VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 27

Vietnam reports 4,411 new COVID-19 cases, over 2,000 recoveries on October 27

Vietnam recorded 4,411 cases of COVID-19 on October 27, including seven imported cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

Ho Chi Minh City still recorded the highest number of infections with 1,140, followed by neighbouring Binh Duong province with 521 and Dong Nai province with 499. The capital city of Hanoi recorded 26 cases in the past 24 hours.

The national tally now stands at 900,585.

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, 2,718 patients nationwide are in serious conditions, with 344 requiring invasive ventilation and 20 on life support (ECMO).

On the day, the country saw 54 deaths from the disease. The death toll now hits 21,856.

A further 2,024 patients were given the all-clear, taking the total number of recoveries to 812,314.

By October 26, the country had injected over 75.97 million doses of vaccines, with more than 22.23 million people now fully inoculated./.

Viet Nam Journalists’ Association has new chairman

The executive committee of the Việt Nam Journalists’ Association (VJA) on October 26 elected Lê Quốc Minh, Editor-in-Chief of Nhân Dân (The People) newspaper, the new chairman of the association.

Minh is also a member of the Party Central Committee and deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Publicity and Education Commission.  

He began his journalism career as a sub-editor in the State-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in 1990.

In 2008, Minh became Editor-in-Chief of VietnamPlus, a multi-language e-newspaper of VNA.

In 2017, he was appointed Deputy General Director of VNA.

At the 13th National Party Congress, which took place from January 25 to February 1, 2021, Minh was elected to the 13th Party Central Committee.

In April 2021, Minh was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Nhân Dân newspaper. 

Over 5 million pandemic-hit workers receive support from unemployment insurance fund

Over 5 million pandemic-hit workers receive support from unemployment insurance fund hinh anh 1

Assistance from the unemployment insurance fund had been delivered to nearly 5.16 million workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as of October 25, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) reported.

Nearly 12.37 trillion VND (542.4 million USD) in cash relief has been granted to more than 4.77 million people currently participating in unemployment insurance and 383,200 others who already stopped making contributions to the fund.

The relief provision is to implement the Government’s Resolution No. 116/NQ-CP and the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 28/QD-TTg on assistance for workers and employers hit by the pandemic.

The VSS has also confirmed more than 1.94 million workers who will benefit from different support policies in the time ahead./.

Young Vietnamese film makers gain prizes from UNESCO project

Projects by Nguyen Trung Nghia, Dang Thao Nguyen and Nguyen Le Hoang Phuc have won prizes from the non-profit film production course ON THE REEL Film Lab.

At the course’s closing ceremony held on October 27, the “Mulberry Fields” (Mot lan dang do) by Director and Screenwriter Nghia was awarded 2,000 USD, one package of camera, and lighting equipment. Meanwhile, the “Memory Replica” (Ban sao ky uc) by Director and Screenwriter Nguyen obtained 2,000 USD and one audio post-production package.

Producer/Director/Scriptwriter Phuc’s project, namely “Little Tomb on The Prairie” (Nam mo ly tuong) brought him a package of camera and lighting equipment.

They made such achievements by surpassing six selected projects from 100 submissions to the course.

The film lab is jointly organised by UNESCO and the Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents (TPD) - Vietnam Cinema Association, with the companionship of the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, the General Delegation Wallonia - Brussels (Belgium) in Vietnam, HK Film, WallSound, Hanoi Grapevine and Colab Vietnam.

It is part of project E-MOTIONS: Mobilizing film professionals for regional cooperation, which is being conducted by UNESCO and partners, with the support from the Trust Fund of Japan. The project aims to enhance the capacity of filmmakers and empower them in their future careers, as well as to organise activities that connect domestic filmmakers with their peers in the region.

ON THE REEL Film Lab was held in October. In the first part of the course, from October 5 to 8, director Pham Ngoc Lan taught the aesthetics of short films and low-budget filmmaking. After this session, each project had a separate working session with lecturer Lan or guest speaker Truong Minh Quy. From October 21 to 24, director/producer Pimpaka Towira shared information about the international film industry and skills in film production. This was also when the trainees presented their projects to the trainers and their peers./.

Vietnamese national team gathers to prepare for World Cup qualifiers

The Vietnamese national team gathered for a training camp on October 25 in preparation for two matches against Japan and Saudi Arabia as part of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.

Ahead of the gathering the squad welcomed the return of several players, including goalkeeper Nguyen Van Hoang, defenders Pham Xuan Manh and Do Thanh Thinh, along with midfielder Tran Minh Vuong.

Following Dang Van Lam, defender Nguyen Trong Hoang is another player who will miss out on the rest of the national team’s fixtures this year due to picking up an injury.

As a result of a busy schedule at the qualifiers for the 2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup, Park Hang-seo will be absent for the training camp. He has therefore appointed his assistant Lee Young-jin to direct the team before his return on November 4.

Moving forward, Vietnam are scheduled to play Japan on November 11 and Saudi Arabia on November 14.

This comes after a dispatch was sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism late on October 21, with the Hanoi municipal administration stating that the My Dinh Stadium will open its doors to vaccinated fans, with the number not exceeding 30% of the stadium’s capacity.

92 per cent of parents want to vaccinate 12- to 17-year-olds: survey

The HCM City Department of Health on October 25 asked the Pasteur Institute in the city to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-17.

The department also asked the institute to provide guidance and professional training for pre-vaccination screening for youth as the Ministry of Health has yet to issue guidance for vaccinations for 12 to 17-year-olds.

Around 780,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the city will be vaccinated, according to a plan for children vaccinations issued by the HCM City Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The municipal Department of Education and Training surveyed parents of children who attend the 6th-12th grade. More than 92 per cent, or 655,715 parents, say they are willing to vaccinate their children.

Nearly 98.8 per cent of parents in Hóc Môn District say they want to vaccinate their children, the city’s highest level, while only 79 per cent of parents in District 7 say they want to vaccinate their children, the lowest level.

Thủ Đức City has the highest number of 6th to 12th grade students (92,171), with 91.8 per cent of parents wanting their children to be vaccinated.

The Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was asked to compile a list of adolescents aged 12 through 17 who have dropped out of school or are being taken care of at State-run child care centres to ensure that they are also vaccinated.

More than 450 schools in the city will be arranged as vaccination sites.

Vietnam pledges more contributions to ASEAN - Japan relations

Vietnam will continue making positive contributions to developing ASEAN - Japan relations in a more effective and practical manner, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told the 24th ASEAN - Japan Summit held via videoconference on October 27.

PM Chinh held that the two sides should coordinate closely with each other in restoring and stabilising supply chains disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, create favourable conditions and provide maximum support for Japanese enterprises and investors to maintain stable production and business in the region and Vietnam.

The PM proposed Japan help ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, to develop strategic infrastructure, boost even and inclusive development, fuel green growth, conduct digital transformation, develop a digital economy, and aid businesses’ recovery in the post-pandemic period.

He underlined the significance of bolstering cooperation, trust building, and response to challenges so as to sustain peace, security, and stability in the region, including in the East Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

PM Chinh welcomed Japan’s support to ASEAN in ensuring stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea via dialogue, strengthening trust, promoting the relevant parties’ commitments and responsible behaviour, resolving disputes through peaceful measures, and upholding international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a framework regulating actions and activities at seas and oceans.

He appreciated countries’ support to and cooperation with Vietnam during 2018 - 2021, when it served as the coordinator of ASEAN - Japan relations.

The Vietnamese leader hailed the recent progress in ASEAN - Japan ties amid current difficulties, asking both sides to continue promoting their priorities and working with each other to put the COVID-19 pandemic under control and recover effectively and sustainably.

He called for cooperation to improve the capacity of responding to future public health emergencies, spoke highly Japan’s vaccine assistance to ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, and pledged efforts to accelerate the establishment and effective operation of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (AC-PHEED).

At the event, ASEAN leaders and Japanese PM Kishida Fumio applauded recent strides in bilateral relations. Leaders of ASEAN countries appreciated Japan’s assistance to the bloc in the COVID-19 fight.

PM Kishida affirmed that Japan attaches importance to its partnership with ASEAN, and supports the bloc’s centrality in the regional architecture and the ASEAN Community building. He also pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation.

He noted that Japan will assist the AC-PHEED to operate sustainably, help ASEAN narrow the development gap and develop sub-regions, and invest more resources to help the bloc with climate change response, green growth, and sustainable development.

The Japanese PM invited ASEAN leaders to attend a special summit celebrating the 50th founding anniversary of bilateral ties in Japan in 2023.

With regard to regional and international issues, leaders of ASEAN and Japan emphasised the importance of dialogue, cooperation, trust building, and respect for international law. They agreed to coordinate with each other to guarantee peace, security, and stability in the region, including security and safety of navigation in the East Sea.

Affirming Japan’s support for the ASEAN stance on the East Sea, PM Kishida welcomed the bloc’s role in promoting cooperation, dialogue, and trust building in the region, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and building an efficient and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea that accords with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

Japan also vowed support for ASEAN’s role in boosting dialogue and reconciliation in Myanmar and helping seek solutions to the situation in the Southeast Asian country./.

Female football players to vie for World Cup berth during Lunar New Year

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the format for Women’s Asian Cup 2022, with Vietnam hopeful of using the competition as a route to obtain World Cup qualification.

Female football players will compete for World Cup berth during Lunar New Year (Photo: AFC)
The schedule will see 12 others to compete in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup finals, set to take place between January 20 and February 6 in India. The timeframe coincides with the Lunar New Year holiday in Vietnam.

The best 12 teams are Japan, Australia, China, Taiwan (China), Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and hosts India.

They will be divided into three groups of four, with the first and second- placed teams and two best third-placed teams qualifying for the quarterfinals.

The event will also serve as a qualifying round for the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. As a result, the top five teams in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup finals will qualify for the World Cup, while the runners-up will battle for the two remaining spots in the play-offs.

The draw ceremony will be held on October 28, with the Vietnamese team number three seeds.

ASEAN summits affirm association’s centrality in region: Ambassador

The 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and related summits have affirmed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s central role, while giving chances to the bloc to have a voice in regional and international issues, according to Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN.

Speaking to Vietnam News Agency (VNA)'s correspondents in Jakarta, Bang said that the events are taking place in a special context with complicated developments both inside and outside the region.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen no signs of decline, while the situation in Myanmar has remained unstabled since early 2021, and many new political developments in the world have affected international relations and the geopolitical situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the ambassador noted.

He said that major focuses of 10 ASEAN member countries during the summits include measures to bring the region out from COVID-19 in a fastest way. They have reached consensus on approach to the pandemic fight and are seeking a common voice in a mechanism of vaccine distribution so that all countries can get the vaccines in an equal, fast and effective manner, Bang said.

The diplomat said that the association has decided to spend 10 million USD from the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund to buy vaccines through UNICEF to provide for people in ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat's staff in 2022.

Regarding post-pandemic economic recovery, ASEAN leaders paid great attention to recovering tourism and ensuring smooth trade and travel activities for entrepreneurs and people through the opening of green and safe corridors, he said.

Bang said that they have also focused on strengthening connectivity in infrastructure, transport and tourism, as well as smoother import-export procedures and digital connectivity.

Other focuses of the events were the intra-bloc issues and the building of a strong Commnity as well as the maintenance of solidarity, unity and central role of the bloc in the shaping regional economic and security architecture, he said.

Bang said that this year, Vietnam has worked closely with other ASEAN countries in implementing initiatives put forth in 2020 under the ASEAN Chairmanship of Vietnam, including narrowing the development gap within the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), and improving the competitiveness of ASEAN in the world. This year, Vietnam plays the role as the Chair of the IAI Task Force.

Vietnam has conducted consultations with many partners and ministries and sectors of ASEAN member countries to build a model for the project to narrow the development gap, while adding some new contents to the IAI, including the scaling down of gaps among sub-regions to optimise resources from sub-regional cooperation frameworks, he said, adding that in November, Vietnam is scheduled to host a ASEAN high-level forum on sub-regional cooperation towards sustainable development and inclusive growth in the region.

This year, Bang said, the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to ASEAN has engaged in the negotiations of a series of draft documents and joint statements. It has coordinated with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), partner countries and the ASEAN Secretariat to build a plan to implement the IAI in the 2021-2025 period, and called on partners to continue supporting the scheme, he said. The mission is also taking the role as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation and is working to promote cultural exchange and popularise ASEAN's image to the world, he added./.

PM thanks religious dignitaries, followers for contributions to pandemic fight

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on October 27 sent a letter thanking religious dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers for joining hands with the government and people in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

PM Chinh said that the COVID-19 pandemic has been seriously affecting all aspects of social life. However, he believed that Vietnam will push back the pandemic, thanks to the will and determination of the Party, State and the political system, and the consensus of the people from all walks of life.

He acknowledged efforts by religious dignitaries and followers to strictly abide by the State's regulations on pandemic prevention and control, and uphold a sense of responsibility for the country. Many people have voluntarily joined frontliners in the fight against the pandemic.

Contributions by religious dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers are a significant factor for Vietnam to quickly recover the country's economy and bring a happy and well-off life to the people in the coming time when the country implements a programme on economic recovery and development, and safe and flexible adaptation to, and effective control of the pandemic, PM Chinh stressed.

He affirmed that the Government always pays attention to and creates conditions for the implementation of provisions of the Constitution and laws on the right to freedom of belief and religion in Vietnam.

The PM called on religious dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers to continue to unite, join hands and consent with the government and the people in pandemic prevention and control, and socio-economic development./.

Vietnam to postpone SEA Games 31 until second quarter of next year

The 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) are set to be delayed until the second quarter of 2022 due to the complex nature of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation and other regional countries.

The latest schedule proposed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recently received the approval of the Politburo. In addition, the country won’t host the 11th ASEAN Para Games (ASEAN Para Games 11).

Tran Duc Phan, deputy general director of the Vietnam Sports Administration, said the organisation are poised to inform the Southeast Asian Games Federation and the Olympic Committees of Southeast Asian countries about the new schedule, with the opening ceremony of the SEA Games 31 proposed to be held in May, 2022.

SEA Games 31 is the largest sporting event in Southeast Asia and was originally scheduled to take place in Hanoi and 11 other localities nationwide this November, with the occasion now being postponed until May next year.

The event is due to welcome roughly 20,000 athletes, coaches, officials, referees, and staff of 11 delegations from across Southeast Asia.

The games will feature a total of 40 sports, the majority of which are Olympic sports, along with 520 events.

Seminar on press sector’s task of protecting Party’s ideological foundation

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) online newspaper and the Press Department under the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education co-hosted a scientific seminar in Hanoi on October 27 on the press with the task of protecting the Party’s ideological foundation.

Speaking at the event, Secretary of the CPV Central Committee and head of the commission Nguyen Trong Nghia affirmed that Vietnam has so far initially controlled the COVID-19 pandemic, which was attributable by information and communication work by the press. 

He also hailed the sector for fulfilling assigned tasks and staying active in disseminating the Party and State’s policies and guidelines as well as guiding public opinion. 

The Vietnamese revolutionary press has been really a frontline force that actively protected the Party’s ideological foundation, promptly fought wrongful and hostile thoughts, fabricated and slanderous information that caused internal division and disunity in the Party and society, as well as honoured individuals who accomplished their mission on the ideological front, he said. 

Nghia asked the sector to renew dissemination ways and increase mainstream information to drive back malicious ones on cyberspace. 

It was also required to diversify and improve the quality of information and use multimedia tools to deliver what it wants to popularise, focusing on theoretical and practical issues on building socialism in Vietnam and renovation achievements. 

Press agencies need to pay further attention to popularising Party building and rectification, he said, adding that protecting the CPV’s ideological foundation and fighting wrongful and hostile allegations are the top important task of the entire political system, requiring close and effective collaboration between the commission and relevant agencies, with the press as a vanguard force in the work. 

Nearly 50 reports at the event offered an insight into the task and suggested measures to improve its efficiency in press agencies./. 

Vietnam attends first ASEAN-Australia Summit

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh led a Vietnamese delegation to the annual first ASEAN-Australia Summit that was held virtually on October 27.

In his speech, PM Chinh spoke highly of Australia’s assistance to the region and ASEAN member states in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

He thanked Australia for offering vaccines and medical supplies to ASEAN nations, including Vietnam. He also suggested Australia enhance support to help ASEAN improve its capacity of preventive medicine and response to medical emergencies and communicable diseases in the future, towards sustainable economic development.

The Vietnamese leader hailed Australia’s active and responsible contribution to issues related to peace and stability in the region, including the East Sea issue.

On such basis, he wished Australia would continue backing ASEAN’s efforts to maintain peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, as well as uphold the abidance by international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) via diplomatic process, promote self-restraint and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

Australian PM Scott Morrison affirmed his appreciation of ties with ASEAN, support of ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

He committed to effective participation in ASEAN-led dialogue and cooperation mechanisms on the basis of respecting international law and promoting regional order, thus making positive contributions to peace, security, stability and development in the region.

Morrison vowed to support ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea issue, uphold the role of promoting dialogue and strengthening trust building, the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards reaching an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

Australia welcomes and supports ASEAN’s role in promoting dialogue and reconciliation, as well as helping Myanmar seek measures to stabilise the situation, he said.

Participants spoke highly of the positive developments of ASEAN-Australia partnership. They hailed Australia as a significant economic partner of ASEAN with a two-way trade of over 100 billion AUD last year.

Concluding the event, they agreed to upgrade ASEAN-Australia ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership level./.

Japan vows to work with ASEAN for free, open Indo-Pacific region

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on October 27 pledged to intensify cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Addressing the virtual ASEAN-Japan Summit, Kishida referred to his past efforts to enhance Japan's ties with ASEAN during his tenure as foreign minister between 2012 and 2017, affirming that he continues to value the relationship with the 10-member bloc.

He also said Japan will steadily promote cooperation for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, an initiative aimed at maintaining peace, freedom, and prosperity in the region, and that it shares the same values as Japan's vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

As 2023 marks the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation, Kishida said Japan plans to hold a special summit at that time to take the relationship to a "new stage."

Also on this day, the Japanese leader is scheduled to attend an ASEAN-plus-Three summit that will bring together the leaders of ASEAN plus Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, as well as the East Asia Summit, an event that also involves regional powers such as the US, Australia, India and Russia./.

Efforts made to intensify citizen protection for Vietnamese Cambodians

Vietnamese Consul General in Preah Sihanouk Vu Ngoc Ly paid a working visit to the border provinces of Kampot and Kep on October 26 to discuss ways to strengthen the protection of Vietnamese citizens and support for Vietnamese Cambodians.

Ly was received by Chairman of the Kampot Provincial Council Choeng Pholla and Kep’s Governor Som Piseth, during which he thanked the two provinces' admistrations for paying attention to the citizen protection work of the Vietnamese Consulate General, and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese Cambodians.

Highly appreciating the Cambodian Government's effective COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Vietnamese official thanked the authorities of Kampot and Kep provinces for their free inoculation for the Vietnamese Cambodian community in the localities.

On the occasion of the 68th Independence Day of Cambodia (November 9, 1953 - 2021), Ly congratulated the people of Cambodia in general and Kampot and Kep provinces in particular on their great and proud achievements over the past 68 years.

He expressed his belief that Kampot and Kep will reap more fruits in the time to come, contributing more to the prosperous development of the nation.

Kampot and Kep leaders expressed their gratitude to the Vietnamese Party and State for their support to Cambodia and the Vietnamese Consulate General's assistance to their provinces, hoping to continue maintaining and consolidating cooperative ties with Vietnamese border provinces.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Consulate General presented 7,500 face masks each to the two provinces, and granted gifts to several Vietnamese Cambodians living in difficult circumstances./.

Hong Kong University provides 30 scholarships for Vietnamese students

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on October 26 announced a scholarship programme exclusively for Vietnamese students.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, CUHK will grant 30 fully-funded scholarships worth about US$$98,000 to Vietnamese students.

The scholarships are open for students from five high schools for gifted students, comprising Quoc Hoc Hue (Thua Thien-Hue), Lam Son (Thanh Hoa), Le Hong Phong (Nam Dinh), Tran Phu (Hai Phong) and Nguyen Hue (Hanoi).

At an online meeting co-hosted by the Vietnamese Consulate General in Hong Kong and CUHK, Wong Suk Ying, Associate Vice-President and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at CUHK, said during the 2022-2023 academic year, the university will grant 30 fully-funded scholarships worth about US$98,000 to students from the Vietnamese schools.

Wong said she is impressed by the talent of Vietnamese students, adding this is the first time CUHK has provided such a big number of scholarships to a single country.

She expressed her hope that the programme will be maintained in the following school years.

Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong Pham Binh Dam thanked CUHK for the scholarships, and expressed his hope that the selected students will make outstanding performance at the university.

CUHK moved up four places to 39th among 1,300 higher education institutions worldwide assessed in the Britain-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2022.

It is also among the top ten universities in Asia, which has set up cooperation with more than 330 research institutes and centres.

PM calls on Japan to help ASEAN narrow development gap

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh together with leaders of other ASEAN countries attended the 24th ASEAN – Japan Summit on October 27.

Addressing the event, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio reaffirmed the importance of the relationship between Japan and ASEAN. He said Japan supports the central role of ASEAN in the regional structure, and commits to enhancing cooperation between the two sides in the coming time.

ASEAN leaders expressed their gratitude for the assistance Japan has provided for the regional countries in the fight against Covid-19. They said they hoped that Japan would continue to be a leading trade partner of ASEAN as the bilateral trade turnover reached 204 billion USD in 2020 despite the pandemic while investment from Japan to ASEAN topped 8.5 billion USD.

PM Chinh, for his part, stressed that the two sides should have close coordination to recover and stabilize the supply chain which has been disrupted by the pandemic over the past time.

The Vietnamese government leader called on Japan to continue supporting ASEAN to narrow development gap and promote an inclusive and sustainable development in underdeveloped areas of ASEAN, including the Mekong sub-region./.

Czech Republic's Independence Day marked in Hanoi

A ceremony was held by the Vietnam-Czech Friendship Association on October 26 evening to mark the 103rd founding anniversary of Czechoslovakia, or the Czech Republic today (October 28, 1918 – 2021).

In his remarks, Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and Chairman of the Vietnam-Czech Friendship Association, spoke highly of growing bilateral relations, saying the governments and people of the two countries have provided support for each other, through the donation of medical supplies and COVID-19 vaccines.

The government and people of Vietnam sincerely thanked the Czech Republic for their gesture, Hai said, adding that Vietnam wants to receive more support from the Czech Government and people in the COVID-19 fight.

He further said that the Vietnam-Czech Friendship Association will continue accelerating people-to-people diplomacy to strengthen the friendship between the Vietnamese and Czech people, contributing to the enhancement of long-standing relations between the two nations.

Czech Ambassador to Vietnam Vitezslav Grepl said the bilateral friendship and cooperation are growing stronger and stronger, reflected by the increasing number of high-level visits by leaders of the two countries over the past years.

Economic cooperation, one of the main pillar of the bilateral ties, has been expanded, with two-way trade reaching 1.5 billion USD last year, he said, noting that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, effective from August 2020, is also benefiting this area of cooperation.

He believed the Vietnam-Czech relations will thrive further in the future for the benefit and well-being of the people of both nations./.

Hanoi hit by spell of severe air pollution

Air quality in Hanoi once again worsened to dangerous levels on October 27 after a period of maintaining a stable level, ranking third among the world's most polluted cities, only behind India and Pakistan.

Hanoi ranks third in the list of most polluted capital city, only behind India and Pakistan
The air quality index (AQI) dropped to 154 at 8 a.m., meaning that it is beginning to negatively affect normal people’s health whilst badly impacting the health of sensitive groups, according to the Northern Center for Environmental Monitoring.

Furthermore, the capital’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment also reported that the AQI at several air monitoring stations located throughout Hanoi and neighbouring areas were at a bad level. Cau Giay Station recorded a level of 191, indicating that the overall quality of air was at a harmful level for human health.

Other independent air quality analysis systems, PAMAir and AirVisual, also gave similar results throughout the city. At 8:30 a.m. the AQI in Hanoi had fallen to 178, a figure widely considered to be a very bad level, especially as an AQI reading of above 100 is viewed as being unhealthy for humans.

According to environmentalists Hanoi is now entering a period of severe pollution, and the primary factors behind worsening pollution levels worse are heavy congestion, large-scale construction, and straw burning.

They therefore recommend that adults, children, pregnant women, and people suffering from respiratory diseases wear masks and glasses when going outside.

HCM City develops four scenarios for COVID treatment under ‘new normal’

 

Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities have urged residents to continue complying with pandemic prevention measures while the city prepares four scenarios for COVID treatment depending on the number of cases recorded weekly.

Speaking at a press conference on October 25, Dr Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Deputy Director of the city’s Health Department, said the number of new cases, deaths and severe cases has decreased over the past few weeks, with 73.5 cases per 100,000 people recorded per week.

“The city is at level 2 or medium risk among the four levels of pandemic risk classified in the Government’s Resolution 128,” he said.

Although the city is officially classified at level 2, its COVID-prevention and control plans are at level 3 because of the high number of new cases, he said.

“Based on the number of cases per 100,000 people per week, the city is at level 3.”

More than 99 percent of adults aged 18 and over have received at least one vaccine dose and more than 76 percent are fully vaccinated. More than 91 percent of people 65 and over in the city are fully immunised.

Chau said that everyone must continue to comply with prevention measures such as wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining a safe distance.

According to Chau, the city has developed four scenarios of COVID treatment based on risk levels.

In all scenarios, asymptomatic and mild COVID patients will be isolated and treated at home, and will be taken care of by mobile medical stations in wards, communes and townships.

In the first scenario (if the city contains the outbreak), the city will maintain one three-level treatment field hospital No. 16. It will also maintain COVID treatment facilities at hospitals such as the city’s Tropical Diseases Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Tu Du Hospital.

For the second scenario, if the number of new cases corresponds to risk level 2, in addition to field hospital No 16, the city will use field hospital No 13 for treatment.

Field hospitals in city districts and COVID treatment facilities at hospitals in districts would also be used, as well as the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, two children pediatric hospitals, and Tu Du Hospital and Hung Vuong Hospital.

For the third scenario, if the number of new cases corresponds to risk level 3, the city will need all 135 mobile medical stations, each of which would manage 50-100 patients.

The city will also use all three three-floor field hospitals for treatment (instead of only one or two), including field hospitals No 13, 14, and 16.

The city will use additional hospitals for COVID treatment across districts and three COVID resuscitation hospitals at Cho Ray Hospital, Hospital 175 and HCM City Tropical Diseases Hospital.

For the worst scenario, if the number of new cases surges without sufficient control, the city will mobilise all hospitals and resuscitation centres in the city. All districts would be required to have one field hospital with a capacity of 300-500 beds for COVID treatment.

The city must have at least 16,000 - 19,000 beds for treatment, 500 oxygen beds, and 2,000 ICU beds for severe and critical cases.

In addition to mobile medical stations, districts will establish community COVID treatment teams to meet the rising number of cases.

The four levels are low risk (new normal) or green, medium risk or yellow, high risk or orange, and very high risk or red.

Thu Duc City and the eight districts of Go Vap, Tan Binh, 1, 7, 8, 10, Can Gio, and Cu Chi are at level 1.

Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, Phu Nhuan, Binh Thanh, Tan Phu, Hoc Mon, Nha Be, and Binh Chinh are at level 2. Binh Tan is at level 3.

The assessment of risk levels will be regularly updated on https://covid19.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/bando and https://bando.tphcm.gov.vn every week.

Phan Van Mai, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said districts would be allowed to reopen the economy based on their risk levels.

Many of the recent COVID-19 cases are people returning from other provinces and cities to work, according to city authorities./.

Prague workshop talks wildlife conservation

Regulations on the transportation of products made from rare plants and animals to the Czech Republic and the EU were under focus at a workshop in Prague on October 26.

At the event co-held by the Czech Ministry of the Environment and the Czech - Vietnam education centre in Prague, the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic detailed regulations on goods hailing from Vietnam.

Accordingly, the Czech Republic has tightened control of goods, gifts, food, nutritional supplements, and traditional medicine made from rare animals and plants brought into the European country.

In his opening remarks, Czech Deputy Minister of the Environment Vladimir Dolejsky said the event aimed to gain an insight into the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) so as to help improve public awareness of environmental protection and rare animal conservation.

Speakers held that many wild and rare species have become extinct in the nature or are currently on the brink of extinction as a result of climate change, habitat loss, and especially poaching and trafficking.

They noted each wildlife species is a contribution to biodiversity and natural balance, thereby helping to prevent natural disasters. The disappearance of a species will break the balance of nature and lead to subsequent impacts on other species, including humans.

Participants proposed several solutions for conserving endangered species and biodiversity, including preventing wildlife trafficking and minimising human-caused environmental destruction./.

Vietnam among priority countries when Laos reopens its door

Tourists from neighbouring countries, especially Vietnam, China and ASEAN countries, will be considered for entry into Laos first, Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Ounthuang Khaophan affirmed on October 27.

Ounthuang said that the current priority of Laos is to vaccinate at least 50 percent of its population against COVID-19 by the end of this year.

As of October 23, only 43.55 percent of the Lao population had received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 37.24 percent have been vaccinated fully.

Therefore, the country has yet to set a date to welcome the return of vaccinated foreign tourists, the deputy minister said.

According to him, after over 50 percent of the population is inoculated fully and the pandemic situation gets better, Laos may reopen its borders to vaccinated tourists, with those from neighbouring countries, especially Vietnam, China and ASEAN countries, receiving the priority./.

Quang Binh releases 120-kg sea turtle to nature

A 120-kg sea turtle stuck in a fishing net was released to the sea by border guards at Roon border post in Quang Trach district of the central province of Quang Binh and local fishermen on October 27 morning.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Mai Xuan Truong, Political Commissar of the border post, said that the turtle was found by a fisherman on October 26 night. He alerted the border guards, who later arrived at the scene to help him free the animal.

The turtle was believed to be an Olive ridley sea turtle, which is listed among endangered and rare species that need urgent protection.

Before returning to the sea, the turtle was in good conditions./.

Legislators debate exclusive policies for development of four localities

Legislators are debating the draft resolutions on exclusive policies and mechanisms for the development of Hai Phong city, and Nghe An, Thanh Hoa and Thua Thien-Hue provinces on October 27 morning via videoconference during the second session of the 15th National Assembly.

According to the draft resolutions, the central provinces of Nghe An and Thua Thien-Hue will be entitled to receiving loans with total outstanding balance not exceeding 40 percent of their budget revenues while the percentage is 60 percent for the northern city of Hai Phong and the central province of Thanh Hoa.

The resolutions also detail the limit of targeted additional allocations provided from the State budget to the four localities and a number of exclusive policies for them on piloting collection of fees, management of land and forest use, planning management, among others.

They are expected to take effect on January 1, 2022 and will be valid for five years.

On the afternoon, the lawmakers will discuss the implementation of social security policies, the management and use of the social security and health insurance funds in 2020; and the enforcement of Resolution 68/2013/QH13 on accelerating the enforcemnt of health insurance laws and policies in 2019 – 2020.

According to a report by Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung, more than 137.6 billion VND was allocated from the State budget to support voluntary social security holders last year, up 35 percent from a year earlier.

By the end of last year, nearly 16.2 million Vietnamese people, or 33.5 percent of the workforce, had been covered by social insurance./.

Vietnam attends 17th Western Pacific Naval Symposium

Rear Admiral Tran Thanh Nghiem, Commander of the Vietnam People’s Navy, is attending the 17th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS 17) which kicked off on October 26 via videoconference with the theme of “Effective Ocean Governance for Regional Partnership and Stability”.

In his opening remarks, Flag Officer-in-Command of the Philippine Navy Adeluis S Bordado emphasised that WPNS aims to strengthen cooperation activities and address tensions affecting relations between nations, as well as challenges related to terrorism, smuggling, illegal fishing, and maritime security activities.

With joint efforts of member countries and observers, the contents of cooperation within the WPNS framework have become more diverse, the scope and field of cooperation have been constantly expanding, and strategic trust has been strengthened based on the principle of effective dialogue and collaboration among countries in the Western Pacific region.

The symposium focuses on three main issues: considering the application to join the WPNS of the Fiji Navy (with all 20 “yes” votes), discussing commitments to host activities within the WPNS framework in the coming time, and considering the criteria for the navies of the observer countries to become full members of the WPNS.

Its plenary session is scheduled to take place on October 27./.

US President affirms importance of US-ASEAN relationship

US President Joe Biden attended the ninth ASEAN-US Summit on October 26 via videoconference, becoming the first US top leader to join a meeting with the ASEAN leaders in the recent four years after his predecessor, Donald Trump, participated in an ASEAN-US Summit in Manila in 2017.

Addressing the summit, Biden affirmed that the US is committed to the central role of the 10-nation ASEAN in the region, adding that the relationship between the US and ASEAN is vital for the future of one billion of people.

“Our partnership is essential in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has been the foundation of our shared security and prosperity for many decades,” he stated.

At the summit, Biden also announced an over 100 million USD initiative to beef up the US relationship with Southeast Asian nations. The amount will be spent on health care, climate, economic recovery and educational programmes.

One day after the summit, Biden will participate in the broader East Asia Summit, which brings together ASEAN and other nations in the Indo-Pacific region./.

Five scientific journals of Vietnam included in ACI in 2021

Five Vietnamese scientific journals were accepted to the ASEAN Citation Index (ACI) database system in 2021, announced the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) on October 26.

They include the Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology Series B of the MoST, the Can Tho University Journal of Science, and the Ho Chi Minh Open University Journal of Science.

The Transport and Communications Science Journal of the University of Transport and the Journal of Science and Technology of the Da Nang University also made their way into the list.

The journals were selected among 15 submissions from Vietnam this time.

To date, 25 journals of Vietnam have been accepted to the ACI database system.

The ACI is a central regional database which was designed and set up to index all the bibliographic records and the citations of all quality ASEAN research outputs appeared in the ASEAN scholarly journals./.

Vietnam, Switzerland promote job security

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), in collaboration with the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), organised a dialogue on labour and experience sharing to promote job security between Vietnam and Switzerland on October 26.

At the dialogue, MoLISA Deputy Minister Le Van Thanh said that diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Switzerland have made significant progress in all fields over the past 50 years. Cooperation in labour, employment and social security has also received special attention since the two ministries established cooperative ties in 2011.

MoLISA wants to continue promoting bilateral collaboration in employment through existing effective cooperation mechanisms, and looking for more cooperation opportunities in the future, Thanh added.

Ambassador Valérie Berset Bircher at SECO said that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment-related issues have become a common concern between the two ministries in particular and between Vietnam and Switzerland in general.

The dialogue was an opportunity for the two ministries to discuss issues related to the labour market, job generation and maintenance, as well as effective models and solutions to restore the labour market towards ensuring employment and social security for employees after COVID-19.

Delegates shared information about unemployment insurance policies in response to COVID-19. In the coming time, Vietnam and Switzerland will cooperate more closely in labour and employment through traditional projects such as SCORE, BETTER WORK, and especially policy cooperation with the project on labour productivity ecosystem towards decent work for the 2022-2024 period.

Within the framework of the dialogue, the two sides discussed future cooperation orientations with a focus on partnership in the fields of labour and employment, and meetings on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the International Labour Organisation./.

Foreign representative bodies get updates about Vietnam’s consular policy

Foreign representative agencies in Vietnam were updated on the country’s consular policy at a meeting held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 26.

The event, held both in person and via videoconference, gathered more than 150 representatives from foreign diplomatic missions, consular offices and representative offices of international organisations in the country.

Chairing the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung said it was an occasion for foreign representative agencies to raise opinions and proposals to help the ministry perfect the coordination mechanism.

In the first session, participants were informed about the latest changes to the country’s policies and laws, including revisions relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic such as those on the exit, entry, and residence by foreigners, vaccine passports, and COVID-19 vaccination for foreigners.

In the second session, the foreign representatives gave opinions on the coordination in consular affairs. They paid attention to the country’s upcoming policy on entry and post-entry quarantine for foreigners and the recognition of vaccine passports to facilitate international travel.

Basing on the opinions, the Foreign Ministry will continue perfecting the mechanism for boosting cooperation among the ministry, relevant agencies, and foreign representative bodies in Vietnam so as to further intensify Vietnam’s relations, especially in consular affairs, with other countries and territories./.

Friendship Association congress tightens Vietnam- Indonesia ties

The 4th congress of the Vietnam - Indonesia Friendship Association is set to take place on October 27, at the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) headquarters in Hanoi via both in-person and online formats.

During the course of the event, delegates will discuss and approve a review of the Association’s activities over the past 5 years, while outlining orientations for the 2021-2026 term. It will also elect the Central Committee, the Standing Committee, the Inspection Committee and other key leadership positions.

During the 2015-2020 term, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, people-to-people diplomacy activities and those of the Vietnam-Indonesia Friendship Association have changed in a suitable, proactive, flexible, creative, and effective manner.

The Association has actively contributed to strengthening solidarity, friendship, and cooperation, and expanding exchanges within the new framework of the strategic partnership.

It has promoted its role as a bridge, connecting the two countries' partners as a means of stepping up cooperation, taking advantage of resources for socio-economic development, and protecting national interests.

Applauding the efforts of the Association in tightening the friendship between Vietnam and Indonesia, Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, Denny Abdi, expressed his wish that the Association will have a new President and Executive Committee.

He said he hopes that the new President will continue to further promote cooperation and exchange activities and programs between the two nations.

The Indonesian Embassy in Hanoi as well as the Indonesian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City always support the programs organized by the Association, he said adding that the embassy is ready to serve a bridge to introduce and support the organization of face-to-face or online meetings and exchanges between the people of the two countries.

The 4th Congress of the Vietnam - Indonesia Friendship Association will feature the participation of by Denny Abdi, Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, VOV leaders, and representatives of relevant ministries, departments, and those of Vietnamese organizations, individuals and businesses having relations with Indonesia.

Vietnamese entrant claims gold at international photo contest

Local photographer Lam Huu Phuc won a gold medal in the Group of Travel Photographers (GTP) photo awards of Guatemala.

The photo, themed “Cham con”, came first in the nature category and is set to be showcased in an exhibition in the near future.

The photo contest, held from October 14 to October 23, attracted  2,304 entries from 144 photographers from 24 countries and territories globally.

Vietnamese photographer Phuc submitted a total of 16 entries to the event. In addition to the gold medal, the Tra Vinh-born photographer received an honourable mention for three artworks in the travel, open colour, and open monochord categories.

His eight artworks were duly selected to be part of an exhibition in Guatemala.

The photo contest under the sponsorship of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) is held annually. During the event, a total of 233 awards are handed out in four categories, including nature, travel, open colour, and open monochord.

Phu Quoc airport secures Airport Health Accreditation

Phu Quoc International Airport in the southern province of Kien Giang was granted the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) by the Airports Council International (ACI) for maintaining safety and prevention measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The certificate recognises the airport’s commitment to prioritising health and safety measures in accordance with the ICAO Council Aviation Restart Task Force (CART) recommendations and in alignment with the ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery guidelines and industry best practice.

The ACI Airport Health Accreditation is designed to help airports around the world prove to passengers, their employees, regulators, and governments that they continue to place the health and safety of passengers as their top priority via the establishment of specific safeguard measures in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be certified by the ACI, airports are assessed across a number of categories including cleanliness and disinfection, physical distancing, staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities.

Airports achieving this certification also take a step closer to opening their doors to international passengers through the "Vaccine Passport" programme which will be piloted in Phu Quoc in the coming time.

Phu Quoc is the fifth Vietnamese international airport receiving the AHA, after Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Da Nang and Cam Ranh. It is expected that by October 28, when Phu Quoc city completes vaccination against COVID-19 for its whole population, Phu Quoc International Airport will also achieve 99.8% of its staffs being fully vaccinated.

The success reflects the airport has committed to providing services in accordance with global standards and prioritised the health and interests of passengers, its staff and the community.

Ho Chi Minh City launches new attractive tourism products

Travel firms in Ho Chi Minh City have recently launched a number of new tours as part of the southern city’s recovery roadmap aimed at reviving the local tourism industry.

The Bach Dang - Can Gio river tour by speedboat represents one of the latest tourism products in the city. Departing from Bach Dang Wharf, tourists have the opportunity to savour a number of scenic views along the Saigon River, and sample tasty southern dishes in local communes.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, said the department will continue to co-ordinate alongside relevant districts and travel firms to build new tour schemes to Can Gio district in the near future and to diversify the city’s river–based tourism products.

Meanwhile, another new city tour on a double-decker bus operated by Photo Viet Hop On Hop Off Vietnam Company was officially launched on October 24 to introduce the city’s various scenic spots and delicious dishes to both domestic and foreign tourists.

In another development, 120 guests from Ho Chi Minh City joined a tour to Phan Thiet city as part of a pilot scheme deployed by Binh Thuan province.

Under the pilot programme, Binh Thuan has three eligible accommodation facilities to welcome visitors, including Anantara Mui Ne, Centara Mirage Mui Ne, and Pandanus Resort.

Nguyen Van Khoa, chairman of the Binh Thuan Tourism Association, pointed out that tourism firms have faced a number of hurdles, including the shortage of financial resources and workforce.

He expressed his hope that the province will roll out a COVID-19 vaccination drive for workers soon and consider reducing land rent for tourism businesses in a bid to revive tourism services as swiftly as possible.

Public concerns raised over quality of referees

Three out of four Việt Nam’s World Cup qualifier matches were controlled by referees from the Middle East, which has raised concerns about the fairness of those games among the public.

In the first match against Saudi Arabia on September 3, referee Ilgiz Tantashev from Uzbekistan gave a penalty for Saudi Arabia and sent off Việt Nam defender Đỗ Duy Mạnh, leading to the national team’s 1-3 loss.

In the 0-1 defeat against Australia, Qatar’s referee Abdulrahman Ibrahim Al-Jassim denied a penalty for Việt Nam after Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy’s shot hit the outstretched arm of Australia's defender Rhyan Grant.

After the match, the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) sent a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and AFC President Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, asking the organiser to improve the quality of match officials after many decisions against Việt Nam.

The last two matches against China and Oman were controlled by Mohamed Abdullah Hassan from the UAE and Jordanian referee Makhadmeh Adham Mohammad Tumah. Việt Nam lost both matches.

After the 1-3 loss to Oman, Việt Nam's manager Park Hang-seo expressed his dissatisfaction with the refereeing, especially VAR technology.

In that match, Việt Nam conceded two penalties with a five-minute VAR check after Nguyễn Tiến Linh put the ball into Oman’s net.

"In the last four matches, I have many things to say about the referees. This match the referee was inconsistent. He should judge himself after making such decisions during the game,” said the South Korean manager.

These disappointing results also raised concerns among the Vietnamese public about AFC’s decision of appointing so many referees from the Middle East as well as its fairness towards the players.

However, according to Dương Văn Hiền, head of the VFF Referee Committee, this decision is “almost like a must”.

“It’s basically based on COVID-19 restricting regulation,” Hiền told Thethao247.

“The outbreak of the pandemic has put AFC under a lot of pressure and there are difficulties in assigning and supervising referees in the matches at this final stage of the World Cup qualifier.

“Many countries with quality referees such as South Korea, Australia, Singapore and Thailand cannot provide many referees because of difficult immigration and isolation regulations in those countries.

“As we can see, Australia and China couldn’t play at their home grounds and had to travel to the Middle East because these countries are very open about immigration regulations.

“This is also the reason why referees from countries such as the UAE, Syria, Bahrain are always ready.

“In general, the fact that referees from this region appear a lot in Việt Nam's matches in the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup is understandable," he added.

FIFA has just announced two teams of referees to control Việt Nam’s two matches at Mỹ Đình in November.

Accordingly, the referee who controls the match between Việt Nam and Japan on November 11 will once again be the UAE’s Mohamed Abdullah Hassan.

The assistant referees are also from the UAE including Mohamed Ahmed Yousef Abdulla, Hasan Mohamed Hasan Abdulla and Adel Ali Ahmed Khamis.

The head of the VAR will be Alieibi Ammar Ali Abdulla Jumaa from the UAE. His VAR assistant referee is Hattab Hanna from Syria. 

Three bodies found after drowning incident in Quang Nam Province

The bodies of two teenagers and a man have been found in the waters of Quảng Nam Province on Tuesday.

Authorities from neighbouring Quảng Ngãi Province confirmed that they went missing in a basket boat while trying to rescue a fishing boat with other people on the Trà Bồng estuary last Sunday.

Ngô Đức An, Vice Chairman of Núi Thành District People's Committee, announced the discovery of the three bodies in the waters of Tam Nghĩa Commune, Núi Thành District, Quảng Nam Province in the early morning.

Three bodies were later confirmed to be Nguyễn Thái (born in 1996), Nguyễn Tấn Nô and Bùi Đức Sự (both born in 2007).

All of them were from Bình Chánh Commune, Bình Sơn District, Quảng Ngãi Province.

The local authorities in Bình Chánh Commune, Bình Sơn District, and Quảng Ngãi Province had been searching the waters around Bình Sơn District for the missing.

Local people and the authorities helped to bring the bodies back to shore and give them to their families.

Quang Nam schools close after COVID-19 rapid tests return positive cases

All schools in two communes, Trà Mai and Trà Tập, Nam Trà My District, in Quảng Nam Province have temporarily closed their doors after 20 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded between October 24 and 26.

By Tuesday afternoon, rapid testing has returned positive results for 112 people, mainly students. These people are now waiting for the results of the real-time polymerase chain (RT-PCR) tests to confirm the rapid-test results. 

Of the 112 people, 92 attend the Nam Trà My Ethnic Minority Boarding High School, three go to Trà Mai Secondary School and two are in Kim Đồng Primary School.

Võ Đăng Thuận, head of the district’s Education and Training Office, said the district administration has ordered all schools in the communes to close their doors as of Tuesday afternoon.

The students that returned positive results have been taken to hospitals for treatment. Students over 16 years old that had close contact with the infected cases have been sent to quarantined areas for the next 14 days. Younger students are allowed to self-monitor at home, he said.

The other students will continue their studies online, he added.

Mai Văn Mười, Director of the provincial Health Department, said the outbreak in the district is complex.

The provincial Health Department is working with other local authorities to speed up testing and tracing related people.

As a result of these investigations, the district administration decided to lock down several households in Trà Mai Commune for 14 days. 

The administration also decided to suspend a number of non-essential activities to focus on COVID-19 prevention and control in the two communes. Food and beverage services are only sold online. 

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

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