Lao Prime Minister wraps up Vietnam visit
Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and his entourage left Hanoi on January 10, concluding their three-day visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh.
During the visit, the two PMs held talks, attended signing ceremonies for cooperation agreements, launched the Year of Vietnam – Laos Solidarity and Friendship, co-chaired the 44th meeting of the Vietnam – Laos Inter-Governmental Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, and met businesses from the two countries.
Viphavanh paid a courtesy call to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong as well as met President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.
He paid floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and laid a wreath at a monument to war heroes and martyrs on Bac Son street, Hanoi.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for Lao Minister of Public Security Gen. Vilay Lakhamphong. Lao Deputy PM and Minister of National Defence Gen. Chansamone Chanyalath visited former Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission and former Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich. Meanwhile, Vilay Lakhamphong also held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Gen. To Lam.
During talks and exchanges, both sides reaffirmed the two countries’ consistent policies of treasuring and giving the top priority to consolidating bilateral great relationship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.
Dang Thu Thao to judge Miss Teen International Vietnam 2021
Dang Thu Thao, the winner of Miss Vietnam 2012, is set to serve on the judging panel for the upcoming Miss Teen International Vietnam 2021 pageant.
As part of her role as judge at the pageant she will work alongside musician Do Truong An, actress Nhat Kim Anh, model Nhikolai Dinh, designer Nguyen Minh Tuan, Miss Vicky Chow, and Bella Vu Huyen Dieu, winner of Miss Eco Teen International 2021.
The Miss Teen International Vietnam 2021 competition is open to all female Vietnamese citizens aged 13 to 19. Moving forward, the grand finale of the pageant is scheduled to be held in late January in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Winner of Miss Teen International Vietnam 2021 will subsequently be selected to represent the country in competing in Miss Teen International 2022, which is set to transpire in February 2 in India.
One more imported Omicron case found in HCM City
One more imported case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was discovered in HCM City on Saturday (January 8), taking the city’s total number to 12.
Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, chief of staff at the Department of Health, said the patient was isolated immediately.
On Saturday there were 451 COVID cases in all, 262 found thanks to screening at hospitals, 59 detected in the community, and 130 in quarantine areas or field hospitals.
Another 914 had come into close contact with patients.
Eighteen people died due to the disease on Saturday, including three aged under 50 years but all with underlying conditions.
Ministry issues new guidance on additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine
People who have had primary vaccine doses of the Vero Cell COVID-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinopharm can receive AstraZeneca, Sinopharm's Vero Cell, Pfizer or Moderna for the additional dose, according to the latest guidance from the Ministry of Health.
The urgent guidance was sent to provincial and municipal departments of health and other organisations.
Based on the ministry's advisory council on vaccines, the ministry said that people should have the same primary doses and additional dose of the vaccine.
But depending on available vaccine resources in localities and to proactively prevent the risk of SARS-CoV-2 variants, people who have received the primary doses of Vero Cell can have the additional dose of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca.
USAID-funded project helps pandemic-affected people in central region
An emergency relief project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was launched on January 10 by the Vietnam Red Cross Society in Thua Thien-Hue province with the goal of aiding people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country’s central region.
The US$1 million project is set to be implemented across 40 communes in 10 central localities, namely Da Nang city, along with Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, and Phu Yen provinces. This process will be taking place until April to help affected local residents rapidly overcome difficulties and stabilise their lives.
In line with the plan, each locality will select four communes severely hit by the pandemic, as well as floods in late 2020 to implement the project in. It is therefore expected that over 12,000 poor and near-poor households with over 37,300 people will benefit from the impact of the project.
The project will also provide food coupons for needy people and boost communications relating to hygiene and clean water to raise public awareness of issues, thereby helping to prevent and slow down the disease transmission.
The working group of the Centre for Rescue, Conservation and Development of Creatures receives the turtles from the Da Nang Forest Protection Department.
Cuc Phuong National Park rescues large number of wild animals
The Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh said on January 10 that the unit had just rescued a large number of wild animals including 6 species of turtles, masked palm civet, Chinese Water Dragon, and pangolin in Da Nang city and Quang Tri province in the central region.
Immediately after receiving the rescue notice, the park sent a working group of the Centre for Rescue, Conservation and Development of Creatures to Da Nang and Quang Tri to rescue and receive the wild animals, including 115 turtles of 6 species, one masked palm civet, two Chinese Water Dragons and four Java pangolins. All the animals are rare and endangered species listed in groups IB and IIB under Decree 84/2021/ND-CP.
These animals have been brought to the Centre for care and behaviour correction and will be released to the wild as soon as possible.
Abstract paintings take art lovers on Voyage to Freedom
Abstract paintings by artist William Phạm are on display at the exhibition The Voyage to Freedom held in HCM City.
Among many canvas paintings displayed, the highlight is The Dance of Mercy, which was selected to be introduced at the World Leader in AI World Society (AIWS) Award 2021 held in April last year under the framework of a series of events launched by the United Nations Centennial Initiative.
William Pham was born in 1979, earned an MBA and a doctorate in the Netherlands and the UK. He used to work at the international relations department under the State Audit of Vietnam. William, who is passionate about contributions to artistic freedom, organised his first solo exhibition in 2020 in HCM City with 19 abstract artworks.
Art lovers can contemplate the paintings at Ngõ Art Gallery in Thao Dien Ward, Thu Duc city, HCM City.
Construction on expressway section to kick off this year
Construction is expected to start this year on a section of the Dầu Giây – Liên Khương expressway project running through Tân Phú District in Đồng Nai Province to Bảo Lộc City in Lâm Đồng Province.
The project is operated under the PPP (public-private partnership) model. The PM agreed that the provincial People’s Committee will have responsibility for monitoring the investment process.
The highway, 67km long with four lanes, is part of the Dầu Giây - Liên Khương Highway, which links Đồng Nai to Lâm Đồng and is now under construction.
Total investment is around VNĐ18.2 trillion (US$789.75 million), which consists of funds from private investors and the state budget.
The project is part of Việt Nam’s infrastructure development plan in the 2020-30 period.
Health ministry asked to amend COVID-19 risk level assessment criteria
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the Ministry of Health to promptly review and amend guidelines on COVID-19 risk level assessment criteria.
The current criteria pandemic risk levels are: new confirmed cases in the community over time (Criteria 1); vaccination coverage (Criteria 2); and treatment capacity of medical and treatment establishments (Criteria 3). In case the locality fails to satisfy Criteria 3, the pandemic risk level shall remain the same.
However, the criteria on new community cases among 100,000 residents per week has become inefficient, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn. Instead, Việt Nam has shifted focus towards the number of critically ill patients, hospital admissions, fatalities and local treatment capacity to evaluate pandemic risks.
Mekong Delta authorities encourage farmers to expand smart rice model
Authorities in the Mekong Delta are encouraging farmers to expand smart rice farming since it helps adapt to climate change, is environment-friendly and offers higher incomes.
It is dubbed ‘smart’ since it uses combined machines that transplant seedlings, fertiliser and spray pesticides at the same time and smart devices like mobile phones to manage irrigation.
It reduces the use of seeds, pesticides and fertilisers compared to traditional methods, but provides the same yields and quality.
The delta, the country’s rice granary, has been facing extreme weather conditions and saltwater intrusion from the sea, and the model will help cope with them, according to local authorities.
'Spring for you' programme raises US$4.58mln for COVID affected children
The 2022 “Mùa xuân cho em” (Spring for Children) programme raised more than VNĐ104 billion (US$4.58 million) to support disadvantaged and pandemic-hit children.
The 15th edition of the programme was held at the Hà Nội Opera House on Sunday night.
It is an annual programme launched by the National Fund for Vietnamese Children under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. The programme also honours organisations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to supporting disadvantaged children over the years.
Last year, the fund mobilised more than VNĐ92 billion and assisted 115,000 children affected by the pandemic through different programmes and projects like building classrooms and playgrounds, financing surgeries and presenting bikes and scholarships.
Over 1.4 million people became unemployed in 2021 due to COVID-19
More than 1.4 million Vietnamese became unemployed in 2021, up 203,700 from the previous year, or 17 per cent, due to the impacts of the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, data from the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed.
The new strategy on flexibly living with the pandemic allowed the labour market to rebound in the final quarter of last year, GSO Deputy General Director Nguyen Trung Tien told a press conference announcing labour data in Q4 of 2021 and Vietnam's Human Development Index from 2016 to 2020 held in Hà Nội late last week.
The workforce of 15 years old and above reached 50.7 million in Q4, an increase of 1.7 million or 3.47 per cent from the previous quarter.
The workforce participation rate was 67.7 per cent in the last quarter of 2021, up 2.1 percentage points quarter-on-quarter but down 2.6 percentage points year-on-year. The rate was higher in rural areas (69.3 per cent) than urban areas (65.3 per cent).
Compared to Q3, the number of workers in the informal sector rose by 7.4 per cent to 19.4 million in Q4.
Resolution aims to promote decentralisation, power delegation
The Government has issued Resolution 04-NQ-CP on strengthening decentralisation and the delegation of power in State management.
The document highlights the need to complete mechanisms in decentralisation and the delegation of power to clearly define the obligations and authority as well as responsibility of the Government, the Prime Minister, ministries, sectors and localities, which goes along with the synchronisation of the legal system and the strengthening of the power supervision and control.
Detailed legal regulations on decentralisation and the delegation of power in State management among the Government, the PM, ministries, sectors and local administrations will be built for particular sector and area.
Meanwhile, regulations on the functions, tasks, authority and organisations of ministries, sectors and localities will be reviewed, adjusted and supplemented, with the decentralisation and delegation of power being associated with the administrative reform.
Scholarships presented to ethnic students in Dak Lak
Some 120 scholarships of the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund were presented to disadvantaged students in ethnic minority-inhabited areas in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on January 10.
The assistance includes 90 scholarships worth 1 million VND (44 USD) each and 30 others of 1.5 million VND each.
After 21 years of operation, the Vu A Dinh fund presented more than 90,000 scholarships to students from ethnic minority groups and those living in coastal areas and on islands.
Lawmakers to wrap off first extraordinary session
The 15th National Assembly will convene the last sitting of its first extraordinary session in the afternoon of January 11.
The event will be broadcast live on television and radio.
It will see legislators voting on the draft Resolution on fiscal and monetary policies in support of the socio-economic recovery and development programme; as well as the draft Law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Public-Private Partnership, the Investment Law, the Bidding Law, the Electricity Law, the Enterprise Law, the Law on Special Consumption Tax, and the Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments.
They will also vote on an investment policy of the Eastern North-South Expressway project for 2021-2025; a draft Resolution on piloting a number of specialised mechanisms for the development of Can Tho city; and the Resolution of the first extraordinary session.
Conference reviews project on Vietnam – Cuba defence ties
A conference to assess the Defense Ministry-level scientific research project, themed “Vietnam – Cuba defence cooperation through the memoirs historical witnesses”, was held by the Department of Military Science on January 10 in Hanoi.
The project was implemented by the Department of Information and Training under the General Department of Politic Affairs.
The project also contributes to affirming the righteous guidelines of the Parties, States and armies of Vietnam and Cuba, thus strengthening the fine relationship between the two peoples and armies in the new period.
Vietnam - attractive destination to foreign tourists
Surpassing Thailand, Vietnam has become an attractive tourism destination in the beginning days of 2022, according to Thailand’s Bangkok Post newspaper.
In an article entitled “High season ends early”, the post said despite being hardly hit by COVID-19 in the last 2 years, Vietnam has become an attractive tourism destination to holiday-makers in the beginning days of 2022.
Vietnam was voted by the World Travel Awards as Asia's Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination 2021. This prestigious award once again affirms the potential and attractiveness of Vietnam tourism to international visitors.
Grounded vessel successfully rescued in Truong Sa waters
Fisheries Resources Surveillance Division No.4 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said on January 10 that a fisheries resources surveillance ship had successfully rescued a fishing boat, which ran aground in the Truong Sa (Spratly) waters.
The boat, coded QNg 95032TS, from the central province of Quang Ngai, encountered the incident when fishing in the waters on January 9.
The rescue work lasted until 3:30pm on January 10, with the safety of the entire crew ensured. The boat is now under repair and the eight people on board have been equipped with necessities.
HCM City discusses COVID-19 treatment, economic recovery
Treatment for COVID-19 patients, plan for the injection of third vaccine shots, and workforce supply following the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival were put under discussion during a periodic meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on January 10.
Data from the municipal Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control and Economic Recovery showed that from January 7-9, the number of deaths from the disease was under 20. The number of recoveries was higher than infections. At present, 4,602 patients in the city are under treatment.
Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Lam said following Tet, the city needs about 45,000 skilled workers and will launch a job transaction floor connecting with provinces.
He added that the city earmarked over 901 billion VND (39.17 million USD) in support of workers for Tet, requested presenting 15,000 gifts to workers in industrial parks and helping them return home on the occasion.
Six countries and territories agree to reopen flights with Vietnam
Six countries and territories – the United States, Japan, Singapore, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea and China’s Taiwan – agreed to resume air routes to Vietnam, according to information published by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
In order to meet travel the demand of international visitors, especially overseas Vietnamese returning home for Tet, the Ministry of Transports has proposed the Government instruct relevant ministries, sectors to handle procedures relating to COVID-10 prevention and control works on international arrivals, including RT-PRC test, health declaration and vaccine passport.
Besides, the CAAV is negotiating with the aviation authorities of France, Germany, Russia, and Australia to reopen international routes to these markets with a frequency of seven flights per week.
COVID-19: Over 14,800 cases added to national tally
Vietnam recorded 14,818 cases of COVID-19, including 35 imported ones, during 24 hours from 4pm January 9 to 4pm January 10, according to the Ministry of Health.
Hanoi recorded the highest number of infections with 2,830, followed by Khanh Hoa with 795 and Binh Phuoc with 640.
The national tally reached 1,914,393, including 31 infections of Omicron.
According to the Ministry of Health’s report, 6,358 patients nationwide are in serious conditions, with 716 requiring invasive ventilation and 23 on life support (ECMO).
On the day, the country saw 212 deaths from the disease. The death toll now hits 34,531, equal to 1.8 percent of the total caseload.
By January 9, the country had injected over 161.27 million doses of vaccines, with more than 71.16 million people now fully inoculated, while over 11.82 million third shots, either booster shots or the third shot of Abdala vaccine, had been administered.
HCM City now becomes COVID safe zone