VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 2

Directive issued to better preserve marine reserves

Directive issued to better preserve marine reserves hinh anh 1

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked ministries, agencies and localities to take urgent solutions to improve the efficiency of the conservation of Vietnam marine reserves.

Under Directive No. 29/CT-TTg, dated November 1, 2021, the PM requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to coordinate with relevant ministries, agencies and People’s Committees of 28 coastal cities and provinces to effectively implement programmes and projects that will serve as a scientific foundation for the building and expansion of the marine reserves.

They were also urged to instruct fisheries surveillance forces to step up inspections and supervisions, and handle violations at marine reserves and at sea.

The Government leader suggested building a national database on the marine reserves and organising training courses to improve capacity for local officials in the conservation work.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defence need to strictly handle violations of legal regulations on environmental protection by individuals and organisations, according to the directive.

The Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism were tasked with fostering the communication work to raise public awareness of the significance of marine conservation.

The PM asked People’s Committees of the coastal cities and provinces to assess impacts of relevant projects, especially those on tourism, urban areas and aquaculture.

The localities should instruct concerned agencies to coordinate with management boards of marine reserves in inspection, supervision and settlement of violations, while sending forces to help fishermen living in and around the marine reserves gain stable livelihoods./.

Strong cold spell set to sweep northern region

Vietnam's northern region is forecast to endure the most extreme cold snap since the beginning of the year from November 7, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Drizzles will be constant across the northern region until November 3 before temperatures rise to 25 degrees Celsius between November 4 and November 6.

A gusty northeast wind will therefore affect the country from November 7 and November 8, switching the northern and northcentral regions to a widespread cold front, according to Nguyen Van Huong, head of the weather forecast division under the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

During the course of these two days, the average temperature in Hanoi and many other northern localities will drop to below 20 degrees Celsius.

Most notably, this period will be a dry cold spell, with temperatures staying low at night and in the early morning, but getting warmer during the afternoon in both northern and northcentral regions.

Experts contribute opinions on law building, enforcement

Experts shared their views and opinions on Issue No.9 on the strategy for making and perfecting the legal system and for organising law enforcement to 2030, with a vision towards 2045, at a seminar in Hanoi on November 2.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, who is in charge of Issue No. 9, chaired over the seminar.

Issue No. 9 is one of the four Issues included in a scheme building a “strategy for building and perfecting the law-governed socialist State of Vietnam until 2030, with a vision to 2045.”

The sub-committee for Issue No. 9 has rolled out a range of activities to assess law building and enforcement over the past time, and put forth major orientations in the time ahead.

At the seminar, Hue and the sub-committee members will look into opinions raised by experts on matters regarding Issue No. 9 to further perfect it and submit it to the steering committee for the scheme of the NA’s Party delegation./.

Photo festival targets young artists

More than 270 amateur and professional photographers nationwide have sent submissions to a photo festival capturing Việt Nam and its developments, launched by the culture ministry’s Department of Photography and Exhibition.

The event, Liên Hoan Nhiếp Ảnh Trẻ (Young Photographers Festival), targets young people aged from 18 to 35 years old. 

It aims to highlight Vietnamese people and their efforts to develop the country. The themes of Vietnamese culture and lifestyle are also included. Photos of women and children of ethnic minority groups in daily life are welcomed.

Panoramic and freestyle photos are encouraged. Traditional methods and photoshopped photos are also accepted. 

All entries should have been taken after 2020. They can be a single photo or a group of photos (no more than 10) with informative captions.

The festival has received 1,895 works in colour, black and white at the organiser’s website http://ape.gov.vn.

The jury selected 128 pictures by 85 artists to compete for the top prizes, including a golden medal, four silver medals and five bronze medals. 

The best works will be exhibited. 

“Through the festival, we hope to encourage young talent to create and develop their love for photography. Many participants tell stories about people and life through their art,” said photographer Việt Văn, a member of the festival’s art board. 

“Several photos capturing Vietnamese people in the COVID-19 fight left a very strong impression on the jury,” he added. 

The prize presentation ceremony is scheduled in December.

Minister of Public Security meets UK Home Secretary

Minister of Public Security General To Lam on November 1 met with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in London, where the former affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to developing relations with the UK.

At the meeting, Patel said Lam’s visit to the UK is of significance as it contributes to further enhancing the bilateral ties to deal with non-traditional issues, especially cross-border organised crime like economic crime, illegal migration, human trafficking, money laundering and high-tech crime.

The UK will step up cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) across spheres, and supports the grouping’s centrality in maintaining the regional architecture, she pledged.

The UK will also make more contributions to maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of aviation and navigation in the East Sea in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

Minister Lam congratulated the UK on becoming ASEAN’s 11th dialogue partner, saying Vietnam stands ready to work as a bridge promoting cooperation between the UK and the bloc, and back the UK to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific (CPTPP).

Vietnam always regards the UK as a leading priority in its foreign policy, for peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world, the minister stressed.

According to Lam, Vietnam highly values the UK’s agreements with the EU after Brexit in different fields, the country’s Global Britain strategy, and its announcement of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy by 2025 with a vision towards 2030.

He held that cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the UK Home Department has been deepened in such areas as the sharing of information and data, personnel training and crime combat.

The minister suggested the two sides promote delegation exchange, information sharing and collaboration in fighting illegal migration, and called on the UK to help Vietnam in accessing COVID-19 vaccines and treatment drugs, and create conditions for Vietnamese citizens to get visas, enter, study and work legally in the UK.

Host and guest noted with pleasure new developments of the Vietnam-UK relations, especially after the two countries signed the “Joint Declaration on the Vietnam - UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 Years,” in September 2020, and the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement on December 31, 2020.

At the end of the meeting, Patel said she plans to pay a working visit to Vietnam in the first quarter of 2022 to discuss plans on bilateral cooperation between the two countries./.

HCMC-Can Tho rail route to create breakthrough for inter-regional development

The Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho express railway project, which the Municipal Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has just been assigned to build the pre-feasibility study report of the construction, is considered as a key traffic project prioritized to implement in the 2021-2025 period as the high-speed rail route will contribute to immediately solving the problems related to logistics costs for Vietnamese agricultural products- one of the export strengths and the foundation for the country's economy development.

Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho express railway project will create a breakthrough for inter-regional development.
The goods and passengers transportation in the Mekong Delta is mainly performed by road, only a part of waterways and aviation. However, the rate of newly- built roads in the region is very low compared to many places.
The lack of large volume transport means made the high logistics costs for the Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic products.

With an important role of the Southern region's economic hub, Ho Chi Minh City is hugely affected by the above-mentioned limitation.

According to the Ministry of Transport, waterway goods transport in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta only serves for slow shipping goods such as rice, fertilizer, building materials, gasoline. As for fresh goods such as seafood and fruits, they are only performed by refrigerator trucks.

Road freight has actually played a significant role in regional economic development, accounting for over 70 percent of the whole region's transportation needs and always overloaded.

According to the latest updated data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam's logistics costs account for about 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while global GDP’s average reaches about 10 percent. Of which, transportation costs account for nearly 60 percent of the total logistics costs. Therefore, mass transport development in the Mekong Delta will contribute to reducing logistics costs and increasing competitiveness for Vietnamese goods.

Professor Ha Ngoc Truong, Vice Chairman of the HCMC Port and Bridge Association, who is one of the experts involved in the study of the above project, said that the Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho express railway project is designed with its maximum speed of 200 kilometers an hour and 120 kilometers per hour for passenger and cargo transports respectively. With the speed, people in the Mekong Delta region can arrive in Ho Chi Minh City to work and return home on the same day, contributing to reducing population concentration in the city.

The investment capital of around US$10 billion, including US$5 billion of the railway construction cost is one of the biggest obstacles to implement the project.

With the approved design, the 135-kilometer-long rail route will run parallelly to the right of the HCMC-Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway, traveling through four localities of Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Tien Giang and Can Tho.

Many experts highly appreciated the importance of this project because it is not only a key transport route along with the formation of urban centers and passenger terminals along the rail route but also a driving force to promote socio-economic development of the Mekong Delta.

Vietnamese FM meets with British counterpart on sidelines of COP26

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held a bilateral meeting with British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Elizabeth Truss in Glasgow, Scotland (the UK), on November 1 afternoon (local time).

Son has been accompanying Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on a trip to Glasgow to attend the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

Expressing his support for the UK’s role as the host of COP26, Son affirmed that Vietnam continues its strong commitment to contribute to global efforts in response to climate change.

He hailed Truss for her important contributions to the signing and implementation of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in her previous role as Secretary of State for International Trade.

Truss, for her part, pledged to step up bilateral cooperative ties in potential fields such as science-technology, renewable energy and green finance.

Both ministers underscored the importance of the issuance of a joint statement on the occasion of the 10th founding anniversary of the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership.

They agreed to increase the exchange of delegations, especially high level ones, while working closely together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vietnam – UK diplomatic ties in 2023.

Son once again thanked the British Government for granting vaccines and medical equipment to help Vietnam overcome difficulties during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The minister suggested the UK, as a strategic partner, continue to assist Vietnam in accessing vaccines and provide the country with essential medical equipment and supplies and COVID-19 treatment drugs.

The two ministers appreciated the close coordination between the two sides at multilateral forums, especially at the UN Security Council during Vietnam's 2020-2021 tenure as a non-permanent member.

Truss expressed her gratitude for Vietnam's enthusiastic support, especially as Chair of ASEAN 2020, in helping the UK become a dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). She agreed to back the bloc’s centrality in the region.

Son affirmed that Vietnam is ready to support the UK to strengthen its substantive cooperation with ASEAN and to share experience with the UK regarding the negotiation to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Exchanging views on international and regional issues of mutual concern, the two officials emphasised the importance of upholding international law and ensuring the freedom of navigation and overflight, security, and peace in the East Sea.

On the occasion, Son invited Truss to soon make an official visit to Vietnam and she accepted the invitation with pleasure./.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 2

State offices in HCMC cautiously welcoming citizens for administrative services
 
Entering the ‘new normal status’ phase after the 4th Covid-19 outbreak, all state offices in Ho Chi Minh City are practicing necessary pandemic prevention methods when welcoming visitors and people coming for administrative procedures to ensure medical safety for both citizens and staff. Meanwhile, online administrative services are still promoted for convenience sake.

Cao Tuyet Lan from Linh Trung Ward of Thu Duc City in HCMC came to her ward’s People’s Committee to certify copies of some personal documents. At the entrance, she was instructed to follow necessary medical steps like QR code scanning, temperature checking, and medical declaring. She then submitted her documents and moved to an airy area waiting for the results.

 “Now it takes a few more minutes for required medical steps, but I understand it is for our own sake, so I happily follow them”, said Ms. Lan.

This is a typical scene happening in all state offices in HCMC from the beginning of this October, when citizens were welcomed for administrative procedures after the social distance period. Chairman of Linh Trung Ward People’s Committee Tran Quoc Hung shared that on average his office has 200 visitors each day for administrative procedures (mostly related to social security policies, personal document certifying, accommodation and land procedures), 3-4 times as high as the time before the outbreak.

Chairwoman of Ward 10 People’s Committee (in Phu Nhuan District) Tran Thi Hue informed that since the demands for administrative procedures related to social security and copy certifying of residents grow, her office has to mobilize all staff to answer the needs. There are officers assigned to deliver detailed medical instruction for visitors from the entrance. Certain businesses even ask for certifying hundreds of documents a time, so her office has a special section to receive them and return when they are finished.

Some state offices with a small surface area like the People’s Committee of Co Giang Ward in District 1 has to use their front yard as a temporary waiting area for citizens, who will then take turn to go into the office one by one to finish their administrative procedure. All results will be returned the next day. Around two-thirds of the office staff are designated to perform pandemic prevention measures in neighborhoods, carry out the vaccination process, and deliver social security packages to those in need.

People’s Committee has asked all state offices sited in the city to follow three stages when resuming their operation, with the first one beginning from October 1-31, the second from November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2022, and the third after January 15, 2022.

It also encourages citizens to use online public services more and only come directly to state offices for urgent work. Those coming to these offices need to possess either a Covid-19 green card or negative Covid-19 test result with a yellow card.

District 7 People’s Committee reported that since the beginning of this October, it has received over 400 documents online, 300 of which have been successfully processed. Vice Chairman of District 7 People’s Committee Le Van Thanh said that his district has already integrated administrative reform into the Operation Center for Pandemic Control and Economic Recovery of District 7 to increase the performance of online document processing.

Particularly, all 195 level-3 administrative procedures have been upgraded to level 4, and citizens can submit as well as receiving results via post without the need to directly visit state offices. The Center forms links between the District People’s Committee, the land registration office, the tax office, and the People’s Committee of all wards so that the localities can monitor document handling progresses.

Online administrative procedures are wholeheartedly promoted among state offices and organizations in HCMC. Many localities have sped up the implementation of IT to acquire necessary tools for document receiving processing and upgrading the levels of administrative procedures. Citizens and businesses can also use the face recognition technique to register for administrative procedures and track the progress of their documents.

Director of the HCMC Department of Information and Communications Lam Dinh Thang shared that all state offices in HCMC should accelerate the use of IT in administrative reform, especially in online level-3 and level-4 administrative procedures in order to minimize direct contact and increase the work performance.

HCMC People’s Committee has just issued a dispatch asking related agencies in 21 districts and Thu Duc City to update and adjust the list of special and urgent administrative procedures in each field allowed to deliver results directly, including registration for nationality, birth certificate, death certificate, and marriage certificate (juridical sector), registration for security methods, changes in land use, ownership of houses and related assets (natural resources, environment, and public property management sector).

The localities are allowed to add more procedures into this list according to their specific situations.

Office managing Vietnamese labourers in RoK has new address

The Ministry of Labours, Invalids, and Social Affairs’ Center of Overseas Labour on November 1 inaugurated the new headquarters in Seoul of its office managing Vietnamese labourers under the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Employment Permit System (EPS) programme.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Pham Minh Duc, head of the office, said under the EPS, Vietnam has sent 110,000 workers to the RoK in the past 16 years.

The office was established in 2013. In collaboration with Vietnam’s labour management board in the RoK, it has met with and provided direct consultations for thousands of labourers on weekends. The office has also offered between 100 and 150 consultations over phone per week.

According to Duc, these activities have made an important contribution to supporting Vietnamese workers,thus reducing the rate of illegal labourers in the RoK from 40 percent in 2013 to less than 26 percent in 2020.

The new headquarters is placed in Jung-Gu district./. 

HCM City seeks to reduce housing shortage for workers

HCM City plans to use vacant land plots in industrial parks and export processing zones to build affordable accommodations for workers, Huỳnh Thanh Khiết, deputy director of the city’s Department of Construction, has said.

The strategy aims to promote the city’s social housing development programmes and increase the supply of housing for workers.

An overall policy is needed to help workers gain easier access to buying social houses, Khiết said.

The city has 22 industrial parks and export processing zones, and Sài Gòn High-Tech Park and Quang Trung Software Park, with around 420,000 workers.

However, the city only built about 15,000 social housing apartments in the 2016-20 period.

According to a recent survey conducted by the department, workers use 15-20 per cent of their average monthly incomes, equivalent to VNĐ1.5-2million (US$65-87), to pay rent for housing.

It takes a long time for workers to be able to afford housing, so many investors are not interested in this kind of housing due to the prolonged capital recovery.

According to deputy chairman of the municipal Labour Federation Phạm Chí Tâm about 90 per cent of migrant workers live in boarding houses built by local residents.

“Landlords of the boarding houses play a pivotal role in providing accommodations for workers,” he said.

Support policies are needed to help the landlords access bank loans with preferential interest rates to renovate rooms, or build new rooms for rent at reasonable prices, he said.

The city in 2011 launched a preferential credit programme for households and individuals to get bank loans to build or repair their boarding houses for workers to rent.

However, only a few landlords have taken part because it is difficult to meet the requirements to get the loans.

The city needs to diversify capital sources at preferential interest rates and simplify procedures to help landlords easily access loans.

Trần Hoàng Ngân, director of the HCM City Development Research Institute, said the instalment payment period for social housing has been increased to 25 years, while the monthly instalment is less than the amount in the past 10-15 years.

However, workers must have a savings of VNĐ200-300 million (US$8,755-13,135) to be able to buy a house in the city.

With an average monthly income of VNĐ8-10 million ($350-435), most workers can only ensure their minimum living standards in the city, so “it is difficult for them to accumulate money,” Ngân said.

The city needs to spend part of the public investment capital to help businesses restore activities, and build dormitories and accommodation areas for their workers to keep them in the city, he said.

Lê Hữu Nghĩa, general director of Lê Thành Construction and Trading Company, said his company provided about 7,000 housing units for low-income people.

“The barrier in developing social housing is procedural obstacles,” he said.

Commercial housing projects take 4-5 years to complete legal documents, while the procedure for social housing will take more time and is more difficult.

“The city needs to provide more preferential policies and mechanisms, especially shortening the time for procedures, to attract investors to social housing projects,” Nghĩa said.

Khiết of the construction department said buyers of social housing apartments are offered preferential loans from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies with an interest rate of 4.8 per cent per annum.

The city will have a plan to support developers of housing projects for low-income people.

In the next step, the city will review all available state-owned land fund to change land use purposes for social housing development.

“Improving and simplifying administrative procedures will be a key priority to encourage businesses to invest in this type of housing,” he said.

According to statistics from the construction department, the city now has more than 99,000 apartment buildings for rent with more than 723,000 rooms that provide accommodation for nearly 1.7 million tenants, including around 886,000 workers.

The city targets building one million units of affordable housing in order to meet demand, and will replace old apartment buildings, houses on or along canals, and small boarding houses.

It is also considering building new 5-10 storey apartment buildings.

Rising demand 

Besides HCM City, the two southern provinces of Đồng Nai and Bình Dương are also in need of more social housing projects to meet the rising demand of low-income people.

Đồng Nai Province has around 600,000 workers coming from other provinces and cities across the country. Among them, a large number of low-income earners want to purchase or lease low-cost social housing.

But only around 3,700 social housing units have been completed in the province, along with 13 ongoing social housing projects with 10,746 units totalling 59 hectares.

According to Đồng Nai Province’s Construction Department, the province needs 820ha to develop social housing projects, including 309ha for workers and the rest for other low-income people.

Developers of social housing projects will be given priority for loans from the provincial Housing Development Investment Fund.

The province will focus on simplifying procedures and shortening the processing time of the dossiers.

It will create favourable conditions for local households and individuals who are owners of rented rooms to invest in high-rise buildings to increase the number of rooms.

It will help speed up social housing projects in areas with great demand such as Biên Hòa City and districts of Long Thành, Nhơn Trạch and Trảng Bom.

 

Industrial, urban and transport infrastructure developer Becamex IDC Corp has put into use more than 7,000 units of social housing for civil servants, public employees, workers, and low-income people in Bình Dương province, with the price ranging from VNĐ100 to 150 million ($4,375-6,570) per 30sq.m apartment.

By 2025, the province will establish new industrial parks, attracting about 450,000 workers.

It plans to develop social housing projects with a total floor area of 2 million square metres to meet rising demand. 

Local authorities asked to develop Covid-19 vaccine plan for younger children

Local authorities were asked to develop a plan to use the Covid-19 vaccine in 2022 for children from three years of age and adults, which includes booster shots of third and four doses for those who have already received the first two doses of vaccine.

Regarding vaccination against Covid-19, the Ministry of Health has just sent an official dispatch to people's committees in cities and provinces across the country on the demand for vaccines in the last months of 2021 and developing a plan for 2022.

Additionally, local administrations should propose the need to use Covid-19 vaccines for these age groups. According to the Ministry of Health, municipal and provincial people's committees should direct relevant agencies to implement vaccination and the need for vaccine use in the last months of the year for people 18 years of age and older to serve as a basis for the distribution of vaccines in the last months of the year and to develop a vaccination plan in 2022.

In particular, the Ministry of Health asked people's committees in provinces and cities to review and do statistics of the number of children in the area by age groups including a group of 3 - 11 years old, a group of 12 - 15 years old, and a group of 16 - 17 years old.

According to the Ministry of Health, from now until the end of 2021, more Covid-19 vaccines will be distributed to localities; hence, local administrations need to prepare medical workers, facilities to speed up vaccination to increase vaccination coverage rate for controlling the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Health also requested localities to accelerate the administration of the first dose and cover the vaccine for people aged 65 and over to protect senior citizens against the risk of contracting the virus as well as help them reduce the risk of death according to the Government’s Resolution 128.

As of November 1, Vietnam has vaccinated about 82 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. About 24.5 million people have received two doses of the vaccine.

Eleven provinces and cities with 95 percent of people aged 18 and older having at least one dose of the vaccine include Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An, Lam Dong, and Binh Duong.

Quang Ninh: qualified hospitality establishments serve guests from other localities

The northern province of Quang Ninh allowed hospitality establishments to welcome visitors from other localities classified as blue and yellow zones from November 1, on the condition that they must meet pandemic prevention and control requirements.

Visitors must be given full two vaccine shots or test negative for SARS-CoV-2 by rapid testing or PCR methods.

Qualified establishments must meet 24 criteria issued by the province, which will be inspected weekly. Results of the inspection will be announced before 12am each Friday.

As of afternoon the same day, Cam Pha city announced the results of inspection at local hospitality establishments.

General Director of the provincial Tourism Department Pham Ngoc Thuy expressed his hope that the move will help attract more tourists to the province at weekends./.

Vietnam logs additional 5,598 COVID-19 cases

A total of 5,598 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Vietnam on November 1, bringing the total number to 926,720.

The Ministry of Health also announced 52 COVID-19 related fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 22,135.

Out of the new cases, three were imported and quarantined upon arrival.

The number of infections increased by 79 cases compared to the previous day’s figure.

Ho Chi Minh City still has the highest infection figures, with 927 cases, followed by Binh Duong (682) and Dong Nai (657).

Cases in the capital city Hanoi continue to slowly rise with 57 announced, an increase of 11 cases compared to a day earlier.

Provinces and cities that have recorded new cases are Dong Nai (657), Kien Giang (469), Bac Lieu (382), An Giang (215), Soc Trang (194), Binh Thuan (167), Dak Lak (164), Tien Giang (163), Tay Ninh (157), Can Tho (149), Ba Ria - Vung Tau (109), Long An (100), Ha Giang (98), Dong Thap (89), Tra Vinh (72), Binh Phuoc (72), Phu Tho (70), Ca Mau (68), Ninh Thuan (62), Vinh Long (50), Bac Ninh (50), Hau Giang (47), Ben Tre (37), Thanh Hoa (34), Kon Tum (29), Lam Dong (25), Ha Nam (23), Thua Thien- Hue (22), Nghe An (22), Khanh Hoa (21), Gia Lai (18), Quang Ngai (14), Quang Nam (14), Quang Binh (13), Nam Dinh (10), Binh Dinh (9), Bac Giang (9), Phu Yen (5), Thai Nguyen (4), Lao Cai (4), Ha Tinh (3), Vinh Phuc (3), Quang Tri (2), Tuyen Quang (2), Thai Binh (1), and Hoa Binh (1).

The Ministry of Health also announced the recovery of 1,731 more patients, bringing the total of national recoveries to 822,065.

Vietnam has so far administered nearly 81.9 million doses of vaccines./.

Da Nang plans to vaccinate over 100,000 children against COVID-19 by end of December

The central city of Da Nang plans to give COVID-19 vaccine shots to over 100,000 children aging from 12 to under 18 years old within November and December.

Accordingly, the city aims to vaccinate 45,485 children from 15-18 years old and 56,740 others from the age of 12-15. Priority will be given to older children.

About 19 vaccination stations will be set up across the city, while training courses will be organised for medical staff to ensure safety during the vaccination activities.

The Department of Education and Training was assigned to make a list of children eligible for the vaccination, while coordinating with the city health care sector to give guidance and support to parents and children on vaccination registration and post-vaccination health supervision./.

Hanoi’s vaccination drive eyes over 95 percent of children aged 12 - 17

Hanoi aims to have over 95 percent of local children aged 12 - 17 fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

The campaign is set to be carried out from Q4 this year, according to a plan issued by the municipal People’s Committee.

Those aged 16 - 17 will get the shots first while the younger later.

The inoculation progress will also depend on the vaccine supply and the local pandemic situation, the plan said, elaborating that when the supply is insufficient, vaccines will be prioritised for the areas with new infections, high population density, many crowded places and schools, and economic vibrancy. Those adjacent to provinces with a complex COVID-19 situation or home to concentrated quarantine sites will also receive vaccines first.

The vaccination will be conducted simultaneously across the city, the plan noted.

As of November 1 morning, more than 10.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been allocated to Hanoi, of which 9.82 million doses were already administered to 6.07 million people aged 18 and above.

Meanwhile, the municipal administration has decided that from November 8, schools will be reopened for students of the 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, and 12th grades in communes, wards, and towns of the 18 outlying districts which are at Pandemic Level 1 or 2 and stay free of COVID-19 community infections in 14 days prior to November 8.

Students of other grades are to continue with online learning, but teaching and learning activities for kindergarten children remain suspended.

The People’s Committee requested that schools comply with anti-pandemic requirements and teachers who have yet to be fully vaccinated only teach online./.

New financial support package to create new momentum for business recovery


As the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the implementation of Vietnam's economic development plans, the National Assembly (NA) and Government have been proactively and urgently deploying stimulus packages to quickly restore the economy and leverage growth.

The Resolution offers support for enterprises and individuals affected by COVID-19 through tax reductions with a total value of up to 926 million USD. The beneficiaries will enjoy direct tax reductions which is considered more practical than the extension of tax payments in previous support packages.

Resolution No 406 offers a 30 percent reduction in corporate income tax for enterprises with revenue in 2021 being less than 8.7 million USD and experiencing a revenue reduction compared with that of 2019.

It also agreed to exempt personal income tax, value added tax and other taxes in the third and fourth quarters of 2021 for individuals and households in pandemic-hit areas.

Including Resolution 406, the State’s financial support for businesses and people in the forms of tax, fees, land rent and interest rates reached about 138 trillion VND this year./.

Da Nang begins inoculating children against COVID-19

The central city of Da Nang on November 2 began vaccinating children, aged from 15 to 17, against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in an effort to soon reach herd immunity and reopen schools.

According to Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Education and Training Mai Tan Linh, the vaccination took place quickly in line with regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Under a plan issued by the municipal Department of Health, the city will inoculate 45,485 children from 15 to 17 years old, and 56,740 others from 12 to 14 years old in November and December.

The local health sector has set up 102 teams at 16 vaccination sites across the city from November 2-5, and provided training for medical workers.

The Department of Education and Training was assigned to make a list of children eligible for the vaccination, while coordinating with the medical sector to give guidance and support to parents and children on vaccination registration and post-vaccination health supervision./.

Tra Vinh: Over 210 fishing vessels equipped with monitoring devices

As many as 211 fishing vessels in the southern province of Tra Vinh have installed vessel monitoring systems (VMS) as of the beginning of November, accounting for 92 percent of the total boats.

According to Tran Van Dung, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), in response to European Commission (EC)’s recommendations related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and in a bid to remove the EC's yellow card, the provincial agricultural sector has strengthened dissemination to boat owners and captains to observe related laws and regulations, especially not violating foreign waters.

Currently, the province has 230 fishing vessels with more than 15m in length, which are subject to installing VMS equipment as regulated.

The provincial department has set a goal that the province will complete the installation of monitoring equipment for all vessels by December 31.

Along with strictly complying with regulations on fishing at sea, the Tra Vinh Fisheries sub-department under the provincial department will continue encouraging fishermen to participate in the establishment of offshore fishing groups to support each other in the exploitation, thus increasing incomes and protecting the country's sovereignty over sea and islands./.

Landslides injure one, block many roads in Điện Biên, Lai Châu

Landslides, triggered by torrential rain, were reported on Sunday night and early Monday morning, injuring one woman and causing a house to collapse in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên.

Landslides also blocked many sections of roads in Lai Châu Province.

In Điện Biên Province, a household in Pa Tần Village, Pa Tần Commune, Nậm Pồ District, was destroyed due to a landslide early Monday morning. There were no injuries reported.

Vàng Thị Vân, chairwoman of the People’s Committee of the commune, said after the landslide, other homes near the collapsed house were not damaged, however, a woman sustained minor injuries when she tried to escape.

Landslides also blocked many sections of National Highway No 4H, connecting Nậm Pồ District and Mường Nhé District on Monday morning.

The commune administration has sent forces to re-open the blocked sections and arrange temporary accommodation for people living in the area.

The commune administration said due to the landslide, about 200 households had been isolated.

It also warned that the water level of local rivers and streams was rising quickly, which might cause flash floods and landslides in the coming hours.

In Lai Châu Province, Hoàng Tiến Quý, director of Lai Châu Road Maintenance No 1 Joint Stock Company, said the company had dispatched staff and excavators to re-open several blocked roads in the province on Monday morning.

The company installed warning signs for road users travelling through sections of roads that could be hit by landslides, he said.

The company also arranged staff and excavators to be on duty at sections of local roads that often suffered landslides, he said.

In a related move, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting warned that torrential rains would continue in three regions of the country until November 5.  

The northern region’s temperature could remain at 17-18 degrees Celsius during the period, the centre said. 

Vietnamese film week to feature outstanding works

Some of the best Vietnamese movies will be screened for free in the run-up to the 22nd Việt Nam Film Festival.

A film week will be held both in the capital city of Hà Nội and the central city of Đà Nẵng between November 10-16.

The cinematic event will be hosted by the culture ministry's Cinema Department in collaboration with the National Cinema Centre, the culture authority of Đà Nẵng City and other relevant units.

According to the organisers, 26 films were chosen for being screened during the week such as Bằng Chứng Vô Hình (Invisible Evidence), Bố Già (Dad, I’m Sorry), Gái Già Lắm Chiêu V (Camellia Sisters), Mắt Biếc (Dreamy Eyes), Ròm, and Tiệc Trăng Máu (Blood Moon Party).

All the selected films are those with high box office revenue, receiving rave reviews like Dad, I’m Sorry that had generated nearly VNĐ400 billion (US$18 million) from ticket sales in domestic theatres by this April, and those that have won cinematic awards like Ròm.

The film week will also include movies that have not been introduced on the big screens like Miền Ký Ức (Memory Land), Người Lắng Nghe - Lời Thì Thầm (Listeners - The Whispering), and Điên Tối (Darkness).

Miền Ký Ức was recently screened at the Busan International Film Festival (South Korea) and was nominated in the New Currents category. 

The films will be screened for free during the film week at the National Cinema Centre in Hà Nội and the Cultural and Cinema Centre in Đà Nẵng.

The 22nd Việt Nam Film Festival will be held virtually in the central province of Thừa Thiên Huế from November 18-20 under the motto Building a Vietnamese Film Industry Rich in National Identity, Modernity and Humanity. This is the first time the Việt Nam Film Festival has been held online.

"In addition to honouring the country's cinematographers, the 22nd Việt Nam Film Festival will help to bridge cinematic works to the public by means of the digital platform and showcase how domestic cinema has adapted to the special context that the world is also facing -- the COVID-19 pandemic," said deputy culture minister Tạ Quang Đông.

The festival will feature 128 films from 42 units, including 26 feature films, 56 documentaries, 15 scientific films, and 31 animated films.

A number of side line events will be organised both in virtual and in-person forms, which are press conferences and the opening ceremony on November 18,

This year’s event will present two new awards, one for a feature film with the best cinematography, and the other for outstanding debut by a director. 

Hanoi capital tightens COVID-19 measures as cases rise considerably

With dozens of new cases detected daily during the past days, the capital of Hanoi on November 1 raised its COVID-19 alert level from ‘green’ to ‘orange’ to halt the spread of the virus in the community. 

All eateries are required to close the door before 09pm every day, starting on November 1.

The daily number of new infections has increased to dozens over the past few days, forcing Hanoi to up the ante by introducing tighter COVID-19 measures.

November 1 alone saw 57 people test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with many of them detected through random testing or test screening at medical facilities.

Me Linh district and Quoc Oai township have been coded ‘amber’ after they recorded many community cases in recent times.

Among tighter COVID-19 measures, Hanoi has required eateries that offer dine-in services to close the door before 09pm. The eateries must maintain safe distance on the premises, while the owner and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

It has allowed indoor sport activities, but asked fitness clubs to reduce member numbers by half to no more than 30 people at a time.

The city has requested families to cut short their wedding or funeral, with the number of participants not exceeding 30 at a time. Participants are required to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing a facemask and keeping a safe distance from each other.

The city has temporarily suspended discos, karaoke and massage parlours, and gaming services.

Hanoi has recorded more than 4,000 new cases since the virus recurred in late April 2021. It has gradually eased travel restrictions and resumed services since October after the outbreak was brought under control.

Hanoi to start Covid-19 vaccination for children in fourth quarter

Hanoi has planned to begin the Covid-19 vaccination for children aged 12-17 from the fourth quarter of this year.

The exact time for vaccination would depend on the Ministry of Health’s vaccine distribution for the city, with the priority to be given to children aged 16-17 first.  

If students return to schools as normal, vaccinations will be conducted at schools.

The Covid-19 vaccination will be administered first to areas with a high risk of Covid-19 infection such as those with new cases, high population density or located near localities with Covid-19 outbreaks.

According to Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control, around 700,000-850,000 children in the city aged between 12 and 17 would be eligible for the vaccination.

Health and education sectors to coordinate closely in implementing vaccination of children

The organisation of the vaccination of children will take place in the form of a campaign; therefore, the education sector will work closely with the health sector to deploy safe vaccination for children aged 12-17 years old.

On the afternoon of November 1, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long - Minister of Health and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Kim Son - Minister of Education and Training co-chaired a working session between the two ministries on coordination to ensure safety and prevention of epidemics at educational institutions after reopening. 

At the meeting, the delegates listened to the representative of the Ministry of Education and Training briefly present the measures to ensure safety and prevention epidemics for students when organising direct teaching activities at the educational institutions. 

The two ministries discussed the work of ensuring safety for epidemic prevention and control when organising direct teaching at educational institutions as well as the plan on deploying vaccination for students aged 12-17, coordinating to ensure the safety of students when implementing vaccinations as well as the responsibilities of educational institutions and students' families.

Regarding the issue of vaccination against COVID-19 for children, Assoc. Prof., Dr. Duong Thi Hong, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said that vaccination of children is to take place in the form of a campaign, beginning with children aged 16-17 years old, then gradually decreasing in age. 

She also suggested that the local education sector note that the injection sites at schools strictly follow the professional guidelines of the Ministry of Health in relation to vaccination. The cooperation of schools with health care in vaccination work is very important. 

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long highly appreciated the cooperation between the two ministries in training, taking care of students' health as well as practical community activities to protect people's health. 

According to the Minister of Health, letting students return to school is a legitimate need, so relevant ministries and branches, especially the People's Committees of provinces and cities need to consider it important, creating optimal conditions for students to return to school while ensuring safety. 

At the meeting, the leaders of the two ministries discussed and agreed that they should soon review and supplement the guide "Handbook on prevention and control of COVID-19 in schools" to organise training for the national school system. 

The two ministers agreed that is necessary to coordinate more closely to implement measures to ensure health and safety in schools when students return to school, in accordance with the spirit of Resolution 128, encouraging localities to behave in accordance with the reopening of schools in each commune and ward equivalent to epidemic control levels.

NA deputies support HCMC to get higher budget retention rate

Many National Assembly (NA) deputies agreed with the Ministry of Finance’s proposal on allowing HCMC to retain 21 percent of its budget revenue starting in 2022 instead of the current of 18 percent.

Permanent members of the NA Committee on Legal Affairs Do Duc Hien, said that the demand for the development of infrastructure is growing in HCMC. The city has built plans on increasing its budget retention rate to raise budget revenue target of the city and boost HCMC economic growth. In addition, the southern economic hub has suffered the huge economic loss due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The permission allowing HCMC to get higher budget retention rate will create favorable conditions for the city to solve its difficulties and recover from the pandemic. It also help HCMC raise the budget revenue target of the State when the city has been the country's largest money-maker for decades and has always been assigned the highest state budget collection target.

HCMC, the country’s leading economic center is now Vietnam's worst-hit region. The Ministry of Finance’s proposal that has been raised by the city for a long time should be supported, especially in the current situation, Vice Chairman of the NA Committee for Judicial Affairs Nguyen Manh Cuong added.

Permanent members of the NA's Committee for Finance and Budget in the 15th tenure Tran Van Lam said that the committee is examining the suggestion of HCMC and the Ministry of Finance, and will submit it to the 2ndsession of the 15th National Assembly that will take place on November 8.

HCMC may wish a larger retention rate but the central budget has now lost its main role and its proportion to the localities is less than 50 percent. Therefore, the sharing from the state budget revenue to HCMC presents a great effort of the Central.

Former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Dinh Cung agreed with the proposal on increasing HCMC’s budget retention rate from 18 to 21 percent.

As the most populous city in the country and a growth engine for the Southern Economic Zone, HCMC really needs a large enough resource to solve problems of infrastructure congestion, environmental pollution, social welfare activities, especially pandemic affects in all aspects of people’s lives.

However, the Government should launch a detailed explanation for the adjustment of the Central budget rate between localities with clear criteria.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 1

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 1

26 local movies to be screened ahead of national film festival

 
 

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