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Vietnamese man assaulted after bashing new attraction in Da Lat

A man has been attacked by strangers at a coffee shop in Da Lat, a popular tourist destination in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, after criticizing a new attraction in the resort city on his Facebook account.

Do Khoi Nguyen, 34, was assaulted by a group of four men at a coffee shop near his house in Ward 2, Da Lat City on Saturday afternoon, police confirmed on Monday.

Nguyen was hospitalized with soft-tissue injuries following the incident.

One of the attackers was later identified as Pham Duc Vuong, an employee of Lien Minh Group.

Lien Minh Group is the developer of a brand new and rather controversial attraction in Da Lat – the Quy Nui-Suoi Ma (Mountain Demon-Ghost Stream) tourist area.

The venue is designed with a dark theme and features various types of demons, monsters, and other horrific creatures.

In this screenshot, photos of the Quy Nui-Suoi Ma tourist attraction are posted to the Facebook account of Do Khoi Nguyen. 

In this screenshot are photos of the Quy Nui-Suoi Ma tourist attraction posted to the Facebook account of Do Khoi Nguyen. 

Nguyen said he had posted two photos of the demon statues at the tourist area to his Facebook account last week, along with a negative caption.

The men also mentioned Ngo Quang Phuc, chairman of Lien Minh Group’s management board, in his post.

Shortly after the status was uploaded, Vuong contacted Nguyen and came to his workplace, demanding that the post be removed.

When Nguyen agreed to delete the photos, Vuong invited him to a nearby coffee shop.

Vuong and three other men who were already there then required Nguyen to make an on-camera apology.

Nguyen refused and ended up being attacked by the men.

Do Khoi Nguyen suffers an injured face after being attacked at a coffee shop in Da Lat City, Vietnam, July 11, 2020. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

Do Khoi Nguyen suffers an injured face after being attacked at a coffee shop in Da Lat City, Vietnam, July 11, 2020. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

A representative of Lien Minh Group has confirmed that Vuong is a probationary employee of the firm who is in charge of teaching martial arts at a subsidiary of the group that provides security and bodyguard services.

The representative asserted that Lien Minh did not ask Vuong or any of its employees to contact or attack Nguyen.

“We have been working with police officers to verify the case and asked Vuong to apologize to the victim,” said Vo Thi Khiet, vice-chairwoman of Lien Minh Group.

Meanwhile, Ngo Quang Phuc, Lien Minh’s chairman, stated that Vuong has been dismissed following the incident.

“We would never do such a thing. It would surely damage our credibility,” Phuc said.

“However, we will take responsibility for Vuong’s action as he was our employee, and make sure Nguyen will be protected from other potential harm.”

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Singaporean man sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Vietnam

A court in southern Vietnam on Friday handed a Singaporean man the death sentence for trafficking nearly ten kilograms of methamphetamine from Cambodia to Vietnam.

The People’s Court of Tay Ninh Province in southern Vietnam on Friday handed down the sentence to Cher Wei Hon, 40, on the charge of illegal drug trafficking.

In July last year, border guards inspected a ride-hail car that was carrying the foreign man on a National Highway 22 section near Moc Bai, an international border gate between Vietnam and Cambodia located in Tay Ninh Province.

As they scrutinized the man’s luggage, officers found ten plastic bags containing a white crystal, according to the indictment.

Cher confessed to the law enforcement officers that the bags contain methamphetamine, a white crystalline recreational drug that is illegal in Vietnam.

The man said he had known a Vietnamese woman, identified as Quynh, in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh from whom he borrowed VND200 million (US$8,600) but was unable to pay back the debt.

Consequently, Quynh demanded the man carry mobile phones, iPads and drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam to write off his debt on a gradual basis.

With each successful shipment, she would slash the debt by US$500-1,000.

The man admitted he had trafficked drugs between the two countries around five times by the time of his arrest.

Late last month, the same court sentenced a 27-year-old Cambodian woman to death for trafficking around five kilograms of methamphetamine over the border from Cambodia.

If the shipment had been successful, she would have received $100.

Vietnam adopts a harsh stance against drug violators. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine could face capital punishment.

Manufacturing or selling from 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics are also punishable by death.

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Returnees from Da Nang can go to work after quarantine without COVID-19 testing: HCDC

Ho Chi Minh City residents who recently returned from the central city of Da Nang, Vietnam’s current COVID-19 outbreak epicenter, can get back to work after finishing the required 14-day quarantine regardless of their COVID-19 testing status, the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Diseases Control (HCDC) has said.

Those who have finished the government-mandated quarantine period and exhibit no disease symptoms are eligible to return to their offices, even if they have not been sampled for COVID-19 testing or have been sampled with results still pending, according to an HCDC announcement.

However, these people must strictly take preventive measures, including wearing a face mask when leaving their house or at work, not going to crowded places, not staying in close contact with other people, washing their hands regularly, and self-monitoring their health condition.

In addition, they must keep a detailed record of their whereabouts from the date of leaving Da Nang until their test results are available.

As of Friday afternoon, as many as 13,000 people in Ho Chi Minh City who had returned from Da Nang from July 1 have yet to be sampled for COVID-19 testing, while 3,000 samples have not been tested, HCDC reported.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has requested competent district-level agencies to finish sampling all the remaining returnees from Da Nang by Sunday, August 9, and release test results by August 11.

Currently, Ho Chi Minh City has 13 institutions, including eight hospitals, authorized by the Ministry of Health to perform the COVID-19 confirmation test.

Eight more hospitals are capable of conducting conclusive COVID-19 testing and pending health ministry authorization.

The southern metropolis has reported eight COVID-19 cases since July 25, when Vietnam’s first locally-transmitted infection after 99 days was detected in Da Nang.

The central city has since logged 235 infections and seven fatalities.

Nationwide, Vietnam has logged a total of 789 COVID-19 cases, of which 395 have made a full recovery and ten, with underlying conditions, have died.


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Vietnam PM says risk of COVID-19 community spread ‘very high’

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Friday warned of a “very high” risk of COVID-19 community transmission as he urged national determination, solidarity and responsibility over the next two weeks to stamp out the current outbreak.

The risk of the disease spreading widely in the community in Vietnam remains “very high” for at least the next two weeks, the prime minister said while presiding over a virtual meeting on COVID-19 response on Friday morning.

The number of community-transmitted cases in Vietnam has risen by 333 since July 25, when the detection of a 57-year-old male patient in the central city of Da Nang ended the country’s streak of 99 days with no local infection.

The government chief thus ordered authorities to take greater responsibility and more drastic efforts to contain the pandemic, especially in outbreak hotspots.

Greater determination, solidarity and responsibility from the “entire political system” is needed, he stressed.

Provincial and municipal leaders are permitted to decide on specific measures in order to promptly and effectively minimize infection rates while medical facilities must stay vigilant to prevent the emergence of new COVID-19 outbreaks.

Social distancing must be strictly implemented in all COVID-19 hotbeds and fast and precise testing is the key to contain the spread of the virus, Phuc emphasized.

Phuc also stressed the need to wear a face mask at public places and in big cities, manufacture ventilators, and stay prepared to set up field hospitals in such localities like Quang Nam Province and Da Nang, which are the hardest hit by the current COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam.

Speaking at Friday meeting, acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long reported that the number of people having installed the contact-tracing app Bluezone, which was domestically developed to track down people having close contact with COVID-19 patients, has shot up recently, especially in Da Nang, Quang Nam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and northern Quang Ninh Province.

Over 8.5 million people have installed the app as of Thursday, August 6. The Ministry of Health said the app needs at least 50 million active users to have a meaningful impact on contact tracing.

Notably, 21 cases of people with direct and indirect contact with COVID-19 patients have been traced through the app, Long said.

Vietnam has recorded 789 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday morning, with 395 recoveries and ten deaths.

More than 166,000 people are quarantined nationwide at hospitals, accommodation facilities or at their homes.


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