1-17 years old.

The mortality rate in the Vietnamese centre was 2.5%, lower than the average of 5.7%. The mortality rate within 30 days of treatment after surgery was 3%.

In particular, the average weight of children with congenital heart disease operated upon there was 5.4 kg, nearly half that of the average weight in this group, at 10 kg.

Regarding the classification of patients according to the Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery (RACHS), the centre performed 14.4% of operations at level I, 43.4% at level II, 31.2% at level III, 7.4% at level IV and 1% at level V-VI.

The proportion of paediatric patients undergoing severe and complex surgeries at the centre was higher in this group of 36 children’s hospitals (the rates of the general group were: at level III: 23.9%; IV: 5% and V-VI: 0.6%, respectively).

Dr. Nguyen Ly Thinh Truong, the centre’s director, said that its success comes from the efforts and unanimity of all medical staff in the centre, as well as the maximum support and assistance of the hospital’s Board of Directors and other departments in the hospital.

COVID-19 becomes a source of inspiration in arts and literature

Over the past few months, many authors and artists have chosen COVID-19 as the major theme for their works. Presented across various genres such as photography, writing or music, the pieces have attracted much interest and attention from audiences.

In mid-September, photographer Nguyen A hosted a photo exhibition themed ‘Vietnamese spirit in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic’ in Hanoi, introducing the public to his 400 latest pictures on the silent contributions of the “soldiers in white blouses” who are working at the frontline to battle COVID-19.

His photos vividly captured the anti-COVID-19 battle in “hotbeds” across the country where medical workers and armed forces embraced every hardship to support people in concentrated quarantine areas as well as touching images of humanity during such as difficult period, seen through the installation of “rice ATM” machines and “zero VND shops” to assist the disadvantaged.

Also featuring the theme of COVID-19, an exhibition and photo book entitled ‘Sai Gon Mua COVID-19’ (Saigon during COVID-19’ by photographer Tran The Phong provided visitors with a different look at Ho Chi Minh City during its fight against the pandemic.

In contrast to his 2019 photo book ‘Nhip Song Sai Gon’ (The Rhythm of Saigon), which illustrated a busy and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City amidst the rush of life, the “Saigon during COVID-19” reflects a quiet, yet strong and resilient city.

A total of 101 photos presented in the book were selected from more than 2,000 files which were taken by Phong from January 2020 until the city relaxed its social distancing regulation.

During the city’s 22-day period of practicing social distancing measures, Phong recorded the city’s life from early in the morning until dusk. He also lent a helping hand in delivering rice and food to underprivileged people in the city.

COVID-19 has also become part of literary works by young authors, including ‘Di Qua Mua Dich’ (Experiencing Two Diseases) by Dy Khoa. 

Khoa recalls his own story 11 years ago when he was found positive with the A/H1N1 virus. This part provides readers with not only details from his early symptoms to being released from hospital but also the author’s unforgettable memories when he was hospitalised as well as the valuable sentiment among patients and between patients and medical staff.

In the second part of the piece, Khoa acts as an observer and listener gathering people’s stories about the impacts of COVID-10 on their livelihoods and the community in general. However, they all shared high hopes and trust that everything will be OK and that together we can overcome it if we unite and share in the pandemic.

According to the author, the book is his thank-you note to his mother who always stood by him as well as medical workers who have worked at the frontline to protect people’s health.

Recently, the Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House released a book named ‘Mac Ket’ (Get Stuck) by Phuong Thu Thuy, a stranded tourist who was supposed to enjoy her trip to the US but everything ran out of control as she has now been stuck in the host country for nine months.

Thao wasn’t even able to fly home when her book was published in Vietnam. In her book, Thao shared her own experience while staying in the US during this tough period as the world faces such a dangerous and yet invisible enemy.

COVID-19 will continue to be the inspiration for authors and artists. It is hoped that through their works, artists will share humane stories and generate positive thinking among readers so that they are fuelled with faith and courage in the fight against the pandemic.

Campaign set to enhance public awareness of proper nutrition

The National Institute of Nutrition has launched a “nutrition and development week” in a bid to raise public awareness of proper nutrition for sustainable development. (Photo: VNA)

The National Institute of Nutrition has launched a “nutrition and development week” in a bid to raise public awareness of proper nutrition for sustainable development.

Running from October 16 to 23 in response to the World Food Day (October 16), the campaign will include activities to encourage rural residents to develop the VAC model, which combines garden cultivation, fish breeding in ponds, and animal husbandry to increase food sources.

It will call upon the community to diversify their dining habits to guarantee a sufficient intake of vitamins along with proper nutrition for children during their first 1,000 days of life and the practice of healthy nutrition and physical exercise for all.

The Ministry of Health asked the public to pay greater attention to vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers, as well as people in poor and disaster-prone areas.

Vietnam has recorded progress in improving nutrition conditions and public health. Cases of malnutrition among children have fallen significantly and sustainably.

The ratio of underweight children under five years of age fell to 12.2 percent in 2019 from 30.1 percent in 2000.

Although the percentage of stunting among children under five has fallen 1 percent every year, it remained high at 22.4 percent in 2019. The ratio in the northern mountainous region was 27.1 percent and the Central Highlands 29.8 percent.

Unsuitable nutrition and a lack of physical exercise are also behind the increase of non-communicable chronic diseases./.

Fines for violations in journalism and publishing activities

The Government has promulgated Decree No. 119/2020/ND-CP on administrative penalties for violations in the realm of journalism and publishing.

Under the Decree, illegal hindrance to press activities shall be fined as follows:

(i) A fine from VND 10,000,000 to VND 20,000,000 shall be imposed for illegal hindrance against activities of journalists or correspondents (the current fine is from VND 5,000,000 to VND 10,000,000).

(ii) A fine from VND 20,000,000 to VND 30,000,000 shall be imposed for illegal seizure of journalism tools, records or documents of journalists or correspondents.

(iii) A fine from VND 30,000,000 to VND 40,000,000 shall be imposed for one of the following violations:

– Any offence to the honor and dignity of journalists or correspondents on duty.

– Ruin and intentionally damage journalism tools and documents of journalist or correspondents.

(iv) A fine from VND 40,000,000 to VND 60,000,000 shall be imposed for words and activities that pose threat to a journalist and correspondent’s life (the current fine is from VND 20,000,000 to VND 30,000,000).

Violation against regulations on provision of information

Violation against regulations on provision of information to press agencies and use of information from press agencies shall be fined as follows:

(i) A fine of VND 1,000,000 to VND 3,000,000 shall be imposed for hindering organizations and individuals from providing information to press agencies, or failing to provide information to press agencies in accordance with laws (the current fine is from VND 200,000 to 500,000).

(ii) A fine from VND 10,000,000 to VND 15,000,000 shall be imposed for mispresenting opinions that interviewees give to press agencies, or failing to comply with interviewee’s request for review of interview contents before publishing or broadcasting such contents on news media (the current fine is from VND 3,000,000 to VND 5,000,000).

The Decree shall take effect from December 1, 2020, replacing Decree No. 159/2013/ND-CP dated on November 12, 2013./.

Hanoi invests over US$300 million per year to improve transport infrastructure

Hanoi is facing challenges in the mobilization and use of investment capital for transport infrastructure.

Over the past years, Hanoi city has spent about VND7 trillion (US$302.02 million) per year to build new roads and upgrade the existing routes to meeting rising dwelling demand, Deputy Director of the municipal Transport Department Vu Ha told Kinh Te & Do Thi.

The Hanoi city government has implemented a spate of solutions to alleviate traffic congestion, including speeding up the construction of urban railways and improving roads, the deputy director said.

He added that many key traffic works in the city have been completed, contributing to improving and upgrading the infrastructure system, effectively reducing traffic congestion, including Ring Road No.2, Vinh Tuy bridge, Ring Road No.3, National highway 1A (Van Dien – Ngoc Hoi section), the viaduct over the intersection of Nguyen Van Huyen – Hoang Quoc Viet, among others.

These works are proof of Hanoi’s vision of the importance of transport infrastructure for the overall development of the city, Mr. Ha stressed.

However, Hanoi is facing challenges in the mobilization and use of investment capital for transport infrastructure. Shortage and misuse of capital are the main reasons for the slow progress of the city’s transport infrastructure.

In the next five years, Hanoi will focus on building more roads, especially thoroughfares connecting the city’s downtown with five satellite urban areas.

Besides, Hanoi will also pay attention to building the transportation system connecting the capital city with other provinces via radial routes, including National highways 1A, 3, 6, 21 and 21B; the axes of West Thang Long, Ngoc Hoi – Phu Xuyen; Ring Roads No.3.5, 4 and 5.

Moreover, Hanoi will focus on completing the network of intercity bus stations in the area within Ring Road No.4 as planned while building interchanges to connect the city’s downtown with other localities, provinces and cities nationwide.

Hanoi will also put urban railway line No.2A (Cat Linh – Ha Dong) and the pilot urban railway line 3 (section Nhon – Hanoi Railway Station) into operation.

Especially, the city will kick off the construction of four more urban railway lines in the period of 2021-2025, including line 5 (section Van Cao – Hoa Lac), line 3 (Hanoi Railway Station – Hoang Mai), the line from Nam Thang Long to Tran Hung Dao street, line 1 (Yen Vien – Ngoc Hoi).

Getting to know South Korea in Hanoi

Vietnam has always been a key source market for South Korean tourism.

Vietnamese tourists can experience a trip to South Korea at Lotte Center Hanoi through an event hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in the context of travel restrictions due to Covid-19.         

The event entitled “Hi! Korea”, underway until December 6, introduces South Korean tourism and culture and offers a virtual tour to South Korea. Visitors can join mini-games to win prizes, wear Korean traditional clothes, learn to make handicraft souvenirs and discover the country through virtual reality (VR) technology.

At weekends, special events will take place to introduce different themes of South Korean tourism such as a photo exhibition, K-pop cover dance, a quiz show, Halloween and Pepero Day (South Korean Valentine’s Day).

The Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed the world tourism industry due to strict travel restrictions. This event is expected to bring the most authentic South Korean travel experiences to visitors, drawing back the attention of Vietnamese tourists to South Korean destinations, Mr. Park Jong-sun, head of KTO Vietnam said. 

Vietnam has always been a key source market for South Korean tourism. KTO and other travel companies will promote reviving the tourism market in both two countries, he said.

Short-term rental breaches law: new regulations

Hourly and short-term rental of apartments is against the law, according to Vietnamese government drafted new regulations about the use of apartment buildings with non-residential purposes, the Ministry of Construction has said.

Many criminals take advantage of apartments for rent to break the regulations including prostitution activities, drugs, high-tech crimes ; therefore, police officers find it difficult to investigate the illegal actions, many voters voiced their complaint to the Ministry.

Apartment building owners have to assume their responsibilities for complying with the regulations about apartment management as well as denounce violations to local administrations about violations or crimes in the apartment condos as per the Minister of Construction’s circular No. 02/2016/TT-BXD

Also the circular stipulates that people’s committees take responsibilities to handle the violations in management of apartment condos or transfer to other related state competent agencies to deal with it; accordingly, apartment building owners can inform people’s committees about violations.

The Ministry also revealed that administrative sanctions for violations in management of apartment buildings is written in Vietnamese government’s decision No 139/2017/NĐ-CP dated November 27, 2017 in the field of apartment condo investment, construction and real estate.

The Ministry of Construction proposed the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to impose strict censorship on the management and use of apartment buildings; thereby, relevant authorities can promptly detect violations and reinforce the law.

Man in Mekong Delta receives fine of US$151 for growing marijuana at home

A 42-year-old man in the Mekong Delta Province of Vinh Long received a fine of VND3.5 million (US$151) for growing small amounts of marijuana at home.

Police officers in Tam Binh District in Vinh Long Province issued an administrative fine on a resident in village 7 in Hoa Loc Commune yesterday because the man was growing marijuana at home.

Before, police officers have used their skill finding roughly 300 marijuana plants with the height of 1.5 meter inside the man’s home. Total marijuana is around 57 kilogram.

Police officers said the plants are grown in the invisible section in the orchard; therefore, it is difficult to discover. Police officers destroyed all plants in the orchard.

The man confessed that he has grown the plant for two months to use as herb for his poultry herd.

Phu Tho Stadium possibly to replace Hang Day Stadium for SEA Games 31

The General Department of Sports and Physical Training has submitted a plan of Ho Chi Minh City’s 20,000-seat Phu Tho Stadium replacing Hang Day Stadium in the repair period to serve one of the two men’s football matches of the 31st SEA Games. 

Pursuant to the signed plan of organizing and preparing for the 31st SEA Games, two sport stadiums of Hang Day and Thien Truong in Nam Dinh Province were selected for the group stage.

Meanwhile, My Dinh National Stadium was selected for the semi-finals. 

However, the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports sent an official letter to the General Department of Sports and Physical Training in mid-September to report the repair of Hang Day Stadium which would not be able to ensure the schedule for SEA Games 2021.

Accordingly, the Vietnam Sports Delegation set a goal of grabbing 70 gold medals and top 3 at the 31st SEA Games.

Vietnam national under-23 football team is expected to successfully defend the gold medal at the 31st SEA Games.

Nghe An team wins disaster risk management contest

A team from the north central province of Nghe An won a disaster risk management contest organized in Vietnam for the first time to honor on-the-spot disaster response teams, who are the local task forces in charge of response action in the first few hours after a disaster strikes.

The “Commune Disaster Risk Management Team” contest was aimed at raising public awareness on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through the integration of knowledge and skills in the form of an innovative and attractive game show. It also created an appealing playground for disaster risk management forces at the grassroots level.

The contest was jointly organized by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the Vietnam Television Center in the Central Highlands, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

The final round was held in Danang with the participation of 21 teams representing 21 different provinces. After 11 knockout rounds, the semi-finals and the final, the Nghe An team was crowned as the winner, with the runner-up being the Lam Dong team and the third place going to the Nam Dinh team.

Addressing the award ceremony on October 13, Tran Quang Hoai, general director of the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority, said, “Through this contest, all the team members have been key players who have helped convey valuable knowledge on disaster risk management and reduction. They encourage community participation in disaster risk reduction to minimize the damage caused by disasters and losses.”

Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP resident representative in Vietnam, noted that the local task forces play a critically important role in actively responding to the prevention and control of natural disasters. Therefore, increasing the capacity of task forces is essential.

“I am delighted with the great success of this first-ever competition, which has helped improve the disaster risk knowledge of the local task forces in 21 provinces that are often the first responders to a disaster event and raised the awareness of millions through creative media messaging,” she said.

Up to now, UNDP has worked to strengthen community-based disaster risk mitigation and management by building the capacity of over 32,000 people who are now members of communal disaster response task forces.

EU grants 2.4 mln EUR to Cambodia for school reopening

The EU has contributed 2.4 million EUR (2.8 million USD) to Cambodia for the safe re-opening of its schools, as part of support for COVID-19 response and recovery.

Through this support, a nationwide “back to school” campaign has been launched by the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and UNICEF, providing practical guidance to children, parents, teachers, and school staff on making schools as safe as possible and reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

According to a press release issued by UNICEF on October 14, the campaign will be conducted throughout 2021 and expanded to include valuable and engaging information not only to make schools safe but also to provide a healthy and caring environment for children to learn and thrive.

Critical hygiene supplies will be also delivered to the country’s 11,500 pre-schools and primary schools.

Cambodia’s education ministry has allowed public universities to reopen from October 12 after months of shutdown due to COVID-19./.

Hanoi in early 20th century through sketches of French colonial buildings

The Kim Dong Publishing House has released an artbook shedding light on France’s distinctive architectural styles in Hanoi in the past. 

The book features a collection of artworks from Urban Sketchers Hanoi, a group notable for winning the “Bui Xuan Phai: For Love of Hanoi” Awards in 2019.

In total, the publication showcases 150 sketches and studies by many leading scientists, experts, and scholars from the nation that details Hanoi’s history through French architectural works.

The book displays plenty of images for lovers of the capital, featuring paintings by members of Urban Sketchers Hanoi, whose youngest member is a 6-year-old child.

The Urban Sketchers Hanoi group is a non-profit organisation made up of a community of individuals who love Hanoi and drawing.

Originally founded in September 2016, the group has gone on to attract over 4,000 members nationwide. Its members often share sketches featuring the citizens of Hanoi, its architecture and culture.

Sanitary pads donated to disadvantaged adolescent girls

More than 326,000 packets of Whisper sanitary pads, worth some US$280,000, have been given to ensure menstrual hygiene for 16,000 disadvantaged adolescent girls in the provinces of Quảng Trị, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi.

The donation is part of the campaign ‘Buy One –Donate One’, recently launched by World Vision Việt Nam with P&G’s feminine care brand, Whisper. The campaign aims to celebrate Vietnamese Women’s Day (20 October).

Consumers can contribute to making this day more memorable for underprivileged girls by purchasing Whisper products, starting from VNĐ20,000 (US$0.86) in Saigon Co.opmart and the Lotte supermarket system.

Each Whisper packet sold from 20 October to 31 December will be converted to the corresponding amount of sanitary pads to support underprivileged adolescent girls under the campaign.

Maintaining menstrual hygiene is still a challenge for women and girls in many parts of the world.

According to the World Bank, at least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management and studies also show that girls’ inability to properly manage their menstrual hygiene results in school absenteeism and a low sense of self-worth.

Việt Nam’s working areas also see a similar issue. Up to 30 per cent of women and girls can’t take basic hygiene measures during their menstruation because they can’t afford to use more than 1-2 sanitation pads per day. Ten per cent of them have to rely on makeshift pads made from mosquito nets due to their family’s extreme economic challenges.

World Vision Việt Nam’s Operations Director Thân Thị Hà said: “World Vision Việt Nam believes that encouraging young girls to properly use sanitary pads is not simply a solution for a sanitation matter. It is an essential step for young girls to preserve their dignity and body integrity, ensure consistent school attendance, thus embrace their life’s full potential.”

Joint efforts needed to reduce natural disaster risks

Natural disaster threatening the globe have increased recently mainly due to rapid, unscientific and unreasonable development by humans which needed all countries and peoples to join hands to mitigate damage to communities, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường.

The minister was speaking at a meeting held earlier this week to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management (October 13).

Economic losses caused by natural disasters in Việt Nam this year had amounted to VNĐ5 trillion (over US$215 million) as of late September, while 98 people had been left dead or missing.

Since the beginning of this year, Việt Nam has been hit by 248 thunderstorms, whirlwinds and torrential rains; seven tropical storms on the East Sea; 13 flash floods and 68 earthquakes, not to mention serious saline intrusion and erosion along river banks and sea dykes in the Mekong Delta.

On this occasion, the 2019 National Press Awards for Disaster Prevention and Control, the first of their kind, were presented at the ceremony.

The 2019 press awards, themed “Reducing Damage Caused by Natural Disasters – Proactively Adapting to Climate Change Begins with the Community”, were created to recognise, commend and reward episodes, organisations, and individuals making practical contributions to disseminate information and communicate disaster risk management.

In the five and a half months following the launch of the awards, from October 10, 2019 to March 31, 2020, the organisers received 896 submissions in the five categories of printed articles, articles from electronic newspapers, television reports and documentary programmes, radio submissions, and press photos. The press awards attracted 602 journalists, reporters and collaborators from more than 120 press agencies at national and local levels.

The organising committee awarded two first prizes, seven second prizes, 10 third prizes, and one to Nhân dân (People) newspaper for the most entries submitted. 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Hoàng Hiệp, who was also head of the organising committee, said the work of the press not only deeply and closely reflected the situation of natural disasters in the country, but also offered many multi-dimensional perspectives on solutions and plans to support the prevention and reduction of risks, contributing to extensive communication and raising a sense of responsibility within the whole community for disaster risk management.

Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen said the media played a vital role in disaster prevention, noting that before, during, after a disaster, they provided critical information that enabled leaders to make decisions and people to respond promptly. 

“Working together, our joint efforts will contribute to a safer, more sustainable, and more prosperous Việt Nam where no one is left behind,” she added.

At the end of the ceremony, the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control and the UNDP announced the second National Press Awards for Disaster Prevention in 2020, which will have the theme “For a Society Safe from Natural Disasters – Proactively Adapting to Climate Change”.

Police bust $435 million online betting ring

A large-scale online betting ring had been smashed by police in the central city after a five-month investigation, major general and director of the city’s Public Security Department Vũ Văn Viên said, adding that the total value of the betting ring was worth VNĐ10 trillion (US$435 million).

Local police arrested 11 people related to the ring during a raid in Thanh Khê District last week, seizing VNĐ3 billion ($130,000) in cash, two cars, 27 mobile phones and a gun.

The investigating agency said the ring had set up an account to bet with an online banker abroad.

Bùi Mạnh Trí, 35, the mastermind of the ring, fled the city before the raid.

An initial report released by police on Thursday said VNĐ6.25 trillion ($272 million) had been transferred through the betting account since May 2020.

Two key operators – Lê Hà Việt Hưng and Bùi Văn Nhân – were escorted from HCM City to Đà Nẵng for further investigation.

This is the largest online gambling gang to be busted in Đà Nẵng. 

The case is under further investigation.

In a separate raid, a narcotics unit also arrested two women transporting 1kg of suspected ketamine from Nghệ An to Đà Nẵng.

Lê Thị Hải, 23, and Võ Thị Ánh, 25, said they bought the drugs from an identified men in Nghệ An.

Quang Tri education sector suffers billions of losses after floods

Teachers and students in the central province of Quang Tri are tidying up their schools after the flooding disaster which has caused damage estimated at VND9.5 billion (USD408,000) to the province’s education sector.

The flood in Quang Tri Province has started to recede on October 14, however, many schools in mountainous areas are still submerged underwater. Teachers, employees, parents and volunteers will help clean up schools that are no longer flooded.

Phan Hong Khanh, director of Bui Duc Tai High School in Hai Lang District, said, “The school was under 1.2 metres of water. The water started to recede on October 13 so we called everyone to help clean the classrooms, furniture and the playground. However, there is a lot of mud.”

Khanh went on to say that the teachers have to carry buckets of water from the river to clean. Everything is near ready to receive students back to school.

In Trieu Phong District, 68 out of 105 school sites have been flooded. Some school sites are under over 1.5 metres of water. Most of the equipment like TV and electric lines are damaged.

Quang Tri Department of Education and Training reported that the local education sector suffered a total of VND9.5bn in damages. Many schools have been submerged, subsided, have damaged fences or fallen trees. Furniture and equipment are also damaged. On October 14, the department representative visited the schools and transferred 13 water sprayers that cost VND2.2m each to the schools in low-lying areas like Trieu Phong, Hai Lang districts and Quang Tri Town to help.

Vo Van Minh, deputy head of the Department of Education and Training, said, “One student drowned and one employee at A Vao Primary and Secondary School is missing. The water is starting to recede but there is a lot of mud to deal with. Moreover, we still can’t access many schools in remote and low-lying areas.”

The department delegate has visited and given supports to students and teachers affected by the flood. They have directed related agencies to speed up the cleaning process to reopen the schools soon.

Vietnamese citizens brought home from Russia

As many as 370 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Russia on a flight of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on October 15-16.

The flight was arranged by Vietnamese authorities, the Embassy of Vietnam in Russia and Vietnam Airlines together with Russian relevant agencies.

The passenger included children under 18, pregnant women, the elderly, the ill, labourers with expired visas or contracts and students who finished their studies without accommodations.

The Vietnamese Embassy had closely worked with local relevant agencies to help the citizens travel to the airport and assist them with boarding procedures.

Strict security, safety and epidemiological measures were implemented during the flight to ensure passengers’ health and prevent the spread of diseases.

After landing in the Van Don International Airport in northern Quang Ninh province, passengers and crew members had their health checked and sent to quarantine in line with regulations.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in the country.

Five new diphtheria cases recorded in central mountainous district

The Department of Health in the Central Province of Quang Ngai yesterday announced five new diphtheria cases were recorded in Ba To mountainous district.

Of these, four diphtheria cases were displaying clear symptoms and one case had no symptoms, Dr. Pham Minh Duc, Deputy Director of the Department of Health of Quang Ngai province said. Those displaying clear symptoms were immediately given live-saving diphtheria anti-toxin.

According to Director of Quang Ngai Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital Dr. Nguyen Dinh Tuyen, the hospital is treating three diphtheria patients while 9 patients are currently under control. The hospital is waiting for test results from Nha Trang Pasteur Institute.

All patients aged from 13 months to 13 years from Ba To mountainous district are in stable condition.
The Department of Health in Quang Ngai Province has taken proactive measures against the disease by increasing control in diphtheria outbreaks, taking sample tests to early detect diphtheria cases and new outbreaks as per the People’s Committee of Quang Ngai Province’s document No.4981.

Additionally, the health sector injected antibiotic to those people who had close contact with infected patients and provide immediate treatment to patients to minimize severe complications and fatalities.
The Department of Education and Training has implemented activities against the disease at educational facilities as well as monitor children’s health condition in preschools, primary schools, and high schools to inform the health sector when suspected cases are discovered .

Moreover, local schools make sure that classrooms must be clean, well-ventilated and well-lighted for students, especially in mountainous areas.

There are some symptoms of diphtheria infection including a high temperature (fever), sore throat, a thick grey-white coating at the back of the patient’s throat.

Lao Cai Province formally launches its intelligent operation center
The People’s Committee of the northern province of Lao Cai on October 14 officially introduce its Public Administration Center (PAC) and Intelligent Operation Center (IOC). These are the projects to celebrate the Provincial Party Congress and to increase competitiveness capability of this region.

Since an IOC is often considered the digital brain of a province thanks to its ability to integrate data and its management software, the People’s Committee of Lao Cai Province has soon requested VNPT Group to establish one such center for the province in order to be a foundation for an e-government later.

After a short time, the project has finished, and Lao Cai IOC was formally in operation two days ago, with sufficient important devices like monitor panels, specific software to integrate data from several information sources.

Therefore, Lao Cai IOC is able to monitor comprehensively as well as in great detail various ratings in the fields of economy, society, construction, healthcare, public administration, digital maps, AI cameras. This allows more precise decision making.

As stated by Chairman of Lao Cai Province People’s Committee Dang Xuan Phong, building an e-government and smart city, and further a digital government and digital society, is one critical mission. Hence, the provincial authorities have purposely promoted the use of IT to create a sufficient database, reform administrative tasks in a citizen-oriented way, and boost the province’s strengths.

Lao Cai IOC is standardized and integrated with basic national databases in 9 management levels, including the system to control socio-economic development rating, the system to monitor state budget allocation, the system to manage e-documents, the system to monitor public administrative services, and the system to manage education, healthcare.

All core system software pieces of Lao Cai IOC are provided and installed by VNPT Group in accordance with Tier 3 standards to ensure operation stability, information safety and cyber security.

Leaders of VNPT Group confirmed that they will send their excellent specialists to support Lao Cai IOC in its operation and maintenance.

Obviously, thanks to new technological upgrades, Lao Cai Province will be able to better serve its residents and improve their living standards. This will also contribute to attracting more businesses as the investment and working conditions are positively changed to become more modern. 

New mum given COVID-19 all-clear

A 30-year-old woman who gave birth to a son while she was treated with COVID-19 was declared virus-free on Friday.

She hails from the northern province of Phú Thọ and returned on a repatriation flight from Russia in July.

Her son weighed 3.8kg when he was born on September 10 at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hà Nội but remains isolated from his mother after she tested positive for COVID-19.

Việt Nam has now gone 44 days without any community infections.

Among 93 active cases, 12 tested negative for at least three times. 

Food safety week 2020 opened in Nha Trang

A food safety week 2020 featuring the agricultural products and specialties of localities across the countryopened at Big C Nha Trang, Nha Trang city on October 16.
The event is being jointly held by Central Retail in Vietnam and the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture.

More than 30 pavilions are displaying agricultural products from the provinces of Quang Nam, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Quang Binh, An Giangand Khanh Hoa.

Various regional specialties are being showcased including Khanh Hoa nest, Dak Lak coffee, Da Lat vegetables and fruit, Lam Dong honey, Ven village tea, Thai Binh Olong tea, and others.

Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture, Hoang Van Du, said that the event is an opportunity for consumers to enjoy specialties from various regions across the country and to expand the consumption market.

In addition, the event aims to support agriculturalenterprises and cooperatives to develop production and target the domestic market, especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is also an opportunity to bring agricultural products to the Big C supermarket chain and to respond to the “Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods” campaign, Du noted.

The event will run until October 18.




Vietnam halts all inbound commercial flights



Vietnam halts all inbound commercial flights

A Vietnam Airlines aircraft after finishing a commercial flight bringing passengers from South Korea to Hanoi on September 25, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered a temporary halt to all inbound international commercial flights following Vietnam’s new Covid-19 community transmissions.

He said at a cabinet meeting Tuesday that only repatriation flights will be allowed to bring home Vietnamese citizens.

Mai Tien Dung, head of the government office, said the suspension aims to give Vietnam better control over the spread of infection and quarantining of arrivals.

“The government will still allow repatriation flights to bring home those who are really old, sick or facing financial issues,” Dung said.

On Monday, Vietnam’s 88-day streak without any community transmission was snapped when a man in Ho Chi Minh City was confirmed a Covid-19 patient after contracting the virus from his friend, a flight attendant.

After Vietnam halted all international flights from March 25 in an unprecedented move to stem the Covid-19 outbreak, the government green-lighted in September the resumption of commercial flights to seven Asian destinations – mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. However, Vietnamese carriers have not yet been allowed to operate inbound flights while the government finalizes quarantine procedures for foreign passengers.

The PM asked for clarification on the irresponsibility that allowed the latest situation in HCMC.

He said the Ministry of Health and the city authorities have to make clear the responsibility of each individual and organization in the quarantine process of the Vietnam Airlines flight attendant, now “Patient 1342.”

Related agencies should also implement “stronger methods” in managing the quarantine process, the PM ordered.

The flight attendant, 28, had returned to Vietnam on November 14 and was quarantined for four days at a facility managed by Vietnam Airlines in HCMC. After two tests showed he was negative for the coronavirus, he was released from the facility and was asked to isolate himself at his home on Bach Dang Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District.

The short-term quarantine is a preferential treatment granted only to flight attendants as per current Covid-19 prevention protocol to ensure availability of staff for subsequent flights. Under this protocol, the entire flight crew are quarantined in centralized camps when they return to Vietnam. They undergo two tests at least 72 hours in between. If the results of both tests are negative for the novel coronavirus, they are allowed to go home and self-quarantine themselves for 14 days.

However, “Patient 1342” came into contact with his mother and two friends, including a Vietnamese man working as an English teacher who came to stay with him for several days.

Fifteen days after he returned to Vietnam, on November 29, the flight attendant tested positive for the virus, and the very next day, his English teacher friend followed suit. The latter was tagged Monday as “Patient 1347.”

The teacher, a 32-year-old man living in District 6, has infected at least two others: a one-year-old nephew and a 28-year-old female student, confirmed Tuesday as patients 1349 and 1350.

At a municipal meeting held after the cabinet meeting, HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong asked related agencies to look into current regulations, especially the 2007 law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases, to handle violations by the flight attendant.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the city’s health department, said “Patient 1342” had not just violated rules of self-quarantine at home, but also at the centralized camp of Vietnam Airlines. He had intruded into the space of another flight crew and contracted the virus from another attendant who had been confirmed as “Patient 1325” on November 26.

“This demonstrates loose management of its quarantine facility by Vietnam Airlines,” Binh said.

Under the health ministry’s directions, the facility on Hong Ha Street in Tan Binh District has been suspended.


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Dong Thap flower, ornamental plant output surges



The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap is expected to increase its flower and ornamental plant output to VND4.14 trillion (US$178 million) worth this year, up three times from 2015,  according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Dong Thap flower, ornamental plant output surges
Sa Dec Flower Village in Dong Thap Province’s Sa Dec City. — VNA/VNS Photos Nguyen Van Tri 

Farmers are expected to earn VND150 – 180 million ($6,400 – 7,300) per 1,000 square metres of growing them.

Dong Thap, one of the largest producers of flowers and ornamental plants in the delta, has zoned areas for them in Sa Dec City and the districts of Lai Vung, Lap Vo and Cao Lanh.

It has developed a model under which flowers and ornamental plants are grown in combination with tourism services, and is implemented very successfully in Sa Dec, its largest flower growing area.

The city has attracted more than three million tourists in the last five years, including 170,000 foreigners.

Nguyen Phuoc Loc, who owns a 2.5ha garden in its Tan Khanh Dong Commune, grows thousands of roses of more than 130 rose varieties and offers homestay services.

Guests could see some unique flowers, enjoy speciality foods and buy Dong Thap’s speciality souvenirs, he said.

The city has many flower gardens offering homestay services.

Nguyen Phuoc Thien, director of the department, said the province’s fresh flowers could be preserved for a long time and so have become popular.

The province plans to expand the area under flowers to 2,981ha and ornamental plants to 1,169ha by 2025, focusing on new varieties, especially popular ones, though it will also focus on preserving traditional varieties, according to the department.

Flowers and ornamental plants are one of its five key agricultural products under its restructuring plan. 

Tet flowers  

Farmers in Dong Thap are growing some three million pots of flowers and ornamental plants to sell during Tet (the Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12 next year.  

The province’s High-Tech Agriculture Application Centre produced disease-free seedlings of more than 100,000 varieties to supply to farmers.  

In Sa Dec, farmers are planting more new varieties of roses, daisies, yellow ochna flowers, and others.

Tran Van Tiep, chairman of the Tôi Yêu Màu Tím Clubhouse in Sa Dec’s Tan Quy Dong Commune, hopes to sell around 30,000 pots of flowers during Tet, 80 per cent of them being new varieties.

He travelled to many places to look for flowers that could grow well in the local soil, including new varieties of daisy, stone lotus and others, he said.

“The new flowers are … growing well.”

Members of the Sa Dec City Yellow Ochna Flower Club are growing around 100 bonsai trees for Tet.

Nguyen Hoang Tuan, its chairman, said the members searched for the yellow ochna flower trees in many places, and they had been growing them for many years in unique shapes. 

Nguyen Thi Ngoc, head of the Sa Dec Economic Bureau, said local farmers had found many new varieties to sell during Tet.

To support them, the bureau had trained them in new techniques in the context of climate change, she said.

The city helped co-operatives and co-operative groups implement models that produce flowers and ornamental plants that are disease free and of high quality, she said.

Dong Thap flower, ornamental plant output surges
Chrysanthemums grown for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) in Dong Thap Province’s Sa Dec City.

It encouraged farmers to use organic fertilisers and pesticides, she said.   

“The city also helps farmers find outlets for flowers and ornamental plants.”

It has more than 2,500 varieties of flowers and ornamental plants and sells them to many provinces and cities, including HCM City.

It has nine companies and 12 co-operatives, co-operative groups and farmers’ clubhouses growing them.

It encourages farmers to expand the flowers-ornamental plants-tourism services combination.  VNS


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PM orders halt to commercial flights after new cases




The centralised quarantine site for Vietnam Airlines crew located in Ward 2, Tân Bình District is closed. VNA/ Photo

HCMC – Two more community infections of COVID-19 have been detected in HCM City, both connected to the teacher who broke Viet Nam’s three month run of no locally transmitted cases.

One is a 28-year-old woman who is a student of the patient, and the other is reported to be his 14-month old nephew.

Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long confirmed the new cases during a meeting on Tuesday.

The English teacher lives in Ward 3 of District 6 and had caught the virus from his friend, a flight attendant with Vietnam Airlines who had breached quarantine rules.

The pair of new cases both came into contact with the teacher, his student during classes he was taking and the toddler who was staying at his home.

All the new cases were confirmed positive after being taken into quarantine.

A number of other people who have come into close contact or secondary contact with the teacher have been tracked by the authorities, tested, and removed to quarantine facilities.

The teacher is a friend of a flight attendant from Vietnam Airlines who tested positive on Sunday. They came into contact when the attendant was under quarantine at a rented house.


Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Tuesday ordered clarification of responsibilities of those committing the violation.

He also ordered a temporary suspension of all commercial flights to Việt Nam. Repatriation flights will continue, but only for people in difficult situations and special cỉrcumstances. All repatriated passengers must undergo 14 days in quarantine.

The HCM City’s authorities on Tuesday closed a centralised quarantine site for Vietnam Airlines crew located in Ward 2, Tân Bình District.

All crew members being quarantined there have been moved to a different camp in Củ Chi District.

Two primary schools in District 6 were closed on Tuesday after four teachers became F1 and F2 of the community-transmitted case confirmed on Monday.

The city’s Disease Control Centre on Tuesday sent a notice asking people who went to places that Patient 1347 visited to report to local healthcare facilities and take the tests.

The places include Highlands Coffee at Vạn Hạnh Shopping Mall in District 10 from 8pm to 9pm on November 22; ICOOL karaoke bar at 120 Thành Thái Street, District 10 from 10pm to 12pm on November 23; a snail restaurant at 47 Công chúa Ngọc Hân, District 11 from 8pm to 10pm on November 25; CityGym at 119 Phổ Quang, Phú Nhuận District from 1pm to 5pm on November 18, 23, 24, 25 and 26; Key English centre at 59 Nguyễn Bá Tuyển, Tân Bình District from November 18 to 26; Key English centre at 285/24 Cách Mạng Tháng Tám, District 10 from November 18 to 27.

The city’s Disease Control Centre warned that those quarantined at home not to go out in unnecessary situations, limit contact with others and record daily activities in at least 28 days since they visited the above-mentioned places.

If there they show symptoms like fever, coughing or breathing difficulties, they must report to local healthcare facilities.

Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long warned the infection risk in Việt Nam always remained high, especially when the number of repatriation flights will increase during the holiday season.

The minister asked the national flag carrier to follow quarantine protocols at their registered sites and people’s committees of Hà Nội and HCM City where the airlines’ quarantine sites are located to supervise the process.

The minister also proposed not resuming commercial flights due to possible risks they might pose.

He said all Vietnamese nationals, even those on repatriation flights must have virus-free certificates to be qualified to enter the country.

He warned that people must continue to wear face masks, sanitise their hands, social distance, avoid crowds and fill in medical declarations.

Meanwhile, two more imported cases were detected on Tuesday evening. The men, aged 47 and 57, were both repatriated from Canada.






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