VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)

New UK coronavirus variant extremely worrisome: Health Minister

Given the detection of the new UK variant of the coronavirus, the Health Ministry has ordered greater efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam till the end of the year, to ensure local residents can enjoy the upcoming Lunar New Year or Tet, said Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at a virtual meeting today, December 23.

The new coronavirus strain, which has been detected in the UK, has triggered concern among scientists and the public over the effectiveness of a Covid-19 vaccine. The new variant prompted more countries to impose lockdowns and suspend flights and entry from the UK. Vietnam is closely monitoring the new variant of the virus, Minister Long said.

According to experts, the new variant could be 70% more transmissible than the previous variants of the virus. During the outbreak of the disease in Danang this July, a new variant was found to increase the transmissibility but it was not like this variant, he added.

The Health Ministry had asked medical centers nationwide to step up efforts to decipher the virus in the specimens of Covid-19 patients returning from Europe or countries that have identified the new variant to figure out how transmissible it is and how it can enter Vietnam, according to the minister.

Up to now, although Vietnam has yet to identify the new variant, the entire country must stay alert to the development of the disease, Long stressed.

Local authorities must tighten control over individuals who enter the country legally or illegally, as the disease could emerge more complicated by the end of the year.

As of December 22, Vietnam’s Covid-19 tally had reached 1,414 cases, with 754 imported cases, 660 locally-transmitted cases and 35 deaths. The country has not reported any fresh case via community transmission for 20 consecutive days.

Second airport in capital city added to Hanoi's draft planning

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)
Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) announced it has included a project to develop a second airport in the capital city of Hà Nội in its draft planning on the national system of airports.

Along with the Hà Nội airport project, the authority also added the Cao Bằng airport project in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bằng. The projects will not be executed in the 2020-2030 period but before 2050.

A CAAV representative said on Sunday the authority had completed the draft planning.

CAAV has yet to determine the location of the airport in Hà Nội and has asked the city to propose a location after 2040. Earlier, the municipal Department of Zoning and Architecture proposed building the airport in Ứng Hòa District.

Under the draft planning, Việt Nam will have 26 airports by 2030 instead of 28 as stated in the current plan. The Na San airport project in Sơn La Province and the Lai Châu airport project in Lai Châu Province will be postponed until after 2030.

The draft planning does not include the Hà Tĩnh and Thanh Sơn airport projects as proposed earlier by Hà Tĩnh and Ninh Thuận provinces.

The CAAV also plans to upgrade and expand some airports. Specifically, Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội will have three runways by 2030. By 2050, it will have four runways and three new terminals to increase the airport’s annual capacity to 100 million passengers.

In addition, the first phase of the Long Thành International Airport project in Đồng Nai Province was expected to be completed in 2025. It will have four runways and one more terminal to serve 120 million passengers by 2050.

The Đà Nẵng International Airport in Đà Nẵng was planned to be expanded to have three runways to reach a capacity of 40 million passengers per year by 2050.

By 2050, the Thọ Xuân Airport in Thanh Hóa Province will have two runways to annually serve 10 million passengers.

The CAAV estimated the total investment for the projects at some VNĐ365.1 trillion in 2020-2030 and VNĐ866.36 trillion in 2030-2050.

At present, the country is home to 22 airports.

Football: National squad beat U22 team 3-2 in friendly

The national team came from behind to beat the Vietnamese U22 squad 3-2 in a friendly match at Cam Pha Stadium in Quang Ninh Province on December 23, as part of their ongoing year-end training camps.

With the purpose of testing players, head coach Park Hang-seo arranged new faces in the national team’s starting line-up, including veterans Bui Tan Truong (goalkeeper) and Nguyen Van Quyet (striker).

Meanwhile, the U22 side, with youth power and the desire to show their ability, started the match confidently and performed better than their seniors in the opening minutes.

They suddenly went ahead in the 21st minute with Tran Van Dat finding the back of the net after a delightful through ball by Huu Thang. 

However, the U22 team’s joy was short-lived as, just five minutes later, Van Quyet levelled the score with a close-range shot in a left-wing counterattack, following a volley from Duc Chinh which was stopped by goalie Van Toan.

With substitutions made on both sides, the second half took place more vibrantly with three goals scored. In the 52nd minute, Van Viet committed a foul in the box handing Vietnam U22s a penalty. From the spot, Huu Thang beat goalkeeper Tan Truong to restore their advantage. 

The national team needed another five minutes to equalise for the second time, with Xuan Truong earning and successfully converting a penalty.

In the 78th minute, Xuan Manh chipped a clever through ball for Duc Chinh to slot in from close range to seal a 3-2 victory for the national squad.

Concluding the match, head coach Park Hang-seo praised the U22 players’ performance, hoping to see their greater progress during the upcoming December 27 rematch with their seniors at Viet Tri Stadium (Phu Tho Province).

Efficient, effective law making, enforcement critical to national development: PM

Efficient and effective law making and enforcement is the first and foremost prerequisite to promoting national development, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told a national teleconference on December 23.

A report delivered at the teleconference, held to launch judicial tasks for 2021 and set up orientations for the next five years, noted that the entire judicial sector has exerted efforts to fulfil assigned tasks, greatly contributing to the country’s socio-economic, defence-security, and diplomatic achievements.

After the Government issued Resolution No 01 and No 02/NQ-CP at the beginning of 2020, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) swiftly issued and carried out its action plan to tackle difficulties and obstacles facing judicial work, thereby continuing to promote the sector’s role from the central to local levels.

The PM said legislation is an important foundation for national construction and development, noting that the country’s legal system has been further completed in all fields, which has helped it post positive socio-economic results.

With their high sense of responsibility and effort, the MoJ and the judicial sector have fulfilled all assigned tasks, thus not only winning the trust of the National Assembly and the Government in law-making and enforcement but also establishing themselves as sources of solid support for ministries, sectors, and localities when dealing with any emerging legal issues.

Pointing out certain problems in judicial work, the PM said the MoJ and the judicial sector will hold growing levels of responsibility in the time ahead, which requires they better perform their role in providing consultancy on law making and enforcement.

They need to press on with implementing the tasks and solutions identified in the PM’s Directive No 43 on perfecting the legal system and improving the quality of law enforcement, so as to ensure that the legal system is consistent, synchronous, feasible, open, transparent, stable, and highly efficient and effective, centres on people’s rights and legitimate interests, and facilitates innovation and digital transformation, he added.

The Government leader requested that overlaps and inconsistencies in the legal system be removed, policy corruption and group interests prevented, public services improved more strongly, the MoJ and judicial agencies’ apparatus re-organised towards a lean, efficient, and effective apparatus, IT application stepped up, and inspections increased.

He also asked the judicial sector to continue investing resources and wisdom in helping the Government and all-level People’s Committees deal with legal issues during socio-economic development and the international integration process, including the settlement of international investment disputes./.

Vietnam reports one imported COVID-19 case over last 24 hours

A 22-year-old Vietnamese woman returning from the United States became Vietnam’s only new COVID-19 case over the last 24 hours, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The new case brought the national tally of COVID-19 to 1,421, the committee reported on December 23.

The new patient arrived at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport on December 21 and was immediately put into quarantine in the capital city.

She tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was sent to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No.2 for treatment on December 23.

A total of 1,281 COVID-19 patients have fully recovered while the fatalities remain at 35.

Among active patients, six have tested negative for the virus once, 10 twice and four thrice.

A total of 16,341 people who had close contact with coronavirus carriers or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide, with 187 at hospitals, 15,038 at State-designated facilities and 1,116 at home or their accommodations.

The Health Ministry has urged the people to strictly follow the 5K motto: Khau trang (Face masks) – Khu khuan (Disinfection) – Khoang cach (Keeping distance) - Khong tap trung dong nguoi (No gathering) – Khai bao y te (Health declaration) in order to prevent COVID-19 transmission./.

Hanoi Party Committee reviews efforts to fight corruption

The Party Committee of Hanoi on December 23 convened a conference, chaired by Secretary Vuong Dinh Hue, to review its anti-corruption operations, home affairs, and judicial reforms in 2020 and map out plans for 2021.

Addressing the conference, Hue highlighted what the capital has achieved in anti-corruption operations and inspection and supervision work by Party committees and organisations at different levels, and how corruption cases have been prosecuted and brought to trial.

The city has taken drastic action to fight corruption so it does not affect the local business climate and socio-economic development, Hue said, noting that it has seen considerable economic growth and a 3.9-fold increase in FDI since 2016.

Reporting on results of anti-corruption operations in Hanoi between 2013 and 2020, head of the municipal Party Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs Nguyen Quang Duc said the city has issued two anti-corruption programmes and established a steering committee for anti-corruption, chaired by the municipal Party Secretary.

The capital has also strengthened inspection and supervision at local Party committees and organisations and paid more attention to settling complaints and denunciations, Duc said, adding that from over 2,480 inspections, the city has detected violations and proposed to reclaim a total of 2.45 trillion VND (105.5 million USD) and 1,055 ha of land from corruption cases.

A total of 838 people from 259 cases have been brought to court on corruption-related charges and some 9.66 trillion worth of assets have been recovered, he said.

Christmas comes to Catholic students in Nghe An

Neighbouring Thuan Nghia parish in Quynh Lam commune, Quynh Luu district, in Nghe An province, the Quynh Lam B Elementary School’s 700 students are all from nearby catholic families. Students, teachers, and parents have joined hands at this time of year to prepare for a warm and loving Christmas.
To welcome Christmas this year, the Quynh Lam B Elementary School held a special Golden Bell contest, with all students and teachers participating.

Chu Hai Dang, a second grader, brought a meaningful story about Uncle Ho to the contest.

Sharing the joy with the school, many parents also came to celebrate with their kids.

 As a special school where all of the students are also parishioners, Quynh Lam B Primary School has organised many activities to celebrate Christmas since the beginning of the month, and has also presented gifts to impoverished students.

Christmas is a special time not only for Catholics but also for local people. Along with Tet, the traditional Lunar New Year in Vietnam, Christmas is a great holiday for families to reunite and an occasion for the country to strengthen its solidarity./.

Korean Ambassador extends message of hope with MV in Vietnamese

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam Park Noh-wan (Photo:

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam, Park Noh-wan, has sent a message of faith and hope through a music video in Vietnamese language, which sees the participation of all staff members of the embassy.

The RoK and Vietnam together have nurtured a promising future despite facing difficulties brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Park said, voicing his hope that people of the countries will enjoy a good and hopeful new year.

The music video will be released to the public on the Facebook page and YouTube of the RoK Culture Centre on December 24.

Vietnam and the RoK officially established diplomatic ties on December 22, 1992. Since then, relations between the two countries have been growing fruitfully in different fields.

The RoK remains the largest among the 136 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with nearly 9,000 valid projects worth 70.2 billion USD.

It currently ranks second in ODA provision for, trade with, and reception of workers from Vietnam. It is also one of the key sources of foreign tourists to the Southeast Asian country./.

HCM City’s leaders welcome new Korean Ambassador to Vietnam

Leaders of Ho Chi Minh City received new Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam Park Noh-wan on December 22.

Meeting with the Korean diplomat, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen highly valued the outcomes of the RoK’s cooperation with Vietnam in general and HCM City in particular.

He welcomed the RoK’s cooperation in waste and water treatment, human resources training, and the Long Thanh International Airport project, adding that HCM City is planning to apply the online bidding model, a new bidding model using technology – an area the RoK has strengths.

Nen applauded Korean businesses’ moves to invest in new sectors like the Mekong water resources management, mangrove forest degradation prevention, and aquaculture in the Mekong Delta.

The official also expressed his hope that with its strengths in technology, the RoK will cooperate with HCM City in digital transformation.

Later the same day, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong met with the Korean ambassador.

Phong welcomed Park’s proposal to organise an online investment conference between HCM City’s leaders and Korean enterprises in February 2021.

The upcoming event is set to seek cooperation and investment chances in urban infrastructure, smart city building, and digital economy.

Phong expressed his hope that via this conference, obstacles will be removed in a timely manner to help HCM City improve its investment climate.

Regarding procedures for the Eco Smart City project in the Thu Thien new urban area, the CJ Cau Tre food processing factory, and a residential area in District 9, which are invested by the RoK, he pledged that municipal authorities will provide the maximum support for these projects to be carried out quickly.

For his part, Park highly valued the city’s achievements in the COVID-19 combat.

With the quarantine-free protocol for short-term entries into Vietnam, to be applied as from January 1 next year, he also thanked local leaders for creating timely favourable conditions for Korean firms to come to explore investment opportunities in HCM City.

Coach Hung takes job at Bình Dương after leaving Quảng Ninh

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)
Coach Phan Thanh Hùng will lead Bình Dương in the V.League 1 2021. Photo

After saying goodbye to Quảng Ninh Coal after four years in charge, coach Phan Thanh Hùng has been hired to coach BEcamex Bình Dương from the 2021 football season.

"Bình Dương’s leading board contacted me and I agreed to lead the team from the 2021 season,” said Hùng.

The former national team boss, who guided Quảng Ninh to fourth place in the V.League 1 2020, said Bình Dương had tried to hire him many times in the past.

Bình Dương have won the national premier league four times in 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2015.

After saying goodbye to veterans Nguyễn Anh Đức and Bùi Tấn Trường, Bình Dương put their faith in a group of promising young players such as Nguyễn Tiến Linh and Nguyễn Trần Việt Cường last season and struggled to a sixth-place finish with 28 points in 20 games.

Coach Hùng is very good at developing young players, building a game based on the philosophy of controlling the ball. Before coming to Quảng Ninh in 2016, the 60-year-old coach led Hà Nội FC to V.League titles in 2010 and 2013 and won the Super Cup in 2010.

Earlier, Hùng played Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng (now SHB Da Nang) and won the national football championship in 1992 with Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng. He and his team reached the semi-finals of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup in 1992, the best result of a Vietnamese team in the continental event.

He was called up to the national team in 1993 to compete in the 1994 World Cup qualifying round at the age of 33 and scored a goal for the Vietnamese team in a 2-3 defeat to Singapore. After that, he also participated in the SEA Games 17.

Hùng coached the national team in 2012 but resigned after a poor performance in the 2012 AFF Cup.

Exhibition displays artwork by three graphic artists

Nearly 50 artworks by three famous Vietnamese graphic artists, namely Tran Nguyen Dan, Le Mai Khanh and Pham Khac Quan, are being displayed at an exhibition that opened in Hanoi on December 22.

Born in 1941, Tran Nguyen Dan graduated from the University of Industrial Arts in 1971 and was former Deputy Director of the Vietnam Fine Art Museum. His paintings have been introduced and won prizes at both domestic and foreign exhibitions.

Having a great passion for tradition and national identity, most of Dan’s artworks focus on the themes of nature and daily life of people across the country.

Meanwhile, artworks by late female painter Le Mai Khanh (1952-2017) leave deep impressions of the idyllic beauty of Vietnam’s rural areas as well as her masterful skill of using colours and strokes.

As a graduate of the Vietnam University of Fine Art, Pham Khac Quang, 45, is interested in wood carvings, through which he explores the structures and shares of woods to interpret his ideas in the language of the arts.

Despite their differing concepts and styles in approaching art, the three artists have made contributions to Vietnam’s graphic arts and their works have been imbued with Vietnamese soul and identity.

The exhibition will run until February 27, 2021 at Lunet Art Galerie, Pan Pacific Hotel, No. 1 Thanh Nien Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.

NA leader pays pre-Christmas visit to Archdiocese of Hue

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh at the meeting on December 22

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan offered Christmas and New Year greetings to Catholic dignitaries, priests, and followers while visiting the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Hue in central Thua Thien-Hue province on December 22.

Talking to Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh of the archdiocese, who is also head of the Vietnam Episcopal Council, the NA leader highlighted the country’s achievements in socio-economic development and the COVID-19 fight, while applauding Thua Thien-Hue’s efforts to weather the difficulties posed by the pandemic, address the consequences of natural disasters, sustain growth, and care for people’s lives.

She also highly valued local residents’ solidarity, which she said is partly attributed to contributions by religious organisations.

The NA Chairwoman also appreciated the archbishop and the priests’ encouragement of their followers to support Party guidelines, adhere to State policies and laws, and assist flood victims in the central region.

As the legislative body, the NA will continue fine-tuning the legal system to promote national development while ensuring the enforcement of laws, including those on religion, and creating conditions for religious organisations to operate in accordance with their purposes, she added.

For his part, the archbishop said Christmas is also an occasion to express the best wishes for the country and people of all religions.

He also voiced his delight at the socio-economic achievements in 2020 and reaffirmed the commitment to joining efforts to develop the country to a new height.

Also on December 22, Ngan visited Do Tran Hue, an outstanding Catholic follower in the Archdiocese of Hue, and extended Christmas and New Year greetings to his family./.

Catholic community contributes significantly to capital development: Official

Politburo member and Secretary of the Hanoi Party’s Committee Vuong Dinh Hue spoke highly of constructive contributions of the Hanoi Archdiocese and Catholics in the capital this year during his visit to extend Christmas greetings to the archdiocese on December 22.

At the meeting, he said Hanoi, despite largely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, has completed its socio-economic growth targets, with its GRDP increasing 3.98 percent and budget collection exceeding the estimate.

The pandemic situation in the city has basically been put under control, he added.

Hue attributed the results to the concerted efforts from the local Party, authorities and people, including the Catholic community.

Stressing that several important events will take place in 2021, the official hoped the community to continue their participation in the capital’s emulation campaigns in contribution to the realisation of its goals.

For his part, Joseph Vu Van Thien, Archbishop of the Hanoi Archdiocese, thanked the municipal authorities for giving assistance to Catholics and asked for further facilitation of religious activities in the capital.

The Hanoi Archdiocese encompasses Hanoi, and Hoa Binh, Ha Nam and Nam Dinh provinces with about 35,000 followers.

Earlier the same day, member of the Party Central Committee, Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh visited the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) and the Hanoi Evangelical Church, extending his merry Christmas and Happy New Year greetings.

The Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North) is the biggest Protestant organisation in the region, with more than 170,000 followers, 21 branches, and 13 churches across 29 northern provinces and centrally run cities./.

Over 300 Vietnamese citizens brought home from UK

More than 360 Vietnamese citizens were brought home safely on a flight arranged by Vietnamese and UK agencies together with the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on December 21-22.

The passengers included children under 18, the elderly, the ill, students who completed their study without accommodations and those in extremely difficult circumstances.

The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK helped the citizens travel to the airport and sent staff to assist them with boarding procedures.

To ensure health for the citizens and prevent the spread of COVID-19, strict security, safety and epidemiological measures were applied during the flight.

After landing at Can Tho international airport in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, all passengers and crew members on the flights had their health checked and sent to quarantine in line with regulations.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in the country./

Deputy PM pays Christmas visits to Da Lat Diocese, Evangelical Church

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh visited and extended Christmas greetings to the Da Lat Diocese and the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South) in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on December 22.


At the Da Lat Diocese, the Deputy PM said that this year, despite the difficulties and challenges posed by COVID-19, climate change, and natural disasters in the central region, the country has been strong in implementing the twin targets of preventing the pandemic and boosting socio-economic development.

He lauded the Catholic community’s efforts in joining hands with the Government to overcome difficulties, support flood-hit people, and reinforce great national unity.

He wished priests, nuns, dignitaries, and Catholics in Da Lat and Lam Dong province a merry Christmas, while expressing a hope that they will continue to contribute to national construction and defence.

He also hoped that dignitaries and the Catholic community will promote patriotism and accompany the nation, thus contributing more to the building of Vietnam into a rich, strong, democratic, equitable and civilised nation.

During the visit to the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), the Deputy PM extended his Christmas greetings to dignitaries and followers and expressed his belief that the church will continue to abide by the Party's policies and the State’s laws, while actively engaging in patriotic emulation movements as well as socio-economic development activities in the locality.

In Lam Dong, the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South) has more than 77,000 followers. Over the years, dignitaries and followers have actively joined socio-economic and cultural activities in the locality, contributing to ensuring political security, social order, and safety, and strengthening national solidarity in the province./.

Indonesian President announces sweeping cabinet reshuffle
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on December 22 announced a sweeping cabinet reshuffle, including a replacement for the health minister criticised for his perceived mishandling of the country's COVID-19 crisis. 

Vietnam, Canada maintain positive momentum in bilateral relations

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau

Braving the pandemic, Vietnam and Canada have worked to promote bilateral relations over the course of the last year, Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Cao Phong has affirmed.

In an interview with a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Ottawa, Phong said that five phone discussions, online meetings, and political consultations were held between officials of both sides during the year, at which Canadian leaders spoke highly of their cooperation with Vietnam and its role as ASEAN Chair 2020.

Four Canadian ministers attended five online international conferences held by Vietnam, he said, noting that Canadian Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan expressed support for Vietnam and ASEAN’s efforts in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea as well as Southeast Asia at a recent international conference on the East Sea.

The year 2020 also saw a milestone in bilateral ties with the establishment of the Canadian military attaché office in Hanoi, the ambassador said, adding that it also helps boost defence relations between the two countries.

Besides, Canada was the country of honour at the Vietnam FoodExpo which took place in Ho Chi Minh City in early December.

Phong affirmed that sound political ties have facilitated growth in trade, which rose 10.8 percent from January to October, with Vietnam’s exports up 15.3 percent to 5.1 billion USD and the country enjoying a trade surplus of 4.65 trillion USD.

The figures are impressive in the context of the global slowdown, he said, naming several products that have posted substantial revenue growth, such as electronic products and parts (up 64.6 percent), mobile phones (42.5 percent), processed seafood (23 percent), and furniture (13.6 percent).

Both sides have enhanced cooperation in the supply chain of essential items to cope with the pandemic. Made-in-Vietnam face masks are now on the shelves of many Canadian stores.

Ambassador Phong highlighted another remarkable event during the year, which was the Canadian Government’s announcement of a humanitarian assistance package of 700,000 CAD (over 500,000 USD) for residents hit by the recent floods in Vietnam’s central region. Canada also gave technical support to Vietnam to carry out the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

In a bid to create a driver for the Vietnam-Canada comprehensive partnership, Phong recommended officials from both sides continue their phone discussions and arrange visits to cement cooperative programmes and plans once the pandemic is fully under control.

It is also necessary to boost cooperation at the local level, especially between HCM City and its twin city Toronto, and between Quebec and Vietnamese ministries and sectors, he said.

Furthermore, he emphasised the significance of enhancing economic links between the two sides, given the complementary nature of the two economies and disruptions to supply chains.

The diplomat also said both sides need further coordination at international forums and to carry out measures to promote cooperation in tourism, education, healthcare, and culture.

Such measures, together with those to enhance political and economic ties, are important in cementing the comprehensive partnership set up three years ago and in marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.

The ambassador expressed optimism regarding the prospects for bilateral relations, believing that when the pandemic is controlled globally, Vietnam and Canada will see breakthroughs in relations that meet the expectations of the two peoples.

Meanwhile, Vice President of the Asia Pacific Foundation, Christine Nakamura, hailed the cooperation potential between the two countries, especially through the CPTPP.

Before the two signed on to the trade pact, they enjoyed stable growth in economic ties, she said, adding that the deal will bring even more benefits to both.

There are many cooperation opportunities with Vietnam, she said, which has been better at responding to the pandemic than other ASEAN member states and is expected to record positive GDP growth in 2021.

She suggested that healthcare services is a sector with potential for cooperation, since Vietnam will have a rapidly-aging population by 2050, when some 35 percent of people will be aged more than 60 years old.

Canadian companies will also be encouraged to engage in the Vietnamese market if the country welcomes technological innovation, she added./.

Vietnam, Indonesia maintain loyal friendship for 65 years: Ambassador

Vietnam and Indonesia have always been trustworthy and loyal friends amid various political fluctuations in the region and the world during their 65 years of diplomatic relations, Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang told a meeting with local and international media agencies in Jakarta on December 22.

Reviewing the major milestones in diplomatic relations over the last 65 years, he noted the two sides established a strategic cooperative partnership in 2013 in all areas of politics, diplomacy, security, defence, economy, tourism, culture, and people-to-people exchange.

He affirmed that Vietnam and Indonesia share a firm cooperative foundation in politics and diplomacy, which was originally formed and developed by President Ho Chi Minh and President Sukarno.

The similarities in culture and history have helped them become closer, he said, adding that they share many common viewpoints at regional and international forums.

In 2020, the two countries strengthened their cooperation as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and when Vietnam served as ASEAN Chair, he said.

He noted that two-way trade rose 60 percent over the past five years, from 5.6 billion USD in 2014 to 9.1 billion USD in 2019. Despite the impact of COVID-19, bilateral tourism and cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchanges all increased.

In 2019, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air launched direct flights linking Hanoi and HCM City with Bali.

The number of Indonesian tourists to Vietnam increased 21.3 percent this year to 108,000, while more than 80,000 Vietnamese visited Indonesia.

In order to deal with COVID-19, Vietnam and Indonesia supported each other in their response. The Government, National Assembly, and businesses of Vietnam presented assistance to Indonesia, the ambassador said.

In multilateral frameworks, Vietnam, as ASEAN Chair in 2020, actively coordinated with Indonesia in holding the Special ASEAN Summit and Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit, as well as special meetings at the ministerial level and related meetings seeking solutions to respond to the pandemic.

At the UN Security Council, he went on, the two sides worked together to speed up the approval of resolutions relating to cooperation in fighting the pandemic.

Throughout 2020, the Vietnamese Embassy in Jakarta has held a number of activities to mark the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, including a logo contest, an interactive dialogue on Indonesia’s national radio station RRI, and a film screening on national TV channel TVRI, along with an online photo exhibition in Yogyakarta and Bali, the re-publishing of a book on the historic visit by President Ho Chi Minh to Indonesia in 1959, and a videoconference on tourism and investment opportunities in Vietnam and Indonesia amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, Ambassador Quang answered a number of questions from reporters about cooperation between the two countries in fighting COVID-19, Vietnam’s experience in controlling the pandemic, plans to develop and distribute an anti-COVID-19 vaccine, the East Sea issue, and measures to strengthen cooperation and mutual understanding between the two countries./.

Award-winning singer Tuấn releases new album

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)

A new acoustic album by award-winning singer Hà Anh Tuấn, Cuối Ngày Người Đàn Ông Một Mình (A Man Alone at the End of a Day), has been released in both physical and digital formats.

Singer Hà Anh Tuấn has released an acoustic album Cuối Ngày Người Đàn Ông Một Mình (A Man Needs Time Alone at the End of a Day), featuring songs by famous composers such as Võ Thiện Thanh, Trần Tiến and Lam Phương. Photo courtesy of the artist
The acoustic album consists of eight famous Vietnamese songs about love which were released in the 80s and 90s and are still loved by fans.

Highlighted songs include Giấc Mơ Mùa Thu (A Dream of Autumn) composed by Võ Thiện Thanh, Hà Nội Ngày Ấy (Hà Nội Back Then) by Trần Tiến, Mưa Rừng (Rain in Forest ) by Huỳnh Anh, and Thành Phố Buồn (Sad City) by Lam Phương.

Tuấn worked with his producer Thanh Phương, who has produced music for Vietnamese divas like Thanh Lam, Ngọc Anh and Trần Thu Hà, to remix and record the songs.

He also used traditional musical instruments like the flute, pan pipe and đàn tranh (16-chord zither) on his album.

The 36-year-old said the idea for the album came to him when he was confused about the world and needed time alone to regain his faith in life.

“Leaving differences behind, every man always need a corner for himself after completing his duty. We need beautiful music and time alone to whisper melodies. Music is just like that,” Tuấn said.

The album Cuối Ngày Người Đàn Ông Một Mình is one of three music projects by Tuấn in 2020, including season four of See Sing Share on YouTube, and the concert The Veston.

The concert is planned to be held on February 26 and 27 in Đà Lạt City.

Season four of See Sing Share with the theme “Trong Rừng Có Cơn Mát Lành” (A Breath of Forest Fresh Air) consists of nine videos. It began on September 14, attracting a total of 4.3 million views on YouTube.

Tuấn, a graduate of Technische Universitat Darmstadt in Hessen, Germany, rose to fame in the Sao Mai – Rendezvous TV singing contest in 2006. 

He has released eight albums, including Acous’84, a production of R&B nine songs which helped the singer bring home the Golden Album of the Year presented by HCM City Television in 2010.

He works as a music producer for See Sing Share, which has had three seasons over the last five years, with a total of 30 music videos.

The show brought him prizes for Show of the Year and Music Series of the Year at the Cống Hiến (Devotion) Music Awards in 2019.

In the show, Tuấn sang his signature ballads and R&B songs which have been hits among Vietnamese youth for a decade or more, including Buổi Sáng Ở Ciao Cà Phê (Morning at Ciao Cafe) and Espresso by Võ Thiện Thanh.

He also presented favourite songs by other singers such as Người Tình Mùa Đông (Winter Lover) and Nơi Ấy Bình Yên (Peaceful Place).

His videos have attracted hundreds of millions of views.

Thanks to See Sing Share, Tuấn has become a favourite Vietnamese singer on YouTube, with more than 671,000 subscribers. 

Ministry of Health orders medical inspection ahead of new year holiday

The health ministry’s inspectorate has ordered local health departments of central-level provinces and cities to strengthen inspections on healthcare services during the new year holiday.

The departments were urged to step up inspection in the context of increasing demand for food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical services when the new year season is nearing. While Việt Nam's COVID-19 situation is largely under control, the country still stands at high risks of getting COVID-19 infection from overseas arrivals as the global pandemic continues to progress with complicated developments.

In the decree 1057/TTRB-P1 sent by the health ministry to local health departments, the inspectorates said a number of organisations and localities had been complacent and failed to follow the pandemic’s preventive protocols.

Many took advantage of COVID-19 and increasing market demand to trade fake or low-quality products without clear origin, sell unsafe food and violate medical exam and treatment regulations.

In that context, the health ministry’s inspectorate asked local inspectorates and relevant agencies to work together to conduct inspections at production and business facilities that provide and import food in large quantities because imported food might pose COVID-19 transmission risks.

Local medical inspectorates were requested to inspect establishments that manufacture, trade and import drugs, chemicals, medical equipment and supplies for COVID-19 prevention; medical examination and treatment establishments, especially establishments without licences.

They must also fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods, according to the decree.

Healthcare inspectorates must continue to step up supervision on COVID-19 prevention and control efforts following the order of the Government and the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, which targets the pandemic’s containment and socio-economic development.

Those who fail to make medical declarations or make dishonest reports, evade quarantine, and quarantine centres that fail to follow protocols must be strictly punished.

Many patients with diabetes still do not know their disease status

The number of people with diabetes in Việt Nam is very high, especially the rate of undiagnosed diabetics in the community, participants heard at a seminar on Friday in Hà Nội.

“According to the National Diabetes Survey in 2004 and 2008, up to 63-75 per cent of diabetes patients do not know their disease status in the community,” said Prof. Tạ Văn Bình, President of Việt Nam Association for Diabetes Educators.

Bình said that people with diabetes in Việt Nam were detected and treated mainly at a late stage with serious complications, especially complications with kidneys, eyes and nerves. In addition, about 5-10 per cent of diabetes patients were diagnosed with the illness when they were treated for other diseases. The situation causes more difficulties for treatment and increases the burden on patients.

The health sector statistics showed that Việt Nam has over 3.5 million people with diabetes. It is forecasted that the number will double by 2045. Obesity and inactive lifestyles are risk factors leading to an increase in the number of people with diabetes.

“The ability of health staff is still modest in accessing effective information on the best treatments for diabetes. The awareness of the patient and the community about diabetes, despite efforts in communication over the past 20 years, also have not yet met the needs for diabetes prevention,” said Bình.

Bình said that, besides the current COVID-19 pandemic, diabetes was also considered an epidemic. Around the world, there are 463 million people with type 2 diabetes. It is forecasted that by 2035 the number will increase to 592 million and by 2040 to 615 million.

"There is no disease in the world that has a rapid growth rate like diabetes," Professor Bình stressed. "Every six seconds, one person dies related to diabetes and one person in 20 seconds has an amputation due to complications of diabetes.”

The Saint Paul Hospital deputy director Đỗ Đình Tùng said that about 95 per cent of diabetes patients in Việt Nam are type 2. Most of type 2 diabetes patients in Việt Nam have cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia and are overweight.

“The pre-diabetes stage develops very quietly, so it is difficult for the patient to recognise their diabetes status. However, even in the early stages of the disease, the patient is able to recognise the symptoms of diabetes such as complications in the blood vessels,” said Tùng.

Tùng advised patients with risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, overweight and obese people, people over 40 years old, women who have had gestational diabetes, people with high blood pressure, to go to hospital for early diabetes detection.

At the event, leading experts in the field of endocrinology and diabetes provided the latest medical knowledge in the prevention and treatment of diabetes to help doctors improve the quality of diabetes examination and treatment.

The seminar on diabetes diagnosis and treatment was held by the Saint Paul Hospital and the Việt Nam Association for Diabetes Educators. It is part of a community programme, called Diabetes Camp Festival 2020, that provided free examination, tests and consulting for nearly 1,000 people with diabetes in Hà Nội.

HCM City aims to enrol 371,000 in vocational schools next year

VIETNAM NEWS DECEMBER 24 (Updated hourly)

Students at Cao Thắng Technical College in HCM City.

Colleges, vocational training schools and professional and continuing education centres in HCM City aim to enrol 371,000 students in 2021.  

Speaking at a meeting held on December 18 to review vocational training this year, Đặng Minh Sự, head of department’s professional education division, instructed them to step up communication about their strengths in training, enrolment methods, student policies, and investment in modern technical equipment for training, and strengthen co-operation with domestic and international vocational schools and enterprises.

Professional education establishments in the city have been instructed to strengthen co-operation with small and medium-sized enterprises to provide short-term training courses to their workers.  

Lê Minh Tấn, its head, instructed vocational training establishments to use IT in online training since COVID-19 still poses a risk. 

In upcoming time, they should soon complete quality accreditation as scheduled.

The city this year has 393 professional education and vocational training establishments with 13,068 lecturers, down 174 institutions from last year as a result of the pandemic.  

Their average enrolment was 74.48 per cent of the target, though a number of schools such as Cao Thắng Technical College, College of Foreign Economic Relations, and others managed 100 per cent due to innovation in enrolment and high training quality.

Dr Phạm Hữu Lộc, rector of Lý Tự Trọng College, said his college has career counselling programmes at a number of secondary and high schools.

With the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training and the department organising many programmes to honour skilled workers and outstanding students and lecturers at professional education and vocational training schools, more and more parents are allowing their children to enrol for such courses, he said.

Many companies come to these schools to recruit large numbers of students, he added.

In 2020 professional education and vocational training establishments trained 141,832 students, and nearly 81 per cent of them from got jobs after graduating.

The department co-operated this year with other relevant agencies and enterprises to organise job fairs through which 83,000 people were hired.

Court opens trial for multi-level marketing scam case

The Hà Nội People's Court yesterday opened a first instance trial of the Liên Kết Việt multi-level marketing scam case, the number of victims of which was more than 68,000 and the money involved was about VNĐ 1.12 trillion (US$50 million).

The court summoned 6,053 victims to the trial, with more than 500 present. Due to the huge number of victims involved, the court installed screen projectors for the case. The hearing is scheduled to take place across about 10 days, including Saturday and Sunday.

The seven defendants in this case include Lê Xuân Giang, 49, Chairman of Liên Kết Việt Company, Lê Văn Tú, 35, General Director of Liên Kết Việt Company, Nguyễn Thị Thủy, 50, Deputy General Director of Liên Kết Việt Company, and four members of the market development group of Liên Kết Việt Company, namely Lê Thanh Sơn, 32, Trịnh Xuân Sang, 45 Nguyễn Xuân Trường, 53 and Vũ Thị Hồng Dung, 47.

The defendants were prosecuted by the Supreme People's Procuracy on charges of fraud and appropriation of property.

The indictment says Liên Kết Việt was started by Lê Xuân Giang, who organised events to gain the trust of potential clients and investors and build a reputation.

He invited military veterans and officers to his events and convinced them to issue a false certification for his company that stated the company was managed by the Ministry of National Defence. Giang also claimed he was a colonel, which appeared to support claims his products were property of the defence ministry. His products included dietary supplements, physical therapy equipment and ozone deodorising devices.

Between March 2014 and November 2015, Liên Kết Việt opened 35 offices across 27 cities in Việt Nam. Client agreements stated that members would buy company products, and then sell them to their own customers. They were promised a 65 per cent commission on every product sold, much higher than the 40 per cent allowed by the Government. 

An Giang takes preventive measures against viral disease Chikungunya

The People’s Committee in Mekong Delta Province of An Giang has instructed local authorities and agencies to take preventive measures against Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne viral disease, following two cases that tested positive for the virus in the province.  

The disease has broken out in several countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia, including Cambodia, which shares a border with An Giang.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease that causes fever and severe joint pain. Chikungunya is transmitted to humans by the bites of infected female mosquitoes and is caused by the chikungunya virus, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Lê Văn Phước, vice chairman of the committee, told the Department of Health to give guidance about preventive measures to directors of local health facilities. 

The department will also strengthen inspections and close surveillance of the disease to detect positive cases early and end further transmission. 

Medicine, medical materials, vehicles and chemicals to serve prevention and treatment will be prepared as well.

Departments and authorities in districts and towns near borders with Cambodia, including An Phú, Tân Châu, Tịnh Biên, Tri Tôn và TP Châu Đốc, have been told to raise public awareness about the disease.

The border defence forces, police and other agencies will work together to strictly control people entering and leaving Việt Nam, especially from or to Cambodia, and carry out preventive measures.

Most commonly, the mosquitoes involved are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The two species can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue fever. They bite throughout daylight hours, although there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. 

The HCM City Pasteur Institute said that two cases have been reported in An Phú District. One was a 5-year-old boy and another a 13-year-old male. They are recovering and are now at home.

Trần Hòa Hợp, chairman of the People’s Committee in the An Phú District, has met with district agencies to ensure that preventive measures are carried out quickly.

In the areas where the two patients live, Hợp has instructed local health officials to be on the alert for people who have a fever and symptoms similar to dengue fever.

Health officials and local authorities have sprayed chemicals to kill mosquitoes in these areas, and environmental sanitisation programmes have also been carried out.

Dr Phan Vân Điền Phương, vice director of the provincial Department of Health, said the disease’s symptoms are the same as dengue fever, such as sudden fever and severe joint pain. 

According to Phương, most patients diagnosed with Chikungunya do not need to be hospitalised and often get better on their own and recover completely. After recovery, their immunity against the disease lasts a fairly long time. 

Friendship association dedicated to Vietnam-Ukraine ties: diplomat

The Ukraine-Vietnam Friendship Association (UVFA) gathers Ukrainians who are most dedicated to fostering the relationship between the two nations, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Hong Thach.

Speaking at a meeting with leaders of the association on December 21, Thach hoped the UVFA to enhance its connection role and support the embassy in consolidating and promoting the bilateral solidarity, friendship, and cooperation between the two countries and their people.

He asked the association to help introduce the image of Vietnamese landscapes and people, develop Vietnam-Ukraine economic and trade ties, and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese expatriates in Ukraine, particularly the business community, in overcoming COVID-19-related difficulties.

The diplomat suggested the leaders look for activities to diverse the association’s operation in propelling the traditional friendship and win-win cooperation in all aspects between Vietnam and Ukraine.

UVFA President Oleksandr Vitaliyovich Shlapak thanked the ambassador for meeting leaders of the association right after his tenure began.

Appreciating the embassy’s engagement in the UVFA’s activities, he vowed to further collaborate with the embassy and the ambassador in organising practical events to consolidate the Vietnam – Ukraine comprehensive partnership and cooperation.

He proposed the embassy, in coordination with relevant agencies of Vietnam, consider conferring a friendship order upon the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture on the occasion of its 90th founding anniversary in honour of the establishment’s significant contributions to the bilateral relations since the 1960s./.



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