VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 19

HCM City on alert as COVID-19 cases rise again

Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam, is hurriedly developing possible outbreak response scenarios as the number of newly detected cases has increased considerably during the past few days.

Official statistics announced by the HCM City Centre for Diseases Control show the city has seen infection numbers rise daily from fewer than 1,000 more than a week ago to 1,609 on November 18, up 272 cases compared to the previous day.

In addition, the number of critically ill patients on ventilators has increased considerably from 258 cases on November 14 to 284 on November 16 and 302 on November 17.

Similarly, the number of COVID-19 related deaths has also gone up from 35 on November 15 to 42 each on November 17 and 18.

In a sudden move the city on November 18 decided to suspend karaoke, disco, massage, spa and bar services just after 2 days of reopening, in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus in the community.

During a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on November 18, Dr. Tang Chi Thuong, director of the HCM City Municipal Department of Health, attributed the rise in infection cases to the return of workers from other localities to HCM City, leading to virus spread in lodging houses.

He said the city is now completing possible scenarios that enable it to receive and treat patients without support from other localities in the event that cases surge sharply again.

The city will maintain and supplement mobile medical stations in districts that has seen a high number of new infections, mobilize private medical staff and form treatment clusters in districts, Dr. Thuong said.

“The Department of Health has set up taskforce groups to closely monitor and prevent new outbreaks from spreading,” said Dr. Thuong.

He proposed that the Ministry of Health provide HCM City with additional molnupiravir to meet the need for home treatment of F0 cases.

The city is also considering cutting short the isolation and treatment period for asymptomatic F0 who have received two vaccine doses and have negative testing results on day 7.

In addition, he said the city will step up vaccinations at home for the elderly and people with underlying illnesses.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam suggested that HCM City raise a level of medical and epidemiological surveillance to local residents, especially those who have not been vaccinated, the elderly and people with underlying diseases.

The municipal health sector should strengthen epidemiological investigations and testing in high-risk places such as wet markets and trading centres, said Dam adding the city is closely monitoring the possible emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

HCM City has recorded more than 450,000 coronavirus cases since the virus recurred in late April, or almost half the country’s totals.

Vietnamese Ambassador presents credentials to Queen Elizabeth II

The bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the United Kingdom (UK) is at the finest development stage, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long when presenting his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II on November 18 via a virtual ceremony.

At the event, the Queen congratulated Long on assuming his diplomatic position, wishing him a successful tenure ahead.

Queen Elizabeth II also conveyed her gratitude to Vietnamese leaders’ greetings, particularly for the UK’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne next year.

The Vietnamese ambassador said with the Queen’s attention and the ties shared between the countries, he believes he will receive the support and collaboration from the UK’s authorities to fulfil his tasks in promoting the sound bilateral relations.

Long took the occasion to congratulate the UK Government’s successful organisation of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), adding that the Vietnamese delegation to the event, headed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, were pleased with the host nation’s reception and outcomes achieved at the event.

With a strong commitment to achieving the net zero, Vietnam pays a special attention to cooperation in climate change response with the UK – a leading nation in the matter, he affirmed.

The diplomat said the Vietnam – UK strategic partnership is growing robustly across all sectors from politics, security, defence to trade, education, culture, and people-to-people exchange. He vowed to do his best in developing the friendship and collaboration shared between the two peoples.

Following the ceremony, the Vietnamese Embassy in London held a reception gathering many UK officials, representatives of Vietnamese associations in the UK, and international friends.

Speaking at the reception, UK Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps Alistair Harrison wished Long a successful tenure, believing that the ambassador will work to further strengthen the nations’ ties.

Mark Pritchard, Vice Chairman of the UK Inter-Parliamentary Union, underscored the importance of boosting the bilateral cooperation in all spheres including technology, agriculture, tourism, and services.

Long said room remains extensive for the development of the countries’ collaboration, particularly in climate change response, trade and education. He called for support and cooperation from the UK competent agencies and sectors for the realisation of such potential./.

Vietnamese student wins 2021 Microsoft Office contest

Nguyen Duc Phat from the Vietnam Maritime University has won a silver medal at the 2021 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship (MOSWC).

To secure the medal for the Microsoft Excel 2016 category, Phat has surpassed hundreds of competitors from nearly 100 nations and territories.

Earlier, the student championed the MOSWC - Viettel 2021, which was participated by nearly 1,800 students from across Vietnam.

Phat said he learned the Microsft Excel in high school and has been worked hard to sharpen his skills.

Presented by the US-based Certiport, Inc. since 2002, MOSWC is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®. Top students aged between 13 and 22 are invited to represent their respective countries at the World Championship. In some countries or regions, students are required to participate in a national championship, and the winners of that event go on to the World Championship.

Its 2021 edition marked Vietnam’s 12th year participating in the contest./.

Vietnamese PM to attend ASEAN-China commemorative summit

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, along with ASEAN and Chinese leaders, will attend a special summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China relations on November 22 via videoconference.

PM Chinh’s attendance at the summit will be made at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to an announcement released by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 18./.

HCM City: Grand requiem held for deceased victims of COVID-19

The Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)'s chapter in Ho Chi Minh City on November 18 held a requiem for Vietnamese who died of the COVID-19 in order to show gratitude to the frontline forces in the fight against the pandemic and help ease the pain of the victims’ relatives and families.

The virtual ceremony included the Buddhist rituals of praying, offering incense and chanting.

Vice Chairman of the Council Thich Le Trang said COVID-19 has caused great pain and losses for the humanity in the world and in Vietnam. The requiem, in response the call of the State, was held to send peaceful energy to the deceased as well as to soothe and warm the hearts of their relatives, he added.

Echoing the view, Chairwoman of the municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee To Thi Bich Chau said the event also calls on people to raise vigilance against the epidemic.

At 8:35 pm on November 19, Buddhist pagodas and establishments in HCM City will ring their bells, light candles, offer incense, and pray for those who died of COVID-19 at the same time with a national requiem to be co-organised by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and the municipal Party Committee.

More than 23,180 people in Vietnam, including over 17,260 in the city, had died due to the pandemic by November 15./.

Newly-made laws must solve limitations of previous ones: PM

New laws must help address limitations and remove obstacles of previous laws, fill legal gaps, and ensure consistency among relevant laws, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed while addressing the Government’s November meeting on law making on November 18.

At the event, participants heard a report on explanations and appraisal of opinions, and verification reports on several laws, such as Law on Price (amended), Law on Health Insurance (amended), Law on Social Insurance (amended), Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Electronic Transactions, Law on Archives (amended), and Anti-Money Laundering Law (amended).

The PM said that law making is one of the tasks to implement three strategic breakthroughs set forth by the 13th National Party Congress, including the institutional breakthrough. Based on the actual situation and requirements, the Government has held monthly meetings on law-making in order to institutionalise and bring the Party's guidelines to life.

He requested the Government members, and the heads of the ministries, sectors and agencies to rely on the Resolutions of the Party, the National Assembly, and the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents while making laws.

Legislation must promote socialist democracy, build a rule-of-law socialist state and step up international integration, he emphasised.

According to the Prime Minister, laws must be built in the spirit of decentralisation, in which the Government and ministries are responsible for State management, building strategies, planning, mechanisms and policies, allocating resources and strengthening supervision and inspection. Legislation must put people and businesses as the centre, and harmoniously solve the interests and responsibilities between the State, the market and society./.

Vietnam to resume int’l commercial flights, apply vaccine passports soon

Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Le Thi Thu Hang on November 18 provided more information about Vietnam’s plan to resume regular international commercial flights and the application of “vaccine passports”.

At the ministry's regular press conference, she said under the Government’s Resolution No 128, issued on October 11, on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic, relevant agencies have carried out many measures to facilitate production and business recovery, boost socio-economic development, and bring people’s life back to the new normal.

On November 8, the Ministry of Transport submitted to the Prime Minister a plan to resume regular international flights between now and the third quarter of 2022 in order to tackle difficulties facing aviation businesses. The move is also meant to promote economic and tourism recovery in the country and meet people’s demand for air travel, thus helping with socio-economic recovery and development, and international integration in the new normal.

Hang added the Government recently approved the MoFA’s proposal on the application of “vaccine passports” and agreed in principle on the expansion of the group of people with vaccine passports allowed to enter Vietnam, including overseas Vietnamese and their families coming to the country to visit relatives and travel as regulated in the Government’s Decree No 82 on visa exemption for overseas Vietnamese and foreigners who are their wives/husbands/children, or Vietnamese citizens.

The ministry is coordinating with relevant agencies to complete detailed instructions for applying vaccine passports at an appropriate point of time, according to the spokeswoman./.

Vietnam always prioritises promoting gender equality: Spokeswoman

Vietnam always gives priority to promoting gender equality, narrowing the gender gap and creating equal opportunities for women and men to participate in and benefit from all aspects of social life, contributing to the sustainable development of the country, Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Le Thi Thu Hang has said.

Hang made the statement on November 18 at the MOFA’s regular press briefing, in response to a reporter’s question over a recent report conducted by a group of UN experts which stated that a number of Vietnamese women and girls suffered from violence and harassment from their employers, after being recruited to Saudi Arabia for work.

She said the MOFA has instructed Vietnamese representative missions abroad to keep in close contact with local authorities and companies in charge of managing and employing Vietnamese labour. They also encourage the local Vietnamese community to help facilitate favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens working and residing in other countries.

Vietnam’s representative agencies always stand ready to implement citizen protection measures and other measures to ensure the lawful rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens, particularly female labourers and girls in necessary cases, she said.

According to the spokeswoman, over the past years, the MOFA and the Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia have received certain comments on the situation of Vietnamese labourers in this country.

Immediately upon receiving such information and the instruction of the MOFA, the Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia has got in touch with local authorities, checked the information and requested investigations and strict punishments for incidents in line with the law, Hang said.

The Vietnamese Embassy and labour management board in Saudi Arabia have also been working with companies in charge of deploying workers to seek suitable solutions to address conflicts with employees and protect the safety and rights of Vietnamese citizens abroad, she said.

Hang further asserted that Vietnam had enacted measures to protect female workers, prevent violence and harassment at work and stop the use of child labour through the issuance and adoption of relevant laws and policies such as the 2012 Labour Code and the 2016 Law on Children.

Vietnam has become party to 25 conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), including seven out of eight fundamental conventions that encompass prevention of discrimination, child labour and forced labour. Vietnam is the first country in Asia and the second in the world to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, she said.

Amid complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MOFA and the Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia have been making every effort to overcome challenges and cooperate with local authorities and airlines to run repatriation flights. Nearly 800 Vietnamese citizens have so far been returned home.

Vietnamese authorities will continue to work closely with foreign counterparts to organise more repatriation flights, in line with citizens’ aspirations and take into account the evolution of the pandemic globally, as well as domestic quarantine capacity, she said./.

Spokesperson informs about citizen protection work, international issues

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang, on November 18, talked about some information related to citizen protection work and other international issues of public concern.

At the ministry’s regular press conference taking place virtually on the day, Hang affirmed the achievements that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese people have made over the past 100 years are enormous and impressive.

She hoped that under the CPC leadership, the Chinese people will continue to obtain greater victories on their path of development, and make positive contributions to peace, stability and properous development in the region and the world.

Commenting on the US-China relations, the diplomat said that Vietnam pays attention to and follows developments of international relations in the region and in the world.

Vietnam wishes that China and the US will maintain cooperation and dialogue, promote their important role, make positive contributions to regional and global peace, security, stability, cooperation and prosperity, and sustain cooperation with and respect ASEAN's centrality in an evolving regional architecture.

Regarding information about Vietnamese workers in Serbia being beaten and assaulted, Hang said: “We have just contacted the Vietnamese Embassy in Romania, concurrently in Serbia, and learned that the embassy had received information from several Serbian press agencies.” It is working to verify the information, firstly via contacting the workers in Serbia, labour export companies, and relevant local authorities, she added.

Initial information from the embassy showed that no Vietnamese workers were assaulted or beaten. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has directed the embassy to continue to grasp the situation and contact local competent agencies to verify the information and take measures to protect the rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens and workers in Serbia, thereby ensuring their safety./.

Viet Nam stresses regional security and stability to recover economy after COVID-19

Việt Nam agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, especially compliance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as marine protection, to ensure economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the virtual conference for the 11th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the 9th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) which began on Tuesday, Vũ Hồ, director of the Foreign Ministry’s ASEAN Department, emphasised the responsibility and goodwill of member countries in implementing the commitment to maintaining peace and security in the region.

At the AMF, ASEAN countries spoke highly of the AMF's role in promoting dialogue, building common awareness and strengthening policy-oriented research.

With the multi-faceted and multidisciplinary nature of maritime issues, the AMF has made an important contribution to improving the efficiency of coordination among 12 ASEAN specialised agencies on maritime cooperation.

The countries welcomed the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the Blue Economy, which was adopted at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits on October 26. The declaration would form a common ASEAN awareness on economic cooperation and identify potential areas of cooperation within ASEAN community and between ASEAN and its partners, including marine environmental protection, marine littering, illegal fishing, and maritime security and safety.

As a co-chair of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on Maritime Security for the 2018-2021 period, Việt Nam briefed attendees on achievements made, updated the implementation of the ARF work plan on maritime security as well as shared expectations on maritime security cooperation.

Also at the conference, ASEAN countries said EAMF played an important role in promoting dialogue, building trust, following a multilateral approach in dealing with common challenges as well as sharing information.

The delegates shared concerns about many challenges such as marine environmental degradation, piracy, terrorism, smuggling, human trafficking, climate change and natural disasters.

In the context of promoting economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, many delegates emphasised the importance of maritime connectivity and transportation, ensuring the maintenance of regional and global supply chains.

They highlighted the compliance with international law and UNCLOS 1982 and called for peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law and the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the development of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law.

The forum also noted the year 2022 as an important milestone marking the 40th anniversary of the 1982 UNCLOS and the 20th anniversary of the DOC.

Hồ, as head of the Vietnamese delegation, said Việt Nam reaffirmed its principled stance and emphasised the interests and responsibilities of countries in striving to build the East Sea (South China Sea) into a sea of ​​peace, cooperation and stability.

The 11th ASEAN Maritime Forum and 9th EAMF was chaired by Brunei and took place over two days.

Party chief requests renewing corruption fighting spirit

Party General Secretary and head of the Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Control Nguyen Phu Trong has highlighted a need to renew the spirit and determination in the fight against corruption and negative phenomena.

Chairing the committee’s meeting in Hanoi on November 18, the Party leader asked Party committees and organisations to seriously and effectively perform anti-corruption tasks; resolutely prevent, quickly discover and seriously deal with corruption and negative behaviors, with a focus on degradation in political thought, moral virtue and lifestyle among officials, Party members and civil servants. 

He required that difficulties and obstacles must be removed to speed up the investigation, prosecution and trial of cases under the watch of the Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Control, so as to fulfill this year’s tasks. 

The standing board of the committee reported that following its 19th meeting in January 2021, the fight against corruption and trials of relevant cases have been stepped up with positive results. 

Specifically, the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission inspected, imposed disciplinary measures and asked for disciplinary actions against 12 Party organisations and 20 Party members under the management of the Politburo and Party Central Committee’s Secretariat. A number of law violations in the education and health care sectors have been brought to courts. 

Over 1.75 trillion VND (77.33 million USD) in illegal gains have been confiscated and blocked. Law enforcement agencies reclaimed over 9 trillion VND. 

Participants at the event also discussed the committee’s draft working regulations and the assignment of tasks to its members./. 

Vietnam calls for comprehensive political solution to situation in Afghanistan

Counsellor Phan Ho The Nam, political coordinator of the Vietnam Permanent Mission to the UN, has highlighted the importance of dialogue to seek a comprehensive political solution to the situation in Afghanistan.

Addressing a debate of the UN Security Council on humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan on November 17, the Vietnamese diplomat showed his concern about difficulties the Afghan people are facing, especially increasingly serious food insecurity.

He emphasised the need to ensure stability, safety and benefit of the Afghan people, while calling on parties to comply with obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, and ensure the maintenance of essential infrastructure and services for the Afghan people.

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative for Afghanistan of the UN Secretary-General informed about the difficult situation facing the Afghan people due to the heavy impact of the socio-economic crisis, and instabilities caused by terrorist organisations.

The international community needs to be most concerned in maintaining support for people of Afghanistan in the context that up to 23 million people are being in crisis or experiencing emergency levels of food, Lyons said.

She called on stakeholders in Afghanistan to ensure rights of the people, especially promoting participation of women in socio-political fields, and girls’ right to education.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is working to provide support in the country with a focus on humanitarian coordination.

Delegates said that a comprehensive political solution to the situation in Afghanistan should be inclusive. They also emphasised the importance of women's participation in this process.

They also acknowledged UNAMA's efforts in supporting the Afghan people in recent times./.

More foreign visitors to arrive in central Quang Nam province

A Vietjet Air flight carrying 100 foreign tourists is expected to arrive at Da Nang International Airport in the central city of Da Nang at 11:05 pm on November 18.

The American, Canadian and Korean visitors, departing from the Republic of Korea’s Incheon, will stay at New World Hoiana Hotel in Duy Xuyen district of central Quang Nam province, which also received 30 foreigners of these nationals on November 17, said Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Thanh Hong.

The hotel is scheduled to host another group of about 200 Americans, Canadians and Koreans, who will fly on a Bamboo Airways flight from Incheon to the the Da Nang airport on November 25.

These are the first groups of foreign tourists to visit the central province in two years after it has been selected as one of localities piloting to welcome international visitors in the new normal.

Holiday-makers coming to Quang Nam are required to be fully given two shots of vaccines against COVID-19, and strictly follow COVID-19 prevention regulations of the locality and the Ministry of Health.

The province has selected the Vinpearl Land South Hoi An, Hoi An Ancient City, and My Son World Cultural Heritage Site as its tourist destinations for the pilot reopening programme./.

Minister stresses significance of Vietnam’s election to UNESCO Executive Board

Vietnam’s election as a member of the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for 2021 - 2025 holds great significance in many aspects, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son.

At the 41st session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France, on November 17, Vietnam won 163 out of the 178 votes to become a member of the UNESCO Executive Board for 2021 - 2025, ranking sixth among the 27 countries elected.

Talking to the press on November 18, Son said together with its recent election to prestigious multilateral organisations and institutions, Vietnam's election to the UNESCO Executive Board for the fifth time holds great significance in many aspects.

First, it continues helping to affirm the Party and State’s clear-sighted policy on promoting multilateral diplomacy, and comprehensively implementing and effectively combining political and economic diplomacy with cultural diplomacy, and bilateral diplomacy with multilateral diplomacy, he noted.

Second, Vietnam’s election to the UNESCO Executive Board with a very high number of votes affirms the country’s stature and prestige in the international arena, showing that the international community supports its active participation in activities of international organisations, including those of the UN.

Third, as a member of the UNESCO Executive Board, Vietnam will have conditions to directly take part in the making and adoption of important decisions of this organisation, thus opening up opportunities for the country to guarantee national interests at the highest possible level in terms of global cultural, educational - training, and scientific - technological cooperation. The election will also help Vietnam make use of knowledge and external resources for socio-economic development, bring into play its cultural values, and develop education - training and science - technology, which matches the common trend in the world and meet national development requirements in the new period, according to Son.

As a member of the UNESCO Executive Board for 2021 - 2025, he went on, Vietnam will keep upholding its sense of responsibility and proactively and actively contribute to UNESCO activities, especially in important issues of common concern such as making reforms to improve the organisation’s democracy, transparency, and prestige; making policies and seeking solutions to protect and promote the interests of member states, including Vietnam; and contributing to the focal programmes of UNESCO at present like ethics of artificial intelligence, education for sustainable development, preservation and utilisation of cultural heritage values.

Vietnam is determined to fulfill the responsibilities of an Executive Board member so as to promote and bring into play the role of UNESCO for the sake of humankind, the minister noted, adding that this is also a good chance for the country to enhance cooperation with UNESCO to open up “new development spaces” for it, thereby improving the spiritual life in society and creating a favourable foundation for Vietnam to achieve the sustainable development goals./.

Symposium discusses sustainable development governance amidst COVID-19

Symposium discusses sustainable development governance amidst COVID-19 hinh anh 1

The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) on November 17 held a Vietnam symposium on sustainable development governance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in both online and in-person formats in Vietnam and several countries.

This was an activity within the framework of the Leadership and Policy Reform Forum organised by the HCMA’s Institute for Leadership and Public Policy and the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global) biennially.

HCMA Deputy Director Le Van Loi said that sustainable development is a consistent policy of the Vietnamese Party and State since the Doi Moi (Renewal) process started. Vietnam has nationalised the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into a National Action Plan with 17 general and 115 specific goals in line with the conditions and development priorities of the country.

Participants focused on discussing the identification and analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the development of countries; clarifying the relationship between the crisis and sustainable development; studying models and mechanisms of national governance, international governance and international cooperation, as well as socio-economic recovery solutions to ensure post-pandemic sustainable development.

HCMA Deputy Director Duong Trung Y said that addressing challenges caused by crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring sustainable development are the responsibility of the whole society. This needs attention from leaders, managers, authorities, communities and people, in which scientists play a very important role.

Governments need to work closely together to overcome the pandemic, restore production, and ensure sustainable development goals, he stressed./.

Vietnam ready to facilitate Luxembourg's business expansion: Ambassador

Vietnam stands ready to create favourable conditions for Luxembourg investors to expand business in areas of both countries’ shared interest, Ambassador to Luxembourg Nguyen Van Thao said after presenting his credentials to Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henri on November 17.

Henri spoke highly of Vietnam’s role and position in Southeast Asia and ASEAN, saying Luxembourg wishes to further step up the ties with Vietnam in multiple fields, particularly within the framework of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement which took effect in August last year.

He highlighted the two countries' coordination and mutual support at multilateral and regional forums, including the United Nations, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the International Organisation of La Francophonie; and stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation in ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation in Southeast Asia, including the East Sea.

Ambassador Thao said it is a privilege to serve as Vietnamese Ambassador to Luxembourg. He pledged to do his utmost to reinforce and deepen the long-standing relations between the two countries.

The diplomat also took the occasion to thank Luxembourg for supporting Vietnam through development cooperation projects, contributing greatly to Vietnam’s “Doi Moi” (Renewal) process and socio-economic growth. He conveyed President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to the Grand Duke to visit Vietnam as both sides will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2023.

Vietnam is ready to provide all possible conditions for Luxembourg, its fifth largest investor, to beef up cooperation and investment in the areas of both sides’ interest, for example, finance, climate change adaption, renewable energy, circular economy, culture, education and people-to-people exchange, he said.

As Vietnam stays committed to adapting to climate change and promoting digital transformation, the country expects to receive Luxembourg’s continued support in the fields of fintech, innovation, smart infrastructure, green transport, and workforce training, he continued.

The Vietnamese ambassador asked Henri to push for the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in EU member states to open more opportunities for Luxembourg enterprises in Vietnam and neighbouring countries./.

Hanoi metro route attracts modest passenger numbers

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line in Hanoi has lured a modest number of passengers after being put into operation recently.

The route is offering free travel for the first 15 days of operation, starting from November 6.

To date, the Hanoi Metro One Member Company Limited has operated 1,742 trips with 272,000 passengers, equal to 156 people per trip on trains capable of carrying 960 passengers.  

Last Sunday saw the highest number of passengers with 54,000 people. Meanwhile, the remaining days range from 16,000-19,000 people.

After the free travel ends on November 21, tickets will be officially sold.

Hanoi People’s Committee has announced the price of the tickets for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro with the lowest being VND8,000 (USD0.35) for a trip and VND30,000 for a day pass. A basic monthly pass is priced at VND200,000.

In the first six months of the operation, trains run from 5 am to 11 pm every day with the frequency of one train every 10 minutes.

Nguyen Xuan Thuy, former director of the Transport Publishing House, said it would take more time for people to be familiar with travelling by metro. Hanoi needs to arrange bus stops for buses as well as parking lots to make it more convenient for passengers to use the metro line.

The Hanoi Department of Transport has added 17 bus stops along the route.

Currently, 55 bus routes in the city connect to the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line. 

"Tuong" art form promoted closer to young generations

With a stylised and symbolic formula at high levels, along with strict regulations and rules in performance, singing, dancing, costumes and instruments, Tuong (classical drama) is a model and unique art form but is “selective” about audiences.

In order to open up the opportunity to bring Tuong closer to the modern public, Vietnam Tuong Theatre has developed a special programme to introduce Tuong to young audiences.

At a report of programme to leaders of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the artists from Vietnam Tuong Theatre performed several unique excerpts including “Ong gia cong vo tre di xem hoi” (Old man carrying his young wife on his back to a festival), “Ho Nguyet Co hoa cao” (Ho Nguyet Co turning into a fox), “Tran Quoc Toan ra quan” (Tran Quoc Toan goes to the front), and “On Dinh chem Ta” (On Dinh beheaded Ta).

They are among the plays have been prepared thoroughly for their introduction at schools, aiming to inspire the love for Tuong art form among younger generations. Especially, under the programme, in addition to performances, various attractive activities have been held to introduce the traditional art form through the system of quotes and comments, notably the exchange between the artists and audiences.

The viewers can enjoy the art, are directly invited to the stage to familiarise themselves with the instruments, and perform some movements with the artists as well as present their questions or concerns to learn more about the special features and basic principles in performing, dancing, makeup and music of Tuong.

Deputy Director of Vietnam Tuong Theatre, Ta Van Sop, who directly built the programme, said there have been a number of traditional art units developing models to bring stage arts to schools in order to attract a younger audience. However, they have only focused on performances or the opening of short-term training courses. Therefore, they have not been specialised and remain unsustainable.

Understanding that it is very important to arouse the interest and aspiration of learning about Tuong traditional art form among younger audiences, the theatre decided to develop the programme in a close and independent manner. Certainly, the implementation of the programme must be flexible and suitable with the time, space and requirements of each training institution, ensuring the time spent for interactive activities is at least equivalent to the time for performances.

Tuong has a strength of exploiting historical topics, so it is very suitable for schools. Having access to historical events and characters through Tuong excerpts is an effective way to help students absorb historical knowledge naturally and excitedly. Thanks to that, they can raise questions related to Tuong such as why the characters' faces are painted with different colours and textures; and why artists have to turn around before performing. When their questions are answered accurately, the students will understand and gradually fall in love with Tuong.

During the period of building the programme from 2019 to late 2020, Vietnam Tuong Theatre was determined to provide the knowledge the audience needed. Therefore, from the very beginning, the theatre designed the contents towards the audiences in different educational levels, ensuring that the information is conveyed in the most intimate, understandable and attractive manner.

During this process, the developers had to review the entire historical and literary programme from grade 1 to 12 towards seeking the historical characters and issues that can be reflected by Tuong. In addition, they systematised the theatre’s plays to find those which are suitable for students of different grade levels.

For example, they chose the excerpt “Tran Quoc Toan goes to front” and others about Saint Giong and Thach Sanh for students at primary schools; meanwhile, the plays such as “Trung Nu Vuong”, “Ho Nguyet Co hoa cao”, “On Dinh chem Ta” and “Thieu phu Nam Xuong” (Nam Xuong widow), along with plays about national heroes, are suitable for students at secondary and high school levels. The most unique plays would be introduced to universities and colleges.

The artists have put all their efforts into practicing from 2020 up until now. Each performance has been rehearsed with four different crews to ensure the continuity of the programme and the ability to perform in multiple venues at the same time.

In addition, the artists had to train in the skills of exchange and update basic knowledge about Tuong to provide audiences with accurate and consistent information. The programme prioritised choosing young artists because they are promising faces in this traditional art form and can easily exchange with younger audiences.

This is also an opportunity for them to promote themselves and attract audiences who love and are attached to their artistic career. The theatre will create a special fan page for the programme, aiming to bring several impressive excerpts and exchanges to digital environments in order to enhance the interaction and connection between audiences and the Tuong art form in the near future.

The programme’s organisers expressed their hope that the cultural and educational sectors will “shake hands” with each other to help Tuong reach the young public at training institutions easily. The scientific and methodical formation of future audiences is the most effective and sustainable way to preserve and promote the values of the Tuong art form in particular and traditional stage in general.

Expy linking Danang, Thua Thien-Hue to open to traffic soon

After undergoing an appraisal in December this year, the La Son-Tuy Loan expressway project, which connects Thua Thien-Hue Province and Danang City, will be opened to traffic.

A representative of the Ho Chi Minh Road Project Management Board under the Ministry of Transport said on November 16 that one of the two main sections of the expressway project had been approved by the State Inspection Council for Pre-Acceptance Test of Construction Works for operation. The relevant agencies are completing the evaluation procedures.

The two main sections of the expressway project are La Son-Hoa Lien and Hoa Lien-Tuy Loan, with the former being complete.

Once in place, the La Son-Hoa Lien section of the expressway with an initial total cost of VND11.5 trillion will allow a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour and have two lanes.

The La Son-Tuy Loan expressway project got off the ground in late December 2013 and is 77.5 kilometers, starting from the La Son Intersection in Thua Thien-Hue Province and ending at the Tuy Loan Intersection in Danang City’s Hoa Vang District.

The expressway was supposed to be opened to traffic in late 2018, but faced obstacles over adjustment, site clearance and shortage of capital, leading to delays, VietnamPlus news site reported.

Speaking of the toll collection for investment recovery, the representative of the management board said that the competent agencies had yet to make a final decision on toll collection methods for the expressway. As such, in the initial period, vehicles will not have to pay toll fees for using the expressway.

HCMC allows food, beverage shops to open until 10 pm piloting sales of wines

In a document signed by Vice Chairwoman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Phan Thi Thang to the districts, Thu Duc City, and related departments and agencies on the content of on-site catering business, HCMC authorities allowed food and beverage facilities to operate until 10 pm daily.

Moreover, under the document, food and beverage businesses will operate specifically according to each epidemic level. For instance, these establishments in areas in epidemic levels 1 and 2 will operate as normal. They are allowed to serve alcoholic drinks.

Foodservice establishments service in areas of alert level 3 are allowed to serve no more than 50 percent of their capacity at the same time and they are not allowed to sell or allow guests to use alcoholic beverages whereas food service shops in areas in epidemic level 4 can only sell takeout, not on-site dining and drinking.
Accordingly, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City allows foodservice businesses to pilot operations until the end of November 30 and must meet the regulations according to the set of safety assessment criteria in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Related agencies and administrations in districts and Thu Duc City must instruct restaurants and beverage shops to follow safety criteria in the prevention and control of Covid-19.

After the pilot implementation period, the People’s Committee of Thu Duc City and districts will evaluate and draw lessons from piloting food and drink services to send to the Department of Industry and Trade to summarize and propose the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

Prior, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai urged to pilot on-site food and drink services and other services to help residents earn their livelihood after the Covid-19 pandemic on October 20.

HCMC People's Committee on October 28 issued its decision to allow in-person dining to resume, after five months of closure and delivery-only operations due to the prolonged fourth wave of Covid-19 in the southern largest city.

Restaurants, cafes, and other food and beverages places can cater for sit-in services again, but they must close at 9 pm each day.

Ministry urges vaccination, leaders held accountable for low vaccine coverage

The Ministry of Health urged localities to ramp up vaccination rollout adding that it will publicize localities with slow vaccination progress and low vaccine coverage.

Departments of Health will be held accountable for vaccination progress and shortage of vaccines because of slow reports to the Provincial Party Committee, the City Party Committee, and people.

The Ministry of Health said that by the afternoon of the same day, more than 100.8 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered as of November 16. In which, the rate of people aged 18 years and over getting one dose and two doses of Covid-19 vaccine is about 88 percent and 48 percent respectively.

Presently, 18 provinces including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, HCMC, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An, Lam Dong, Vinh Long, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Kien Giang and Hau Giang have achieved 95 percent of residents aged 18 and over had received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

So far, the Ministry of Health has allocated more than 116 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to localities for vaccination rollout. It is expected that from now to December 2021, more vaccines will be brought to the country. Therefore, the Ministry of Health has just sent an urgent document to secretaries of Party committees across the country to urge ramping up the progress of the vaccination drive.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Health asked secretaries of Party committees to direct Departments of Health to speed up the vaccination rollout so that all people aged 18 years and over get the first dose of vaccines.

Additionally, those who have received the first dose of the vaccine will have the second one on schedule. Local administrations and health authorities must check the quantity of vaccines left and report the vaccines taken from the Ministry of Health and donated by businesses.

Localities keep an eye on the stock of vaccines asking for additional supplies of vaccine if they are running out of the drug.

The Ministry of Health also pointed out that Departments of Health must propose vaccine needs from now until the end of the year to cover people aged 18 and over and children aged 12-17 in the area and vaccine demand in 2022. Health authorities must send reports of vaccine needs to the Ministry of Health before November 20.

As of November 15, Vietnam saw 100 million doses of vaccines administered. The Southeast Asian country has finished two-third of 150 million doses of vaccine in its largest vaccination rollout.

Educators wonder how to bridge learning gap after prolonged e-classes

To prepare to welcome students back to school in December, schools in Ho Chi Minh City have renovated their facilities and had different types of teaching methods in the new normal. However, e-classes may lead to learning gaps amongst students; therefore, educators were wondering how to bridge the gap and change study habits after a long time of online learning.

Teaching in very high-risk cities and provinces countrywide went online with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, elementary, middle, and high schools have completed the midterm examination of the first semester of the school year 2021-2022.

Explaining this, Le Duy Tan, Head of the Secondary Education Department under the Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City, said that it is not possible to require all students to participate in classes on the internet due to obstacles in network connection and equipment.

Students have self-perceived knowledge differently in a face-to-face classroom or online classes. However, the knowledge gap will be wider in online teaching due to many various reasons such as conditions of transmission lines, terminal devices, learning environment, and students’ self-discipline for online learning, Mr. Tan said. Therefore, an online lecture is a temporary solution in the current time.

Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training Nguyen Van Hieu requested teachers to review students' knowledge to take appropriate measures for supplementing their knowledge.

Teachers at the primary level should pay attention to supplementing the knowledge and skills that students have not yet mastered while their counterparts in middle schools and high schools have plans to consolidate knowledge by teaching all students in a class. Teachers can provide extra private lessons for small groups of pupils.

According to Dr. Nguyen Thuy Phuong, a lecturer at the University of Paris ( in France), when students return to schools, schools have two options including prioritizing the implementation of the educational program or paying attention to developing students’ cognitive skills and social skills being affected by the prolonged epidemic and social distancing.

Looking at the matter from different viewpoints, education researcher Nguyen Thuy Uyen Phuong, founder of one of the first intensive extracurricular school systems in Vietnam, said that when students return to school, schools need to adjust programs and student study habits.

After a long time of studying online, many students are used to sitting in front of a computer screen for 3-10 hours a day, losing the habit of taking notes due to the habit of using mobile phones to take pictures and watch video clips, online lectures, keyboard interaction.

 

Ms. Phuong predicted that, when schools reopen, students should perform extracurricular activities to supplement the mainstream curriculum and provide all students with the opportunity to acquire new skills and improve old ones. At that time, families will help schools to improve the quality of education.

Some recent educational studies exploring and comparing the different teaching modes have to date, focused on learning outcomes, the online mode of learning has been used increasingly as a supplement to traditional face-to-face teaching. According to researcher Vu Duc Tri The, the Covid-19 pandemic has supercharged reliance on connected technology and pushed education deeper into digital ecosystems for more than 10 years, exerting great pressure on both teachers and learners.

Online learning requires students to get online login to certain websites for their lectures, assignments, and queries. The Internet in itself is also a temptation for the wastage of time. There are a lot of TV shows, games, social media groups, pop-ups, and many other disturbing things. A student is vulnerable to all bad and mischievous distractions which he is not inside the boundaries of school and universities. To overcome this problem one needs to be self-disciplined for online learning.

The education sector needs more solutions to pay attention to the mental health and social needs of students to achieve the goal of "Friendly Schools, Active Students".

HCMC honors 73 teachers teaching students with disabilities

This morning, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training in collaboration with the city education sector’s labor union organized a meeting with the theme "Nhung Doa Hong Tham Lang”(Silent Roses) in 2021 to celebrate Vietnamese Teacher's Day falling on November 20.

Speaking at the exchange, Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Education Sector's Trade Union Nguyen Thi Gai said that one of the greatest of the challenges faced by a teacher this time is how to balance work and family life, between traditional teaching methods and innovative methods, individualization education. "Silent Roses" is not only a title but a recognition of bright examples of kindness, conscience, and responsibility for the teaching profession of educators who teach special needs students.

Despite their difficulties in daily lives, teachers of students with special needs have made great efforts to overcome their dilemmas to keep teaching.

Ms. Gai said that being a teacher in special education, teachers face a variety of obstacles that require a particular kind of focus and patience, but with love for children, a teacher will receive a feeling of accomplishment when a student becomes a good citizen.

Sharing at the meeting, Ms. Pham Thi Kim Loan, an expert in primary education and special education under the Department of Education and Training in District 10, said that all individual students have special educational needs and abilities; therefore, they will have their development abilities despite limitations of physical, language and behavior if they receive appropriate support. Schools and educators need to plan the environment, schedule, and daily activities to promote each child's development and learning.

However, Ms. Kim Loan revealed that there have been no special policies for educators and managers in schools for children with special needs though they ought to work hard.

In addition, there has not been a special program to teach children with disabilities life skills education and career guidance programs; consequently, their chances of integrating into the community and living a life 'as normal and full as possible' have been decreased a hundredfold.

Teacher Dinh Lan Phuong, a teacher of children with multiple disabilities at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special High School, said that the relationship between teachers, parents, and the school is significant in helping students to develop their skills.

Being a disabled person, teacher Phuong understands very well the difficulties of people with disabilities as well as the worries and expectations of parents and family members. With the love and patience for children with disabilities, the young teacher has trained students on how to hold a spoon, change clothes, and how to write a word.

For the young teacher, the feeling of happiness is simply hearing her students say a word, or they can hug her and call her ma’am.

According to teacher Ta Le Nhat Vy at Nguyen Hue Primary School in District 1, students’ progress and achievement can be used as evidence for teachers’ efforts. Teachers always do their best with their assigned responsibilities so that not a single student is left behind.

On this occasion, the Trade Union of Ho Chi Minh City Education Industry also rewarded the winning teams and individuals in the contests "Union organization - Gratitude during the epidemic season", essay writing contest with the theme "Humanity on Earth" for honoring frontline people in the fight against Covid-19" and composers of video clip competition with the theme "Happy day back to school".

Market management forces to crack down on trade fraud in upcoming Tet holiday

The Market Management Department of Ho Chi Minh City yesterday said that the agency has been strengthening the activities of fighting against smuggling and trade fraud in the last months of 2021 and the upcoming Tet holiday.

Accordingly, the market management teams will strengthen the monitoring online, make the list and distinguish the collectives and individuals operating e-commerce.

The functional forces will focus on checking the prohibited goods, commodities affecting the security and social order on the occasion of Lunar New Year Eve including clothes, footwear, shoes, electronics, medical equipment and supplies serving for Covid-19 prevention and control.

Besides, the agricultural, forestry and fishery products are on the name-list of strictly monitoring to limit trade fraud. The business certificate, invoice and origin of products, price listings are the must-checked categories.
Moreover, the HCMC Market Management Department shall pay attention to monitor the new drug products in District 1, District 5 and District 10, traditional medicine in District 5 and District 8, imported wine in District 1, District 3 and District 5, the fabric of all kinds in District 5, Tan Phu District and Tan Binh District, smuggled goods via air route at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The market management teams are also required to collaborate with other relevant forces, including the economic police, customs forces and tax agency to encourage residents to denounce the crime, provide accurate information to handle the violations.

From the beginning of the year to now, the market management forces nationwide have checked and handled around 37,000 violated cases, collected and performed payment to the state budget with an amount of over VND282 billion (US$12.4 million). 

ASEAN, Switzerland reaffirm commitment to further strengthen cooperation

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Switzerland reaffirmed commitment to further strengthen their cooperation at the 6th Meeting of the ASEAN-Switzerland Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee held on November 17 via videoconference.

The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community Michael Tene, and Head of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, Raphael Nägeli. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN or their representatives and the Ambassador of Switzerland to ASEAN Kurt Kunz also attended the event.

At the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the developments in ASEAN and Switzerland, including responses to COVID-19 pandemic. ASEAN appreciated Switzerland’s humanitarian medical assistance, amounting to around 15 million CHF (over 16 million USD), for the ASEAN region to cope with COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. It also encouraged both sides to further explore possible cooperation in addressing the pandemic and its socio-economic impacts in the post-pandemic recovery phase.

The meeting noted with satisfaction the progress made in cooperation since their partnership began five years ago. Both sides discussed the completed, ongoing, and planned projects in implementing the ASEAN-Switzerland Sectoral Dialogue Partnership: Practical Cooperation Areas 2017-2021.

They explored opportunities to further deepen cooperation in the areas of tourism; connectivity; smart cities; digital innovation; disaster management and humanitarian assistance; and biodiversity, conservation and management.

Other potential areas of cooperation were also discussed, such as; technical and vocational education and training; micro, small and medium enterprises; sustainable development; forestry; cybersecurity; people-to-people contact; public health emergency; and response to the health impacts of COVID-19.

The meeting looked forward to the adoption of the ASEAN-Switzerland Practical Areas of Cooperation (2022-2026), which will serve as a five-year work plan for both sides to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation./.

Life jacket presentation programme benefits fishermen in Khanh Hoa

Two hundreds of the 1,000 donated life jackets for needy fishermen in Khanh Hoa province were presented to those in Van Hung commune of Van Ninh district on November 18.

Khanh Hoa is the last of the 12 central localities to receive the donations by businesses and people in response to former President Truong Tan Sang’s appeal.

Of the 15,000 donated life jackets worth over 20 billion VND (883,000 USD), 1,000 were presented to Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Khanh Hoa each.

As many as 1,600 life jackets were handed over to Quang Ngai and Phu Yen provinces each while 1,800 others to Binh Dinh. In particular, Truong Sa island district of Khanh Hoa province received 1,000.

During the trip to present the aid from November 14 to 18, the delegation of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) visited all the 12 localities and directly handed over 2,855 life jackets to poor and disadvantaged fishermen. The remainders were delivered to local Red Cross organisations to distribute to fishermen.

At the presentation event in Van Hung commune, former President Truong Tan Sang, former Honorary Chairman of the VRC and the VRC Central Committee, expressed his hope that the jackets will help fishermen to cope with natural disasters and incidents at sea, thereby helping to protect the country’s sea and islands.

He also called on philanthropists to continue supporting fishermen in the time ahead./.

Over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases recorded in Vietnam on Nov. 18

An additional 10,223 COVID-19 cases were reported in Vietnam on November 18, according to the Ministry of Health.

It is the second time this week that daily cases have topped 10,000.

Among the new cases, 14 were imported and the rest were local transmissions. A total of 5,454 new infections were detected in the community.

Vietnam’s total caseload now stands at 1,065,469, of which 1,060,394 are the result of the fourth wave of infections that began in late April.

Ho Chi Minh City continues to record the highest daily case count with 1,609, followed by Binh Duong with 686 and Tay Ninh with 632. The capital city of Hanoi logged 202 new cases.

The remaining infections were detected in Tien Giang (622), Dong Nai (563), Dong Thap (515), An Giang (510), Ba Ria - Vung Tau (423), Soc Trang (343), Binh Thuan (333), Bac Lieu (314), Vinh Long (314), Kien Giang (304), Ha Giang (235), Tra Vinh (194), Binh Phuoc (189), Ben Tre (184), Ca Mau (158), Khanh Hoa (135), Can Tho (130), Hau Giang (122), Dak Lak (118), Lam Dong (95), Thua Thien Hue (91), Thai Binh (85), Long An (82), Binh Dinh (82), Bac Ninh (78), Quang Nam (73), Gia Lai (68), Nghe An (61), Dien Bien (59), Vinh Phuc (56), Quang Ngai (51), Bac Giang (49), Nam Dinh (47), Thanh Hoa (46), Ninh Thuan (45), Dak Nong (41), Ha Tinh (31), Quang Ninh (31), Da Nang (26), Phu Yen (25), Tuyen Quang (25), Quang Binh (20), Cao Bang (19), Hai Duong (16), Phu Tho (15), Ha Nam (12), Hung Yen (10), Son La (8), Lang Son (6), Quang Tri (5), Lao Cai (5), Hai Phong (5), Kon Tum (2), Hoa Binh (2), Thai Nguyen (1), and Yen Bai (1).

A total of 139 COVID-19 related deaths were announced in HCM City (42), An Giang (22), Kien Giang (16), Binh Duong (14), Dong Nai (7), Long An (6), Bac Lieu (5), Tien Giang (5), Nghe An (3), Tra Vinh (3), Tay Ninh (3), Vinh Long (3), Binh Thuan (2), Can Tho (2), Ben Tre (2), Soc Trang (2), Ninh Thuan (1), and Ba Ria - Vung Tau (1).

The death toll in Vietnam is now 23,476, or 2.2 percent of the total cases.

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, 4,489 patients nationwide are in serious condition, with 410 requiring invasive ventilation and 14 on life support (ECMO).

A further 6,723 patients were given the all-clear on November 18, taking the total number of recoveries to 881,593.

Over 103.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Vietnam to date, and 37,800,104 people are now fully inoculated./.

Vietnamese, Cuban parties talk improving ideological work

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC) Central Committee’s Ideological Department held an online talk on November 18 to discuss further tightening ties between the two Parties and nations, as well as share experience in ideology work and Party building. 

Speaking at the event, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the commission Nguyen Trong Nghia underlined the special traditional friendship between the two nations, saying that the organisation of the talk at this point of time reflects the determination to further deepen the fraternal solidarity, comprehensive cooperation and mutual trust between the two Parties, States and peoples of Vietnam and Cuba. 

He shared experience in Party building in the aspect of ideology, which he said the CPV always attaches importance to ideological work. He also highlighted two tasks of enhancing the Party’s theoretical work and studying the contents in documents of the 13th National Party Congress. 

Participants at the event looked into how to improve the quality of studies and consultations on ideological work and Party building, protect the Party’s ideological foundation amid the fourth industrial revolution, and use technological advances in fighting and refuting wrongful and hostile opinions in the new situation. 

They agreed to further boost cooperation in fields of strength, contributing to boosting ties between the two Parties and diversifying forms of collaboration amid the pandemic. 

Nghia also took the occasion to invite Rogelio Polanco, Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and head of the department to Vietnam when conditions allow./. 

Minister of National Defence receives Thai ambassador

Vietnam always attaches importance to its relations with neighbouring and ASEAN countries, including comprehensive cooperation with Thailand, Minister of National Defence General Phan Van Giang said at a reception for newly-appointed Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikonrndej Balankura in Hanoi on November 18.

Giang expressed his delight at the growing relationship between Vietnam and Thailand in all fields from economy, trade and culture to defence and security.

He spoke highly of the Thai government's efforts in effectively controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, and lauded the role, position and positive contributions of Thailand in regional issues, especially in cooperation mechanisms within the ASEAN framework.

Giang expressed his hope that Thailand will continue to promote its role in strengthening intra-bloc unity, maintaining ASEAN’s central role and building the ASEAN Community, while coordinating with other ASEAN member countries in maintaining the bloc's common stance on regional issues and in ensuring peace, stability, adherence to international law, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

The minister affirmed that over the years, defence ties between Vietnam and Thailand have been maintained and reinforced, bringing practical efficiency, with the focus placed on the exchange of delegations, especially high-level ones.

The two countries have effectively maintained cooperation mechanisms such as defence policy dialogue, joint working group on military-defence cooperation, bilateral naval consultation, and joint working group on air force cooperation, as well as collaboration among armed services and strategic research agencies.

Giang hoped that the Thai ambassador will continue paying due attention to promoting ties between the two countries, including defence cooperation, thus contributing to deepening the Vietnam-Thailand intensive strategic partnership for the interests of both countries and the region.

For his part, Nikonrndej congratulated Vietnam on successfully controlling COVID-19, and thanked the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam for creating the best conditions for Thailand’s defence attaché to completing all assigned tasks.

He pledged to work hard to promote the relations between the two countries in a deeper and stronger manner in all fields, including defence cooperation. He underlined that defence and security will continue to be a pillar for the development of the bilateral strategic partnership./.

President attends ceremony marking Hanoi Nat’l University of Education’s founding

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 18 attended a ceremony held by the Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE) to mark the establishment's 70th founding anniversary (October 11, 1951 - 2021) and receive the first-class Labour Order for the second time.

Appreciating the university’s contribution to the country, Phuc expressed his wish that as a key national pedagogical university, the HNUE will make quick and strong adaptation to equip students with new skills and knowledge required by the current era, when the COVID-19 pandemic forces countries to completely reshape the way they work and study.

Priority should also be given to developing the teaching staff in both quantity and quality, he stressed.

The State leader urged the Ministry of Education and Training and related ministries and sectors to well implement the planning of the network of universities and colleges, especially pedagogical colleges and universities.

For students, the President said that online learning during the current complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic will have certain effects, but these are only short-term difficulties. He expressed his wish that the students would study well to be worthy of the teaching profession – “the noblest among noble professions”./.

Int’l conference sheds light on South Asia’s linkages with East-Southeast Asia

South Asia’s linkages with East and Southeast Asia in the past and at present come under spotlight at the 4th Asian Consortium of South Asian Studies (ACSAS) conference held via video teleconference on November 18 – 19.

Held by the Institute for Indian and Southwest Asian Studies (VIISAS) under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), the event provided a forum for scholars to explore ways to expand and promote South Asia’s linkages with East and Southeast Asia for better integration and shared prosperity in Asia.

In his opening remarks, VIISAS Deputy Director-General in-charge Dr. Pham Cao Cuong said as Asia is rising, it is important to initiate ways to tighten the inter-regional connectivity, creating infrastructure for greater political, economic and social interactions.

In the Asian Century, linking South Asia – a region of less integration in the world map – with the developed East Asia and dynamic Southeast Asia is viewed as a driver for accelerating Asia’s integration, he said.

The conference featured three main sessions, namely “Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia: Integration and Cooperation,” “Factors affecting the connection between South Asia and Southeast Asia,” and “Connecting culture, religion and people between South Asia and Southeast Asia.”

The discussions aimed to identify the historical and current linkages between South Asia and East – Southeast Asia, thereby exploring strategies to optimize the potential of regional integration and development; conceptualize the formal and informal linkages between South and East-Southeast Asia; and promoting sub-regional economic networks and framework between South and East-Southeast Asia, such as Mekong-Ganga Cooperation and ASEAN Plus./.

Vietnam chairs 47th meeting of ASEAN Foundation’s Board of Trustees

Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN, on November 18 chaired the 47th meeting of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation (AF BOT 47) – the last in his capacity as chair of the board in 2021.

Ambassador Bang welcomed efforts made by the ASEAN Foundation in organising activities to increase awareness about ASEAN, and connecting and coordinating with the ASEAN Secretariat and partners.

Participants appreciated activities conducted by the foundation from May to October. Accordingly, the foundation implemented programmes and initiatives in education, arts and culture, communications and community building, notably projects under the KONNECT ASEAN programme, the ASEAN data science explorer (ADSE) contest, the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting (AFMAM), and others for young people in the region.

Delegates also discussed existing problems as well as development orientation of the foundation in 2022, including a plan to recruit its executive director for 2023-2026.

In the time to come, the foundation will further focus on strategic targets such as raising the awareness about ASEAN, improving its capacity and brand, and seeking more funds to implement projects serving ASEAN’s priorities in COVID-19 impact mitigation, science-technology, innovation, renovation, and young human resources development.

Concluding the meeting, Vietnam handed over the AF BOT chair to Brunei./.

Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association convenes second congress

Vu Viet Ngoan was re-elected President of the Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association for the 2021-26 tenure during its second congress held on November 18.

He assumed the position in the previous term between 2014 and 2021.

The congress also elected a 32-member executive board.

In its first term, the Friendship Association held various people-to-people diplomacy activities and obtained practical results contributing to the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia and strengthening understanding and friendship between the two nations.

In the coming time, the organisation will work to implement an initiative to set up a Vietnam-Singapore friendship forum, and consolidate relations with Singaporean partners in holding activities.

It is to seek ways to bolster the countries’ business cooperation in fields of mutual concern, together with activities in cultural exchange, education and charity, among others.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung said the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership has been thriving more than ever, towards the 50th founding anniversary of the diplomatic ties in 2023.

From the start of 2020 to September this year, despite impacts of COVID-19, Singapore was the largest foreign investor of Vietnam with 11.4 billion USD in newly registered capital./.

Vietnam Education Conference to scrutinise school culture amid reforms

The Vietnam Education Conference (VEC) slated for November 21 will take a look at the school culture amid education-training reforms, heard a media briefing of the organisers held in Hanoi on November 18.

The event will be jointly held by the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for Culture and Education, the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The general session will touch on school culture from State management agencies’ viewpoints; Vietnamese and foreign experts’ opinions on the issue; and challenges, policy recommendations and solutions.

The VEC will also scrutinise school culture and its relations with internal and external factors, and in the context of digital transformation and integration.

More than 200 reports by scholars at home and abroad have been sent to the organising board.

Since 2017, the annual conference has offered a forum for NA deputies, domestic and foreign experts, and educators to share experience and discuss education-training issues and put forward solutions, mechanisms and policies for effective implementation, said standing member of the NA Committee for Culture and Education Do Chi Nghia.

In over the past 10 years, the educational sector has rolled out a number of campaigns to build a healthy pedagogical environment, raise students’ awareness and improve teaching and learning quality./.

VFF leader highlights significance of great national unity

Secretary of the Party Central Committee and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Do Van Chien has highlighted the significance of the great national unity bloc on the occasion of the 91st anniversary of Traditional Day of the VFF (November 18).

Talking with the press, Chien said no other country in the world has a great national unity festival that is celebrated in each residential area like in Vietnam, which should be further promoted.

As such, the Party Delegation to the VFF next month will submit to the Party Central Committee's Secretariat a scheme on building a self-governance model in residential areas to further promote the spirit of great national unity, which is an invaluable tradition and asset of the nation, he said.

The national unity spirit will help the country overcome any challenges, as clearly seen in the fight against COVID-19, the VFF leader said. He noted that when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, especially during the fourth resurgence, the entire Party, people and armed forces joined hands in the spirit of “fighting pandemic is like fighting enemy”.

In response to the appeals by the Party General Secretary and the VFF, Vietnamese people in and outside the country donated millions of welfare bags and tens of thousands of tonnes of food and medical equipment to send to localities hard hit by the pandemic to help them with the fight.

In particular, the business community, philanthropists and people from walks of life donated nearly 20 trillion VND to help those in need, especially buying vaccines to expand vaccine coverage. Residents also actively joined anti-pandemic movements at checkpoints and community groups.

According to the VFF leader, the festival is held in concurrent with the Traditional Day of the VFF, providing a chance for people to review the history tradition of the VFF and for leaders of the Party, State and authorities at all levels to meet communities to grasp public aspirations and helps convey the Party and State’s policies and guidelines to the public.

In such spirit, Party and State leaders came to residential areas to listen to public aspirations. Citizens also discussed measures to effectively carry out the Party and State’s policies and restore socio-economic development./.  

Vietnam ready to facilitate Luxembourg's business expansion: Ambassador

Vietnam stands ready to create favourable conditions for Luxembourg investors to expand business in areas of both countries’ shared interest, Ambassador to Luxembourg Nguyen Van Thao said after presenting his credentials to Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henri on November 17.

Henri spoke highly of Vietnam’s role and position in Southeast Asia and ASEAN, saying Luxembourg wishes to further step up the ties with Vietnam in multiple fields, particularly within the framework of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement which took effect in August last year.

He highlighted the two countries' coordination and mutual support at multilateral and regional forums, including the United Nations, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the International Organisation of La Francophonie; and stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation in ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation in Southeast Asia, including the East Sea.

Ambassador Thao said it is a privilege to serve as Vietnamese Ambassador to Luxembourg. He pledged to do his utmost to reinforce and deepen the long-standing relations between the two countries.

The diplomat also took the occasion to thank Luxembourg for supporting Vietnam through development cooperation projects, contributing greatly to Vietnam’s “Doi Moi” (Renewal) process and socio-economic growth. He conveyed President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to the Grand Duke to visit Vietnam as both sides will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2023.

Vietnam is ready to provide all possible conditions for Luxembourg, its fifth largest investor, to beef up cooperation and investment in the areas of both sides’ interest, for example, finance, climate change adaption, renewable energy, circular economy, culture, education and people-to-people exchange, he said.

As Vietnam stays committed to adapting to climate change and promoting digital transformation, the country expects to receive Luxembourg’s continued support in the fields of fintech, innovation, smart infrastructure, green transport, and workforce training, he continued.

The Vietnamese ambassador asked Henri to push for the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in EU member states to open more opportunities for Luxembourg enterprises in Vietnam and neighbouring countries./.

Thai Nguyen secure comeback win, HCM City still top of the table

Thái Nguyên T&T secured a dramatic comeback win against the tournament favourites on Wednesday, while HCM City maintained their leading position after two games. 

Unseeded Thái Nguyên came from behind to beat title favourites Phong Phú Hà Nam 3-1 at the Việt Nam Football Federation’s Youth Football Field.

Đinh Thị Duyên of Hà Nam opened the scoring with a close-range finish in the 27th minute.

The former champions, home to national team players like Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung and Phạm Hoàng Quỳnh, continued to dominate the rest of the first half and started the second strongly too.

However, a leg injury for Lại Thị Tuyết proved to be a turning point in the game. Forty seconds after she was forced to leave the field Thái Nguyên levelled the score, courtesy of Lò Thị Hoài, in the 61st minute.

Hà Nam continued to press forward but were stung by Thái Nguyên's counter-attacking set up, which earned them two headed goals via Ngọc Minh Chuyên in the 77th and 89th minutes. 

The win pushes Thái Nguyên up to second position in the table after two matches; Hà Nam are in fourth with two defeats.

In the later match, defending champions HCM City beat Việt Nam Coals and Minerals 2-0.

Captain Cù Thị Huỳnh Như converted a penalty kick 15 minutes after the interval before Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy netted three minutes before the end to seal HCM City’s second win.

HCM City, who secured the National Cup trophy last week, are top of the table with six points. Coal and Minerals are rooted at the other end at the bottom, with zero points after two games. 

The national championship is a five-team round-robin tournament running from November 13-25. The team with the best points at the end will lift the winning silverware and net a purse of VNĐ200 million (US$8,800).

“The women’s championship has been organised for 23 years. It is one of the key tournaments in the national football system,” said VFF General Secretary Lê Hoài Anh.

“Organising board believes that our strong effort to hold the event in this difficult time and teams’ preparation will make for a successful championship, even if it is not open for supporters.”

Bùi Đình Tế, from the main sponsor Thái Sơn Bắc Electrics Equipment Trading Company, said: “We still see the remarkable development of the women’s football in Việt Nam. This year’s tournament is organised in a special situation of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. It leads to fewer participants, no spectators and a change of competition formula. But we acknowledge the organisation’s and teams’ effort to maintain an annual event”.

“I wish the players competing 'good luck'. Thái Sơn Bắc Company believes our support will help not only the domestic tournament develop but also assist national coaches in choosing more potential players for the national team, ” he added.

National head coach Mai Đức Chung was in the stands, keeping his eyes open for any new additions to his national squad. 

“The national event is a good opportunity for players to find their competition feeling after months of just practice. It will also be a warm-up for them ahead of the 2022 Asian Cup’s qualifier in January,” said Chung.

The next round of the championship will be on November 19. Thái Nguyên will face former champions Hà Nội Watabe, while Hà Nam will play Coal and Minerals. 

Webinar discusses solutions to ecosystem restoration in Viet Nam

Việt Nam needs to encourage and improve capacity and responsibility for the environment and nature and implement preventive actions in management agencies and businesses to minimise nature degradation, an expert has said.

Dr. Nguyễn Đình Đáp from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS)’s Institute of Human Geography made the suggestion at a webinar on Tuesday, which focused on solutions to contribute to developing specific programmes to promote rapid and sustainable development in Việt Nam.

Assessing environmental degradation, global ecosystems and the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, Đáp said countries are working together to build a global strategic framework on biodiversity with the goal that by 2050 people will live in harmony with nature, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used.

While proposing solutions to restore Việt Nam's ecosystem and biodiversity in the context of the 4th industrial revolution, Prof. Dr. Đặng Huy Huỳnh, Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), said to effectively implement restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity, it is necessary to promote nature-based socio-economic development in the principle of being in harmony with nature.

Attention should be paid to living in harmony with nature in the process of developing national, regional and provincial plans; establishing more nature reserves, green corridors and biodiversity corridors; increasing investment of resources in finance, policy, science and technology, including attracting the participation of indigenous communities on the principle of happiness and peace for people, he said.

In the future, Việt Nam needs to train scientists, managers, and technicians with specialised skills in restoring poor terrestrial and marine ecosystems, Huỳnh said, noting that this is a crucial solution in restoring and enriching the ecosystem.

According to Dr. Nguyễn Song Tùng, Director of the Institute of Human Geography, Việt Nam is currently facing the loss and rapid degradation of biodiversity.

In addition to natural causes, human activities have had a great impact on the destruction of nature. In the process of socio-economic development, a series of forests and natural covers have been invaded, causing the environment to be damaged and lose its protection function against natural disasters and extreme weather, the expert said. 

Campaign launched to raise public awareness on responsible antibiotic use

The Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) on November 18 launched a campaign to raise public awareness on responsible use of antibiotics in Vietnam.

The campaign calls on individuals, groups, organisations and communities to perform their role in order to end antibiotic abuse in hospitals, farms and households.

According to WHO, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) takes place annually on November 18 – 24, aiming to globally raise public awareness on antimicrobial resistance and encourage the best practices in the community, among healthcare workers and policy makers in order to prevent the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as one of the principal public health problems of the 21st century that threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi no longer susceptible to the common medicines used to treat them. 

In the Western Pacific region, including Vietnam, the media message of the WAAW is "responsible use of antibiotics", aiming to call on people to take action against antimicrobial resistance as an overarching principle demonstrated by protecting themselves, society and future generations.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son underlined the importance to raise public awareness on antibiotic use in accordance with the five right rules, especially in the context of complicated developments of COVID-19.

Medical establishments at all levels need to focus on improving and optimising the safe and rational use of antibiotics, contributing to the prevention of drug resistance in treatment and for the future, he said.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, the overuse of antibiotics in the livestock, aquaculture and horticulture industries poses a risk for emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

The ministry has worked to phase out the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion, Tien said, adding that the ministry is working with producers to maintain animal health, and improve productivity.

Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Vietnam, said antibiotic resistance is a fundamental threat to human health and one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

Global consumption of antibiotics in humans has increased over the past two decades, mainly due to the increasing use of antibiotics in low-income and middle income countries, he noted.

Issues related antibiotic resistance must be addressed urgently, through the 'One Health' approach, involving strong and long-term commitments from governments and other stakeholders, he said, adding that WHO stands ready to assist governments in ensuring the accessibility and effectiveness of essential medicines in the future.

Remi Nono Womdim, FAO Representative in Vietnam, said taking actions to combat drug resistance will make food systems more resilient and sustainable.

FAO is currently applying the 'One Health' approach, connecting with different sectors to support governments and stakeholders in the field, he said./.

Top legislator attends opening of National Great Unity Week

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue attended a ceremony on November 18 evening to kick off the “National Great Unity - Vietnam Cultural Heritage” Week 2021 at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.

This was a meaningful activity to marke the 91st traditional day of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) (November 18, 1930 - 2021) and the 76th Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23, 1945 - 2021).

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said that the event attracted the participation of 16 ethnic communities at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, with eight regional cultural exchange events, folk dance performances, and activities to introduce traditional crafts and organise some special festivals.

NA Chairman Hue emphasised that solidarity is a precious tradition of Vietnam, and crystallised through thousands of years of the national building and defence history.

National great unity has always been the strategic guideline of the Vietnamese Party, and a great lesson of the Vietnamese revolution, helping to create strength and an important motivation for the nation’s comprehensive renewal cause, Hue said.

The top legislator also hailed the VFF's efforts to unite people from all walks of life during its 91 years of establishment and development./.

Campaign launched to raise public awareness on responsible antibiotic use

The Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) on November 18 launched a campaign to raise public awareness on responsible use of antibiotics in Vietnam.

The campaign calls on individuals, groups, organisations and communities to perform their role in order to end antibiotic abuse in hospitals, farms and households.

According to WHO, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) takes place annually on November 18 – 24, aiming to globally raise public awareness on antimicrobial resistance and encourage the best practices in the community, among healthcare workers and policy makers in order to prevent the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as one of the principal public health problems of the 21st century that threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi no longer susceptible to the common medicines used to treat them. 

In the Western Pacific region, including Vietnam, the media message of the WAAW is "responsible use of antibiotics", aiming to call on people to take action against antimicrobial resistance as an overarching principle demonstrated by protecting themselves, society and future generations.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son underlined the importance to raise public awareness on antibiotic use in accordance with the five right rules, especially in the context of complicated developments of COVID-19.

Medical establishments at all levels need to focus on improving and optimising the safe and rational use of antibiotics, contributing to the prevention of drug resistance in treatment and for the future, he said.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, the overuse of antibiotics in the livestock, aquaculture and horticulture industries poses a risk for emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

The ministry has worked to phase out the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion, Tien said, adding that the ministry is working with producers to maintain animal health, and improve productivity.

Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Vietnam, said antibiotic resistance is a fundamental threat to human health and one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

Global consumption of antibiotics in humans has increased over the past two decades, mainly due to the increasing use of antibiotics in low-income and middle income countries, he noted.

Issues related antibiotic resistance must be addressed urgently, through the 'One Health' approach, involving strong and long-term commitments from governments and other stakeholders, he said, adding that WHO stands ready to assist governments in ensuring the accessibility and effectiveness of essential medicines in the future.

Remi Nono Womdim, FAO Representative in Vietnam, said taking actions to combat drug resistance will make food systems more resilient and sustainable.

FAO is currently applying the 'One Health' approach, connecting with different sectors to support governments and stakeholders in the field, he said./.

Mekong Delta urgently needs climate change data: Conference

A conference was held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on November 18 to raise local young people's awareness of the importance of a database for environmental protection and climate change response.

It was part of a project to build a communication programme to heighten awareness of the sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta in alignment with the Government’s Resolution 120/NQ-CP dated on November 17, 2017.

During the event, experts and researchers discussed the urgent need to develop a database for responding to climate change in the region and the role of data analysis and data science.

Deputy Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of Can Tho city Lam Van Tan spoke highly of the Mekong Delta's biodiversity, agricultural development and fishery richness. However, climate change is imposing adverse impacts on the region with saline intrusion, natural disasters and diseases taking toll on agriculture and husbandry, he said.

He emphasised the necessity to provide young people with knowledge and data on climate change so they would take right actions to effectively protect the environment.

Dr. Huynh Minh Hoang, from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ Department of Information Technology and Natural Resource and Environment Data, said the current data about climate change adaption and natural resources in the Mekong Delta has been lacking coherence, not shared widely and remained out of date. There is also a lack of inter-sectoral data linkages, he added.

It is vital to create a database and information infrastructure for the Mekong Delta with a multi-sectoral approach and long-term vision, Hoang said./.

Photo exhibition highlights world heritage sites in Vietnam and Russia

Photographs featuring UNESCO-recognised world heritage sites in both Vietnam and Russia have gone on display at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi as part of activities to commemorate Vietnam Year in Russia and Russia Year in Vietnam.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Dao Cuong noted that the exhibition well contributed to promoting the preservation of national cultural identity, environmental protection, and biodiversity conservation amid threats posed by environmental degradation and climate change.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Bezdetko Gennady Stepanovich expressed hope that the event would offer a chance for the two peoples to learn more about the respective landscapes and history of each country, thereby strengthening mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries. 

At present, Vietnam is home to 21 world cultural and natural heritages, intangible cultural heritages, seven documentary heritages, 11 biosphere reserves, and three global geoparks officially recognised by UNESCO.

Russia has 31 heritage sites, with 11 natural heritages and 20 cultural heritages recognised by UNESCO.

The exhibition is scheduled to run to November 23.

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

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