VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES APRIL 29

Five domestically-transmitted cases of COVID-19 reported on April 29

Vietnam recorded 45 cases of COVID-19 in the past 12 hours to 6pm April 29, with 39 detected among people being quarantined after arrival, one case who had completed quarantine after arrival and five connected cases, according to the Health Ministry.

Patient 2899 returned from Japan on April 7 and was released from a concentrated quarantine site in Da Nang on April 22 after completing two weeks in quarantine and testing negative for the coronavirus three times. After returning to his home in the northern province of Ha Nam, he showed symptoms of coughing, fever and sore throat, and turned out to be positive on April 24. Four others in his family also contracted the virus.

Another case detected in Ho Chi Minh City was also connected to Patient 2899.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 2,910, with 2,516 having recovered. The death toll remains at 35.  

Among patients still under treatment, 13 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 15 twice and 20 thrice.

Meanwhile, 38,513 people are being quarantined nationwide.

Ha Nam authorities have taken urgent measures to track people who had made contact with Patient 2899. The village where he lives has been put under lockdown./.

Vietnam stands side by side with India in COVID-19 fight: leaders

Vietnam always stands side by side with India in the fight against COVID-19, the Vietnamese leaders affirmed on April 28.

In their messages of sympathy sent to their Indian counterparts Ram Nath Kovind and Narendra Modi, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said they share difficulties faced by the Indian people in the fierce battle against COVID-19 in the context that the pandemic is developing complicatedly around the world.

They expressed his belief that India will uphold its great internal strength to soon bring the country out of this difficulty, for the peaceful, happy and prosperous life of the residents.

On the same day, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son cabled his sympathy to his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Culture ministry calls for COVID-19 vigilance during national holiday

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) has asked provincial and local authorities in the field of culture, sports and tourism to enforce preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the upcoming four-day national holiday.

In an official circular issued by the ministry and sent to the People's Committees of provinces and cities on Monday, the ministry said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop in the world with the number of new cases and deaths still increasing in many countries.

Notably, the pandemic is booming on a large scale in a number of countries that share a border with Việt Nam, it said.

"Although it has been well controlled domestically, the risk of returning outbreaks is always permanent, especially from sources of official entries and illegal immigration," the ministry said in its circular. 

The ministry warned that some people have been negligent in pandemic prevention.

To maintain control of the pandemic, the ministry urged People's Committees of provinces and cities to strictly follow the directions of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on strengthening COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control, with continued vigilance against the risk of a new outbreak.

It is necessary to ensure absolute safety for residents and tourists, according to the ministry.

The ministry also asked provinces and cities to limit the organising of unnecessary events and activities that gather crowds of people and direct local tourist service units and agencies to register and self-assess their COVID-19 safety measures.

Provincial and city authorities should inspect pandemic prevention and control measures to promptly detect violations and issue strict punishments if necessary.

The ministry has requested provinces and cities to report on the results of the implementation of the COVID-19 prevention and control programme not later than May 10.  

Highland market to be recreated in Hanoi 

People of Hanoi capital and tourists will have a chance to watch unique cultural performances and sample specialties of ethnic people in the highland region when a highland market is recreated in the capital city.

Such a market is scheduled to be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay town on the outskirts of Hanoi between April 29 and May 3 as part of activities to celebrate National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).

The highlight of the event is set to be an array of booths which will display a range of agricultural and forestry products, along with handicraft items and traditional food native to Hoang Su Phi district in Ha Giang province.

A photo and book exhibition is due to be held in order to introduce the culture and tourism products of the northwestern region to visitors.

Brocades of ethnic groups such as the Mong, the Thai, and the Dao will be put on sale, while their folk games are anticipated to attract plenty of participants.

Most notably, “Keo Vo”, wife snatching, a ritual of the Mong ethnic group, will be recreated daily between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., along with 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., from April 30 to May 3.

Plenty of art performances will also be held at fixed times such as from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., each day from April 29 to May 3.

HCM City prepares to host Vietnam Junior Fashion Week 2021

The 14th version of Vietnam Junior Fashion Week is set to get underway in Ho Chi Minh City from May 1 to May 2, with the occasion due to feature the participation of many famous local fashion designers.

The fashion event is to run with the theme of "Maturing for tomorrow" and will serve as a platform to introduce new child models to the stage.

For the first time ever, child patients of Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital will perform alongside other professional child models, with the aim to encourage them to overcome their difficulties and help make their dreams come true.

During the course of the two-day event, a total of 14 fashion designers and brands, including Domark Kid, An ST, Vicky Princess, Lala Babe, and Cindy For Kids, will introduce their latest collections to excited viewers.

Vietnam Junior Fashion Week was first held in 2016 and has been held annually since in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Famous Vietnamese model Xuan Lan is the founder of the event.

No new COVID-19 cases logged over 12 hours, vaccination effort ramping up

Vietnam reported no new COVID-19 cases during the past 12 hours to 6:00am on April 29, keeping the national count at 2,865, according to the Ministry of Health.

As many as 38,513 people having close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined across the country.

The ministry’s Medical Service Administration reported that a total of 2,516 patients have been given the all-clear from COVID-19 so far, while the death toll related to the disease remains at 35.

Among active patients undergoing treatment, 13 tested negative to the coronavirus once, 15 twice and 20 thrice.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination effort is ramping up with 92,445 people vaccinated on April 28, the highest number of doses administered daily to date. A total of 425,638 people have been vaccinated against the virus in Vietnam so far, most of who are frontline medical workers and members of community-based anti-COVID-19 groups and steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control in localities.

The Health Ministry continuously warns about the high risk of the pandemic to spread to Vietnam, and urges people to remain proactive in pandemic prevention and control by continuing to wear face masks when going out, disinfecting frequently, maintaining a safe distance, refraining from mass gatherings, and making medical declarations./.

Vietnam, Russia promote AI cooperation

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES APRIL 29

The Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg on April 28 organised a teleconference on cooperation between Vietnam and Russia in artificial intelligence (AI).

This is the first online conference between the two countries in the field which is developing rapidly and holding both development potential and challenges.

It received the support from the Vietnam Software & IT services (VINASA), Russoft – an association of software developing companies in Russia, the Technological Sovereignty Exports Association, and the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Russia.

Deputy Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg Vyacheslav Kalganov said that the theme of this teleconference is a topical issue because the current technology development makes the demand for control and automation systems increase.

Experts and speakers exchanged views on the high technology situations in the two countries as well as potential cooperative fields.

They highlighted priorities for cooperation between the two countries in information technology and digital transformation and made interactive proposals in the AI field./.

State leader chairs meeting on building key legal training institutions

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is head of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform, chaired a meeting discussing the building of several key legal training institutions on April 28.

The meeting assessed the results of implementing the Prime Minister’s Decisions on a project to build the Hanoi Law University and Ho Chi Minh City Law University into key educational institutions for training legal officers and a project to turn the Academy of Justice into a major training centre for judicial positions.

Addressing the event, President Phuc stressed that public units, including schools and hospitals, play an extremely important role in national developments.

He spoke highly of efforts made by the universities and academy to carry out the two projects, reflected through the improvement in their training scale and quality.

Phuc emphasised the need to continue increasing the training quality to meet higher requirements, especially in the context of international integration and the occurrence of international lawsuits and conflicts.

He affirmed that the State always pays attention to supporting the units, and require localities to help them in issues related to the ground and resources.

In order to become the country’s key units in training legal officers and judicial positions, the institutions must exert more efforts with a greater determination and the spirit of daring to think and daring to do and proactively proposing necessary mechanisms, policies and measures, he added./.

Saudi Arabia lends helping hand to disadvantaged Vietnamese

The Central Committee of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRSC) on April 28 received aid worth over 166,000 USD from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (Ksrelief) in support of poor Vietnamese households.

Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam Saud F.M. Alsuwelim handed over the aid to Vice Chairman of the VRSC Central Committee Tran Quoc Hung.

The ambassador affirmed that the Government of Saudi Arabia wants to develop ties with Vietnam in all areas. In the near future, it will deliver a batch of medical supplies worth 500,000 USD.

Hung, for his part, said the aid will be used to assist 6,890 families hard hit by disasters and the pandemic in An Giang, Binh Thuan, and Ninh Thuan provinces via the humanitarian market model, which offers food, necessities, and other goods of clear origin and good quality.

Each beneficiary household will receive a voucher worth 500,000 VND (21.7 USD) for shopping at the market, he said.

He also expressed his hope that ties between the two will become increasingly close.

In December 2009, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam handed over 200 tonnes of goods valued at 100,000 USD to the VRSC in support of people hit by typhoons./.

Vietnam, RoK beef up diplomatic collaboration

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and his Republic of Korea counterpart Chung Eui-yong held their first phone talks on April 28, during which they agreed to maintain all-level exchanges, especially high-level ones, through flexible forms.

FM Chung congratulated Son on his election as Vietnamese FM, affirming to coordinate closely with him to lift the strategic cooperative partnership between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Vietnam to a new height.

He appreciated Vietnam’s efforts to well control the COVID-19 pandemic. Affirming Vietnam is a key partner in the RoK’s New Southern Policy, he showed his belief that Vietnam will achieve its targets set out in its 2021-2030 socio-economic development strategy.

Son, for his part, expressed his delight at the rapid development of bilateral ties in all fields, affirming that Vietnam always considers the RoK one of its leading partners and wishes to further boost its relations with the country.

Both sides reached a consensus on stepping up close cooperation between the two foreign ministries, including in implementing activities in celebration of the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2022, working to achieve a goal of 100 billion USD in two-way trade, promoting the relationship between the two countries’ localities and businesses, as well as in citizen protection.

They agreed to support and coordinate closely with each other within the regional and international cooperation frameworks such as the United Nations and ASEAN-RoK.

They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea and Korean Peninsula issues. Regarding the Myanmar situation, the two ministers agreed to work closely at regional and international forums to call for relevant parties to exercise restraint, avoid the use of violence and conduct peaceful dialogue.

They took the occasion to invite each other to visit their respective country at an appropriate time./.

Top legislator holds working session with NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held a working session with the standing board of the NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment in Hanoi on April 28.

Speaking at the event, Hue said there remains room to continue improving the operational efficiency of the legislature, such as raising the quality of discussions in groups about issues with mixed opinions.

About lawmaking, he said the legislature and NA agencies should play a more active and guiding role and offer all possible support to lawmakers to carry out legislation initiatives.

He agreed with the committee’s proposal to increase monitoring of the implementation of documents guiding legal enforcement, as well as presentation activities at the NA Ethnic Council and NA committees.

Hue hailed the committee’s proposal to pilot digital transformation in several activities, and hoped that the committee will offer consultations to the legislature in building the e-legislature.

He also suggested the committee present reports on digital transformation, digital and circular economy in the NA’s upcoming meeting./.

Vietnamese, Malaysian senior officials convene strategic dialogue

The second Vietnam-Malaysia Senior Officials’ Strategic Dialogue took place virtually on April 28 under the chair of Assistant to the Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu and Deputy Secretary General at the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amran Bin Mohamed Zin.

At the event, the Malaysian official lauded Vietnam’s success in COVID-19 prevention and control, socio-economic development, and external relations, particularly in its positions as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.

Stressing that Vietnam is the only strategic partner of Malaysia in Southeast Asia, he affirmed that Malaysia always attaches importance to and wants to foster its cooperation with Vietnam so that the relations will be more extensive and effective.

For his part, Hieu expressed his belief that Malaysia will soon overcome the pandemic and recover its economy.

Taking the occasion to thank the Malaysian side for facilitating flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens in the past time, the diplomat requested that Malaysia continue to support Vietnamese businesses and citizens living in the country as well as give humanitarian treatment to Vietnamese fishermen detained in Malaysian waters.

He stated Vietnam will continue creating favourable conditions for Malaysian investors, experts, managers, and skilled workers to enter Vietnam in line with health and pandemic control requirements.

The officials noted the robust growth of the Vietnam – Malaysia strategic partnership over the past years, and discussed specific collaboration orientations across fields to implement outcomes of a meeting between the two countries’ Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the recent ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Indonesia.

The two sides pledged to work closely to hold high-level and all-level delegation exchanges when conditions allow and to soon implement bilateral cooperation mechanisms such as joint committee and joint trade committee.

The officials noted they will also speed up the building of an action programme on implementing the nations’ strategic partnership for 2021 – 2025 so that the document can be approved by the 6th meeting of the countries’ joint committee for cooperating in economy and science-technology. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the last half of this year.

The sides also discussed regional and international matters of common concern and vowed to continue with mutual support and collaboration at multilateral organisations and forums, including ASEAN and the UN.

Regarding the East Sea issue, they emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, and maritime and aviation safety in the waters; resolving disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and facilitating the negotiation on a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the waters (COC)./.

Vietnam promotes gender mainstreaming in climate change policies

Gender mainstreaming in climate change policies is crucial to promoting gender equality in Vietnam, according to Deputy Director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) Nguyen Trung Thang.

At a workshop held in Hanoi on April 28, Thang said that ISPONRE carried out research on the state of gender equality in climate change policies in Vietnam, with focus sharpened on the four sectors of renewable energy, agriculture, water resources management, and garbage management.

The research showed that Vietnam has made efforts to complete policies on gender equality and climate change response but pointed out that women’s participation in policy making and management is limited.

Additionally, a lack of information and data on climate change’s impacts has affected the building and implementation of climate change policies with gender mainstreaming, he said.

The Vietnamese Government integrated gender equality and social inclusion in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution, which was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in September 2020.

Vietnam is among six countries hardest hit by extreme weather that killed 286 people and resulted in economic losses of 2 billion USD each year over the last two decades.

In a bid to cope with future challenges, Vietnam should adopt more ambitious targets to evaluate the state of gender mainstreaming in climate change policies, according to Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Anne Mawe.

Experts at the workshop suggested promoting the application of technical instruction on gender mainstreaming in climate change policies in combination with the implementation of other development plans./.

Private sector important to public health emergency response: Workshop

A workshop held in Hanoi on April 28 highlighted the important role of the private sector and digital technology in public health emergency response and monitoring.

After global disease outbreaks in the past, 196 countries, including Vietnam, agreed to comply with the International Health Regulations 2005 to develop the capacity of collecting and analysing health information so as to make early warnings and response to public health events.

Event-based surveillance (EBS), one of two methods for monitoring communicable diseases, aims to quickly detect any public health events that run the risk of causing disease transmission and outbreaks or affecting public health, and to issue a timely and appropriate response, thus minimising any negative impact on the public.

 

EBS is conducted by collecting information from three main sources: the community, healthcare establishments or testing labs, and the media (press, social networks).

Nguyen Thi Huong, an official from the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine, pointed out the low participation of private health establishments in public health surveillance and reporting, even though the sector is potentially a major source of input information for EBS.

Since 2020, based on the success of involving the private healthcare system in screening and reporting non-communicable diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV, Population Services International (PSI) Vietnam has applied chatbots, via which private healthcare facilities report suspected COVID-19 cases and infectious diseases that may turn into outbreaks.

The application has received financial support from the UK Department for International Development, the Unilever group, and the World Health Organisation in Vietnam.

PSI Vietnam has carried out a project on engaging the private sector in public health emergency response in Hanoi and the provinces of Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Ha Nam, and Quang Binh. The project has applied technological solutions to optimise efficiency and increase the timeliness of the EBS system.

After six months, it has provided training on the system to nearly 3,100 pharmacies and clinics. More than 81,900 cases with suspected symptoms have been reported via the system, becoming a source of supplementary data for the early detection and zoning of disease hotspots.

Underlining the importance of engaging the private healthcare sector in EBS, UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said close cooperation between the Government, international organisations, and private healthcare establishments can help boost the application of scientific initiatives so as to secure the public’s health and safety and sustainable development./.

Experts seek solutions to fluorocarbon management

Vietnamese and foreign scientists and experts gathered at a conference in Hanoi on April 28 to share information on current regulations relating to the control of fluorocarbons and to exchange experience in the management of the ozone-depleting substances.

Tang The Cuong, Director of the Department of Climate Change at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that the agency has been assigned to compile documents guiding the implementation of the revised Environment Protection Law, which was adopted by the National Assembly in November 2020 and will take effect on January 1, 2022.

He said he hopes that participants will contribute to the creation of regulations on the management of fluorocarbons in Vietnam.

Nguyen Dang Thu Cuc, National Ozone Coordinator at the Department of Climate Change, said that Vietnam was one of the first countries to join the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, in 1994.

In implementing the Montreal Protocol, it has completely excluded a number of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halon, and carbon tetrachloride (CTC), while controlling the import and export of Methyl Bromide and implementing a roadmap to eliminate hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

With the adopted roadmap, Vietnam will end the consumption and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are mostly used in the production of refrigeration, air conditioner, insulating foam, and aerosol propellants, from 2024. In 2045, HFC use is expected to be cut by 80 percent compared to baseline consumption, Cuc said.

She noted that, in 2019, the Government issued a resolution approving the amended and supplemented Kigali version.

Figures show that HCF consumption in Vietnam stood at more than 3,700 tonnes in 2019 and more than 6,000 tonnes in 2020.

Experts at the conference pointed to challenges facing countries in managing fluorocarbons. A Japanese representative shared information about a project to manage fluorocarbons’ lifecycle.

They also proposed a number of measures and solutions to manage HCFCs and HFCs, including the formation of a specialised agency to manage facilities using fluorocarbons./.

NA Chairman commends Economic Committee’s law-making performance

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue met with the standing board of the legislature’s Committee for Economic Affairs on April 28.

The top legislator highlighted the committee’s performance in law-making during the 14th tenure, as seen in its chairing of the verification and submission of 13 draft laws, including eight amended and supplemented laws and five new laws, to the NA for consideration and approval.

Among them, the law amending and supplementing certain articles of the Law on Credit Institutions, and the NA’s Resolution No 42/2017/QH14 on piloting the settlement of non-performing loans at credit institutions were milestones in legislative activities during the 14th tenure as they have been swiftly enforced in reality, he noted.

Meanwhile, he went on, the legal system on investment and business has been increasingly reformed and perfected, with the issuance of the Law on Investment, the Law on Enterprises, the Law on Investment in the form of Public-Private Partnerships, and the Law on Securities.

The committee’s verification reports have also been of higher quality and more persuasive, Hue said, asking that it continue working on a plan to reform and improve its activities.

The chairman requested the committee provide early and timely advice to the NA and the NA Standing Committee about major issues such as the five-year socio-economic development plan, the public investment plan, and the five-year financial plan.

It should thoroughly consult with experts about nationally important projects, he demanded.

The Committee for Economic Affairs also needs to assist the NA, the NA Standing Committee, and the Government in overhauling any overlaps and problems in legal regulations on investment and business, according to Hue./.

Exhibition highlights President Ho Chi Minh’s role in past general elections

An exhibition was opened at the Museum of Military Region 9 in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 28, giving visitors an insight into late President Ho Chi Minh’s role in the elections of the National Assembly (NA) and all-level People’s Councils in history.

The display is an activity celebrating 46 years since the South Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975), the 131st birthday of President Ho Chi Minh, and the elections of deputies to the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure that are slated for May 23.

It features more than 200 photos, documents, and objects showing the late leader’s role in the preparation for and organisation of the first general elections and the following ones.

Maj. Gen. Nguyen Thanh Hai, Deputy Chief of the Staff of Military Region 9, said the tradition of solidarity and working for the sake of the people and the country in the first NA, whose foundation was laid by President Ho Chi Minh, is one of the important prerequisites for the legislature in the 14th term, as well as in future tenures, to outstandingly perform the duties of the supreme organ of State power, helping to develop a Vietnam of prosperity and happiness.

The event will also help raise the community’s awareness of their role in selecting moral, capable, and prestigious persons representing the people’s aspirations and right to mastery for the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils, he added.

The exhibition will last through this May./.

President attends ceremony marking International Labour Day

The Vietnamese Party and State always give special attention and care to the working class, labourers and trade unions, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on April 28.

Addressing a ceremony held in Hanoi to celebrate the 135th anniversary of International Labour Day (May 1), the President said workers and labourers have continued to play an important role after 30 years of reform, noting they are the driving force in the process of national industrialisation and modernisation.

President Phuc hailed initiatives raised by trade union members and employees nationwide for the development of their businesses, agencies, units and the nation as a whole.

Pointing out difficulties facing workers and labourers in general, notably those working in the informal sector, as Vietnam and the world are combating COVID-19, the leader stressed that the Party and the State have adopted effective measures to fight the pandemic and recover the national economy.

Incomes of labourers are expected to increase again and new jobs would be created in the time ahead, helping to boost the rapid, sustainable economic growth of the country, the President said.

In that spirit, he emphasised the need for the Vietnamese trade union to soon draw up an action plan in order to realise the Resolution adopted at the 13th National Party Congress, saying the plan must carry forward the core, pioneer role of workers and labourers nationwide.

At the same time, trade union organisations at all levels should revamp their operational methods to better care and protect legitimate rights and interests of workers, he said.

Nguyen Dinh Khang, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), highlighted great contributions of the working class to the development of the Vietnamese revolution.

The VGCL has chosen the theme of “Solidarity, Creativity, Overcoming Difficulties, Development” for 2021, he said, adding that up to 245,000 initiatives were raised by workers and labourers across the country under a programme launched by the confederation.

On this occasion, the VGCL launched the Workers’ Month and the Month for Labour Safety and Hygiene./.

HCM City asked to support southwestern provinces in COVID-19 fight

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has asked Ho Chi Minh City to maintain a high level of vigilance against COVID-19, improve its quarantine capacity, and be ready to support other localities, including southwestern border provinces.

At a working session with HCM City’s leaders on April 28, Binh said the city should review its COVID-19 prevention and control from the highest to the grassroots levels.

Along with strengthening the inspection of pandemic prevention activities, especially at hospitals, schools, supermarkets, and places of worship, it should strictly punish those who fail to abide by prevention and control regulations as well as those facilitating illegal entry into Vietnam and illegal immigrants, he said.

Amid the complex developments in the region and the world, localities around the country must strictly implement the directions from the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, the Government, and the Prime Minister, especially during the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holidays and the upcoming general elections, the Deputy PM stressed.

At the working session, Deputy Minister of Public Security Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Son said that, since the beginning of April, the public security force has held four working sessions in southern localities on COVID-19 prevention while directing the force in HCM City to strengthen its engagement in the task.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that HCM City is facing a high risk of another COVID-19 outbreak, stressing the need for it to work harder to prevent that from happening. Together with cancelling mass gatherings, the city should also prepare more medical equipment for fighting the pandemic, he said.

The minister hoped the city will help Mekong Delta localities in COVID-19 prevention and control.

According to Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, the city has discovered 108 illegal immigrants since the beginning of April.

Although it has gone 73 days without any cases of domestic transmission, it has remained vigilant. Since April 27, it has strictly punished those not wearing a face mask in public places, while designing specific plans to ensure safety during the upcoming general elections, he said.

Nguyen Tan Binh, Director of the city’s Department of Health, said the southern hub has recorded 254 COVID-19 cases to date, including 68 domestically-transmitted infections.

Since the beginning of the year, it has sent 66 illegal immigrants to quarantine and is encouraging local people to make health declarations and strictly implement the “5K message”./.

Can Tho to take part in WWF’s One Planet City Challenge this year

The Mekong Delta’s Can Tho city will take part in the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) this year, with the aim of transforming itself into a clean and green city, a recent meeting heard.

The statement was made by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Tan Hien during a meeting with WWF representatives in the city on April 28.

The OPCC was initiated by the WWF to mobilise action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate-friendly future and to promote measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

It first began in Sweden in 2011 and expanded globally in 2013, according to Tran Anh Tuan, technical advisor with the OPCC. Since 2017, it has been held twice a year on an increasingly larger scale, and more than 320 cities from 20 countries have joined in to date.

Via the challenge, he said, cities share smart, efficient solutions for low-carbon and climate-resilient urban development and drive the global transition towards a 100-percent renewable energy future.

More than half of the world’s population live in cities that are seeing rapid urbanisation, Tuan continued. They generate over 80 percent of global GDP but also contribute 70 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As political and business hubs, cities should play a decisive role in mitigating climate change, he said.

A number of central cities in Vietnam have participated in the OPCC since 2015, including Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Dong Ha, Dong Hoi, and Vinh. In 2020-2021, two more - Can Tho and Soc Trang - are expected to join.

As a first-class municipality, Can Tho faces many of the same problems other cities are confronting in their development process, Hien said. It has taken part in several programmes and networks, such as The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, in an effort to minimise the negative impacts of climate change in each area.

He pledged that Can Tho will fulfil all of its commitments and adopt effective measures to make itself a greener and more modern city when joining the OPCC.

In 2018, Da Nang was awarded the title National Capital of the OPCC, making it the only city in Vietnam to join a list of 21 winning cities around the world./.

Aviation sector tightens pandemic prevention for upcoming holiday

Increasing COVID-19 prevention and control measures have been noticed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City over the last few days as the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holiday approaches.

A representative from Noi Bai said the airport has worked with carriers and ground units to seek agreement on measures to control health declarations and deploy human resources for the task. In waiting areas, internet-connected computers and support teams are in place to help passengers complete their declarations.

At Tan Son Nhat, more security scanners have been added to handle any overcrowding.

On April 24, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan signed a dispatch for the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and carriers Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Pacific Airlines, and Bamboo Airway on enhancing pandemic prevention measures at airports.

It strictly ordered the implementation of 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).

Travel demand over the public holiday is expected to increase significantly, with travel companies saying that up to 60 percent of tours have been booked for the four-day holiday. Tourists are mostly taking short-distance trips and making brief stays in Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay, Phu Quoc Island, Da Nang, Da Lat, and Con Dao Island./.

Dong Thap aims to cut down poverty ratio by 0.5 percent in 2021

The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap is striving to reduce the ratio of poor households by 0.5 percent in the end of 2021, according to a plan released by the provincial People’s Committee on the implementation of the National Target Programme on sustainable poverty reduction and social welfare.

In recent years, Dong Thap has seen a dramatic drop in the ratio to 1.86 percent in 2020 from 2.73 percent in 2019.

Various support policies have been applied, including providing credit for poor and near-poor households as well as those just escaped from poverty, and poor students. Last year, more than 443 billion VND was provided to more than 13,000 households.

Meanwhile, more than 124,800 health insurance cards have been handed over to poor locals, while more than 26,000 students have received learning support, and nearly 1,400 houses have been built for poor households.

As part of efforts to implement Resolution 42/NQ-CP issued by the Prime Minister dated April 9, 2020 on measures to assist COVID-19-impacted people, Dong Thap has provided more than 180 billion VND to more than 183,400 needy people to help them ease difficulties and stablise their life.

At the same time, the provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee and member orgaisations have mobilised more than 300 billion VND from the society and over 84 scholarships worth 51 billion VND for the poor.

Doan Tan Buu, Vice Chairman of the Dong Thap People’s Committee said that in order to complete the target of reducing the poverty ratio by 0.5 percent by the end of this year, the province will focus on associating the implementation of sustainable poverty reduction with the building of new-style rural areas.

Along with providing favourable conditions for locals, especially those in rural areas to access basic social welfare, the locality will conduct vocational training to rural labourers and increase labour export, he said./.

USAID launches environmental conservation projects in Việt Nam

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching two new projects to facilitate Việt Nam to contribute climate-positive actions to helping address the global climate crisis, according to a recent announcement from the US Embassy in Việt Nam.

These new projects will help conserve more than 950,000ha of forested area across 12 provinces in the country.

“Healthier, fuller forests, coupled with strong biodiversity, is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the statement reads.

The Sustainable Forest Management project, implemented by DAI Global, will reduce carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, and poor timber plantation management in seven provinces.

The project is expected to strengthen Vietnamese law enforcement’s ability to combat forest crimes such as illegal logging, improve the livelihoods of 60,000 people in forest-dwelling communities, and strengthen the management of more than 250,000ha of forest.

The Biodiversity Conservation project, implemented by The World Wildlife Fund, will protect critical ecosystems to build resilience against the impacts of climate change, maintain and increase forest quality, and protect and stabilise wildlife populations.

The project is set to improve the ability of community patrol teams to detect and deter wildlife trafficking, improve economic opportunities for forest-dependent communities, and strengthen the management of 700,000ha of forest.

These activities build upon more than a decade of USAID’s partnership with the Vietnamese Government, the private sector, and other partners to protect forests and biodiversity, counter wildlife trafficking, and curb environmental pollution to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Belgium, Vietnam see growing multifaceted cooperation: Belgian politician

Vietnam is a priority partner of Belgium in many fields and bilateral cooperation has recorded fruitful developments, matching the demand and strengths of the two countries, a Belgian politician has said.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Belgium on April 28, Anne Lambelin, Vice President of the Belgian Socialist Party, said the successful organisation of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the perfection of key leadership by the Vietnamese National Assembly will offer the two countries opportunities to expand their multifaceted cooperation.

The increasing presence of young deputies in the next Vietnamese legislature is hoped to create favourable conditions for the two sides to further strengthen future cooperation, she said.

Referring to the prospect of multilateral cooperation, Lambelin emphasised that the European Union (EU) – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which has come into effect for eight months, is benefiting European countries and Vietnam in import and export fields.

As a country that attaches great importance to international trade and looks toward economic diplomacy through FTAs, Belgium considers the EVFTA an opportunity to promote its collaboration with Vietnam.

Cooperation in culture and education will also be a highlight in the bilateral relationship, while economic, cultural, and judicial connections will be paid more attention in the relations between the EU and Vietnam, she noted.

Regarding the East Sea issue, she emphasised the need to respect the self-determination of the people in each country on natural resources and national integrity, expressing her hope that there would be no escalation of tensions in the waters in the future and people in the region would not become victims of aggressive acts./.

Medical workers quarantined after contact with illegal entrants from Cambodia

As many as 40 medical workers from Tu Du Hospital have been put into quarantine and tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after coming into contact with two illegal entrants from Cambodia.

Medical workers from Tu Du Hospital are put into quarantine after coming into contact with two illegal entrants from Cambodia.
This comes after two Vietnamese citizens, a mother and her child, illegally entered the nation from the neighbouring country by boat on April 20 before going to hospital for treatment, at which stage they purposely filled out a health declaration incorrectly. They then stayed at the hospital for six days before being detected by local authorities.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said during a virtual meeting on April 28 held to discuss COVID-19 prevention and control in the city that the risk of transmission occurring in border areas remains high. This is largely due to the huge number of people who travel back and forth, both legally and illegally.

He also stressed that hospitals in Cambodia are currently overloaded due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Therefore, many Vietnamese citizens there are attempting to find ways to return to home, including individuals who have contracted COVID-19. This represents a new threat to localities in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.

The southern city’s Department of Health immediately directed hospitals to implement prevention measures and requested that local people wear face masks in public areas, as well as declaring information honesty when filling in their health form.

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

 
 

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