VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 16

Quarantine time for COVID-19 F1 cases down to 14 days

The Ministry of Health on July 14 issued updated guidelines on the mandatory quarantine period and details of a pilot home quarantine scheme for people who came into direct contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

According to the guidelines, the time of medical quarantine is decreased from 21 days to 14 days for direct contacts (F1 cases) of confirmed COVID-19 patients (F0)

The guidelines are also applied for foreign arrivals, except for arrivals for business purposes with duration of stay shorter than 14 days, and other cases of entries in accordance with other regulations of the Immigration Department and the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

However, they would need to continue to monitor their health status for the next 14 days.

Local authorities are ordered to manage and supervise the isolation period and follow-up medical observation period to ensure no cross-infection or virus spread in the community.

The ministry also told local administrations to consider conducting trials of home quarantine of F1 cases, hold training and provide instructions via video clips or other materials, strictly and frequently manage the isolation processes to ensure disease prevention and control.

A review of the pilot period is required to consider the implementation of the model on a larger scale, the health ministry noted./.

HCM City arrested escaped inmate who had COVID-19

Hồ Chí Minh City police on Friday arrested an escaped convict who was on death row after being convicted of murder and robbery.

Nguyễn Kim An, 26, fled from Chí Hòa Prison on July 13. He was awaiting the death penalty after he was convicted of the murder of a college classmate in 2014.

An, from Tánh Linh District in Bình Thuận Province, is also infected with COVID-19.

He was sentenced to death by HCM City's People's Court after he killed Lưu Vĩnh Đạt, who he studied with at VTC Technology and Digital Content Centre.

On the evening of February 26, 2014, An called Đạt to an inn in Tân Bình District. Here, An mixed six sleeping pills in a glass of water for Đạt to drink, causing the victim to fall into a coma.

Later that evening, An put Đạt in a sack and then carried him to Phú Mỹ Bridge in District 7 and dropped the victim into the river.

An brought Đạt’s bike home and parked it at a parking lot on Thăng Long Street and then repeatedly sent text messages to Đat's family to threaten and demand VNĐ500 million.

On the evening of March 4, 2014, security staff at Tân Thuận 2 Port (District 7) found the body in the water. His family were able to identify him because of a distinctive marble necklace he was wearing.

On March 11, 2014, the police arrested Nguyễn Kim An when he was hiding in a motel room.

In mid-2015, An was sentenced to death by the Hồ Chí Minh City People's Court. The city’s People's Supreme Court upheld the sentence on appeal.

Many asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in HCM City suddenly worsen

Many Covid-19 patients in HCM City previously without symptoms have quickly experienced worsened health.

The information was given by Doctor Tran Van Khanh, director of Le Van Thinh which supports Covid-19 treatment at HCM City’s Covid-19 Field Hospital 3 in An Khanh Ward, Thu Duc City.    

Since being put into operations on July 7, the 3,000-bed field hospital has received more than 2,000 patients. Among those, some 3-5% of previously asymptomatic patients have fallen into a more serious condition for a period of just 6-12 hours with respiratory failure.

This is a great challenge in the Covid-19 treatment in HCM City if medical treatment is not given at the appropriate time.

The same problem has also happened in the city’s Covid-19 Field Hospital 6 which is providing treatment for another 3,000 patients, according to Dr. Phan Minh Hoang, the hospital director.

Dr. Khanh said that it is important to prepare enough necessary medical equipment such as ventilators and X-ray machines for facilities as well as ambulances to ensure examination and transportation of patients.

Most of the affected patients are the elderly with underlying medical issues.

According to Dr. Khanh, hypoxia has been detected quite late among many Covid-19 patients at field hospitals in HCM City, which is one of the leading causes of their worsening conditions. In many cases, it is impossible to detect symptoms with a superficial examination.

HCM City is the epicentre of the country’s fresh outbreak, witnessing more than 2,000 daily cases for the first time on July 14.

Germany presents more rapid test kits to Vietnam hinh anh 1

Germany presents more rapid test kits to Vietnam

Hessen state and the Messer Group GmbH of Germany on July 15 presented 160,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits worth 500,000 EUR (590,300 USD) to help Vietnam in the fight against the pandemic.

During a handover ceremony held in Hessen state, Vietnamese Consul General in Frankfurt Le Quang Long received the token of 130,000 test kits from President of the Hessen State Parliament Boris Rhein and another token of 30,000 test kits from CEO of the Messer Group Stefan Messer.

Long said his believes that with the Vietnamese Government’s stringent and effective policies in battling the pandemic, along with consensus and support of the Vietnamese people and international friends, the country will soon bring COVID-19 under control.

For his part, Rhein highlighted Hessen state’s traditional friendship with Vietnam, with the Vietnam-Germany University (VGU) viewed as a lighthouse project of the sides, saying that both sides have paid attention to and helped each other in times of hardship.

When Germany faced a scarcity in face masks in early 2020, the Vietnamese people promptly presented more than 100,000 masks to the European country, he recalled.

Rhein took the occasion to express his gratitude to Dr. Kambiz Ghawami, Executive Chairman of the World University Service (WUS) non-governmental organisation, for connecting the aid provision; and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines for transporting the assistance to Vietnam free of charge.

The Messer Group, specialising in industrial gases, has operated in Vietnam in nearly 25 years, with six plants and two others being in the pipeline.

Ghawami previously called on all 16 German states to support Vietnam to combat COVID-19. The first batch of aid containing over 190,000 test kits from the states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Sachsen-Anhalt arrived in Vietnam in late June./.

Vietnam receives additional 921,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses

An additional 921,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, part of the purchase of 30 million doses from the company in 2021, arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on July 15. 

This is the fourth – and also the biggest shipment – from the deal AstraZeneca signed with the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company in December last year.

The Vietnamese vaccine company has agreed to sell their entire supply of this year to the Vietnamese health ministry on a not-for-profit basis.

To date, 1.9 million doses in the contracted amount have arrived in Vietnam.

AstraZeneca was the first vaccine to have obtained authorisation for emergency use in Vietnam.

Nearly 4.15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide so far, with nearly 287.000 people receiving the full two doses./.

Vietnam to tighten security checks for flights to Japan

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has instructed relevant agencies to tighten security checks for flights to Japan.

The move followed a request from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) on the application of enhanced security measures on flights to Japan during the time the country hosts the Olympic Games (from July 23 to August 8) and the Paralympic Games (from August 24 to September 5).

To fulfill the responsibilities of a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and relevant aviation laws, the CAAV required airports with flights to Japan to direct the aviation security control force to strictly implement random checks of at least 10 percent after the first security check for passengers and carry-on luggages.

There should be 10 percent random inspection of check-in baggage.

Airports were asked to increase the frequency of security surveillance and regularly update the situation, assess risks and promptly apply additional measures if necessary. They should report to the CAAV when there emerges any information threatening aviation security.

The CAAV also made similar request to airlines with flights to Japan. They were asked to coordinate with airports in implementing aviation security control measures at the request of the Japanese Government.

A representative of the CAAV said that the above-mentioned measures are applied to all flights originating from Vietnam to Japan, including passengers and baggage on connecting flights, from 00h00 on July 22 to the end of August 10 and from 00h00 on August 23 to the end of September 7./.

Vietnam approves Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine

The Ministry of Health on July 15 issued a decision conditionally approving the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen produced by Johnson & Johnson for emergency use.

Janssen is the sixth vaccine endorsed in Vietnam so far, after Astra Zeneca, Sputnik V, Pfizer, Vero Cell and Moderna.

The ministry asked the Drug Administration of Vietnam to license the import of the vaccine and abide by regulations on the management of import and the quality of imported vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Administration of Science Technology and Training will select and guide qualified units to assess the vaccine's safety and efficacy based on advice from the advisory council on use of vaccines and biologicals.

The General Department of Preventive Medicine is responsible for conducting vaccination using Janssen. The ministry also assigned the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biologicals to conduct checks and grant certificates for batches of Janssen vaccine before use.

The ministry said the approval was based on documents regarding the safety, quality and efficacy of the vaccine as provided by Johnson & Johnson (Vietnam) by July 3, as well as the firm’s commitment regarding the accuracy of the documents.

The two sides will also coordinate in risk management for the vaccine during its circulation in Vietnam.

The use of COVID-19 vaccine Janssen will be conducted under the guidance of the ministry./.

Defence diplomacy carried out proactively, flexibly, effectively: conference

Bilateral and multilateral defence diplomacy has been carried out in a proactive, flexible, creative, effective, and substantive manner, continuing to serve as one of the pillars in Vietnam’s diplomacy and help raise the country’s role, stature, and prestige in the world.

The assessment was made at a teleconference held by the Ministry of National Defence on July 15 to review international defence integration and defence diplomacy in the first half of 2021.

A report at the event noted that during the reviewed period, the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry directed international defence integration and defence diplomacy in line with the Party and State’s foreign policy.

Notably, cooperation with foreign partners have been promoted in fighting COVID-19, discussing the possibility of transferring COVID-19 vaccine production technology, and sending military personnel to overseas training courses. Besides, defence diplomacy communications have been conducted effectively and in conformity with the Party and State’s principles, viewpoints, guidelines, and policies.

Applauding relevant agencies and units’ achievements in international integration and defence diplomacy, Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien asked them to uphold the attainments and address difficulties caused by the pandemic to fulfil tasks in the last six months of the year.

He told the border guard, naval, and coast guard forces to proactively boost coordination in border management and protection with their counterparts of neighbouring countries while pairing more Vietnamese communities and forces in border areas with the neighbours’ peers.

Chien requested all-round preparations for participating in the Army Games 2021, promotion of the signing of international defence agreements and treaties, along with the enhancement of international cooperation in defence industry, military technique, military medicine, search and rescue, non-traditional security, and COVID-19 combat.

Relevant agencies and units also need to maintain and consider expanding Vietnam’s participation in activities of the UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and at the UN headquarters. They should continue working to prepare for Vietnamese engineers to take part in peacekeeping operations, deploy Level-2 Field Hospital No 4 and military police personnel, and build the national coordination centre for UN peacekeeping, according to the Deputy Minister./.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 16

Vietnam hopes to procure Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in July

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has sent a letter to Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to introduce T&t Group as the negotiator for the purchase of 40 million doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine from Russia.

The Health Ministry asked RDIF to create optimal conditions for T&T Group, a Hanoi-based multifield corporation, to buy the vaccine doses right in July, thus meeting Vietnam’s urgent need in pandemic prevention and control.

The funds used for the vaccine purchase will be mobilised by T&T Group and not involve the State budget or the National COVID-19 fund.

Sputnik V is the first approved COVID-19 vaccine in the world. So far, Sputnik V has been approved and used by more than 50 countries around the world.

In Vietnam, the Russian-made vaccine was granted conditional approval for emergency use on March 23, 2021, becoming the second to be authorised by the Health Ministry after AstraZeneca./.

Vietnam plays role in boosting APEC cooperation

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, efforts to prevent and control the pandemic and boost socio-economic recovery have been of great concern around the world and will feature prominently at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on July 16.

As an active member of the forum, Vietnam has coordinated with other members to ensure momentum in APEC cooperation. During its 22 years as a member, Vietnam has proved its important role in the forum. 

At the 27th APEC Summit held online last year, Vietnam asked APEC members to work together in COVID-19 prevention and control efforts, promoting economic links and securing supply chains to maintain the position of Asia-Pacific as a driver of economic recovery.

Addressing the meeting, then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that the new driving force for APEC is digital transformation in all fields, to enhance the forum’s core values during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He also shared Vietnam’s experience in disease control and economic recovery and development.

Vietnam has called upon APEC members to join hands to maintain a free and open trade and investment environment while strengthening economic integration, ensuring the supply chain of goods and services in the region.

Since officially becoming a member of APEC in 1998, Vietnam has actively participated in the building and shaping of regional economic and trade regulations.

It successfully hosted APEC in 2006 and 2017. These important events received positive reviews from international friends, elevating Vietnam’s bilateral relations with many partners.

From its positive contributions, Vietnam has earned trust and praise from APEC members. Its participation in and cooperation with APEC have also brought it benefits from development opportunities in political and socio-economic relations, contributing to the promotion of its internal resources./.

Phu Quoc inoculates entire population to revive tourism

Phu Quoc city in the southern province of Kien Giang is due to launch a vaccination rollout for its entire population on July 15, in an effort to revive its tourism activities that are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the first locality nationwide to fully vaccinate its residents, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Luu Trung.

During the campaign, Kien Giang gives priority to people in the working group in the city with over 127,000, including 108,596 with permanent residences and more than 19,000 temporary residents, towards the goal of having 95 percent of its population fully given two shots.

Statistics by the municipal People’s Committee showed that the city is home to over 150,000 permanent and more than 19,000 temporary residents.

Each vaccination phase will last 10-15 days.

The second shots are scheduled to be given on September 1./.

Tay Ninh to impose Covid-19 social distancing

The southern central province of Tay Ninh will apply social distancing measures from Thursday midnight for Covid-19 prevention.

Under the decision issued by People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Ngoc, the province will impose social distancing regulations in line with Government Directive 15 for Duong Minh Chau District, Trang Bang Town, Ben Cau Town and the communes of Loi Thuan, An Thanh, Tien Thuan and Long Thuan in Ben Cau District.

Meanwhile, the remaining localities in the province will be subject to social distancing measures based on Directive 16.

The people’s committee has requested the control of people from HCM City and other localities. The 14-day home-quarantine will be compulsory for returnees from HCM City and areas which are being put under Directive 16.

Covid-19 prevention and control activities at enterprises need to be strictly supervised.

Local authorities have been urged to fine any person who violate Covid-19 prevention regulations.

Directive 15 requires the suspension of social events, bans gatherings of 20 or more people in one place and of 10 people or more outside workplaces, schools and hospitals. A minimum distance of two metres between people in public places should be ensured.

Meanwhile, Directive 16 requires stricter measures. People must stay at home and only go out in case of necessity such as buying food and medicine, and in other emergencies. Stores providing essential services and goods are still allowed to remain open.

Any gathering of more than two people in public places and outside offices, schools and hospitals are prohibited.

State agencies permit their staff to work online at home and hold online meetings.

Sci-tech solution to development of ethnic-populated areas: Deputy PM

Science and technology is the solution to developing areas populated by ethnic minority groups, said Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh at a conference in Hanoi.

At the event that reviewed a national sci-tech programme on ethnic affairs, concerning such development, Binh highlighted the need to consider ethnic cultural identity, knowledge, and traditions as well as socio-economic growth, and ensuring defence-security its targets.

The implementation of the Party’s policy on ethnic affairs is key to its success, he affirmed.

Listing a host of measures including training of youth and scientific and technological application, he said they will equip ethnic people with new skills and effective business methods.

While many of ethnic-populated areas have seen scientific and technological advances applied in the local life and businesses, others still face high poverty rate and a lack of conditions for such application, Binh said.

Beginning in 2015, the national programme that is worth 176.1 billion VND (7.67 million USD) has to date carried out 51 tasks.

In the 2016 – 2020 period, it built 2,324 application and technological transfer models that are suitable to 34 provinces and cities with ethnic population. As a result, over 7,000 jobs were created; 1,106 new technologies transferred; close to 3,500 public personnel and technicians and 45,328 farmers trained./.

NA Chairman chairs nationwide teleconference on election work

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue chaired a nationwide teleconference in Hanoi on July 15 reviewing the elections of deputies to the 15th legislature and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure.

In his opening speech, Hue, who is also Chairman of the National Election Council (NEC), described the election as the country’s significant political event that took place in a democratic and fair manner in line with the law, ensuring safety and thriftiness. It was really a great festival of the nation, he said.

The event was held at a time when the country experienced 75 years of independence, 35 years of renovation with important achievements of historical significance.

The entire Party, army and people are striving to bring the Resolution by the 13th National Party Congress into life, carry out the 2021-2025 socio-economic development tasks and build the law-governed socialist State of the people, by the people and for the people, he said, adding that the public trust on the Party and State has been consolidated, thus laying a solid foundation for the country’s rapid and sustainable development.

According to Hue, the election was prepared thoroughly, professionally and flexibly from the central to local level on the basis of upholding people’s right to mastery, ensuring favourable conditions for every citizen to fully exercise right to nomination and election in line with the law.

The largest-scale election recorded nearly 70 million votes in 84,767 voting areas. Voters chose qualified representatives with moral virtue and brainpower out of around 450,000 candidates. The voter turnout reached up to 99.6 percent despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives from the NEC, the Government and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee presented reports reviewing the election work and pointing out shortcomings that need to be fixed for the next elections.

The top legislator asked participants to give opinions on reports to contribute to the success of the event./.

Overseas Vietnamese honoured for dedication to HCM City’s development

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has decided to bestow the city’s badge to seven overseas Vietnamese in recognition of their considerable contributions to local development.

They consist of Dr Nguyen Dinh Uyen, residing in the US, a lecturer of the electronics and telecommunications faculty at the International University of the Vietnam National University - HCM City; Dr Nguyen Duc Thai, residing in the US, member of the TransMed-Vietnam programme; Prof. Dr Mai Xuan Ly, residing in Poland, head of the life science laboratory at the Institute for Computational Science and Technology of the HCM City Department of Science and Technology; Prof. Dr Nguyen Minh Tho, residing in Belgium, head of the molecular science and nanomaterial laboratory at the Institute for Computational Science and Technology; Peter Hong, residing in Australia, Standing Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese (BAOOV); Danny Vo Thanh Dang, residing in Singapore, Vice Chairman of the BAOOV and CEO of Global Health Assist - Vietnam; and Lam De, head of the liaison board for overseas Vietnamese in the city’s District 8.

The HCM City Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs said on July 14 that the badge presentation demonstrates the municipal Party Committee and authorities’ recognition of and support for the individuals who have greatly helped with local development, as well as national development and defence as a whole.

It noted over the past years, overseas Vietnamese have made substantial contributions to the city, especially via providing development advice, making investment, transferring technology, training high-quality human resources, and building the startup ecosystem.

They have also actively engaged in patriotic emulation movements, social security promotion, along with the ongoing combat against COVID-19, according to the commission./.

Border residents in Quang Ninh receive COVID-19 vaccine jabs

Mong Cai city of the northern province of Quang Ninh has launched the COVID-19 vaccination drive for residents of border localities.

They will be inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine, which came in a batch of over 30,000 doses with priority given to those who are working and living in Mong Cai per request of the Chinese Government and guidance of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

The drive, which is projected to vaccinate about 28,000 people in eight border communes and wards of Mong Cai, is set to complete by July 20.

This is the fifth and the largest immunisation campaign in the city so far.

COVID-19 vaccination is viewed among important and necessary solutions to create a safe environment serving local economic development, especially the border economy, said Vice Chairwoman of the city People’s Committee Nguyen Thu Huong.

People who have received the first jab this time are scheduled to get the second one between August 1 and 11./.

Vietnam prepare for 2022 Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers

The national women’s football team will gather from July 17 to prepare for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers with 34 players, according to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).

Football clubs of Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Than Khoang San Vietnam each have nine players, while the rest are from Ha Nam, Son La and Thai Nguyen.

All members will test for COVID-19 before joining the first training session slated later on the same day.

Matches of the qualifiers will take place from September 13-25 this year in centralised venues.

Of note, French fitness instructor Cedric Serge Christian Roger will be one of the team’s coaches this time as he has recently inked a two-year contract with the VFF.

Roger officially began his job on July 1, with an aim to improve stamina of the footballers, towards major tournaments such as the 2022 Women's Asian Cup and 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

He has been working at the PVF youth football training academy since May 2018 as an assistant to the technical director and a fitness coach. He is among the partners of the current U19 national team coach Philippe Troussier at the Vietnam’s U17, U19 and U20 squads./.

HCMC weighs reopening of traditional markets

Traditional markets in HCMC will be allowed to resume operations soon, with a limited number of vendors and supplies of only meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.

Speaking at an anti-virus meeting with the government of Hoc Mon District, HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that the city is considering reopening traditional markets.

As such, the municipal government asked the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade to map out a plan for the reopening and pilot it in some districts to ensure a sufficient supply of food for local residents during the stay-at-home period.

The reopening is also aimed at removing obstacles facing residents in areas under lockdown when they buy food, the local media reported.

A representative of the municipal department said that each traditional market will select a few vendors who must provide two groups of essential food---fish-meat and vegetables-fruits. These vendors will have to put the food in small bags at the same price, while residents will visit a stall, take a food bag and pay money, which helps limit contact.

Besides, market coupons will be issued to market-goers, said the municipal department.

As of July 12, as many as 169 traditional markets in HCMC were shut down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

At the meeting, apart from lauding Hoc Mon District’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19, the leader of HCMC told the district to continue to enhance its contact-tracing, lockdown and testing operations.

Duong Hong Thang, chairman of Hoc Mon District, said that the district had 1,500 Covid-19 cases and 261 areas under lockdown. From July 5 to 10, the district conducted quick Covid-19 tests in areas under lockdown and detected 500 infections.

The district started to set up 12 teams to take samples for Covid-19 testing from households in 12 communes and towns on July 15.

HCMC calls on all hospitals to get ready to admit Covid-19 patients

The HCMC Department of Health has issued an urgent dispatch asking all hospitals in the city to get ready to admit and treat Covid-19 patients.

All the hospitals should be well-prepared to send their employees, medical equipment and medicines to the city’s Covid-19 intensive care center when required by the municipal Department of Health, according to the department.

Besides, the general and specialized hospitals were asked to map out plans to separate their facilities into two areas with one treating non-coronavirus patients and the other for Covid-19 ones and suitably assign staff for the two areas.

These hospitals must operate round the clock once they receive the directive from the municipal department.

Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients will receive treatment at these hospitals, while critically-ill patients will be treated at the Cho Ray Hospital, the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Covid-19 intensive care center.

The municipal department will set up several response teams with members from the department and hospitals to be in charge of converting the functions of hospitals, preparing equipment for field hospitals, treating Covid-19 patients, transporting suspected Covid-19 cases and taking care of medical workers.

Up to now, the city has had 10 healthcare centers admitting and treating Covid-19 patients and 15 hospitals for Covid-19 treatment, the local media reported.

On July 14, a Covid-19 intensive care center with 1,000 beds, which is converted from the inpatient treatment zone of the HCMC Oncology Hospital No. 2 in Thu Duc City, was put into operation, helping to raise the city’s capacity for Covid-19 treatment.

Ten more Vietnamese elected as ambassadors of vocational skills

Ten more young Vietnamese have been chosen to become Vietnam’s ambassadors of vocational skills this year by the General Department of Vocational Training under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The ambassadors, aged between 24 and 35, will join in programmes and activities approved by the General Department for a three-year tenure.

They include Truong The Dieu, Dang Quang Phong, Thi Quoc Vinh, Nhu Thi Phuong, Phan Van Quoc and Nguyen Thai Phuong.

Cao Van Minh, Nguyen Duc Loi, Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang and Nguyen Thi Doan also make their names onto the list.

All of them obtained awards at international vocational contests, won bronze medals or more prestigious ones at the competitions in ASEAN, and clinched certificates proving their outstanding skills at contests of regional and international level.

So far, Vietnam has a total of 20 ambassadors of vocational skills. The appointment of ambassadors aims to honour young workers with high vocational skills, attract more outstanding individuals in the field and encourage lifelong learning./.

French scholar: Party chief’s article reflects balance between ideology, practical values

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s article on the pathway to socialism in Vietnam has reflected a balance between ideology and practical values, especially via upholding “Ho Chi Minh Thought” – a comprehensive thought in terms of politics, strategy, economy, morality, and socio-culture, said a French scholar.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency in Paris, Prof. Pierre Journoud – contemporary history lecturer at France’s Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 University described Trong’s article as an important document summing up the application of Marxism-Leninism in Vietnam’s realities, with Vietnamese leaders effectively tapping positive points of a market economy.

Journoud said Trong shed light into contradictions and shortcomings of capitalism which, he said, is root of social conflicts.

According to him, the introduction of socialist-oriented market economy model in Vietnam has contributed to production force liberation and scientific-technological development. He said one of Vietnam’s most important achievements since “Doi Moi” (Renewal) process was launched is to maintain considerable economic growth and thanks to which the poverty rate has dropped significantly. Another achievement is to pursue an open-door policy, international integration, and a foreign policy of diversification and multilateralisation, he added.

Journoud emphasised that Vietnam plays an increasingly important role in ASEAN and the world and its commitments to the United Nations and peacekeeping missions in Africa are enriching its experience and strengthening its global reputation.

Vietnam is on the way to becoming a regional power, he said.

He was particularly impressed by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong pointing out the shortcomings that are existing in the Party and his call for rectification.

Referring to challenges facing Vietnam today, the French professor said Vietnam needs to build more sustainable and long-term development policies. It should be done in a way that narrows inequality caused by economic growth, ensures equal access to quality public education for all people, and preserve traditional identity and cultures, given negative impacts of globalisation and people’s obsession with material possessions.

Vietnam needs to continue intensifying its fight against corruption which has been carried out fiercely and transparently in recent times./.

Workshop stresses importance of developing core skills for the youth

An international workshop on July 14 discussed the future of work in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), highlighting the need to develop the core skills for the Vietnamese youth.

The event, held both in person and via videoconference, was an activity to continue efforts by the Vietnamese Government, ASEAN, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to realise senior leaders’ commitments to developing human resources in the changing world of work and the digital era. It took place also in response to the World Youth Skills Day (July 15).

Participants, including representatives from the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and some international organisations, pointed out the pandemic and 4IR’s impacts on the future of work and skills for the youth.

They looked into the knowledge, values, and skills that young people need to equip themselves with in the digital era, along with the training values that people should work towards when spiritual, cultural, and innovative values play an increasingly decisive role in product value.

They also gave some detailed recommendations to turn the youth into the centre, momentum, and target of socio-economic development plans.

Addressing the workshop, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu described COVID-19 and 4IR as a “double shock” for the global labour market, noting that they have caused disruptions to the labour market and an increase in unemployment and social inequality, especially among young workers.

He cited data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as showing that youth employment fell by 8.7 percent in 2020 compared with 3.7 percent for older adults.

Meanwhile, the pandemic and 4IR has also been accelerating the transition of jobs and skills to adapt to structural changes in the global economy. The jobs lost in old-fashioned industries are forecast to be replaced by new ones in green and innovative industries.

Therefore, to meet requirements in a new world of work, about 50 percent of workers will need re-training and intensive training in skills, Vu noted.

In Vietnam, people of working age account for nearly 60 percent of the population, with the youth playing the core role, he said, adding that young workers are facing both opportunities and challenges in the strongly changing world of work.

The official expressed his belief that with their adaptability, young people will take the lead in improving occupational skills, especially the skills and knowledge required in the digital transformation context, so as to perfect themselves and help change the community and society./.

Consulates General, foreign enterprises in HCM City support COVID-19 fight

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City held a ceremony to receive donations including 5 billion VND (217,773 USD) and 75,000 medical masks from a number of Consulates General and foreign enterprises in the locality for the city's COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.

To Thi Bich Chau, Chairwoman of the committee, acknowledged and appreciated the support and vowed to use the donated money and medical masks in a right and transparent way.

Speaking at the ceremony, Watanabe Nobuhiro, Consul General of Japan to Ho Chi Minh City, expressed that the support and contributions by the Japanese Government, businesses and people have been warmly received by Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, hoping that they would contribute to the success of the COVID-19 fight in the country.

On behalf of the Republic of Korea's businesses in the city, Shon Young Il, Chairman of the Korean Business Association (KORCHAM), affirmed that Korean businesses in the locality always support and highly value the COVID-19 prevention and control measures of HCM City and the Government of Vietnam. He stressed that Korean companies wish to contribute to this fight./.

Youth Digital Citizen Challenge 2021 contest launched

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) in coordination with Hanoi Youth Union and Hanoi Youth Palace on July 15 launched a competition “Youth digital citizen challenge 2021” to engage young people in designing better digital solutions and services.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Diana Torres said Vietnam has risen from 99th place to 86th place among 193 nations in the E-Government Development Index ( EGDI) of the United Nations, from 2014 to 2020, which reflected the country's efforts in digital transformation.

She said, however, to achieve the ambitious goals set in the National Digital Transformation Programme until 2025 to become one of the top 70 nations in the EGDI, Vietnam will need to work harder to ensure that all citizens engage in digital transformation and effectively use its achievements.

The UNDP is committed to supporting an inclusive and people-centered digital journey, she said, adding that the youth of Vietnam have the skills, knowledge, innovation, and devotion to support local governments in this process, helping the country to achieve its targets and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Tran Quang Hung, Deputy Secretary of the Hanoi Youth Union, said with energy, commitment, and innovative ideas, young people are major drivers of change to create solutions that will accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

However, the participation of the youth in governance is still low.

“They need support, capacity building, and more space to utilise their strength to actively participate in governance activities. This is the motivation for the Hanoi Youth Union to collaborate with the UNDP to organise this competition,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Vietnam has 23.3 million young people (in 2018), equal to 24.8 percent of the population. To tap into the innovative potential of young people and the power of technology, the competition encourages young people to “Create a solution package, including a technology product or service, or a communication strategy to boost the quality of e-public services in Hanoi”.

All participants including students, programmers, designers, entrepreneurs aged from 18 to 30 years old are welcome to join the competition.

The registration and first round will be held online from July 15 to August 10. Ten teams with the best ideas will be selected to participate in a two-day bootcamp from August 18-19 with experts from UNDP, the Hanoi Youth Union, government bodies, and some of the best companies in Vietnam to develop the teams’ ideas.

Three winning teams will have the chance to earn rewards worth a total 70 million VND (3,040 USD), coworking space packages from The HUB Global, and other grand prizes from sponsors and partners./.

Annual text-to-donate drive launched to raise money for AO/Dioxin victims

The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) has launched a text-to-donate drive to raise money for AO/Dioxin victims in Vietnam which will run through September 10.

 

The VAVA is calling people across the country to support the drive by texting DA CAM, DACAM, or DC to 1409. Each message means a donation worth 20,000 VND (0.87 USD) to the Vietnamese AO/Dioxin victims who are struggling to make ends meet every day.

The fund raised will be used to financially support the victims to receive healthcare services and vocational training; and repair and build houses. It will also be spent to present gifts to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The drive is the VAVA’s annual fund-raising event. Last year, it received more than 53,000 texts from March 9 to May 8, worth over 1 billion VND. Most of the money collected was used to provide aid to AO/Dioxin victims affected by historic floods in six central cities and provinces. The remainder was allocated to help a victim’s family build a new house and present gifts to others on the occasion of Tet, Vietnam’s traditional New Year Festival.

From 1961 to 1971, the US military sprayed about 80 million litres 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.

According to Vu Thi Quyen, a lecturer in biology at the Van Lang University, the AO causes lasting harm to humans and the environment. This substance not only affects those exposed to it but also many following generations, depending on its concentration in the body./.

FV Hospital selected as vaccination centre for French community in southern Vietnam

FV Hospital has been selected by the French Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City as the vaccination centre for the French community living in southern Vietnam.

With the approval of the Vietnamese Government, the French Government transferred COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam to support the vaccination for the French community in Vietnam. The French Consulate General selected FV Hospital to be a vaccination centre for nearly 5,000 French residents living in the south of Vietnam. It is equivalent to nearly 10,000 injections.

Eligible persons are all French nationals who are older than 18 and their spouses (married or have marriage agreement), and to all employees (and their spouses) engaged in French diplomatic work.

The French Consulate in HCM City is responsible for delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to Tan Son Nhat airport with the permission of the Vietnam Ministry of Health. The vaccine will be transported to Vietnam in diplomatic cases. FV Hospital will receive and transport the vaccines to the hospital's vaccine storage facility. Simultaneously, FV Hospital will arrange the vaccination schedule in the third week of this month.

The vaccine transferred to Vietnam for this vaccination campaign is mRNA, produced by Moderna. The Pharmacy Department of FV Hospital is certified and qualified to store and preserve COVID-19 vaccines. FV Hospital can hold 800,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine with a temperature requirement from 2 – 8 degrees Celsius; 200,000 doses of Moderna with a temperature requirement from -20 degrees Celsius to -40 degrees Celsius; and ultra-cold freezers to store and preserve up to 600,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine with a temperature requirement from -90 degrees Celsius to -60 degrees Celsius.

The vaccination service will be provided by FV Hospital during office hours, from 8:00 – 17:00 (Monday to Friday) and 8:00 – 12:00 (Saturday). It is estimated that FV Hospital will vaccinate about 500 people per day. Accordingly, the first dose will be completed within 10 days. The second dose will be administered four weeks after./.

Criteria for evaluating Vietnamese business culture announced

A set of criteria for evaluating Vietnamese business culture was announced on July 14 in Hanoi by the Vietnam Association for the Business Cultural Development.

“The set is the first set of standards on business culture approved by the Prime Minister and Government and its contents were contributed and participated in by different ministries and branches," said chairman of the association Ho Anh Tuan.

He added the set with two parts, 19 criteria and 51 evaluation and measurement indicators, was a basis for determining if a company meets "Vietnamese business culture standards".

Per the set, firms cannot be involved in smuggling, tax evasion or the production and trade of counterfeit or harmful products. They must also not owe salary or social insurance payments to their employees, not defraud, take advantage of or harm other organisations and individuals.

Other conditions include assessments of business leaders for sustainable development, building and implementing corporate culture, respect for the law, business ethics, and social responsibility.

Vu Ba Phu, director of the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said: “A corporate brand is the crystallisation of product quality and corporate culture.

“A good brand is not only a business asset but also a national asset as when the country has many prestigious brands, the national brand's prestige is also enhanced," he said.

Phu added there was a strong interaction between national brands and corporate brands and corporate culture in recent years. He said many Vietnamese enterprises have made great efforts to build and form a business culture, creating international Vietnamese brands such as Vinamilk, TH True Milk, and Viettel.

In that case, Phu said the MoIT appreciated the set of criteria and will consider it as the basis for evaluating the national brand.

At the set launching meeting, the association announced the regulations consisting of six chapters and 14 articles for a corporation to be recognised as having Vietnamese business culture.

The recognition aims to contribute to promoting the building of the culture of the Vietnamese business community at home and abroad, and gradually form typical characteristics of Vietnamese business culture to meet the requirements of sustainable development and international integration, said the association.

It also has plans for an annual forum called 'Culture with Business' with a separate topic associated with the context and requirements of the year to create a national forum for leaders of the Party and the State to meet with the business community, researchers and managers about business culture.

The first forum is scheduled to be held in the second week of November on the occasion of Vietnam Corporate Culture Day on November 10 in Hanoi./.

Meeting discusses source-to-sea approach for Hoi An’s plastic pollution

The application of source-to-sea (S2S) approach on managing plastic waste in the central province of Quang Nam’s Hoi An city was discussed at an online meeting on July 14.

Held by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the meeting was part of a project on the matter that lasts until May 2022.

Bui Thi Thu Hien, Marine and Coastal Programme Coordinator at the IUCN Vietnam, said it is the first activity to connect sides involved in the project.

According to Hien, S2S is an approach to reduce marine waste through connectivity and interrelation between river basins and coastal areas to address the overall problem of land and freshwater management and ecosystems to control and limit plastic waste from different sources poured into the sea and freshwater systems.

Kieu Thi Kinh from the University of Science and Education under the University of Da Nang, reviewed an audit report on Hoi An’s plastic waste in 2020.

She said the city’s main emission sources include households (accounting for 45 percent), business establishments (40 percent), markets (12 percent), schools and offices (2.7 percent) and craft villages (0.3 percent).

The total amount of plastic waste generated in Hoi An is more than 8,909 tonnes a year, half of which was nylon and packaging. More than 519 tonnes, mainly valuable plastic of high value and large size, of the total are recycled.

For a greener Hoi An, Kinh recommended waste classification at sources, the reduction of plastic bags and single-use plastics, and increasing management for agrofishery, construction, and street waste.

Ruth Mathews, a representative from the SIWI, said the approach’s intended outcome is to identify appropriate actions in response to changes in major flows, generating economic, social and environmental benefits.

Participants suggested the local authorities come up with mechanisms to encourage individuals and businesses to invest in waste treatment; build standards for and put into operation solid waste treatment plants; and form norms on waste collection and transportation at source./.

Vietnam seeks stronger cooperation with St. Petersburg

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi has met with St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov during his first trip to the Russian city after taking office.

Beglov said that the city considers cooperation with Vietnam a priority in its foreign relations, adding that despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership between the two sides has been strengthened through online meetings.

He expressed his hope to continue boosting ties with Vietnam, while giving specific proposals such as the construction of a statue of President Ho Chi Minh and the opening of a Ho Chi Minh City Centre for Culture and Business in St. Petersburg, as well as a similar centre of St. Petersburg in HCM City soon.

For his part, Ambassador Khoi affirmed that Vietnamese leaders have attached great importance to boosting ties with Russia, considering it a top priority in the country’s external relations.

He said that a large number of Vietnamese students studying in Russia have helped foster connections between the two nations.

The diplomat expressed his hope that the two sides will work together to accelerate the project of building the President Ho Chi Minh statue so as to inaugurate in 2023 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Vietnamese leader’s first arrival in the city.

Ambassador Khoi gave a number of ideas to further promote the friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia, as well as cooperation in fighting COVID-19 between the two countries and between Ho Chi Minh City and St. Petersburg.

He said that Vietnam highly values contributions of Russian scientists in COVID-19 vaccine development, and hopes that St. Petersburg will share its experience in COVID-19 prevention and control with and support COVID-19 vaccines for Vietnam.

The ambassador suggested that St. Petersburg continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the city to live, work and study, while strengthening people-to-people exchanges and enhancing cooperation in education and training with Vietnam. He proposed organizing a Vietnamese Culture Day in St. Petersburg.

During his visit from July 13-15, Ambassador Khoi also had a meeting with representatives of the Vietnamese community in the city./.

Vietnam calls for ending hostile actions in Yemen

Vietnam has called on all stakeholders to end hostile actions in Yemen, cooperate with the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to be appointed to the country and consider peace proposals given by the UN.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on Yemen on July 14, Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, expressed her concern over the military escalation in many areas in Yemen as well as attacks in border areas.

Vietnam condemns attacks targeting civilians, especially women and children, and supports the UNICEF’s call for ensuring necessary services for and the rights to go to school of children in Yemen, she said.

She also called on all parties concerned to implement the UNSC’s Resolution 2573, which includes the protection of civil infrastructure works and the promotion of the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and Riyadh Agreement with the intermediary role played by the UN.

The same day, the UNSC decided to extend, until July 15 next year, the mandate of the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) established on January 16, 2019 following intra-Yemeni peace consultations held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Unanimously adopting Resolution 2586 (2021), the council further decided that the mission will oversee the governate-wide ceasefire, redeployment of forces and mine action operations, and monitor ceasefire compliance in the Red Sea ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Issa.

UNMHA will also work with the parties to the Agreement — the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis — to ensure that security is provided by local security forces, while facilitating and coordinating UN support for the Agreement’s implementation.

UNMHA was established by the UN Security Council in January 2019, right after the Stockholm Agreement was reached./.

UNDP lauds Vietnam’s efforts to make mid-term report on UPR recommendation implementation

Caitlin Wiesen, Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, has applauded the Government’s efforts to make a mid-term report on the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) third cycle recommendations.

She commended the government of Vietnam for their efforts to track the implementation of its UPR commitments under the third cycle review and reporting process.

“The fact that Vietnam has decided to develop a UPR mid-term report, which is voluntary, shows the country’s strong commitment and determination to follow the recommendations it received and accepted during the third cycle review,” she said. “This commitment is particularly important as Vietnam presents itself as a candidate for UN Human Rights Council membership.”

According to Wiesen, among many benefits that the UPR mid-term reporting mechanism can bring is the opportunity for the country to look back and reflect on the progress that has been made – what has worked, as well as on where further progress is needed.

Vietnam has seen advances in economic, social and cultural rights, reflected by improvements in the Multidimensional Poverty Index. Advances have also been observed in governance and the rule of law, but more work is required to ensure equal access to justice and inclusive participation of the most vulnerable, including, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, among others – all topics featured in third cycle UPR recommendations.

By examining the level of implementation of recommendations across all areas, the country will be in a strong position to share its successes and support other States facing similar challenges, as it stands before its peers in the fourth UPR cycle in 2024, the UNDP official said.

She held that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for the protection of human rights around the world, including in Vietnam, but it should not put a pause in UPR implementation.

On the contrary, tackling the virus and improving human rights is in line with accepted UPR recommendations and should move together hand-in-hand. Responses to the pandemic that respect human rights and dignity will result in better, more inclusive outcomes in battling COVID-19. It will also help to ensure healthcare for everyone while spurring inclusive, sustainable development, Wiesen added.

Since the UPR mechanism was set up in 2008, Vietnam has participated in three UPR cycles - in 2009, 2014, and 2019. It is working to implement the recommendations it accepted during the third cycle review.

Since each UPR cycle lasts for about five years, to make timely updates on their recommendation implementation and demonstrate their sense of responsibility towards the UPR mechanism and the human rights promotion, some countries submit mid-term reports to the HRC, which is a voluntary practice highly valued by the international community./.

69 more COVID-19 deaths confirmed in HCM City coronavirus hotspot

Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam, has registered an additional 69 COVID-19 deaths to the national database.

The figure was unveiled at a COVID-19 meeting in HCM City on July 14.

The municipal administration reported that the city had recorded a total of 130 COVID-19 deaths, with 48 cases announced by the Ministry of Health.

Of the remaining cases, 69 had been added to the national database as of 05.00am on July 15. These cases were sporadically documented from June 7, 2021 to July 15, 2021.

The HCM City Department of Health said the city has registered an additional 22 fatalities as of 06.00pm on July 15.

However, the Ministry of Health said these cases are yet to be updated in its database, and it would make public the results as soon as it receives specific data.

COVID-19 has claimed 172 lives in Vietnam during the latest coronavirus outbreak, and 207 lives in total since the virus attacked the nation last year.

Vietnam is battling with the fourth coronavirus outbreak, with the virus spreading to 58 out of all 63 cities and provinces nationwide. More than 34,000 locally transmitted cases have been detected, mostly in southern localities.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 16

HCM City must consider alternative if case numbers continue rising

Ho Chi Minh City should devise a new plan in the event that COVID-19 cases and fatalities continue to rise over the next week.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh was speaking this during a recent virtual meeting to review the seven- day enforcement of social distancing measures throughout the city under the Government’s Directive 16.

Binh praised the all-out anti-pandemic efforts by the municipal administration and residents, while stressing that more stronger measures should be taken to halt the rapid spreading of the virus to the community.

According to Nguyen Van Nen, secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, seven days on from implementing social distancing measures under Directive 16, the entire political system has taken drastic COVID-19 containment efforts. This has involved rapidly increasing testing capacity, tracing cases and isolating them for treatment, and the vaccination programme starting to prove effective.

Despite suffering from unprecedented pressure that have gone far beyond the city's previous preparations, the southern metropolis has promptly dealt with the complicated pandemic situation by increasing human resources and medical equipment in order to better meet the growing need for treatment.

At present, Ho Chi Minh City has basically prevented previous sources of infection, reducing the spread of pathogens within the local community. In particular, some areas have also seen large infection chains brought under control, quickly tracing thousands of F0 cases as a means of isolating them from the community.

"In the coming time, the city needs to work out a plan to prepare for the situation that neighboring localities simultaneously practice social distancing according to Directive 16, thus resulting in more difficult transportation of goods. Consequently functional forces need to be active and flexible in dealing with all situations related to people's lives,” Nen said.

The number of asymptomatic F0 cases makes up approximately 80% of infections and must be transferred to other localities to reduce the burden at treatment sites based in the city, Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh said. He added that from now until the end of the implementation period of Directive 16, municipal agencies must focus on carefully evaluating the pandemic situation to make appropriate decisions.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, requested that testing should be carried out swiftly and accurately to detect F0 cases, along with quickly bringing them to treatment areas as fast as possible. Districts and Thu Duc city must also set up a testing team involved in data entry, testing, and returning test results to people.

In terms of concentrated isolation areas, it remains necessary to tighten security, strictly comply with social distancing measures, and ensure enough medical equipment to reduce F0 cases, whilst also avoid cross-infection cases which now stand at 38%, Phong added.

He also underscored the necessity of taking advantage of the "golden time" of tracing F0 cases within seven days, thereby shortening the time to take them to treatment sites. The health sector should therefore focus on treating severe F0 patients and those with underlying health conditions to minimise fatalities.

Since the fourth wave broke out in late April, which has proved to be the most challenging faced by the nation, the country has recorded over 38,000 cases in 58 of its 63 cities and provinces.

Ho Chi Minh City is leading the case count with more than 22,500 infections, with the Health Ministry predicting that the southern city will continue to see a higher tally over the coming days.

Two women fined $43,000 for involvement in illegal wildlife trade

Authorities in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Nông have fined two women more than VNĐ1 billion (US$43,584) for their involvement in the illegal wildlife trade.

Nguyễn Thị Huệ, 49, was fined VNĐ725 million for buying six Bengal monitors (a species of lizard found in Southeast Asia and Africa) and keeping them in captivity.

Meanwhile, Phạm Thị Trường, 34, was fined VNĐ285 million for purchasing two Bengal monitors, one dead and one alive.

Both of them, residing in Knông Nô District’s Đắk Nông Commune, were deemed to have deliberately violated a Government decree on administrative offences in the forestry sector.

According to a separate decree on the management of endangered and rare flora and fauna as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Bengal monitor belongs to Group 1B of wild animals threatened with extinction, meaning exploitation and use for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.

Italian Design Day held online this year

The 5th edition of "Italian Design Day" was organised online in Việt Nam with the theme of “Urban Regeneration”.

Launched by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Fondazione Compasso d’Oro and the Triennale di Milano since 2017, the annual celebration of Italian Design Day has been warmly welcomed in many countries around the world, including Việt Nam.

Hosted by 100 Italian design ambassadors in 100 cities all over the world, the programme includes exhibitions, talks and other events creating a platform for art lovers, professionals and architects as well as landscape and urban developers to explore the idea of sustainable development and preservation of beauty on a global scale.

This is a meaningful series of activities opening opportunities for cooperation in the field of design with the Italian industry.

“We aim to reach out to students, teachers, architects and companies in the real estate and design sector. Our objective is to give young Vietnamese architects and the interested public an overview of the trends and solutions for urban regeneration projects in Italy, in Việt Nam and worldwide,” said Italian Ambassador to Việt Nam Antonio Alessandro.

Italian Design Day 2021 in Việt Nam was organised with a special online conference on urban regeneration, explaining the current trend aimed at rethinking and transforming urban spaces in sustainable and equitable ways.

An online workshop with the theme “Technologies for the preservation of cultural heritage” was also organised in Hà Nội, HCM City and Milan.

The concept of urban regeneration — the process of improving buildings and land to reverse structural decline — is now in the limelight, taking a significant place in urban planning discussions and projects.

In order to obtain urban regeneration processes that can combine development and preservation of cultural heritage, private companies and individuals should receive the right guidance and incentives from the government. Italy has defined excellent policies to this end.

HCM City to provide clear, detailed information about COVID-19 developments to the public: Deputy Prime Minister

HCM City should strengthen public communications to encourage public trust in solutions that the city is carrying out to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, said on July 15 at an online meeting with city leaders.

The city should provide more information about the analysis of the outbreak’s cause and development trends besides the number of new cases to help local residents understand and comply with preventive measures.

The city has reviewed and changed the testing process to shorten the time to receive test results to under 24 hours.p, according to Đam.

The city should continue applying IT to link test results and information about tests and then conduct the epidemiologic analysis for investigating and identifying the main areas that need contact tracing and testing.

The city’s QR code systems should also be connected to each other and to the national system to create convenience for people to scan the code when selling at shops or travelling through checkpoints. These connections are useful for tracing contacts.

The QR code systems should also be integrated with testing results and health declarations.

Đam said the city should also pay more attention to vulnerable people, especially those in residential areas with a large number of poor people.

Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said that Thủ Đức city and districts had set up steering teams in charge of administering testing.

The city has focused on mass testing in its high-risk areas p, and test results have been provided within 12 hours for a single sample and 24 hours for pooled samples.

At locked down areas, the city has instructed community-based COVID-19 teams to strengthen inspections to prevent transmission.

The city has also provided tickets to people to buy goods at traditional markets to limit mass gatherings at the same time. Prices of several products at traditional markets have slightly increased.

As of July 13, the city had set up 45 selling sites and had food trucks drive to its districts.

The city has allocated VNĐ195 billion (US$8.5 million) to support more than 130,000 freelancers.

The city has recorded 2,144 COVID-19 incidences from 6am on July 13 to 6am on July 14, most of them staying at concentrated quarantine facilities and locked down areas.

Since April 27, the city has had a total of 18,802 cases.

The city has 15 designated hospitals for COVID-19 treatment and uses 10 apartment buildings, dormitories of universities and other facilities as field hospitals to treat new cases.

The city Department of Health has instructed all hospitals in the city and 115 Emergency Aid Centres to be available to treat COVID-19 patients.

Major hospitals in the city have been instructed to provide health workers, equipment and medicine to the COVID-19 Resuscitation Hospital if necessary.

General and specialised hospitals should make plans to divide into two separate facilities, including one for treating COVID-19 patients.

Foreign patients with mild or no COVID-19 symptoms will be treated at field hospitals and brought to the Chợ Rẫy Hospital and Hospital for Tropical Diseases or COVID-19 Resuscitation Hospital if their condition worsens.

Art space highlighting ‘do’ paper inaugurated in Hanoi

An art space highlighting ‘Do’ (Poonah) paper was inaugurated in Hanoi by painter Vu Thai Binh, who established his fame by working with the traditional material.

Do – Space displays paintings on Do paper crated by Vu Thanh Binh over the years.

According to Binh, Do is a unique and wonderful material of Vietnam, a symbol of the country’s tradition in the developing society.

It is not easy to paint on Do paper as the artists have to understand the structure of the material and find their own ‘language’ to successfully express their ideas as artworks, he revealed.

In addition to host painting exhibitions, the art space has also been designed as a venue for talk shows, seminars, and other activities to encourage the practice the arts.

Born in 1976 in Hung Yen Province, Vu Thanh Binh is a graduate from the Hanoi Academy of Theatre. His paintings on Do paper often focus on the beauty of daily life and people in Vietnam’s rural areas.

He has garnered a lot attention from the public and arts critics since his solo exhibition entitled ‘Sac Do 1’ (The Colour of Do 1) in 2016, which was the result of his nearly 15 years of studying Do paper and multilayer painting style.

His following solo exhibitions, ‘Sac Do 2’ in 2018 and ‘Sac Do 3’ in 2021, as well as his participation at group exhibitions continue to affirm his professional maturity in working with Do paper.

Drivers transporting essential goods prioritized for Covid-19 test: HCMC Transport Dept.

The HCMC Transport Department has issued an urgent dispatch about ensuring drivers who transport essential commodities get priority while undergoing Covid-19 tests, aimed at serving the fight against the pandemic in the city.

Specifically, the transport department suggested the HCMC Health Department ask the HCMC Center for Disease (HCDC) to continue coordinating with the transport department to update and publish information about Covid-19 testing locations, reported Phap Luat newspaper.

The health department was also requested to direct hospitals, medical centers and facilities citywide to prioritize conducting Covid-19 tests for people driving transport vehicles, especially those carrying essential goods and agricultural products such as drivers, drivers’ assistants and loading and unloading staff who travel along with the driving team.

Further, testing units have to rapidly issue the results of the drivers in order to create favorable conditions to facilitate the transport of goods.

According to the transport department, HCDC had earlier published a list of hospitals and medical facilities offering rapid Covid-19 tests or labs licensed by the Health Ministry to conduct Covid-19 RT-PCR tests in the city.

The transport department also teamed up with HCDC to update the list on the city’s transportation map on the department’s official website.

Following the Transport Ministry’s Directive 6779 dated July 13 on prioritizing conducting the tests for transport service drivers, the city’s transport authority urged transport associations citywide and transport operators to inform their members, drivers, drivers’ assistants, loading and unloading staff about ways to locate Covid-19 testing locations in the city.

Driving teams can visit the website at http://giaothong.hochiminhcity.gov.vn to find testing locations, the transport department added.

Medical lockdown areas in HCMC guaranteed sufficient essential commodities

Functional agencies of Ho Chi Minh City, led by the HCMC Industry and Trade Department, yesterday visited various grocery stores and supermarkets to survey the goods supply for medical lockdown areas around the city.

The quantity of essential merchandise in Coop Food, Bach Hoa Xanh, VinMart, and Satrafood in Tan Thuan Dong Ward of District 7, An Lac Ward of Binh Tan District accounts for 70-90 percent of all displayed goods, with clear price tag showing stabilized prices.

In order to prevent the case when one individual buys too much for storage, which is not at all necessary, some supermarkets notice ‘Each customer is allowed 2 packages of vegetables, 1 egg blister of each kind to save for others’ or ‘Please buy enough for your actual needs’.

All supermarkets informed that they open from 6.30am to 9-10pm every day. Inventories are stocked twice a day at 4am and in the afternoon, with one more in the evening when needed.

However, as goods transports have lately encountered certain difficulties at checkpoints, sometimes commodities are temporarily unavailable in some supermarkets at certain time of the day.

All supermarket staff stay on site during the 15-day social distance time to observe the regulation of the municipal authorities regarding Covid-19 prevention.

Covid-19 test validity for goods trucks’ drivers required to extend

The Ministry of Transport has asked the National Steering Committee of Covid-19 Prevention and Control, and the Ministry of Health to urgently launch regulations and duration of validity for a negative Covid-19 test result for traffic participants in localities to ensure uninterrupted trans-provincial transport of goods amid the Covid-19 epidemic.

The rules and certain amount of time of negative test result for coronavirus among provinces and cities have not been unified as yet. For example, the validity period of the negative COVID-19 test certificate of HCMC is three days, five days in Long An Province, seven days in Dong Nai Province making difficulty for drivers of goods trucks, especially long-haul truck drivers ing coomodities on the North-South route.

The Ministry of Transport has proposed the Ministry of Health to consider a Covid-19 test validity of 5-7 days for nationwide application under strict safety measures against the pandemic to create favorable conditions for transport participants and avoid stuck in traffic Covid-19 control stations in localities.

HCMC launches 75 mobile points of sale with 84 turns of vehicles

Director of Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City Bui Ta Hoang Vu informed that on the morning of July 15, the city organized 75 mobile points of sale, with 84 turns of vehicles.

Of which, there are 19 points of sale with 28 turns of mobile vending vehicles upon the proposals of districts, including one point in District 3, four in District 7, one in District 8, two in District 12, three in Binh Chanh District, two in Binh Tan District, three in Binh Thanh District, two in Hoc Mon District, and one in Tan Binh District.

Viettel Post organized 34 points of sale with 34 turns of mobile vending vehicles, and VN Post set up 22 points of sale with 22 turns of mobile vending vehicles.

Viettel Post and VN Post have requisitioned a part of the post offices in the districts to create places to sell essential items, such as cooking oil, fish sauce, seasoning, Monosodium glutamate, toilet paper, detergent, and canned products.

At the makeshift points of sale launched by distribution systems, namely Aeon, Bach Hoa Xanh, and Saigon Co.op, on the sidewalks or in front of schools and isolated areas, products are more plentiful and diverse, from fresh food, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish to ready-made food products, and processed foods, like bread and sticky rice.

Each customer is only allowed to buy a certain amount of food, not too much at once.

The selling prices of fresh food at these points of sale remain stable and at the same levels as in supermarkets.

Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC Nguyen Nguyen Phuong said that points of sale of Viettel Post and VN Post had products not as diverse as makeshift points of sale because the latter was organized by distributors. Therefore, the department has connected these two units with fresh food suppliers to put fresh food on sale as soon as possible.

It was recorded at Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, and Co.op Food supermarkets this morning that the scene of people queuing up hundreds of meters long in front of supermarkets to buy goods no longer occurred. Instead, there was a moderate number of customers sitting on chairs with a safe distance arranged by supermarkets to wait for their turn to shop. The shopping of customers takes place orderly.

In general, goods at Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, and Co.op Smile supermarkets this morning were quite plentiful, with about a dozen kinds of leafy vegetables. Vegetables, such as cabbages, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pomelos, and oranges, were also abundant. At the meat counter, poultry meat, cattle meat, fresh meat, chilled meat, and frozen meat were also displayed fully on shelves.

According to Ms. Bui Thi Giang Thu, Director of Co.opmart Chu Van An supermarket, the supermarket has actively given appointment cards to customers to minimize the number of customers flocking to the supermarket at the same time.

Besides, to regulate the foot traffic inside the supermarket reasonably, the supermarket arranges seats for customers and allows ten customers to shop each time. And each customer has from 20 minutes to 40 minutes to shop.

After receiving the appointment cards, customers only need to arrive on time then the supermarket will create the most favorable conditions for them to shop. They should not go to the supermarket too early or late, or they will have to get the appointment cards all over again.

However, during some off-peak hours with few customers, the supermarket will flexibly allow customers without appointment cards to shop.

Thus, on average, Co.opmart Chu Van An Supermarket actively divides customers into about 12 timeframes for scheduling shopping time every day, which greatly reduces the load on the general coordination and the compliance of the 5K message. At the same time, it is more convenient for supermarket staff to replenish goods on the shelves.

Saigon Co.op informed that fresh goods are being transferred more and more to HCMC as traffic has gradually opened. Along with the reserves of chilled and frozen goods and price-stabilized goods, it will ensure a stable supply to the market for many months to come, so people should not worry about a shortage of goods.

Media agencies must provide accurate information, curb fake news: HCMC leader

Press agencies, functional departments and units in the media sector have to be responsible for providing accurate information to residents and curbing false news proliferation leading to social disturbances and cope with severe fines for disseminating fake news, Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen stressed at a conference on prevention and control work of the coronavirus disease with the participation of media agencies on July 14.

The City Party Chief sent his thanks to the media forces that are always ready for duty during the battle against coronavirus in the city.

Now is the peak time for HCMC that has imposed another two-week social distancing under Directive 16 with stricter measures to curb the disease from July 9. The target of the Directive 16 is practicing social distancing, isolating and blocking affected locations, and promptly identifying cases of F0 and reducing deaths from Covid-19, he said.

On the other hand, there will be many issues that arise from the implementation of the Directive 16. The municipal Government has considered launching applicable solutions to handle these problems.

The media agencies should reflect residents' problems of travelling and daily activities, especially the group of people with illnesses during the implementation of social distancing measure; provide information and images of acts of kindness and charitable activities supporting needy people across city amid Covid-19 outbreak, silent sacrifice of frontline soldiers of medical workers, public security, military forces and volunteers in the battle against the virus to create good and positive energy to boost people’s feelings of well-being, he emphasized.

Regarding the vaccination, Standing Deputy Secretary of HCMC's Party Committee, Phan Van Mai said that the city plans to organize 630 vaccination sites with the injection capacity of 120 people per day at each location in the next phase of its vaccination.

The HCMC People’s Council has approved Covid-19 aid package for individuals in difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As of present, the municipal government has put the lives and safety of the people first of all, he added.

HCMC has currently prepared 24 field hospitals providing 45,000 beds, including 19 facilities coming into operation and five others still under construction. These medical units receive around 17,000 people for Covid-19 treatment.

In addition, the HCMC Covid-19 Intensive Care Hospital which is regarded as the most advanced medical facility in the country has been officially put into operation on July 13.

Mobile rapid response disinfectant team dispatched in HCMC

More than 300 volunteers from all walks of life, from youth union members to laborers are taking part in rapid response disinfectant teams at quarantine areas across HCMC.

This was part of the charity program by the Center for Young Science and Technology Development. They have prepared 130 pickup trucks for disinfectant spraying.

Each vehicle is equipped with sanitizer spray machines, protective gears, and Anolyte disinfectant solution tested for safety.

About 15 pickup trucks and 100 volunteers are dispatched each day at Covid hot spots to disinfect small streets and alleyways which military-grade vehicles cannot access. They are always on duty at #5 Dinh Tien Hoang.

Another 50 trucks are assigned to the East side of the city in Go Vap, Binh Thanh, Hoc Mon districts, Thu Duc City, and the remaining 75 are scattered across other parts of HCMC.

According to the HCMC Youth Union, there have already been over 1,000 volunteers taking part in disinfection teams at quarantine zones, lockdown areas, sample-taking grounds, and vaccine deploying locations, having used more than 30,000 liters of Anolyte which can kill 99.9% of germs.

Director of the Center for Young Science and Technology Development said their teams will be on duty until Covid-19 is curbed.

Rest stops in Long An, Tien Giang to be operated as Covid-19 checking points

The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam has just proposed the People’s Committees of Long An and Tien Giang province to pilot the usage of rest stops in the two Mekong Delta provinces as the Covid-19 checking points serving for goods transport from July 17.

The police and traffic inspectors are assigned for regulating and ensuring traffic safety through the pandemic checking points, and the rest stops will receive cargo trucks only.

The functional forces will perform SARS-CoV-2 sample testing and grant testing certificates, provide take-away food, drink and other essential items to drivers and arrange parking lots for cargo trucks to ensure the Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control.

Particularly, the rest stops in Long An Province are expected to be operated as a checking point of Covid-19 at a section of Km28+200 on the two ways of the Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong Expressway.

Minh Phat 2 rest stop in National Highway 1A in My Duc Dong Commune, Cai Be District heading to My Thuan Bridge and Phuong Trang rest stop in National Highway 1A, Hoa Khanh Commune, Cai Be District heading to Ho Chi Minh City will be also exploited as the Covid-19 checking points.

PM convenes virtual meeting on COVID-19 response

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh convened a virtual meeting on COVID-19 response to discuss ways to contain the pandemic which is evolving complicated in several southern localities.

Participants to the event include Deputy Prime Ministers Pham Binh Minh, Vu Duc Dam, Le Van Thanh, and leaders of ministries, agencies and 27 localities.

In his opening remarks, PM Pham stressed that protecting people’s health and lives of citizens is the first and foremost task, thus pandemic-hit localities must give top priority to containing and pushing back.

According to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Viet Nam has recorded 34,582 infection cases, including 33,909 domestic infections and 100 deaths in 58 cities and provinces, since the fourth wave of COVID-19 resurgence began in late April.

Among the total cases confirmed over the period, 7,547 patients have recovered, accounting for 22 percent.

The pandemic situation remains complex in several southern localities, in which Ho Chi Minh is currently the biggest hotspot with 19,405 cases as of 6:00 am on July 15.

More infection cases are expected in Ho Chi Minh City and its surrounding provinces in the coming days, said Nguyen, adding that the ministry has sent around 10,00 health workers and volunteers to help the southern metropolis fight the pandemic.

The ministry also issued new guidelines on quarantine and pilot home-isolation of F1 individuals (people who come in close contact with COVID-19 patients) in a bid to ease pressure on the healthcare sector amid rising infection cases.

Under the renewed policy, the quarantine period for foreign arrivals and F1 individuals is cut from 21 days to 14 days.

Nguyen also urged northern and central provinces and cities to take strict measures to monitor the health of their citizens returning from southern localities to limit the spread of the virus to community./.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 15

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 15

  Vietnam reports 1,922 new COVID-19 cases on July 15 evening  

 
 

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