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Vietnam to tighten border controls to prevent spread of COVID-19



Vietnam will tighten border controls to prevent illegal entry as the COVID-19 pandemic is still complex across the world and in Asia.

Vietnam to tighten border controls to prevent spread of COVID-19
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam chairs a meeting of National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Thursday. VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan

Chairing a meeting of National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam asked localities to strengthen disease prevention and control measures and strictly inspect said measures ahead of and during the Tet (Lunar New Year) celebrations.

Localities nationwide were asked to communicate with families whose members have returned from abroad so the returnees can properly report their health conditions and be quarantined.

The Ministry of National Defence has assigned more staff to and supported COVID-19 checkpoints along the country’s borders. 

Police and local authorities have regularly visited families whose members are living or working aboard and told them about health monitoring and quarantine policies in case their family members return to Vietnam.

People have been told to report to authorities immediately if they come across anyone suspected of having returned from abroad without quarantining.

Hoang Minh Duc, deputy head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the health ministry, said many countries have maintained strong measures to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

Southeast Asian countries faced high risks of the pandemic’s resurgence, for example, Indonesia with more than 927,000 cases and about 27,000 deaths, the Philippines with about 506,000 cases and more than 10,000 deaths or Malaysia with some 165,000 cases and 619 deaths, he said. 

According to the World Health Organization, a new coronavirus variant detected in the UK in mid-December last year has spread to more than 50 countries and territories. Another variant of the virus in South Africa also spread to 23 countries.

Although 46 countries around the world are implementing COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, it would take time to create community immunity, according to experts at the meeting.

Meanwhile, new variants of SARS-CoV-2 were detected in various countries, increasing the infection numbers and fatalities, with 14,000-16,000 deaths reported daily in the last few days, experts noted, warning about the disease resurgence even in countries that have launched vaccination campaigns.

Duc said that in Vietnam, some quarantine areas which host foreign experts and Vietnamese people returning from abroad had violated quarantine violations, posing risks of spreading the virus.

At the meeting, the committee members agreed they would report to the Government about the desire of overseas Vietnamese people to return to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported that it was working with other ministries and agencies to complete mechanisms relating to the study, production and access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Like other countries, Vietnam will identify priority groups to get COVID-19 vaccines.

The health ministry is working with the ministries of defence and science and technology to speed up domestic vaccine trials.

The ministries of health and finance will develop mechanisms for vaccine production and supply if the vaccine trials are successful.

The committee also asked ministries and agencies to update their COVID-19 prevention and control activities, particularly at which provides real-time situations of thousands of public places across the country including schools and hospitals. VNS



Nigerian man sentenced to death for trafficking 4 kg of meth



Nigerian man sentenced to death for trafficking 4 kg of meth

Ekwegbalu James Nzube stands trial in Tay Ninh Province for drug trafficking, March 2, 2021. Photo by Vietnam News Agency.

A court in the southern Tay Ninh Province sentenced a Nigerian man to death Tuesday for trafficking nearly four kilograms of methamphetamine from Cambodia.

Ekwegbalu James Nzube, 45, said he got acquainted with another Nigerian, Jone, in China in 2014, and the latter had hired him to transport drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam.

In March he came to Ho Chi Minh City before going to Cambodia to fetch the drugs for which he was paid $2,000.

But while illegally crossing the border into Vietnam last July he was caught by border guards in Tay Ninh Province.

In his rucksack they found four plastic bags with nearly four kg of meth.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 g of heroin or over 2.5 kg of methamphetamine face death.


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HCM City to ban rudimentary vehicles after 2025



Ho Chi Minh City’s Transport Department has proposed to ban rudimentary transport vehicles in two phases by 2025.

Lý do TP.HCM muốn ‘khai tử’ xe thô sơ sau năm 2025

Accident involving a three-wheeled vehicle at Nguyen Tri Phuong roundabout, District 10 H City in 2017. Two people were injured and hospitalized.

The Department has submitted to the HCM City People’s Committee a plan to regulate traffic flows of motorized 3 wheeled and homemade 3-4 wheeled vehicles before totally banning them after 2025.

By 2022, all rudimentary vehicles will be banned in the city center within the boundaries of streets Hai Ba Trung – Ton Duc Thang – Ham Nghi – Pham Ngu Lao – Nguyen Thi Nghia – Cach Mang Thang Tam – Dien Bien Phu – Hai Ba Trung.

The vehicles will also be banned on other streets, Phan Dinh Giot (between Nguyen Van Troi to Truong Son), Truong Son (from Phan Dinh Giot to Hong Ha), Nam Ky Khoi Nghia (from Nguyen Van Troi to Dien Bien Phu), Vo Van Kiet (from Lo Gom to Ton Duc Thang) and the streets Tran Quoc Hoan, Hoang Van Thu, and Nguyen Van Troi.

The Department also proposed restricting vehicles into the city from 5am – 1pm and 4pm-10pm. The area is bordered to the North and the West by national highway 1 (from the NH1- Xa lo Hanoi intersection to NH1-Nguyen Van Linh intersection), to the East by Xa Lo Hanoi (from NH1 – Xa lo Hanoi to Cat Lai intersection), Mai Chi Tho, and Dong Van Cong (upto Vo Chi Cong), and to the South by Vo Chi Cong (from Dong Van Cong to Phu My bridge) – Phu My bridge – overhead road (from Phu My bridge to Khu A Nam Sai Gon intersection) – Nguyen Van Linh (from intersection of Khu A Nam Sai Gon to NH1).

During peak hours of 6am-8am and 4pm-7pm, they will be banned on some sections of eight routes, namely NH1, 1K, 13, 50, 22, Xa lo Hanoi, Nguyen Van Linh, and Nguyen Luong Bang.

For the phase from 2022 to 2025, the belts and routes will remain unchanged. The time restrictions will be from 5am to 10pm.

Reasons for termination

According to the Transportation Department, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has banned or restricted rudimentary motorized 3-wheelers and 3-4 wheelers into the city since 2013. But the scale was smaller and the restriction timeframe shorter than current proposals.

This elimination has improved city traffic. The maximum exclusion of these vehicles in the city center brought significant outcomes.

According to data from the HCM City Traffic Safety Committee, since 2017, there have been 39 accidents related to these vehicles. The number of accidents declined: 13 cases in 2017, 12 in 2018, and 14 for 2019 and 2020.

The Department said that violations of rudimentary vehicles have not been treated seriously and that there has not been an appropriate vehicle to replace them.

On the other hand, it is difficult to control this as the majority of commuters and drivers are low income people with low level of education and traffic awareness. And their living demands further promote vehicle usage to sell food along streets and to transport construction materials and goods.

Once charged, they leave the vehicles and run away. Hence, it is difficult to detain the drivers and move the vehicles to already overloaded warehouse. In spite of obstacles, the Department is concerned about accident risks and the city’s beauty. Therefore, an adjustment is necessary to deal with potential traffic accidents and congestion.

Under the Government’s Resolution No. 32 of 2007, many vehicles, including homemade 3-4 wheeled ones, have been suspended since 2008. The vehicle owners have been helped with vehicle replacement and job change.

Since then, HCM City has collected and destroyed nearly 29,000 homemade 3-4 wheeled vehicles and spent nearly 160 billion dong to support affected people. However, there remain about 30,000 vehicles left.

Tuan Kiet


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Women enlisting in the army



Like other localities around the country, Ho Chi Minh City is ready for military enlistments in 2021. This year it has nearly 4,000 citizens in military service, including two women.

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Contrary to common belief that women don’t want to join the army or take on military service, Nguyen Dao Thuy Vy has a strong desire to join the army that surprises many.

Having recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the HCM City Academy of Personnel, Thuy Vy could have opted for a suitable job in the field but at the age of 24 wants to serve in the army. As her mother used to be a soldier, Thuy Vy hopes to follow in her footsteps.

Nearly 4,000 young people in Ho Chi Minh City are ready to serve the country. Among the ranks of these excellent young people are impressive women who are eager to dedicate their youth and experience to building a more prosperous country./.VNA


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