VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 14

Vietnam logs nearly 3,000 COVID-19 cases on July 14

Vietnam logged 829 COVID-19 new cases, including 823 domestic ones, from 12.30pm to 6.30pm on July 14, according to the Ministry of Health.

Most of the infections were confirmed in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s current largest hotspot, with 592, and Binh Duong 73, Dong Thap 42 and Dong Nai 38, among others.

Vietnam reported a total of 2,934 cases, including 2,924 domestic infections, on the day. Of them, 2,509 cases were detected in quarantine or locked down areas.

The country has so far seen 35,479 domestic infections and 1,955 imported ones. The caseload since the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks hit Vietnam since April 27 amounted to 33,909.

Eleven localities have gone through two weeks without new infections in the community.

Among the active patients, 307 tested negative for the coronavirus once, 114 twice and 81 thrice.

As many as 71 patients were given the all-clear on July 14, bringing the number of recoveries to 9,624. The death toll stands at 135 after three fatalities were confirmed on the day.

A total of 4,079,066 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide so far, with 283,884 people receiving the full two shots.

As of July 14, the country’s COVID-19 vaccine fund had received 8.11 trillion VND (353.24 million USD) from 443,538 organisations and individuals, according to the fund’s managing board./.

Vietnam reports additional 909 Covid-19 cases

Vietnam confirmed 909 new Covid-19 cases in the last 12 hours as of 6 am on Wednesday, including four from abroad, according to the Ministry of Health.

Among 905 local infections, there were up to 666 cases in HCM City, followed by Dong Nai with 80, Khanh Hoa (44); Ben Tre (43), Ba Ria-Vung Tau (19), Phu Yen (18), Vinh Long (17), Ninh Thuan (4), Tay Ninh (4), Kien Giang (2), Hue (2), An Giang (2), Bac Ninh (2), Soc Trang (1) and Binh Dinh (1). Of the figure, 688 were found in quarantined and sealed-off areas.  

As of 6 am on Wednesday, Vietnam logged a total of 33,460 local infections and 1,949 others from abroad. Since April 27, the country has recorded 31,890 locally-infected cases.

Yen Bai, Quang Tri, Tuyen Quang, Son La, Ninh Binh, Thai Nguyen, Dien Bien, Hai Duong, Phu Tho, Quang Ninh and Hoa Binh have gone through 14 days without detecting any new Covid-19 cases.

To date, 9,553 Covid-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.

Vietnam has administered over 4.07 million Covid-19 vaccine shots, with 283,884 people having received two doses.

President to attend virtual APEC meeting on COVID-19

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend a virtual informal meeting of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on July 16, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The attendance will be made at the invitation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

According to a statement, PM Ardern called for the informal meeting of APEC leaders in the hope of seeking immediate steps to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Earlier on June 5, trade ministers of 21 APEC member economies agreed on a target to obtain a quick economic recovery in the context of COVID-19, starting with an acceleration in vaccine distribution./.

HCM City delivers COVID-19 test results via QR codes

HCM City’s Health Department has started delivering COVID-19 test results identified by QR code through the e-health medical declaration system to the smartphones of those tested on a trial basis.

The move aims to save time and stop people from gathering at testing facilities when they come to collect test results.

In order to get test results by QR Code, people need to install the “Y tế HCM” app.

Electronic results of COVID-19 tests have the same validity as those on paper, according to the department.

The department said it has applied the new method from June 8 and successfully piloted it in four local hospitals, including Nguyễn Tri Phương, Nhân Dân Gia Định, Thủ Đức and Lê Văn Thịnh.

An estimated more than 50,000 COVID-19 test results have been delivered each day via the system.

The department plans to rollout the method widely.

Categories of individuals, businesses receiving Covid-19 aid package revealed

Under the Prime Minister's Directive No.23/2021/QD-TTg on the support package worth VND26,000 billion (US$1.13 billion) for people in difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has asked localities across the country to ensure the package could simply reach needy people in the soonest.

The Covid-19 aid package will be provided to businesses, individuals:

- Cases in which an employment contract can be temporarily suspended, employee under temporary unpaid suspension from work due to the pandemic for 15-30 days or more would receive VND1.8 -3.7 million.

- Individual temporarily suspended from work due to the request from medical quarantine or living in blocked locations would get VND1 million.

- Worker who leaves work and are not eligible for pandemic unemployment assistance would get VND3.7 million.

-Children who are identified as cases of F0, F1 and required for treatment of Covid-19 would daily get VND80, 000 per person.

-Officials who are working in the sector of Fine Arts, such as director, actor, painter working in State fine art units and are temporarily suspended from work for 15 days and over would take VND3.7 million.

-Tour guide who has contracts with authorized travel companies or tour agencies or join the associations of tour guides would get VND3.7 million

- Business households which register a payment for a tax temporarily stop operating for 15 days and over would get VND3 million.

On the other hand, enterprises will enjoy zero-interest loans from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) for payment of wages and recovery from production.

According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, around 12.8 million workers have lost their jobs, temporarily stopped working, experienced lower earnings and working hour cut in the latest wave of Covid-19.

Hanoi sets up 22 checkpoints to curb Covid-19 spread

Hanoi police will set up 22 Covid-19 checkpoints at the city’s major gateways from 6am on July 14.

The functional forces at the checkpoints will work 24 hours per day and in four shifts, at the gateways between Hanoi and northern provinces of Ha Nam, Hung Yen, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Lang Son, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, and Thai Nguyen.

The checkpoints will control the flow of all vehicles, and people between Hanoi and other provinces and cities.

At the checkpoint, people will measure their body temperature and fill up the medical declaration form. The functional forces will also review the Covid-19 prevention work on all vehicles and will test people suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus.

The move is taken after at least 60 new coronavirus infections were detected in Hanoi from multiple clusters, ending its nine-day streak of no community transmission.

Experts have warned that the infections in Hanoi could stem from existing hotspots across Vietnam and silently spread in the community.

Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center, said Hanoi should continue carrying out mass screening, especially in high-risk areas to early detect and isolate infection sources and have an overall assessment of the situation.

Phu noted that returnees from Covid-19-hit areas, especially Ho Chi Minh City, currently the nation's largest coronavirus hotspot, could infect the community. More than 16,000 Covid-19 community cases have been recorded in Ho Chi Minh City so far in the new wave that started in Vietnam in late April.

Hanoi’s tally now stands at 535. The city has shuttered restaurants, cafes providing sit-down table services, and barbershops, allowing only takeaways as of July 13. All physical exercises, entertainment activities, and other large gatherings at parks, gardens, and public locations are suspended.

Thu Duc City asks all businesses with F0 to cease their operation

The People’s Committee of Thu Duc City (in Ho Chi Minh City) yesterday released a formal document to all enterprises here regarding their operation during the time applying Directive 16 of the Prime Minister about Covid-19 prevention and control.

Accordingly, as the latest Covid-19 outbreak is becoming more complicated, Thu Duc City People’s Committee requests that all businesses that have an F0 must temporarily stop their operation until functional agencies approve their reopening after checking their Covid-19 prevention methods as regulated in Decision No.2787/QD - BYT by the Health Ministry.

Any enterprises following the ‘on-site working and staying’ plan are allowed to continue their operation, but must make sure that their employees will not go out of the site except in emergency cases.

Companies working during the period applying Directive 16 must urgently implement the ‘3 on-site rules’ (working on site, eating on site, and staying on site) to ensure their medical safety. They can use the space inside their factories or rent a temporary accommodation like a dormitory, hotel outside their premises.

From 12am July 15, operating companies must use common vehicles to transport their workers to and fro these temporary accommodations, forbidding private vehicles in and out their premises.

At medical lockdown areas, vehicles are allowed to go in and out for carrying materials and products from 10pm to 5am the next day. Vehicle drivers into these areas must display a valid negative-Covid-19 test result, declare their health status, and update their traveling into the traffic flow diary. These vehicles must be listed and submitted to the People’s Committee of the ward they want to travel to in order to issue a certified sign.

Until July 13, 110 businesses in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, sited in District 7, stop their operation. Right now, only 11,000 / 70,000 employees are still at work in 140 companies, 25 of which have registered for their staff to follow the ‘on-site working and staying’ plan.

HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA) also released a document asking that from 12am July 13, in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, only businesses applying the ‘on-site working and staying’ plan are allowed to work as usual.

They must implement the ‘3 on-site rules’ as soon as possible for the medical safety sake and organize pick-up service for all their workers to eliminate private vehicle using of their staff.

909 new COVID-19 cases over last 12 hours raise national count to 35,409

Vietnam detected 909 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 12 hours to 6am on July 14, raising the national count to 35,409, according to the Ministry of Health.

They comprise four imported cases and 905 local infections, including 666 in Ho Chi Minh City; 80 in Dong Nai; 44 in Khanh Hoa; 43 in Ben Tre; 19 in Ba Ria – Vung Tau; 18 in Phu Yen; 17 in Vinh Long; four each in Ninh Thuan and Tay Ninh; two each in Kien Giang, Thua Thien-Hue, An Giang and Bac Ninh; and one each in Soc Trang and Binh Dinh.

Of the new domestic infections, 688 were detected inside quarantined and locked down areas.

The number of cases reported since the fourth coronavirus wave hit the country reached 31,890, 6,779 of whom have been given all-clear.

The total recoveries stood at 9,553 while the death toll was 132.

Among patients under treatment, 307 patients have tested negative to the virus once, 114 twice and 81 thrice.

On July 13, 20,557 more people received COVID-19 vaccine shots, bringing the total doses administered in the country to nearly 4.08 million. A total of 283,884 people have been fully vaccinated with two jabs./. 

More provinces apply social distancing

Dak Nong Province and Vung Tau City have applied social distancing amid the ongoing Covid-19 wave.

Dak Nong People's Committee has issued the official decision to apply social distancing from July 13 until further notice. A crowd of more than 10 people will be banned outside schools, hospitals and offices. Religious and other activities that have a gathering of more than 20 people will also be banned. Karaoke bars and nightclubs have been suspended.

People arriving from HCM City will be tested at the checkpoints and transferred to quarantine centres. They must also be self-isolated at home afterwards. Patients and family members at hospitals and anyone who arrives in Dak Nong will be tested for Covid-19.

As of now, Dak Nong has reported three positive patients who all returned from HCM City.

Vung Tau City People's Committee also proposed to Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province People's Committee to apply social distancing rules from July 14 to 27 during an urgent meeting about Covid-19 prevention led by Ba Ria-Vung Tau Party Secretary Pham Viet Thanh.

Thanh approved the proposal at the end of the meeting. Vung Tau City must have a detailed plan to deal with the outbreak and ensure the living conditions of local residents.

As of July 12, Vung Tau City recorded 35 positive cases and discovered 398 F1 people and 618 F2 people via contact tracing. On July 12 alone, the city recorded 26 cases. Many patients have visited several places and met many other people. People coming from other provinces and cities will be tested and quarantined. The preventive rules must be tightened in industrial zones.

The city authorities will also monitor people who have to make contact with a lot of people such as lotto ticket sellers, taxi drivers or shippers.

Ministry allows use of Pfizer vaccine for those receiving AstraZeneca in first jab

The Ministry of Health has allowed the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as the booster jab for those who have been given AstraZeneca as the first shot for eight to 12 weeks and agree on the use.

This is the first time the ministry has allowed the mixture of Covid-19 vaccines. The solution has been applied in many countries, the local media reported.

The decision was included in a plan to distribute 745,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, of which HCMC will receive nearly 55,000 doses, followed by Hanoi with over 38,000 doses and Binh Duong and Dong Nai with over 25,000 doses each.

The vaccine was also provided to the military and police forces and 21 hospitals, institutes and schools under the Ministry of Health. With the vaccine doses distributed to hospitals in HCMC, the city will have more than 105,000 Pfizer doses.

This is the eighth time the Ministry of Health has distributed Covid-19 vaccines for localities. Of the 745,000 Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine doses, Vietnam has been handed over more than 97,000 doses. The remainder, which will be divided into three batches, will arrive in the country this month.

In May, the Ministry of Health signed a contract to buy 31 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, which was approved for emergency use in Vietnam on June 12.

2,301 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Tuesday

Việt Nam saw 2,301 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, increasing the caseload since the beginning of the pandemic to 34,500, said the Ministry of Health.

Five of them were imported cases and were quarantined in Tây Ninh and Thanh Hóa provinces.

The remaining 2,296 infections were all domestic. HCM City recorded the most with 1,797 cases, followed by Bình Dương with 186 and Long An with 130.

Other localities that reported new cases included Đồng Tháp (31), Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu (27), Phú Yên (26), Vĩnh Long (23), Đồng Nai (12), Bến Tre (11), Hà Nội (8), Hưng Yên (8), Tây Ninh (5), Cần Thơ (5), An Giang (4) and Đà Nẵng (4).

Trà Vinh and Kiên Giang both recorded three cases, while Quảng Ngãi and Bình Thuận each had two. 

Nam Định, Nghệ An, Lào Cai, Bình Phước and Thanh Hóa each recorded one new case.

As many as 222 patients given the all-clear on Tuesday, meaning 9,553 people have recovered from the disease so far.

More than 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far.

Eleven out of 63 provinces and cities have not seen any new cases for the past 14 days. 

Two more COVID-19-related deaths announced on Tuesday evening

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday evening announced two more COVID-19-related fatalities, both patients with serious underlying health conditions.

The total number of deaths connected to coronavirus now stands at 132.

The first fatality was a 65-year-old woman from An Giang Province. She tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on May 5 and was being treated at the Province’s general hospital before being transferred to HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Her condition worsened and she died on July 1. She had a history of hypertension and diabetes. Her cause of death has been recorded as severe pneumonia complicated by progressive respiratory failure due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, septic shock, cerebral haemorrhage, hypertension and diabetes.

The second fatality is a 77-year-old woman from Bình Tân District in HCM City. She had a history of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and had been treated in the past for a fractured femoral neck.

She tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on June 27 and was being treated at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

She passed away on July 10 with her cause of death recorded as septic shock, severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in patient with hypertension, diabetes type 2 and femoral neck fracture. 

Hau Giang Province’s rural vocational training programme achieves solid success

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Hậu Giang plans to train 32,500 people in vocational skills in 2021 – 25 to increase the rate of trained workers to 70 per cent.

It also plans to restructure its workforce so that agriculture, forestry and fisheries account for 51 per cent, industry and construction for 19 per cent and services for 30 per cent.

It plans to create 15,000 jobs a year during the five-year period and to ensure 90 per cent of workers in local companies are trained.

Hồ Thu Ánh, deputy chairwoman of the province People’s Committee, said advocacy activities would be strengthened to enhance public awareness of the importance of vocational skills training and persuade all social classes to attend training.

The province also plans to renovate and improve the training by incorporating the requirements of companies and the market.

It will develop a vocational training curriculum in which employers and employees can actively participate in evaluation of training quality.

It will improve its forecast of labour demand in the short, medium and long terms, especially in trading, industry and services, to meet the province’s socio-economic development and international integration goals.

It will develop a job services system that collects and processes data on the labour market, links demand and supply in the market, and forecasts its trends.

It will strengthen investment in infrastructure for vocational skill training to improve quality and meet the requirements of employers.

It is encouraging training establishments to use companies and other employers’ facilities for trainees to practise their skills.

The province has been training people in rural areas in vocational skill for the last 10 years, according to Hồng Xuân Bình, deputy director of its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

In 2010 – 20, 93,590 people were trained and 86.4 per cent of them have jobs now.

The rate of trained workers in the period has more than doubled from 30 per cent to 61.2 per cent.

“Trained workers have used their skills to improve incomes, helping sustainably reduce poverty,” Bình said.

The province has 30 establishments that provide vocational training such as making handicraft products from water hyacinth, industrial sewing, cooking, fruit cultivation, and other agriculture - related skills.

Hà Xuân Hương, who attended a vocational skill course in making handicrafts from water hyacinth in Vị Thuỷ District’s Vĩnh Thuận Tây Commune, now makes carpets for the Thanh Tú Co-operative in her free time.

The co-operative provides her with the raw materials to weave the carpets and she is paid for her products, earning VNĐ100,000 – 150,000 (US$4.4 – 6.5) a day by weaving six to eight metres of water-hyacinth carpets.

“Weaving the carpets helps my family earn an additional income and stabilised our lives,” Hương said.

Vietnam appoints 1st honorable consul in India

NS Srinivasa Murthy, 71, has been appointed Honorary Consul General of Vietnam in Karnataka state for a three-year term, the first of such an appointment in India.

“He is the first honorary consul general of Vietnam from India and the 19th across the world. He is the third Consul General to be appointed globally this year,” Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau said at the ceremony held on July 9.

Pointing out the reason behind the appointment, Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau said it is aimed to “expand the outreach of the embassy of Vietnam to the state of Karnataka and the city of Bengaluru. This is a very big milestone in the relationship of Vietnam and India,” according to Indian media.

Srinivasa Murthy is the owner and managing partner of N. K. Subbiah Setty & Sons producing agarbattis (incense sticks) since 1932.

The honorable consul is tasked with expanding the outreach of Vietnam’s embassy to the state of Karnataka and its capital city of Bengaluru, protecting the interest of Vietnamese nationals and companies, and promoting trade, economics, investment, tourism, educational, and cultural cooperation between Vietnam and the State of Karnataka.

In addition, there’s a plan to open a direct flight between Bangalore and Vietnam and make Bangalore the technology hub for Vietnam.

“I will live up to expectations, to see that the interest of Vietnam is totally protected in the state of Karnataka,” said Srinivasa Murthy, who served as the president of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

According to Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, there were five candidates for the position and the decision was made after an extensive screening process by both the governments of Vietnam and India.

Srinivasa Murthy is the first among five Consul Generals that the Vietnamese embassy is looking for in five states.

Vietnam and India will commemorate the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations in 2022.

In a telephone conversation on July 10, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh discussed measures to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership. Modi invited Chinh to pay an official visit to India at an early suitable date. 

NA Standing Committee debates investment policy for 90-trillion-VND poverty reduction programme

The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on July 13 gave opinions on the investment policy of the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and Social Security in the 2021-2025 period as part of the committee's ongoing 58th meeting.

Delivering the Government’s proposal on the programme, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung, the programme has four main projects and 11 smaller projects with total investment of 90.26 trillion VND (3.92 billion USD).

A representative from the NA Budget-Finance Committee said that the large amount of investment proposed for the programme, along with two other national target programmes, will pose great pressure on the State budget.

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said that the proposal should include more assessments on the implementation of the multi-dimensional poverty standards for the first time, and the higher poverty standards in some localities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong compared to the national levels.

NA Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man said that the NA Standing Committee agree on the necessity of the programme, which aims to realise the Party orientations on sustainable poverty reduction.

He said that the programme should continue to focus on investing in poor localities and households, while addressing other aspects in multi-dimensional poverty criteria towards the target of reducing the rate of poor households by 1-1.5 percent each year.

The NA Standing Committee concurred to allocate 20 trillion VND of capital from the middle-term public investment programme for the 2021-2025 period to the programme, while asking the Government to balance its own resources to care for the poor.

The NA Standing Committee also requested the Government to research ideas given at the meeting to complete its report and proposal on the investment policy for the programme, and build a draft resolution on the issue to submit to the 15th NA’s first plenary session.

The same day, NA Committee members also listened to a National Election Council’s report on the verification of 15th NA deputies’ eligibility before passing a resolution approving the eligibility of 499 deputies elected to the 15th NA./.

Survey: over 60 percent of Japanese want to visit Vietnam

More than 63.4 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) said they want to go to Vietnam for sightseeing, and a high percentage of those who had visited the country (over 70 percent) want to go again.

The outcomes of the online survey, conducted in January 2021 by AJC in coordination with the Marketing Voice company, were announce at a webinar on July 13. The survey looked into travel sentiment on ASEAN member states among Japanese in their 20s–60s, with 10,000 participants.

According to the survey, Japanese visitors are most satisfied with cuisine, scenery and atmosphere, and places of interest/historical sites when visiting Vietnam.

Regarding deciding factor in choosing Vietnam as a destination, 20.3 percent of respondents answered “Recommended by family/friends/acquaintances” and “The trip was low cost,” followed by “Online blogs and review sites” (18.1 percent).

As for their impression of Vietnam, the highest percentage of respondents answered “Delicious food” (28.4 percent) followed by “Rich in history and culture” (26.2 percent)./.

Vietnam, Uzbekistan step up friendship cooperation

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) on July 13 held a virtual signing ceremony of memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Uzbekistan’s partners.

Of the documents, one was singed by the VUFO and the Committee on Interethnic Relations and Friendship Cooperation with Foreign Countries of Uzbekistan, and another was inked by the Vietnam-Uzbekistan Friendship Association and the Uzbekistan-Vietnam Friendship Association.

They are expected to help enhance the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries' people.

Addressing the ceremony, VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga said people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have been maintained despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reviewing activities organised by the two countries’ friendship associations over the past years, Nga said such activities have significantly contributed to maintaining the traditional friendship and close relations between the people of Vietnam and Uzbekistan.

Nga and Luong Phan Cu, President of the Vietnam-Uzbekistan Friendship Association, shared the view that the documents have created a stable, comprehensive legal framework for people-to-people cooperation in various fields like delegation exchange, tourism and culture promotion, and seminars, helping to raise mutual understanding about the land, people, history and culture of the respective countries.

The signing of the documents forms part of efforts to materialise Vietnam’s foreign policy, Nga stressed./.

Meeting discusses ways to strengthen IUU fishing prevention, control measures

The National Steering Committee on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Prevention and Control on July 13 held an online meeting with representatives of 28 coastal localities to discuss measures to continue to combat IUU fishing.

Addressing the meeting, the fifth held by the committee since it was set up in 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh, head of the committee, underlined the determination to step by step moving towards the removal of the “yellow card,” imposed by the European Commission on Vietnam, thus boosting the development of fisheries sector.

He noted that over the years, Vietnam has concentrated on building a legal system on fisheries to meet the requirements of integration and sustainable development of the sector, which has resulted in improvement of fishermen’s compliance to the law.

However, the Deputy PM pointed out that violations in fishing regulations, though showing decreases, still continue, the seafood origin tracing capacity has remained modest, and infrastructure system of fishing wharfs in 28 localities have received inadequate investment.

He stressed the need to settle the overlapping of regulations and complete the legal corridor in the field.

Deputy PM Thanh called for more efforts from the mass media in popularising relevant regulations and raising fishermen’s awareness in the field.

He requested the 28 coastal localities to work harder in IUU fishing prevention and control and allocate more budget to the activities.

In late 2017, the European Commission issued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing. The commission gave nine recommendations for Vietnam to implement in order to remove the card, which was cut to four after two times of examination in May 2018 and November 2019.

So far, Vietnam has made a number of positive changes in preventing IUU fishing, including installing vessel monitoring systems (VMS) in fishing vessels and building a database on fishing vessels connecting the central to local levels.

As of June 30, 2021, VMS had been installed in 26,915 fishing vessels with length from 15m, reaching 87.45 percent.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, after nearly four years of implementing IUU prevention and fight measures, Vietnam’s efforts have been recognised by the EC. The commission has lauded Vietnam’s goodwill, cooperation, transparency and honest in providing and exchanging information on the results of IUU fishing prevention and control measures.

Tien said that since 2020, due to COVID-19, the EC has not been able to send inspectors to Vietnam, however, the ministry has regularly reported the outcomes of the country’s implementation of the measures to the commissions.

The ministry will strive to cut at least 40 percent in the number of fishing vessels committing violations of foreign waters in 2021 and completely end such violations in 2022.

Participants at the meeting gave a number of ideas to strengthen IUU fishing prevention and control measures, including stricter punishments and the setting up of fishing surveillance teams in localities./.

Exhibition looks back on 60 years of AO disaster in Vietnam

Nearly 300 photos, documents and items on the Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) disaster in Vietnam over the past 60 years are being displayed at an exhibition that opened at the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi on July 13.

The exhibition gives visitors an insight into the disaster's aftermath, efforts to resolve the consequences as well as the journey to demand justice for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims and their desire to rise.

Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Rinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) said that the exhibition aims to provide Vietnamese people in and outside the country as well as international friends with deeper understanding of consequences of the toxic chemical to the environment and people’s health, endeavours taken by the Party, State, the military and the VAVA as well as relevant agencies in overcoming them.

It also spotlights the joint efforts of the society and support of international friends in dealing with the results left by the disaster and helping victims, and the victims’ efforts to integrate into the community, he said, adding that he hopes the exhibition will contribute to calling for more support in easing the pain caused by the disaster and stronger solidarity in preventing the proliferation of mass destruction weapons as well as the support to the struggle to demand justice for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.

From 1961 to 1971, the US military sprayed about 80 million liters of toxic chemicals, 61 percent of which were Agent Orange, containing 366 kg of dioxin, on to nearly a quarter of South Vietnam. About 86 percent of the area was sprayed more than two times, 11 percent of the area was sprayed more than 10 times.

As a result, around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects.

The exhibition, which will run until August 12, is part of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the AO/dioxin disaster in Vietnam.

Along with the display at the museum, the exhibition is also available online at VAVA website at trienlamdacam.vn and a number of other websites until the end of 2021./.

National futsal team to join training session for World Cup

The national futsal team will gather on July 20 at the Ho Chi Minh City National Sports Training Centre, instead of August 2 as announced earlier, to prepare for the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The adjustment aims to ensure professional requirements for the players as the second round of fixtures for the Futsal HDBank National Championship cannot take place as schedule due to the impact of COVID-19.

Members of the team will join practice until August 25, the third of its kind in this year, and leave for Spain for further training.

It is to compete at a futsal tournament, together with Japan, Guatemala and host Spain, which is slated for August 28-31.

The Vietnamese squad is set to play a friendly with Spanish club Cordoba on September 3 before travelling to Lithuania to play at the World Cup, which will be held from September 12 to October 3.

Before the start of the global futsal event, Vietnam may join another friendly with Morocco on September 6.

Vietnam clinched a berth at the 2021 Futsal World Cup after beating Lebanon in the Asian playoff.

Vietnam will face Brazil in its first match on September 13, Panama on September 16 and the Czech Republic three days later.

All players of the team have been fully vaccinated./.

Drug smugglers arrested in northern Dien Bien province

Police in the northern border province of Dien Bien and relevant agencies caught red-handed two drug smugglers in Muong Nha commune of Dien Bien district on July 13.

The two men were Vu A Dua, born in 1970 and Ha A Nu, born in 1991, both residing in Muong Nha commune.

The forces seized 60 bricks of heroin (around 21kg), two motorcycles and relevant exhibits.

The arrestees admitted that they had purchased the drugs in border areas between Vietnam and Laos.

The case in being further investigated./.

Dialogue eyes enforcement of local development goals in new normal

The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) on July 13 organised the Local Development Dialogue 2021 – the first one held online in Hanoi and 58 other localities.

The dialogue was held under the sponsor of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the US’s Indiana University and Vietnam Initiative with the theme of “Enforcing development goals in the new normal”.

It aimed at creating a venue for leaders of ministries, sectors and localities, scientists, the business community, and international development partners to discuss, share experience, and propose initiatives and measures to boost local development in the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2045.

In his opening remarks, Politburo member and Director of the HCMA Nguyen Xuan Thang said that the new normal state requires localities to seize opportunities amidst challenges.

It is necessary to take measures to promote socio-economic development not only during but also after the pandemic, he stated, stressing the importance of increasing the governance over the enforcement of development goals to turn the determination into strategies and policies and put them into action.

Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, said that digital transformation and low-carbon growth will contribute to the improvement of labour productivity in Vietnam in the time to come.

They should be placed as the top priorities of the Vietnamese economy, and if the two factors can be combined, the country’s labour productivity will grow by 1-2 percentage points.

Vietnam should learn from digital transformation models of its neighbouring countries, she suggested, affirming that the WB commits to cooperating with and supporting Vietnam in this field./.

Deputy PM presents gifts to Cham ethnic people in HCM City

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh visited and presented gifts to Cham ethnic people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 8 on July 13.

Binh asked local authorities of ward 1 to pay more attention to local residents’ lives, especially during the pandemic at present.

Head of Anwar mosque Kim Xo said its management board regularly called on residents and Muslim followers to follow COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

The People’s Committee and Vietnam Fatherland Front of ward 1 also arranged vehicles to provide food for residents, he said.

On the occasion, Binh and leaders of district 8 handed over 200 gift packages to poor households, each worth 1.4 million VND (60.8 USD), including 1 million VND in cash.

He also presented the token of 200 million VND to affected residents.

Secretary of the Party Committee of district 8 Ngo Thanh Tuan also symbolically handed over necessities worth 40 million VND to Cham residents.

Ward 1 8 is home to a large number of Muslims with over 2,400 people./.

German expert emphasises legal basis of PCA’s ruling on East Sea disputes

Dr Gerhard Will, a German expert on the East Sea, stressed that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s ruling on the Philippines’ lawsuit against China holds a solid legal basis and high value in the settlement of disputes in the East Sea.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent, the expert said that the PCA’s ruling, issued on July 12, 2016, strongly refuted China’s groundless claims in the East Sea.

He believed that the verdict clarifies various matters in disputes in the East Sea, and has been recognised by a majority of the international community. To prevent ongoing violations in the East Sea, the international community needs to strongly support the ruling and asked the violator to comply with it.

Regarding the European Union (EU)’s viewpoint on disputes in the East Sea, Will said that the EU and its leading members consider Indo-Pacific an important region in terms of economy, and pay due attention to regional politics and security.

Spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang on July 12 affirmed that Vietnam’s stance on the settlement of disputes in the East Sea is clear and consistent.

Vietnam always backs the settlement of disputes regarding sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the East Sea through diplomatic and legal processes, without using force or threatening to use force, and by peaceful solutions and measures, in accordance with the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

As a UNCLOS signatory and a coastal nation to the East Sea, Vietnam called on all concerned parties to respect and fully realise their legal obligations as stipulated in the convention, cooperate and actively and pragmatically contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and order in the East Sea in line with international law, Hang said./.

NA Standing Committee discusses socio-economic development plan

 

Members of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee gave their opinions on the drafts of the socio-economic development plan, national financial plan, plan on borrowing and repayment of public debts and mid-term public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period during their sitting on July 13.

NA Standing Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man assessed that the internal force of the national economy is not strong as its growth remains unsustainable.

He pointed out severe consequences from climate change and natural disasters, adding that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and people has not been fully assessed.

Man said the pressure from repayment of public debts in 2021 is huge, and asked ministries, sectors and localities to pay attention to and have radical solutions to tighten regular spending and focus on investment.

He stressed that it is necessary to ensure safety of public and government debts, national financial safety and macro-economic stability.

Meanwhile, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue emphasised the urgent necessity to promptly institutionalize the policy and orientation of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Ngo Sach Thuc suggested that NA deputies should uphold their responsibilities and make efforts to implement action programmes and promises to voters.

The Government needs to strictly direct and control the use of the national COVID-19 vaccine fund in order to prevent corruption and wastefulness, he said./.

Naval soldiers set off for 2021 Army Games

The Vietnam People’s Navy on July 12 held a ceremony in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa to see off a delegation of naval soldiers who will compete in the 2021 Army Games in Russia.

The team will also participate in a parade in celebration of the 325th founding anniversary of the Russian Navy.

The delegation will compete in the “Seaborne Assault” category for naval infantry units, with their fleet comprising frigates 015-Tran Hung Dao and 016-Quang Trung of Brigade 162 of Naval Region 4.

The two vessels left Cam Ranh port in Khanh Hoa province for Russia on July 13.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, this year’s Army Games will be held from August 22 to September 4. A total of 277 teams from 41 countries and territories will compete in 34 categories.

Teams from the Vietnam People’s Army gained outstanding results and surpassed their set targets at the 2020 Army Games./.

ASEAN, Canada hold 18th annual dialogue

The 18th dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada took place virtually on July 13, focusing on sketching out orientations for cooperation between the two sides, discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, and preparing for the ASEAN-Canada Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in this August.

At the event, ASEAN members and Canada agreed to coordinate closely and actively in implementing the Action Plan for the 2021-2025 period, while promoting collaboration in economic, trade and investment, maintaining the supply chains and prioritising the launching of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement in 2021.

Both sides will continue their cooperation programmes in education and training and high-quality human resource developing such as the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program, while enhancing cooperation in sustainable development and innovation achievement application.

Regarding regional and international situation, participants underlined the significance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, especially amid the current difficult circumstances.

Canada supports the ASEAN in promoting its role in strengthening cooperation, dialogue and trust-building in the region, upholding international law, building a law-based regional architecture, settling disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and completing the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On Myanmar issue, Canada welcomed the outcomes of the ASEAN leaders’ meeting on April 24 and backed the role of ASEAN in encouraging dialogue and reconciliation, and assisting Myanmar in seeking solutions to stabilise the situation.

Representatives of Vietnam underlined that in the current challenging period, all countries should further strengthen cooperation, thus effectively responding to challenges and difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as strategic instabilities, thus promoting sustainable recovery and ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Vietnam re-affirmed the consistent principled stance of the ASEAN on the East Sea issue, stressing that ASEAN and Canada should work closely together to protect a regional environment of peace and stability, uphold international law, strengthen trust, encourage restraint and avoidance of militarization as well as the settlement of disputes on the foundation of international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

Vietnam also underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the DOC and the building of an effective and efficient COC./.

Sport achievements demonstrate Vietnamese people’s will: PM

The achievements reaped by the Vietnamese sports sector have demonstrated the will and resolve of Vietnamese, contributing to promoting the country’s image, role and prestige, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said.

The PM on July 13 had a working session with representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and met with outstanding athletes, including those who are about to head to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Such achievements have inspired people to engage in sport activities, thus improving public health, he said, adding that the sector has played a role in strengthening the great national unity bloc as well as national construction and defence.

Vietnamese sports like men’s and women’s football, shooting, martial arts and gymnastics have affirmed their position in the regional and international arena, Chinh said.

The PM highlighted the strong development of mass sport movements, and due attention to sports for people with disabilities over the past time, saying all Vietnamese have equal access to sports.

The participating athletes expressed their delight at the attention and sentiments the Party and State leaders and people have given to them and the sector in general, and their hope for more investments in sports infrastructure.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics athletes promised to observe regulations of organisers and the Vietnamese delegation, ensure COVID-19 prevention and control, and do their best at the tournament.

On this occasion, Chinh presented gifts to outstanding athletes and a certificate of merit to the national men’s football squad./.

Foreign minister attends Non-Aligned Movement ministerial meeting

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attended the virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held on July 13 under the chair of Azerbaijan, the current chair of the NAM.

In his remarks, FM Son affirmed that the solidarity spirit and principles of the NAM are the source of strength for the movement to ride over current difficulties and challenges.

The Vietnamese representative said the NAM should continue to play an important role in advocating multilateralism, and promoting cooperation at both regional and global scales, particularly efforts for post-pandemic recovery, to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and cope with climate change.

As an active member of the NAM and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 term, Vietnam upholds the core principles of the NAM, including respect for countries’ independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of international disputes, especially in efforts to maintain peace and maritime security and safety in the East Sea based on international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

At the conference, participants highlighted the contributions of the NAM over the past 60 years to the struggle to safeguard international peace and security, which provides strong encouragement to struggles for national liberation and independence protection in the world.

They shared the view that the NAM is a considerable force in the struggle for a new international economic order.

In the current context, participants also shared the concern about challenges to peace, security and development in the world, the competition among big powers, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They reiterated the commitment to advocating compliance to the basic principles of the UN Charter and international law.

On the occasion, the meeting approved the granting of the NAM observer status to Russia./.

Singaporean President delighted at development of ties with Vietnam

Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phuoc Dung on July 13 presented his credentials to Singaporean President Halimah Yacob who expressed her delight at the comprehensive development of the ties between the two countries in all fields, especially since both sides lift up relations to a strategic partnership in September 2013.

The President congratulated Vietnam on successful performance as the ASEAN Chair in 2020, during which the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed.

She said that Singaporean investors are keen on expanding investment in Vietnam, especially in areas of Singapore’s strength such as digital transformation, 4.0 technology, green growth and education.

She said she hopes Vietnam will control COVID-19 soon so that the two countries can recover travelling, creating favourable conditions for their investors and tourists to enter each other’s country. She revealed that Singapore is scheduled to vacinnate 70 percent of its population against COVID-19 by late this August and gradually re-open its border.

For his part, Ambassador Dung conveyed the regards of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to President Halimah Yacob and other leaders of Singapore.

He showed his impression at efforts and positive results of Singapore in its COVID-19 fight, expressing his hope that Singapore will continue to cooperate with and support Vietnam in seeking vaccine sources as well as share experience in pandemic control and vaccination.

He highlighted development potential of the sound friendship and cooperation betwen Vietnam and Singapore, pledging that he will do his utmost to closely work with relevant agencies at home and in the host country to promote bilateral strategic partnership, for the benefits of people of both countries, and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

Ambassador Dung thanked President Yacob and the Government of Singapore for assisting the Vietnamese community in Singapore to overcome difficulties from COVID-19, and hoped that the Singaporean President will continue to give necessary support to the community in the future./.

Another two COVID-19 patients with underlying illnesses die in Vietnam

The Ministry of Health announced two more COVID-19 related deaths in Vietnam on July 13 evening.

The 131st death is a female patient, 65, who returned to An Giang from overseas. The patient tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on May 5.

She was admitted to An Giang Regional General Hospital with the diagnosis of pneumonia caused by COVID-19 alongside hypertension and diabetes (type II).

The patient was transferred to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on May 13 for intensive care, but died on July 1.

The other patient, a 77-year-old woman of HCM City, suffered from hypertension, and diabetes (type II).

She was diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus on June 27 and admitted to the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, but died at on July 10 with a diagnosis of septic shock, severe pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, hypertension, diabetes (type II), and femoral neck fracture.

Earlier, the MoH announced five COVID-19 deaths on July 13 afternoon.

Vietnam has recorded 97 COVID-19 deaths during the latest coronavirus outbreak, raising the total death toll caused by the disease to 132.

Two more trains arrive for Ho Chi Minh City metro route

A container ship carrying an additional two Japanese trains for Ho Chi Minh City’s metro line No.1 docked at the city’s Khanh Hoi port on July 13.

The latest trains mark the arrival of the sixth and seventh out of a total of 17 trains which will be used on the line, all of which were produced in Japan.

The 17 trains have been designed to serve up to 930 passengers each and have been fitted with 147 seats each. They are capable of running at a maximum speed of 110km per hour overground and 80km per hour underground.

According to details provided by the municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the three-carriage trains will now be taken to Long Binh depot of Thu Duc city, where they will be used as part of a trial run.

The metro line No. 1 construction project is currently underway in HCM City that links Ben Thanh market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Amusement Park in District 9 aiming to ease traffic congestion in its north-east gateway.

Doctors, nurses nationwide unite with HCM City in COVID-19 fight

A number of localities from across the country have dispatched numerous doctors and nurses as part of efforts to assist Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s current COVID-19 epicentre, in its ongoing fight against the pandemic.

On July 12 as many as 39 doctors and nurses from Quang Nam province’s General Hospital arrived in HCM City. The medical team have previous experience in fighting the virus in the locality.

“Quang Nam had received plenty of support from HCM City’s healthcare workers when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the locality in 2020,” said nurse Nguyen Bang Tram. “Now HCM City is struggling hard to cope with the fresh outbreak, we cannot cross our arms without doing anything.”

“Young doctors and nurses like me are not afraid of the difficulties they may face and are eager to unite with the entire country to fight the pandemic,” the young nurse confided.

On the same day, a medical team from Nghe An province made up 60 staff flew to HCM City to support the southern metropolis’s ongoing struggle against the pandemic.

This marks the third time that Nghe An has sent medical staff to a COVID-19 hotspot, following two previous outbreaks in Da Nang City and Ha Tinh province.

A further 70 healthcare workers departed Quang Ninh province to HCM City, with the entire group receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Before their departure, staff had been training on treatment regimens, taking samples as part of COVID-19 testing, caring for patients with COVID-19, deploying personal protection measures, and infection control.

Furthermore, a volunteer team from An Phuoc General Hospital in Binh Thuan province joined the COVID-19 fight in the southern metropolis on July 13. A total of 14 members consisting of six doctors and eight nurses aged between 26 and 30 from intensive care, emergency resuscitation, and artificial kidney units are making up the group.

Moreover, over 150 doctors and nurses from Hai Phong City and Thai Binh province are ready to join the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in HCM City, with most of them already having experience in pandemic combat in their respective localities.

Embroidery artisans struggle to make ends meet during pandemic

Slowly sketching lines with a soft pencil on calque paper, artisan Vũ Thành Luân smiles at his new floral decorative patterns for embroidering on duvet covers and aprons.

These days he has more free time to create new designs for new orders from overseas.

The pandemic has resulted in a 90 per cent order reduction from his partners, who are mostly in Japan.

This year, his firm, Thái Liên Handmade, has only recorded revenue of US$6,000.

Due to the sharp decrease in orders, his 60 embroidery workers can only work when the company has orders.

Lê Thị Thu, one of the most experienced workers in Luân’s company, told Việt Nam News she felt frustrated as her work has been caused difficulties by the pandemic.

Her husband, a stone carver, has also experienced a salary reduction.

Thu said her family needs some VNĐ6 million ($260) for food and other fees per month, excluding extra tuition fees for her two children aged 15 and 10.

“We have had to spend less on everything,” Thu said. “I have not been able to afford daily milk for my two children since April last year. We have also cut down on fruit in our diet.”

Thu said she raised chickens and planted more vegetables in her garden to eat and sell at the local market.

“We only now hope to have more orders to get a stable salary, which is a way to stay longer with and preserve the traditional embroidery handicraft,” she said.

They are among the rare embroidery artisans of famed Văn Lâm embroidery village, which is located at the entrance to the Tam Cốc - Bích Động Tourism Site in Ninh Hải Commune, Hoa Lư District, in the northern province of Ninh Bình.

Luân, who has also been acting as chairman of the village’s Artisans’ Association, said three of the five members of the association have still secured enough orders to maintain production.

Minh Trang Handmade Company Ltd, run by Vũ Thị Hồng Yến, is one local export enterprise receiving regular orders even during the pandemic.

“In the first months of the pandemic last year, we were extremely worried as the material sources from China were stuck at the border gates,” she said. “But then things have run smoothly again. Our customers in Europe still send orders through emails.”

The orders now account for 70-80 per cent of those in a normal period. The company’s 45 workers are still working full time as usual.

“Besides bedding sheets and tablecloths for export, we have produced lots of masks from natural materials like silk and linen for foreign customers,” Yến said.

“I have spared no efforts to maintain our team of core workers,” Yến said. “I receive all small and big orders to bring jobs for them.”

Yến said the company has got no income from tourism since the outbreak of the pandemic, which previously accounted for 5 per cent of the company’s income.

“We are actually in need of cash as now we must wait for the customers to pay for the orders to have enough money to pay the salary of our workers,” Yến said.

She said she had to postpone her plan to build bungalows at her company complex of 7,000sq.m to make a new tourism centre by Tam Cốc Wharf by offering guests the chance to try traditional embroidery production at her workshop, which would cost some VNĐ20 billion ($869,000) to set up.

“I know that myself and other workers here are luckier than many others in the village, who had to find other jobs to earn money,” said Bùi Thị Thu Hiền, a worker at Minh Trang Company.

"The company has done everything to maintain our salary and give us jobs suitable to each person’s capability."

According to Đinh Anh Tới, deputy chairman of Ninh Hải Commune's People's Committee, 90 per cent of the total 2,000 local embroidery workers have found other jobs to earn money.

“Local authorities have helped embroidery enterprises get closer access to favourable capital sources to maintain production or change to other businesses,” he said.

Local authorities have also hosted training courses for young workers in embroidery and also those who want to work in industrial zones.

Tới said more than 400 out of 600 local people working on tour boats at Tam Cốc Tourism Site have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with the support of Xuân Trường Enterprise.

Everlasting value

What brings Luân happiness these days is that he has realised his dream of renovating the local temple dedicated to the ancestors of the handicraft using funding it took him 18 years to raise.

“We have pulled down the worn-out temple, which is situated right at Tam Cốc Wharf and built a firm foundation for the new one,” Luân said.

The place will feature the golden time of the handicraft, with various embroidery patterns carved on stone and wood, he said.

“Now in the time of technology, fewer and fewer locals still keep the handicraft handed down through generations,” Luân said. “In the future, the career may no longer exist but the temple will remain as a relic site reminding people of cultural heritage.”

Historical documents say local embroidery skills have been handed down through the generations for more than 700 years.

During the Trần Dynasty (1225-1400), royal tutor Trần Thủ Độ (1194-1264) trained his army in the Ninh Bình area and his wife Trần Thị Dung (1193-1259) opened classes for people to learn how to embroider.

Villagers then became specialists in embroidering royal costumes and costumes for rituals.

In 1910, during the French colonial time, brothers Đinh Ngọc Hênh and Đinh Ngọc Xoan went to Hà Nội to study French embroidery skills and then passed them on to the village folk.

The village's embroidery artisans have created more lace designs inspired by European tastes since then.

The local embroidery craft has expanded to thousands of different items, including bed sheets, curtains, tablecloths, placemats, and interior décor items.

The village is now home to nine companies and dozens of workshops gathering together 700 households in the craft. Revenue from the trade each year reached some VNĐ80-90 billion (US$3.4 million-3.8 million) before the pandemic.

Elderly people, policy beneficiaries prioritized in fifth vaccination drive

Vietnam will launch the fifth Covid-19 vaccination drive, with volunteer medical workers, people with chronic diseases, poor people, social policy beneficiaries, employees in the pharmaceutical sector, and foreigners the first to receive shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, said Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Health Dr. Nguyen Hoai Nam at a press brief yesterday.

The Propaganda and Education Department of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee coordinated with the Department of Information and Communications to hold a press conference to provide information on the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic.

It is expected that vaccination activities will take place in two or three weeks. The health sector is preparing for the fifth vaccination drive, said Dr. Nguyen Hoai Nam.

The Southeast Asian country managed to contain the number of Covid-19 cases in the pandemic but is now fighting the fourth wave, recording more than 32,665 cases and 125 deaths.

Yesterday, the southern city was allocated nearly 550,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine by the Ministry of Health and received one million doses of Moderna vaccine. The city has developed a plan for the rollout of fifth vaccination campaign with an initial number of more than 1.1 million doses of vaccine in two or three weeks.

Dr. Nguyen Hoai Nam revealed during the period of implementing the social distance according to Directive 16, the city will roll out the Covid-19 vaccination campaign along with testing activities, screening measures and investigation in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications Tu Luong, city authorities have collected VND3.3 billion from issuing fines on 1,242 violators of the Covid-19 prevention and control regulations after 4 days of implementing social distancing as per Directive 16. Mr. Luong proposed people should not go out to effectively prevent the Covid-19 epidemic.

Regarding the supply of goods in the big city, Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Nguyen Phuong said that 68 traditional markets are opening whereas 169 other traditional markets including three wholesale markets and four supermarkets have been suspended from operating.

In respect of the shortage of essential goods in several stores, Mr. Phuong said that the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City had a plan to ensure an adequate supply of goods. The transportation of goods in large quantities still meets the requirements. Supermarkets have stockpiles, backup supplies, and ready-to-stock supplies that have met people's needs.

However, some small stores, convenience stores in residential areas did not stock enough commodities; therefore, when customers buy a lot, these venues are short of commodities. He affirmed the city will supply enough goods for all residents.

Concerning the traffic situation, Director of the Department of Transport and Communications Tran Quang Lam said that in the days of social distancing, the number of vehicles has been reduced by approximately 70-80 percent. The roads have been quite empty.

He said that the Department has issued identification certificates when traveling through the Covid-19 epidemic prevention and control area and has so far issued nearly 17,000 identification papers for vehicles carrying essential goods, helping to ensure the needs of people during the time of isolation.

Additionally, Mr. Lam said the city has classified three groups of businesses. Those are businesses that have both produced and isolated; enterprises that have maintained production at a certain level, and some businesses that stop operating completely during the social distancing time.

He announced drivers and shippers are of top priority people of vaccination campaigns. For the past time, HCMC has vaccinated more than 10,000 bus and truck drivers with 70 percent of public vehicle drivers receive vaccine jabs.

Vietnam promotes cooperation on nature preservation with WWF

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha and Director General of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Marco Lambertini discussed cooperation programmes on environmental and nature protection between the two sides during their virtual talks on July 13.

They focused on issues relating to developing and implementing the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP) and the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The two sides also discussed preparations for Vietnam’s participation in the 15th meeting of Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), the 26th meeting of Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (NFCCC COP26), and the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), while proposing cooperation and support for implementing the initiative “Leaders' Pledge for Nature”.

Lambertinis highly valued the Vietnamese Government for taking concrete and pioneering actions in the region to build policies on nature preservation, saying that WWF is building a global goal on nature.

He expressed his belief that Vietnam will support WWF’s goals of and show its views more clearly at the COP15.

The Minister said Vietnam has developed policies and taken actions relating to nature, such as regulations on biodiversity in the newly-approved environment law, and one billion tree planting.

He suggested WWF share experience and new models with Vietnam, expressing his belief that the fund will be a bridge to promote cooperation between countries to jointly realise common goals.

Minister Ha said countries attending the upcoming COP15 need to make scientific calculations, and analyse the value of long-term benefits to make policies and development models, and balance the interests of people with those of nature, thus applying worldwide and in each region and country./.

Vietnam calls for protection of civilians in Colombia

Vietnam called on sides involved in Colombia to employ necessary measures and effective mechanisms to ensure security and protect civilians, particularly women and children at a UN Security Council meeting on Colombia and the performance of the UN Verification Mission in the nation.

Speaking at the meeting, Counselor Phan Ho The Nam, political coordinator of the Vietnam Permanent Mission to the UN, acknowledged Colombia’s positive political and socio-economic developments.

The Vietnamese representative suggested that all relevant parties continue to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve challenges and differences in the peace process, especially through mechanisms established under the Final Peace Agreement.

Vietnam supports the nation’s process of peace, security, national reconciliation, unity and development as well as the role of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.

Also at the event, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, briefed the council on the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2021/603), noting that the peace process in Colombia stands at a critical juncture nearly five years after the signing of its Final Peace Agreement in 2016, which formally ended more than fifty years of civil conflict.

He urged Colombian society and institutions to view the document as an opportunity to help tackle the longstanding issues facing the country.

Melissa Herrera, Founder and Director of the Latin-American civil society group Viva la Vida, described the 2016 peace agreement as a symbol of hope for the young people of Colombia.

Council members welcomed progress made in transitional justice on Colombia’s path towards truth, justice and reconciliation. Many voiced concern, however, over recent social unrest and the deteriorating security situation as well as a lack of progress on agricultural reform and land use.

They also underscored the need to fully implement the Final Peace Agreement, calling on all relevant parties to engage in constructive dialogue towards that end with the participation of women and youth./.

Ho Chi Minh City to roll out digital isolation management system

The online medical isolation management system is expected to be launched to track and monitor F1 people at home in Thu Duc City and Ho Chi Minh City from July 17.

The departments of Information and Communications and Health of Ho Chi Minh City, the city Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and Viettel had an online meeting on July 11 to agree on implementation plans to launch the online medical isolation management system in Thu Duc City andHo Chi Minh City.

The system will help Ho Chi Minh City manage those isolated at home, helping to monitor compliance with the isolation policies of the Ministry of Health and support people in isolation to timely and proactively reporting their health status.

The system will be deployed on the current infrastructure of tokhaiyte.vn, Vietnam's health declaration website and mobile application. The system will offer features of face recognition and location sharing through smartphones after registering the phone number of isolated people.

Isolated people will need to submit medical declarations three times a day through the app and immediately report any health issues such as fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing. This will enable medical staff monitoring quarantined people to give them a health check and ensure compliance with pandemic prevention measures.

The software is expected to be put into use on July 17 throughout Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the Ministry of Health, home isolation helps reduce cross-infection and ensure the safety of the community and F1 people alike.

In addition, the city is conducting the assessment of epidemiological areas and risk zoning to organise the collection of samples for COVID-19 testing so that it can decide which areas need to be locked down or undergo large-scale screening.

At the same time, the city will also conduct daily infection risk assessment at production and business establishments, export processing zones, industrial zones, and high-tech parks. Besides, it is also increasing the number of enterprises producing under quarantine, while clamping down on businesses failing to comply with pandemic prevention regulations.

15 days of social distancing were ordered under Directive No.16/CT-TTg to control the pandemic spread, trace, and separate F0 patients from the community with the top priority of protecting the lives of people.

More than just medicine: Hospital staff provide free food and clothing too!

Doctors and medical staff at the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Kon Tum's General Hospital are helping patients and their families with free meals and clothing.

The hospital's "Zero Wardrobe" and "Charity Kitchen" programmes have given more motivation to patients to feel secure in treatment, especially ethnic minorities in difficult circumstances in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital's pediatrics department receives an average of 60-70 patients, and can at times peak at more than 100 patients per day.

Many families with children receiving long-term treatment are financially insecure. This is particularly true for ethnic minorities.

Y Tra, 32, from Kon Tum City said that she and her husband work in agriculture to raise their three small children.

When their two-year-old son fell ill, they spent their entire life savings on his treatment.

"Thanks to the free wardrobe of the Pediatrics Department's doctors and nurses, he has nice clothes to wear," she said.

The "Zero Wardrobe" programme was an initiative, introduced by staff at the hospital, that began in 2019.

Donated clothing is washed, dried and then placed in a designated wardrobe at the hospital.

The wardrobe may look very simple, “but it is full of love", said doctor Hà Anh Đức, Head of Pediatrics Department.

Đức points out that most patients treated at the Pediatrics Department are from ethnic minorities and are often in very difficult financial circumstances.

"Children who are hospitalised for a long time run out of clothes to wear. To meet the essential needs of the children, the doctors at the department regularly call on benefactors to donate old clothes, diapers and baby supplies."

"This is a great source of encouragement to help disadvantaged families reduce pressure and be more optimistic in life,” Đức said.

Alongside the "Zero Wardrobe" the hospital’s nutrition department also runs a "Charity Kitchen" programme.

At 6 o'clock every day, the staff in the nutrition department prepare quality meals and by about 10 o'clock food boxes are ready to deliver to patients and their families.

On an average day, the "Charity Kitchen" prepares about 150-300 meals for both lunch and dinner.

The department staff carefully plan the menu every day and change it regularly, ensuring meals are both nutritious and safe.

Food safety and hygiene are a top priority. When food is delivered staff quickly check the origin and save samples before processing it, said Nguyễn Thị Bích Thủy, Head of Nutrition at the hospital.

Staff at the hospital have in place, and strictly follow, COVID-19 guidelines. Food boxes are brought to the beds of special patients by medical staff, and people who come to pick up food boxes at the "Charity Kitchen” have to keep their distance and wear masks.

That said, COVID-19 has presented some challenges. Notably a lack of funds to buy the food. But Thủy is still optimistic.

“We hope to receive the help from donors and local enterprises so that we can continue to bring loving meals to disadvantaged patients being treated here,” said Thủy.

Connecting schools has potential to boost GDP by 20% in the least connected nations

An Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report sponsored by Ericsson has found that nations with low broadband connectivity have the potential to realise an increase in GDP by up to 20 per cent by connecting schools to the internet.

Education systems worldwide have been hit hard by the pandemic, with more than 190 countries instituting nationwide school closures. During this time, connectivity at home has ensured continued learning for at least 100 million out of the 1.6 billion out-of-school students across the world. The temporary school closures are shifting perceptions on the need for connecting schools to support learning and to close both the educational and digital divides.

A well-educated workforce is more likely to be innovative and foster ground-breaking ideas, leading to economic development and job creation. Access to the internet in schools can also help provide equal opportunities to students in the form of improved learning. This in turn can open doors to new career pathways and a better quality of life, thereby benefitting the individual as well as society at large.

Both the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (2017), and the World Bank Human Capital Index (2017) show a clear correlation between access to internet and the quality of education available.

EIU analysis shows that for every 10 per cent increase in school connectivity in a country, GDP per capita can increase by up to 1.1 per cent.

While the global internet penetration rate has increased substantially from 17 per cent in 2005, it was still only at a modest 50 per cent this year.

In the West African country of Niger, the report finds that improvements in school connectivity to Finnish levels could increase GDP per capita by almost 20 per cent - from US$550 per person, to $660 per person by 2025.

The report focuses on four key actions including collaboration, accessibility and affordability, embedding the internet, and digital tools to educate and protect children online.

Ericsson has appealed for the world to get behind Giga (a school connectivity initiative founded by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union) with funding, data sharing, technological expertise and reimagining sustainable business models for connectivity. Ericsson has committed its efforts through a three-year partnership with UNICEF to help map the current school connectivity gap across 35 countries.

The Ericsson-backed EIU report – Connecting Learners: Narrowing the Educational Divide – has reinforced the company’s belief that the ambitious goal of Giga, to connect all schools and their surrounding communities by 2030, is achievable.

Heather Johnson, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, at Ericsson, says: “When Giga was announced, we immediately understood the positive impact it could deliver - bridging the digital divide between and within countries and giving children the world over the opportunity to have bright and rewarding futures.”

“The report makes it clear that partnership between business leaders, public sector leaders and NGOs can be effective at addressing this issue and significantly impact lives. Every player in these sectors, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. We encourage stakeholders to read the report and more importantly join the Giga initiative to help realise this important goal, ” she added.

Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships, says: “Together, we’re mapping schools around the world to identify connectivity gaps in communities. It’s key that we collaborate across sectors to connect schools and provide quality digital learning, children and young people can leapfrog into brighter futures.”

Wet season temps to be one degree higher than average

Average temperatures across Vietnam in the coming weeks are expected to be up to one degree higher than those of the same period in previous years, according to the National Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre (NHFC).

The centre is also forecasting rainfall across the country to be 10-35 percent lower than the average despite two tropical cyclones expected to appear on the East Sea by the beginning of August.

Rainfalls, however, in the northern mountainous provinces and southeastern provinces may be up to 10-20 percent higher than average.

This year’s storm season will see 10-12 storms and tropical depressions on the East Sea. Of them, five to seven storms and a tropical depression could directly affect the country’s mainland, the centre has said.

Mai Van Khiem, Director of the National Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre, said they are prepared to deliver more frequent notices on dangerous weather and apply real-time tools to monitor storms and floods.

Dangerous weather updates will be sent to every province with details of the projected impacts of natural disasters on socio-economic activities and vulnerable groups, Khiem said.

The national weather agency expects to be able to provide people with hourly updates by using real-time data collected from radars and satellites. This will also improve the quality of rain forecasts, and flood and landslide warnings.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Cong Thanh has asked agencies to actively monitor, evaluate, and deal with consequences of marine environmental incidents or oil spills if they occurred.

It’s also necessary to strengthen the monitoring of waves and sea currents by using marine radar for warning and forecasting of natural disasters, he said.

Furthermore, the operation of reservoirs must be supervised closely.

Thanh said the department is asking for applications of advanced scientific and technological research studies to improve weather forecasting, warnings and natural disaster prevention and control.

In the first half of this year, Vietnam faced two storms, and 59 light earthquakes, 137 hailstorms and thunderstorms. There were also five cold spells, 14 periods of heavy rain floods, two flash floods and 60 riverside-landslides. Natural disasters killed 25 people, injured 31 people and caused losses worth over 132 billion VND (5.75 million USD), according to the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority.

In Vietnam, the storm season usually lasts between July and December./.

Vietnamese circus promotes innovation to conquer the public

The circus stage should find new ways of performance to retain audiences, according to People’s Artist Tong Toan Thang – vice director of the Vietnam Circus Federation.

Following more than 30 years of dedication to the circus field, People’s Artist Tong Toan Thang admitted that single performances are no longer enough to attract modern audiences. He added that audiences want to enjoy performances with good contents and climactic and attractive details, so the artists should also make programmes that can express both skilful circus techniques and the sequence of performances to convey meaningful messages. This was why the Vietnam Circus Federation has been focused on staging many thematic circus plays with new experiments including ‘Nang Tien Ca’ (The Little Mermaid), ‘Xu so Ai Cap’ (The Land of Egypt), ‘Cuop bien” (The Pirates), ‘The gioi hoat hinh trong khu rung than tien” (The Cartoon World in the Fairy Forest), ‘Cuoc phieu luu cua chu Teu’ (The adventure of Uncle Teu) and ‘Phu thuy dai chien’ (The Wizard of War).

Specifically, the circus works recently staged by the federation, such as ‘Hanoi cua nhung giac mo’ (Hanoi of Dreams), ‘Ky uc trong toi’ (My Memories), ‘Di cung nam thang’ (Going through years) and ‘Nhung canh hong bay’ (Flying Roses), have contributed to affirming the circus is not only an art form with high entertainment value but can also convey propaganda and educational messages with deep humanistic meanings. Clever movements of circus such as juggling, balancing, swinging and acrobatics, in combination with creative ideals in staging and dancing languages and music, have brought surprises and excitement to audiences of all ages.

Taking on the role of scripting and staging most of the current plays of the Vietnam Circus Federation, People’s Artist Tong Toan Thang affirmed that circus is an art form that can be combined with many other artistic languages to enrich their capacity for expression. This is also a ‘key’ for art makers to expand their creativity for circus as well as other art forms, thereby attracting diverse audiences. With the goal of turning the circus into an art performing centre, a series of experimental projects with this combination form have been planned by the federation. Recently, the Vietnam Circus Federation has worked with Vietnam Cai Luong (reformed opera) Theatre to successfully stage the play ‘Cay gay than’ (The Magic Stick). The two units then cooperated with each other to develop the remaining works under the project on “Huyen Su Viet’, featuring the four immortals of Vietnamese folklore.

In the context that all theatrical activities were almost frozen due to COVID-19 pandemic, like other art units, the Vietnam Circus Federation has been forced to suspend its performances, so it had no revenue. However, the artists have been still working hard to prepare attractive ‘spiritual food’ to serve audiences right after the epidemic is controlled. The federation and the Vietnam Cai Luong Theatre is completing the play “Thuong thien Thanh Mau’ (The Holy Mother) with a special combination of circus and Cai Luong. The circus programme entitled ‘Biet doi anh hung’ (Hero Squad) for children was intended to be introduced on the occasion of the World Children Festival but it was suspended due to the epidemic. Therefore, it is expected to be performed on the occasion of Mid Autumn. In addition, a show of circus combined with rock will be released on the occasion of Vietnam Women’s Day (October 20), aiming to attract young audiences.

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

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