National Assembly to supervise cost-efficiency
The National Assembly will carry out supervision on cost efficiency and wastefulness as part of its supervisory programme next year, the deputies have agreed.
The NA deputies reviewed outcomes of cost-cutting in 2020 during their working session on Monday morning.
According to Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc, thrift and wastefulness cover a large area including wasting the State budget, State resources, slow progress and wasting investment on projects. He said there were missed opportunities on cost-cutting and international commitments were not being bet.
Tightening discipline was the key to preventing wastefulness, he added.
“The Ministry of Finance always considers completing laws and making adjustments to legal documents as a breakthrough to develop,” he said.
In 2020, more than 6,000 inspections in the administrative sector and more than 181,000 inspections of specialised fields were conducted nationwide, detecting violations costing VNĐ86 trillion.
The ministry removed 16 district-level units, 546 commune-level units and dozens of thousands of other units in an effort to improve efficiency.
NA deputies agreed that in spite of the pandemic, cost-efficiency and wastefulness prevention work was still positive in 2020.
The work has mobilised additional sources from the State budget, businesses and community for coronavirus prevention and control in difficult situations.
However, many deputies said the report was too general without specific statistics.
The report needs to point out examples of ministries and localities that did not perform well, the NA deputies said.
Others proposed reorganising the system and applying information technology in administrative management to reduce problems, and save time and money for people and businesses.
Legislators debate results of thrift practice, wastefulness prevention in 2020
Legislators on July 26 discussed the outcomes of thrift practice and wastefulness prevention in 2020 as part of the ongoing first plenary session of the 15th National Assembly (NA).
According to Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc, observance of disciplines and regulations is the key in fighting wastefulness, hence great attention was paid to inspection work.
Last year, more than 6,000 administrative and over 181,000 specialised inspections were conducted, through which violations involving more than 86 trillion VND (3.74 billion USD) and over 6,000 hectares of land were discovered. Inspectors proposed the punishment on more than 2,000 collectives and 485 individuals, and transferred 12 violation cases to investigation agency, he said.
According to Phoc, in 2020, 15 laws, over 157,000 circulars and 39 Prime Minister's decisions were amended. In the first six months of 2021, 17 decrees and 9 projects were issued by the Government, together with 50 circulars of ministries and sectors, thus fixing loopholes in legal regulations that cause wastefulness.
Also as part of efforts to promote thrift practice, 16 administrative units at district level and 456 at communal level were reduced.
The Ministry of Finance itself merged many tax and treasury sub-branches, he said, adding that the ministry saved 55 billion VND in spending in the first half of this year.
Concluding a plenary discussion on the issue, NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai said that the majority of deputies agreed with the Government’s report on thrift practice and wastefulness prevention. They held that despite impacts of COVID-19 and natural disasters, positive results were made in the work, thus contributing to mobilising more resources for pandemic prevention and control and well as social security.
Some deputies proposed that the Government issue a programme on thrift practice and wastefulness prevention, while requesting the inclusion of more specific data in reports on the work.
They also urged drastic reshuffling the structure of the political system and the stronger application of information technology in administrative management, thus saving time and cost for people and businesses.
Thrift practice and wastefulness prevention has been included in the NA'a programme on supreme supervision in 2022./.
Further 12 cases of COVID-19 detected at Hanoi Lung Hospital
A further 12 cases of COVID-19 infection were confirmed at the Hà Nội Lung Hospital Monday afternoon. This brings the total confirmed cases at the hospital to 26.
The hospital which was locked down earlier today by the People’s Committee of Hai Bà Trưng District will remain as such for 14 days from 6pm on Sunday.
A total of 29 people connected to the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 via rapid testing, however, only 26 have been confirmed by the Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control.
The test results of the remaining cases will be announced later, he said.
Dr Phạm Hữu Thường, director of the hospital, said the source of infection is unknown. The hospital has been tracing and conducting an epidemiological investigation but there are no results as yet.
The hospital has now taken samples of 400 people involved in the outbreak up from 323 reported earlier today.
The first positive COVID-19 case at the hospital was a female patient from Tây Hồ District. The woman had previously been treated for an unrelated matter at the Department of Internal Medicine where she was admitted on June 22. She was discharged from the hospital on July 22 in good health.
On July 25, she had a fever and went to the Phương Đông Hospital for a medical check-up at which point she tested positive for the virus.
Previously, in early May, two medical facilities were locked down after a cluster of infections were found at the Kim Chung facility at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Đông Anh District, and the Tân Triều facility at the National Cancer Hospital (frequently called K Hospital) in Thanh Trì District.
Hanoi regulates traffic to prevent congestion at gateways to city under social distancing
Secretary of the Party Committee of Hanoi Dinh Tien Dung and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh on July 25 inspected traffic regulating activities of the city and gave directions on ways to prevent congestion in gateways to the capital city amid travel restrictions as part of Hanoi's social distancing measures.
From 6 am on June 24, as part of efforts to implement Directive 17/CT-UBND on pandemic prevention and control measures, Hanoi has banned all vehicles from entering the city, except for vehicles serving pandemic prevention and control activities, public services, diplomatic mission, and those for transport of workers, experts and necessities, which are allowed to run on the so-called "green route".
To enforce the ban, 22 checkpoints have been set up at the main routes leading into the city. At each checkpoint, the city police, in co-operation with traffic inspectors, medical workers and civil defence officers of districts and towns are working around the clock to monitor the movement of all vehicles and people returning to or travelling out of the city.
As a consequence, congestion has occurred at a number of checkpoints, including those in Phap Van-Cau Gie (National Highway 1) and Phu Dong (National Highway 1B), causing difficulties for travelers.
After inspecting the situation at the Phap Van-Cau Gie checkpoint, the city leaders found that the reasons behind the traffic jam was a lack of planning for regulating the flow of traffic from afar, as well as timely provision of information to drivers about requirements for entering the city, so that they can choose a more suitable route.
The city leaders asked the police of Hanoi to propose to the Public Security Ministry to position a police team at the Vuc Vong crossroad in Ha Nam to guide vehicles to take other routes instead of crossing Hanoi.
The Traffic Police Agency under the Ministry of Public Security has agreed with the proposal and pledged to send the team to the crossroad soon.
The capital city has applied strict social distancing measures as stipulated in the Prime Minister's Directive 16 from 6am on July 24 as the COVID-19 pandemic is developing complicatedly.
The measures to stamp out worsening outbreaks of COVID-19 will be in place for 15 days. Besides Hanoi, 19 southern provinces and cities, including the southern largest hub of Ho Chi Minh City are also implementing social distancing measures under Directive 16.
Under the measures, all public transport services including buses, taxis, contract vehicles and coaches are banned, excluding those in service of pandemic prevention and control and transporting workers and experts. Motorbikes are also suspended from transporting passengers.
People in the city are asked to stay at home and only go outside in necessary cases like business trips, working at essential businesses (State agencies, factories, essential shops and service providers), buying food and medicines, or emergencies such as medical issues, fires or natural disasters.
Masks are mandatory in public places. People must maintain a distance of two metres in public places, and must not congregate in groups larger than two outside of hospital, workplaces, or schools.
People are required to submit health declaration forms via website www.tokhaiyte.vn or Ncovi and Bluezone apps. Those who have symptoms such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing must contact local medical establishments for further instructions.
Non-essential services and businesses must close.
The businesses and services that are still allowed to operate include factories, production facilities, transport projects, construction sites, essential businesses or suppliers (food, medicines, utility, gas and oil, etc.), educational institutions, banks and treasuries along with bank-related and business support activities (such as notaries and attorney offices, registration offices, etc.), securities, post offices, import and export activities, medical examination and treatment, and funeral services.
People are asked to hold off from organising weddings, while funeral services must not have more than 20 attendants and will be monitored by the local health authorities.
All unnecessary meetings are banned.
Production businesses, service establishments, and industrial zones must strictly observe COVID-19 prevention and control measures./.
Can Tho proposes to extend social distancing in two more weeks
As new Covid-19 cases are surging and quickly spreading in markets, supermarkets, factories, Can Tho City proposed to extend the Prime Minister’s Directive No.16’s order in two more weeks along with stricter measures.
The Steering Committee for Covid-19 prevention and control of Can Tho City yesterday reported the seven day implementation of the Prime Minister’s Directive No.16 in the city.
From July 8 to 5 p.m. on July 25, the Mekong Delta City recorded 688 Covid-19 cases in tally, notably, there were 150 new infectious cases on July 25. 2,387 people in the city are performing centralized isolation requirements and 3,764 people are self-isolated at home.
Remarkably, there are more and more Covid-19 cases detected in crowded areas such as markets, supermarkets, factories, residential areas and industrial parks.
There are newly-found pandemic outbreaks such as Lo Mo alley in Ninh Kieu District, Truong Xuan Commune in Thoi Lai, and a growing number of Covid-19 cases was recorded in some companies inside industrial zones, even many F0 cases with unknown sources of infection.
Essex lorry deaths: Man ordered to pay compensation to victims’ families
A Romanian national linked to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex, the UK is to pay 3,000 GBP in compensation to their families.
Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 29, admitted conspiring to assist unlawful immigration in 2020 and was sentenced to three years in jail. He made 83,552 GBP from crime but prosecutor Johnathan Polnay said just 3,000 GBP was available for confiscation. The fund will be used to compensate the victims’ families for funeral expenses and bereavement.
Hanga collected a number of migrants from a drop-off point in Essex and drove them to a safe house in Dulwich, south-east London, a few weeks before the tragedy.
In his sentencing, judge Justice Sweeney had noted Hanga had shown "genuine remorse.”
On October 23, 2019, bodies of 39 Vietnamese were discovered in the back of a refrigerated lorry at an industrial estate in Grays in Essex, near London, not far from the ferry terminal where the truck had arrived from Belgium.
Autopsies concluded that the provisional cause of death of the victims was a combination of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, and hyperthermia, or overheating, in an enclosed space.
Four people-smugglers were sentenced by the Old Bailey Court in London to a combined 78 years in jail for 39 counts of manslaughter and a people-smuggling conspiracy on January 22 this year./.
Three Covid-19 fatalities in Tay Ninh, one each in Ninh Binh, Dong Nai reported
The Tay Ninh Department of Health today, July 26, confirmed three more Covid-19 deaths in the province, while the northern province of Ninh Binh reported its first Covid-19 fatality and Dong Nai also had a new Covid-19 death.
The three cases in Tay Ninh were being treated at the Cao Van Chi and Tay Ninh Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases hospitals and the medical center of Tan Chau District, the local media reported.
Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Health Nguyen Van Cuong said the new deceased had pushed up the Covid-19 death tally in the province to seven.
Cuong added that the largest clusters were in Duong Minh Chau District and Trang Bang Town.
The sources of infection of many cases are unknown, including 95 cases in Duong Minh Chau, 14 in Go Dau District and 11 in Hoa Thanh Town.
Among the 748 Covid-19 patients undergoing treatment in the province, 274 are symptomatic, including nine whose condition has worsened and two who are in a critical condition. The province had put 188 areas under lockdown.
As for the deceased in Ninh Binh, the patient tested positive for Covid-19 for the first time on May 4 while being treated for lung cancer at the Tan Trieu Campus of K Hospital in Hanoi and was transferred to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases later.
During the Covid-19 treatment process, the case tested positive twice on May 29 and June 1 and three times on June 3, 6 and 9. On June 10, the patient was moved to the Medical Station of Van Hai Commune, Kim Son District, and retested positive for the coronavirus.
Two days later, the patient was moved to the Quynh Son Clinic in Nho Quan District. The patient died on July 25.
In Ninh Binh, six Covid-19 patients are being treated at the Cau Yen Clinic in Hoa Lu District and eight at the Quynh Son Clinic.
The deceased in Dong Nai is the eighth Covid-19 fatality in the province, according to the provincial Department of Health.
The department this morning, July 26 reported that the province had had 2,675 Covid-19 cases in the current outbreak. Some patients are in critical condition and face a high risk of death.
The number of cases with unknown infection sources remains high, so the department asked districts, towns and cities in the province to enhance the testing work to early detect Covid-19 cases and strictly comply with anti-pandemic measures under the prime minister’s Directive 16.
Vietnam at Tokyo 2020: Waiting for miracle from Thuy Linh, Anh Vien
After an unsuccessful Sunday, the Vietnamese contingent will continue their 2020 Olympic campaign on July 26 – the third official day of the Games, with badminton player Nguyen Thuy Linh featuring in the women’s singles event and swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien competing in the women’s 200m freestyle discipline.
Thuy Linh will play her second match in Group P against world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei). This is considered a tough challenge for the Vietnamese star although she comfortably breezed past France’s Qi Xuefei 2-0 on the opening day.
The match is of great significance as the winner light up hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals.
Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-ying is undoubtedly a tough opponent for Thuy Linh.
Earlier on July 25, Vietnam’s male badminton ace Nguyen Tien Minh conceded an opening defeat against world No. 3 Anders Antonsen (Denmark) in Group L.
Later today, Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien will join 28 other competitors in the women’s 200m freestyle preliminary round, with the best 16 awarded semifinal slots.
Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien has been present at the Olympic arena three times.
Vien will swim in Heat 2 alongside seven athletes from Slovenia, the Russian Olympic Committee, Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand.
Deputy PM directs to call up private health sector to fight Covid-19
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam directed Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District authority to call up the private health sector in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
A mission team led by Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, toured Binh Tan District to check the Covid-19 prevention task on July 25.
He said that local authority should encourage the private health sector to join hands with the locality and Ho Chi Minh City in epidemic prevention including taking samples for testing, deploying rapid sampling for testing, and self-collection of samples for testing; hence, the public and private health services can align to fight Covid-19.
Speaking at the meeting with Binh Tan District on the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that it is necessary to reorganize isolation areas for locally infected cases without symptoms or with mild symptoms. Moreover, the local health sector must prevent cross-infection between people with mild symptoms and critically ill patients.
Binh Tan District administration must set up a force comprising volunteers to take samples under healthcare workers’ monitoring while professional medical workers will take samples for RT-PCR testing as well as work in centralized isolation camps, said Deputy PM Dam.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, concentrated isolation areas are necessarily renovated plus purchase of more equipment. The district should expand field hospitals and make use of vacant apartment buildings to quarantine infected people. Competent agencies must send staff members to monitor quarantined and blocked areas relentlessly.
It is necessary that professional teams provide training of taking samples for community Covid-19 teams. Meanwhile, volunteer youth teams will take samples for rapid testing under the supervision of medical workers. The department, specializing in taking samples for RT-PCR testing, should add forces to the isolation areas and speed up collecting samples of infected persons, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam required.
Previously, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam had paid a visit to Binh Tan District’s epidemic prevention and control task forces in the blocked area on Ho Hoc Lam Street and a concentrated isolation venue.
On the same day, a government delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam traveled to the Southern Province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau for an inspection on epidemic prevention and control.
At the meeting with the provincial leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Vo Duc Dam emphasized that the province needs to focus on implementing drastic measures to prevent and control the epidemic in order to turn the red zones ( badly hit regions are labeled red zones) and orange zones (those with fewer Covid-19 cases are labeled orange) into green areas.
Local administration must not neglect even after people have had their vaccine jabs. Ba Ria- Vung Tau authority must take heed of cross-infection in isolation areas. The Deputy Prime Minister requested Ba Ria - Vung Tau province to quickly set up an initial well-ventilated isolation area that is fully equipped for the province and Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.
In addition, the province needs to pay attention to preventative measures in the seaport area, so as not to let the disease spread to the special areas badly affecting logistics activities.
In the morning, the delegation inspected epidemic prevention and control at some ports in Cai Mep - Thi Vai port cluster.
15th NA to elect State President, Prime Minister today
The 15th National Assembly will conduct procedures to elect the State President and Prime Minister posts on July 26, during its ongoing first session.
In the morning, NA deputies are expected to discuss and vote on the list of nominated candidates for the position of State President.
They will then cast secret ballots to elect the State President, and approve a resolution on the election. The State President is expected to take oaths after that, with the process to be broadcast live.
Lawmakers will spend time to exchange views on the approval of the state budget balance in 2019, the practice of thrift and wastefulness prevention in 2020.
The State President will submit lists of candidates for the election of the Prime Minister, the Vice State President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and the Chief Procurator of the Supreme People's Procuracy.
The lists will be discussed in groups.
In the afternoon, the outcomes of the morning discussion on the list of candidates for the position of Prime Minister will be reported to the NA, followed by a vote on the list, and then the election of the Prime Minister.
The new PM will take oaths in a live-broadcast ceremony.
The NA will then hear reports on the outcomes of group discussion on lists of candidates for the election of the Vice State President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and the Chief Procurator of the Supreme People's Procuracy, and vote on the lists.
After the lists are approved, NA deputies will elect the Vice State President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court and the Chief Procurator of the Supreme People's Procuracy via secret ballots.
Resolutions on the election of those positions will then be adopted, followed by a ceremony for the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court to take oath.
After that, the Prime Minister will submit to the NA his proposal on the structure and number of Government members, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court will submit his proposal on the appointment of judges in the Supreme People’s Court.
Relevant NA committees will deliver verification reports on the proposals.
At the end of the afternoon session, NA deputies will discuss in groups the structure and number of Government members, as well as the appointment of judges of the Supreme People’s Court./.
Vietnam logs 2,708 more COVID-19 cases
An additional 2,708 COVID-19 infections, including four imported cases, were reported in Vietnam between 7pm on July 25 and 6am on July 26, according to the Ministry of Health.
Among the locally-transmitted cases, 1,714 were detected in Ho Chi Minh City, the current largest pandemic hotspot of the country.
Meanwhile, Binh Duong reported 407 new cases, Tien Giang 201, Dong Nai 125, Vinh Long 49, Da Nang 27, Phu Yen 26, An Giang 25, Binh Thuan 23, Binh Dinh 19, Dong Thap 19, Ben Tre 19, Dak Lak 16, Khanh Hoa 12, Can Tho 7, Hau Giang 7, Dak Nong 5, Lam Dong 2, and Hung Yen 1.
As of 6am on July 26, the national tally stood at 101,173, including 98,991 domestically-transmitted cases and 2,182 imported ones. The caseload since the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks hit Vietnam on April 27 amounted to 97,421.
The total number of recovered patients so far stood at 19,342. Among patients under treatment, 130 are under care in ICU, while 17 are being treated with ECMO.
The number of additional deaths from different southern and central localities that were not previously included in the national death toll amounted to 154.
A total 4,613,491 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 389,863 people having receiving full two shots.
The Ministry of Health has requested quickly reviewing conditions for the establishment of a 500-bed COVID-19 intensive care centre at the Hanoi Medical University Hospital in response to increasing complicated pandemic developments./.
14 coronavirus cases detected, Hanoi hospital in lockdown
The Hanoi-run Lung Hospital has been cordoned off for chemical disinfection and extensive testing after 14 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Hanoi Lung Hospital has detected 14 positive coronavirus cases
Ten patients, three healthcare workers and a caregiver were diagnosed with the virus, Dr Pham Huu Thuong, director of the hospital, told local media outlets on July 25 evening.
The Hanoi Centre for Disease Control reconfirmed nine cases, and are to announce the results of tests of the remaining five cases later, said Thuong.
The hospital suspended receiving visitors in the evening. Relevant forces were deployed to erect barriers in front of the entrance gate of the hospital.
Epidemiologists are planning to test nearly 400 people closely linked to the outbreak at the hospital.
One of the hospital’s patients, a woman who lives in Tay Ho district, was confirmed as a COVID-19 case on July 25.
The female patient had received treatment at the Department of Internal Medicine from July 6 – 22. She was in stable health condition when she was discharged from hospital on July 22.
However, the patient showed flu-like symptoms of a fever and a cough on July 25, and went to see a doctor at Phuong Dong Hospital where she tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Three months ago, two coronavirus outbreaks were recorded at the centrally-run K Cancer Hospital and National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, both located in Hanoi. Approximately 200 COVID-19 cases had been documented and closely linked to the outbreaks at the two healthcare facilities.
NA Chairman receives congratulations from Chinese top legislator
Chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee of China Li Zhanshu has extended congratulations to Vuong Dinh Hue over his re-election as Chairman of the National Assembly in the 15th tenure.
In his message, Li underlined that the China-Vietnam relationship is growing stably, and cooperation between the two legislative bodies has been increasingly deepened.
Recently, the top legislators of the two countries held an online meeting to discuss the partnership between the two parties and countries as well as issues of mutual concern, and reached common perceptions, Li noted.
He affirmed his readiness to work with NA Chairman Hue to follow the common perceptions reached among high-ranking leaders of the two countries, and work to lift the exchange and collaboration between the two legislative bodies to a new height, thus contributing to promoting the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Vietnam in the new period./.
COVID-19 positive mothers should be extra careful amid the pandemic
As Việt Nam is experiencing the worst wave of COVID-19 infections with thousands of new cases recorded each day, concerns are growing for all citizens, and pregnant women are no exception.
Doctors say mothers-to-be should be extra careful against the virus as they are in a moderate clinically vulnerable group.
“When pregnant women are infected with COVID-19, they are more likely to experience more severe illness and have complications including stillbirth, premature birth as well as severe complications in mothers’ organs,” Doctor Phan Thị Thu Nga, deputy head of Outpatient Department of the National Hospital Of Obstetrics And Gynecology told Việt Nam News.
“Women often go through physiological changes during their pregnancy, notably in respiratory and cardiovascular systems.”
With the growth of the fetus and uterus, lung volume will change, and pregnant women will have to increase the amount of air they breath, according to Nga.
She said: “Cardiovascular changes include increased cardiac output and blood volume. Lungs and heart are the two organs that can be easily attacked by COVID-19.
“In case a mother is infected with COVID-19 and suffers pneumonia, her baby must be taken out before the due date and the prematurely born child may be prone to many risks as the respiratory system hasn’t developed fully and the mother is at the risk of more severe infection and other risks.”
Doctor Nguyễn Thị Hồng, who works at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, a frontline health facility treating COVID-19 patients, is part of a team performing caesarean deliveries for pregnant women.
One of her patients is a 33-year-old woman from northern province of Điện Biên who was infected with COVID-19 and diagnosed with respiratory failure prior to the operation in May.
“This was a very difficult case, "Hồng said. There are a lot more risks and challenges when it comes to a surgery for a COVID-19 positive pregnant women.”
Using protective measures including wearing face shields, goggles and protective suits helps health professionals avoid the disease transmissions but they make it more difficult for surgeons to perform tasks, she added.
What concerned doctors the most about this particular case was the mother’s respiratory failure. This posed a threat for both the mother and the child, she said, adding that the child might suffer from the same problems after being born.
The risk of bleeding during the surgery in combination with the patient’s respiratory disease placed her in a critical condition, Hồng said.
The team, including obstetricians, a midwife, anaesthesia doctors, paediatricians and emergency doctors, successfully conducted a caesarean delivery for the COVID-19 mother who was pregnant with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) method after 11 years of infertility treatment.
The COVID-19 mother who was pregnant with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) method after 11 years of infertility treatment recovers in June after giving birth to a baby girl. — Photo courtesy of the hospital
The baby girl was delivered safely on May 21st, weighing 2.6kg and the mother was discharged from the hospital in late June.
So far five children have been born to COVID-19 positive mothers safely through caesarean deliveries at the hospital. Many others have been born naturally to positive and negative mothers here.
Doctor Nga said the COVID-19 virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious respiratory fluids and the vertical transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely but avoiding infections from the mother to health professionals during the operation is crucial.
Pregnant women visit the National Hospital Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology in July. — VNS Photo Bảo Hoa
She said: “During the surgery, doctors need to ensure not only safety for the mother and child but also avoid disease infections.
“If the mother’s condition is severe, it will be very tough for surgeons and the prognosis for the mother will be more negative.”
The doctor said it is important to follow the preventive measures to avoid being infected throughout the pregnancy.
“Pregnant women should going out only in necessary situations, maintain good nutrition and have regular check-ups,” she said.
The doctor recommends that those who have to quarantine at hospitals or quarantine facilities should also maintain good nutrition and mentality to boost their immunity.
She said vaccinations in pregnant women should be considered based on benefit and risk factors.
“Việt Nam has implemented vaccination for its people and WHO recommends vaccinations in pregnant women when the benefits of vaccinations to the pregnant woman outweigh the potential risks,” Nga said.
Erosion incidents increase in An Giang, families move to safer areas
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang is facing an increase in erosion incidents along rivers and canals as authorities try to protect households living in erosion-prone areas.
On July 21, erosion 110 metres long and 8 – 10 metres inland caused damage to a road and 14 houses at an embankment in Châu Phú District’s Bình Long Commune.
The weak foundations of the embankment and the road, the heavy travel of boats and road vehicles, and the impact of the river flow and rainwater led to the erosion, according to the province’s Steering Committee for Climate Change Response, Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, and Search and Rescue.
On July 20, an area 45 metres long and 4.5 metres wide eroded along the Cái Sắn Canal in Long Xuyên City, causing partial damage to two houses and the collapse of two houses into the canal.
All road travel was suspended at the site. The eroded area is along a bend of the canal which has a high number of boats in transit that cause strong waves hitting the canal banks.
Lương Huy Khánh, head of the steering committee, said that the province People’s Committee, relevant departments and agencies, and local authorities in Long Xuyên City and Châu Phú District inspected the two eroded sites and proposed measures to prevent further erosion.
Long Xuyên City and Châu Phú District have encouraged households living near the two eroded sites to move their property to safe areas. Warning boards were installed in the area and staffs are monitoring the eroded sites.
The province's Department of Natural Resources and Environment is also checking the situation to resolve the matter.
In the first half of the year, An Giang had 12 erosion incidents, with a total length of nearly 800 metres, along rivers and canals, forcing eight households to move to safe areas.
In June alone, the province had seven erosion cases. The province People’s Committee declared an emergency at Châu Đốc River in An Phú Town after erosion of the eastern riverbank in An Thạnh Hamlet damaged houses and threatened the safety of locals.
Local authorities were told to take protective measures in high-risk erosion-prone areas and areas along rivers and canals that are illegally encroached upon to build houses and other projects.
The province has 52 erosion-prone areas, including six dangerous ones, according to its Department of Natural Resources and Resources. Nearly 20,000 households near the 52 areas need to be moved to safe areas.
Trần Anh Thư, vice chairman of the province People’s Committee, said the central government has offered financial support for erosion control along large rivers like Tiền, Hậu and Vàm Nao.
The province said it would solve erosion along large rivers by 2025.
It will also relocate households living in high-risk erosion-prone areas to safe areas, including seven residential clusters.
Hanoians adapt to life in lockdown as COVID-19 goes on
As Hà Nội enters the first days of the social distancing to fight COVID-19, many of its residents say although the lockdown might make life uncomfortable, it is an effective measure to halt the spread of the virus.
Nguyễn Thị Tưởng, who is at her 70s and lives on her owns in Hoàng Mai District, found her neighbourhood eerily quiet on Saturday.
Learning about the new order from neighbours in the morning, she went to the market to buy groceries for a few days to limit the time she needs to spend outdoors.
Her daughter who lives with her own family a few kilometres away, dropped by to give Tưởng some extra food.
Her two other children are living in Hồ Chí Minh City and call her regularly to learn about the current the situation.
“For me, there’s nothing to concern about," said Tưởng, who gave up her street food stand more than a year ago due to COVID-19.
"There is almost no change in my life. I have stayed home most of the time recently when there was increasing number of infections.
“The social distancing order is reasonable and I believe this will be an effective strategy to halt the spread of the virus in Hà Nội.”
Instead of gathering with neighbours to have a chat and enjoy green tea together every morning, Tưởng said she would try not to leave her house and avoid direct contacts with others.
Unlike Tưởng, some other people seem are worried about food supplies despite the municipal Department of Industry and Trade on July 21 insisting there is sufficient supply of essential goods for locals amid the implementation of more stringent social distancing measures.
Hoàng Kim Liên, a teacher and mother of two, spent the whole morning on the first day Hà Nội applied strict social distancing measure following the Prime Minister's Directive 16 was implemented for groceries.
“I made four trips to markets and supermarkets to buy food," Liên said.
"Going to supermarkets took more time because they allowed only a certain number of customers in at a time and I had to queue for 30 minutes.”
She bought meat including four frozen chickens, canned food and lots of vegetables and fruits to ensure her family has a variety of food.
Adapt to life in quarantine
The normally crowded areas including Hoàn Kiếm Lake and the Old Quarter which often bustle with traffic and trading activities, were almost deserted on Saturday as non-essential commercial activities are banned and people are urged to stay indoors and only allowed to leave home for certain reasons including shopping for necessities or getting medical treatment.
Many say they are not surprised at the tough measures, but welcome the order of the authorities, hoping it will help things return to normal soon.
Vũ Thị Nhung, 28, closed her clothing shop in Phú Xuyên District, some 40km from city’s centre, on Saturday.
Her husband, who works in Phú Thọ Province, was supposed to end his work term and return home this week but had to extend his stay in the province due to the social distancing order.
Nhung said: “I feel sad with the prospect of two weeks without seeing my husband, friends and my customers but given the rapid transmission of the new variant and complex developments in many parts of the country, Hà Nội is reasonable to impose strict social distancing measures.
“Lockdown means no customers and loss revenue for my business but I think it’s an affordable price to pay for our own safety.”
Unlike the first lockdown in April 2020 when fear gripped the capital’s residents, this time people are calm and more “chilled”, Nhung said.
There is less panic buying this time in her neighbourhood, she said.
Nhung bought just a little more groceries than usual so she doesn’t have to go outdoors to shop many times a week.
“The prices of food including eggs and vegetables are a bit higher than normal but it is still at an acceptable level,” she said, adding that those entering the local market in her area are required to submit health declarations.
Nhung said she learned from the first lockdown that groceries were always in an abundance so there was no need to stockpile and panic buy.
Living far from her newly wed husband, Nhung said she prepared herself with home entertainment to stay positive for the next two weeks.
“I will spend time to watch lots of movies, a hobby that I couldn’t afford due to busy daily life as well as eat healthily to boost the immune system,” she said.
For other young people, this is a chance for them to live more slowly.
Nguyễn Thị Tâm, 28, who works for a local software corporation, sees the two-week period as a positive opportunity to invest time for things that she would like to change.
She said: “Social distancing might be tough for many, especially those whose job are affected by it. I am fortunate that I still have job and can work from home.”
Working from home, online support, video calls and Zoom meetings have been a new culture at her company.
Tâm and her colleagues have been allowed to work from home since early June so the new social distancing order doesn’t cause much disruption to her work life.
“We have been adapted to interacting with colleagues through screens and feel quite comfortable with this new mode of working with frequent virtual meetings,” she said.
Tâm said with the travel time saved from remote working, she has more time to improve her business English and have quality time with her family.
“Whether we want it or not, it is a reality that we have to adapt to. The pandemic has taught me to accept the uncertainty and be okay if plans need to be changed,” she added.
Exhibition showcases Vietnamese and Italian landscapes
Photographs depicting the beauty of the mountains and common culture of mountaineering between Việt Nam and Italy are being displayed at a dual exhibition at the Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology in Hà Nội.
Italian Routes and Landscapes of Việt Nam, is a project of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs curated by the Italian photographer and environmentalist Fabiano Ventura in cooperation with the non-profit association Macromicro.
Italian Routes is one of the initiatives put forward by Italy on the occasion of the Italian and UK co-presidency of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be held in Glasgow in November this year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Italian Ambassador to Việt Nam Antonio Alessandro, said Italian Routes aims to pursue the dual goal of promoting a better knowledge of the mountain habitat and increasing awareness on the devastating impact of climate change.
Việt Nam is the first destination before moving to other cities in Asia. The exhibition was held earlier at the Museum of Fine Arts in Hồ Chí Minh City from 20 May until 12 June before it was introduced to Hà Nội.
The Ambassador said: “The choice of Việt Nam is not accidental. Việt Nam and Italy are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The exhibition is a tribute to the efforts of our two countries in the preservation of the environment and natural habitats.
“2021 is indeed a crucial year. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us all of the delicate relationship between people and nature. We need to invest more on the health of our planet.
"All efforts must be made to ensure that we keep the rise of global warming below 1.5 C degrees. That is why the COP26 is so important. The world’s governments must make ambitious commitments if they want to achieve this objective.”
2021 also sees Italy’s Presidency of the G20, whose motto is “People, Planet, Prosperity”.
The G20 Ministerial meeting on environment, climate and energy is taking place today in Naples.
Italian Routes will take viewers onto a journey across the Italian Alps and Apennines, and then on to the Earth's most important mountain ranges, underlining the continuity of the mountain habitats at global level.
Mountains are portrayed in their breathtaking beauty and majesty. At the same time, comparative historical and contemporary images highlight the reduction of the glacial masses due to climate change and its effects on the mountain landscape.
The exhibition displays also the first mountain explorations, with a section dedicated to historical and modern equipment.
Italian Routes is accompanied by “Landscapes of Việt Nam - Ecological Diversity, New Climate Pattern, New Discovery”, displaying the works of three remarkable Vietnamese photographers, Hoàng Thế Nhiệm, Hoàng Giang Hải and Trần Đặng Đăng Khoa on Việt Nam’s most famous caves and mountains.
Four online events will be organised, dedicated respectively to mountaineering (July 31), rope climbing (August 7), photography (August 14), and climate change (August 19).
These events will be promoted by Ly Thi Auction House with the support of Vietnamese institutions and experts. They will be streamed online on the Facebook pages of the Embassy and of the Museum.
Italian Routes and Landscapes of Việt Nam will open to the public at the Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology from 8:30am to 5:30pm till August 23 with free entrance, subject to social distance regulations.
At the moment, the duo exhibition is only available to pre-registration, with no more than five visitors at a time, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The visiting time will be arranged depending on the pandemic situation in Hà Nội and the regulations of the local authorities. All visitors have to strictly follow pandemic prevention measures.
Fabiano Ventura is a professional photographer specialising in environmental topics and in mountain and landscape photography.
He has organised and taken part in many scientific, photographic and alpine expeditions, in some of the world’s wildest and most inaccessible places, like the Italian alpine-scientific expedition “K2 2004 – 50 Years Later” in 2004 or the expedition attempting to open a new route to the peak of Mount Jasemba (7,352 metres).
Protecting coastal coral reefs in Quy Nhon
Climate change, tourism development, and excessive maritime exploitation have negatively affected coral reefs in some coastal areas of Quy Nhon city in Binh Dinh province. The city last year assigned four community-based organisations to co-manage and protect the coral reefs.
Bai Dua Beach in Nhon Ly commune, Quy Nhon city has diverse and rich coral reefs stretching over an area of more than 8 hectares and in need of strict protection.
Protection work was assigned to a local aquatic resources protection team last year, which has monitored fishing and tourism activities to ensure they do not affect the reefs.
In addition to the coral reefs at Bai Dua Beach, dozens of hectares of other reefs nearby have also been assigned to the local aquatic protection team.
Joining the aquatic resource protection teams, the Center for Marine Life Conservation and Community Development has cooperated with the Binh Dinh Fisheries Association and authorities to regularly organise monitoring trips to assess the status of the coral reefs in order to introduce better protection solutions.
Assigning the right to co-manage and protect aquatic resources to local communities is one of the new points in the Fisheries Law 2017 to raise people’s awareness of and responsibility for protecting aquatic resources. This task has become more meaningful and practical as it brings many benefits to those living in coastal areas./.
Thanh Hoa relocates nearly 1,400 people from flood areas
Authorities of the northern central province of Thanh Hoa have evacuated 1,392 residents from food areas.
The people are from 315 households in Muong Ly, Trung Ly, Pu Nhi, Muong Chanh and Tam Chung communes of Muong Lat District. Trung Ly accounted for the highest number of people with 808.
Hoang Van Dung, vice chairman of Muong Lat District, said that over the past two days the locality has been facing heavy rains due to the effects of a tropical depression.
The rising water level on local streams damaged crops and fish ponds of a number of households in Muong Chanh Commune.
A temporary bridge on Sim Stream has been ruined by the rains, affecting the travel of 177 households in Quang Chieu Commune.
A section of National Highway 15C has been damaged, causing a landslide of 200 cubic metres of soil and stone.
Besides Muong Lat, some other areas in Thanh Hoa are also witnessing torrential rains. Local authorities have arranged forces to help ensure safety for residents.
The National Centre for Hydrometeorology Forecasting’s Weather Forecast Department forecasted localities from Thanh Hoa to Thua-Thien Hue would see heavy rains between July 23-25.
Hanoi records sharp drop in domestic tourist numbers
The total number of domestic travelers visiting Hanoi in July stood at an estimated 17,000, representing a sharp decline of 98.6% year on year, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism.
Revenue from tourism in July is anticipated to fall 98.3% year on year to VND59 billion.
At present, Vietnam has yet to reopen its borders to international tourists, meaning that the number of foreigners traveling to the capital is low at this time. The majority of foreign tourists are experts and workers residing in other localities.
Throughout the initial seven months of the year, Hanoi welcomed 2.92 million domestic tourists, representing a decrease of 43.1% year on year.
Revenue from tourism during the reviewed period hit VND8.17 trillion, down 63.6% compared to the same period last year.
July saw the average occupancy rate of one to five star hotels at approximately 23.9%, down 1.8% from the previous month and down by 10.3% from the same period last year.
For the first seven months of the year, the figure stands at roughly 24%, down 8.2% from a year ago.
HCM City blood reserves run dry amid Covid-19 spread
HCM City is facing a dearth of blood supplies as donations have been hampered by the on-going Covid-19 spread.
According to Dr. Phu Chi Dung, Director of HCM City Hospital of Blood Transfusion and Hematology, each day the hospital, which manages the city’s blood bank, receives only from 30 to 50 blood bags, equal to only a tenth of the amount of blood needed for some 150 local hospitals.
Dung added that the city is applying tight social distancing measures due to the sharp rise in Covid-19 patients. This means local people are only allowed to go out in necessary cases, and this has affected blood donation activities.
HCM City’s blood reserves has been forecasted to fall to the alarming level of below 3,000 blood bags in a week if there are no timely additional supply sources, particularly group O, Dung warned.
The hospital and the HCM City Humanitarian Blood Donation Centre expected that Thu Duc City and districts would have measures to maintain their local blood donation activities in line with Covid-19 prevention regulations during the city’s social distancing.
HCM City has remained the country’s largest Covid-19 epicentre with thousands of new daily-recorded cases.
The city has decided to extend its social distancing measures until August 1.
Vingroup in negotiation with Arcturus for COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer
Vingroup is reported to be preparing to receive COVID-19 vaccine technology from US-headquartered Arcturus.
On July 23, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired an online meeting discussing vaccine production. Accordingly, Vietnam's largest conglomerate Vingroup is reported to be negotiating the transfer of COVID-19 vaccine technology with Arcturus with expectations of beginning clinical trials in Vietnam from August.
This move is in line with global efforts to scale up access to life saving treatments. If successful, Vingroup will have a capacity of producing 100-200 million doses of vaccine annually.
Arcturus Therapeutics is a leading clinical-stage messenger RNA medicines company focused on the development of infectious disease vaccines and rare liver and respiratory diseases.
It has developed a vaccine called Arcturus COVID-19 using the same mRNA technology as the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.
In early June, Vingroup established Vinbiocare Biotechnology JSC, with a focus on manufacturing drugs, pharmaceutical chemicals, and medicinal herbs including vaccine production, scientific research, and technology development.
At the same time, Vietnamese company AIC Group and Vabiotech have also inked an agreement with Japanese pharmaceutical Shinogi for vaccine technology transfer and are preparing to launch the third phase of clinical trials. The Vietnamese side is expected to complete all procedures and officially launch the vaccine by June 2022.
Quang Tri sends over 600 tons of goods to HCMC, Southern residents
Agencies, organizations, businesses, benefactors and individuals across the North Central province of Quang Tri has donated over 600 tons of food and vegetable products worth more than VND2 billion (nearly US$88,000) for residents in the Southern region including Ho Chi Minh City.
That was in response to the call “Joining hands with Ho Chi Minh City and Southern provinces in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic” launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Quang Tri Province.
According to Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Quang Tri Province Mr. Le Hong Son, nearly 20 trucks have transported 576 tons of goods including rice, vegetable and fresh fruits, dried fish, spices, local specialty of Banh Tay (small cylindric glutinous rice cake) and essential goods to Ho Chi Minh City and other Southern provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria- Vung Tau.
Currently, many organizations and individuals continue donating goods and cash to share current difficulties with residents in Covid-19 hit provinces and cities.
Police overnight guide motorbikes from HCMC to travel through Hai Van Pass
Traffic police forces in Da Nang City and Lien Chieu District overnight gave traffic instructions to around 100 motorbikes carrying nearly 200 people to travel through Hai Van Mountain Pass. These people were on their way from HCMC to their hometowns in the North-Central region.
Accordingly, the road through Hai Van Pass is dark, zigzag so the police of Da Nang City promptly mobilized forces to direct way for the vehicles.
Additionally, the police of Da Nang provided bottles of water and bread for the passers.
By 5 a.m. on July 25, the functional forces escorted nearly 200 people to cross Hai Van Pass safely and then handled over all of them to Covid-19 prevention and control forces at the Covid-19 checking point in the Hai Van Pass.
Almost all of the motorbikes had driving plates of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Tri, Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces.
Central provinces continue bringing home residents trapped in HCMC
The Steering Committee for Covid-19 prevention and control of Thua Thien- Hue Province said that the People’s Committees of HCMC and Thua Thien- Hue Province had agreed on the plan of bringing 240 people home from HCMC for the first phase by airplane on July 26.
The priority group for the first phase included elderly people, sick people who have a desire of coming home for treatment, pregnant women and children, other vulnerable people.
All the people will be taken sample for Covid-19 test at Tan Son Nhat Airport before boarding.
Director of the Department of Information and Communications of Thua Thien -Hue Province Nguyen Xuan Son said that over 10,000 people had registered to come back to the Central province from HCMC so far.
Currently, the local authorities are planning for the second phase of bringing more people home by train or airplane which is expected to take place from July 27 to July 30.
At 5.p.m. on July 24, ten passenger buses departed from the Central province of Quang Ngai to HCMC to transport 200 people having demand of coming back to their homeland.
Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Ngai Province Vo Phien said that the reception was to share the difficulties with the city.
Accordingly, 200 returners of the first phase included elderly people, children, pregnant women and people who were trapped in Ho Chi Minh City for diseases treatment, self-employed or jobless workers. The ten passenger buses are supported by Chin Nghia Company.
All those people will be isolated at the dormitory areas of Quang Ngai Investment Construction and Services Trading One Member Limited Company in Binh Son.
It is expected that the Central province will receive 200 more returners in the second phase.
HCMC receives 25 tons of vegetables from overseas Vietnamese
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council yesterday afternoon received 25 tons of vegetables and fresh fruits, 1,200 fish sauce bottles from the contribution of enterprises to support residents in Thu Duc City and 21 districts of Ho Chi Minh City in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Mr. Le Ba Linh, a Vietnamese Thai who is Chairman of Pacific Foods and member of the Vietnam-Thailand Friendship Association, the 25 tons of agricultural products were transported by an express boat from Song Thuan Wharf in Tien Giang Province to Bach Dang Wharf in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Cao Thanh Binh, Head of Department of Society and Culture of the HCMC People’s Council said that the HCMC People’s Council and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City will distribute the goods above to localities, field hospitals and isolated areas in Thu Duc City and 21 districts.
At the same time, they will send essential goods to “beloved kitchen”, “zero dong market” in the city. This is very meaningful and precious support for HCMC residents amid the current complicated Covid-19 pandemic.
On the same day, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City received 18 containers of vegetables, fruits, dried-fishes and essential goods from the Central province of Ha Tinh to support front-line forces at field hospitals and residents in lock-downed, isolated areas to prevent and control the pandemic in 21 districts and Thu Duc City.
Apart from the above goods, Ha Tinh donated VND2 billion (nearly US$88,000) in cash to the Covid-19 prevention and Control Fund of Ho Chi Minh City. The amount of money will be used for buying medical equipment and Covid-19 vaccine doses.
Ministry honors students with best academic performance at int’l Olympiads
The Ministry of Education and Training on July 24 annouced Vietnamese students’ excellent performances at international Olympiads.
All four Vietnamese students competing at the International Biology Olympiad 2021 bagged medals, including one gold, two silvers and one bronze.
Among the winners, Dang Le Minh Khang, a twelfth-grade student from the Ly Tu Trong High School for the Gifted in Can Tho City, earned a gold medal. Two silvers went to twelfth-grade students, including Ha Manh Duy from the Vinh Phuc High School for the Gifted in Vinh Phuc province and Nguyen Thi Nga from the Hung Vuong High School for the Gifted in Phu Tho Province.
Eleventh student Vo Tien Thanh from the Hung Vuong High School for the Gifted in Phu Tho province got the bronze medal.
The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is an annual event where students from all over the world compete on their knowledge of biology. The participants are pre-university school students. The IBO 2021 which was virtually held on jUly 18-23 by Portugal saw 304 students representing 76 different countries and territories.
All six students of the Vietnamese team achieved good results at the 62nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2021.
Accordingly, Do Bach Khoa, 12th grader from the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School took a gold medal while two silvers belonged to Dinh Vu Tung Lam and Truong Tuan Nghia, 12th graders of the High School for Gifted Students under University of Sciences - Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
Three bronze medals came to Vu Ngoc Binh, 11th grader of the Vinh Phuc High School for the Gifted in the northern province of Vinh Phuc; Phan Huu An, 12th grader of the High School for Gifted Students under University of Sciences - Vietnam National University, Hanoi; and Phan Huynh Tuan Kiet, 12th grader of Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted in HCMC.
The 62nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO 2021) was held by Russia virtually on July 14-24 with the participation of 107 countries and territories.
In addition, all five Vietnamese students have excelled at the International Physics Olympiad 2021 (IPhO 2021) pocketed three gold medals and two silvers.
Gold medalists are Nguyen Manh Quan and Tran Quang Vinh from the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, and Trang Dao Cong Minh from the Hanoi National University's High School for the Gifted in Natural Sciences.
Nguyen Trong Thuan from the Lam Son High School for the Gifted in Thanh Hoa province and Bui Thanh Tan from the Phan Boi Chau High School for the Gifted in Nghe An province won the silver medals.
The 2021 International Physics Olympiad which was organized online from July 17-24 in Vilnius, Lithuania attracted 368 students from 76 countries and territories worldwide. The competition that was scheduled to be held in Lithuania in 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With these achievements, the Vietnamese team ranked 7th after the Republic of Korea, China, Russia, the US, Taiwan (China) and Romania.
Phú Yên locals volunteer as frontline workers to fight COVID-19
For nearly a month, despite the hot days and dark rainy nights, the medical teams, police, army, and volunteers in Phú Yên Province have gone to great lengths to firmly hold the frontline combatting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although not a frontline worker, when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred in the province, Ksor Y Chet, a 37-year-old teacher at Ea Trol Primary and Secondary School in Sông Hinh District volunteered to support the government and people to fight the pandemic.
In a protective suit and sweaty, Ksor Y Chet said: "When the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Ly Village, all key officials of the commune were mobilised.”
“My wife who is an official of the commune Women's Union had to move to the headquarters of the commune People's Committee and was in charge of cooking for the forces at checkpoints and going to every house to disseminate information about pandemic prevention,” he said.
In those days, the number of COVID-19 cases were growing and were becoming more complicated in the ethnic minority villages.
Chairman of the People's Committee of Ea Trol Commune Lê Văn Tấn called on people in the commune to mobilise resources for the fight against the pandemic.
“As a son of the village, I wanted to contribute to the work of pandemic prevention and control,” the teacher said.
“I instructed my children to do the housework and take care of each other, then I went to the commune People's Committee to register to be on the front line,” he said.
“As a teacher, I can speak fluently in both Vietnamese and the ethnic Ê Đê languages, so when I suggested that I wanted to volunteer to be on the front lines of the fight, the local government immediately agreed," he recalled.
His job was to drive a truck carrying rice and necessities and distribute it to each household for the people of Ly and Bầu villages.
In addition, he also undertook the work of disseminating information to people on pandemic preventive and control measures.
“Because the pandemic came suddenly, people in the village had limited awareness of the disease when they heard that someone in the village had to be quarantined because of COVID-19, everyone was afraid,” he said.
“I am a villager and a teacher, so when I come to households for the dissemination of information, not only parents but also the children follow the instructions. They stay at home, wear masks and disinfecting their hands regularly,” he said
He and his wife have been staying at the headquarters of the commune People's Committee to fight the pandemic together with the local authorities.
“I will accompany my villagers until Ly Village returns to normal life," he said.
Since June 30, 21 COVID-19 cases have been detected in Ly and Bầu.
The husband and wife serving the community
It has been more than 20 days since the COVID-19 cases appeared in Tuy Hoà City. Phạm Quốc Pháp, who works for the Department of Disease Control, and his wife, Lương Thị Ngọc Vân who works for the Examination Department of Tuy Hoà Medical Centre, have joined the frontline.
They didn’t hesitate to get involved, Pháp said.
"On the night of June 22, after receiving a notice from the city Health Centre about a COVID-19 case. My wife and I had a quick discussion, did the housework, and sent the children to our grandparents to be taken care of.”
“That evening, my colleagues and I went to high-risk sites to perform rapid tracing. The next day, I was assigned to the team to spray disinfectant while my wife joined the team to collect samples for testing,” Pháp said.
“We had to quickly disinfect all the places where the COVID-19 case had travelled whether it was morning or night. I usually went to work early and came back home at 10pm,” he said.
The weather in Phú Yên those days was very hot. The disinfection team had to wear protective suits, move a lot, and spray chemicals in closed areas, many times they became dizzy and started vomiting.
Meanwhile, Pháp’s wife Vân was busy taking samples for testing in many different places in Tuy Hoà City.
“On June 28, when the city People's Committee decided to stop the operation of Tuy Hoà Market due to its connection to an F0 case. My team, with five members, had to carry out the task of taking samples of sellers at the entrance and exit of the market,” Vân recalled.
“At that time, I was very worried, partly because I thought about the sellers and partly because I had to wear a protective suit in the hot weather in the crowded market,” Vân said.
“But everything went through smoothly. We sampled 500 sellers that afternoon,” she said.
The couple has a 3-year-old daughter who was sent to Vân’s parents to be cared for.
“My parents’ house is a block away from us but it has been 20 days since we saw our daughter. I was afraid that I could not hold back my tears when I saw her and I had to go to high-risk sites to take samples every day,” Vân said.
“As a woman, in addition to professional duties, I also have to take care of my family but when the pandemic occurred I had to sacrifice my own interests to serve the community,” she said.
Phú Yên has spent more than 20 days fighting COVID-19 with more than 700 cases reported.
The "living shields" on the frontline are racing against time day and night, firmly in the pandemic area to bring safe life to the community.
Virtual concerts raise funds for the needy
Well-known Vietnamese musicians and singers across the country are working on a new virtual concert series to support people severely affected by COVID-19.
The programme called Sing for Life - Sing for Love was initiated by the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee (HCYU) and its partners.
According to the organisers, the series’ goal is raising money for the fund “San Sẻ Yêu Thương - Chung Tay Vượt Qua Đại Dịch” (Share Your Love to Overcome the Pandemic Together) launched by the HCYU Central Committee last April.
It aims to inspire people to live optimistically through performances of famous Vietnamese singers, as well as talk shows about special people who are devoted to the country’s COVID-19 prevention and control work.
In the first concert held on July 18, veteran singer Hồng Nhung and young singers Bảo Trâm and Hoàng Dũng offered stay-at-home audiences a night of beautiful songs and emotional stories.
The 130-minute show themed “Phía Trước Là Bầu Trời” (Sky Ahead) featured Nhung’s favourite songs like Giọt Sương Trên Mí Mắt (Dew Drops on the Eyelids) and Quê Hương Cần Nắng (Sunshine in the Homeland).
Nhung said: “In tough times, the arts contributes to bringing people hope and leads them to good things.”
Singer Trâm sang Chỉ Còn Những Mùa Nhớ (Only Remembered), while Dũng presented his own compositions Nàng Thơ (Muse), and Đôi Lời Tình Ca (Love Song).
Both singers performed the favourite Vietnamese duet Tình Yêu Tôi Hát (I Sing about Love) composed by Việt Anh.
The singers also shared stories about good people and actions happening daily everywhere during the pandemic, and encouraged people to stay together to overcome tough times.
Musician Dương Cầm, the programme’s music director, said: “We are happy to sing for sharing. It’s the responsibility of the artists, using our talents to bring love and joy to people.”
The organisers said they had received more than VNĐ300 million (US$13,000) and 20,000 N95 masks after the first show. All donations will be sent to frontline forces and people affected by COVID-19 in the city and southern provinces.
Sing for Life - Sing for Love concerts will be broadcast live on the programme’s YouTube channel and Facebook page at 8pm on Thursdays of the second and fourth weeks of the month.
For contributions, contact the Việt Nam Volunteer Information Resource Centre at phone number 097 848 2330, or email email@example.com.
Money can also be directly transferred to the “San Sẻ Yêu Thương - Chung Tay Vượt Qua Đại Dịch” Fund account 1902.6637.1956.89 at Techcombank – Hà Thành Branch.
Donations will be collected before, during and after the show.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
Support policies effectively implemented for pandemic-hit workers: Minister