VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 20

HCM City prepares for 60,000 COVID-19 case scenario

Ho Chi Minh City is building more temporary hospitals for COVID-19 treatment as part of efforts to prepare for a scenario of 60,000 infections, according to Vice Director of the municipal Health Department Nguyen Hoai Nam.

Speaking at a press conference on July 19, Nam said that currently, the hospitals are being constructed with the support of enterprises and expected to double the city’s current capacity of treating 30,000 patients.

Nam said that currently, the conditions in the city are meeting treatment requirements, but it is necessary to prepare for a worse situation amid complicated developments of the pandemic.

The city has classified COVID-19 patients basing on their conditions. Patients showing no symptoms are being treated at temporary hospitals which have a combined capacity of about 6,000 beds, he said.

Nam also affirmed that basically, HCM City now has enough respirators and ECMO supporting COVID-19 treatment, but the city is purchasing more medical equipment to prepare for a worse scenario.

He also rejected the information that temporary hospitals in the city had asked for respirators, clarifying that each hospital has been equipped with four high-pressure oxygen generators, and respirators will be used in central-level hospitals.

Explaining the slow hospitalising of COVID-19 patients, Nam attributed the situation to a lack of smooth coordination among relevant agencies initially, affirming that the city has assigned the 115 Emergency Centre to take the charge of regulating patients so that no patient will be denied.

At the event, Nguyen Hong Tam, Vice Director of the city Centre for Disease Control said that in the past 24 hours, HCM City saw 3,139 new infections, 90 percent of whom were found in quarantine or locked-down areas. Only six were discovered in industrial parks, much fewer than that in previous days, he added.

He revealed that the city has 2,140 F1s undertaking home quarantine in eight districts.

Tam said that as of July 19, 277 local firms had registered to maintain operations with the “three-on-spot” principle (work, eat and rest on the spot) or “one route-two destinations” with an aim to stabilise production and minimise the spread of the pandemic./.

Storm Cempaka brings heavy rains to northern region

Heavy rains are forecasted for the northern region until the end of July 26 as storm Cempaka develops in the East Sea.

Tran Quang Nang from the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting made the forecast on July 19. Nang said in the following 72 hours, the storm would continue to move slowly and get stronger before it weakens in China.

"On the morning of July 22, the storm will still be in China and move southwards. It can get stronger but move towards the ocean," he said.

However, because of the storm, there will be widespread rains and heavy rains in Vietnam. On July 20, it has mostly affected the northwest. From July 22 to 25, there will be rains in the northern midland and mountainous areas.

A 1-3 metre flood was forecasted to occur in the north from July 19 to 21. A flood with an amplitude of 2-4 metres was forecasted to appear from July 22 to 25. Mountainous areas may have flash floods and landslides especially place near the river and have low-lying terrains like Lai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien and Thanh Hoa provinces.

Strong winds and high waves of 2-5 metres were warned for boats on the sea from July 21.

PM chairs emergency meeting with National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Monday chaired an emergency meeting of the Government with the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to hear a report on the pandemic.

The meeting also aimed to consider and decide on stronger solutions in the face of current pandemic developments.

At the meeting, government members approved the promulgation of the Resolution to lead and direct the fight against the pandemic nationwide, especially in HCM City and southern provinces.

The PM requested that leadership and direction needed to focus intensively and uniformly across the country, improving the effectiveness and efficiency in the fight against the pandemic. The special task force in HCM City will be led by Deputy Minister of National Defense Võ Minh Lương.

PM Chính directed HCM City and southern provinces to tighten discipline, thereby reducing the rate of infection. The Ministry of Health (MoH) shall assume the prime responsibility for, together with concerned ministries, branches and localities to re-evaluate this virus strain to have suitable countermeasures. The assessment and classification of F0 and F1 should be improved to ensure the best treatment.

Ministries, branches and localities must tighten discipline. Regarding human resources, provinces and cities that have needs must clearly state their specific requirements for doctors, nurses and technicians.

Provinces with human resources must be specific about their ability to support other localities to avoid any waste.

The supply of materials, food and foodstuffs must be ensured. In terms of finances, it is necessary to implement social security well.

"This pandemic has hit big cities with rapid spread, crowded places and industrial zones, so we have to take care of social security in a flexible manner,” said the PM.

Vaccines must be properly distributed in a rapid, safe and effective way, he said.

PM Chính asked the MoH to take care of its duties, not to lack medical human resources, to assess and forecast the situation so that the Government will promptly administer and prepare appropriate measures.

The MoH will co-operate with the Ministry of Science and Technology to accelerate domestic production of vaccines. The Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security shall ensure security and order, especially in quarantine areas. The Ministry of Transport must ensure traffic is smooth and avoid congestion.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade must ensure the supply of essential goods for people, and immediately handle problems. The Ministry of Finance will guide financial regulations clearly but strictly.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has implemented vaccine diplomacy well. The Ministry of Information and Communications will strengthen state management of communications, information analysis, and avoid any misrepresentation.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will ensure that agricultural products such as food, vegetables and fruits meet the needs of people nationwide.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall assume the prime responsibility for, together with the MoH and other ministries, in solving waste to protect the environment, especially medical waste in quarantine areas.

Government members will lead and direct ministries and agencies to effectively perform their jobs with a very high sense of responsibility before the Party and people.

Vietnam set to get 4 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week

This week Vietnam is expected to receive three million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States and another one million doses purchased from Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Prof. Dr. Dang Duc Anh, director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, confirmed the information on July 19 evening.

Vietnam has since February 2021 received more than 10.2 million doses of vaccines from various manufacturers such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Sputnik V and Sinopharm.

Earlier on July 10, the United States donated two million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Vietnam through the COVAX Facility. In addition to 105 million doses committed, the Vietnamese side is negotiating with foreign partners to get an additional 70 million doses.

It is expected that the country will have about 175 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 and early 2022.

Notably, Pfizer has committed to delivering 3.5 million doses of its vaccine to Vietnam in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 500,000 doses compared to the previously planned schedule.

An additional 20 million doses of its vaccine to be administered to children aged 12-18 will be delivered to Vietnam this year, raising Pfizer’s committed volume to the country to 51 million doses.

Vietnam has recently launched its largest-ever COVID-19 vaccination campaign, aiming to secure 150 million doses to inoculate 70% of its population from July 2021 to April 2022.

More than 4.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered since the first shot was given in March 2021.

COVID-19: Vietnam adds 2,155 cases to national count on July 20 morning

Vietnam logged in 2,155 new infections of COVID-19, including one imported case, from 6:30pm on July 19 to 6am on July 20, taking the national count to 60,180, according to the Ministry of Health.

The local infections are 1,519 in Ho Chi Minh City; 156 in Binh Duong; 133 in Tien Giang; 80 in Dong Nai; 43 in Vinh Long; 38 in Khanh Hoa; 34 in Ben Tre; 32 in Da Nang; 26 in Ba Ria-Vung Tau; 22 in Can Tho; 12 in Phu Yen; 10 in Hau Giang; eight in Kien Giang; seven in Vinh Phuc; six each in Hanoi, Binh Phuoc, An Giang, and Dong Thap; two in Dak Lak, Quang Ngai, Bac Lieu and Lam Dong; and one each in Quang Nam and Lang Son.

The number of cases reported since the fourth coronavirus wave hit the country late April reached 56,530, 8,273 of whom have been given the all-clear. The total recoveries stood at 11,047.

On July 19, 21,595 more people received COVID-19 vaccine shots, bringing the total doses administered in the country to over 4.3 million. A total of 309,791 people have been fully vaccinated with two jabs./.

Six Vietnamese students compete in Int’l Mathematical Olympiad 

Six outstanding students of Vietnam are joining the 62nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2021, which is taking place virtually on July 19 and 20.

They are Phan Huu An, Dinh Vu Tung Lam, Truong Tuan Nghia from Hanoi University of Science’s High School for Gifted Students under Vietnam National University, Hanoi; Phan Huynh Tuan Kiet from the Ho Chi Minh City’s Le Hong Phong high school for the gifted; Do Bach Khoa from the Hanoi – Amsterdam High School for Gifted Students; and Vu Ngoc Binh from the Vinh Phuc High School for Gifted Students in the northern province of Vinh Phuc.

Le Anh Vinh, head of the Vietnamese delegation said the team underwent a special training of more than 100 continuous online sessions.

Earlier, the Minister of Education and Training has decided to establish an online exam council for the 2021 IMO. The council is set to help the minister choose questions for the examination at the request of the IMO organising committee, organise the translation of questions from English into Vietnamese, and prepare facilities for the online exam.

The 62nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2021 is hosted by Russia. In Vietnam, the event takes place at the Hanoi University of Science and the Le Hong Phong high school for the gifted in Ho Chi Minh City./.

800 ventilators transported to HCM City coronavirus hotspot

Two flights transporting 800 ventilators from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City were operated on July 19 to provide hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam, with additional medical supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.

Weighing a total of 10 tonnes, the shipment of ventilators will be used in a number of hospitals throughout the southern metropolis that are in urgent need of additional emergency resuscitation equipment.

The same day also saw a shipment of ventilators and medical equipment transported to HCM City from the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health set up a warehouse for medical equipment on July 18, which is expected to receive 2,000 ventilators, a range of of protective gear, gloves, and face masks to serve the ongoing COVID-19 battle in HCM City and other southern provinces.

At present, there is an increasing demand for medical supplies, especially emergency resuscitation devices, in hospitals throughout the southern city in order to treat COVID-19 patients. Many hospitals are now at risk of facing a shortage of medical equipment due to a surge in patient numbers.

Medical facilities are currently calling for additional assistance and sufficient supplies to be provided by the Ministry of Health and other sources amid the COVID-19 battle.

Philippines - important, trustworthy partner of Vietnam: Prime Minister

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh talked over the phone with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on July 19, affirming that the archipelago nation is always an important and trustworthy partner that shares many concerns and strategic interests with Vietnam.

The Government leader of Vietnam said relations between the two countries have been unceasingly intensified throughout the last 45 years, since their diplomatic ties were established on July 12, 1976.

President Duterte noted the Philippine Government and people have consistently treasured and worked to develop the countries’ strategic partnership, and that they appreciate Vietnam’s meaningful assistance in the recent past, including the medical supplies for the fight against COVID-19.

The two leaders agreed to work closely together to promote Vietnam - Philippines relations in all aspects, with a focus on implementing the plan of action for 2019 - 2024, carrying out activities marking the 45th founding anniversary of the diplomatic relationship, enhancing cooperation in security - defence and trade - investment, and creating favourable conditions for and encouraging enterprises to invest and do business in the sectors matching the countries’ potential and strength.

PM Chinh highlighted Vietnam’s readiness to continue ensuring stable and long-term rice supply for the Philippines, asking the latter to further open its market to food and agricultural products from Vietnam.

The leaders agreed to consider expanding cooperation to new areas amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as digital transformation, the digital economy, e-commerce, and the green economy.

They also shared the view that vaccine is an important strategy to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and work towards sustainable socio-economic recovery.

The Vietnamese PM said the two sides should cooperate more actively to secure equal access to vaccine sources, an idea highly valued by the Philippine President.

Regarding regional and international issues, both agreed that their countries will strengthen ties and support each other at multilateral mechanisms like the United Nations and ASEAN. They also concurred in working closely together to implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

The leaders shared the view on the importance of continuing to maintain ASEAN’s solidarity and principles relevant to the East Sea issue.

They affirmed the close coordination of their stances and viewpoints to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and accelerate the negotiation on a Code of Conduct (COC) on the waters between ASEAN and China in order to achieve an effective and substantive COC that accords with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, thereby helping to sustain regional peace and stability.

On this occasion, President Duterte invited PM Chinh to pay an official visit to the Philippines. The Vietnamese leader accepted the invitation with pleasure./.

Opening ceremony of 15th NA’s first session to be broadcast live

The 15th National Assembly (NA) will convene its first session in Hanoi on July 20, with the opening ceremony broadcast live on channels of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), Vietnam Television (VTV), and NA television.

A preparatory meeting was held on July 19, during which participants voting to pass the session’s agenda.

As scheduled, at 7am on July 20, leaders of the Party, State and Fatherland Front will join NA deputies to pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum.

The opening ceremony is set to begin at 8am, with NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue delivering the opening speech. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will present an important remark.

Participating deputies will hear a report reviewing outcomes of the elections of deputies to the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils for 2021-2026, as well as another report on outcomes of the verification of the eligibility of NA deputies./.

Training kicks off for Vietnamese women's football team

The Vietnamese women's football team trained together for the first time on July 18.

The team is aiming to secure a berth in the finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and further a slot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Head coach Mai Duc Chung has picked 34 players who he believes performed the best in the national cup and the U19 and U21 tournaments in 2020 and 2021.

"My players come from six clubs and are both experienced and young. Among them are Dang Thi Mai and Le Thi Thuy Trang who have joined the national squad for the first time," Chung told Viet Nam News.

"Veterans Tran Thi Thuy Trang and Pham Hoang Quynh, who left my team a couple of years ago for different reasons, have come back. Ha Nam's Quynh is a skilled midfielder while Trang, despite her age, is still an active and stable midfielder for Ho Chi Minh City.”

"I have also called up young faces like Tran Thi Duyen and Duong Thi Van who have just recovered from injuries, to test their abilities," Chung said.

There are 28 teams playing in the qualifiers divided into eight groups.

Vietnam, world No 32, are in Group B with hosts Tajikistan, ranked 135; the Maldives, ranked 144; and Afghanistan, ranked 152. Matches will be held in mid-September.

After a two month break, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coach Chung has a lot of work to do.

"We will watch the players practice first and adjust our exercise program if needed. Then, I will arrange matches for them to practise. I hope that they will get inspired and make it difficult for me to choose the final list for the tournament," said the 71-year-old who is for the first time being assisted by fitness coach Cedric Serge Christian Roger from Germany.

Vietnam has a higher world ranking compared to their rivals but Chung is still cautious.

"Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Maldives are foreign to us. We have never played a West Asian team yet. I think that they have also received a lot of support to develop.”

"They stand far below us but don't think it will be easy to beat them. I am doing my research and have asked my players to try their hardest every time. We must get a good result to qualify for the finals."

Deputy captain Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung confirmed her team's determination at the coming Cup.

"We are all affected by the pandemic which has prevented us from competing. However, we kept practising within the club's centre to retain our physique and technique," she said.

"In this competition, coaches combine a team of seniors and juniors. We will be a united team and pay attention to all of the qualifiers. We have a high chance to advance to the finals but we respect all of our rivals and will try to defeat them one by one," she told Viet Nam News.

The winning team from each group will clinch a place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, scheduled to take place from January 20 to February 6.

Defending champions Japan, 2018 runners-up Australia, and third-placed China PR, as well as hosts India, have already qualified.

Following this, the top five teams will go on to represent Asia, along with hosts Australia, at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

"We aim at the top place of the group to qualify for the Asian Cup before securing a ticket to the World Cup," said Vietnam Football Federation Vice President Tran Quoc Tuan.

Tuan said the VFF will adjust the domestic competition so that the national squad’s footballers will have more time to prepare for upcoming international fixtures.

"Apart from domestic training camps, VFF will also arrange intensive courses abroad and talk with other federations to arrange international friendly matches to warm-up ahead of the qualification.

"These activities are important for players who have not played a single international match for more than one year," he said.

Vietnam who are currently No 6 in Asia were very close to the World Cup in 2015 when they lost 1-2 to Thailand in a play-off match./.

ADB project helps boost climate resilience in Vietnam’s health system

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on July 19 its assessment of a six-year project helping boost the capacity of health systems in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam to climate-induced health threats.

The project, Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change in the Health Sector in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), was approved in 2015 with a 4.4 million USD grant from the Nordic Development Fund and counterpart financing from the three governments.

It was ADB’s first initiative in Southeast Asia to improve government responses to climate change’s impacts on health care. It helped the three countries adopt national health adaptation plans to address weather-related health risks, including heat and communicable diseases such as dengue, malaria, heat stress, and diarrhea.

The project was implemented by the Preventive Medicine Department of Cambodia, the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion of Laos, and the Health Environment Management Agency of Vietnam.

In its news release, ADB said that in all, the project completed detailed vulnerability and adaptation assessments for 14 high-risk provinces in those countries and trained more than 1,300 health sector staff on climate change and health adaptation.

In addition, more than 600 policy makers from the public and private sectors participated in high-level advocacy meetings and workshops focused on national health adaptation strategies and the coordination of disease surveillance and responses, among others.

The project also helped the three governments identify cost-effective investments to reduce mortality and morbidity caused by diseases related to climate change. They included establishing early heat warning systems and upgrading health facilities to be more climate resilient, especially in remote, underserved communities.

In particular, it improved timely data gathering for governments to monitor the impact of climate change on public health, tools such as a database, a modeling approach, and a digital atlas. The project also trained national and provincial health staff on surveillance systems for climate-sensitive diseases, the analysis of epidemiology data, and health challenges unique to women, children, and other vulnerable groups.

“The project has helped reduce Cambodia, the Lao PDR, and Vietnam’s vulnerability to climate-induced health threats, especially among vulnerable populations, including the poor, migrants, and ethnic minorities,” said ADB Director of Human and Social Development for Southeast Asia Ayako Inagaki.

ADB Country Director for Vietnam Andrew Jeffries noted: “The health national adaptation plan and surveillance systems supported by this project will help Vietnam mitigate climate change’s health and economic impacts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The bank added that the governments of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam recognise that climate change is a major threat to their sustainable economic development. All three had approved strategic plans for public health as part of their national strategic plans on climate change./.

PM demands all forces focus on combating COVID-19

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh demanded ministries, sectors, and localities reinforce all forces to ramp up the COVID-19 combat while addressing an unscheduled meeting with the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on July 19.

The Government agreed to issue a resolution on the procurement of materials and equipment for the pandemic prevention and control, he said, urging ministries, sectors, and localities to tighten discipline during the COVID-19 fight and call on all people to support the efforts as people are both the centre and the key player in this combat.

The Government leader told the Ministry of Health to ensure the reasonable and swift distribution of COVID-19 vaccine as well as timely vaccination.

Asking for the flow of food and essential goods to be kept uninterrupted, PM Chinh requested the State Bank of Vietnam to push ahead with policies supporting people and enterprises, and ministries, sectors, and localities to guarantee social security.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was tasked with promoting the “vaccine diplomacy” and “technology diplomacy” to help with purchasing supplies for the COVID-19 fight.

The PM demanded the entire grassroots political system engage in the pandemic combat, underlining the need to attract resources via public - private partnership so that people and enterprises can join hands in the task.

At the meeting, Minister of National Defence Phan Van Giang noted his ministry is mobilising forces for transporting vaccines and assisting disease prevention and control efforts in offshore islands and remote areas.

Participants reached high consensus on the necessity to focus resources on the COVID-19 combat in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern localities, which are witnessing complicated developments of the pandemic.

As of 6am on July 19, 53,785 domestic infections and 2,060 imported ones were confirmed in Vietnam. The number of local cases reported since late April, when the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections began, amounted to 52,215./. 

Hanoi asks citizens to stay home, bans public gatherings of over five

Accordingly, starting July 19, Hanoi halts all non-essential services and its citizens are required to stay home and only go out when necessary such as business trip, food and medicine purchase, and other emergency cases like health check-ups and treatment.

The municipal authorities also asked residents not to gather more than five people outside the workplaces, schools and hospitals, and fill in health declarations.

Agencies, businesses, including foreign-invested ones, were urged to actively outline online working or work-in-shift plans.

Shopping malls, supermarkets, wholesale and wet markets in the city only sell necessities. Public transport means must reduce seats by half.

The city directed preparing sufficient food and necessities in every case./. 

Hanoi asks citizens to stay home, bans public gatherings of over five

Accordingly, starting July 19, Hanoi halts all non-essential services and its citizens are required to stay home and only go out when necessary such as business trip, food and medicine purchase, and other emergency cases like health check-ups and treatment.

The municipal authorities also asked residents not to gather more than five people outside the workplaces, schools and hospitals, and fill in health declarations.

Agencies, businesses, including foreign-invested ones, were urged to actively outline online working or work-in-shift plans.

Shopping malls, supermarkets, wholesale and wet markets in the city only sell necessities. Public transport means must reduce seats by half.

The city directed preparing sufficient food and necessities in every case./. 

ASEAN, China mark 30 years of dialogue partnership

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China on July 19 marked the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations.

As reported by China’s Xinhua news agency, since the ties began in July 1991, bilateral trade volume had soared from less than 8 billion USD to more than 680 billion USD last year. With such a strong foundation, the two sides have pledged to enhance cooperation in all sectors to open a new chapter in ASEAN-China common development and prosperity.

The Thai-Chinese Rayong Industrial Zone in Thailand's Rayong province has been a miniature and fruit of such win-win cooperation. Established in 2006 and now home to 160 overseas companies, the plant boasts 40,000 local workers, mostly in automobile, electronics and machinery sectors.

In the past year and a half, despite the COVID-19 outbreak and related travel restrictions, the industrial zone managed to attract 27 Chinese companies to invest there.

With more than 650 million consumers and being a supply chain hub for major industries, ASEAN is becoming an important strategic market for Chinese businesses, Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank said in a research report.

In 2020, China's foreign direct investment (FDI) in ASEAN countries surged 52.1 percent year-on-year, bucking a global downward trend. Meanwhile, ASEAN investors continue to see a rosy prospect in China for its solid post-pandemic recovery and the new development paradigm of "dual circulation," with the bloc's investment in the Chinese mainland jumping 50.7 percent in the first half of 2021, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

Bilateral trade has also thrived over the years, buoyed by a friendly relationship between the two sides and the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

Thanks to the CAFTA, more commodities from ASEAN countries, ranging from agricultural products such as mango, durian and coffee to primary and intermediate products like rubber and paper, have entered the Chinese market. In 2020, China and ASEAN became each other's largest trading partner for the first time.

Trade volume between China and ASEAN maintained a robust growth in 2021, surging 27.8 percent year-on-year in the first six months, according to China's customs statistics.

In November last year, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was signed by its 15 participating countries including China and the 10 ASEAN members, creating a massive free trade zone covering roughly 30 percent of the world's gross domestic product, trade and population.

The RCEP marks "the beginning of a new era for China-ASEAN ties" and is a boon to trade and investment in not only Southeast Asia, but also the world, said Panitan Wattanayagorn, chairman of Thai prime minister's Security Advisory Committee./.

Pandemic still complicated in Southeast Asia as more infections, deaths recorded

While Thailand is setting up checkpoints to restrict mobility in 13 provinces in a bid to prevent COVID-19 from spreading from the dark-red zone, the pandemic situation has also yet to ease in other Southeast Asian countries.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration of Thailand, said on July 19 that the checkpoints are being built and more security personnel will man all roads linking the 13 provinces with their neighbours.

He confirmed the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s announcement that domestic flights out of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports will stop from July 21. Besides, the capacities of other public transport modes will be halved from the same day.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Thailand continued to hit a new record of 11,784 on July 19, raising the tally to 415,170. The country also saw an additional 81 patients succumbing to the disease in 24 hours, adding up to the total fatalities of 3,422.

Cambodia is reportedly facing a growing risk of the spread of the Delta variant posed by people entering the country from Thailand.

Its Ministry of Health said Cambodia found 75 imported cases infected with this highly contagious variant between March 31 and July 14.

The large number of Cambodian workers returning from Thailand, many of whom have contracted the coronavirus disease, has been putting great pressure on the healthcare infrastructure in the provinces bordering Thailand.

Despite the concern over the high number of imported cases, Cambodia on July 19 reported less than 800 new infections in 24 hours for the first time since June 28. They included 209 imported cases and 581 domestic infections, raising the total to 67,971.

Besides 1,087 recoveries, the Health Ministry also announced 22 deaths on the day, bringing the COVID-19 fatalities in Cambodia so far to 1,128.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus infections in Indonesia has topped 2.9 million after 34,257 new infections were confirmed on July 19, the lowest daily number since July 6. The fatalities reached 74,920 after 1,338 more deaths were recorded.

The same day, the Philippine Department of Health reported 5,651 new cases, raising the total to 1,513,396. The number of related deaths rose to 26,786, including 72 recorded on the day.

This country has found 35 cases infected with the Delta variant, including 11 domestic infections./.

Vietnamese Party leader’s article upholds State role in ensuring social equity: Indian scholar

The article “A number of theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path towards socialism in Vietnam” by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong upholds the role of the State in ensuring social equity, Faisal Ahmed, Associate Professor of International Business at FORE School of Management in New Delhi, has told the Vietnam News Agency.

According to the professor, in the pandemic-hit world, the countries which have embraced a socialistic structure have responded well to the emergent social needs.

“Today, we need a people-centric policy, which is characterised by social equality, rule of law, strong institutions, and a cohesive social ecosystem. A growing GDP or FDI must translate into improved social well-being and better living standards”.

He said that Party General Secretary Trong’s article outlines a people-centric future roadmap for Vietnam, which is worth replicating for the international community, especially the developing countries.

The Indian expert focused attention on the part of the article on the basic premise of a socialist-oriented market economy. According to him, it is rightly pointed out that it encompasses multiple forms of ownership and multiple economic sectors.

“I think this is a very pertinent economic roadmap that is going to establish Vietnam’s global competitiveness in trade and investments,” said Faisal Ahmed.

Assessing Vietnam’ achievements during the development process of a socialist-oriented market economy, he stated that Vietnam has made sound progress after the implementation of the Doi Moi (Renewal) process.

“Doi Moi enhanced Vietnam’s international trading position, and helped it improve its role in global economic governance. The domestic productive capacity has enhanced over the years, and it has helped Vietnam gain from exports too,” he said. “The FDI inflows have happened and contributed to improving the living standard of the people. Today, it is only because of its socialist-oriented market economy that Vietnam is a fast developing country in Southeast Asia and has an increasing participation in the Global Value Chains”.

To achieve a socialist society, the Indian professor suggested Vietnam step up economic diversification and industrialisation, boost its competitive collaboration with larger economies in Asia, focus on convergences on the global and regional strategic front, and enhance impetus on science and technology studies./. 

Second “Designed by Vietnam” contest launched

The second “Designed by Vietnam” contest was launched on July 19 with the theme “Awakening Traditions” as part of the Vietnam Design Week (VNDW) 2021.

Held by the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ashui.com and ConsMedia, the contest will receive entries via email address designedbyvietnam@gmail.com until August 31.

Designers will vie in five categories of Communication design, Living design, Decor & Object design, Clothing design, and Public design.

Designs must show typical features and traditional values of Vietnam and use traditional and local materials. Particularly, the organisation board encourages designers to apply and develop techniques from traditional trade villages.

Contestants can join workshops and visit traditional trade villages to get inspired.

Twenty outstanding designs will be chosen to join an online voting at vietnamdesignweek.com from October 15 to November 15. Designs receiving the highest number of votes will enter the final round that will take place from November 15-21. A award ceremony and an exhibition of works qualified for the final round are expected to be held in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City during the week.

A first prize worth 50 million VND (2,168 USD) in cash, as well as one second and one third prize will be given to winners, along with five consolidation prizes./.

Vietnam donates 85,000 USD to aid affected Vietnamese-Cambodians

The Embassy of Vietnam in Cambodia on July 19 handed over a cash donation worth 85,000 USD to diplomatic missions and Khmer-Vietnam Association in Cambodia to aid Vietnamese-Cambodians affected by COVID-19.

The donation was sourced from Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention and control fund, managed by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, under the approval of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

It will be used to provide food, necessities, medical supplies and cash for vulnerable people, including workers suffering from income reduction, the unemployed and those from difficult backgrounds.

At the handover ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh and a representative of Vietnamese-Cambodian community expressed their gratitude towards the VFF, which has always shown great care and support for communities of Vietnamese origin.

On the same day, the Embassy of Vietnam in Cambodia also received a cash donation worth 100,000 USD from the Cambodian Red Cross Society to their counterpart in Vietnam, together with 50,000 USD donated by the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association to help Vietnam fight the pandemic./.

Hanoi steps up COVID-19 testing for at-risk people amid new case spike

The Hanoi Department of Health urges its preventive medicine units to step up screening COVID-19 testing targeting people considered at-risk as the city has seen a spike in locally-infected cases over the last several days.

From now until July 25, the units are requested to look over records of individuals who have fever and cough without an obvious cause or other suspected COVID-19 symptoms since July 10, in order to conduct screening tests if necessary, the department said in an urgent notice issued on July 18.

These individuals do not necessarily need to have travel history to pandemic-hit areas or close contact with coronavirus carriers, the notice said.

The city also plans to check on and test bus drivers, driver assistants and ticket salesmen as well as people returning from Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and other cities and provinces under city- or province-wide social distancing order. These returnees are required to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days from their date of arrival in Hanoi.

Screening tests can be conducted using pooled sample RT-PCR strategy or antigen rapid testing method, it added.

Hanoi detected a total of 442 COVID-19 cases during the fourth wave starting April 27, including 183 cases from July 5./.

Hundreds of hotels in HCM City join hands in COVID-19 fight

Over 20 hotels in Ho Chi Minh City have offered free accommodation and meals to medical workers involving in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, with about 50,000 room nights, reported the municipal Tourism Department on July 19.

Hundreds of other hotels currently serving as quarantine facilities also joined hands in the effort by providing free stay or discounts of 30-70 percent for quarantined people in financial difficulty.

Many others are gradually operating “community hotel” model for the disadvantaged.

Travel companies deployed hundreds of vehicles to carry medical staff, COVID-19 patients and suspected cases to quarantine facilities, and vaccines.

The municipal tourism sector has partnered up with domestic firms to offer daily necessities and medical supplies to hospitals, medical stations and those in difficult circumstance in quarantine facilities. Many tourist and travel companies also gave support to volunteers who are collecting samples for COVID-19 testing and vaccination campaign.

Several hotels in the city cooked and provided thousands of meals for the poor in isolated areas and frontline forces.

Ho Chi Minh City is currently the largest hotspot of COVID-19 in the country, with thousands of new cases detected a day./. 

Quang Ninh strives to reach herd immunity next April

The northern province of Quang Ninh is striving to give vaccination to 70-80 percent of local residents by April 2022 in order to reach herd immunity against COVID-19.

According to head of the provincial Health Department Nguyen Trong Dien, to this end, the locality is speeding up COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Recently, the province has administered tens of thousands of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine doses to workers in Chinese-invested firms in Quang Ninh and border residents, he said.

Meanwhile, Hoang Ba Nam, Secretary of the Party Committee of Mong Cai city said that the city has received 31,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine. With a capacity of injecting 4,000-5,000 doses per day, Mong Cai plans to finish the administration of 31,000 doses by July 20.

So far, Quang Ninh has received about 260,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses of different kinds, with 60,000 doses administered. The province expects to inject the rest in July and August while waiting for more vaccine delivery.

The province hopes to become one of the first localities in Vietnam to reach herd immunity. It is planning to build a vaccination database and start the use of vaccine passport. The locality has also allocated personnel to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to locals in ethnic minority-inhabited, mountainous, islands and hard-to-reach areas./. 

PM asks Hanoi to put people’s health first and foremost

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed on July 19 that the top priority of Hanoi at present is to continue preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic with the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy”, putting the protection of people’s health first and foremost, and maintaining production in safe places.

Chinh had a working session with the capital city’s leading officials to keep updated on the capital's COVID-19 situation, socio-economic development, defence and security in the first half of 2021 and development orientations for the second half as well as the following years.

Speaking highly of the city’s achievements during January-June, the Government leader asked Hanoi to take more drastic and effective measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading out.

According to him, the municipal authorities should take a new approach to the fight, and prepare prevention and control scenarios for more serious situations.

He requested Hanoi to effectively implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and the Resolution of the 17th municipal Party Congress, attach importance to building a transparent and strong Party, and pay more attention to cultural development to deserve its millennium history and the title of A city for peace as well as its position as the country’s political, socio-economic, defence, security and diplomatic centre.

The Government leader also asked ministries and sectors to coordinate with the municipal authorities to review and perfect institutions, remove obstacles to facilitate development; maximize resources for investment in development, especially the public-private partnership in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as socio-economic development.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh said that the pandemic situation in the city is still under control, but high risks remain.

The city is implementing urgent and drastic measures to combat the pandemic, he stressed.

In the first six months of 2021, the capital’s economic growth reached 5.91 percent, higher than the 2.92 percent of the same period last year.

Hanoi is working hard to maintain production and business chains and has built two economic development scenarios in 2021, with growth rates of 7.5 percent and 6.5-7 percent./.

Improving solid waste management capacity using remote sensing technology

The Department of National Remote Sensing under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has just developed a project on monitoring waste dumping sites nationwide using remote sensing technology.

The project aims to improve solid waste management capacity at the central and local levels by using remote sensing technology while helping to update and improve the operational efficiency of the database on solid waste.

Le Minh Son, director of the Central Remote Sensing Station, said once completed, it will help reduce costs in updating information and data, bringing long-term economic benefits.

 

The project will also help enhance management capacity of domestic waste, contributing to effectively serving the managing and planning of landfills, waste treatment areas and environmentally sensitive areas, he said.

Currently, Vietnam has 660 waste disposal sites that receive around 20,200 tonnes of waste per day. Of these, only 30 percent meet hygiene requirements.

Most landfills do not have compactors, gas collection systems, environmental monitoring systems and are poorly managed./.

Vietnamese, Lao state audit agencies seek to beef up cooperation

State Auditor General of Vietnam Tran Sy Thanh held online talks with President of the State Audit Organisation of Laos (SAL) Malaithong Kommasith on July 19 to review bilateral audit cooperation over the past years.

Thanh said in the first half of this year, the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) conducted 76 audits and provided 143 audit reports and relevant documents for the National Assembly’s agencies, the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission and competent authorities for investigation, inspection and supervision.

The SAV suggested removing, amending, supplementing and issuing 19 new legal documents that are unsuitable with the State’s regulations, thus promptly fixing “loopholes” in policies and mechanisms.

In the last half, the SAV will continue with audit activities as planned, issue a general audit report 2020 to submit to the legislature, give opinions on the State budget estimate, budget allocation plan for 2022, and build the 2022 and 2022-2024 audit plans.

About the state audit development strategy till 2030 that was adopted by the NA Standing Committee on August 12, 2020, Thanh highlighted three development pillars, including legal framework, human resources and technology along with seven major contents, including the apparatus organisation, human resources, audit quality improvement, global integration and cooperation, infrastructure development, scientific research on infrastructure, information and modern technology.

According to Thanh, the SAV also established a steering committee to realise the strategy.

Regarding cooperation orientations, both sides agreed to improve the efficiency of regular activities such as facilitating the exchange of high-ranking delegations, assisting the SAL in strengthening the institutions and organisational apparatus, and enhancing the capacity of public audit.

The SAV will send experts to Laos to help its auditors in the fields of State budget, basic construction and State-owned enterprises, as well as offer professional training in both Vietnam and Laos as suggested by the SAL.

The two audit sectors will continue with cooperation activities in 2022 and subsequent years, enhance online cooperation activities amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, and bring audit into the cooperation agreement between the two governments in the 2021-2025 period, firstly in 2022.

The two sides pledged to continue offering mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), the ASEAN Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASEANSAI), and the cooperation forum of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.

They also agreed to propose their respective government and legislature add ASEANSAI cooperation contents into the annual cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese and Lao governments./. 

Residents in border areas get vaccinated against COVID-19

The northern province of Lai Chau on July 19 started to give Vero Cell COVID-19 vaccine shots to residents in border communes in Phong Tho district.

Seven vaccination facilities have been set up, one at provincial level and six in health care stations in border communes of Si Lo Lau, Pa Vay Su, Vang Ma Chai, Mu Sang, Ma Ly Pho và Huoi Luong.

Residents in 22 villages of those communes will receive the first shot from July 19-24, while the second shot will be administered from August 9-14. A total 2,500 vaccine doses are scheduled to be delivered.

According to head of the health care station of Huoi Luong commune Lo Van Tiep, in the first phase, 500 locals in border villages of Huoi Luong will receive the first vaccine shot.

All safety procedures have been strictly implemented throughout the vaccination process, he said.

Along with frontline forces, Lai Chau has expanded vaccination to larger groups. So far, the province has finished two phases of COVID-19 vaccination with nearly 20,000 doses delivered./. 

Quang Ninh aims to narrow development gaps among its regions

The second meeting of the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Council for the 2021-2026 tenure officially opened in the northern locality on July 15.

The one-and-a-half day meeting focused its discussions on matters that hold significance to local socio-economic development for 2021 and subsequent years.

Speaking as a guest at the event, Politburo member and Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics Nguyen Xuan Thang hailed Quang Ninh for its socio-economic performance in the first half of the year as well as achievements in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Stressing the importance of the meeting, Thang said the public place their trust on decisions made by deputies of the People’s Council at the event.

He suggested the provincial People’s Council continue pushing ahead with economic development measures in the new situation, stepping up vaccination to create a stable environment for socio-economic development.

The province needs to actively recover tourism and services, pay attention to processing industry and seaports, develop high-tech agriculture and further step up three strategic breakthroughs, he said.

He proposed that Quang Ninh should continue attracting public investment in order to make the way for private investment, strengthen regional connectivity via infrastructure, improve provincial competitiveness and high-quality workforce; accelerate digital transformation, administrative reform and public services.

The province must continue developing its economy, regularly pay attention to improving social welfare, sustainable poverty reduction, material and spiritual lives, enhancing supervision, especially on issues of voters’ concern to meet public expectation, he said.

In his opening speech, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Council Nguyen Xuan Ky affirmed that with such a huge workload at the meeting, deputies should pool their brainpower and uphold democracy to offer straightforward opinions on key contents, and adopt a quality resolution that contributes to local development.

Participants are expected to debate and made decisions on several important issues to promptly concretise the Resolution adopted by the 13th National Party Congress and another by the 15th provincial Party Congress. The provincial People’s Council also plan to approve a resolution of the session on policies, mechanisms, measures to foster local socio-economic development for the 2021-2025 period as well as fulfill 2021 goals.

Quang Ninh is viewed as a strategic destination in northern Vietnam and an important link in the northern economic growth triangle of Hanoi - Hai Phong - Quang Ninh.

The province possesses major advantages from Van Don district planning to become a multi-sectoral maritime economic zone and entertainment centre with a casino and high-end sea-island tourism and services. It is also a gateway for international trade, creating unique, modern, and high-quality products that are internationally competitive.

Over the past five years, Quang Ninh has experienced high and sustainable growth, averaging 10.7 percent annually. Average GRDP per capita was estimated at 6,700 USD in 2020; double the country’s average.

Over the past years, the northern province of Quang Ninh has been working to gradually establish itself as a “gateway” for cross-border trade between Vietnam and China, thus contributing to bilateral economic ties.

Sharing more than 118km of land border and 191km of sea border with China, Quang Ninh is located at the start of the countries’ “Two Corridors, One Belt” economic cooperation zone, in the Nanning - Singapore Economic Corridor, and the expanded Gulf of Tonkin inter-regional cooperation area within the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.

For 2021, Quang Ninh province is moving to carry out the Party and State’s foreign policy and effectively implementing friendship exchanges and cooperation programmes with Guangxi. Its authorities and localities are also working to maintain relations with their Guangxi counterparts in combating COVID-19, stepping up transport connectivity, upgrading border gate pairs, facilitating customs clearance, and gradually resuming cross-border trade, investment, and tourism./. 

Cambodia grants face masks, oxygen generators to support HCM City’s COVID-19 fight

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s largest COVID-19 hotspot – held a ceremony at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on July 19 to receive a shipment of face masks and oxygen generators donated by Cambodia.

The gift from the Cambodian Government comprises 1 million medical face masks, 100,000 N95 face masks, 100 five-litre oxygen generators and cash worth 200,000 USD.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc thanked Prime Minister Samdech Hunsen, Royal Government and people of Cambodia for their support of Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.

Youk Sambath, Secretary of State under the Cambodian Ministry of Health, said that the time-honoured friendship and solidarity between Cambodia and Vietnam has been nurtured by generations of leaders and peoples of both countries.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the mutual support between the two countries clearly reflects their close and strong neighbourliness, she stated, believing that the bilateral collaboration will be tightened, thus bringing about benefits for the two peoples, and for peace, security and development in the region and the world./.

Binh Duong puts 1,500-bed temporary COVID-19 treatment hospital into operation

The southern province of Binh Duong on July 18 put a 1,500-bed temporary hospital into operation as part of its efforts to cope with to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital, one of the two temporary hospitals built with support of Becamex Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC), is located on Hung Vuong street, Hoa Phu ward, Thu Dau Mot city.

Covering an area of 22,000 sq.m, the hospital is fully equipped to serve almost all medical operations.

General Director of Becamex IDC Pham Ngoc Thuan said that the second temporary hospital will be set up at Becamex-invested Eastern International University.

With a capacity of 1,500 beds, the second hospital is expected to become operational right in August.

Binh Duong has recorded 2,175 infections in the current outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic is developing complicated in the southern industrial hub, with the number of new cases predicted to continue rising./.

HCM City calls for ideas from OVs to fight COVID-19 hinh anh 1

HCM City officials check gifts to the poor before delivery 

HCM City calls for ideas from OVs to fight COVID-19

The Ho Chi Minh City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (OV) Affairs has called on the Vietnamese community abroad to join hands with the city in controlling COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to the community on July 18, Chairman of the committee Phung Cong Dung expressed hope to receive ideas from Vietnamese experts, intellectuals, entrepreneurs and individuals abroad on how to stamp out the pandemic.

Along with experience in COVID-19 prevention and control in other countries, the city wishes to receive ideas on ways to improve the pandemic control in quarantine facilities, the efficiency of testing activities and the application of technologies in the field.

The committee also asked for support in information related to COVID-19 vaccine supply and production technologies of vaccine and treatment equipment, as well as recommendations on how to maintain production activities safely.

All ideas from overseas Vietnamese will be summarised by July 30 before reporting to city leaders, according to the committee./.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 20

Song cheers up Saigonese amid gloomy pandemic days


Ho Chi Minh City has been facing unprecedented challenges from the latest COVID-19 outbreak.

Amid the increasing difficulties, the local government and people have joined hands to push back against the pandemic.

To support the effort, one young teacher in the city composed a song to keep people in good spirits during these trying days.

Nguyen Thai Duong, a young teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, composed a song to keep Saigonese in good spirits during pandemic days./.

Training kicks off for VN women's football team

Việt Nam’s women's football team trained together for the first time yesterday. The team is aiming to secure a berth in the finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and further a slot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Head coach Mai Đức Chung has picked 34 players who he believes performed the best in the national cup and the U19 and U21 tournaments in 2020 and 2021.

"My players come from six clubs and are both experienced and young. Among them are Đặng Thị Mai and Lê Thị Thùy Trang who have joined the national squad for the first time," Chung told Việt Nam News.

"Veterans Trần Thị Thùy Trang and Phạm Hoàng Quỳnh, who left my team a couple of years ago for different reasons, have come back. Hà Nam's Quỳnh is a skilled midfielder while Trang, despite her age, is still an active and stable midfielder for HCM City.”

"I have also called up young faces like Trần Thị Duyên and Dương Thị Vân who have just recovered from injuries, to test their abilities," Chung said.

There are 28 teams playing in the qualifiers divided into eight groups. 

Việt Nam, world No 32, are in Group B with hosts Tajikistan, ranked 135; the Maldives, ranked 144; and Afghanistan, ranked 152. Matches will be held in mid-September.

After a two month break, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coach Chung has a lot of work to do.

"We will watch the players practice first and adjust our exercise program if needed. Then, I will arrange matches for them to practise. I hope that they will get inspired and make it difficult for me to choose the final list for the tournament," said the 71-year-old who is for the first time being assisted by fitness coach Cedric Serge Christian Roger from Germany.

Việt Nam has a higher world ranking compared to their rivals but Chung is still cautious.

"Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Maldives are foreign to us. We have never played a West Asian team yet. I think that they have also received a lot of support to develop.”

"They stand far below us but don't think it will be easy to beat them. I am doing my research and have asked my players to try their hardest every time. We must get a good result to qualify for the finals."

Deputy captain Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung confirmed her team's determination at the coming Cup.

"We are all affected by the pandemic which has prevented us from competing. However, we kept practising within the club's centre to retain our physique and technique," she said.

"In this competition, coaches combine a team of seniors and juniors. We will be a united team and pay attention to all of the qualifiers. We have a high chance to advance to the finals but we respect all of our rivals and will try to defeat them one by one," she told Việt Nam News.

The winning team from each group will clinch a place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, scheduled to take place from January 20 to February 6.

Defending champions Japan, 2018 runners-up Australia, and third-placed China PR, as well as hosts India, have already qualified.

Following this, the top five teams will go on to represent Asia, along with hosts Australia, at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

"We aim at the top place of the group to qualify for the Asian Cup before securing a ticket to the World Cup," said Việt Nam Football Federation Vice President Trần Quốc Tuấn.

Tuấn said the VFF will adjust the domestic competition so that the national squad’s footballers will have more time to prepare for upcoming international fixtures.

"Apart from domestic training camps, VFF will also arrange intensive courses abroad and talk with other federations to arrange international friendly matches to warm-up ahead of the qualification.

"These activities are important for players who have not played a single international match for more than one year," he said.

Việt Nam who are currently No 6 in Asia were very close to the World Cup in 2015 when they lost 1-2 to Thailand in a play-off match. 

Volunteers feed thousands isolated by COVID in Hà Tĩnh

Over the past month, Nguyễn Thị Hải, a cook at Tô Hiến Thành Primary School in Hà Tĩnh, has been busy cooking even though the students are on their summer vacation.

Hải is a volunteer chef working at the school canteen to prepare meals to deliver to local quarantine zones. 

"I've been doing this work for over a month and I'm lucky to have the support of my family. I want to do my part to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Hải told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper. 

At the start of June, in the heat of the Central Region’s summer, Hải and a number of the local teachers were busy in the small kitchen behind the school . 

Every day, three other teachers from different schools take turns to cook 120-180 meals a day alongside Hải. 

They have cooked more than 5,000 meals so far to serve people in isolation. 

Hải said she will continue to do this work until no one in the locality has to be isolated at COVID-19 quarantine zones.

Every day, Hải wakes up at 5am and rides her motorbike to buy fresh ingredients. 

She tries to find ways to reduce the cost of each meal but still to ensure meals are healthy and nutritious. 

She also does her best to accommodate people's differing tastes. 

"We are willing to cook porridge to serve the children if they can't eat rice, sometimes just one portion," Hải said.

Volunteers take turns delivering the food to the isolation areas. In order to better serve the people inside quarantine zones, Hải puts her phone number on each meal box so they can send her feedback about their meals.

At the end of the day Hải returns to her home and tends to her rice paddies but her day doesn’t end there.

"I do housework at night and get up early to go to the market. I try to balance both. Sometimes, I'm very tired but everyone is very encouraging," Hải said.

"Besides, it’s not just me. The teachers that volunteer in this kitchen temporarily put their housework on hold to work together to fight the pandemic. Although we are tired, we all try our best."

A number of officers and teachers from Thạch Hà District's Education and Training Department have volunteered to take part in COVID-19 prevention and control work. They have also raised VNĐ750 million (US$32,640) to support their work. 

Tiền Giang builds more irrigation works to secure water for farms

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang, the country's largest fruit producer, has spent more than VNĐ134 billion (US$5.8 million) to upgrade or build irrigation projects this year, securing irrigation water for nearly 172,000ha of farming areas.

The money was used to build irrigation works, and sluices and embankments that prevent saltwater intrusion and floods, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the Gò Công freshwater-dominated region, the Tiền Giang Irrigation Work Exploitation and Management One Member Limited Company operates  sluices to take and store fresh water for fields.

The company has encouraged farmers to strictly implement measures to control saltwater intrusion and drought.

Rice farmers have been told to sow rice seeds on the same schedule or switch to growing other drought – resistant crops in areas without sufficient  irrigation water.

The province has dredged and expanded major irrigation canals to store fresh water in its coastal eastern region. This region has built 72 irrigation works to serve 38,000ha of rice, fruits and vegetables.

The province’s island communes have drilled 14 borewells to take water to irrigate speciality fruit trees such as durian, rambutan and jackfruit. The island communes have built 22 construction works for preventing and controlling drought, saltwater intrusion and other natural disasters.

The province has also opened 49 free clean-water supply sites to provide daily use water to 3,120 households in remote and coastal areas this year.

The Tiền Giang Water Supply Company Limited has opened 13 standby wells and drilled additional three deep borewells to supply clean water for households in its coastal eastern region.

NA leader stresses application of Hồ Chí Minh’s thoughts in legislation

President Hồ Chí Minh’s thoughts on the state and law, including that on legislative activities, which were continuously supplemented and developed by the late leader, have served as a foundation, a theoretical basis and a guideline for the building and improvement of the legal system in Việt Nam since the country gained independence.

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vương Đình Huệ made the statement in an article on the occasion of the review of the 5-year implementation of the Politburo's Directive 05-CT/TW dated June 15, 2016 on “Promoting the study and following of President Hồ Chí Minh's thoughts, morality and lifestyle".

In the article, published on July 16, Huệ, who is also a Politburo member, emphasised Hồ Chí Minh’s thoughts on legislative activities, including inviolable national sovereignty and the sacredness of national independence.

The reality of the Vietnamese revolution showed that his thoughts on national sovereignty and national independence have increasingly promoted its value, the top legislator said, adding this is an important ideological basis for all activities of state agencies and for the will and aspirations of the entire people, and is the foundation, goal and motivation of legislative activities today and in the future.

Regarding the people's mastery, President Hồ Chí Minh said that all power belongs to the people and the State is of the people, by the people and for the people. The late leader also upheld the supremacy of the law.

Huệ wrote that President Hồ Chí Minh soon realised the organic, flesh-and-blood relationship between the people's right to social mastery, democracy and freedom, and the Constitution and laws. He clearly recognised the role of the Constitution and laws in changing the nature of a political regime.

Hồ Chí Minh’s thoughts on the requirements and purpose of the law is to be humane and for the people, to ensure democracy in the law-making process, as well as to respect international law, Huệ noted.

Respecting international law is a very far and wide vision of President Hồ Chí Minh. He said: “To all countries in the world, the Democratic Republic of Việt Nam earnestly wishes to maintain friendship and sincere cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual assistance to build a long-lasting world peace".

His views are the ideological foundation for the foreign policy of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, and the basis for countries with different political regimes in the world to recognise and establish diplomatic relations with Viet Nam. This is also the guideline and basic principle for building and improving the legal system on foreign affairs and integration of Việt Nam.

According to the top legislator, studying and applying President Hồ Chí Minh’s thoughts, morality and lifestyle in legislative activities in the current period play a very important role as the whole Party and people are taking active and proactive steps to successfully implement orientations, key tasks and strategic breakthroughs identified at the 13th National Party Congress on completing the legal system and building a socialist rule-of-law state.

In addition, to ensure effective international integration, Việt Nam must have legislative solutions to build and perfect the legal system that both promotes domestic advantages and strengths and is harmonious and compatible with the common standards of international law, thus demonstrating its role as a reliable and reputable partner in the international community, the NA Chairman concluded. 

Ca Mau province acts to better protect environment in aquaculture

The southernmost province of Ca Mau currently has more than 300,000 ha of aquaculture area, including over 158,000 ha of extensive shrimp farming and nearly 8,600 ha of intensive shrimp farming.

However, experts said that if local farmers fail to adopt strict environmental protection measures in aquaculture, it will pollute water sources serving production activities.

The provincial People's Committee has issued regulations on renovating aquaculture ponds and lagoons.

According to Le Van Su, Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, the decision clearly defines the responsibilities of state management agencies, organisations and aquaculture production businesses in environmental protection activities, thereby improving the production efficiency combined with environmental protection.

The provincial People's Committee has tasked the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to lead and coordinate with relevant departments, sectors and agencies to organise training courses on aquaculture techniques, raising legal awareness of fishery, industry standards and other regulations.

The department is also responsible for directing specialised management and inspection forces of aquaculture production and forest protection to promptly detect, prevent and deal with the acts of waste discharge and infringement of forestry resources./. 

Vietnam makes constant efforts to fight human trafficking

The Party and State of Vietnam have consistently attached importance to ensuring and enforcing human rights, in which the fight against human trafficking has always received special attention, with the engagement of the entire political system and all-level administrations and agencies.

In its recently-released 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, the US Department of State mentioned Vietnam's remarkable efforts in human trafficking, but it continued to name Vietnam in the watch list for human trafficking. The report also included biased assessment that did not reflect the real situation in Vietnam.

One important fact that the report failed to mention is that Vietnam is located in a "hot spot" of human trafficking. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), human trafficking has become complicated in the Asia-Pacific, especially the Greater Mekong Sub-region, including Vietnam, in recent years.

From 2010 to June 2021, Vietnam uncovered nearly 3,500 cases involving 5,000 traffickers and some 7,500 victims in all its 63 cities and provinces.

Over the past nearly two years, the Party, National Assembly, Government, ministries, agencies and localities have made human trafficking prevention and control a key task. The Prime Minister established a steering committee on crime prevention and control while ministries, central agencies and mass organisations have stepped up public awareness campaigns on the fight against human trafficking via various forms.

The public security forces collaborated with the border guard force to launch annual crackdowns on human traffickers nationwide and worked with counterpart in neighbouring countries to fight cross-border trafficking.

Vietnam also refined laws and enhanced international cooperation in the effort to rescue and assist victims.

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang has affirmed that the Vietnamese Government advocates legal, safe and orderly migration while resolutely fighting illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Vietnam is working to build a programme on human trafficking prevention and control for the 2021-2025 period, Hang said, adding that Vietnam needs support and collaboration from countries and international organisation amid rising crimes in the region and the world.

Since the normalisation of diplomatic ties in 1995, Vietnam and the US have seen their ties growing. Vietnam always hopes for new strides in its relationship with the US. However, the US still holds inadequate outlook on the situation in Vietnam.

The spokesperson said in order to develop bilateral ties effectively, the two countries need to show good will and foster efforts for the well-being of people in each country./.

Large shipment of suspected rhino horns, wild animal bones seized in Da Nang

Customs officers in the central city of Da Nang have discovered a shipment of 138 kilograms of animal horn and 3.1 tonnes of animal bones suspected to be of rhino and rare and precious wildlife, imported from South Africa at the city’s Tien Sa port.

The shipment owner had falsely declared the imported goods were wood.

Local customs agencies are coordinating with competent agencies to verify and handle the suspected wildlife items.

Rhino horns are strictly banned from being traded in, imported to or exported from Vietnam as the rhino and many other wild animals are on the list of endangered wildlife protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which the country has been a party since 1994./.

Quang Ninh aims to narrow development gaps among its regions

The second meeting of the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Council for the 2021-2026 tenure officially opened in the northern locality on July 15.

The one-and-a-half day meeting focused its discussions on matters that hold significance to local socio-economic development for 2021 and subsequent years.

Speaking as a guest at the event, Politburo member and Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics Nguyen Xuan Thang hailed Quang Ninh for its socio-economic performance in the first half of the year as well as achievements in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Stressing the importance of the meeting, Thang said the public place their trust on decisions made by deputies of the People’s Council at the event.

He suggested the provincial People’s Council continue pushing ahead with economic development measures in the new situation, stepping up vaccination to create a stable environment for socio-economic development.

The province needs to actively recover tourism and services, pay attention to processing industry and seaports, develop high-tech agriculture and further step up three strategic breakthroughs, he said.

He proposed that Quang Ninh should continue attracting public investment in order to make the way for private investment, strengthen regional connectivity via infrastructure, improve provincial competitiveness and high-quality workforce; accelerate digital transformation, administrative reform and public services.

The province must continue developing its economy, regularly pay attention to improving social welfare, sustainable poverty reduction, material and spiritual lives, enhancing supervision, especially on issues of voters’ concern to meet public expectation, he said.

In his opening speech, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Council Nguyen Xuan Ky affirmed that with such a huge workload at the meeting, deputies should pool their brainpower and uphold democracy to offer straightforward opinions on key contents, and adopt a quality resolution that contributes to local development.

Participants are expected to debate and made decisions on several important issues to promptly concretise the Resolution adopted by the 13th National Party Congress and another by the 15th provincial Party Congress. The provincial People’s Council also plan to approve a resolution of the session on policies, mechanisms, measures to foster local socio-economic development for the 2021-2025 period as well as fulfill 2021 goals.

Quang Ninh is viewed as a strategic destination in northern Vietnam and an important link in the northern economic growth triangle of Hanoi - Hai Phong - Quang Ninh.

The province possesses major advantages from Van Don district planning to become a multi-sectoral maritime economic zone and entertainment centre with a casino and high-end sea-island tourism and services. It is also a gateway for international trade, creating unique, modern, and high-quality products that are internationally competitive.

Over the past five years, Quang Ninh has experienced high and sustainable growth, averaging 10.7 percent annually. Average GRDP per capita was estimated at 6,700 USD in 2020; double the country’s average.

Over the past years, the northern province of Quang Ninh has been working to gradually establish itself as a “gateway” for cross-border trade between Vietnam and China, thus contributing to bilateral economic ties.

Sharing more than 118km of land border and 191km of sea border with China, Quang Ninh is located at the start of the countries’ “Two Corridors, One Belt” economic cooperation zone, in the Nanning - Singapore Economic Corridor, and the expanded Gulf of Tonkin inter-regional cooperation area within the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area.

For 2021, Quang Ninh province is moving to carry out the Party and State’s foreign policy and effectively implementing friendship exchanges and cooperation programmes with Guangxi. Its authorities and localities are also working to maintain relations with their Guangxi counterparts in combating COVID-19, stepping up transport connectivity, upgrading border gate pairs, facilitating customs clearance, and gradually resuming cross-border trade, investment, and tourism./. 

Cambodia grants face masks, oxygen generators to support HCM City’s COVID-19 fight

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s largest COVID-19 hotspot – held a ceremony at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on July 19 to receive a shipment of face masks and oxygen generators donated by Cambodia.

The gift from the Cambodian Government comprises 1 million medical face masks, 100,000 N95 face masks, 100 five-litre oxygen generators and cash worth 200,000 USD.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc thanked Prime Minister Samdech Hunsen, Royal Government and people of Cambodia for their support of Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.

Youk Sambath, Secretary of State under the Cambodian Ministry of Health, said that the time-honoured friendship and solidarity between Cambodia and Vietnam has been nurtured by generations of leaders and peoples of both countries.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the mutual support between the two countries clearly reflects their close and strong neighbourliness, she stated, believing that the bilateral collaboration will be tightened, thus bringing about benefits for the two peoples, and for peace, security and development in the region and the world./.

Binh Duong puts 1,500-bed temporary COVID-19 treatment hospital into operation

The southern province of Binh Duong on July 18 put a 1,500-bed temporary hospital into operation as part of its efforts to cope with to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital, one of the two temporary hospitals built with support of Becamex Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC), is located on Hung Vuong street, Hoa Phu ward, Thu Dau Mot city.

Covering an area of 22,000 sq.m, the hospital is fully equipped to serve almost all medical operations.

General Director of Becamex IDC Pham Ngoc Thuan said that the second temporary hospital will be set up at Becamex-invested Eastern International University.

With a capacity of 1,500 beds, the second hospital is expected to become operational right in August.

Binh Duong has recorded 2,175 infections in the current outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic is developing complicated in the southern industrial hub, with the number of new cases predicted to continue rising./.

HCM City exerts efforts in providing treatment for critical COVID-19 cases

The newly-set up resuscitation centre in Ho Chi Minh City, the current largest COVID-19 hotspot of Vietnam, has played an important role in providing treatment for severe cases which are on the increase.

Some 160 patients are being treated at the 1,000-bed hospital as of July 18, according to Doctor Tran Thanh Linh, deputy head of both Cho Ray Hospital’s intensive care unit and the newly-established hospital.

In addition, the Ministry of Health has mobilised over 530 medical workers from four hospitals in HCM City to the centre. Three northern localities - Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa and Hai Phong, and two central hospitals in Thanh Hoa and Vinh Phuc have also sent their medical staff to HCM City to help with the treatment of patients in critical conditions.

The city’s Department of Health has also decided to transform the Go Vap General Hospital into a specialised facility for critical COVID-19 patients. The facility currently has 300 beds and will work to increase the number of beds to 500./.

Ministry requests ensuring first aid, treatment for COVID-19 patients

The Ministry of Health recently sent a dispatch to its hospitals, health departments of centrally-run cities and provinces, and hospitals under universities urging them to strengthen health check-up and treatment system to ensure emergency aid and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Accordingly, all district-level and second-tier hospitals must be equipped with central oxygen systems, equipment and staff eligible to run the systems.

In first-tier general hospitals and above, there must be at least 50 beds and 100 beds when necessary in intensive care departments, together with central oxygen systems and staff to provide emergency aid for patients in critical conditions.

Regional hospitals must quickly form emergency centres to receive COVID-19 patients in critical conditions so as to ease pressure on other hospitals.

Centrally-run hospitals were also required to expand intensive care departments.

Cities and provinces must review and ensure the supply of medical oxygen, absolutely prevent shortages in emergency aid and treatment./.

Health ministry asks hospitals to be ready to treat COVID-19 patients

The Ministry of Health has asked hospitals nationwide to strengthen health check-up and treatment services to ensure enough resources for COVID-19 patients.

This move is a part of efforts to cope with the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic after an increase in terms of new cases and critically ill patients, particularly in response to serious situations in a number of localities.

The ministry requires all hospitals at district-level and level-2 hospitals to have at least two central oxygen systems and prepare equipment and human resources to perform high-flow oxygen therapy via the high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) technique.

At general hospitals from level-1 and higher, Intensive Care Unit must have at least 50 beds and be ready to expand to 100 beds with a central oxygen system and train staff to perform advanced resuscitation techniques (such as invasive mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and dialysis) and to receive and treat critical COVID-19 patients.

Those hospitals who are assigned to be in charge of each region need to set up an emergency centre to receive critical COVID-19 patients if local hospitals become overloaded.

Hospitals at central level are required to strengthen and expand the Intensive Care Units to be ready to receive and treat critically ill patients from lower-level hospitals and to train and prepare staff to assist provincial hospitals when needed.

The ministry is also asking localities to review and take measures to prevent the shortage of oxygen.

In another move, Hà Nội authorities have given the nod to the city’s Centre for Disease Control to take samples of those who show signs of fever and coughing from July 10 to July 25 as well as those coming from pandemic-hit areas for COVID-19 tests.

Hotel offers free rooms for Covid-19 frontline workers in HCM City

More than 20 hotels in Ho Chi Minh City have offered free stays and meals for Covid-19 frontline workers and doctors or giving discounts for people being quarantined for virus prevention.

Speaking at a meeting held on July 18, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, disclosed that some 20 local hotels are offering 50,000 nights of accommodation and meals for free for people who are participating in anti-Covid-19 activities in the city.

Nearly 100 other hotels are offering discounts of between 30-70 per cent for overseas Vietnamese people and those who are quarantined but are facing financial difficulties," the official added. "Some hotels including Vien Dong, and the Intercontinental are offering thousands of meals for low-income people and frontline workers in locked-down areas. Many travel firms like Vietravel, Saco, and Fiditour are supporting the transportation of patients and doctors."

Hoa praised the support by the local tourism sector in the fight against the pandemic which is causing lots of challenges for people.

A hotel owner in Bui Thi Xuan Street in District 1 has joined in the free hotel programme using all 65 rooms for nearly 200 frontline workers, doctors, and police officers.

"We have facilities, our business has had to be suspended, so I decided to join the programme to support the city against the covid 19 pandemic", the hotel owner, Dinh Quoc Huy said. "We've had more than 100 guests so far."

Luu Nguyen Van, who is an operator of the free hotel programme said, "In this week, we have received more than 1,000 bookings."

Shuttle bus shortage means Dong Nai workers cannot get work

A company in Dong Nai Province has to temporarily let their workers off from work as they are unable to arrange transportation.

On July 18, Le Quoc Thanh, CEO of Phong Thai Group, said they had to let off 34,000 workers at four factories in Song May Industrial Park for a week until further notice. Song May Industrial Park is not in the locked-down area, however, the local authorities asked firms to have shuttle buses for their workers to prevent the virus from spreading.

"We've reviewed the number of buses and workers and we realised that we don't have enough vehicles for all workers, especially when the buses have to follow social distancing rules and can only run at half of the capacity," he said.

Another factory under Phong Thai Group in Xuan Loc Industrial Park also let 6,700 out of the total 33,000 workers off from work temporarily to prevent Covid-19 outbreak.

Chairman of Trang Bom District Labour Federation Le Duc Thuy said Song May Industrial Park has 50 factories. Phong Thai Group has the biggest number of workers in the industrial park as well as Dong Nai Province with a total of 67,000 workers.

"We have provided support to the workers to ensure that Covid-19 preventive measures are carried out while maintaining business as usual," Thuy said.

Vu Thi Minh Chau, chairwoman of Trang Bom District People's Committee said they were focusing on the locked-down and Covid-19 outbreaks in Bac Son and Ho Nai 3 communes and has asked firms to follow tightened preventive measures to bring the outbreak under control as soon as possible.

HCM City exerts efforts in providing treatment for critical COVID-19 cases

The newly-set up resuscitation centre in Ho Chi Minh City, the current largest COVID-19 hotspot of Vietnam, has played an important role in providing treatment for severe cases which are on the increase.

Some 160 patients are being treated at the 1,000-bed hospital as of July 18, according to Doctor Tran Thanh Linh, deputy head of both Cho Ray Hospital’s intensive care unit and the newly-established hospital.

In addition, the Ministry of Health has mobilised over 530 medical workers from four hospitals in HCM City to the centre. Three northern localities - Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa and Hai Phong, and two central hospitals in Thanh Hoa and Vinh Phuc have also sent their medical staff to HCM City to help with the treatment of patients in critical conditions.

The city’s Department of Health has also decided to transform the Go Vap General Hospital into a specialised facility for critical COVID-19 patients. The facility currently has 300 beds and will work to increase the number of beds to 500./.

Ministry requests ensuring first aid, treatment for COVID-19 patients

The Ministry of Health recently sent a dispatch to its hospitals, health departments of centrally-run cities and provinces, and hospitals under universities urging them to strengthen health check-up and treatment system to ensure emergency aid and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Accordingly, all district-level and second-tier hospitals must be equipped with central oxygen systems, equipment and staff eligible to run the systems.

In first-tier general hospitals and above, there must be at least 50 beds and 100 beds when necessary in intensive care departments, together with central oxygen systems and staff to provide emergency aid for patients in critical conditions.

Regional hospitals must quickly form emergency centres to receive COVID-19 patients in critical conditions so as to ease pressure on other hospitals.

Centrally-run hospitals were also required to expand intensive care departments.

Cities and provinces must review and ensure the supply of medical oxygen, absolutely prevent shortages in emergency aid and treatment./.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 19

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 19

Social media posts in VN on COVID-19 deaths are fake news: VAFC

 
 

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