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Vietnam’s border patrol keeps guard up against inbound COVID-19 risk

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Due to the complicated developments of the COVID-19 epidemic in neighboring countries, provinces along Vietnam’s border are strengthening security measures to deter all illegal entries.

An Giang Province says no plan to open border for Vietnamese-Cambodians

The government of the southern province of An Giang has sent a written notice to relevant agencies and local-level authorities, elaborating that the province has no plan to accept Vietnamese-Cambodians through the border at the moment, Le Van Phuoc, the deputy leader of the province said on Monday. 

“The People’s Committee ordered the provincial Border Guard Command to cooperate with the military and public security forces as well as other relevant agencies to uphold strict control measures on all paths to prevent illegal entrances,” Phuoc said.

“Anyone who let border jumpers slip through must take full responsibility before the chairperson of the People’s Committee.”

Dong Thap keeps eye on road, marine traffic

In the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, Doan Tan Buu, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, attended a quick briefing on the pandemic developments with representatives of relevant agencies on Monday morning. 

On the afternoon of the same day, the provincial authorities held an online meeting with administrations of districts and cities along the border with Cambodia, including Hong Ngu City, Hong Ngu District, and Tan Hong District, to announce the province’s orientation on boosting medical checkups and entrance monitoring in the border areas.

Accordingly, medical units at the border guard stations are required to maintain strict medical checkup procedures, while border control and public security forces are ordered to stick to control missions as well as regular patrol sessions over roads and waterways.

On top of that, propaganda and communication efforts should be strengthened to promote the reporting of illegal entrances and prevent border crossing among local residents. 

According to Buu, selected cases of Vietnamese-Cambodians who are experts, engineers or civil servants will be allowed to enter Vietnam.

“As the pandemic is still exhibiting complicated developments, instances of border crossing should be reduced to a minimum. Vietnamese people [from Cambodia] would be encouraged to return to Cambodia. The province would assist their return with portions of food and fuel,” Buu said.

Long An launches comprehensive measures

The People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Long An has organized an online conference on COVID-19 prevention measures in the locale. 

Actions put forward in the meeting included mandatory mask wearing, regular hand washing, and body temperature checks in crowded places and on public transport. 

Medical facilities are required to uphold strict scanning, categorizing, and quarantining for patients to prevent potential COVID-19 spread on the premises.

Besides, the reinforcement of patrols on border crossing paths and background checks of guests at local hotels are also advised.

Ha Giang, Lai Chau intensify border control

Colonel Luu Duc Hung, a high-ranking border guard officer in the northern province of Ha Giang, pointed to the complicated task they are undertaking as the province shares 280 kilometers of border with China.

This means the province faces a high risk of imported COVID-19 cases from the other side of the boundary.

According to Major Ta Tan Hoang, head of the border guard post in Ha Giang’s Xin Cai Commune, entrants from China are rising as the year-end season is approaching.

“We normally see 10-15 illegal entrants through open routes per day, but the number has soared since last week. There are days where we have caught and quarantined as many as 40 illegal entrants,” he said.

Predicting the number of entrants from China to rise in the year-end season, provincial border guards have taken preemptive measures by mobilizing manpower to assist border posts in the locale. 

The province also set up new control units, bringing the total number to 63 control posts and 17 mobile patrol cohorts.

Meanwhile, border posts of the fellow northern province of Lai Chau are working with commune-level authorities, local guards, and police to reinforce patrol duties along the border, said Lieutenant Colonel Le Cong Thanh from the Lai Chau Military Command. 

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20201202/vietnams-border-patrol-keeps-guard-up-against-inbound-covid19-risk/58064.html

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Rescue operation underway for seven fishermen missing near Con Dao

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A file photo of the rescue vessels. A rescue team is searching for seven fishermen who went missing after their boat sank in the waters off Con Dao Island on January 18 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – A search and rescue operation is being conducted to look for seven fishermen who went missing after their boat sank in the waters off Con Dao Island in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province on January 18.

Fishing boat BT 93998 TS from the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre with 13 people on board sank after being hit by high waves. At the time of the incident, the boat was on the way to the mainland and was some 50 nautical miles off the island, said the Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center Region 3 on January 19.

Six fishermen were rescued by fishing boats in the area. Rescue forces are searching for the seven others.

However, the rescue efforts were challenging due to high waves measuring 5-6 meters and strong winds gusting at level 9.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/80254/rescue-operation-underway-for-seven-fishermen-missing-near-con-dao.html

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Users lost over $1bn to computer viruses in Vietnam in 2020: report

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Users in Vietnam had more than US$1 billion stolen by computer viruses in 2020, when cyberattacks hit tens of thousands of people, according to a report by a local tech firm.

Those figures were included in a cybersecurity assessment report conducted in December 2020 and unveiled on Tuesday by Vietnamese security software and electronics company Bkav.  

Computer viruses caused VND23.9 trillion ($1.03 billion) in losses to users in Vietnam last year, according to the report.

Hackers stole hundreds of billions of dong, mostly via cyberattacks aimed at compromising one-time passwords in Internet banking. (VND100 billion = $4.3 million)

They duped users into installing spyware on their smartphones to steal the OTP needed for transferring money between bank accounts.

Bkav said it had detected over 15,000 instances of spyware installed on smartphones a month.

The VN84App, a piece of OTP collection spyware, infected thousands of smartphones in Vietnam last year, the company pointed out.  

Experts advised that users should only download apps from official stores while equipping their phones with security software to secure their banking.

Many major e-commerce websites and delivery platforms were compromised and had their data stolen last year, according to Bkav.

The firm warned users against clicking on dubious apps on social media as this could lead to their personal information stolen for wrongful use.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210119/users-lost-over-1bn-to-computer-viruses-in-vietnam-in-2020-report/58879.html

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Vietnam considers shutting down polluting facilities to improve air quality

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Vietnam considers shutting down polluting facilities to improve air quality

A coal-fired power plant in Thai Binh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered state agencies to monitor factory emissions and clamp down on those found to exceed dangerous levels.

Phuc called on provincial and urban authorities to immediately review and evaluate industrial plant, transport and construction emissions.

He asked law enforcement agencies to suspend operations negatively impacting the environment.

The directive mentioned the worsening air quality in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other localities, affecting socio-economic development and public health. It blamed the low air quality on large-scale construction, emissions from a large number of private vehicles, and intensive industrial activity.

It also said green urban space and water supply remains subpar, with enforcement, implementation and synchronization of air pollution controls a serious dilemma.

Natural Resources and Environment departments were urged to assist production facilities in installing automatic emission monitors, with all collected data evaluated on a daily basis.

Le Vu Tuan Anh, chief inspector of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said Vietnam Environment Administration will be implementing an inspection program of major emission sources around Hanoi should the proposal be approved.

Research conducted by Vietnamese experts showed the nation suffered between $10.8- $13.2 billion worth of economic losses associated with ambient air pollution each year, equivalent to about 5 percent of the country’s GDP.

Vietnam ranked fourth in the number of pollution-linked deaths in the Western Pacific, with an estimated 71,365 Vietnamese people losing their lives to pollution, including 50,232 to air pollution, in 2017, the latest year for which data was available, according to the Pollution and Health Metrics report by Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.

Research conducted by Vietnamese experts showed the nation suffered between $10.8- $13.2 billion worth of economic losses associated with ambient air pollution each year, equivalent to about 5 percent of the country’s GDP.

Vietnam ranked fourth in the number of pollution-linked deaths in the Western Pacific, with an estimated 71,365 Vietnamese people losing their lives to pollution, including 50,232 to air pollution, in 2017, the latest year for which data was available, according to the Pollution and Health Metrics report by Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.

Vietnam ranked fourth in the number of pollution-linked deaths in the Western Pacific, with an estimated 71,365 Vietnamese people losing their lives to pollution, including 50,232 to air pollution, in 2017, the latest year for which data was available, according to the Pollution and Health Metrics report by Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnam-considers-shutting-down-polluting-facilities-to-improve-air-quality-4223682.html

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