VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES APRIL 28

Vietnam willing to support India in fighting COVID-19: Deputy FM

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung on April 27 hosted a reception for Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Kumar Verma, during which he affirmed Vietnam’s solidarity and readiness to stand side by side with the Indian government and people in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dung expressed his sympathy over hardships and damage caused by the second COVID-19 wave in India, voicing his belief that the country will soon overcome this difficult time and challenges.

He also conveyed the sympathies of Vietnamese leaders and people to their Indian counterparts.

In reply, the Indian Ambassador briefed his host on the COVID-19 situation in the South Asian nation and voiced his gratitude for the sentiments and support of the Vietnamese Government and people for India.

He affirmed that the Indian government will create the best conditions and exert efforts to ensure safety for Vietnamese citizens living, working and studying in India./.

Vietnamese nationals must not return home illegally: Vietnamese embassy

The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand has called on Vietnamese nationals to strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures in the host country in the face of increasing infections recorded in the country over recent days.

In an announcement on April 27, the embassy said it is working with Vietnamese and Thai authorities to arrange repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens and has asked them not to return to the homeland illegally.

The Thai Government is introducing new restrictions to halt the country’s spiralling outbreak, the embassy said.

Wearing a face mask is now compulsory in Bangkok and 46 other provinces. Those not doing so risk a fine of up to 20,000 THB (640 USD).

Vietnamese nationals are advised to avoid public spaces and travel, and to contact Thai authorities for support if they exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus disease.

They should contact the embassy via its citizen protection hotline on ( 66) 898 966 653 or ( 66) 2650 8979.

The embassy will continue keeping a close watch on COVID-19 developments in the country, and stay in touch with Thai authorities to remain updated.

Thailand reported 15 new fatalities from the pandemic on April 27 - a new record for the third time in four days during a growing third wave of infections.

Some 2,179 new infections were reported on the day, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 59,687. Fatalities now stand at 163.

The Thai Government will adopt a single command system to improve the efficiency of the national COVID-19 vaccination drive, with the aim of vaccinating about 30 million people over the next three months and 50 million by the end of the year.

According to a post on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s official Facebook page, he has met with advisers at the Government House to discuss ways to ramp up the distribution of vaccines, which is a top national priority.

The Government will do everything in its power to procure more doses to support the national vaccination drive, with a target of purchasing 10-15 million doses a month from several manufacturers, according to the post./. 

Information ministry calls for use of COVID-19 tracing tools

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has issued a document guiding the use of tools to prevent, control, and trace COVID-19 cases in the community, as travel demand is forecast to soar during the April 30 - May 1 holiday.

The set of tools comprise the Bluezone app, which issues alerts on any contact with suspected cases, and the NCOVI app, which manages voluntary health declarations and a COVID-19 tracking map.

According to the MIC’s Authority of Information Technology Application, QR scanning in public places plays an important role in the fight against the pandemic. It should be carried out on Bluezone, NCOVI, and Vietnam Health Declaration.

The ministry affirmed that the widespread use of these tools will help to precisely trace areas with suspected cases.

Vietnam had reported no new COVID-19 infections for 12 hours as of 6am on April 27, with its tally unchanged at 2,852 cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ministry’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department said that a total 2,516 COVID-19 patients have been given the all clear. The death toll remains at 35./.

CAAV orders tightened aviation security at airports

The aviation security control must be tightened and raised to Level 1 before, during and after the four-day holiday of Southern Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labour Day (May 1), the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has recently requested.

Accordingly, security measures will be enhanced at all units in the sector, including airport authorities, airports, aviation service providers and air traffic service suppliers.

They are asked to increase personnel for aviation security control, examine and supplement necessary equipment, while preparing measures to improve service quality which helps meet travel demand of people.

Under current regulations, when there are high risks to aviation security, security control measures can be tightened in three levels.

Level 1 is applied in case of nationally important socio-political events, or complicated situations of political security and social order.

Level 2 is applied when there is intelligence information about an illegal interference plot in civil aviation activities with places, targets and time undetermined; or in case of serious political insecurity and social disorder in localities.

Meanwhile, level 3 is applied when there is verified information about an illegal interference plot in civil aviation activities with specific places, targets and time; or in case of extremely serious political insecurity and social disorder in localities.

Travel demand during public holiday is expected to increase significantly.

According to a survey conducted by the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board and VnExpress.net in March, of 3,500 respondents, 53.4 percent had plans to travel between May and September while 30.2 percent said they were ready to go on holidays in March and April.

The top 10 getaways are Da Nang, Kien Giang, Lam Dong, Lao Cai, Khanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Ha Giang, and Quang Nam, the survey revealed.

Meanwhile, travel firms said that up to 60 percent of tours have been booked for the four-day holidays. Tourists are booking mostly short-distance trips and brief stays in Sa Pa, Ha Long, Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Da Lat, and Con Dao Island.

Vietravel said that around 60 percent of its vacation packages, which include flights, car rentals, and hotels, have been bought.

Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City recently has seen many groups of tourists checking in for flights to Hanoi, Phu Quoc, Da Nang and provinces in the northeastern and northwestern region./.

Condolences extended to Indonesia over submarine sinking

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has extended condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo over the recent submarine sinking.

Media in Indonesia reported that KRI Nanggala-402 became untraceable on April 22 during live torpedo training exercises off the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.

The 40-year-old submarine was found split into three pieces on the sea bed after five days of search efforts. All the vessel's 53 crew have been confirmed dead.

The same day, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also cabled a message of condolences to President Joko Widodo over the tragedy./.

Hanoi, Hai Duong reinforce COVID-19 prevention efforts

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES APRIL 28
A woman passes through a "face mask required" sign on downtown Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake


Authorities of Hanoi capital city and the northern province of Hai Duong have asked relevant agencies and people to strengthen efforts in COVID-19 prevention and control, amid complicated developments of the pandemic in surrounding countries.

In an official dispatch, the Party Committee of Hanoi ordered the suspension of festivals and pedestrian zones in the city, and restriction of non-essential events with mass gatherings. In case the events are held, preventive measures must be in place.

If COVID-19 infections are detected, contact tracing and quarantine must be promptly rolled out to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Local people are asked to closely follow the 5K message and wear face masks in public places.

Meanwhile, leaders of Hai Duong proivnce requested relevant agencies to bolster communications to raise public awareness.

Hai Duong police will work with departments, sectors, localities and inspection groups in illegal entry prevention and supervision at concentrated quarantine facilities and homes.

People are recommended to refrain from travelling to crowded places and those with high COVID-19 risks, especially as the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day holidays are approaching.

Non-essential services in the province like massage parlors, karaoke, bars and discotheques will continue to be suspended until further notice, while vaccinations are asked to be sped up.

As of 5 pm on April 27, Hai Duong has neither COVID-19 patients under treatment nor people staying in quarantine for having close contact with infected people.

The province reported 726 cases in the resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks that began on January 27./.

VBS requires strict following of COVID-19 prevention measures at places of worship

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) has called for the mandatory wearing of face masks and strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention regulations at pagodas and monasteries nationwide amid the ongoing complex developments of the pandemic.

Vice President and General Secretary of the VBS Executive Council, Venerable Thich Duc Thien, stressed that COVID-19 prevention measures must be enhanced at places of worship around the country.

VBS chapters in all 63 cities and provinces have been asked to strictly implement requirements, he said.

The Ministry of Health’s 5K message - khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfectant), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations) - must be seriously observed, he added.

He also called on people to report any instance of illegal entry, in order to effectively contain the spread of the virus./.

Da Nang tops ICT Index for 12th straight year

The central city of Da Nang has maintained its leading position in terms of readiness for information and communications technology (ICT) development and application, after topping the Vietnam ICT Index rankings for the 12th consecutive year.

In the rankings for 2020, the city led the way with a total score of 0.9238, followed by the neighbouring province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Compiled by the Ministry of Information and Communications since 2005 and based on UN criteria, the Vietnam ICT Index assesses technical infrastructure, IT application, online public services, and the IT industry.

It has secured a prestigious reputation over the years and serves as a foundation for the ministry and local authorities to adopt appropriate decisions and policies to develop the ICT sector and the IT industry./.

Vietnam treasures comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia

Vietnam always attaches importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on April 27.

During his phone talks with the Russian minister, Son affirmed that Russia is among leading important partners in Vietnam’s foreign policy, and congratulated the country on its success in containing COVID-19, especially in vaccine research and production.

Despite the pandemic, Vietnam and Russia have maintained exchanges, with many phone talks held between their high-ranking leaders, contributing to promoting the bilateral cooperation across spheres, Son said.

The ministers discussed Vietnam-Russia collaboration, covering politics-diplomacy, security-national defence, economy-trade, investment, energy-oil and gas, and COVID-19 prevention and control.

They also compared notes on cooperation between the two foreign ministries and coordination between the two countries at multilateral forums, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and ASEAN.

Both expressed their hope to well organise activities during the Vietnam-Russia and Russia-Vietnam Year in 2021.

Minister Son used the occasion to thank Russia for supporting Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, and non-permanent membership of the UNSC for 2020-2021.

Vietnam is willing to closely coordinate with Russia and other ASEAN countries in organising activities marking the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia relations (1996-2021), Son said.

For his part, the Russian minister lauded Vietnam’s performance in external affairs, as well as the country’s increasingly impressive role in regional and international arena.

On this occasion, Lavrov invited Son to visit Russia at a convenient time. The Vietnamese minister accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Religious communities offer support to Cambodia, Laos amid COVID-19 spread

The Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City on April 27 called on followers to make contributions to present 4 million face masks to people in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in a bid to ease their difficulties amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, Deputy Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and Chairman of the Executive Council of the HCM City Buddhist Sangha, donated 100 million VND (over 4,300 USD) while a charitable group of the HCM City Buddhist Sangha presented 500 million VND to support disadvantaged Buddhist followers and people hit by COVID-19 in Laos and Cambodia.

Phnom Penh capital of Cambodia has been hardest-hit by COVID-19 in recent weeks, with hundreds of new cases being reported daily.

By the afternoon of April 27, Cambodia had logged 11,063 COVID-19 infections and 82 fatalities.

Meanwhile, a total of 511 COVID-19 cases were reported across 15 out of 18 provinces and cities of Laos./.

Working group heads to Truong Sa island district

A working group headed to Truong Sa (Spratly) island district and DK1 Platform on April 26 from Cam Ranh city in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa.

A farewell ceremony for the group, including officers and soldiers of the Naval Zone 4 High Command, representatives departments and agencies, and journalists, was held by the Naval Zone 4 High Command and the provincial People’s Committee.

The delegation will present necessities to soldiers and residents in the island district, according to Rear Admiral Phan Tuan Hung, Deputy Commander of the Naval Force.

They are scheduled to visit DK1 Platform and several islands in the Truong Sa archipelago, where they will meet with officers, soldiers, and local people.

On this occasion, the delegation of National Assembly deputies of Khanh Hoa province will also present certificates of merit from the provincial People’s Committee to collectives that performed strongly in fulfilling national defence and security tasks in 2020./.

Photo exhibition marks 46th anniversary of National Reunification Day

Twenty-one prize-winning photos in a contest named “Tu Hao Mot Dai Bien Cuong” (Pride in the frontier strip) are on display at an exhibition launched in Ho Chi Minh City on April 26.

The exhibited photos include two first prize, three second prize and six third prize winners and 10 receiving honourable mentions. They are among a total 196 photo showcased at the event, which is co-organised by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Communications and Education and the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists to celebrate the 46th anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification (April 30, 1975 – 2021) and the 135th May Day (May 1, 1986 – 2021).

These works vividly reflect daily life and the beauty of distinctive architectural works, festivals and folk arts of ethnic minority people living along the border; and life of on-duty border guard officers who stay ready to defend the country’s sovereignty and border security.

The exhibition will run through May 7./.

Localities intensify COVID-19 prevention measures ahead of holidays

Increased pandemic prevention measures have been noticed in cities and provinces nationwide, as the Reunification Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) holidays approach.

Strict fines are imposed on people without facemasks in public places in Ho Chi Minh City, the local authorities said in an urgent direction issued on April 26.

Accordingly, public-awareness-raising communications on COVID-19 and pandemic prevention and control measures have been ordered, with restrictions in place for mass gatherings. Those involved in organising illegal entries in the city also face strict punishments.

The same day, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung emphasized a high risk of new outbreaks during and after the upcoming holidays at a meeting of the municipal Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on April 26.

He urged the active implementation of pandemic measures that prioritise early detection, quick quarantine, and effective treatment. Wearing facemask is a must in public areas and on public transport vehicles; and events that gather a large number of people are restricted.

The capital will continue its vaccination drive correctly, safely, and efficiently, according to Dung.

Also on April 26, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long had a working session with the Can Tho People’s Committee, asking the Mekong Delta city to soon complete its national-level COVID-19 treatment hospital and prepare for complicated developments of the epidemic in the future.

For the work to be done, he assigned the Can Tho General Hospital to collaborate with localities and the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Can Tho also needs to establish a 400-bed COVID-19 treatment hospital in Phong Dien district that is capable of accommodating up to 800 beds when necessary, the minister underscored./.

Nation to enjoy sunny April 30-May 1 holidays

All regions across the country are expected to see sunny weather on the upcoming National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holidays, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

In the northern and north-central region, rains are forecast to reduce on April 29. From April 30, the weather will be good again with cool temperature, according to the centre. However, high temperature is forecast in certain areas such as northwest as well as northern and central mountainous regions.

From April 30 to May 3, the northern region is expected to enjoy sunny weather, but a hot spell is forecast for the northwest region in the daytime and rains at night.

Hanoi is predicted to enjoy sunny weather in the daytime but whirlwinds and rains at night. The central coastal, central and Central Highlands regions are expected to experience the same developments of weather.

Meanwhile in Ho Chi Minh City, the weather will be good with sunlight in the morning and potential rains, thunder and whirlwinds in the afternoon and night./.

Multiple tourism products, services launched in HCMC

HCMC is launching a series of tourism introduction programs between April 25 and August 15 to attract domestic visitors to the city, while many three- to five-star hotels are also lowering room prices by up to 65% during the period.

Apart from many tourist destinations and special eateries, various new check-in points and street food in HCMC will be introduced through these tourism programs, according to the HCMC Department of Tourism.

The city will be offering new tours, including “Throwing back at the history-Silent Footprints-Saigon Army Rangers”, telling visitors about the stories of HCMC, “Can Gio- a different Saigon” and “Back to sacred place”, in which tourists will be taken to Binh Chanh to explore historic fights against French troops.

The “Talking with typical three-generation families of artists in HCMC” program will also bring new experiences to tourists.

In addition, traditional plays of hat boi, a genre of Vietnamese traditional drama, which is over 500 years old, will be performed at the Lang Ong Ba Chieu Temple, where the tombs of Le Van Duyet and his wife lie, or the Saigon Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Aside from reducing room prices, many hotels such as Nikko Saigon, Park Hyatt Saigon and Le Meriden are rolling out staycation packages for the city’s residents.

Report claims right to autonomy and self-determination

Nearly half of women in 57 developing countries are denied the right to bodily autonomy, said a report released on Thursday.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s 2021 flagship report – State of World Population – was launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the HCM Central Youth Union.

For the first time, a UN report focuses on the topic of bodily autonomy, without fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.

The report shows that in countries where data is available, only 55 per cent of women are fully empowered to make choices over healthcare, contraception and sexual relations.

Only 71 per cent of countries guarantee access to overall maternity care.

Only about 56 per cent of countries have laws and policies supporting comprehensive sexuality education.

Addressing the launch, Nguyễn Tường Lâm, Secretary of the Central Youth Union, said: “The theme of this year’s World Population Report “My body is my own” turns the spotlight on bodily autonomy. With the focus on comprehensive sexuality education and gender equality, the report calls for joint efforts in strengthening awareness among young people and rights to ensure that they are equipped with knowledge and skills to make their own decisions about their health.”

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Việt Nam, said: “A woman who has control over her body is more likely to be empowered in other spheres of her life. She is more likely to thrive, and so is her family, her community and her country.”

Bodily autonomy is measured through two sustainable development goals (SDGs) indicators, including 5.6.1 and 5.6.2. In the report, Việt Nam is cited, among 75 countries which have data, for the measurement of SDG indicator 5.6.2 – the existence of laws, regulations, or policies that guarantee full and equal access to women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and education.

Việt Nam has the indicator value of 54 per cent out of 100 per cent achievement, which is higher than Nepal (48 per cent) but lower than Cambodia (98 per cent) and Myanmar (75 per cent).

Việt Nam does not yet have a full data set for SDG indicator 5.6.1 about proportion of women aged 15-49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive healthcare, but plans to make it available in the coming years.

The Sate of World Population report is UNFPA’s annual flagship publication. Published yearly since 1978, it shines a light on emerging issues in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

Job market shows strong signs of recovery

Vietnam’s job market showed strong signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2021, opening up various opportunities for workers, especially highly-skilled workers.
The labour market has been steadily recovering since early in the year, according to data from Adecco Vietnam, with the number of job openings in March rising 40% against January. Growth in job applications was 26%.

Sectors seeing an increase in hiring demand in the quarter included Engineering and Manufacturing, Energy, IT, E-commerce, Electronics, Semiconductor Design, Civil Engineering, and Industrial Construction.

The combination of global supply chain shifts and the positive impact of free trade agreements will offer new prospects for Vietnam’s economy into the future, leading to a significant increase in employment opportunities and hiring demand, said Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Adecco Hanoi’s Recruitment Manager.

 

In Ho Chi Minh City, the labour market in Q1 was livelier than in the same period last year, according to the municipal Centre for Human Resources Forecasting and Labour Market Information (FALMI).

Its figures show that there were over 44,000 job vacancies and nearly 19,500 jobseekers in the southern economic hub during the period, increasing local human resources demand by 13.14% year-on-year. The majority of vacancies (70.38%) were in the services sector, followed by industry (29.51%) and agriculture (0.11%).

The centre forecasts that the city will need between 68,600 and 73,500 workers, mostly in the fields of IT, electronics and electricity; mechanics and automation; healthcare and medicine; accounting and auditing; finance, banking and securities; real estate; and tourism, lodging and catering services.

Adecco Hanoi Office Director Nguyen Thu Ha explained three main reasons contributing to the current situation. The first is the Government’s successful efforts in virus prevention and containment, she said. Second, businesses have gradually ramped up their operations and are eager to bounce back after a period of economic stagnation. Third, in terms of psychology, people now are better able to take care their health and cope with coronavirus anxiety.

FALMI said that demand for trained workers in HCM City made up 85.72% of the total, including 22.19% for university graduates or higher.

Commenting on the labour market outlook for 2021, Andree Mangels, General Director, Adecco Vietnam believed that the recovery of the economy and the global trends of digitalisation will open up opportunities for skilled workers.

A recent survey from the Adecco Group on shifts in workplace expectations in the post-pandemic world indicate that 82% of participants appreciate the strict hygiene regulations at work.

Other noticeable expectations among workers are flexibility (80%), adequate facilities for remote working (79%), investment in technology (77%), financial support policies (77%), and regular updates on business plans and performance (75%).

Kien Giang acts to protect Phu Quoc from Covid-19 transmission

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has adopted multiple measures to prevent the Covid-19 transmission from hitting its island city of Phu Quoc, as scores of Vietnamese citizens working in Cambodia and other countries, which share the border with Vietnam, are forecast to return home through the Cambodia-Ha Tien border gate after these neighboring countries lifted Covid-19 lockdown.

At a recent meeting reviewing the efforts to control and prevent Covid-19 infection throughout the province, Lam Minh Thanh, chairman of the provincial government, said that the province will face more difficulties in fighting the disease in the coming time since it shares a long borderline with Cambodia, where the pandemic is at its peak, and has many border crossings.

Therefore, aside from receiving and taking anti-epidemic measures for Vietnamese citizens returning home from Cambodia, Thanh asked local border guard forces to ramp up efforts to monitor vehicles operating in the locality and increase the frequency of patrols at border areas to prevent illegal entry.

The chairman also required the local competent forces to check the compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols in the province and monitor fishermen and those living and trading in border areas in order to promptly detect and prevent illegal immigrants.

Besides this, sea patrol police were asked to team up with the competent forces to direct boats operating at sea to combat Covid-19 and quickly deal with problems arising on the island.

Phu Quoc Island is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam. Recently, many local carriers have launched new air services to this island city to meet the rising travel demand among passengers after the coronavirus outbreak in the country has been brought under control.

Son La receives rice support for between-crop period

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has signed a decision assigning the Ministry of Finance to provide over 59,800 tonnes of rice to the northern mountainous province of Son La during the between-crop period of 2021.

The rice, sourced from the national reserves, aims to support local residents in order to ensure no one suffers from hunger during the period.

The Deputy PM assigned the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to allocate the rice to the locality, while asking the provincial authorities to ensure timely delivery to right beneficiaries in line with regulations.

In case Son La still faces difficulties after receiving the aid, the local authorities are advised to report to the two ministries for further assistance./. 

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES APRIL 28

Hai Phong's Flamboyant Festival to draw tourists

Various cultural, economic, sport and tourism activities will be held in the northern port city of Hai Phong between May 11 and 15 during the annual Flamboyant Festival of the northern port city.

An art show titled Hai Phong – A Successful Destination on May 11 will be a highlight of the programme with a fireworks show.

The event aims to celebrate the anniversary of the Liberation Day of the city from French occupation (May 13, 1955).

Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was not held to spare funding to fight the virus. This year, with the pandemic under control, authorities decided to host the festival at a cost of some 20 billion VND (869,000 USD) contributed by local individuals and enterprises.

Local authorities of all culture, sport, tourism and art sectors in 15 districts in the city will host 66 activities during the festival.

They include photo exhibitions, a virtual contest titled “Check-in Hai Phong, My Beloved City” on Facebook; ca tru (ceremonial singing) performances; a golf tournament; exhibition of Hai Phong’s achievements in socio-economics; a cooking contest; a tourism fair; a singing contest on Hai Phong; an ao dai (traditional long dress) festival; a women's beach volleyball tournament, and a classic car show.

According to Le Khac Nam, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, the event will promote the city’s image as a smart developing city, which is friendly to international visitors and also a successful destination for investors.

Hai Phong is 100km to the northeast of Hanoi. Flamboyant trees are planted in many streets in the city, which come into full bloom in summer (May-June), hence the name of the festival./.

Man arrested for illegal deforestation

The investigation police agency at the Police Department of the northern mountainous province of Son La on April 26 decided to arrest a 43-year-old man for his illegal deforestation.

Lo Van Quy, from Co Noi commune, Mai Son district, Son La province, will be arrested for his violation of regulations on exploitation and protection of forests and forest product management in line with Article 232 of the Penal Code.

The decision has been approved by the provincial People’s Procuracy.

Investigators said Quy hired a group of people to illegally exploit forest products and they were caught red handed in a forest in Na Pan hamlet, Chieng Dong commune, Yen Chau district.

The case is under further investigation./.

HCMC Transport Dept proposes restricting vehicles with over 30 seats downtown

The HCMC Department of Transport has proposed restricting vehicles with more than 30 seats in downtown areas, including districts 1, 3, 5 and 10.

The restriction will not be applied to buses that transport students, workers and tourists and vehicles for special purposes.

The department also proposed increasing the number of cameras installed in downtown areas and around the Mien Dong Bus Station in Binh Thanh District as many coaches frequently stop on the streets in these areas to pick up or drop off passengers.

The pickups and drop-offs of passengers have worsened traffic congestion and caused dangers to commuters in these areas. The city will publish the list of locations that allow coaches to pick up or drop off passengers.

Besides that, the HCMC Transport Department proposed that the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam upgrade the data analysis system for dashcams to effectively detect and punish vehicles that violate traffic regulations.

HCMC currently has over 110 stops for coaches to pick up and drop off passengers.

Project launched to protect children in coffee production

A project on enhancing capacity and bolstering the protection of children working in coffee production in Dak Lak was officially launched in the Central Highlands province on April 26.

Implemented from October 2020 to March 2023 at a total cost of nearly 5.7 billion VND (248,000 USD), the project covers the six communes of Ea Tan and Dlie Ya in Krong Nang district, Ea Drong and Ea Tul in Cu M’Gar district, and Cu Bao and Ea Drong in Buon Ho township.

Objectives include improving the living conditions of children in coffee growing and processing areas, to ensure they are protected and their rights are observed.

About 2,000 children are expected to benefit from the project, most of whom are from ethnic minority groups.

According to Vice Director of the Dak Lak Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Phuong, Dak Lak is an agriculture province and nearly 70 percent of its population are farmers.

Coffee is the major crop, he said, adding that the project will contribute to improving awareness among children, parents, businesses, and local authorities about children’s rights, realising targets set regarding their care, especially in preventing them from leaving school during the harvest season.

Along with strengthening communications, the department will support poor children to return to school while assisting local authorities to inspect workplace safety at coffee production facilities, Phuong said.

At the same time, the department will coordinate with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union to organise contests on technology application in coffee production, with the aim of erasing work involving child labour, while cooperating with the Health Department to prevent children being injured during production.

The capacity of units in the coffee supply chain to protect children will be enhanced, he said, adding that training courses will be held for relevant parties while communications on child protection laws will be strengthened. Businesses will be encouraged to sign agreements on not using child labour and ensuring workplace safety./.

Commune on Phu Quoc Island to hold elections early

The National Election Council recently issued Dispatch No 533/HDBCQG-VP dated April 20, allowing Tho Chau island commune of Phu Quoc city to hold the elections of deputies to the National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure on May 21, two days earlier than the national election day.

This was reported by the Election Committee of the Mekong Delta’s Kien Giang province, to which Phu Quoc belongs.

Covering over 1,395 ha, Tho Chau island commune consists of eight islands and islets: Tho Chu, Hon Tu, Hon Cao Cat, Hon Nhan, Hon Kho, Hon Xanh, Hon Cai Ban, and Hon Da Bac.

Tho Chu is the largest and only inhabited island in the commune.

The elections are being held early due to difficult access and extreme weather conditions here./.

New NA Chairman receives more congratulations

Parliamentary leaders of foreign countries continued to send letters of congratulations to National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on his election as the top leader of the Vietnamese legislature.

NA Chairman Hue received congratulations from President of the Senate of Romania Anca Dana Dragu, President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Eliane Tillieux, and Speaker of the National Assembly of Mozambique Esperanca Laurinda Francisco Nhiuane Bias./.

Japan-funded project to help mitigate COVID-19 impacts on vulnerable populations

The Japanese Government will provide Vietnam with more than 2.8 million USD to finance a project on “Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Vulnerable Populations”, which was launched in Hanoi on April 26.

The project aims to aid the Vietnamese Government’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and ensure national progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It plans to intervene in four areas: gender-based violence, improvements to elderly care, sexual and reproductive health care, and support for returning Vietnamese migrants.

The project will be conducted from April 2021 to March 2022 in 14 cities and provinces: Thai Nguyen, Dien Bien, Lao Cai, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Da Nang, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Dak Lak, An Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, and HCM City.

Addressing the launch of the new project, the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam said the COVID-19 pandemic proved the importance of mutual understanding, the sharing of resources, and, above all, solidarity and cooperation between communities, societies, and nations in tackling the unprecedented challenges. The new project also demonstrates the good relationship between Vietnam and Japan, he added.

Though Vietnam responded to COVID-19 better than most countries, the social and economic consequences it has caused are of great concern, the ambassador went on, and vulnerable groups such as women and girls, the elderly, and adolescents have been hit hardest.

Naomi Kitahara, representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam, said the challenges facing Vietnamese people, especially vulnerable groups, have become more complex due to COVID-19, which has deepened existing inequalities and exposed social gaps.

For Vietnam to achieve the SDGs, it is necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and ensure that all people are part of the sustainable development process so that no one is left behind. She expects the project will represent a great leap forward for Vietnam in remaining committed to fulfilling the SDGs.

The project plans to establish three one-stop shop service centres, hold 10 creative and innovative campaigns on the prevention of gender-based violence amid COVID-19, and provide training for around 500 men and women on preventing and responding to gender-based violence.

Under the project, about 1,000 elderly citizens in selected cities and provinces will be provided with high-quality health care and support services, while some 58,000 others are expected to benefit from telehealth services.

About 5,000 ethnic minority women will benefit from a mobile application offering information and consultation on sexual and reproductive healthcare, while 45 district-level public clinics will receive medical equipment to protect their health workers from COVID-19.

It will also register returning migrant workers for training courses on soft skills and comprehensive gender education, and provide them with counselling in sexual and reproductive health, the prevention of gender-based violence, and future careers./.

Vietnam ready to help Laos respond to COVID-19

Vietnam is ready to provide support within its capability to Laos in overcoming difficulties that Laos faces in COVID-19 prevention and control work, standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong said.

The official made the pledge during a reception in Hanoi on April 27 for Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang.

Thuong expressed his delight at the development of the special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos, and affirmed that Vietnam will work together with Laos to protect and foster the ties between the two countries.

He offered sympathy to the Lao Party, State and people over the loss caused by the pandemic, noting his belief that under the leadership of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the governance of the Lao Government and the solidarity of the entire political system and Lao people, the country will be able to contain the spread of the pandemic in the shortest time possible, thus ensuring the implementation of socio-economic development tasks.

The Party official appreciated the important role of the Lao Embassy in Vietnam and asked the embassy to continue working as a bridge to connect ministries, sectors and localities of the two countries towards more effective bilateral cooperation.

Ambassador Sengphet Houngboungnuang congratulated Vietnam over its great and comprehensive achievements and voiced his belief that the Vietnamese people will continue to reap even greater accomplishments in their Doi Moi (Renewal) cause and successfully realise the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

The ambassador also thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and people for their whole-hearted and effective help for Laos, and took the occasion to update Thuong on the situation in Laos, especially developments of the COVID-19 pandemic./.

Five COVID-19 cases recorded on April 27

Vietnam recorded five cases of COVID-19 during the past 12 hours to 6pm April 27, raising the national total to 2,857, according to the Health Ministry.

Among the new patients, four are Vietnamese citizens returning from abroad and have been quarantined immediately after arrival. The fifth patient was a staff member at a hotel which is used as a quarantine facility in the northern province of Yen Bai, where several Indian experts are quarantined after arriving in Vietnam. This staff member has also been under medical monitoring since the first day he made contact with the Indian experts.

Meanwhile, 2,516 COVID-19 patients have been given the all clear, and the death toll remains at 35.

Among patients still under treatment, 13 have tested negative for the novel coronavirus once, 15 twice and 20 thrice.

A total 38,266 people are being quarantined across the country./.

Government committee meets foreign religious practitioners in Vietnam

The Government Committee for Religious Affairs held a meeting with foreign religious practitioners on April 27 to inform about legal regulations on beliefs and religions, and the realisation of the right to freedom of belief or religion of foreigners legally residing in Vietnam.

The event was attended by officials of the Government committee, the Ministry of Home Affairs, relevant ministries and agencies, and localities’ committees for religious affairs, along with dignitaries representing 43 places and groups for concentrated religious practices of foreigners.

Vu Chien Thang, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, said Vietnam’s strong integration into the world has attracted a large number of foreign entrepreneurs and businesses. Many of foreigners working, studying, and living in the country have beliefs or religions, thus having the demand for religious practices.

He emphasised Vietnam’s policy of respecting and protecting all people’s right to freedom of belief or religion, noting that the 2013 Constitution recognised the right as one of the fundamental human rights while the Law on Belief and Religion, adopted by the National Assembly on November 18, 2016 and coming into force on January 1, 2018, detailed this right of all people, including foreigners legally residing in Vietnam.

In fact, foreigners legally residing in the country have had their right to freedom of belief or religion ensured in line with legal regulations, Thang went on.

Local authorities have created conditions for tens of foreigners’ places and groups to practice religions at legal sites in Vietnam. Meanwhile, foreign dignitaries are allowed to preach at places or groups of concentrated religious practices. Foreigners are also permitted to bring religious publications and items to serve their practices, according to the official.

He expressed his hope that the dignitaries and representatives of foreigners’ places and groups for religious practices will not only help introduce the land, people, and religious life in Vietnam, but also correctly present the country’s relevant policies and legal regulations to other foreigners.

At the meeting, participants learned about the basic contents of the Law on Belief and Religion, the rules on exit from and entry into Vietnam, and the provision of online public services related to belief and religion.

They also discussed issues relevant to the realisation of foreigners’ right to freedom of belief or religion to help build a healthy religious life in the country./.

Kien Giang readies medical infrastructure in face of COVID-19 risk

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is working to establish a temporary hospital for COVID-19 treatment in its border city of Ha Tien amid complex developments of the coronavirus in neighbouring Cambodia and illegal border crossings.

Based at the centre for culture, information, and sports in My Duc ward, the hospital will be capable of handling about 300 patients with mild symptoms in the initial phase, according to Director of the Kien Giang Department of Health Ha Van Phuc.

He noted that if the number of Vietnamese people in Cambodia returning home via the Ha Tien International Border Gate keeps increasing, the province will add 200 beds to the temporary hospital.

Eleven rooms for COVID-19 patients in a critical condition will be set up at the Healthcare Centre of Ha Tien city, while the second storey of this centre will be able to provide treatment for 39 patients in fair condition.

After new infrastructure at the Kien Giang General Hospital opens in early May, the old facilities will serve as another temporary hospital if the COVID-19 situation becomes more complex, Phuc added.

On April 19, a quick response team from the Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City was sent to assist Kien Giang in its COVID-19 response.

Dr Tran Thanh Linh, deputy head of the resuscitation and emergency department at the Cho Ray Hospital, said local authorities have thoroughly prepared pandemic prevention and control plans, including the arrangement of treatment sites, as the border areas of Ha Tien city are facing a high risk of COVID-19 transmission.

As of the morning of April 27, Vietnam had recorded 2,852 cases of COVID-19, including 2,516 recoveries, while fatalities remain at 35, according to the Ministry of Health./.

Vietnam’s largest man-made crystal lagoon to be launched

Final touches are being put on the 6.1-hectare salt-water lagoon in Hanoi’s Vinhomes Ocean Park, which will be launched during the upcoming public holiday this weekend.

Constructed by US-based Crystal Lagoons, the project is holding a national record as Vietnam’s largest salt-water lagoon recognised by the Vietnam Record Association. It is also the sixth largest man-made crystalline lagoon in the world.

Dubbed as a jewel in the city, Vinhomes Ocean Park’s crystal lagoon offers its residents and visitors a unique and exciting beach life experience with beautiful turquoise waters surrounded by 35-metre-wide white sand beach.

The sand has been brought here from Nha Trang whose beach was listed in the top 50 most beautiful white sand beaches in the world.

Once operational, the lagoon is expected to help create a unique living space for Hanoians and realise the dream of enjoying beach life every day right in the hustle and bustle capital city.

Vietnamese people will enjoy four days off during the upcoming public holiday from April 30 to May 2 to celebrate the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1)./.

Da Nang starts legal proceeding against illegal entry organisers

Police in the central city of Da Nang have started legal proceedings and detained 14 suspects involving in a ring of brokering and organising illegal entry to Vietnam for Chinese people.

According to Major General Vu Xuan Vien, Director of the Da Nang Department of Public Security, the suspects reside in different northern localities such as Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Hoa Binh, Hanoi and Hung Yen.

He highlighted the joint efforts of the police of Da Nang and other localities in raiding the ring, saying this is important amid the current COVID-19 situation.

In December 2020, the police of Da Nang discovered four illegal Chinese immigrants in a seven-seat car driven by Dinh Xuan Hien, a resident of Thai Binh province. Expanding investigation into the case, the police arrested additional 14 suspects.

The investigation results showed that from December 21-29, the ring managed to bring 49 Chinese people to Vietnam and then to Cambodia for 28-30 million VND for each person.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, which shares sea border with Cambodia, are tightening control over illegal entry to Vietnam, especially during the upcoming April 30- May 1 holidays and the upcoming general elections as part of efforts to prevent COVID-19 pandemic to enter Vietnam.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Doan Dinh Tranh, Vice Political Commissar of the provincial Border Guard High Command said that Kien Giang has set up 30 posts, eight mobile teams and 11 checkpoints in Phu Quoc Island to prevent COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 23-24, local forces discovered four illegal immigration cases with 23 illegal immigrants to Phu Quoc./.

16 teams progress to next round of Bamboo Airways National Cup 2021

A total of 16 teams have made it into the round of 16 of the Bamboo Airways National Cup 2021, which is scheduled to take place in July.

The results were announced following the conclusion of two final matches as part of the national cup’s qualifying round on April 25.

Phu Dong FC and Khanh Hoa FC became the final two football clubs to have their progress to the round of 16 confirmed after recording a 1-0 win over Hue FC and a 2-0 victory over Phu Tho FC, respectively.

The most notable match in the next round of the competition will be between Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC and SHB Da Nang FC, with both teams being placed in first and second positions in the current V.League 1 table.

Hanoi FC, the current National Cup champions, are exempt from competing in the qualifying round, therefore they will face Pho Hien FC in their first match in the following round.

As V.League 1 champions of the 2020 season, Viettel FC will play Hai Phong FC in their first match of the competition.

The tournament’s next round is set to get underway in July, with the winner being granted a sum of VND1 billion, equivalent to US$43,000, in prize money, whilst also earning a place in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2022.

The first and second runners-up will be given VND500 million, equal to US$21,500, and VND200 million, equivalent to US$8,600, respectively.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes 

 
 

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