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Vietnamese courts to shift to online trials amid COVID-19

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Court trials in Vietnam will be shifted to the virtual mode during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a draft regulation of the country’s supreme judicial agency.

This is not only a necessary step but also a general tendency worldwide, said the Supreme People’s Court in its draft rule on online trials.

Accordingly, a lawsuit will be judged at the court with the participation of a trial panel, procuracy representatives, lawyers and others, who must comply with epidemic prevention measures including keeping safe distances among them.

Meanwhile, defendants are not brought to the court, but are arranged to sit in a designated room in the prison to stand the trial as per normal proceedings.

Virtual trials will be applied to civil, administrative, marriage, and family cases with simple details and sufficient evidence. 

Regarding criminal cases, first instance trials will be conducted virtually for cases at less serious, serious, and very serious levels with clear proof.

Online appellate sessions will be held for cases at the three said levels, in which the appealers ask for commutation, suspended sentences, non-custodial rehabilitation, or increases of compensation, save for suits where the appealers claim themselves innocent or request their cases to be further investigated or clarified.   

As for cases in which defendants have committed particularly serious crimes, the online model is not applicable, the draft rule said.

In addition, courts will not perform virtual adjudication for cases in which the involved parties or assets are in foreign countries, proceedings that need the presence of interpreters and national security-related offenders, or trials of sexual abuse of minors, among others.

The draft regulations also set forth necessary procedures for bringing cases to online trials.

Nguyen Thanh Vinh, chief justice of the People’s Court of Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City, said the agency proposed the virtual court model to the Supreme People’s Court in May, after he had learned about the application of the trial mode in other countries.

“It can speed up the settlement of unheard cases while ensuring epidemic prevention and control measures,” Vinh said.

“In addition, it is a cost-saving solution.”

The proposal was made in the context that the court has failed to try around 500 cases every month due to the epidemic, the chief justice said.

The top court, after considering the Thu Duc court’s proposal for its consistency with its similar scheme, has prepared the draft regulation on online adjudication for a number of criminal, civil, and administrative cases, Vinh said.

Many countries around the world have applied the virtual model effectively, said lawyer Phan Trung Hoai from the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association.

They have successfully set up e-courts and digitized case files, case management, and a legal database, Hoai added.

The shift from physical to virtual trials is necessary, but the new model must ensure the basic principles and procedures specified in the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code, including those relating to the protection of human rights as well as the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals, the lawyer said.

At a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform on August 26, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized that organizing online trials is an inevitable and necessary trend amid the rapid development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210914/vietnamese-courts-to-shift-to-online-trials-amid-covid19/63084.html

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People enjoy outdoor exercise in Ho Chi Minh City’s low-risk district

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Residents of two wards in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City took part in physical activities at local parks for the first time in months on Tuesday afternoon as local authorities began piloting another step to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

The People’s Committee of District 7 held a ceremony to launch a trial of the resumption of physical training and sports facilities on Tuesday afternoon, following the announcement of the scheme a day earlier.

The new regulation took effect immediately for people living in the district’s Tan Phong and Tan Phu Wards, home to a large expat community, before being applied to all wards.

Residents of those two wards are allowed to walk and exercise in two parks — Canh Doi on N-Nam Street and the S area of Nam Vien Park — and five tennis courts for a ten-day period until September 30.

The time frame for outdoor exercises is regulated at 6:00 am – 8:00 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, while only those that have completed two doses of COVID-19 vaccine or recovered from the disease within the past six months are permitted to work out.

They must reside in a green zone as shown in the city’s COVID-19 map bando.tphcm.gov.vn and register with ward authorities for permission.

Everyone must wear face masks and keep a distance of two meters from one another while the number of people is limited at the scale of one person per ten square meters.

People go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

People go for a walk on a footbridge at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

If the trial phase goes smoothly, from October 1 onward, outdoor exercise and sports activities would be expanded to all ten wards of District 7.

Indoor sports clubs, football fields, stadiums, and all parks equipped with workout equipment are expected to resume operation in this period.

In this phase, those having one COVID-19 shot would be allowed to exercise while wearing a mask would be mandatory.

A woman goes for a walk with her baby at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

A woman goes for a walk with her baby on a footbridge at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

The epicenter of Vietnam’s fourth COVID-19 wave that emerged in late April, with 348,220 community transmissions, Ho Chi Minh City has gone through various levels of social distancing since June.

Tuesday afternoon is the first time people in District 7 have stepped out of their homes for outdoor exercises since July 9 as the city’s dwellers have been requested not to make unnecessary travels.

The district’s authorities have gradually loosened COVID-19 restrictions after declaring its control over the coronavirus pandemic.

“I feel excited to go for a walk in the park as I’ve never stayed home for so long,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh, a resident of Tan Phong Ward.

People go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

People go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

A man goes for a walk with his son at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

A man goes for a walk with his son at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

People go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

People go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

People are granted permits to go for walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

People are granted permits to go for walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

An officer patrols as people go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

An officer patrols as people go for a walk at a park in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, September 21, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tien Phong

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210922/people-enjoy-outdoor-exercise-in-ho-chi-minh-citys-lowrisk-district/63218.html

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Storm Dianmu weakens into tropical depression after hitting central Vietnam

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Storm Dianmu weakens into tropical depression after hitting central Vietnam

Storm Dianmu has damaged a house in Binh Dong Commune, Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province, September 23, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh


Two hours after making landfall on Thua Thien Hue and Quang Ngai provinces early Friday, Dianmu has weakened into a depression.

The storm entered the central strip of Vietnam around 4 a.m. Friday.

According to the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the depression that used to be the storm now lies at the Vietnam-Laos border area, with its strongest wind speed at 40 kph.

No human casualties have been reported so far.

Within Friday, it will move in the west-northwest direction at a speed of 15-20 kph.

Under the storm’s influence, provinces along the central strip from Quang Tri to Binh Dinh had received rainfall of 100-200 millimeters and up to 350 millimeters in several places from 7 a.m. on Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday.

Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum and Gia Lai received rainfall of 80-150 mm and more than 150 mm at some places.

Provinces of Ha Tinh to Thua Thien Hue should expect rainfall of 80-150 mm or higher within Friday.

Dinanmu is the sixth storm that has entered the East Sea so far this year.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/storm-dianmu-weakens-into-tropical-depression-after-hitting-central-vietnam-4361287.html

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Over 67% of Covid-19 patients at HCM City Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital need psychological support

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According to a survey by the Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital in HCM City, up to 67% of patients said they wanted to have psychological counseling.

Hơn 67% F0 ở Bệnh viện Hồi sức Covid-19 muốn được hỗ trợ tâm lý
Psychologist Tri Thi Minh Thuy talks with a severe Covid-19 patient who has recovered from the disease and is about to be discharged from the hospital. Photo: Cho Ray Hospital.

According to the survey, 20% of the patients suffered depression, 53.3% with anxiety disorder, and 16.7% with stress.

In particular, up to 66.7% patients who needed High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) suffered from depression. Similarly, 66.7% patients who had to breathe oxygen through a mask or mechanical ventilator suffered from anxiety disorder.

As many as 67% of patients wanted psychological counseling during treatment and after being discharged from the hospital.

The hospital has invited psychologist Tri Thi Minh Thuy from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City, to survey and provide psychological treatment support for patients at the hospital.

“When they go to the hospital for Covid-19 treatment, patients have to be away from their families and fight the virus alone to survive so it’s easy to cause sadness and loss of appetite,” said Dr. Thuy.

“Seeing me, many patients remained still. I said if you agree to talk to me, please give me a sign. They understood what I was saying but did not do anything. I had to help them eat and drink, talk to them, give them a massage, then they began to open their hearts,” she said.

After getting into contact with many severely ill Covid-19 patients, Dr. Thuy concluded that they suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, or depression. This is why they need a psychologist.

Tu Anh

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/over-67-of-covid-19-patients-at-hcm-city-covid-19-resuscitation-hospital-need-psychological-support-776618.html

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