VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 17

Vietnam's largest waste-to-energy plant to become operational next month

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 17

The Soc Son waste-to-energy project is located in Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex in Hanoi, the largest one in Vietnam will start operating this August.

The move came to help handle the issues of waste treatment in Hanoi, a very frustrating problem for residents living near the Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex.

In recent years, the Nam Son complex has been in the news several times for a long-running dispute over land compensation that repeatedly caused local residents to block entry to it, resulting in trash piling up around the city.

Being aware of the importance of thorough waste treatment in a large city like Hanoi, the municipal government has invested a lot of resources to modernize waste collection and treatment in recent years.

The Soc Son waste-to-energy project, with a capacity of handling 4,000 tons of solid waster and 1,740 tons of wastewater per day, was approved by Hanoi’s authorities in late 2017 with a total investment of VND7 trillion (US$303 million).

The project’s investor is Hanoi-based Thien Y Environmental Energy JSC and its contractor, Chinese Metallurgical Group Corporation General Contractor MCC (China).

On May 28, the plant entered the first phase of operation after 21 months of construction.

As operated, it will burn 4,000 tons of solid waste (two-thirds of the city’s garbage) a day and producing 75 MW of electricity annually using European technology. Of that sum, the plant will consume 15-20% and sell the rest to Vietnam Electricity Corporation (EVN), the country’s sole power distributor.

The plant has five incinerators and three generator sets. Under favorable conditions, the plant will generate electricity after 15 days of burning waste. It is expected all three generators will operate at once in November this year, said Li Ai Jun, deputy general director of Thien Y Environmental Energy.

According to the Hanoi Department of Construction, the city currently discharges 6,000 tons of waste each day. Most of the volume is buried at Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex.

It is hoped the Soc Son waste-to-energy project would reduce pollution that for years has affected daily life in the capital city.

New vitality from old factories

Old factories are an unforgettable part of Hanoi's memory. Relocating these factories out of the inner city was the right decision, helping people have a safer living environment. However, how to deal correctly with this industrial heritage needs to be carefully considered, both to ensure the development of the city and preserve their memory.

The 282 Workshop (at No. 156 Phu Vien street, Bo De ward, Long Bien district, Hanoi) is a multi-functional creative space, which includes a Playing Space, Production Space, Exhibition Space, Interaction Space and Workshop Space. At the 282 Workshop, children can play, while book lovers have a library of art and architecture books to investigate. Meanwhile artists can organise exhibitions and talkshows and students can organise workshops on pottery and wood.

Few people know that, before there was a quiet, green and beautiful space on an area of 3,200 square metres, the place used to be a wasteland, full of the garbage and pollution of the old factory. Some traces of the old factory are still present in the interior details of the Workshop. These make the 282 Workshop both a place to store memories and a place to incubate new creation. Although new, the 282 Workshop has managed to connect quite a few young people with the same passion for creativity and architecture. It has been trusted by some artists and community groups who organize cultural and artistic activities and exhibitions.

Born before the 282 Workshop, Complex 01 space (Tay Son, Hanoi) is also a new creative complex built on the foundation of an old printing factory. Located in a small alley, Complex 01 has a different look but is full of personality with its red brick walls and rusty metal stairs.

The banner of the old factory bears the slogan: "Colour printer No. 2 strives to exceed the output target of 35,000 sheets per shift" evoking memories. At Complex 01, a number of remarkable cultural activities took place, such as: an exhibition of toy models “In Imagined World I”; "Dream Concert" by Ru9 - The Sleep Company; seminar "Drama for the soul"; music night "Open Mic: Hanoi through the lens of young people" or art discovery tour "Art for You".

The rebirth of an old factory is the birth of a new creative cultural playground that meets and satisfies the needs of those who seek new value. In fact, Hanoi currently has more than 100 old factories with a fairly large area displaced from the inner city, such as: the Hanoi Brewery; Dien Thong Factory; a complex of three factories of Golden Star Rubber, Hanoi Soap and Thang Long Tobacco; Gia Lam Train Factory. Unfortunately, there are very few old factories that have been "reborn" in this way.

In the long term, this will be a sustainable direction, in line with Hanoi's goal of building a creative city.

In the world, there are many successful models of turning old factories into creative and profitable complexes. The 798 Art Zone, on the outskirts of Beijing, China is one such example. A factory complex with a total area of 60 hectares was built into an attractive art and cultural complex. Since its opening, the 789 Art Zone has attracted more than 75 million visitors and is the venue for large-scale national and international cultural events such as: the Beijing International Film Festival and Beijing Design Week.

Another example is the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in Taipei, Taiwan (China). From the campus and buildings of the Matsuyama tobacco factory built by the Japanese in 1937, nowadays it has become an innovative multifunctional space. Accordingly, the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park includes a factory history museum, a design museum, commercial and service spaces for small and medium creative enterprises, exhibition spaces, and a public space.

Hanoi is a city with a rich tradition and a diverse industrial heritage. According to architect Mai Hung Trung, an original and traditional city is one that is constantly moving and transforming on the basis of what is already there. It is not a museum city. It is not a complete erasure or break with the past.

Converting an old factory into a creative space combining public cultural space will help Hanoi both mobilise, develop, connect and preserve memories. This is also a golden opportunity to develop infrastructure for the development of Hanoi's cultural industry as public spaces are one piece of the essential infrastructure of the industry of culture.

In addition, according to architecture experts, this transformation will both contribute to promoting the creative economy and be an effective way to preserve and promote the city’s industrial heritage. The success of the Vincom Centre for Contemporary Art (built on the foundations of the Tran Hung Dao Mechanical Factory) or the 282 Workshop and 01 Compex Tay Son are welcome signals, contributing to shaping the identity of a forward-looking creative city.

Hanoians look to receive COVID-19 vaccination shortly

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has recently launched the largest-ever vaccination campaign with a view to stamping out the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people wish to get vaccines soon to bring the life back to normal.

With the e-health book application, it is now easy for everyone to book a COVID-19 vaccination. All you need to do is log into the app, declare your personal information and vaccination history, and then approve a COVID-19 injection to register yourself and your family.

Hanoi is working to check local demand for vaccinations. In addition to via the e-health book app, bookings are also available in paper format, which have been delivered to each household.

After registering, app users will receive information on vaccination locations and immunisation schedules as well as a QR code to check their information when receiving COVID-19 shots.

All information about vaccinations is published on the COVID-19 vaccination portal.

Vietnam is striving to inoculate some 70 percent of its population aged 18-65 by April 2022./.

Hue folk singing to become unique cultural tourism product

A draft project on “Promoting value and building Hue folk singing into a unique cultural tourism product in 2020-2025” has been granted approval by the People’s Commitee of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

The draft project is set to feature a number of different aspects, including building typical features of Hue singing, developing unique performance spaces, and improving the overall product quality and experience for guests.

This will be done through propagating Hue singing through the creation of a mobile app, whilst promoting greater infrastructure investment and training human resources.

The primary goal of the initiative is to transform Hue royal court music into a typical and attractive tourism product which can satisfy the demands of visitors to the province.

Most notably, Hue folk singing was named as part of the country’s national intangible cultural heritage back in 2015 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Bac Giang focuses on COVID-19 fighting, industry recovering

The northern province of Bac Giang, one of the localities hardest hit by COVID-19, has worked hard to control the pandemic and settle major hotspots.

Currently, the most dangerous hotbeds are in Van Trung and Quang Chau industrial parks (IPs) in Viet Yen district where the number of infections has exceeded 1,500 since the latest outbreak occurred on May 8.

The province has defined its top priority of controlling and extinguishing major hotbeds in IPs, and recovering production of some enterprises in the IPs when the situation is more stable, with strict implementation of pandemic prevention and control measures.

Head of the Bac Giang Industrial Parks Management Board Dao Xuan Cuong said developing IPs has played an important role in Bac Giang’s industrialisation and modernisation process.

In recent years, the expansion of the IPs and attraction of investment in the areas have shown positive signs. In recent years, Bac Giang has entered top 10 localities nationwide in terms of investment attraction.

Industrial production of companies in local IPs takes major parts in the province’s production value, said Cuong, adding that the companies also make huge payment to the State budget and create jobs for a large number of labourers from the province and neighbouring areas, helping improving the living conditions of locals and transforming the province’s economic structure.

In the 2016-2020 period, Bac Giang set up one new IP - the Hoa Phu industrial zone which covers 207.45 hectares. In February 2021, the Prime Minister approved adjustments and supplementations to the province's IP planning.

Accordingly, Bac Giang will have three new IPs, namely the Yen Lu IP with total area of 377 hectares in Yen Lu and Nham Son communes of Yen Dung district; Yen Son – Bac Lung IP with area of 300 hectares in Yen Son and Bac Lung communes of Luc Nam district, and Tan Hung IP covering 105.3 hectares in Tan Hung and Xuong Lam communes of Lang Giang district.

Bac Giang is also allowed to expand three operating IPs – the Quang Chau IP with additional 90 hectares in Nenh township and Quang Chau and Van Trung communes of Viet Yen district; Hoa Phu IP with additional 85 hectares in Mai Dinh and Huong Lam communes of Hiep Hoa district; and Viet Han IP with additional 148 hectares in Hong Thai, Tang Tien communes and Nenh township of Viet Yen district.

Currently, the province has five operating IPs: Dinh Tram, Quang Chau, Van Trung, Song Ke-Noi Hoang, and Hoa Phu, with the occupation rate of 81.7 percent. All the operating IPs are located in Viet Yen, Yen Dung and Hiep Hoa districts. The selection of investors are being processed for the Viet Han IP.

As of the end of 2020, Bac Giang had nearly 400 licensed projects in local IPs, including more than 330 operating ones.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected the operations of businesses in local IPs. Amid the risk of a widespread outbreak, the People’s Committee of Bac Giang had ordered the suspension of the Dinh Tram, Quang Chau, Van Trung, Song Khe-Noi Hoang IPs from May 18.

The factories are halted, while workers are sent to concentrated quarantine sites for COVID-19 testing and medical monitoring.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Anh Duong said that the prolonged closure of the IPs by COVID-19 will affect production activities, causing the disruption of production chains as many companies in the IPs are suppliers of enterprises across the world.

The province has coordinated with the Ministry of Health's special unit on support of COVID-19 prevention and control agency to gradually re-open the IPs in the pandemic situation, said Duong./.

Efforts made to complete repairs to My Son towers before rainy season

Experts of Vietnam and the Archaeological Survey of India team have been accelerating the implementation of a project to conserve and repair tower-temples of Group A at the My Son World Cultural Heritage Site in the central province of Quang Nam.

Director of the Management Board of the site Phan Ho said the experts and hundreds of skilled workers are sparing no efforts to complete main conservation tasks for the A1, A12 and A13 tower-temples prior to the rainy season.

The area of Group A, comprising 13 monuments, suffered huge damage during wartime and needs urgent repairs due to harsh influence of nature and time.

Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, My Son Sanctuary is located within a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 70 km southwest of central Da Nang city and 40 km from Hoi An ancient town.

It is comprised of eight groups of 71 monuments built from the 7th to 13th centuries.

The sanctuary was recognised as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1999./.

HAGL star sends gift to encourage female player in her fight with lupus

Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) midfielder Trần Minh Vương has encouraged a fellow footballer in her fight with lupus with a surprise gift.

Trần Thị Hạnh played for Phong Phú Hà Nam in the Vietnamese Women's Football Championship in Bình Dương and won a bronze medal at the Southeast Asian U16 Women's Championship with Việt Nam in 2018.

However, Hạnh has had to temporarily give up the beautiful game since being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in November last year.

When Vương learned about Hạnh's story and that she was a fan of his, he sent her a signed HAGL shirt, a handwritten letter and some cash.

"Hello Hạnh, how should I say it, perhaps, first of all, thank you for your love and it is certainly a great motivation for me. In the past few days, I have seen many stories about you,” Vương wrote.

“Really, I don't know what to say, maybe we can't fully understand how you feel when you can't follow your passion due to health problems, it's sad.

“You must have felt very sad, I was also very desperate when the doctor said it would be difficult for me to play football again because of an artery compression injury in my leg, but luck was with me.

“Life should be seen and considered as a challenge, not a difficulty, and I believe that luck will smile on you.

“Do your best, live happily in the present and don't think too much about tomorrow. Can you do it?

“I have a small gift of my HAGL jersey and an envelope, hopefully, it will bring you even a little bit of positive energy.

“You can use this money to buy a ball or a pair of shoes you like so that you can play gently to satisfy your passion, if you can’t play as a professional, then you can be a semi-pro player.

“Try your best! Because there is no meaningless existence."

After being diagnosed with lupus, Hạnh returned to her family home to be taken care of by her parents. Every month, she travels with her father from Hà Nam to Hà Nội for medical appointments.

According to Hạnh's father Trần Văn Bích, his daughter’s condition is now more stable, but the doctor recommends she not do anything too strenuous and stay out of the sun.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues.

It can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. There is no cure for lupus, but medical interventions and lifestyle changes can help control it.

Exhibition looks back on horrors of Agent Orange

Nearly 300 photos, documents and items to mark the 60th anniversary of the use of Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) in Việt Nam are on display at an exhibition at the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hà Nội.

The exhibition gives visitors an insight into the damage done by the chemicals, efforts to resolve the consequences as well as the journey to demand justice for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.

Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyễn Văn Rinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA), said the exhibition aims to provide a deeper understanding of the consequences of the toxic chemical on the environment and human health, as well as endeavours taken by the Party, State, the military and the VAVA to overcome them.

It also spotlights the efforts of society and 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.

Rinh added that he hopes the exhibition will help secure more support to ease the pain caused by the use of the chemicals and create stronger solidarity to prevent the proliferation of weapons mass destruction as well as support for the struggle to demand justice for Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.

From 1961 to 1971, the US military sprayed about 80 million litres of toxic chemicals, 61 per cent of which were Agent Orange, containing 366kg of dioxin, onto nearly a quarter of South Việt Nam. About 86 per cent of the area was sprayed more than twice and 11 per cent of the area was sprayed more than 10 times.

As a result, about 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 use in Việt Nam, the 74th anniversary of the Invalids and Martyrs day (July 27, 1947 - July 27, 2021) and to respond to Day for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin on August 10.

“The exhibition is a practical activity to mark the 60th anniversary of the AO/dioxin disaster in Việt Nam, conveying the message of peace and aspiration to rise, particularly aspiration to live, work and dedicate to the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin,” said Colonel Lê Vũ Huy, Director of the Vietnam Military History Museum.

“It is also part of the efforts of the whole of society to heal the wounds of war, close the past and look towards the future and at the same time, to awaken the conscience of peace-loving people around the globe."

Along with the display at the museum, the exhibition is also available online at the VAVA website at trienlamdacam.vn until the end of this year.

Phú Yên authorities help ethnic minority people fight COVID-19

Phú Yên Province authorities, agencies and private benefactors have stepped up and donated necessities to help people in Ea Trol Commune cope with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Sông Hinh District in the central coastal province of Phú Yên has recorded 27 SARS-CoV-2 infections since June 30, mostly among Ê Đê ethnic minorities.

Ea Trol is the epicentre of the pandemic in Sông Hinh with 19 cases.

A checkpoint for COVID-19 prevention and control has been set up at the start of the concrete road leading to Ly Village, Ea Trol. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of normal days, all houses are now closed as local people are strictly complying with anti-pandemic regulations.

Lê Văn Tấn, Chairman of Ea Trol People's Committee, went from house to house wearing PPE to encourage people in parts of the commune that were locked down for 14 days due to COVID-19 cases.

Ea Trol has eight villages, including Ly and Bầu with 371 households and 1,150 people, with more than 80 per cent of households populated by ethnic minorities.

The two villages have been under social distancing orders in Directive 16 since June 30.

“Fighting the pandemic in ethnic minority areas is very difficult," Tấn said. "People have a custom of living together for many generations in a house, and working in community activities, while the houses are built close together without walls.”

“The only way to control the pandemic is for communal officials and medical workers to keep a close watch to guide local people.”

Over the past two weeks, officials of local authorities and social organisations in Ea Trol have been assigned jobs to help local people fight the pandemic, said the chairman.

Chairman of the Sông Hinh District People's Committee, Đinh Ngọc Dạn, said helping people in the lockdown areas in the immediate and long term was the top priority of the authorities.

The communal People's Committee, in collaboration with the district Agriculture Department, has provided feed ingredients for cows in Ly and Bầu villages. A group of four staff helped local people watering for more than 100 hectares of rice.

Eight community-based COVID teams in the eight villages have encouraged people to obey anti-pandemic regulations and helped health workers take samples for testing in the lockdown areas, trace the infected patients' close contacts and classify groups at risk of infection.

People infected with SARS-CoV-2 have been treated at Đông Hòa field hospital, and 167 F1 cases have been taken to a concentrated isolation area.

Some 2,000 people in the lockdown areas have been sampled for the first time and will soon take the second test.

A 35-year-old woman at Ly Village, Mí Khoa, said: "I was scared when I heard that the pandemic was in the village."

"Every day, loudspeakers remind people to stay at home, not to go out, not to go to work, not to communicate with neighbours, and wear masks to prevent the spread of disease in the community.”

“In the past 12 days, my family of four have done the same. Commune officials helped water two sào [720sq.m] of rice, and our nine cows are given enough dry straw.”

The villagers previously stocked up on rice, and were given fish sauce and cooking oil by authorities and benefactors.

“People in the lockdown areas can rest assured and comply with pandemic prevention regulations,” Mí Khoa said.

Mí Nít in Bầu Village said that once every three days, the communal staff bring rice, fish sauce and noodles to her family.

The pandemic had arrived, but people didn't have to worry about their daily meals, the 50-year-old woman said.

"I always remind my children to strictly follow the Government's regulations to fight the pandemic.”

Đinh Ngọc Dạn, Chairman of the People's Committee of Sông Hinh District, said when it recorded the first positive case with SARS-CoV-2, a man on June 30, the local authorities mobilised all forces, traced his contacts and quickly zoned off his residential area.

Local authorities have zoned off seven lockdown areas with a total of 747 households and 2,853 people. All households in the lockdown areas have been sampled for the first time and will be tested a second and third time.

Along with quick tracing, the local authorities immediately implemented measures to take care of people's lives in the blockade areas by arranging deliveries for each family, ensuring living conditions, and maintaining stable production, he said.

Vietnamese breathe easier with locally designed and produced respirators

Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) has teamed up with the VMED Group to develop and produce a high-flow oxygen machine to help treat COVID-19 patients.

And they have the production capability to produce thousands of machines each month should the need arise.

This high-flow oxygen machine, called BKVM-HF1, will be used for patients with coronavirus or respiratory failure. According to the clinical research reports, around 60 to 70 per cent of patients recover well after using this machine.

Associate Professor Đỗ Duy Hải, a university scientist, said: “The machine is able to create a high-flow air that can reach 60 litres per minute and be delivered directly through the patient's nose.

“When patients receive the air, especially patients with respiratory failure, it has been shown to have good results. Patients can breathe better with a higher flow of oxygen.

“The air flow must meet two technique requirements which are adjustable oxygen concentration and temperature as well as moisture saturation of the air-flow,” Hải added.

“The oxygen concentration can be adjusted from 21 to 100 per cent, depending on the patients’ condition.

“The ideal temperature of the air flow is 37oC, which is around the same as the temperature of a person’s body. The moisture saturation can be adjusted from 95 to 100 per cent to ensure the most effective use of the machine.

“Using the high-flow oxygen machine will help patients to breathe easier and prevent collapsed lungs. It can also help to eliminate the remaining carbon dioxide (CO2) from the body. The efficiency of the machine is good and there aren’t any side effects.”

“According to clinical research reports, from 60 to 70 per cent of patients with COVID-19 using this high-flow oxygen machine have recovered, without the urgent need for ventilators,” said Associate Professor Nguyễn Văn Chi, leader of the A9 Emergency Center at Bạch Mai Hospital.

“The high-flow oxygen machine is a necessary device to support the treatment of patients with pneumonia and respiratory failure in the early stages of COVID-19.”

The machine was completed and certified on June 17 by the Ministry of Health after testing and meeting all technical requirements.

“Our team feels very happy about our effort making this machine over the past three weeks. It has really paid off,” Hải said.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn, more than 60 per cent of severe COVID-19 cases had to use oxygen therapy to support breathing during treatment.

Inefficient oxygen supplies and a lack of oxygen tanks has been a global issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to a higher number of deaths from the virus in a number of jurisdictions.

“Even when Việt Nam needs thousands of high flow oxygen machines, it is impossible to immediately get them from abroad,” Ngô Thanh Sơn, Deputy General Director of VMED Group said.

“But here, the most important thing is that we are completely proactive in making the oxygen machines and because of our good preparation of production materials, we can manufacture and assemble thousands of machines in a month.”

Each BKVM-HF1 machine is made at a cost of about VNĐ50 million (around US$2,000).

“If we compare BKVM-HF1 with imported products, the machine is made with an effort to manufacture this machine as quickly as possible and at a low cost,” Sơn said.

“In terms of production prices, my company is proactively supplying and making simple functional versions of oxygen machines so we can make machines at prices ranging between 50-70 per cent less than imported ones.”

Around 30 BKVM-HF1 machines have already been produced and sent to COVID-19 hotspots nationwide.

“In the first batch, we produced 30 high-flow oxygen machines and we plan to donate them to the Ministry of Health,” Sơn said.

“There are 10 machines which have already been sent to HCM City to help treat COVID-19 patients. We will hand over another 20 machines to other provinces shortly.”

“We are proud to join with HUST to create a high- technology product that we can promptly deliver to COVID-19 hotspots, to quickly help hospitals with their treatment of COVID-19 patients."

Many scientists and technologists at HUST have been participating in Việt Nam’s effort to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by developing solutions like rapid test kits, negative pressure isolation stretchers, positive pressure chambers, fresh air breathing caps, portable full body disinfection chambers, and mechanical ventilators among a number of other key innovations.

Smooth driving ahead as new flyover opens to public

A flyover bridge at Tháng 9 and Duy Tân streets, west of the Trần Thị Lý Bridge, officially opened for traffic, after 15 months of construction, on Wednesday.

The central city’s transport works management board said the four-lane fly-over is the first of a series of projects at the junction that commenced in March of 2020 with a total investment of VNĐ723 billion ($31 million).

 

It said the tunnel section and the ground level round-about would be completed by the end of this year.

The three-level junction project will help reduce congestion at the junction that links the Đà Nẵng International Airport and the tourist hubs of Sơn Trà and Ngũ Hành Sơn, as well as Hội An ancient town in neighbouring Quảng Nam Province.

Đà Nẵng has built a series of flyover bridges and tunnels at major intersections in the city since 2014 as part of the sustainable transport master plan to ease traffic congestion.

The plan also includes a flyover bridge and a tunnel at the Điện Biên Phủ-Nguyễn Tri Phương intersection; a three-level rail and road flyover at Hue Junction; and a tunnel at the West Hàn Riverbank intersection.

With a population of one million, Đà Nẵng’s current public transit system is not meeting the needs of local residents. Only 1 per cent of the 2.5 million daily journeys in the city are made by public transport.

Đà Nẵng, the third largest city in Việt Nam, in investing in urban development, with funds from the World Bank, with the hopes of becoming the largest city in the central region and a green city by 2025.

New metro line proposed for Hanoi

The Ministry of Investment and Planning has proposed to the PM a third metro line to deal with congestion in Hanoi.

The Hoang Mai Metro Line will be 8.7km long with an investment of VND40.5trn (USD1.7bn). It will run along Tran Hung Dao-Tran Thanh Tong-Kim Nguu-Tam Trinh. It will have seven underground stops on Hang Bai, Tran Thanh Tong, Kim Nguu, Mai Dong, Tan Mai, Tam Trinh, Yen So.

The construction will be carried out from 2023 to 2028. The cost will come from ODA from Asia Development Bank, KfW Development Bank, and French Development Agency in Vietnam and the reciprocal capital of Hanoi.

Hanoi People’s Committee will gather opinions from other state agencies, Ministry of Planning and Investment and work with the banks to develop a pre-feasibility study.

The metro will connect the west side of Hanoi with the south and the city centre. It is hoped that the metro will serve 488,000 passengers a day.

Major urban areas in Cau Giay, Ba Dinh, Dong Da and Hoan Kiem and Hoang Mai will be connected together.

Covid-19 vaccination to be given to Phu Quoc residents

The southern province of Kien Giang will start a Covid-19 vaccination programme for people on Phu Quoc Island from Thursday.

Under the decision issued by People’s Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Luu Trung, the vaccination will be firstly prioritised for people of working age totalling around 127,000 people.

The second jab will be provided to Phu Quoc islanders in September.

Phu Quoc City needs around 40 teams with a total of some 150 people for the inoculation programme. Doctors from the Vietnam Coast Guard Region will also be mobilised to support the work.

Kien Giang has set a target to give Covid-19 vaccination for 95% of people in Phu Quoc so the locality can reopen its tourism services by the end of this year.

According to Phu Quoc City’s People’s Committee, at present, the island is home to some 169,000 people, including 150,000 with permanent residence. Among those, 37,590 are under 17 years old.

Since April 27 when the fourth Covid-19 wave hit Vietnam, tourist numbers to Phu Quoc have fallen by 95%.

Nearly half a million workers hit by latest Covid-19 wave

Nearly 500,000 workers nationwide have lost their jobs, been furloughed or underemployed during the fourth wave of Covid-19, which began in late April, said Nguyen Dinh Khang, chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.

In addition, nearly 9,500 employees in 35 cities and provinces have been infected with Covid-19, accounting for over 31% of the country’s total community-transmitted cases. Some 60,000 and 160,000 workers were primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 patients, respectively, news site Vnexpress reported.

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor has spent VND113 billion to support more than 193,000 workers. Accordingly, coronavirus-infected workers have received VND3 million each, while those in direct contact with Covid-19 cases going through difficult circumstances have been offered VND1.5 million each.

The confederation has also encouraged enterprises to buy Covid-19 vaccines for their workers.

Predicting that the number of workers affected by the pandemic would continue rising, Khang said agencies and localities should speed up the disbursement of the VND26 trillion aid package, which benefits workers affected by the pandemic.

HCMC, which is now the country’s largest coronavirus hotspot, has 1.6 million workers in industrial parks and export processing zones, and its neighbors--Dong Nai and Binh Duong--have 1.2 million and one million employees, respectively. The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to factories in these three localities, forcing them to suspend their operations.

According to the HCMC Labor Federation, as of July 7, more than 1,900 Covid-19 cases in the city were workers. Most recently, Pouyuen Company, which has the largest number of workers in HCMC, at 56,000, has suspended its operations for 10 days to arrange accommodation and meals at work for its staff and conduct Covid-19 tests on all of its laborers.

In Dong Nai, the Pouchen Company has also allowed nearly 17,000 workers to stay home for 14 days after detecting a Covid-19 case. In late May, Bac Giang had to suspended four industrial parks to prevent the transmission of the virus, affecting nearly 140,000 laborers.

34 footballers called up ahead of AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers

A squad of 34 footballers was announced on July 14 for the Vietnam women’s national football team ahead of their second meeting of the year in preparation for qualifiers to the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup.

Key players named in the squad include 2020 Golden Ball winner Huynh Nhu, Chuong Thi Kieu, Hai Yen, and Tuyet Dung, all of whom were a key part of the Vietnam squad that won a gold medal in the women’s football event at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2019.

The majority of footballers named in the team come from leading football clubs across the country, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Ha Nam.

The Vietnamese women’s national football team have been drawn in Group B, alongside the Maldives, Afghanistan, and the hosts Tajikistan.

According to FIFA, the eight countries from Asia who will directly qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup will be decided following the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. In addition, the country which finishes ninth will compete in a play-off match against a team from another continent.

The final round of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is scheduled to be held in India early next year.

Cash for carbon: Quang Nam looks to profit from reforestation efforts

The central province of Quảng Nam has asked the government to approve a plan to export 2.5 million carbon credits for an amount of VNĐ110 billion (US$4.7 million) to VNĐ130 billion ($5.6 million).

Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, Lê Trí Thanh, has said it is part of a larger plan to establish a carbon market to help protect forests and conservation areas, while reducing greenhouse gas emission.

This would help Việt Nam to meet the requirements of the global Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) agreement.

If implemented, the plan would see the province export 800,000 carbon credits, the equivalent of 0.8 million tonnes of carbon emission each year. This figure would increase to 1.2 million carbon credits by 2026.

The province said at least 1.2 million tonnes of carbon, or 1.2 million carbon credits, had been saved from 2018-20.

It said the carbon credit export plan would help the province boost protection of over 460,000 hectares of forest with a goal to growing that area by an estimated of 20 per cent over ten years.

Quảng Nam plans to replant just over 50,000 hectares reducing 14 million tonnes of carbon emissions which will then provide seven million cubic metres of timber in 2030.

Last year, Quảng Nam promoted the Sông Thanh Nature Reserve to a National Park to conserve its rich biodiversity. It covers nearly 77,000 hectares, of which more than 58,000 are tropical, evergreen primary forest in the districts of Nam Giang and Phước Sơn.

The park area is one of the region's biggest carbon stores and home to 831 species of flora and fauna, including the critically endangered grey-shanked douc langurs and the endangered red-shanked douc langurs.

Up to 19,000ha of critical habitat in Nông Sơn district is also planned as a protection area for groups of the endangered Asian elephant. This would be funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Green Annamites Project.

The province also plans to allocate funds of $4.4 million to restore a 100 hectares of forest as a safe habitat for a herd of grey-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea) living in Tam Mỹ Tây Commune of Núi Thành district.

Phú Yên authorities help ethnic minority people fight COVID-19

Phú Yên Province authorities, agencies and private benefactors have stepped up and donated necessities to help people in Ea Trol Commune cope with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Sông Hinh District in the central coastal province of Phú Yên has recorded 27 SARS-CoV-2 infections since June 30, mostly among Ê Đê ethnic minorities.

Ea Trol is the epicentre of the pandemic in Sông Hinh with 19 cases.

A checkpoint for COVID-19 prevention and control has been set up at the start of the concrete road leading to Ly Village, Ea Trol. Unlike the bustling atmosphere of normal days, all houses are now closed as local people are strictly complying with anti-pandemic regulations.

Lê Văn Tấn, Chairman of Ea Trol People's Committee, went from house to house wearing PPE to encourage people in parts of the commune that were locked down for 14 days due to COVID-19 cases.

Ea Trol has eight villages, including Ly and Bầu with 371 households and 1,150 people, with more than 80 per cent of households populated by ethnic minorities.

The two villages have been under social distancing orders in Directive 16 since June 30.

“Fighting the pandemic in ethnic minority areas is very difficult," Tấn said. "People have a custom of living together for many generations in a house, and working in community activities, while the houses are built close together without walls.”

“The only way to control the pandemic is for communal officials and medical workers to keep a close watch to guide local people.”

Over the past two weeks, officials of local authorities and social organisations in Ea Trol have been assigned jobs to help local people fight the pandemic, said the chairman.

Chairman of the Sông Hinh District People's Committee, Đinh Ngọc Dạn, said helping people in the lockdown areas in the immediate and long term was the top priority of the authorities.

The communal People's Committee, in collaboration with the district Agriculture Department, has provided feed ingredients for cows in Ly and Bầu villages. A group of four staff helped local people watering for more than 100 hectares of rice.

Eight community-based COVID teams in the eight villages have encouraged people to obey anti-pandemic regulations and helped health workers take samples for testing in the lockdown areas, trace the infected patients' close contacts and classify groups at risk of infection.

People infected with SARS-CoV-2 have been treated at Đông Hòa field hospital, and 167 F1 cases have been taken to a concentrated isolation area.

Some 2,000 people in the lockdown areas have been sampled for the first time and will soon take the second test.

A 35-year-old woman at Ly Village, Mí Khoa, said: "I was scared when I heard that the pandemic was in the village."

"Every day, loudspeakers remind people to stay at home, not to go out, not to go to work, not to communicate with neighbours, and wear masks to prevent the spread of disease in the community.”

“In the past 12 days, my family of four have done the same. Commune officials helped water two sào [720sq.m] of rice, and our nine cows are given enough dry straw.”

The villagers previously stocked up on rice, and were given fish sauce and cooking oil by authorities and benefactors.

“People in the lockdown areas can rest assured and comply with pandemic prevention regulations,” Mí Khoa said.

Mí Nít in Bầu Village said that once every three days, the communal staff bring rice, fish sauce and noodles to her family.

The pandemic had arrived, but people didn't have to worry about their daily meals, the 50-year-old woman said.

"I always remind my children to strictly follow the Government's regulations to fight the pandemic.”

Đinh Ngọc Dạn, Chairman of the People's Committee of Sông Hinh District, said when it recorded the first positive case with SARS-CoV-2, a man on June 30, the local authorities mobilised all forces, traced his contacts and quickly zoned off his residential area.

Local authorities have zoned off seven lockdown areas with a total of 747 households and 2,853 people. All households in the lockdown areas have been sampled for the first time and will be tested a second and third time.

Along with quick tracing, the local authorities immediately implemented measures to take care of people's lives in the blockade areas by arranging deliveries for each family, ensuring living conditions, and maintaining stable production, he said.

Hà Nội Railway Station - Hoàng Mai urban railway line project submitted to Government

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is seeking government approval to build the urban railway line No.3 project, running from Hà Nội Railway Station to Hoàng Mai district, at a cost of VNĐ40.5 trillion (US$1.75 billion).

The 8.7 kilometres stretch will be mostly underground, from downtown Đống Đa District to southern Hoang Mai District, along the streets Trần Hưng Đạo – Trần Thánh Tông – Kim Ngưu – Nguyễn Tam Trinh.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 and completed in 2028.

In total, $274.1 million will come from Hà Nội’s budget and nearly $1.5 billion from foreign loans - $940.8 million from Asian Development Bank, $305.08 million from German's KfW Development Bank and $232.8 million from the French Development Agency (AFD).

Metro Line No.3 is on the corridor connecting the western area with the city centre and the southern area of ​​the city and will take 488,000 passengers a day when fully operational.

Once completed, it will connect major residential areas in Hà Nội such as Từ Liêm, Cầu Giấy, Ba Đình, Đống Đa, Hoàn Kiếm, Hai Bà Trưng and new urban areas in Hoàng Mai District.

The metro line will help solve mass public passenger transport problems in the central urban areas, solve traffic congestion, ensure traffic safety and curb the environmental pollution in Hà Nội’s inner districts.

Hà Nội plans to have nine metro lines by 2030 but construction has so far only began on two, and neither are operational.

The first metro line runs from Cát Linh Station in Đống Đa District to the Yên Nghĩa Station in the south-west Hà Đông District. The 13.5-km line will cost approximately US$868 million, two-thirds in loans from China.

Construction began in October 2011 but the project has suffered numerous setbacks and delays. The trial run was completed in December 2020, with more than 70,000 km of tests on thousands of trips. In the latest development, the line was planned to go commercial operation in late April this year but has still not starting taking passengers.

The second line is 12.5km from Nhổn in Tây Tựu Ward, the western district of Nam Từ Liêm, via Kim Mã Street to Hà Nội Railway Station.

Early this month, the Hà Nội Urban Railway Management Board recently carried out the testing phase of the metro line. The test route, which runs from Nhổn to the S8 Station in Cầu Giấy District, is 8.5 km long. The trains will go through another testing phase before putting into operation.

According to the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board, by the end of June, the project was 72.8 per cent complete, with the elevated section at 87.85 per cent.

Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận Expressway to open to traffic in November

The Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận Expressway project will open to traffic in November after more than a decade of construction, according to Đèo Cả Investment JSC, the project’s main contractor.

Hồ Minh Hoàng, the company’s chairman of the Board of Directors, said the company has urged contractors, construction units, officials, engineers and workers to speed up construction work.

Despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is working hard to ensure the expressway opens as scheduled.

In May, two company officials tested positive for COVID-19. More than 20 other employees in contact with them also tested positive for COVID. Hundreds of officials, engineers and workers connected to these cases had to isolate at quarantine centres or at home.

Social distancing measures at localities have affected the supply of materials for the project, Hoàng said.

In early July, about 50 employees returned to work after receiving medical treatment and isolation.

Some bidding packages that were forced to halt construction due to COVID-19 in June have now resumed construction.

The company has organised online meetings and created favourable conditions for employees working from home, following travel restrictions.

More than 2,000 employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The company paid for the vaccination costs.

The expressway project, worth more than VNĐ10 trillion ($435.5 million), has 25 bidding packages carried out by several different contractors.

The expressway will have a length of 51.5km and four lanes. It will run between Tiền Giang Province near HCM City and Cần Thơ City.

When completed, the expressway is expected to shorten travel time between HCM City and Mekong Delta provinces, and reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 1A.

Construction, which began in 2009, was postponed several times due to difficulties in securing capital and changes in public investment policies.

Đèo Cả JSC undertook the work and restarted construction in 2019.

Resettlement buildings in HCM City become field hospitals to cope with rising COVID numbers

HCM City is converting empty resettlement buildings into field hospitals to help cope with swelling numbers of patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

In all 2,600 apartments will be made available in the Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area in Thủ Đức City. A further nine field hospitals are also under construction and when completed will bring the total number of field hospitals in the city to 24 providing additional 44,890 beds.

HCM City has been under increasing pressure to find more beds for COVID patients as numbers tipped more than 14,000.

The city has prepared for a scenario whereby the total number of patients reaches 50,000 COVID-19.

The southern city's authorities have asked the Construction Department and other relevant agencies to repair and ensure basic infrastructure such as water and electricity supply, and hygiene services at the buildings are functional so that they can be used as proper field hospitals or concentrated quarantine areas.

In an online conference held on Thursday, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, told authorities in 27 southern provinces that priority must be given to people’s health and safety.

Outbreaks in the southern provinces, from Phú Yên to Cà Mau, particularly HCM City and other key economic hubs, were becoming complicated, he went on.

He also said localities should share their experience in disease prevention and control so that good results can be replicated. They should also seek solutions for any shortcomings they come across.

The localities were also asked to put forward to the Government, ministries and agencies solutions to quickly and effectively get the outbreak under control.

PM Chính asked local authorities to set up support centres, hotlines, and volunteer groups to support people in need.

PM Chính also urged localities and agencies to offer support to employers and employees who are badly affected by the COVID-19 as following the Government’s Resolution 68.

The fourth wave of COVID-19 in Việt Nam has seen 34,582 cases with 33,909 locally transmitted cases, 7,547 recoveries and 100 deaths at the time of the conference.

Eleven provinces nationwide have not reported any new cases in the last 14 days. Seven provinces have not had secondary infections.

In one week, Việt Nam reported 8,187 new cases in 34 provinces and cities. Sharp increases were seen in HCM City ( 6.338 cases), Bình Dương (458 cases), Tiền Giang (280 cases), Đồng Nai (222 cases), Đồng Tháp (161 cases), Long An (129 cases), Khánh Hòa (117 cases) and Vĩnh Long (114 cases).

Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic was still very complicated in many areas around the world with more dangerous variants that pose a serious threat even in countries with high vaccination coverage.

Long said that Việt Nam should expect cases to continue to rise.

“As outbreaks occurred at wholesale markets, industrial parks and crowding residential areas, in the coming days, HCM City will continue to see an increase in the number of new cases,” he said.

Neighbouring provinces and other southern localities like Bình Dương, Long An and Đồng Nai should also expect to see a rise in new infections.

Social distancing measures, under the Prime Minister's Directive 16, were enacted in HCM City on July 9 and are in place for 15 days.

In northern and central provinces, the numbers of new cases have declined compared to those of last week. However, the risk of outbreaks remains as many people will return to the city from southern localities, Long said.

The health ministry sent about 10,000 healthcare workers and volunteers, in 24 teams, to HCM City to quickly implement disease prevention and control measures.

The ministry has also issued guidelines on home quarantine for F1s (people having close contacts with confirmed COVID-19 cases or suspected to get SARS-CoV-2). The quarantine period has also been reduced for F1s and arrivals from other countries to 14 days instead of 21.

At present, 26,937 COVID-19 patients are under treatment. More than 270,660 people were quarantined including 3,564 at health facilities, 77,435 at concentrated quarantine areas and nearly 190,000 at their accommodations.

Quang Nam moves to conserve grey-shanked douc langurs

The central province of Quang Nam has built a plan to conserve the grey-shanked douc langurs in Tam My Tay commune of Nui Thanh district by 2030, with a vision to 2050.

Six herds with nearly 70 grey-shanked douc langurs are residing in about 30ha of natural forest on Hon Do, Hon Ong, Duong Bong, and Duong Ban Lau mountains in Tam My Tay commune, a survey found.

Under its plan, Quang Nam aims to conserve and sustainably develop the local grey-shanked douc langur population and also help with socio-economic development.

In the short term, the province looks to protect and recover 60ha of special-use forest to guarantee habitat for the primates.

There are about 1,500 - 2,000 grey-shanked douc langurs, a species endemic to Vietnam, in five provinces in the central and Central Highlands regions.

The grey-shanked douc langur is listed in Group 1B, which covers forest animals in danger of extinction that are banned from being exploited or used for commercial purposes, in the 2007 Vietnam Red Data Book./.

Array of events to promote culinary arts in central region

A series of events running with the theme of “Culinary culture and Central Heritage Trail” are scheduled to take place between July and December this year, aiming to promote innovations in the central region’s culinary industry.

The scheme is expected to be held every month via an online platform, with the primary goal of mobilising resources for the development of startups and enhancing their management capacity.

The first event, due to get underway on July 17 morning, is set to attract the participation of three speakers who are influential figures, experienced artisans, and businessmen of the Vietnam Cuisine Culture Association (VCCA).

Le Tan, vice president and general secretary of the VCCA, said the function will contribute to elevating the value of the central region’s culinary culture, along with Vietnamese cuisine in general, to international friends.

Ly Dinh Quan, general director of Songhan Incubator, expressed his desire to preserve and raise the central region’s culinary arts to new heights, alongside developing a standard F&B business environment in the future.

He noted that these moves will serve to create a premise in which to strengthen connectivity among various entrepreneurs and businesses, whilst simultaneously expanding the market network for the culinary industry both domestically and internationally.

The series of events will be organised by the SongHan Startup Incubation Center (SHi) in collaboration with the Restaurant Association of Vietnam (RAV), the Tourism & Food Technology Village, and Techfest Vietnam, under the sponsorship of the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association.

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

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