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Vietnam to use technology to trace SARS-CoV-2 quickly, effectively

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Instead of using the Bluezone app only as a supporting measure, local authorities have been advised to use the app as a major solution to trace sources of infection.

Vietnam to use technology to trace SARS-CoV-2 quickly, effectively

When Covid-19 broke out in some localities, the Prime Minister asked the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control, ministries and branches, and provincial and municipal authorities to implement urgent measures to prevent and fight Covid-19, especially in epidemic stricken areas.

He said it was necessary to ask people to install the Bluezone app on their phones and follow the 5K principle – Khau trang (face mask)- Khu khuan (disinfection) – Khoang cach (distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (health declaration).

The Government has emphasized the need to apply technology to effectively fight Covid-19.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has applied many informational measures to persuade agencies and units to use Bluezone in the fight against Covid-19, saying that the app, together with other medical declaration apps available in Vietnam, will form an ecosystem that helps to effectively trace the origins of infection.

To date, one year after the first Covid-19 outbreak in China, technology of tracing suspected infections remains the most effective measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

According to MIC’s Authority of Information Technology Application, as of mid-February this year, there had been more than 29 million installations of Bluezone. The number has increased by 5.5 million compared with late January, the time when a Covid-19 community-transmitted resurgence occurred.

Vietnam had not reported any Covid-19 case for around two months until the third outbreak. As a result, many Bluezone users uninstalled the app as they thought they no longer needed it.

However, as Covid-19 has reoccurred, it is urgent to re-install the app, because it quickly and effectively traces suspected Covid-19 cases.

Bluezone has helped trace thousands of suspected infection cases. Experts estimate that Bluezone will offer the highest possible effect if 60 percent of Vietnamese adults use it. They think that it is necessary to require people to install and use Bluezone as a compulsory app at this time to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In some localities, people think Bluezone is only a supporting measure to help trace suspected cases that is used together with traditional measures.

Agencies have complained that they are facing difficulties in tracing sources of infection as many patients remain uncooperative.

The reliance on traditional traceability measures not only causes a lot of efforts, money and time, but also creates holes in management, thus increasing the risk of the spread of the virus.

Experts believe that instead of using Bluezone as only a supportive measure, it should be used as a major solution. 

Trong Dat

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/vietnam-to-use-technology-to-trace-sars-cov-2-quickly-effectively-714671.html

Sci-tech-environment

Char coal stoves must be eliminated

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 Lê Thanh Thuỷ, head of the Bureau for Project Management and Communication under the Hà Nội Department of Natural Resources and Environment talks to the newspaper Tài Nguyên và Môi trường (Natural Resources and Environment) on Hà Nội’s determination to end the use of charcoal stoves

Do you think that by the year 2021 Hà Nội will be able to eliminate the use of charcoal stoves?

According to the latest report from all 30 districts, precincts and towns in Hà Nội, by late December 2020, almost 500,000 charcoal stoves in both the inner city and districts had been eliminated – a decrease of some 91.61 per cent.

According to our plan, by late 2021, charcoal stoves will be totally eliminated in the city. The Hà Nội Department of  Natural Resources and Environment has worked closely with all People’s Committees in the city and concerned agencies to make sure the plan will be successfully implemented.

To achieve this goal, we have launched a communication campaign to ask people to switch to other cooking means. We are confident that our goal will be achieved in accordance with the plan.

What about poor households which are not able to use other cooking means instead of charcoal stoves?

In 2018, the Hà Nội Department of Environmental Protection worked with the Netherland Development Agency to look for new stoves meeting Vietnamese national standards to replace the old stoves – the new stove is coded CCBM and it has met the three criteria laid down by the Viêtnamse authorities – i.e friendly to the environment with fewer fumes released during the cooking, energy-saving and safety.

What’s more important is that the cooking materials are all by-products of farming like rice husk, sawdust and others.

However, the use of sawdust has caused environmental problems, so the Hà Nội Department of Natural Resources and Environment has worked closely with other agencies to look for new cooking materials which are more friendly to the environment instead of sawdust.

By now five districts and precincts in Hà Nội have given up using the coal-fired stoves. Hopefully in the years to come Hà Nội will achieve the target set by the city authorities to eliminate the use of coal-fired stoves.

Do Hà Nội authorities have any plan to eliminate the use of coal-fired stoves in the near future?

Under Decree No.155/2016.NĐ-CP which was issued on November 18, 2016, anyone who has violated the Law on Environment by discharge contaminated air to the environment – including the fumes discharged from coal stove – will be fined.

However, that is only what has been written in the law and the coal stoves used by many households in both rural and poor urban areas are still rampant. This is a big challenge for the Hà Nội authorities. Yet, in the near future, the Hà Nội authorities will come up with a stronger legal document to penalise the activities of any organisation or people who produce the coal fire stoves to sell in the market for profits. 

 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/environment/891377/char-coal-stoves-must-be-eliminated.html

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Vietnamese-made video conferencing platforms not popular in home market, Zoom dominates

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Launched at a time when demand is very high, Vietnam’s video conferencing software products still cannot compete with foreign products in the home market.

Vietnamese-made video conferencing platforms not popular in home market, Zoom dominates

Teachers and students have become used to video conferencing software, but they still face problems during study. Students complain they sometimes are thrown out of class because of unstable internet connections.

Most schools still use Zoom for online teaching, though experts have warned of security problems and limitations in free versions.

Many online conferencing solutions have been developed by Vietnamese firms, including Zavi by VNG, CoMeet by CMC TS, NetNam, iWay, FDS and DQN, and TranS by Nam Viet.

CoMeet is a made-in-Vietnam software product with no interruption during conferences thanks to 100 percent use of domestic bandwidth with high customization features, tailored to every business.

However, despite the appearance of a series of Vietnam’s video conferencing platforms, many schools and businesses still use Zoom, while others prefer Microsoft Teams or Google Meet to Vietnamese products.

The Zoom app ranks No 1 among the free apps on Play Store and App Store. Google Meet ranks second.

Zoom remains the top choice, though Vietnam’s software products have outstanding features, high competitiveness and provide support in the Vietnamese language.

Zoom faced criticism when it was found leaking personal information of hundreds of thousand of users, transferring data to Facebook. It has been prohibited by the US and UK government agencies because of security vulnerabilities.

However, Zoom has been growing steadily with a record number of 300 million users daily compared with 10 million users before the pandemic.

Explaining this, experts said other software products either have too many barriers or are too difficult to use and are less known than Zoom.

For individual users, there are problems even more concerning than the security problem. The troubles students most complain about are the low-quality sound, blurred images and network lag. It is difficult to find out if these are caused by the computer/smartphone configuration, app/software or the transmission line.

As for businesses, if a company decides not to use Zoom, it has to persuade its partners not to use Zoom as well and re-install machines that serve video conferences.

Nguyen Hong Phuc, a security expert in HCM City, said that is why his firm still uses Skype when working with foreign partners.

Foreign platforms are still preferred in Vietnam thanks to certain advantages, including the high number of features integrated in platforms and the large ecosystem. 

Phuong Nguyen

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/vietnamese-made-video-conferencing-platforms-not-popular-in-home-market-zoom-dominates-716385.html

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Made-in-Vietnam satellite to be launched into orbit this September

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Development of NanoDragon, a micro satellite developed by a team of Vietnamese engineers, has been fully completed and the device is set to be sent to Japan to undergo quality control before being launched into orbit in September.

Made-in-Vietnam satellite to be launched into orbit this September

VNSC engineers and their NanoDragon micro satellite. (Photo; VNSC)

Dr. Le Xuan Huy, deputy director general of the Vietnam National Space Centre (VNSC), says the satellite, which weighs approximately four kg, has been completely researched and manufactured by VNSC engineers. Indeed, local workers have completed the project through its design phase to its installation, including the mechanical structure and power distribution circuit.

In the near future, NanoDragon will be sent to Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology in order to undergo further tests in a simulating environment. Following the completion of these tests, the satellite is due to be returned to Vietnam before being launched by the Japanese Epsilon missile in September.

Dr. Huy notes that the micro satellite is anticipated to operate in solar synchronous orbit (SSO) at an altitude of roughly 520 km. Its main task will be to integrate an Automatic Identification System (AIS) used for the purpose of tracking and monitoring vessels at sea. In addition, it will make use of an optical imaging device in order to verify the quality of the satellite posture controller while operating in orbit.

At present, engineers from the VNSC are putting the finishing touches to installing the ground station which will operate the satellite following its launch.

The VNSC is a pioneer agency in the country that researches and develops modern space technologies that aim to support economic development and environmental protection locally.

In addition to NanoDragon, it previously researched and manufactured the PicoDragon satellite which weighs one kg, along with the MicroDragon satellite which weighs 50kg, both of which proved to be highly-successful projects.

Vietnam is one of the countries in the world to be most affected by global warming and climate change. Space services and technologies will help the nation to gain a better understanding of climate change whilst supporting the process of monitoring and prevention of natural disasters, thereby contributing to mitigating their consequences.

VOV

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/made-in-vietnam-satellite-to-be-launched-into-orbit-this-september-716775.html

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