President's Office announces two new laws

The Office of the President yesterday held a press conference to announce President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s order on the promulgation of two new laws that were approved at the 15th tenure’s National Assembly meeting.

The law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments will take effect on December 12, 2021 while the law on amendments and supplements to several articles and national statistical indicator appendix of Statistics Law will come into force on January 1, 2022.

The amended Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments has two articles in order to meet requirements and ensure the right roadmap for Việt Nam to realise commitments of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and solve urgent problems arising in practice caused by natural disasters and epidemics.

The law gives power to commune-level police to conduct criminal examination and preliminary verification of crime denunciations and report or proposal of execution.

The police of communes, wards, townships are responsible for receiving denunciations and reports of crimes, making a record of receipt, conducting preliminary examination, verifying and immediately transferring the denunciations along with relevant documents and exhibits to competent investigating agencies.

The new law also adds a detailed basis for the temporary suspension of criminal denunciations and reports or proposals of execution due to unavoidable reasons or natural disasters and epidemics.

The Chief Procurator of the Supreme People's Procuracy is in charge of coordinating with the Minister of Public Security, Minister of National Defence and heads of other relevant agencies to issue details on the execution suspension.

The amended Statistics Law adds a number of articles to create a legal basis for the collection and calculation of statistical indicators, and to compile Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GRDP (Gross Regional Domestic Product) and re-evaluate GDP scale, improving the quality of statistics and international integration.

The law assigns Minister of Planning and Investment to coordinate with ministries, sectors and localities to send a review of GDP scale once every five years to the Government before submitting it to the National Assembly for approval.

The appendix of national statistical indicators issued together with the 2015 Statistics Law has been replaced with a new one.

Asia Injury Prevention Foundation to provide helmets, safety training to students

Non-profit organization Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation is carrying out Phase III of its Safety Delivered programme in Thái Nguyên Province and HCM City to reduce road crash injuries and fatalities among children and vulnerable road users through helmet distribution and education, combined with advocacy and awareness initiatives that target youth, community members, civil society, and governments to address high-risk road behaviours.

In cooperation with the Traffic Safety Committee and the Department of Education and Training in Thái Nguyên Province and HCM City, AIP Foundation plans to present 4,900 helmets to students in Phase III in 2021-2022.

The helmet handover ceremony for students was organised online on November 28 in Thái Nguyên Province. The other handover in HCM City will be held on December 12.

The helmet handover ceremonies promote community awareness about the life-saving importance of child helmet use.

In Phase III of the Safety Delivered programme supported by The UPS Foundation, 50 per cent of students taking part in the program are from underrepresented communities. These children often lack access to safe and sustainable commutes. The helmets make a life-saving difference for vulnerable children on their way to and from school.

On their daily commute to get an education, many children are at risk. Road crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years globally.

In Việt Nam, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated that more than 6,200 children and youths aged 5-29 were killed in road crashes in 2019.

This represents a public health crisis that disproportionately affects young people most. It highlights the urgent need for preventive action. Helmets are a uniquely affordable and effective protection against head injuries on the road. Wearing a quality helmet can reduce the risk of death by 42 per cent and the risk of serious brain injury by 69 per cent.

Russell Reed, Managing Director UPS Vietnam, said: “Everyone deserves the right to road safety education and equal access to a safe journey to and from school or work and we’re proud to support the inspirational efforts made by the AIP Foundation to ensure these opportunities are reaching as many people as possible.”

Trịnh Thu Hà, representative of National Traffic Safety Committee, said:  “Safety Delivered is a practical and truly effective program that helps increase child helmet use when travelling on motorcycles. The program also educates them about the law, which can build their awareness and safe behaviour. Safety Delivered has shown wonderful care toward the young generation.” 

Bac Ninh hosts national boxing championships 2021

The National Boxing Championships 2021 kicked off in the northern province of Bac Ninh on November 29, attracting 311 competitors from 25 localities and agencies nationwide.

During the event, boxers compete in the two age groups of between 17-18 and 19 – 40 for men and women.

Nguyen Duong Bac, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the tournament attracts athletes with the best boxing skills in the country.

The event offers a chance for them to accumulate experience and practice professional training, he said, adding that it also aims to select excellent boxers to the national team for training to join international sport events.

In particular, the hosting of the tournament is also an opportunity to review the locality’s preparation for organising a number of sports in the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), he said.

Right after the opening ceremony, athletes competed in 22 men's boxing matches in five weight categories for the age group of between 7 -18, and six weight categories for the age group of between 19- 40.

The tournament is scheduled to last until December 3./.

Three electric bus routes to be launched in Hanoi from December

Hanoi will start operating three electric bus routes from December 2 according to an official.

Speaking to Dantri/Dtinews on November 29, director of the Hanoi Department of Transport Vu Van Vien said that they would launch three routes on December 2 and six more in 2022.

According to Vien, the three lines include the My Dinh - Ocean Park, the Long Bien-Cau Giay-Smart City and My Dinh Station-Ocean Park lines.

In the first quarter of 2022, Hanoi will continue to launch two lines connecting Hao Nam - Ocean Park and Giap Bat - Ocean Park. Four more routes linking Long Bien - Cua Nam - Smart City; Vo Chi Cong - Times City; Smart City - West Lake Water Park; and Smart City - Vincom Long Bien will be operated from the second quarter of 2022.

The prices will be the same as for public buses using clean fuel (compressed natural gas) as approved by the municipal people's committee.

More students in Đà Nẵng City back to school

Tenth and eleventh graders in Đà Nẵng City returned to school yesterday for in-person lessons after months of shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to regulations, students and teachers will have to wear masks the entire time, declare their health and movements prior to classes, and get temperatures checked at the schools’ gates.

Phạm Tấn Ngọc Thụy, principal of Hoàng Hoa Thám High School, said: “The school has prepared very careful pandemic prevention measures to welcome students back to school. Devices for measuring body temperature and disinfectants are put at the school gate and in classes. Students are required to wear masks in all classrooms.

"The school has also prepared an isolation room in case there is a suspected case of COVID-19 so health workers can handle it quickly and limit the spread of the virus."

Hồ Thị Thảo Nguyên, vice principal of Trần Phú High School, said students who have not been able to go to school because they are infection cases or F1, F2, will continue to be taught online.

Lê Quốc Anh, a 10th grader from Trần Phú High School, said after being vaccinated, he was very happy to return to the classroom.

On November 22, 12th grade students in the city returned to school. 

Deputy director of the city Department of Education and Training, Mai Tấn Linh, said all high schools were strictly following directions of the Ministry of Health on pandemic prevention, adding that no positive cases have been recorded in the first week since schools opened, he said.

The department will propose dates for 7th to 9th graders and 1st graders to return based on the coronavirus situation, said Linh.

HCM City honours teachers for contributions to education, COVID fight

HCM City Department of Education and Training on Monday honoured 65 outstanding teachers and managers with the annual Võ Trường Toản Awards and Meritorious Teacher title.

Besides innovation in teaching, many also volunteered to go to the frontlines to fight COVID-19 during the city's fourth wave that began in April.

They include Nguyễn Tường Thịnh, a physics teacher at Nguyễn Du High School in District 10, who uses IT to make lessons more interesting and comprehensible.

One of his students, who went on to win a gold medal in the Olympic Competition for Excellent Students in the Southern Region, had lacked confidence and was afraid of failure and so wanted to pull out, but Thịnh’s encouragement and guidance persuaded him to continue.  

When a semester ends, Thịnh encourages his students to write to him to provide feedback about his teaching methods.

Nguyễn Thị Hoa, principal of Kindergarten 13 in Bình Thạnh District, received the Võ Trường Toản Award for outstanding achievements in managing and developing a kindergarten.

She volunteered to work with medical workers at vaccination sites and raised funds for taking care of people quarantined in her kindergarten, which had been used for it.

Bùi Minh Tâm, rector of Lương Thế Vinh High School, who received the Võ Trường Toản Award, visited the houses of students with COVID-19 to hand over textbooks and learning devices besides managing her school outstandingly.   

The Võ Trường Toản Awards also honoured two teachers at continuing education centres.

 Đặng Ngọc Thu is head of the Continuing Education Centre in District 6.

When she started out in 2013 it lacked teaching facilities, leading to low quality. Many of its students are workers at factories in Bình Tân District. Thu spent a lot of time finding out their difficulties and coming up with solutions to address them.   

For the last five years it has been among the top five in terms of rate of graduates in the city. It now has 1,800 students, triple the number eight years ago.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the pandemic had severely affected education, but teachers were making huge efforts to prevent disruption for students.

He solicited suggestions for policies to benefit managers of schools and relevant government agencies. 

Record number of cases in Hà Nội on Monday

COVID-19 infections in Hà Nội reached a record daily high of 429 new cases on Monday, as part of 13,770 new cases across the country.  

This is the highest number of cases since the capital city recorded its first COVID-19 case in early last March 2020. 

Total cases since the start of the pandemic now stand at 1,224,110. 

Monday's figures include 12 imported cases; 7,601 infections were found in the community.

HCM City topped the list with 1,554, followed by Cần Thơ (913), Tây Ninh (719). 

Other cases were found in Bình Dương (697), Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu (648), Đồng Tháp (608), Sóc Trăng (588), Bình Thuận (576), Trà Vinh (560), Vĩnh Long (559), Đồng Nai (548), Bạc Liêu (544), Bình Phước (516), Kiên Giang (443), Cà Mau (396), An Giang (375), Bến Tre (335), Khánh Hòa (308), Hậu Giang (294), Bình Định (195), Lâm Đồng (174), Hà Giang (163), Bắc Ninh (145), Nghệ An (143), Long An (122), Thừa Thiên Huế (119), Đắk Nông (88), Thanh Hóa (87), Quảng Nam (84), Hải Dương (69), Đà Nẵng (65), Ninh Thuận (56), Nam Định (55), Phú Thọ (54), Vĩnh Phúc (50), Tiền Giang (50), Quảng Ngãi (47), Hòa Bình (46), Thái Nguyên (39), Hải Phòng (36), Phú Yên (35), Tuyên Quang (30), Gia Lai (26), Hưng Yên (22), Lạng Sơn (20), Quảng Bình (18), Quảng Trị (18), Yên Bái (17), Cao Bằng (13), Hà Nam (11), Bắc Giang (11), Quảng Ninh (9), Ninh Bình (9), Kon Tum (7), Thái Bình (7), Điện Biên (4), Lào Cai (3) and Sơn La (1).

The Ministry of Health also announced on Monday a further 173 fatalities, bringing the total death toll from COVID-19 in Việt Nam to 25,055. 

However, a further 16,088 patients have now recovered from the virus, taking total national recoveries to 974,724.

Việt Nam has so far administered more than 120 million doses of vaccine, of which 49.6 million people have been inoculated twice.

COVID cases rise across Mekong Delta region

The COVID-19 situation in Mekong Delta provinces remains complicated, with a rising number of daily cases and deaths.

The region's largest city, Cần Thơ City, with over 24,300 cases, has seen an increase in the number of daily cases, especially in Ninh Kiều District where clusters have been found in crowded urban areas.

While the city had an average of 170 daily new cases in the first week of November, the number rose to 750 in the last week of the month.

The city recorded 1,072 cases on November 28, the highest number seen in three months. The caseload is placing a strain on the city’s medical facilities.

The city’s Department of Health is allocating more hospital beds for patients in moderate and critical condition, and is working on setting up more field hospitals.

The department has also been speeding up vaccinations for locals. Currently, around 87 per cent of the city’s adult population have been fully inoculated. Nearly 86 per cent of children aged 12 to 17 have received their first shots.

It has also asked the Ministry of Health for doctors, nurses and medical equipment from other regions to treat patients in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Vĩnh Long Province will raise its pandemic risk level from level 2 (medium risk) to level 3 (high risk) beginning on November 30.

The provincial Department of Health is working with other departments and districts to notify locals and businesses about pandemic preventive measures.

Similarly, Sóc Trăng Province has raised its provincial risk level to high risk and is not allowing locals to travel outside from 9 pm to 4 am.

According to the provincial steering centre for pandemic prevention and control, there could be undetected COVID-19 cases in the community or nonquarantined close contacts of COVID patients.

The province is increasing its inspections of restaurants and businesses' compliance with pandemic preventive regulations, and is encouraging locals to not travel outside or gather at workplaces unless necessary. 

Vietnam, RoK conduct consultation on ASEAN-RoK relationship coordination

Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the SOM ASEAN Vietnam and his counterpart from the Republic of Korea (RoK) Yeo Seung-bae chaired a Vietnam-RoK consultation on the coordination of the ASEAN-RoK relationship in the 2021-2024 period on November 29.

During the consultation, one of the first activities after Vietnam serves as coordinator of the ASEAN-RoK relations in the 2021-2024 period, the two sides evaluated the relationship between the association and the RoK since 1989 and agreed that the ties have been growing in a deep manner in many fields.

Yeo Seung-bae highlighted priorities of the RoK in relationship with ASEAN in the next period, with the speeding up of President Moon Jae-in initiated “New Southern Policy” that bases on the principles of peace, prosperity and people.

He gave some specific proposals, including strengthening the connectivity between the RoK and ASEAN; optimising, adjusting and upgrading the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA); implementing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); increasing exchanges among businesses; supporting macro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); developing industry; and beefing up collaboration in vocational training and employment.

The RoK side showed special attention to the protection of labourers of both sides, while expressing hope to expand cooperation in digital transformation, optimising opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, climate change response, environmental protection, green and sustainable growth.

The RoK affirmed that it will join ASEAN’s efforts in strengthening sub-regional cooperation, including the Mekong-RoK Partnership mechanism, thus contributing to the grouping's efforts in sustainable and inclusive development.

Regarding cooperation in COVID-19 prevention and control, the RoK Deputy FM said that the country will effectively implement the initiative on public health and vaccine, and build a vaccine supply network in the region to ensure the vaccine self-sufficiency. He highly valued priorities that Vietnam has given to entrepreneurs and experts from the RoK amid the pandemic, and proposed that the two sides resume regional trade activities to support recovery process.

For his part, Deputy FM Dung said that ASEAN and RoK shared a trustful and practical relationship. He welcomed the RoK’s New Southern Policy, affirming that Vietnam will show strong performance as coordinator of the ASEAN-RoK relations in the next three years.

He lauded the timely and effective support that the RoK has given to Vietnam in the pandemic fight.

Vietnam supports the RoK’s proposals and will help realise them to lift the ASEAN-RoK relationship to a new height, said Dung. He said he hopes the RoK will actively engage in ASEAN initiated and led forums for peace, security and prosperous development in the region.

Both sides agreed to continue to work closely in regional and international issues, while strengthening dialogue, cooperation and trust building, upholding the law and showing responsible behaviour to common security challenges.

They shared a hope that all parties will fully implement resolutions of the UN Security Council, resuming negotiations for a nuclear weapon-free Korean Peninsula for peace and stability in Northeastern Asia and the world.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the two Deputy FMs expressed concern about complicated developments at sea, showing hope to build an East Sea of peace and cooperation. They reaffirmed their constant stance of respecting the law, excersising restraint, not using or threatening to use force, and dealing with disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

Yeo said he hopes ASEAN and China will soon reach an efficient and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) suitable to international law and the UNCLOS.

On the occasion, he will attend the ASEAN high-level forum on sub-regional cooperation for sustainable and inclusive growth./. 

Saigon Urban Arts 2021 to kick off in HCM City in December

The Saigon Urban Arts 2021 (SUA 2021) will open in Ho Chi Minh City next month, the French Institute in Vietnam announced at a press conference recently held in the city.

Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser, Consulate General of France in HCM City, speaks at the press conference.
SUA 2021 is an international art event organized by the French Institute in Vietnam, the Goethe Institute, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Franco-German Cultural Fund. 

Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser, Consulate General of France in HCMC, said at the press conference that Saigon Urban Arts is one of the biggest art events in the city, further enhancing the relationship between Vietnam and the EU. SUA 2021 is expected to bring street art closer to the public, she added.    

In the first part of the international event, five street artists will jointly make large murals on the A1 apartment building and Villa 48 on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in HCMC’s Dist. 1 from December 4 to 18. 

During the event, audiences can witness and learn more about mural art. Their artworks will mainly be influenced by UN’s sustainable development goals. The second part, including art workshops and street art festivals with the attendance of foreign artists, is scheduled to take place in March 2022. 

Vietnamese paintings auctioned at high prices in Hong Kong

Two paintings produced by Vietnamese artists have been sold for US$1 million and US$1.2 million, respectively, at an auction held recently in Hong Kong (China).

A lacquer painting - Hoàng hôn trên vịnh Hạ Long (Golden Sunset Over Ha Long Bay) created by Pham Hau from 1938 to 1945 - was sold for the highest price at US$1.2 million.

Another lacquer painting called Chơi đàn nguyệt (Lady Playing a Nguyet Cam) by Mai Trung Thu in 1943 fetched a price of US$1 million.

Eleven out of a total of 12 paintings on offer by Vu Cao Dam, Le Pho, and Bui Xuan Phai also changed hands at the auction. 

NA Chairman hosts RoK, India Ambassadors

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue on November 29 separately met with the ambassadors of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and India.

At a reception for RoK Ambassador Park Noh-wan, Hue said there is ample room for the Vietnam-RoK strategic partnership to reach a new height.

The bilateral ties, through the State, National Assembly and Government channels, and people-to-people exchange, have been strengthened over the past time, Hue said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, high-ranking leaders of the two countries have maintained bilateral meetings, both online and in-person, Hue said, recalling his online talks with Speaker of the RoK's National Assembly Park Byeong-seug last June.

For his part, Park lauded Vietnam’s efforts in achieving the dual goals of pandemic containment and economic development, with the country working towards the high-income status by 2045.

The ambassador conveyed the RoK’s NA Speaker to Hue to pay an official visit to the East Asia and attend the 29th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) to be held in Seoul.

Korean leaders attach importance to the trip by the Vietnamese chief legislator, he affirmed.

At a meeting with Indian Ambassador Pranay Verma, Hue expressed his belief that the ambassador will make more contributions to enhancing the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, as well as their legislative ties.

Verma conveyed the invitations of the Vice President and Chairman of the Upper House and the Speaker of the Lower House of the Indian Parliament to NA Chairman Hue to pay an official visit to India.

He said the bilateral legislative cooperation has become a pillar of the Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as at the multilateral parliamentary forums to which both legislatures are members./.

JICA delegation works in Yen Bai

A delegation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had a working trip to the northern province of Yen Bai on November 29.

At a meeting with local authorities, Wada Yoichi, senior consultant of the JICA volunteer programme, said JICA hoped the Yen Bai and its Mu Cang Chai district to create favourable conditions for JICA’s volunteers for community-based tourism development. He unveiled that one more volunteer in the field is about to come to the local Nghia Lo township.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ngo Hanh Phuc thanked Japan’s assistance for Yen Bai so far. Through JICA, the province has received 20 ODA projects with a total investment of over 133.5 billion VND (5.88 million USD) and five other projects sponsored by the Japanese Embassy with a committed value of 381,028 USD in transport, health, and waste treatment.

Yen Bai also signed an agreement to establish a cooperative relationship with Japan’s Mimasaka city and Okayama province in the fields of vocational training, exchange of interns, labor export, agriculture and tourism.

Phuc stated Yen Bai will create best conditions possible for the volunteers to work and proposed JICA further pay attention to and invest in the province’s sectors of education, health, environment protection, and climate change response./.

ASEAN cultural heritage digital archive portal launches first e-exhibition

The ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA) project has kicked off an e-exhibition, themed “Forging History: Metals in the Crucible of ASEAN’s Transformation”, on its website.

The e-exhibition is a new feature of the ACHDA website, developed during the project’s second phase that commenced in January 2021.

It brings focus to the roles of metals in transforming the ASEAN region’s history and cultures. It features 22 digitised cultural heritage treasures selected by guest curator Girard Phillip E. Bonotan with support from museums and archival institutions of the ASEAN member states.

Highlights of the e-exhibition include Buddhist manuscript cabinets from Thailand, golden crowns from Indonesia, and modern metal artworks created by Malaysian artists, among others.

During the panel discussion titled “Reimagining Exhibitions During COVID-19”, experts from cultural institutions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan discussed their experiences in reinventing the museum experience in light of the ongoing pandemic.

The ACHDA project is supported by the government of Japan through the ASEAN-Japan Integration Fund (JAIF). Its website was launched on February 27 last year, hosting a collection of 2D and 3D images, audio recordings, and video data. To date, 267 cultural assets from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand are available on the site./.

Hanoi capital allows home treatment for coronavirus cases

The Party Committee of Hanoi on November 29 permitted to municipal administration to pilot home treatment for mild and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.

Mild and asymptomatic cases will be given treatment at home on a trial basis in Hanoi. (Illustrative image)
Such measure will be deployed if F0 cases meet certain conditions set out by the health sector, said the city’s Party leadership.

They asked localities to be well prepared, including medication distribution, to support F0 cases and ease pressure on COVID-19 treatment hospitals.

The city also plans to resume face-to-face lessons for high-school students on December 6.

Secondary school students are set to return to school as soon as COVID-19 vaccinations are completed.

The Hanoi Centre for Diseases Control reported that the number of locally acquired coronavirus infections is increasing considerably these days.

As many as 2,267 new cases have been reported in the city from November 21 – 29, or 284 cases daily on average. 56 cases more than the average figure recorded in the previous week.

Notably, two thirds of the total infections were those who have already received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Just 9.4% of the infections were first dose recipients.  

Romantic film wins best picture award at Vietnam film festival

Victor Vu’s 2019 commercial hit ‘Mat Biec’ (Dreamy Eyes) has been awarded the Golden Lotus, often dubbed the Vietnamese Oscars, for best picture at the 22nd Vietnam Film Festival.

Released at the end of 2019, the film, which was also the Vietnamese entry for best foreign picture at the 93rd Oscars, recorded box office revenues of 8 million USD, joining the list of just 13 local blockbusters that have so far crossed the 4.4 million USD benchmark.

At the Vietnam Film Festival award ceremony held on Saturday, ‘Dreamy Eyes’ also bagged best soundtrack for Christopher Wong, best cinematography for Dominic Pereira, and a special mention from Thua Thien Hue Province People’s Committee for best portrayal of Hue City, which hosted this year’s event./. 

Exhibition shows Vietnam through the lens of int’l photographers

Outstanding photos of Vietnam taken by foreign photographers are on display at an exhibition held in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

The first photography festival, which will be held biennially to help popularise images of Vietnam and enhance international cooperation via photography, attracted 1,567 entries by 98 professional and amateur photographers from 19 countries and territories.

Among them, 177 photos by 93 photographers were selected for the exhibition. They are vivid demonstrations of the beauty of Vietnam’s land, people, and culture.

The exhibition is open to visitors free of charge at the Library of Ninh Binh province from November 26 to December 3 and also available on the Department of Arts, Photography and Exhibition website./. 

HCM City to support kindergartens in areas with industrial parks

The HCM City Department of Education and Training plans to offer financial assistance to students and teachers in preschool education in areas with industrial parks.

The three groups of beneficiaries include non-public preschools who have at least 30 per cent of children of workers in the area; children studying at non-public schools with parents or caregivers working in industrial parks; and kindergarten teachers working at non-public preschools.

Under the plan, non-public preschools in areas with industrial parks will be provided facilities, teaching equipment and toys. An average one-time fee of VNĐ34,700,000 (US$1,509) will be given to each school for facility repair.

Preschool students who are children of workers in industrial zones will receive VNĐ160,000 per child per month. The support period is calculated according to the actual number of months of study and will not exceed nine months per school year.

Kindergarten teachers working in non-public preschools in areas with industrial parks will be given VNĐ800,000 per month. The number of teachers in these schools will be calculated according to the norms set for current public preschool educational institutions. The support period is calculated based on the actual number of months of teaching in each academic school year.

The support, taken from the State budget, is not a part of the salary agreed between owners of preschools and teachers, and will not be used to calculate the payment of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance.

The HCM City Department of Finance has agreed that the level of support is appropriate. 

Shot stopper Cường hopes perseverance will pay off with national team selection

Phạm Văn Cường's dreams of professional football seemed over when he was 15. Sixteen years later, and against the odds, he is a part of the national team preparing for the ASEAN Football Federation Cup next month.

This is the first time that a national team practice has included five goalkeepers. Cường is under no illusions about how hard he will have to work to secure a spot in the first team.

"I am happy to join the national team. I will do my best to vie for a place in the starting line-up," said Cường, who is still working hard to keep his dreams alive.

A love with football pushed Cường to register to practise at the Military Zone 4 centre in 2003.

After the trials, Cường was recruited based on his speed, strength, acceleration and agility. Two years later though, he was dropped from the team because he was not tall enough to be a professional goalkeeper.

Disappointed, Cường returned home to continue his studies at school but he never gave up on his dreams.

In 2008, Cường, 18 years old, graduated from high school and came back to the centre. This time no one could deny him - his height of 1.86m was ideal for his position.

From the centre, Cường moved around a few different teams before settling at Quảng Nam FC. In 2017, they won the V.League title.

His performance that year gave him his first taste of the national team set up, at the age of 27. Although he was the third-choice goalie and did not get to play, he was a part of the squad for the last match of the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers against Afghanistan, and the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers last June.

This time round Cường, now playing for HCM City, was called up after Nguyễn Văn Toàn suffered a shoulder injury.

First choice shot-stopper Bùi Tấn Trường has been worrying Coach Park Hang-seo because of his excessive use of social media during practice.

"The current goalkeepers of the national team have not worked well. Their performance has not helped the coaching board rest assured. This is why Cường has been called up," said former national defender Trương Đình Luật.

"Although he has not competed yet internationally, Cường is experienced and brave in the domestic league. He is also full of aspiration and confidence. Despite being the fifth choice goalie, Cường still has his chance and we believe in him." 

Coach Park also emphasises that every player has a chance to earn a place in the first team. The competitive environment he builds in his training camps help players to reach their full potential - and those that impress are always in with a shot at selection.

Apart from first-choice Trường, the other keepers in the squad are Trần Nguyên Mạnh, who returns to the national team after two years, Nguyễn Văn Hoàng and Quan Văn Chuẩn, who are both also waiting for their first crack at international football.

"I am the last call of the team but I will do everything I can to be in contention to play," said 31-year-old Cường, who has been training with the team for a week in Vũng Tàu City.

Coach Park will shortlist 30 players for selection in the next few days. The squad will leave for Singapore to defend their title on December 1.

Việt Nam are in Group B. They will play Laos on December 6, Malaysia on December 12, Indonesia on December 15 and Cambodia on December 19.

Vietnamese Cultural Heritage week tightens national unity

The 'Great Unity of Ethnic Groups-Vietnamese Cultural Heritage' week 2021 has taken place at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Hà Nội’s Sơn Tây District.

The event marks the 91st anniversary of the traditional day of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18, 1930 - November 18, 2021) and the 76th anniversary of Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23, 1945 - November 23, 2021).

Activities during the week contribute to promoting the cultural identity of 54 ethnic groups in Việt Nam in the implementation of the "All people unite to build cultural life" movement, protecting cultural heritage values and building an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity.

The organising board wishes to arouse the spirit of solidarity of the whole nation and promote good traditions, spreading the spirit of mutual affection and love for the homeland and the people of Việt Nam.

This is also an activity to reopen the Vietnam Ethnic Culture and Tourism Village after it was temporarily closed for COVID-19 prevention and control.

The highlight of the event is the opening programme and exhibitions to promote investment in the village. In addition to the regular activities of the 13 ethnic groups at the village, there are performances of traditional musical instruments of the Mông ethnic group and the Spring Festival (Nào Pê Chầu), a festival of the Mông ethnic group.

The "Great Unity of Ethnic Groups- Vietnamese Cultural Heritage” week 2021 is also a chance for tourists to get immersed in the unique culture of the ethnic groups nationwide.

“Enjoying special art performances, weaving cloth with the Thái people, tasting smoked buffalo meat – the traditional dish of the Mông, and directly observing the house-cooling ritual of the Mường – these are some of the extremely unforgettable and impressive experiences that I have been lucky to get during my visit to the village,” said visitors Nguyễn Thanh Bình who lives on Bạch Mai Street in Hà Nội. 

Photo contest calls for Koreans to share favourite pictures of Đà Nẵng

The central city’s tourism promotion centre, in co-operation with HanaTour company, has launched an Instagram photo contest, "Đà Nẵng in My Heart", for Koreans living in Việt Nam and abroad.

The contest which will run until December 20 is part of a post-COVID-19 tourism recovery plan to boost travel among Korean tourists.

The director of the centre, Nguyễn Thị Hoài An, said the photo contest aims to highlight attractive images of Đà Nẵng to Korean tourists through social media networks, luring them to the central city as COVID-19 restrictions are eased. 

South Koreans who have visited Đà Nẵng in the past can post their favourite photos or clips to Instagram to take part in the contest. Koreans who have yet visited Đà Nẵng can still enter by creating images of Đà Nẵng and sharing how they feel about the city. 

The best 26 entries will be selected as winners at the end of December.

The winner of the top prize – the Đà Nẵng Fantastic Heart – will receive an award worth 300,000 won (US$254) and a package tour for two to Đà Nẵng City, offered by HanaTour.

The winners of the five ‘Đà Nẵng Heart’ awards will be given 100,000 won ($85) each, while 20 'Thank You' coupons worth 20,000 won ($17) each will be presented to other winners in the top 26 list.

A one night stay for two at the five-star beach-front Furama Đà Nẵng Resort will also be up for grabs.

South Korean tourists account for 55.4 per cent of international tourists in the central city. 

In 2014, both Vietnamese and South Korean budget airlines launched 12 direct and chartered flights between Korean cities and Đà Nẵng, carrying around 1,500 passengers a week.

South Korea inaugurated its Consulate General in Đà Nẵng in 2020, boosting tourism and investment between South Korea and central Việt Nam.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily stopped South Korean tourists from coming to Đà Nẵng, the coastal central city is still a favourite destination for Koreans. At least 1.8 million Korean tourists visited the city in 2019.

HanaTour Director Ryu Bong Ki said he is expecting a plan from the Vietnamese and Đà Nẵng authorities to host foreign tourists in the post-COVID-19 era.

He said HanaTour will build detailed tour programmes to bring South Korean tourists to Đà Nẵng in the coming time.

Đà Nẵng is a good, central connection to visit world heritage sites in Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi and Thừa Thiên-Huế provinces from destinations such Jeju Island, Incheon, Seoul and other parts of South Korea.

The Shilla Hotels & Resorts – a Korean resort – has launched the five-star Shilla Monogram Đà Nẵng to serve Korean tourists in Đà Nẵng and Hội An. 

Art troupes from Việt Nam and South Korea often host joint performances in Đà Nẵng and Hội An in annual culture exchange events. 

Participants can find information at the contest’s website:

Writing contest featuring labourers launched

Labourers and their lives will be featured in a writing contest that was launched this week by the Việt Nam Writers’ Association in co-operation with the Lao Động (The Labour) newspaper.

Vietnamese at home and abroad are encouraged to participate the event called Cuộc Thi Sáng Tác Văn Học Về Người Lao Động (Writting Contest Featuring Labourers) as part of an effort to discover and support young writers. 

The contest aims to highlight farmers and workers as well as the activities of social affairs programmes on new-style rural areas and their effects on local people. 

The organisers welcome works on economic, social and economic achievements of remote provinces. Images of the culture and lifestyle of ethnic minority groups are also encouraged.

They are also seeking works with themes about the lives of young workers, particularly women, and their challenges and dreams in a globalised world.  

Both amateur and professional writers are welcome to send their entries in the two categories of fiction and short story. 

Famous authors, poets and translators will be part of the jury. 

There will be a total of 16 prizes worth VNĐ2.5 billion (US$110,000) the biggest prize money ever for a writing contest in the country. 

Organisers will present one special prize worth VNĐ400 million ($19,000), and one first prize and two second prizes worth VNĐ600 million ($29,000) in total for the winners in the fiction category. 

In the short story category, the winner of the special prize will receive VNĐ200 million ($9,000). The first prize and two second prizes worth VNĐ250 million ($11,000) in total will be given. 

Prizes for the favourite work and youngest writer will also be presented. 

“From the contest’s works, we hope to encourage Vietnamese farmers and workers who contribute to the country's development,” author Nguyễn Bình Phương, deputy chairman of Việt Nam Writers’ Association, said. 

“We hope our contest will give young writers, particularly those from ethnic minority groups, a chance to develop their careers and bring writers and readers together.” 

The contest’s participants must submit their work on paper to the contest organiser at Việt Nam Writers’ Association-Creating Office at 9 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Street, Nguyễn Du Ward, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hà Nội. 

Entries should be postmarked by August 2023. 

The best works will be published in magazines and newspapers. The prize winners will be announced in December 2023.

Female teachers dedicated to improving education in mountainous areas

Teachers assigned to remote mountainous areas are no stranger to hardships. Many have to walk hours on dangerous and slippery roads to reach school and spend their own money on school supplies as students can’t afford to buy their own.

There’s no exception for female teachers. Despite the hardships, many still stick to teaching children in far-flung areas with the hope of bringing them a better life in the future.

Vũ Thị Ý was assigned to teach at an ethnic boarding school in Mèo Vạc District in the mountainous northern province of Hà Giang, shortly after she graduated from Hà Giang Pedagogical College in 1990.

Ý was the only child of seven siblings to study in higher education. She was the pride of the family. She wanted a job with good pay, so she could provide for her family.

Ý said she had many sleepless nights, thinking about the choices she should make while her mother and sisters just wanted her to stay at home.

“When I told my family about my choice, my mom even told me to get back to her if I found the new life and the new job too hard,” she said.

The first challenge for her was a road from Hà Giang Town to Mèo Vạc District. She spent two days in a car, suffering serious motion sickness due to steep and tricky traffic.

Ý had sleepless nights in the next days. She was not familiar with the new life. She was bitten by bugs and mosquitoes, causing swelling and itching all over the body.

But Ý had no time to think about it. She was busy teaching Vietnamese language and numbers for ethnic children and going to their house to persuade their parents to let them go to school.  

Ý said that over the next 13 years, she was assigned to go to many remote and border areas to teach literacy classes for adults. Many did not want her to return when the class finished.

In 2010, Ý volunteered to teach at Xín Cái Elementary Semi-Boarding School for Ethnic Minorities in Xín Cái Commune.    

It was a chilling winter that year. A thick fog hung around the whole day, and the cabbages in the school’s garden froze in the cold weather.

“Children couldn’t write as their hands were cold. They had no warm clothes. I asked for clothes, socks, boots, and then books, notebooks and pencils for them. I asked all the people I knew for things that could help them keep warm and study during winter, no matter how old or new they were,” she said.

Things were better when children went to class every day. Ý focused on finding new methods that helped students with different learning abilities to study effectively.

Ý has been recognized as a good teacher by the provincial Department of Education and Training. She has been awarded the title of Excellent Teacher by President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc this year. 

Lê Thị Thanh has her own story about how she settled down in a disadvantaged area in Mèo Vạc District.

She started her job as a teacher in the district in 1988 and moved to many different communes to bring education to ethnic minority children.

When she and some other colleagues moved to Nậm Ban Commune, they had to live in a classroom, with no electricity or clean water. Students didn’t want to go to school, and none of them knew the native language to study.

Some teachers gave up and left. Thanh wanted to give up, but she told herself to stay and try a little bit more.

“Teaching first-grade students was quite hard. Many did not want to go to school. While I tried to keep one child sitting in class, another child would leave. There were days when I couldn't have any children in class because they followed their parents to the fields,” she said.

“I felt helpless. Many times I stood crying like a child in class,” she said.

There were days Thanh drove 30 kilometres, going to every student’s house to help them with their homework and encouraging them to study.


Her efforts were rewarded when her students improved and they expressed happiness at being able to learn.

In 1991, she was given the chance to return to her hometown, but Thanh decided to stay. This year marks the 33rd year Thanh has been living and teaching children in Mèo Vạc District.

Thanh said, apart from professional knowledge, the key qualities for any teacher in the mountainous areas are hard work, perseverance and love and compassion for ethnic children. 

Plastic floating cages improve fish farming in Khánh Hòa Province

Farmers who breed fish in floating cages in central Khánh Hòa Province never thought that they could raise fish in offshore areas, where wind speeds reach 130kph on stormy days.

The simple wooden or bamboo cages they had been using for fish and lobsters only work in the safety of the bay. However, when the powerful Typhoon Damrey struck in 2017, wreaking havoc along the south-central coast of Việt Nam, the local fish farmers noticed not everyone suffered the same losses. 

Nguyễn Xuân Hòa, a farmer from Vạn Lương Commune in Vạn Ninh District, has more than 20 years of experience raising aquaculture in Vân Phong Bay. He suffered terrible losses when Typhoon Damrey hit the bay, sweeping away all 250 of his floating fish cages worth roughly VNĐ20 billion (US$881,920).

Hòa lost all of his fish, and he wasn't alone; his neighbours suffered the same. However, the plastic floating cages used by foreign businesses were still in the bay. They were made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and used nets with an anti-fouling coating, based on Norwegian technology.

Hòa was among the first local farmers to invest in these new floating cages, as part of a wider project to rebuild cobia fish farming in the 2020-22 period, implemented by Khánh Hòa Province’s Agricultural Extension Centre.

“I’ve raised fish in these cages since 2020. The fish are healthy and particularly safe during the stormy season, so I have higher yield,” he said.

“I think farmers should invest in the new technology if possible. The initial investment price is a bit high, but it can be used for a long time,” he added.

The round-shaped HDPE floating cages have three main parts: a frame, net and anchoring device. The frame is a buoy made of HDPE pipes.

Round cages are installed separately instead of being combined into rafts like traditional wooden cages. This improves the survival rate of fish and minimises the spread of disease.

The floating cages can also be placed offshore where the water is less polluted. They can endure winds and waves, are easy to move, and can house a large quantity of fish. They are convenient for checking and harvesting fish.  

The model is used widely in modern-industrial aquaculture all around the world.

Trần Ngọc Sĩ, another farmer in Vạn Lương Commune, said he started using HDPE floating cages earlier this year to farm 1,000 cobia fish.

Sĩ said the wooden cages had a surface size of 4m by 4m and a height of 5-10m while the round HDPE cages have a diameter of 10m and a cage volume of 500 cubic metres. The round HDPE can stock about 1,000 fish per cage.

The cages are made domestically and cost around VNĐ180 million ($7,930), which was less than half of the imported Norwegian product.

After seven months of farming, Sĩ noticed the survival rate of fish was up to 90 per cent and the average fish weighed about five kilogrammes each.

Sĩ said he is no longer in a hurry to sell his stock. The process of raising fish in HPDE cages is simple and can easily be operated by only two people.

He plans to keep raising the fish and wait until the end of this year to get good prices.

“Since I’ve installed HDPE floating cages, I feel more secure about coming storms. If things go well, I’ll invest in more cages to raise lobsters as this aquaculture brings more profit,” he said.

Huỳnh Kim Khánh, director of the provincial Agricultural Extension Centre, said that after the devastating consequences of Typhoon Damrey in 2017 towards fish farming in the province, especially in Vân Phong Bay, the centre researched the recovery of cobia farming in the 2020-22 period and received support for six round HDPE floating cages, with a budget of VNĐ4.75 billion ($209,450), in which VNĐ3 billion ($132,280) was from the agricultural extension fund.

The centre then organised training courses for local farmers. After nearly two years of piloting, local farmers have invested in more than 100 HDPE cages in the bay.

In 2020, the project supported farmers with three HDPE cages. This year, local farmers received VNĐ1.3 billion ($57,320) to buy floating cages. A single HPDE cage can bring 4.2 tonnes of fish, around 900 cobia fish. The average selling price was between VNĐ125,000–140,000 per kilo, bringing profits of around VNĐ88 million ($3,880).

Khánh said this model will be expanded over the next few years to completely replace wooden cages by 2030. This will modernise and improve the productivity of fish farming in the province, opening offshore marine farming while becoming a new tourism site. The provincial agricultural sector will need supportive policies to achieve the goals.

Nguyễn Ngọc Ý, head of Vạn Ninh District’s Economy Office, said 1,200 households were raising 40,000 fish and lobster cages. The transition from wooden cages to HDPE ones was suitable for climate change, but the price was quite expensive.

Farmers should consider the transition while the State should have more support policies to expand the model, he said.

Lê Quốc Thanh, director of the National Agricultural Extension Centre, said during a trip to Vân Phong Bay on November 16 that the HDPE floating cages were sustainable and should be expanded in other marine farming localities.

The centre will set up forums to help farmers access this farming technique. 

New guidance on COVID-19 testing issued for employees in HCM City

Depending on the COVID-19 situation in the city, enterprises will organise periodic COVID-19 quick tests or RT-PCR tests for their employees.

The HCM City Department of Health has recently updated guidance on COVID-19 testing at labour facilities including service businesses, shopping malls, supermarkets, agencies and offices in the city.

COVID tests will be given to employees who experience one or more of COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, or breathing difficulty, among other epidemiological factors.

Employees returning to work will take rapid COVID-19 tests (pooled samples from 3-5 people) or RT-PCR tests (pooled samples of 10-20).

If HCM City is at level one or two in terms of the pandemic situation, 20 per cent of high-risk employees will be tested once a week, while at level three or four, 30 per cent of high-risk employees will be tested twice a week.

Employees who are fully vaccinated and those who have recovered from COVID-19 within the previous months at the time of the test will only be tested if requested.

HCM City will also organise tests for people who are in medical isolation, medical monitoring, and lockdown areas.

According to the COVID-19 map, HCM City on November 26 was mostly at level 2 (yellow zone, medium risk). Twelve areas were at level 1 (green zone, low risk) and 10 others were at level 2.

In recent days, the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths in HCM City has increased. In field hospitals, beds are full of patients and some places have to add folding beds. 

On November 26, 1,809 cases were recorded, an increase of 227 cases compared to the previous day. This was the highest number of daily cases in the city since October 4.

Vietnam, Switzerland look to foster friendship activities

President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Nguyen Phuong Nga held a working session with the Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association (SVFA) in Bern, Switzerland, on November 27.

At the event, SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil expressed her delight at the development of bilateral ties between the two countries and highly evaluated Vietnam’s development achievements.

SVFA’s members proposed ideas to foster the friendship between the two nations' people, connect the Vietnamese community in Switzerland and attract young people of both countries into activities to raise their mutual understanding and solidarity. They shared with the Vietnamese people about adverse impacts from COVID-19 and wished that the two countries would overcome the pandemic soon.

The two sides also looked into ways to boost cooperative ties, especially celebrations for the 40th founding anniversary of the SVFA next year.

At a meeting on the same day between President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the SVFA and the Vietnamese community in Switzerland, VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga presented an insignia “For Peace, Friendship among Nations”, the most noble distinction of the VUFO, to SVFA Chairwoman Anjuska Weil in recognition of her contributions to the solidarity and friendship between the Vietnamese and Swiss people./.

Lai Chau working to restore tourism

In order to adapt to the “new normal”, the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau has decided to restore its tourism sector while at the same time ensuring the safety of tourists.

Lai Chau has decided to flexibly and effectively restore its tourism sector while ensuring the safety of tourists and the community. Activities to stimulate demand must therefore be associated with the strict implementation of regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control, to ensure absolute safety at destinations and service facilities.

According to the plan, from now until the end of the year, Lai Chau is expected to welcome about 70,000 visitors, mostly domestic travellers from the northern region.

Attracting tourists to Lai Chau presents an opportunity to promote its tourist attractions and cultural products, contributing to recovering the tourism industry in the province and the entire northern mountainous region./.

Ho Quang Loi elected as Chairman of Vietnam-Romania Friendship Association

Permanent Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association Ho Quang Loi has been elected as Chairman of the Vietnam-Romania Friendship Association (VRFA) for the 2021-2026 tenure.

He was elected at the seventh National Congress of the VRFA in Hanoi on November 28, which was concurrent with the 103rd National Day of Romania (December 1) and the 30th anniversary of the association.

The Congress also elected a 58-strong new executive board.

Speaking at the event, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Phan Anh Son expressed his belief that the VRFA will reap greater achievements and make practical contributions to the traditional friendship between the two nations.

He affirmed that VUFO will continue partnering and supporting the VRFA in the near future.

During the new tenure, the association will consolidate its apparatus and develop membership, especially among Vietnamese alumni in Romania while seeking resources for its activities, including holding cultural exchanges and photo exhibitions to strengthen bilateral cultural ties.

On the occasion, the VUFO presented its certificates of merit to the VRFA’s outstanding collectives and individuals in the past tenure./. 

HCM City honours 107 outstanding Lao, Cambodian students

The Youth Union of Ho Chi Minh City, on November 27, held an event to honour outstanding Lao and Cambodian students in the city, consisting of 86 from Laos and 21 from Cambodia.

With good academic performance and active participation in youth campaigns, the students were selected from 111 submissions from 16 universities and academies across the city.

As part of the ceremony, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics and Finance offered the Lao and Cambodian students 40 scholarships.

Ong Thi Ngoc Linh from the municipal Youth Union said the union now manages 490 out of 1,000 Lao and Cambodian students studying at 25 educational facilities in the city.

In 2021, the city welcomed 145 more students from the two nations, up 11 percent on-year.

The event, running through 16 editions so far, has to date honoured 908 Lao and Cambodian students./.

Vietnamese ambassador eyes stronger collaboration with France’s PACA, Marseille

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang paid a working visit to Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) region and the port city of Marseille from November 25 to 27.

At his meetings with Christophe Mirmand, the high representative of the French State in PACA, and Michele Rubriola, permanent deputy mayor of Marseille, Thang affirmed that the region and city have strengths, especially in areas that Vietnam needs such as seaport, logistics, renewable energy, tourism, high-tech development, and agro-food processing, and training.

Meanwhile, the French officials expressed their willingness to cooperate with Vietnam in sectors that both boast potential for development.

Both sides had a desire to strengthen bilateral connectivity and cooperation between localities under different models and scales. During the meetings, the local authorities said they highly acknowledged the contributions, good integration, and certain successes of the Vietnamese community in Marseille (about 20,000 people) and PACA (40,000 people).

During his trip, the Vietnamese diplomat visited a number of local major firms, including the Marseille Fos seaport, container shipping group CMA-CGM, helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters, as well as the Marseille-Aix-Provence chamber of commerce and industry.

Airbus Helicopters said that it has provided many types of helicopters to Vietnam and is ready to help Vietnam develop a dedicated aircraft fleet. Meanwhile, CMA-CGM expressed its desire to expand phase two of Cai Mep port development project and to help Vietnam develop container transport.

During these meetings, the sides involved believed that it is necessary to take advantage of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to foster cooperation and support Vietnamese goods in penetrating the European market.

Thang also spent his time meeting representatives of Vietnamese expatriates in Marseille.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Thang said the trip to Marseille gained various outcomes, particularly the unveiling of a plaque commemorating President Ho Chi Minh in the city, as part of the activities marking 110 years since the late President boarded ship Amiral Latouche Tréville to France, beginning his journey for national salvation./.

Ambassador: Vietnam-Russia ties loyal, close

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi has highlighted Vietnam – Russia ties as well as the significance of the upcoming Russia visit by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc from November 29 – December 2.

In an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency reporters in Moscow, Khoi said Vietnam – Russia ties are close-knit, loyal and rare in the world.

He said said the visit will further deepen and lift bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a greater height in all areas in the new situation.

It manifests that Vietnam is pursuing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of ties for national benefits, as well as for the world peace and stability.

The visit also shows that Vietnam attaches importance to ties with Russia, considering the country a priority in its foreign policy and a key partner while sincerely and consistently supporting Russia in an ever-changing world.

Third, it affirms the strengthening of joint work against COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the research and production of vaccines and medicines.

More importantly, it will also boost links in all areas, especially in politics, economy, national defence-security, energy - oil and gas, education-training and people-to-people exchange, he said.

Looking back on the two decades of bilateral strategic partnership towards the 10th anniversary of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership next year, Khoi said mutual political trust and understanding have increasingly been consolidated via regular visits and exchanges at all levels.

He also underscored achievements in bilateral cooperation in defence-security, energy – oil and gas, economy, trade and investment, and education and training.

Asked about which fields could be strengthened to boost ties, Khoi said both sides agreed to further share experience in fighting epidemics, and jointly study and produce vaccines and medicines. Vietnam could become a Sputnik V vaccine production hub of Russia in Southeast Asia.

He suggested cultivating collaboration in economy-trade, national defence-security, the use of nuclear energy for peace purpose, education-training and people-to-people exchange.

The diplomat also highlighted the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia’s contributions to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic at home, including establishing a working group on vaccines, seeking the transfer of Spunik V vaccine production technology as well as Sputnik V supply to Vietnam.

Vietnam’s vaccine diplomatic policy has been a success in the world, including in Russia, he stated./.    

President hails position of OV community in Switzerland

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has hailed the overseas Vietnamese community as an “inseparable part” of the Vietnamese nation and an important resource for the cause of national construction, development and defence.

Meeting representatives of Vietnamese associations, friendship organisations and community in Bern, Switzerland on November 27 (local time), Phuc appreciated their opinions and suggestions, saying that the Vietnamese Party and State intend to issue a mechanism to effectively collect and capitalise on feedback and initiatives of OV experts, intellectuals and businesspeople.

He informed them that Vietnam’s business environment has improved, attracting a large number of top investors to the country. External and global integration activities have been stepped up actively, proactively and effectively. Vietnam also signed and enforced a number of new-generation free trade agreements.

The leader wished that the OVs would continue offering mutual support, help fellows at home overcome the pandemic, as well as raise awareness of national traditions and culture among young generations, especially the Vietnamese language.

Staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland were asked to better perform citizen protection and hold practical activities to contribute to the homeland, thereby upholding the power of great national unity.

On the occasion, the President presented the Friendship Order to the Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association (SVFA) in honour of its contributions to the friendship between the two countries' people.

President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Nguyen Phuong Nga also granted the insignia “For Peace and Friendship among Nations”, the most noble distinction of the VUFO, to SVFA President Anjuska Weil.

As scheduled on November 28 morning (local time), President Phuc and his spouse will leave Bern for Geneva to meet Director General of the UN Office in Geneva Tatiana Valovaya, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)  Daren Tang./. 

Effective satellite management promotes socio-economic development

Vietnam has so far owned six satellites in the orbit as a result of implementing the Government’s Space Technology Research and Development Strategy towards 2020.

Of the six satellites, there are two telecommunications, one earth observation and three research satellites.

In 2008, Vietnam made VINASAT-1, its first telecommunications satellite. In 2012, the nation saw its second telecommunications satellite Vinasat-2 launched. In 2013, VNREDSat-1 – Vietnam's first remote sensing satellite – and PicoDragon – the first satellite completely manufactured by Vietnam (weighing 1kg) – were launched into orbit. In 2019, MicroDragon satellite, which weighs 50kg, was put into orbit to serve training in satellite technology for Vietnamese researchers in Japan.

Most recently, NanoDragon satellite, made entirely in Vietnam, successfully separated from Japan’s fifth Epsilon solid-fuel rocket on November 9, flying in outer space by itself at a height of 560km.

These satellites have brought many benefits to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, environmental monitoring, meteorology, mapping, climate change impact forecasting and assessment. It has also facilitated the analysis of long-term water pollution trends.

According to General Director of the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) Pham Anh Tuan, to capitalise on the satellites’ functions, scientists involved should understand and master them for the most effective and optimal operation and exploitation. It means that operation teams must be well trained as well as have adequate working facilities, suitable incentives, and long-term orientations.

Meanwhile, regarding the data products provided by the satellites, it is necessary to have specific support policies so that many people and experts know, exploit, use and add more value to the data. These would result in the gradual formation of a community as well as basic tools and utilities for data processing, and the production of products that bring practical values serving the country's socio-economic development. .

On February 4 this year, the Prime Minister signed off a strategy for the development and application of space science and technology by 2030.

The strategy’s overall goal is to widely apply achievements of space science and technology; selectively invest in some areas related to national defence, security, and management of natural resources and the environment; and improve the country’s scientific and technological capacity, thereby helping to safeguard independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, promote socio-economic development, and ensure other national interests./.

Deputy PM signs decision on national database sharing

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has recently signed Decision No.1911/QD-TTg dated November 15, 2001 on the connection and sharing between the national database on population with national and specialised databases.

Its common principle is meeting requirements in Clause 2, Article 7 of the Government’s Decree No.137/2015/ND-CP detailing several articles and measures to enforce the Law on Citizen Identification.

The connection and sharing of citizens’ information among databases must ensure confidentiality, cyber security and safety in line with existing laws. The use of citizens’ information in the national database on population must be in accordance with the Government’s Article 11, Decree No.137/2015/ND-CP detailing several articles and measures to enforce the Law on Citizen Identification, the Government’s Decree No.37/2021/ND-CP on amendments and supplements to several articles of Decree No.137/2015/ND-CP.

The Deputy PM asked the Ministry of Public Security to work closely with ministries, ministry-level and Government agencies, people’s committees of centrally-run cities and provinces on the project, check security gaps to ensure information security and safety during the process.

The ministry was also assigned to manage and operate the national database on population, ensuring that it meets technical requirements to handle administrative procedures in service of State management and socio-economic development./.  

Russian scholars underscore President’s Russia visit

Russian scholars in Vladivostok highlighted the significance of the Russia visit from November 29 to December 2 by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in an interview recently granted to a Moscow-based Vietnam News Agency reporter.

Dr. Alexander Sokolovsky, Chairman of the Russia – Vietnam Friendship Association of Primorye province, stressed that the visit is necessary.

As the two countries are striving to develop their relations practically for mutual benefits, he suggested further promoting economic and trade ties which remain modest compared to their potential.

Associate. Prof. Dr. Artem Lukin, Deputy Director for Research at the School of Regional and International Studies under the Far Eastern Federal University of Russia, said Vietnam is a special partner and the only country in Southeast Asia to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia.

Economic affairs will be one of the important topics tabled for discussions during the visit, he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Evgeny Vlasov, Deputy Vice President for International Relations at the above school, said one of the most important discussions during the visit will be cooperation against COVID-19 and regional stability./. 

Vietnam, Cambodia seek ways to foster cooperation in mass mobilisation

The Commissions for Mass Mobilisation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and the Cambodian People’s Party Central Committee sought cooperation orientations during their online talks on November 29.

Head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Bui Thi Minh Hoai briefed the Cambodian side on Vietnam’s situation and mass mobilsation work.

She stressed the significance of enhancing the solidarity and cooperation between the two countries, Parties and commissions to stability and development in each country, as well as peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region.

Men Xom On, head of the Cambodian commission, congratulated the Vietnamese Party, State and people on achievements they have recorded over the past time, and spoke highly of the thriving relations between the two countries.

She informed Hoai about the political, socio-economic situation, external affairs, the COVID-19 combat and the mass mobilisation work in Cambodia.

The two sides agreed to step up the communications work to encourage people, especially young generations, to further consolidate the bilateral ties.

They will also increase delegation exchange and information sharing in mass mobilisation, while providing mutual support in regional and international issues of shared concern.

They will pay more heed to mass mobilisation collaboration in localities that share the border line./.

Ben Tre develops forests in climate change response

The People’s Committee of southern Ben Tre province has issued a plan to carry out a project on coastal forest protection and development in adaptation with climate change and green growth promotion for the 2021-2030 period.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Minh Canh said the plan aims to sustainably manage, protect and use 4,368ha of coastal forests while effectively promoting their role and function in environmental protection, biodiversity preservation, contributing to socio-economic development, national defence-security in coastal areas, and disaster mitigation.

The province also looks to increase forest coverage to 2 percent by 2025 from 1.77 percent in 2020.

During 2021-2025, Ben Tre will plant 416ha of new forests and replant 453ha to achieve a forest coverage of 2 percent. Later from 2026 to 2030, the province will plant 60ha of new forests, replant 363ha after exploitation, restore 10ha and gain a forest coverage of 2.1 percent.

To such end, the province will embark on aquaculture models in mangrove forests, pool the involvement of enterprises in forest plantation and livelihood models based on environment services, and strictly deal with violations regarding forests and forestry land.

It will also raise public awareness of the role of coastal forests in climate change response, as well as legal regulations in forest protection and management.

Ben Tre is now home to over 4,300ha of forests, mostly mangrove forests in the coastal districts of Thanh Phu, Ba Tri and Binh Dai./.

45th National Athletics Championship to feature 50 events

The 45th edition of the National Athletics Championship will take place from December 5-12 at the My Dinh National Sports Complex in Hanoi, with 50 events, according to the Vietnam Athletics Federation (VAF).

The tournament is to assess training quality in localities and sectors, and select outstanding athletes for a training course ahead of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) to be hosted by Vietnam and the 19th Asian Games (ASIAD) next year, as well as upcoming tourneys at home and abroad.

The VAF said to ensure safety and curb the spread of COVID-19, all participants and spectators must receive at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine for no less than 14 days or recover from the disease within six months; and test negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours before the opening ceremony.

All competitors and staff have to take rapid antigen tests once in three days and comply with medical guidelines of the host city.

Those come from worst-hit localities are not allowed to participate in./.

Korea-Vietnam Fashion Festival Awards marks 29th anniversary of diplomatic ties

The third Korea-Vietnam Fashion Festival Awards (KVFFA) 2021 took place in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on November 28 night, featuring various music performances of Korean artists and an “ao dai” (Vietnamese traditional dress) and hanbok fashion show.

In his remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tung described the KVFFA 2021 as a significant celebration of the 29th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, saying it has further deepened cultural exchanges and increased mutual understanding between Vietnamese living in the RoK and the local community.

Though this is the second time the KVFFA has been held partially via virtual platform due to COVID-19 pandemic, the event showed that Vietnam and the RoK can together overcome the pandemic and surmount all obstacles to further boost their friendly relations in the coming time, he said.

Echoing Tung’s view, Jeong Min-woo, head of the event organising board, the hosting of FVFFA 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated close ties between Vietnam and the RoK, which have been further intensified in any circumstances. The promotion of Vietnamese and Korean cultures during the event would pave the way for the two countries' people to better connect ideas and promote cultural sympathy.

In his letter of greetings sent to the event, Vietnamese Tourism Ambassador to the RoK Ly Xuong Can said the event reflected the close friendship and exchange between Vietnamese and Koreans, and it promoted the beauty of the two countries’ distinctive cultures.

Can, who is now in Hanoi, was among those sending greetings to the event, besides head of the RoK National Assembly’s committee for culture, sports and tourism Lee Che-ik and Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Park Noh-wan.

The annual event is expected to return next year when the two countries celebrate the 30th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties./.

Vietnamese female director honoured at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

Young director Ha Le Diem has been honoured for best director in the category of International Competition at the 2021 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam for her documentary film “Nhung dua tre trong suong” (Children of the Mist).

This was the second most important award, only following the “best film” prize to the four-hour film “Mr. Landsbergis” by Sergei Loznitsa from Ukraine.

“Children of the Mist” (92 minutes) is about the life of Di, a 12-year-old girl descending from the H’Mong ethnic minority group located in Sapa town, Lao Cai province. From Di and her relationships around her, the female director highlighted the conflicts between ancient customs and modern values and the challenges that ethnic minority children, especially girls, have to face as they reach adulthood. Di wants to go to school but she was born in a locality with the unsound custom of "catching wife", which hindered her dream of receiving higher education. The film reflected the unfortunate consequences of this old traditional custom, including the risk of kidnapping and human trafficking.

In addition to the “best director” for Ha Le Diem, her film won the special prize voted by the jury, for the category of “the first film”.

Ha Le Diem was a student of the Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents (TPD) and joined the 2016 Varan filmmaking course.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has been held annually since 1988 and developed into the largest festival of its kind, attracting filmmakers around the world.

Digital cultural environment locates Vietnamese values

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong delivered an important speech at the National Cultural Conference held on November 24, setting out six key tasks for the coming time, in which the content "Building a digital cultural environment suitable for the digital economy, digital society and digital citizen, making culture adapt and regulate the country's sustainable development in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution" received great attention from the team of cultural workers.

It can be seen that, in recent years, the application of digital technology connected to the internet in social life has made strong changes in all fields, and culture is no exception.

Experience shows that building the digital cultural environment has been a global trend, and is becoming more and more urgent. However, due to many reasons, the work of digitisation in the field of culture seems to be somewhat delayed compared to other professions and fields.

In 2020, when the COVID-19 epidemic suddenly occurred, many social activities were severely affected, including art and culture. A series of theatres, cinemas, attractions, historical sites, museums, libraries stopped welcoming visitors, and art shows were cancelled.

The cultural and artistic life was almost frozen. But it is this unexpected objective cause that has created a push, promoting the application of digital technology in the field of culture and art to take place faster. Now, in order to survive, cultural and art activities must find ways to adapt to the new situation.

Artists who are used to traditional creative ways must also gradually adapt to new contexts; however, grasping and exploiting the advantages of technology opens many new opportunities for professional activities.

That is why, despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in Vietnam, the public has witnessed the birth of the "Isolation Theatre" and "Symphony Orchestra at Home" models; providing the opportunity to experience digital museums; enjoy online performing arts programmes; join online book exchanges; read books online; or sit at home to search for documents on digital libraries.

Thanks to the application of digital technology in their activities, many units and individuals have implemented many cultural programmes and projects that resonate. However, many places still show confusion, even a passive mentality, waiting for the epidemic to disappear. But the longer the wait, the more that art culture lags behind, thus losing its role in social life.

Actively applying digital technology in cultural and artistic activities will help build a digital environment that meets the trends of the times and the requirements of society.

Not only does it help to store information, preserve heritages and rare documents, and exploit the advantages of technology, it also helps the public's access to become easier and more effective. The results of promoting national cultural values are constantly being replicated, beyond the limits of time and space. For example, thanks to the process of documenting and digitising heritages, the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts has successfully made many dossiers submitted to UNESCO for registration in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which is the unique practice of worshipping Hung Kings in Phu Tho Province, the Practices Related to the Vietnamese Beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms in Nam Dinh, and Vi and Giam singing of Nghe Tinh.

It can be said that technology is the key to development. Therefore, building a digitised environment in the cultural field is something we need to soon deploy in a synchronous manner, with a long-term strategy, contributing to the position and spread of Vietnamese cultural values in the international arena.

Nearly 80% of eligible children in HCMC fully vaccinated against Covid

As of this morning, November 29, HCMC had administered the second dose of a Covid vaccine to over 560,820 children aged 12 to 17, or 79.8% of all children in this age group eligible for inoculation.

The city has a total of 702,563 children at 12 to 17 years of age, and over 686,330 of them have got the first shot, or over 97% of the total.

The final vaccination site in District 1 at the Minh Duc Secondary School completed the inoculation of children this morning, finishing the district’s second vaccination drive for children, according to the District 1 Healthcare Center.

Dinh Khac Huy, chairman of Binh Thanh District, said the district was expected to complete the vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 today.

Meanwhile, Phu Nhuan District completed the vaccination of children on November 28.

The HCMC Department of Health said the vaccination of children in the city would be finished on November 29 and 30.

As of 7.30 a.m. today, over 14.5 million Covid vaccine doses had been administered to HCMC residents. Over 6.6 million people have been fully vaccinated. 

HCMC increases its level of preparedness, response action for new Covid-19 cases

Deputy Head of the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control Pham Duc Hai revealed that the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the city has remained high. Therefore, the southern largest city has increased its level of preparedness and response action for new Covid-19 cases.

He added that the number of hospitalizations is always higher than the number of discharges. Besides, the new Covid-19 Omicron variant is a cause for concern. However, he affirmed the city has put the disease under control.

Mr. Hai said that people should not neglect preventative cautions especially the 5 K principles. City dwellers should don face masks and adhere to the health sector’s physical distancing recommendations.

Head of the Office of the city’s Department of Health Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai said that the city currently has 319 available medical stations; moreover, 344 mobile medical stations have been added. The Department of Health will send medical workers in big hospitals to help grass-root infirmaries in districts with a lot of Covid-19 patients who are eligible for receiving home care.

To further support the mobile health system and medical facilities, the city Department of Health has submitted to the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City a project on home care for Covid-19 patients under the care of staff from private health infirmaries.

Regarding the vaccination plan for the third dose, Ms. Huynh Mai said that the department has sent an official dispatch to the Ministry of Health, but at the moment, it is necessary to focus on vaccinating all groups of students aged 12-17 that have not received the second dose of vaccines.

Talking about patient overload at medical facilities, Ms. Huynh Mai said that 11,000 people have been hospitalized while the number of existing beds in the city is over 51,000. HCMC health authority is trying to curb patient overload.

Additionally, Ms. Huynh Mai disclosed that 597 medical workers resigned from hospitals in 2020 but in the first ten months of 2021, approximately 968 doctors and nurses have submitted their resignation in some medical stations.

Trinh Duy Trong from the Department of Education and Training announced to instruct schools upon detection of Covid-19 patients. Around 93 percent of parents agreed to a vaccination plan for their children. All districts have finished the injection of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Deputy Director of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Lam said that so far, more than 39,752 employees have been returning to work in enterprises. Currently, Ho Chi Minh City has 127 employment companies including the Employment Service Center and the Youth Employment Service Center. Since October 1, the two centers have helped more than 63,000 people to work in companies.

HCMC adds field hospitals to receive new Covid-19 infections

Deputy Chairman of the Municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc led a working delegation to check the Covid-19 pandemic control and socio-economic recovery and development in Hoc Mon District and Hoc Mon Field Hospital in Tan Thoi Nhi Commune.

The three-storey hospital with the capacity of 500 beds is under completion process to receive Covid-19 patients next week. After the inspection, Mr. Duong Anh Duc required the Municipal Department of Health to soon support hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, medical equipment and supplies for Hoc Mon Field Hospital.

On the same day, a working delegation led by member of the Standing Committee of HCMC Party Committee, Head of the Internal Affairs Committee of HCMC Party Committee Le Thanh Liem checked the Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control, socio-economic recovery and development in District 6.

To prevent new Covid-19's Omicron variant, Mr. Le Thanh Liem directed District 6 to proactively pay attention to the SARS-CoV-2 development and keep an eye on new infections to prevent the pandemic outbreak.

From the beginning of October to November 24, District 6 recorded Covid-19 surges with 2,000 new infections. 98.53 percent of enterprises resumed their operations and 70.3 percent of household businesses restored their activities.

Thu Duc City collects experts’ opinions on special mechanisms of development

The Party Committee of Thu Duc City on November 29 held a conference to collect experts’ opinions on proposing special mechanisms and jurisdiction for the new city’s development.

Attending the meeting were Professor Dr. Tran Hong Quan, former Minister of Education and Training, President of the Scientific Board of the Oriental Development Research Institute; Professor Dr. Tran Quang Phu, Director of the Oriental Development Research Institute cum President of the Scientific Board of the institute; Assoc.Prof.PhD. Tran Dinh Thien, former Director of Vietnam Economic Institute; Economic expert Dr. Tran Du Lich.

Thu Duc City needs to take a different approach to show its breakthroughs. In which, it must be presented as a model of national developed city in the era of high technology and digital economy. The city has to determine its own roles to receive priorities of mechanisms and resources allocation, said Assoc.Prof.PhD. Tran Dinh Thien.

According to economic expert Dr. Tran Du Lich, Thu Duc not only develops economy and society but also it will be promoted following a modern urban city and urban administration model. In addition, it should focus on solving problems of the land ownership, land speculation, the development of illegal residential areas, residents’ disputes and other existing issues.

The city needs more special mechanisms to strengthen the power of its self-control in planning, investment, budget and organization of the governing body, he added.

The city needs to have a land fund development center to attract investors, solve long-term frozen and unfinished projects, give priority to Thu Thiem New Urban Area, and develop ecological tourism thanks to its geographical location with river landscapes, said Professor Dr. Tran Quang Phu.

Speaking at the event, Secretary of the Party Committee of Thu Duc City Nguyen Van Hieu said that the city has proposed the Standing Board of the HCMC Party Committee to approve resolutions on land compensation and clearance policies to boost transport projects, the establishment of an infrastructure management center; and mechanisms allowed the city to actively to meet its demand and solve local problems.

Under the overall planning scheme of Thu Duc City by 2040, it will be developed into the first class city and the highly interactive and innovative urban area, serving as a driving force for the implementation of the 4th Industrial Revolution of HCMC, he added.

Several localities in Mekong Delta lift Covid-19 pandemic category to level 3

The Mekong Delta provinces of Soc Trang and Vinh Long have just announced that the two localities lifted Covid-19 pandemic assessment from level 2 to level 3 amid the Covid-19 surges.

Specifically, the People’s Committee of Soc Trang Province yesterday issued an official letter on strengthening the Covid-19 prevention and control in the whole province. The local authorities required the residents to stay at home from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on the next day, starting from November 28 upon the new notification.

Some special cases are allowed to travel on the timeline above, including ambulances, forces involved in the fight against Covid-19 and natural disasters; editors and reporters of press agencies, publication staff; repairmen fixing electricity, water, information and technical system; means of transport carrying essential goods and foodstuff, materials serving for production; workers serving for import-export activities and gasoline stations.

On the same day, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee of Soc Trang Tran Van Lau signed a new decision on classifying the Covid-19 pandemic. From midnight of November 29, the locality will be categorized as level 3.

In the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long, the Provincial People’s Committee also lifted the pandemic level from 2 to 3, starting from November 30.

Accordingly, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vinh Long Province assigned the Provincial Department of Health to collaborate with other relevant units, agencies and localities to announce the pandemic level for residents, organizations and enterprises to proactively carry out the pandemic prevention and control measures in accordance with the regulations.

The People’s Committee of Tra Vinh Province yesterday informed that the Covid-19 patients and close contacts of Covid-19 patients who faced difficulties during the home isolation can directly call via two hotlines 02943.888.777 and 02943.888.333.

The current Covid-19 pandemic situation in the locality is complicated and unprecedented amid new coronavirus surges. By November 27, the province confirmed 7,340 Covid-19 cases, of which 4,124 infections are performed isolation at centralized medical facilities and 2,758 cases carry out self-isolation at home.

The medical sector of Ben Tre Province yesterday performed the first-shot Covid-19 vaccination for high-school students. It is expected that 38,159 high-school students will be vaccinated by November 30.

Cinemas not yet revived after reopening

Although HCMC’s authorities allowed cinemas to reopen to fully vaccinated individuals starting on November 19, movie theaters across the city are still deserted. Film lovers have not come to cinemas amid concerns over the virus spread.

Director of BHD Star Cineplex, one of the city’s movie theater chains Le Hoang Minh said that every location with 28-30 screenings per day has seen a total number of only 100 customers, half of its capacity.
Other large movie theater chains, including CGV, Galaxy and Lotte have also received a small number of moviegoers back.

Ms. Hong Tham, a movie lover in Thu Duc City left the screening of the film titled “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" (also known as The Conjuring 3) at the CGV Su Van Hanh cinema in District 10. She said that the screening had about 20 percent of the audience capacity.

Meanwhile a screening of “The Suicide Squad” at the Lotte Cinema Cong Hoa in Tan Binh District saw only four people, said Mr. Tran Xuan Phuc, a moviegoer living in Binh Tan District.

According to the Box Office Vietnam, 12 films have been presented to the public in the first three days from the cinema reopening. In which, three movies including “Black Widow”, “The Medium”, “The Suicide Squad” have earned over VND1 billion (US$44,000), followed by Thien Than Ho Menh (The Guardian) (more than VND560 million) and Lat Mat 5 (Face Off: 48H) (over VND85 million).

Moviegoers are required to display “Green Covid Card”, make e-health declaration, wear masks, measure body temperature and comply with the health ministry’s 5K message.

Just a few customers go to movie theaters due to worries and concerns about the Covid-19 outbreak, said representatives of the movie theater chains.

The pandemic has definitely changed consumers' behaviors, priorities, and purchasing habits. Consumer priorities have become centered on the most basic needs, added Mr. Le Hoang Minh.

Most of the movies shown in theaters now are old movies. Some movies have been leaked online because they were previously released overseas. Audiences knew the content of the film so they are not excited to go to cinemas, said Mr. Doan Thach Cuong, sale manager of Lotte Cinema Vietnam.

If the movie theaters have been allowed to open and maintain their operation as well as seen new movies coming, the film market will quickly regain its growth momentum, added audience Tran Xuan Phuc.

Many blockbuster movies will be released on the holiday season of Christmas and New Year. It is a favorable condition for movie theaters market’s growth. In addition, movie-theater experience is still worth and irreplaceable thanks to vivid digital images and audio, said Director of BHD Star Cineplex, Le Hoang Minh.
As planed, film lovers will have a chance to enjoy a lot of much-awaited movies to be released in November and December, such as No time to die, Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Eternals, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, A Quiet Place Part II, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, and Vietnamese films, including The Sweet Trap and two horror movies , The Ancestral: The Hour Is Coming and The Survive.

Thousands of houses in Central region damaged by flooding, erosions

Thousands of houses had been flooded and many embankments, traffic roads had been broken after the prolonged spell of heavy and persistent downpours in the Central provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Thua Thien-Hue from November 28 through November 29.

In particular, heavy rain triggered flooding and erosions in Bac Tra My, Nam Tra My, Dai Loc districts in Quang Nam Province. Many residential areas and traffic roads, notably ten villages in Dai Cuong Commune have been isolated due to rising water level on Vu Gia River.

By Monday evening, more than 1,000 houses in An Hao Dong, An Hao Tay and An Tin were damaged by flooding.

On the same day, the Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Steering Committee for Storm, Flood Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue informed that high tide and downpours have broken 12.4-kilometer coastline through Phu Thuan, Phu Hai communes of Phu Vang District and Vinh Hien, Giang Hai communes of Phu Loc District in the locality over the past few days, affecting thousands of households, the provincial road No.21 and essential infrastructure works.

Over the past days, the coastal area of Pho Truong Village, Nghia An Commune, Quang Ngai City was seriously damaged by high tides. By Monday morning, over 200- meter coastal embankment was busted.

On the same day, Director of Kon Tum Road Management Company Nguyen Quang said that two arterial roads of Truong Son Dong and Ho Chi Minh have been eroded, causing traffic congestion after heavy rain prolonged over the past few days.

In the Central province of Binh Dinh, a woman was drowned, over 1,200 houses were inundated, traffic roads were destroyed by floodwater. Currently, floodwaters on rivers are rising to alert levels 2, 3 and above level 3.

This morning, Ho Van Thao, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Krong Pa District, Gia Lai said that functional forces rescued 15 Binh Dinh Province-based people who were trapped by rising floodwater on Ba River in Chu Gu and Chu Drang communes, Krong Pa District. 

Only 8.2 percent of Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line’s capacity exploited

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line conducted 1,421 trips carrying 113,024 passengers and saw an average number of 16,146 travelers per day in the first seven days since its launch from November 21-27, according to Hanoi Metro Company.

Therefore, every trip has averagely 79.5 passengers, accounting for 8.2 percent of the design capacity of 960 people.

The rate of passengers using monthly train ticket was 20.3 percent while travelers buying tickets for every trip was 75.7 percent. The percentage of people travelling free of charge was four percent.

However, passengers said that the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line is still inconvenient and faces challenges, such as parking areas that have established their own prices which are often higher than the official rate.




Nation faces severe blood shortage during pandemic


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