VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 16

HCM City eyes increase in average housing space per person to 23.5sq.m

HCM City eyes increase in average housing space per person to 23.5sq.m hinh anh 1

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction wants to increase the average housing area per person to 23.5 square metres by 2025 from the current 20.65 square metres.

This is part of a housing development programme it has submitted to the city People’s Committee for 2021-25.

For this, the city will need nearly 800.9ha for commercial housing and 173.5ha for social housing at a cost respectively of 239.7 trillion VND (10.6 billion USD) and 937.7 trillion VND (41.6 billion USD).

In the central districts of 1 and 3, the city will develop individual housing in line with local urban planning and design.

The department has called on the two districts to streamline administrative procedures for issuing construction licences.

Old and severely degraded apartment buildings in the two districts will be replaced by 2025, and local authorities will create favourable conditions for developers to do so.

In districts 5, 6, 8, 11, 10, Phu Nhuan, and Tan Binh, and especially 4, Go Vap, Tan Phu, and Binh Thanh, where there is large demand for upgrading and building new individual houses, the city will invest in infrastructure.

In districts 7 and Binh Tan and Thu Duc city, HCM City will invest in infrastructure near industrial parks and clusters and call on the private sector to build rental housing for workers.

Housing projects under construction will be speeded up, and new houses and apartment buildings along major public transport axes and areas with good technical infrastructure will get construction priority.

The city will encourage investment by developers in five social housing projects with 3,955 apartments in districts 7 and Binh Tan and five more with 4,352 apartments in Thu Duc city.

In the outlying districts of Binh Chanh, Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Nha Be, and Can Gio, it will review land use to ensure it meets housing demand there./.

C06, VFF to control spectators via chip-based ID cards

The Police Department for Administrative Management of Social Order (C06) under the Ministry of Public Security this morning informed that the authorities would control the spectators entering My Dinh National Football Stadium via citizen identification (ID) card.

Major Hoang Van Dung, Deputy Director of the National Population Data Center said that the C06 had collaborated with Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and Hanoi City Police to implement the scanning chip-based ID cards via QR scanner connected with VNEID and PC-COVID apps for spectators at My Dinh Stadium in the match between Vietnam and Japan.

Through the scanning process, the authorities recorded 6,016 audiences holding chip-based ID cards. However, there still have been limitations on synchronized information on chip-based ID cards with VNEID and PC-COVID apps serving for Covid-19 prevention and control. Therefore, the C06 proposed the People’s Committee of the capital city of Hanoi to direct the organizers to overcome the issue and propagandize the regulations of applying chip-based ID cards and other ones in advance of ticket purchase.

In addition, the C06 proposed VFF to study and collaborate with relevant units about setting up two points of the Covid-19 rapid test for spectators in the match between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia on November 16, and continue to coordinate with the National Population Data Center on applying chip-based ID cards for the upcoming match.

Moreover, the C06 is collaborating with VFF to study the football ticket form integrated with chip-based ID cards.

HCM City students to receive second COVID-19 shot next week

As many as 62,838 students aged between 12 and 17 who received their first COVID-19 vaccine shots will now be given their second dose, starting from November 22.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training has sent a document to the municipal Department of Health requesting it to implement the second phase of the vaccination campaign for students between the ages of 12 and 17.

The students will be immunised against COVID-19 at schools and either fixed or mobile inoculation points, said the document.  

According to the municipal Health Department, as of November 15 the southern city had inoculated a total of 662,838 children with their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Several medical centres are now giving COVID-19 vaccines to the remaining children.

Fortunately, no severe side effects have been recorded so far, although 54 cases of mild side effects were noted and subsequently handled effectively.

Fish season comes to Dong Thap province

The eighth to tenth month of the lunar calendar are that busiest time of the year for fishermen in various upstream localities in the southern province of Dong Thap like Hong Ngu, Tan Hong districts and Hong Ngu city, as the arrival of the flooding season brings along fish.

The delta’s annual floods are caused by the rising water levels of the Mekong Delta in the rainy season.

The flooding helps destroy germs, reduces the cost of improving the fertility of the fields and helps crops grow.

It also supports fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, and offers a livelihood for many farmers.

Farmers take advantage of the flooding season to breed fish, shrimp and other aquatic species and grow other aquatic crops like lotus and water lily.

Locals also catch fish and other aquatic species during the flooding season and harvest other wild crops.

Common sesban, water lily, linh fish and other aquatic species are specialities of the delta’s flood season.

This year's flood has arrived later than usual and the amount of wild aquatic products is estimated to decrease by over 30 percent compared to the previous year. Moreover, the livelihood based on the flooding season was interrupted for days as locals have to abide by social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent months, social distancing measures have been eased and transportation within the province has become easier. The local fishermen therefore could go back to the fields to catch fish and aquatic products to earn extra income./.

Vice President attends great national unity festival in Quang Tri

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan lauded Quang Tri’s COVID-19 prevention and control so far while taking part in a great national unity festival held in the central province on November 15.

In her speech, Xuan praised anti-pandemic efforts made by the provincial Party Organisation, authorities and people. As a result, the local gross regional domestic product (GRDP) reached 6.27 percent in the first ten months, with annual growth recorded in industry, trade, and agriculture.

The province also posted positive outcomes in investment attraction and high budget collection, while strengthening the building of the Party and political system and maintaining defence and security.
Xuan recommended local Party committees, authorities, front committees and political and social organisations at all levels continue promoting revolutionary tradition, solidarity and patriotism, striving for the highest socio-economic development results.

She listed a number of priotirised tasks such as flexible and cautious COVID-19 prevention and control and increasing vaccine coverage as soon as possible.

At the event, Xuan presented gifts to local disadvantaged children and families.

On the same day, the Vice President laid wreaths and offered incense at the local martyrs’ cemeteries and visited local religious dignitaries./.

Vietnam-Malaysia Joint Commission on bilateral cooperation convenes sixth meeting

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah co-chaired the sixth meeting of the Vietnam – Malaysia Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation on November 15.

Both sides reviewed the implementation of the action programme for the 2017-2019 period in all areas, and discussed orientations and focus of cooperation to lift the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Malaysia in a more practical manner.

They agreed to adopted the action programme for the 2021-2025 strategic partnership with major orientations to effectively tap each country’s potentials and strengths, towards achieving sustainable and resilient development post-pandemic with 18 billion USD in two-way trade by 2025. They also agreed to recognise each other's “vaccine passports” soon.

Son suggested Malaysia create favourable conditions for Vietnamese firms to export farm produce to the country, help Vietnam develop Halal food industry, receive more Vietnamese workers and simplify relevant procedures when conditions allow.

The Malaysian FM, for his part, said that Malaysia wishes to effectively boost ties with Vietnam – the only strategic partner of Malaysia in ASEAN. He agreed with Vietnam’s proposals and proposed the two nations’ ministries and agencies soon discuss celebrations for the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (2023).

He suggested Vietnam import more palm oil from Malaysia and offer support to Malaysia to open international education establishments in the country.

The two sides consented to offer mutual support and work closely together at regional and global forums, especially at the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms. They vowed to tap opportunities and benefits from new-generation free trade deals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

They underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, settling disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They also expressed support for serious and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and negotiations towards reaching an effective, efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

Concluding the event, the two ministers signed the meeting's minutes and agreed to hold the seventh meeting in Vietnam at a convenient time for both sides./.

Seminar talks potential, opportunities in vocational training

A seminar on international cooperation in vocational education was held in Hanoi on November 15 to seek ways improving training quality.

The event was organised by the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) in collaboration with the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) and the International Cooperation Agency of Germany (GIZ).

Participants at the event were updated about orientations, potential and opportunities of bilateral and multilateral cooperation among vocational training establishments, especially between the DVET and international agencies and organisations.

They highlighted a need to step up digital transformation and renew methods of vocational training, contributing to maintaining the stability of labour market, improving labour productivity and national competitiveness amid the fourth industrial revolution.

Statistics from the DVET showed that via international cooperation projects, nearly 5,000 lecturers and education managers have been trained, about 200 others joined training courses in Malaysia, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China). As many as 655 teachers attended short-term courses transferred by Australia and Germany in Vietnam.

However, the figures remain modest compared to nearly 90,000 lecturers in vocational training establishments nationwide./.

President meets outstanding teachers in HCM City

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 15 visited outstanding teachers in Ho Chi Minh on the occasion of the upcoming Vietnam Teachers' Day (November 20).

Visiting Trieu Thi Hue, who has taught at the Nguyen Trai and Le Hong Phong High Schools for 26 years, obtaining many achievements in teaching and compiling education materials during her career, the President praised her efforts in overcoming difficulties and making significant obtainments.

He hoped the teacher to continue contributing more to the cause of human resources training in the city and the nation.

Phuc then visited Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ly Hoa, born in 1931, the first rector of the Ho Chi Minh City general university.

Expressing his gratitude for Hoa’s contributions to the national education cause, the President hoped the teacher, with his excellent management experience and deep knowledge, will continue contributing to the sector, particularly regarding the training at colleges and universities./.

Vietnamese students win ASEAN Student Contest on Information and Technology

A student team from the University of Technology won the first prize in the 2021 ASEAN Student Contest on Information Security on November 13.

Pawsitive, the team from the University of Technology under the Hanoi National University triumphed in the final round of the contest after eight hours of competition. The team defeated 17 teams from Vietnam and ASEAN member states on how to mount cyber-attacks against their opponents and to defend their own computer networks.

The winning team received vouchers worth US$1,000 to participate in high-quality information security exams and courses awarded by EC-Council, a world-renowned information security training organisation.

This is the second time Vietnamese teams have won the contest. Last year, the student team from the University of Natural Science under the Vietnam National University won first prize.

The competition consisted of three rounds taking place from September to November. After the preliminary round, 17 out of 73 teams were selected for the final round, including ten from Vietnam and seven from other ASEAN countries, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Singapore and Thailand.

The competition was organised by the Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) in collaboration with the Information Technology Department under the Ministry of Education and Training and the Information Security Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The contest has been held annually in Vietnam for the last 13 years, and this is the third year it was held among ASEAN nations.

It encourages students to study and cultivate practical and team-working skills. It also aims at fostering cultural and academic exchanges among information security students in ASEAN./.

PM pays working trips to Cao Bang’s Trung Khanh district

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh paid a working trip to Dam Thuy border station and Trung Khanh district in the northern border province of Cao Bang on November 15.

Leaders of Trung Khanh district and Dam Thuy border station reported local socio-economic performance and security, order to the PM, saying that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the local socio-economic situation has been stable, and ensuring social welfare has been promoted, along with the effective implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control. The border and rural security as well as solidarity and friendship with neighbouring China have been maintained.

Speaking at the working session, PM Chinh said with a number of scenic attractions, specialties and a 93km borderline with China, Trung Khanh has more competitive edges compared to other districts in the province.

He asked the district to focus on two key programmes and three breakthroughs, including programmes on human resources improvement and urban development in Trung Khanh and Tra Linh townships, and breakthroughs on sustainable tourism, services, fruit cultivation in combination with processing, and border economic development.

He asked Trung Khanh district to strictly implement the Government's Resolution No.128 on effective control of COVID-19, and remain vigilant against the pandemic.

He said he believes that with the revolutionary tradition and solidarity, the authorities and people of Trung Khanh will overcome all difficulties, striving to complete all tasks set in Resolution of the district's 20th Party Congress./.

Ministries to devise support plan for private kindergarten teachers

The Ministry of Education and Training will work closely with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to devise a plan to support COVID-19-affected teachers of private kindergartens and primary schools.

The cooperation was committed at a meeting between the two ministries and relevant agencies with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on November 15.

The plan will be submitted to the Government for approval next week.

Representatives of sectors at the meeting emphasised the necessity of supporting private pre-school employees and businesses in order to share difficulties with them and reduce the number of teachers leaving jobs after the school’s reopening.

Some proposed offering assistance to teachers of private primary schools as well.

Supportive policies in terms of infrastructure, tax exemption and loans for private pre-school facilities will be taken into the national socio-economic recovery and development programme.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, among educational levels, kindergarten has the highest number of private schools.

As of May this year (the end of 2020-21 academic year), there were 19,312 private kindergartens nationwide with more than 1.2 million children and over 90,500 employees.

As one of the hardest-hit sectors in the pandemic, private kindergartens have lost incomes over a long period due to school closures and no tuition, meanwhile, they still have to pay for land rental and a part of salaries for school staff.

A lot of non-public preschool educational institutions cannot afford wages for their employees, forcing teachers to change jobs.

According to a quick survey by the Vietnam Association of Non-Public Early Childhood Education, 95.2 percent of private preschool educational institutions have had no revenue for many months, mostly six months or more, and 81.6 percent of the establishments are unable to pay salaries to teachers./.

Vietnam records 8,616 new COVID-19 cases on November 15

Vietnam logged 8,176 new COVID-19 cases, including 13 imported ones, in 57 localities in the past 24 hours to 4pm on November 15, according to the Ministry of Health.

Ho Chi Minh City continued to report the highest number of infections with 1,165, followed by An Giang with 660 and Binh Duong with 616.

Hanoi capital city documented 239 new cases on the day.

The national tally reached 1,035,138.

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, 3,950 patients nationwide are in serious conditions, with 368 requiring invasive ventilation and 13 on life support (ECMO).

On the day, the country saw 101 deaths from the disease. The death toll now hits 23,183, accounting for 2.2 percent of total cases.

A further 1,205 patients were given the all-clear, taking the total number of recoveries to 864,516.

By November 14, the country had injected over 99.75 million doses of vaccines to date, with more than 35.28 million people now fully inoculated./.

Con Dao Island commences COVID-19 vaccination drive for teens

Con Dao Island district in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau kick-started a COVID-19 vaccination drive on November 13 for children aged 12-17. With meticulous preparations in place, the vaccination drive - the sixth launched in the province - has been carried out in a smooth and safe fashion.

Con Dao was allocated over 1,800 Pfizer vaccine doses to inject more than 900 children from 12-17 years of age. Parents or guardians must sign a vaccination agreement before their children receive the shots.

Children undergo a pre-vaccination screening and receive full advice from medical staff on the possible side-effects.

Vaccinations are prioritised for Grade 12 students, who will receive injections in different timeframes to ensure distancing.

To prepare for the vaccination drive, the People’s Committee of Con Dao district directed the health sector to join hands with the education sector to arrange a schedule and deliver health declaration papers to students. The two sectors have paid due attention to communications work to raise public awareness about the advantages of children being vaccinated, and the vaccine’s safety and its possible side-effects.

Con Dao Island is expected to complete the vaccination drive on November 15. Three weeks later, it will arrange a second dose for students.

Earlier, more than 7,800 local people aged 18 and over in the tourism destination received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for nearly 94 percent of the island’s population./.

Party official attends great national unity festival in Yen Bai

Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong attended a ceremony in the northern province of Yen Bai on November 15 to announce the recognition of Tan Hop commune as a new-style rural area and launch the festival of great national unity 2021.

The event was to mark the 91st anniversary of Traditional Day of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18).

Speaking at the event, Thuong hailed efforts of residents in Yen Bai and those in Tan Hop commune, Van Yen district, in particular for building on the past achievements and the great national unity, effectively following the Party and State’s policies and guidelines, thus improving their lives.

He said via editions of the great national unity festival, Vietnam’s solidarity tradition has been increasingly upheld and passed on to future generations, especially young people.

On the back of great national unity, the country became the first worker-peasant State in Southeast Asia, defeated two powerful invaders, healed the wounds of war, and performed useful tasks to grow further, he added.

He suggested that the province should exert greater efforts to effectively fight the pandemic while promoting socio-economic development in the near future.

On the occasion, he also visited stalls displaying specialties of Tan Hop commune and Van Yen district, and joined cultural activities and played local folk games./. 

Khanh Hoa: Man imprisoned for anti-State activities

The People's Court in the central province of Khanh Hoa on November 15 sentenced Nguyen Tri Gioan, born in 1979, to seven years in prison on the charge of “making, storing, distributing and disseminating information, documents and items aimed at sabotaging the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Clause 1 of Article 117 in the 2015 Penal Code.

Gioan will also get three-year probation at his place of residence after finishing the jail term.

According to the indictment of the People's Procuracy of Khanh Hoa province, Gioan often watched articles and images with contents that distort, defame, and insult the Party and State's policies and guidelines on the Internet. In February 2018, Gioan set up a personal Facebook account, making friends with many Facebook accounts of political reactionists. From this personal account, Gioan publicly posted and shared six articles and many pictures self-composed or collected and shared from friends on Facebook and websites to express anti-State views.

In addition, in June 2018, Gioan participated in a large gathering in Binh Tan district, Ho Chi Minh City, to protest against the draft Law on Special Economic Zones and was fined 750,000 VND (33 USD) for the act of gathering in public places, causing public disorder, by the Police of Tan Tao Ward in Binh Tan District.

In August 2018, Cam Ranh city Police summoned Gioan to work on contents posted on his personal facebook account. Gioan admitted his wrongdoing and pledged to remove the posts himself.

Although Gioan then did not post any new articles, he still maintained his personal account, kept the mode open and did not remove the posts as committed.

In late 2019, he set up an additional Facebook account, posting, spreading and sharing seven articles and photos with reactionary contents.

The jury said that Gioan's behaviour was dangerous to society, sowing suspicion and splitting the national great unity bloc, and inciting thoughts and actions against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam./.

Social responsibility needed in COVID-19 fight: seminar

Each citizen and household should further raise their sense of responsibility in the COVID-19 fight, heard a seminar in Hanoi on November 15.

The seminar was jointly held by the Vietnamese Sociological Association (VSA) under the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association, and the Institute of Sociology at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Chien, from the Institute of Sociology, suggested localities work to raise the awareness of Party Committees, authorities and socio-political organisations in every community, residential areas about their role in pandemic prevention and control.

Businesspeople and owners of production and business facilities need to be made aware of their social responsibility in helping the community amid difficulties, he said, highlighting the role of voluntary social organisations and charity groups in the combat.

In his remarks, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Minh, VSA President, said individuals, families and the community play a significant part in the pandemic fight in Vietnam over the past two years.

Their social responsibility has been reflected through their active response to appeals, their participation in common activities, and their confidence in the Government’s instruction.

The seminar is expected to withdraw lessons not only in COVID-19 response, but also in the management of other risks, he said./.

15,000 life jackets donated to poor fishermen

Businesses and people have donated 15,000 life jackets worth over 20 billion VND to fishermen in need in central provinces and cities.

The donation was made in response to an joint appeal from former President Truong Tan Sang, who is former Honorary Chairman of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC), and the VRC Central Committee.

Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa provinces, and Da Nang city will receive 1,000 life jackets each. As many as 1,600 life jackets will be presented to Quang Ngai and Phu Yen provinces each while 1,800 others will be handed over to fishermen in Binh Dinh. Fishermen in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago will also get 1,000 life jackets.

The donation of life jackets to poor fishermen is a practical activity, helping to ensure the safety of fishermen while fishing offshore, developing the economy and participating in the protection of the country's sovereignty over seas and islands.

This was part of a charity programme run by "Sharing" volunteer group founded by Mai Thi Hanh, spouse of former President Truong Tan Sang. Last year, 3,500 life jackets were presented to needy fishermen in central provinces./.

Foreign expert hails Vietnam’s commitment to transition to clean energy

Claire Stockwell, a climate policy expert at Climate Analytics, has highly valued Vietnam’s signing of the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK.

Stockwell emphasised that Vietnam’s approval of the coal elimination agreement is a development step that deserves to be welcomed.

She said that in order to limit the increase in the Earth's temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, coal must be phased out of the power sector in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by 2030, and in all nations in the world by 2040.

According to the expert, the statement shows that Vietnam and a number of countries are committed to rapidly scaling up technology and policies in this decade to realise the transition from coal-fuelled power generation by the 2030s or as soon as possible for major economies, and in the 2040s or as soon as possible globally.

Climate Analytics is in the process of assessing Vietnam's net-zero emission target by 2050, Stockwell said.

COP26 wrapped up on November 13 after adopting the Glasgow Climate Pact, which reaffirms the Paris Agreement temperature goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C as compared to the pre-industrial level, and calls for the phaseout of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel.

In his speech at the event, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed Vietnam's strong commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

 

The conference witnessed commitments of global leaders to combat climate change and protect the environment. Up to 105 countries, including Vietnam, joined an event to announce the Global Methane Pledge./. 

President joins Great Unity Festival in Quang Nam

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 15 attended the National Great Unity Festival 2021 in Ba commune, Dong Giang district, the central province of Quang Nam.

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Do Van Chien also joined the festival.

Talking with local people, President Phuc expressed his delight that Ba commune is the first in Dong Giang district to meet all new-style rural area building criteria, with the poverty rate among local households declining to below 5 percent. Education and health have received due attention with 100 percent of children going to school. Local policy beneficiaries and households living in difficult circumstances have also received care.

He took the occasion to thank ethnic groups in the province for their contributions to the nation’s revolutionary cause.

Stressing the important role of the VFF in all times, the State leader expressed his hope that the front work will receive due attention in Dong Giang district in general and Ba commune in particular, and the local VFF chapter will continue promoting its role as a bridge connecting locals with the Party and State.

He also appealed to the commune’s Party Committee and authorities to continue uniting and implementing social welfare, striving to reduce the poverty rate, and promoting the cultural identities of both Kinh and Co Tu ethnic groups.

On this occasion, on behalf of the VFF and donors, the President handed over 7.3 billion VND (322,500 USD) to Dong Giang and Tay Giang districts to build 100 houses for people in need.

He also visited and presented gifts to several poor households, policy beneficiaries, and Heroic Mother Tran Thi Gioi in Ban Mai village of Ba commune./.

Quang Nam’s world heritage sites welcome foreign visitors

Two world heritage sites in the central province of Quang Nam – Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary – began to welcome foreign tourists starting November 15.

The roadmap to welcome foreign visitors will be rolled out in three phases, with the first one running from now until November 30 and the second one between December 1 and January 31, 2022.

Chairman of the Hoi An People’ Committee Nguyen Van Son said to welcome the visitors, a 50 percent discount is offered for sightseeing tickets to the ancient town and traditional craft villages.

All workers at tourist sites have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, he added.

Director of the My Son Sanctuary’s management board Phan Ho said the site has devised various events and new products to serve tourists. Preventive measures have been in place to ensure visitors’ experience and safety.

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Ngoc Tuong said more than 400 foreign tourists are expected to arrive in the province on November 17-18, signalling the start of the tourism sector's recovery roadmap in the new normal./.

Vietnam, Singapore discuss travel facilitation in new normal

Vietnam and Singapore will resume travel in a new normal as soon as the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is brought under control in their respective countries.

They will also share experience and increase cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccine production.

The agreement was reached during talks virtually held on November 15 between Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long and his Singaporean counterpart Ong Ye Kung.

The two ministers briefed each other on the COVID-19 developments in their countries, and emphasized that Vietnam and Singapore are close partners with their bilateral relationship developing strongly and comprehensively.

Long said Vietnam has basically controlled the fourth wave of the pandemic, but the virus is recurring in some localities.

He said Vietnam is speeding up COVID-19 vaccinations for its people, including children aged 12 to 17. Approximately 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide.

Cát Linh - Hà Đông metro line after its first week of operation

In its first week of operation, the Cát Linh - Hà Đông metro line conducted 930 trips and carried more than 165,000 passengers free of charge, according to the metro operator.

“The operational results of the 2A line (Cát Linh - Hà Đông) in the past week has been the best that could we anticipated”, said Vũ Hồng Trường, Director-General of Hà Nội Metro.

All of the 930 trips made were operated by the Vietnamese staff at Hà Nội metro. 

Starting from November 13, Hà Nội Metro has increased the departure frequency from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes. 

“The change is meant to gradually catch up to the planned schedule while reducing waiting time for passengers”, said Trường.

On the first day of the new schedule, there were 203 trips made on the line carrying 28,035 passengers, an increase of 35 per cent compared to the previous days.

“A positive sign is that people have started using the metro line to go to school or to work, not only for the sake of experience”, said Trường.

Statistics revealed that 27.3 per cent of passengers go on the train from Cát Linh Station, while 24.2 per cent depart from Yên Nghĩa Station. The remaining 50 per cent were evenly distributed among the other stations.

“The number of passengers in different stations is shifting towards a more balanced proportion”, said Trường.

From the past seven days of operation, Hà Nội Metro said the engines and equipment on Cát Linh - Hà Đông are working well and meeting standards. Only the public announcement system sometimes malfunctions due to a long period of inactivity.

“We have developed a coordination mechanism with the contractor in case problems arise during operation. According to the contract terms, the Chinese contractor is responsible for a two-year warranty period, starting from when they handed over the project”, said Trường.

On the first few days, Hanoi Metro recorded that around 10 per cent of the ticket cards issued were lost during the trips. The situation however did improve in the following days.

Regarding passengers bringing food or small bicycles on the train, Hà Nội Metro confirmed that these actions are prohibited according to the metro regulations.

“The good thing is that people are getting used to the metro line. Overcrowding rarely happens anymore. There are almost no cases of people eating or bringing bulky items onto the train”, said Trường.

However, existing problems in the city can affect the metro experience, such as occupied sidewalks, long distances from the parking lots to the stations, and the fact that only one single metro line is currently operational. 

According to Dr Nguyễn Xuân Thủy, former Director of the Transport Publishing House, developing a public transport system that reduces individual vehicles still faces many challenges.

He also emphasised the need to establish parking lots to facilitate people’s access to the Cát Linh - Hà Đông metro line. 

The current options available now are short-distance public transport and walking. In the long term, it is necessary to design a system of taxis, buses, and express buses to support passengers travelling by the elevated urban rail lines and subways.

Hà Nội's Department of Transport recently issued an official document to Đống Đa, Thanh Xuân, Nam Từ Liêm, Hà Đông, the four districts which the Cát Linh - Hà Đông metro line runs through, to establish temporary parking lots at the metro stations.

Experts also advised that to encourage people to use public transport and form the habit of walking in the city, Hà Nội authorities need to address the issue of occupied sidewalks and respond to the demand for parking lots near Cát Linh - Hà Đông metro stations. 

Drainage system problems cause flooding in Quy Nhon City

A ward in the southern central city of Binh Dinh’s Quy Nhon has been seriously flooded due to problems in the local drainage system.

On Sunday, a residential area on Han Mac Tu Street in Ghenh Rang Ward suddenly experienced rapid flooding, putting the street around one metre under water. The water swept into many houses and submerged dozens of cars on the street.

Many households have been relocated to ensure safety.

Part of a mountain on Han Mac Tu Street faced a landslide, with the Royal Palace Resort on Ghenh Rang Ward particularly affected.

On the same day, local authorities sent forces to dredge the drainage system. 

Culture – an endogenous strength

The National Cultural Conference, which will take place on November 24, is a very important event aimed at implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress on comprehensive human development and building an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with a strong sense of national identity that will become an endogenous strength and driving force for the national development and defence.

Vietnam has a large number of workers in the cultural, literary and arts sectors. Over the past 35 years implementing Doi Moi (Renewal), cultural and artistic work has made significant contributions to the country’s common development. However, during the 4.0 period, culture is facing many new opportunities and challenges.

Therefore, the Party, State and agricultural sector should agree the major directions and tasks for cultural and artistic work during 2021-2026, with a vision to 2045. The conference will be an opportunity for culturalists, intellectuals, writers and artists to voice their enthusiastic opinions. Through the event, the cultural sector in the country and abroad will uphold solidarity to serve the country and people as well as promote the great national unity bloc.

Culture has always been the foundation and motivation for all aspects of social life. In the development of a socialist-oriented market economy, culture plays a pivotal role. If culture is abandoned, the country will face the risk of losing its identity and the onset of the fading of traditional values. To become an endogenous strength, culture needs the care and orientation of the Party and State. In particular, the consolidation, development, training and use of intellectuals for cultural and artistic work is a core element.

Cultural and artistic life in Vietnam is diverse in its forms, expression and ways, but is also subject to many complicated fluctuations due to both the positive and negative trends of the world's cultural and artistic flows. The unselective absorption of foreign cultural values in the integration period has had a significant influence on the formation of people's lifestyles, morality and behaviors, especially amongst the younger generations.

Basically, the resolutions and policies of the Party and State have created favourable conditions for cultural and artistic forms to develop in accordance with the specific situation of the country. However, there are still many inadequacies such as the treatment for writers and artists in specific art industries, the autonomy of traditional art units, the socialisation of both literature and the arts, policies on development of creative cultural industries, and urban creative cultural spaces.

Throughout the nation's history, Vietnamese culture has held a position as a social spiritual foundation and an "armor" that protects the nation's survival. Culture will create a strong driving force for the country's development in the new period, becoming an endogenous strength by which Vietnam can further integrate with the world.

Trans-provincial transportation still faces difficulties due to pandemic

Transportation of localities has been still challenging despite of the Government’s resolution No. 128/NQ-CP on the Interim Regulation on safe and flexible adaptation and effective control over the Covid-19 pandemic aming at creating favorable conditions for travelling.

Transport operatos are coping with the high fuel price and decline of passenger numbers while localities’ Covid-19 alert levels have been constantly changed.

The Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District has announced a temporary suspension of some routes, including HCMC- Gia Nghia in Dak Nong Province, HCMC-Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province.

At present, only 15 province and cities have reopened fixed-route passenger buses to he Eastern bus stations in HCMC. The coach station has seen a total number of bus departures of 2,490 with 14,000 passengers from the first reopening day on October 13 to November 12, compared with 28,992 trips featuring 491,729 travelers in the last period.

Lien Hung transport opeartor’s driver Nguyen Van Tho of passenger sleeping coach on Saigon-Nha Trang route said that the bus has been allowed to operate with 100 percent of its capaity but there are only a few passengers on each trip.

The Quoc Long transport company operating the HCMC- Dak Nong route and Thong Nhat coach cooperative have also expressed their concerns over the lack of passengers and a rise in petrol prices.

Passengers still fear coronavirus exposure. Trans-provincial transportation must wait for the reopening and activity resumption leading to the higher travel demand, said Chairman of the Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Association, Nguyen Van Quyen.

The situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country is still complicated, businesses have to calculate total costs for their existing to overcome tough times.

In addition, the Ministry of Health should promptly approve the administration of Covid-19 vaccines for localities in the Central Highlands and Mekong Delta region while the Ministry of Transport needs to issue detailed transportation regulations among provinces and cities in the Covid-19 alert levels 1 and 2, said Chairman of the HCM City Interprovincial and Tourist Passenger Transport Association, Le Trung Tinh.

Additionally, the Ministry of Trade and Industry should propose the Government to cut taxes on petrol and diesel, and spend much money from the Price Stabilization Fund for different fuel types to reduce the price of petrol.

Cho Ray Hospital wins International Hospital Federation’s awards

Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City has won awards of the International Hospital Federation (IHF) for the two categories of “Excellence Award for Leadership and Management of American College of Healthcare Executives” and “Austco Excellence Award for Quality and Patient Safety”.

The IHF has announced the winners of the IHF Awards 2021 on the sidelines of the 44th World Hospital Congress (WHC) in Barcelona, Spain.

The “Excellence Award for Leadership and Management of American College of Healthcare Executives” is reserved for excellence or outstanding achievements in strong leadership and management in leading a hospital or a health service provider.

Meanwhile, the “Austco Excellence Award for Quality and Patient Safety” recognises excellence or outstanding achievements in promoting quality and patient safety.

The award committee selected the winners for the six categories from 250 entries submitted from different countries and territories. Winners were chosen based on criteria such as originality and innovation, intended impact, adaptability and scalability, scientific rigour, and clarity.

Gold award winners will be invited to present their winning programmes and projects in a special parallel session at the WHC, as well as appearing in the event-affiliated online brochure. Silver, bronze and honourable mentions will also be able to display posters at the WHC exhibition.

Entries for the 2022 IHF awards are scheduled to open in March 2022 and will be awarded at the next WHC in Dubai.

Quang Tri urgently removes fuel from stranded cargo ship

The Steering Committee of Oil Spills Prevention of Quang Tri Province has asked the operator of the Glory Future oil tanker and relevant units to promptly retrieve oil from the vessel before November 20 to reduce the risk of oil pollution occurring on sea.

The provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment has coordinated with the competent units and the People’s Committee of Gio Linh District to supervise the oil spill response and removal plan.

The Glory Future vessel is an oil product tanker conducted by Chinese captain Iwu Quojiang, 50 with 20 crew members, including eight Chinese sailors and 12 Vietnamese people. The cargo ship carrying 510 tons of oil was stranded at a sand dike in the south of the Cua Viet fairway on October 16.

On October 30, the Saigon Newport Corporation and the Central oil spill response center operated by the Song Thu Company under the Ministry of Defense jointed hands to move the vessel from out of the stranded site about eight kilometers off Cua Viet Port.

Vietnamese football players head towards 2021 Vietnam Golden Ball Award

The Vietnamese national women's football championship 2021 was officially kicked off on the afternoon of November 13. The remaining tournament in the national football system in 2021, the second leg of the National Futsal Championship, will also start in Ho Chi Minh City.

Not only football players are excited when they return to the pitch to compete, but experts have also paid special attention because these two tournaments are extremely important in selecting candidates for the 2021 Vietnam Golden Ball Award organized by Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper (SGGP).

According to the plan, the voting for the Vietnam Golden Ball Award 2021 will be officially launched at the end of this month with a press conference and the introduction of sponsors of the award. This year is a memorable year for Vietnamese football. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a series of youth football tournaments to be suspended or not organized. The LS V-League, the V-League 2, and the Vietnamese National Football Cup were also canceled after nearly ending the first leg. Many other tournaments in Southeast Asia and even the AFC Cup could not take place as planned.

However, in that difficult period, football life in Vietnam has been continuously warmed up. It started with the impressive journey of the Vietnamese futsal team when winning the ticket to the final round of the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup and passing the qualifying round for the second time in a row. At the world-class playground, the Vietnamese futsal team, with many new faces, has left a good impression on spectators through its enthusiastic and fiery playing style. From the above success, Vietnam can boldly set the goal of participating in the World Cup playground next time.

Coach Park Hang-Seo and his players have also created a miracle when passing the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup Asian Qualifiers after the remaining three matches in the UAE to enter the final qualifying round for the first time where the strongest teams on the continent gather. At the same time, it has also won the early ticket to the 2023 Asian Cup. Meanwhile, the U22 Vietnam football team has also got its name in the final round of the 2023 AFC U23 Asian Cup. The Vietnamese national women's football team also advanced to the 2022 Asian Cup Qualifiers to approach the final round of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The fact that Vietnamese football players have been striving to achieve good results in the international arena and the efforts of the organizers, namely VFF and VPF, who have tried to help football tournaments to finalize safely despite the difficulties due to the pandemic, has become the driving force for the 2021 Vietnam Golden Ball Award to continue to take place. The Organizing Committee desires to bring football fans an award of gratitude to football players who have given their best efforts in 2021.

This year, the men's Golden Ball award is forecasted to remain appealing until the last minute because there is a remaining important tournament of the year in December, the AFF Cup 2020. The final of the AFF Cup will take place on January 1, 2022, so the deadline for collecting ballots this year will not fall at the end of the year like usual but right after the final match of the AFF Cup 2020. The kick-off of the 2021 Vietnam Golden Ball Awards is expected to encourage the spirit of football players competing in women's football and the 2021 national futsal tournaments. Thereby, they will perform better and make greater efforts to wrap the 2021 domestic football season successfully.

National solidarity, cultural heritage festival to open in Hanoi

A week themed “National Great Solidarity – Vietnam Cultural Heritage” will be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, in Hanoi on November 18-23.

The week-long event will include a series of cultural activities, such as cultural exchanges among ethnic minorities, performances of folk arts, traditional crafts and local festivals, especially the Xuan (Spring) festival (also called No Pe Chau of the Mong people in Nghe An Province to celebrate the traditional New Year).

The event co-organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front aims to promote the great unity that is the precious tradition of the Vietnamese people. Developing the great national unity is one of the valuable lessons of the Vietnamese Revolution in periods of history.

Museums looking for new ways of working, attracting public

HCMC is home of many museums that have diversified the kinds of artefacts. However, it’s likely that they sink into oblivion with a small number of visitors while their activities are not adequate to the country’s leading city. 

Most of museums of HCMC are located in buildings over 100 years old, especially French-style beautiful architectures. Besides enjoying exhibits, visitors have been attracted by these ancient architectural heritages.

Despite great effort from the State, preservation is still a challenging task. The old architectural buildings have been degraded over time, such as HCMC Museum, Museum of HCMC History, HCMC Fine Arts Museum, HCMC Geological Museum.

Some private and public museums have also seen a small number of visitors and few exhibitions on national holidays or the lunar New Year.

Director of the Ao Dai Museum Huynh Ngoc Van said that the people’s demand to visit museum is not high. The media industry has not interested in promoting museums’ activities, excluding exhibitions and special events. Not many people know about the International Museum Day on May 18th that allows the world to understand the deep impact museums. In order to draw more visitors, museums should offer attractive programs.

The HCMC Museum of History has carried out a pilot program of the application of 3D technology in museums to bring spectators closer to the exhibits in June. However, the current difficulties of museums do not come from technology challenges but expenditures for operation, maintenance services, human resource and attached equipment, said the museum’s director Hoang Anh Tuan.

Museums need to build appropriate and attractive policies, virtual museum to increase interaction with viewers amid the pandemic situation.

In the beginning of November, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology organized the online international conference titled “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - innovative transformations” to seek the new travel trend during the pandemic with the participation of experts. The event also offered a virtual tour to visit the museum to more than 100 students of the University of Foreign Affairs.

Hanoi shortens interval between AstraZeneca doses 

AstraZeneca is the first Covid-19 vaccine authorized for use in Vietnam and it is currently the most widely used vaccine in the national vaccination campaign.

The Hanoi Department of Health has agreed to reduce the minimum period between two AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine shots to four weeks from eight.

The capital city wants to reduce the time between two AstraZeneca shots to speed up its immunization efforts, achieving herd immunity as soon as possible, according to the Hanoi Center for Disease Control who proposed the interval reduction.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology also made the same recommendation, saying the second injection could be administered at least four weeks after the first one.

Earlier, in late September, the Ministry of Health allowed localities to decide to shorten the time between two AstraZeneca shots on their own while adhering to recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the manufacturer.

Then, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health reduced the time between two AstraZeneca Covid-19 shots from the recommended eight to 12 weeks down to six weeks to speed up immunization.

AstraZeneca is the first Covid-19 vaccine authorized for use in Vietnam and it is currently the most widely used vaccine in the national vaccination campaign.

The AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers said the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 69.2% 22 days after the first shot. The second dose’s protection rate is 55.1% if it is administered less than six weeks after the first dose. It increases to 59.7% six to eight weeks and 80% 12 weeks after the first dose.

Thus, the manufacturers advise that it is optimum to administer the second dose about four to 12 weeks after the first dose.

Meanwhile, the WHO recommends that AstraZeneca doses should be given eight to 12 weeks apart as longer intervals have been found to be associated with greater vaccine efficacy.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has instructed healthcare facilities to administer the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine for those who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca. The interval is eight to 12 weeks.

Tran Thi Nhi Ha, director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said that as of November 15, Hanoi had administered some 11.05 million vaccine doses for more than 6.11 million people, with 4.9 million fully vaccinated.

Around 93% of residents aged 18 and older have got the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, but less than 70% of this age group have been fully vaccinated, Ha noted.

She added that there were about a million people over 50 waiting to receive the second dose, starting November 15. 

Bus services on 30 more routes in HCMC resumed today

The HCMC transport authority allowed 30 more bus routes to resume operations starting today, November 15, raising the total number of operational routes in the city to 85.

These 30 include route Nos. 6, 8, 10, 53, 44, 99 and 146, with 29 being subsidized routes and one a non-subsidized route, which is route No.94 that links the Cho Lon Bus Station with the Cu Chi Bus Station. They will operate daily from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Earlier, all public passenger bus services in HCMC had to suspend operations as the city enforced the social distancing mandate to curb the spread of the coronavirus. By October, four bus routes in the outlying district of Can Gio resumed operations first after the city lifted the stay-at-home order.

As of November 12, up to 55 bus routes had been restarted in the city.

The southern hub currently has 126 bus routes, including 90 subsidized routes and 36 non-subsidized ones.

Wage policy reform postponed

The National Assembly (NA) today, November 13, decided to delay the reform of wage policy and prioritize the adjustment of pensions for those retiring before 1995.

The NA’s Standing Committee asked the Government to prepare resources, formulate a plan to reform wage policy and submit it to the NA so that the wage policy would be reformed at an appropriate time.

Head of the NA’s Finance-Budget Committee Nguyen Phu Cuong said the Covid-19 pandemic had heavily hit the country’s socioeconomy and the lives of local residents, especially low-income ones.

However, the State budget revenue collection has faced difficulties, while the spending has been high, mainly for the fight against the pandemic and the economic recovery. Therefore, the NA’s Standing Committee had proposed the NA not raise wages for low-income workers in 2022 and ask the Government to balance resources to early reform wage policies, contributing to ensuring the benefits of laborers.

Today, the NA approved a resolution on the State budget allocation plan for 2022, the local media reported.

Accordingly, the State budget revenue and spending were estimated at over VND1.4 quadrillion and nearly VND1.8 quadrillion, respectively. The State budget overspending of VND372.9 trillion will be equivalent to 4% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Under the resolution, the NA also allowed cities and provinces to spend the remaining capital for the wage policy reform on the fight against the pandemic in 2021 and 2022 if they have used up their budgets and other legal resources for the anti-Covid fight and ensured the sufficient resources for the wage policy reform.

Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Kien Giang to resume inbound travel this month

Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam and Kien Giang provinces will be welcoming back international tourists this month after a 20-month suspension of inbound travel induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Together with Danang City and Quang Ninh Province, the three provinces had earlier been allowed to pilot plans to allow foreign visitors who hold Covid-19 vaccine passports to come back.

The Khanh Hoa government has issued detailed guidelines on the plan. Accordingly, the plan will be implemented in three phases.

In the first phase, from this month to December 31, Khanh Hoa will allow in guests of all-in tours through charter and commercial flights. Guests will stay at resorts in the Northern Cam Ranh Peninsula tourist site and participate in bubble tours.

In the second phase, from January 1 to March 31 next year, tourists can visit more destinations in Khanh Hoa or other provinces after they spend seven days in the first destination. They can fly to Vietnam on charter or commercial flights.

From April 2022, the province will expand the plan to all tourist facilities if the anti-Covid fight and the two previous phases show positive results.

Director of the Khanh Hoa Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Le Thanh said the province had welcomed the first flight carrying vaccine passport holders, who are Vietnamese people living in South Korea, on November 11.

At the end of this month, foreigners holding vaccine passports are expected to come to the province, Thanh added.

Besides Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam will welcome the first groups of foreign tourists on November 17 and another group the next day.

They will stay at some resorts, such as Hoiana and Vinpearl Nam Hoi An.

On November 20, Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province will receive some 250 guests from South Korea, who will stay at resorts, including Vinpearl Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, and visit VinWonders, Vinpearl Safari, Vinpearl Golf, Corona Resort & Casino, and Grand World.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has developed a plan themed “Live fully in Vietnam” to promote Vietnam’s reopening to international visitors.

The administration has also worked with Vietnamese diplomatic agencies in other countries to provide information on the resumption of inbound travel and conduct promotion programs on international TV channels, such as CNN and CNBC.

Several days ago, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam asked international airlines to coordinate with travel companies to develop plans to operate flights to carry international tourists to Vietnam and submit the plans to the authority before November 15.

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

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