VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 7

Returnees from COVID hotspots receive assistance on the way home

Tens of thousands of migrants have left HCM City and other southern localities to return to their hometowns over the past few days after social distancing was eased.

For many, the journey was long, but they were supported on the way by local police and voluntary groups.

Between October 1 and 5, the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp saw 23,813 people returning from COVID hotspots in HCM City, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Long An provinces.

The local authorities mobilised forces to manage traffic flow and assist returnees to complete required procedures.

Most of migrants going home are factory and construction workers as well as private business owners, who were stuck in HCM City and southern localities during the four months of social distancing.

But before they were reunited with their families, workers who had received both vaccine doses had to take COVID tests and spend three days in quarantine before entering Đồng Tháp Province followed by a further 14-day home quarantine.

Those who have not been vaccinated must quarantine for 14 days at a centralised facility.

However, according to the Ministry of Health's latest guidelines, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered can quarantine at home for seven days once they return from major virus hotspots in the south instead of going to centralised quarantine areas.

Returnees waiting for tests at checkpoints have been asked to avoid gathering in a large  crowd. They have also been given instant noodles, water and milk while waiting for procedures to be completed.

A voluntary team of mechanics called ‘SOS Tháp Mười’ are stationed at checkpoints to help repair motorbikes and cars.

Huỳnh Văn Hoài Hận, leader of ‘SOS Tháp Mười’ said on normal days the team worked from 8pm until midnight. In recent days when lots of people are on the roads, the team has been working around the clock.

They offer free services, repairs and even provide petrol for anyone in trouble on their way home.

Most of of people, including pregnant women, children and the elderly, have travelled a long distance and felt exhausted when they reached the checkpoint at Tháp Mười District.

The district’s women association volunteered to cook free meals for the returnees.

Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, vice president of Tháp Mười District's Women's Association, said like the vehicle repair team, her group also worked around the clock preparing meals.

Lê Thành Công, chairman of the Fatherland Front Chapter of Đồng Tháp Province, praised the work of the volunteers and said all of those on duty also had health checks.

On October 5, the Fatherland Front Chapter of Đồng Tháp Province and other local political social organisations presented 13,500 meals to people in need and in quarantine as well as other essential items and medical equipment worth more than VNĐ1.3 billion.

Among more than 23,000 people returning to Đồng Tháp over the past days, 130 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Local authorities have prepared 111 centralised quarantine areas in the province to accommodate tens of thousands of returnees.

Deputy Secretary of the Đồng Tháp Provincial Party Committee, Phan Văn Thắng, said local authorities would welcome the returnees and help them stabilise their lives, which is the responsibility of the whole political system.

The utmost target is to ensure public health and prevent community virus transmissions, he said. 

Vietnam urges prompt response to humanitarian needs in Ethiopia

Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), has stated that responding to humanitarian needs in Ethiopia is currently the most urgent task, requiring support of the international community.

Addressing an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on humanitarian situation in Ethiopia in New York on October 6, the Vietnamese diplomat called on the Ethiopian government, the UN and relevant parties to conduct dialogues, build trust and work closely to resolve differences in this issue.

Tra highlighted the vital role played by UN agencies, including the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN humanitarian aid coordination body (OCHA) and other international partners, in supporting humanitarian activities in the African nation.

According to the diplomat, the current conflict in Ethiopia stems from political, historical and ethnic causes, so involved parties need to stop fighting, conduct dialogues, and start a political process led by Ethiopia, and put interests of the people first, towards a comprehensive solution for stability and development in the country on the basis of principles of international law and the UN Charter.

She called on the international community, including the UNSC, to support Ethiopia to overcome current difficulties on the basis of respecting Ethiopia's independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underlined the magnitude of the crisis in northern Ethiopia after nearly a year of fighting between federal troops and Tigray regional forces.

The conflict has spilled over into neighbouring Afar and Amhara, and some seven million people in total require food aid and emergency support, he said.

Guterres said aid levels are currently insufficient to meet needs amid obstacles such as roadblocks and movement restrictions, adding that access to electricity remains precarious, and millions have been cut off from communications as well as vital services, such as healthcare.

In this context, the Ethiopian government’s recent expulsion of UN staff is inconsistent with principles enshrined in the UN Charter, he stressed.

He urged the Ethiopian Government to allow the unrestricted movement of desperately needed fuel, cash, communications equipment, and humanitarian supplies into all the regions in need, while appealing to all members of the UNSC to do all they can to support these calls and to unify behind the efforts of the UN and its partners in Ethiopia.

The UN chief said all efforts should be focused on saving lives and avoiding a massive human tragedy./.

ID cards to incorporate driver's license, insurance, vaccination certificate

Driver's license, social insurance, and COVID-19 vaccination certificate are among many documents to be incorporated into the new chip-based ID cards, the Ministry of Public Security’s police department for administrative management of social order has said.

The department is working with the Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Social Security for such incorporation to help the cards replace a series of documents.

This will facilitate the process of administrative procedures and other transactions by citizens as well as strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control.

Under the Law on Citizen Identification in 2014, people from 14 years of age can obtain an ID card, which is then renewed when they turn 25, 40, and 60.

By the end of September, the Ministry of Public Security had issued about 45 million chip-based ID cards, each consisting of a QR code on the front and a machine-readable zone on its back./.

Logo design contest marks 30th anniversary of Vietnam – RoK diplomatic ties

The Vietnamese Embassy in the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Korean Embassy in Vietnam have jointly launched a logo design contest on the 30th anniversary of Vietnam – RoK diplomatic ties, according to the Korean Culture Centre in Vietnam.

The contest is open to all Vietnamese and Korean citizens residing in the two countries, the centre said.

Entries should be submitted to the centre before November 12, 2021 via the centre’s email address at trungtamvanhoahanquoc@gmail.com.

Those wining the first prize will receive a laptop./.

President pays floral tribute to Cuban journalist-writer Marta Rojas

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a wreath to the funeral service of Cuban journalist - writer Marta Rojas held at the headquarters of Granma newspaper on October 5.

Staff members of the Vietnamese Embassy in Cuba also came to the event to pay tribute to the journalist, a close friend of Vietnam who had witnessed the country’s struggle for national defence.

General Raúl Castro Ruz and President of Cuba and first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba sent wreaths to the event.

The veteran journalist passed away of a heart attack on October 3.

Rojas, born in Santiago de Cuba on May 17, 1931, graduated from the University of Havana.

She witnessed the attack on Moncada Barracks led by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953, and the trial held by Batista, the Cuban dictatorship, against Fidel and his comrades, and narrated the events in her book titled “The Moncada Trial.”

Following the success of the Cuban revolution in 1959, Rojas worked for some revolutionary press agencies, and Granma daily since it was founded in 1965.

Rojas was honoured with the Jose Marti National Journalism Prize in 1997, the 2006 Alejo Carpentier Novel Prize, and the National Labour Hero title.

In its official announcement, Granma said Rojas worked as the first Cuban and Latin American war correspondent during Vietnam’s resistance war against the US. For a decade in Vietnam, she witnessed the US’s bombing on northern Vietnam and the struggle of guerrillas in Cu Chi in the south. She was also the last foreign journalist to interview President Ho Chi Minh.

Returning to Cuba, Rojas still actively participated in campaigns and activities in support of Vietnam, as well as the solidarity between the two countries. She often wrote articles on the Southeast Asian nation published by Granma.

At 90, Rojas still worked as Vice President of the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association. She also participated in a meeting between President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and representatives from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP) and the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association, as part of the Vietnamese leader’s visit to the Caribbean nation from September 18-20./.

Vietnam calls on ASEAN countries to co-operate for sustainable mineral exploitation

Vietnam, as the chair of the 8th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals (AMMin8), wanted regional countries to enhance economic integration and promote sustainable mining.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Quý Kiên was speaking at the virtual conference of the 21st ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Minerals (ASOMM 21) in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

The conference was chaired by the General Department of Geology and Minerals of Việt Nam under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with the participation of representatives from 10 ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Kiên said 2021 was an important year when the mid-term review of the implementation of the Master Plans on ASEAN Community Building for the five years 2021-2026 must be conducted. It was also a pivotal year in Việt Nam's tenure as the ASEAN Chair on mineral exploitation.

He underlined Việt Nam’s wish to promote sustainable exploitation towards environmental protection and economic, financial and social inclusion based on innovation and application of digital and state-of-the-art technologies; develop high-quality human resources in minerals; and build a green environment.

During the event, which would run until Friday, participants would discuss a wide range of issues, including the implementation of the ASEAN Minerals Cooperation Action Plan (AMCAP), the updates of ASEAN cooperation with the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF), and a report on the progress of the Strengthening ASEAN Cooperation in Mineral (SACM) project.

They are expected to adopt the AMCAP for the 2021-2025 period, yearly priorities of ASEAN mining industry, and preparations for the 14th ASOMM Plus Three and the eighth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals (AMMin), among others.

The AMMin is a forum for ASEAN ministers to review regional cooperation in the field of minerals, promote the development of the mining industry, and at the same time outline policy directions for cooperation within the bloc and between the bloc and its dialogue partners.

Senior officials of the ASEAN minerals industry will also comment on the outcomes of the first phase of the AMCAP-III and a report of the ASOMM 21 on the completion of the remaining solutions in the first phase of the plan. They will also approve Phase 2 of the AMCAP-III and guidelines on ASEAN cooperation in minerals under the Master Plan for ASEAN Economic Community 2025 in the 2021-2025 period.

Various activities to celebrate Hanoi’s 67th liberation anniversary

Various activities are being held to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the capital city's liberation from French colonialists (October 10, 1954 - 2021).

Since October 7, the Hanoi Library has been hosting an exhibition of books and publications featuring the history, civilisation, and glorious heroic tradition of the city as well as outstanding achievements of Hanoi.

Meanwhile, the Van Hoa (Culture) Newspaper run by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism will organise an art performance themed “Songs honouring Uncle Ho” on October 7 evening at the Hanoi Opera House. The event will be broadcast live on the Hanoi Radio & Television Broadcasting TV channel.

The same day, the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in coordination with the Department of Education and Training are to announce winners of the Hanoi Reading Ambassador contest for local students. The contest aims to inspire and spread the passion for reading at schools and in the community.

On the occasion, the Kim Dong Publishing House has introduced two historical novel entitled “Nguoi Thang Long” (The People of Thang Long) and “Khuc khai hoan dang do” (Unfinished Victory) by writer Ha An, which tell stories about heroes in the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400) during the second battle against Mongol invaders.

Three other historical novels – “Que nguoi” (Strange land), “Muoi nam” (Ten years) and “Que Nha” (Hometown) by writer To Hoai, depict the land and people of Hanoi from the 20th century to the August Revolution in 1945./.

"Dream car” art contest launched for children

Toyota Motor Vietnam Co.Ltd in coordination with Thieu nien Tien phong va Nhi dong (Young Pioneers and Children) Newspaper has launched the 11th Toyota Dream Car Art contest.

The contest is open for children under the age of 15 across the country, dividing into two rounds. In the first round, participants submit their entries from now until the end of December 28 this year and the results are expected to be announced in February next year. The organising board will select the nine best paintings to enter the final round in Japan in February 2022.

The entries for the contest consists of two categories - hand-drawn works and graphic ones. Students can submit their drawings directly to the organising board or send them by post. 

The dream car art contest has been organised annually by Toyota Motor Corporation since 2004. In Vietnam, since the 2011-2012 school year, the initiative has become one of the largest-scale drawing contests nationwide with about 5 million entries after 10 years.

Vietnam is one of the countries with high achievements in the international competition, winning one gold, one silver, a bronze and four consolation prizes so far./.

Bui Xuan Phai Awards shortlist announced

Eleven official nominations are shortlisted for the 14th Bùi Xuân Phái - For The Love of Hà Nội award.

The award is held annually by Vietnam News Agency's Thể Thao & Văn Hóa (Culture & Sports) daily and late artist Bùi Xuân Phái's family. 

The award aims to honour authors, works, jobs and ideas that show a love for Hà Nội.

The Work Prize category has three nominations, including photo book and photo exhibition Hà Nội 1967 - 1975 by German photographer Thomas Billhardt; the set of books Thăng Long Kinh Kì - Kẻ Chợ (Thăng Long: Royal Capital City, Marketplace) by Nguyễn Huy Thắng and Nguyễn Quốc Tín and the book Tay Chơi (Gallant) by Mai Lâm.

The photo exhibition by Billhardt introduced for the first time in Việt Nam some 130 black-and-white and colour photos taken during his trips to the country. The exhibition provides an honest view of the city from 1967 to 1975.

The Job Prize has received three nominations. They are the Hanoi creative space design contest, the “Hanoi is...” drawing contest and the series of activities of the Hanoi Rethink project, and the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and efforts of the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control forces.

With the theme: ''Hanoi is…'', participating artists featured unique ideas, stories and emotions provoked by the capital through their works. Many creative ideas were expressed, with diverse materials at the contest.

In the Idea Prize, four other nominations will vie for this title, including the project on rebuilding the architecture of Diên Hựu - One Pillar Pagoda with virtual reality technology; the idea of building an underground highway and renovating Tô Lịch River into a historical, cultural and spiritual park; the Red River urban subdivision planning project and the idea of turning old factories into creative spaces in Hà Nội. 

Tô Lịch River project was initiated by Nhật Việt Environment Company. It made a proposal to the Hà Nội authorities to recover the river, which was once one of the capital city’s most beautiful.

The only nomination for and also the winner of the Grand Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony around the middle of October. The prize is the most important award granted to an individual who has devoted his or her life to the development of Hà Nội and has a career that is strongly connected to the capital.

Last time, composer Phú Quang received the Grand Prize for his renowned and immortal songs about the capital city.

The awards were initiated in 2008 to honour painter Bùi Xuân Phái (1920-1988), a founder of modern art in Việt Nam.

This year, the award is held in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the organisation board is concerned about the number of entries. 

"Hà Nội is still an source of inspiration for people to create and to have ideas and jobs showing their love for Hà Nội," said Dương Trung Quốc, one of the jurors. 

The jury panel includes poet Bằng Việt, architect Hoàng Đạo Kính and Lê Xuân Thành, Editor-in-Chief of Thể Thao và Văn Hóa daily. 

Military doctors offer treatment to ethnic minority community in Quang Binh

At the Cha Lo international border station in Minh Hóa District, central Quảng Bình Province, there is a clinic that offers healthcare services to both military officers and local people.

Since the clinic was put into operation, ethnic minority people in the area have visited the centre for check-up and treatment and no longer rely on superstitious methods.

Dân Hóa Commune, where the clinic is located, has a large area and is home to ethnic minority groups living in small communities. Local people find it hard to access healthcare services due to the rugged and mountainous terrain.

Hồ Thị Nhím, living in Bãi Dinh Village, said now every time local people were sick, they would come to see military doctors and no longer make offerings to chase away "forest ghosts" as before.

“Anyone who is sick is taken to the clinic for a check-up. If they are too weak, the doctors will visit their house,” she told Sức Khỏe & Đời Sống (Health and Life) newspaper.

The clinic is fully equipped with basic infrastructure and drugs to treat common diseases and offer first aid.

Major Phan Anh Tuấn, a military doctor at the clinic, said that in the past, sick people applied treatment methods that were spread among the community. They included some anti-scientific methods, which could not cure the disease and even made their condition worse.

Now local people, even those living in remote areas, visit the clinic for treatment.

Medical examination and treatment for local people is getting more and more effective, so the military doctors are gradually trusted.

Dr Tuấn said that the clinic could treat common illnesses. Only severe cases requiring long-term treatment would be transferred to higher-level hospitals.

Military officers have planted herbs in the clinic’s garden for traditional medicine and supplements.

"This is also a way to take advantage of high-value medicinal resources of Trường Sơn Forest," Tuấn said.

Tuấn said on rainy days when remote villages were isolated due to floods, military doctors walked through the stream even at night to offer healthcare to sick people.

On dry days, the doctors might face snakes or toxic forest plants and animals on the way to the villages.

"There was one night we received a call from a patient suffering from appendicitis in Ka-ai Village at 10pm. We put on life jackets and found the shallowest part of the stream to swim through to take the patient to the clinic. Fortunately, the patient was treated in time," Tuấn said.

Hồ Luật, 70 years old, living alone, said: “The doctors visit me regularly and give me medicine to reduce my pain. They also give me money to buy food.” 

Vietnam backs ASEAN cybersecurity cooperation strategy

Vietnam backs ASEAN countries’ viewpoint on promoting the development of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy for 2021-2025 to unify a vision, awareness and common actions of the bloc on cybersecurity issues, said Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieut. Gen. Luong Tam Quang.

Quang made the statement as part of his speech at the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC)’s plenary session which took place virtually and in in-person form in Singapore on October 6.

He also highlighted Vietnam’s support for the building of regional legal frameworks to facilitate international cooperation in the field.

Vietnam proposed ASEAN member states strengthen cooperation for capacity improvement in protecting the critical information infrastructure (CII); establish a mechanism and develop a joint and long-term training cooperation plan in the bloc with the support of its dialogue partner countries towards building a resilient cyberspace in ASEAN; and organise a legal forum on cybersecurity in ASEAN to exchange experiences in building and completing related policies and laws.

ASEAN countries should work together in implementing programmes and campaigns to raise awareness on cybersecurity and safe Internet skills for Internet users, the official added.

At the conference, ASEAN ministers discussed enhancing regional cooperation in cyberspace in the context of the new normal condition, with a focus on identifying areas of collaboration between bloc members and ASEAN dialogue partners.

In a presidential statement adopted at the event, they recognised the importance of protecting the CII from cyber threats in order to ensure a safe and secure cyberspace in the region./.

Can Tho: Criminal proceedings begin against facebooker for anti-State activities

Can Tho: Criminal proceedings begin against facebooker for anti-State activities hinh anh 1

Vo Hoang Tho (Source: congan.com.vn)

The Police Office of Ninh Kieu district in Can Tho city said on October 6 that its investigation police desk had launched legal proceedings against and detained Vo Hoang Tho, 36, to investigate the act of “taking advantage of the rights to freedom and democracy to infringe upon State interests, legitimate rights and interests of organisations and individuals” in accordance with Article 331 of the 2015 Penal Code.

Previously, the Cyber-security and Hi-Tech Crime Prevention Desk of the municipal Department of Public Security discovered that the Facebook account “Minh Long” posted many articles with false contents defaming the Party and State, and running counter to the guidelines of the Party, and policies and laws of the State. The case was transferred to Ninh Kieu district’s Police Office for investigation.

The inspection results of the municipal Department of Information and Communications showed that 47 articles extracted from 172 pages of documents posted and shared by the Facebook account “Minh Long” contain negative contents opposing the Party and State, offending the honour and prestige of Party and State leaders, undermining the great national unity bloc, and causing disputes in all aspects of social life.

After identifying Vo Hoang Tho as the owner of the account, the police summoned him and he admitted to be the owner of this facebook account who had directly posted and shared the above articles./.

Vietnam calls for efforts in tackling illicit trade in small arms, light weapons

Vietnam calls on countries and relevant sides to make efforts to address the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Vietnam’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said on October 6.

Addressing a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on small arms and light weapons and peace-keeping operations, Quy said countries hold the biggest responsibility in this field.

He also called for stronger regional and international cooperation in settling relevant issues, and suggested the UNSC base on the latest situation in concerned countries to solve the problems.

The root cause of conflicts should be addressed first, he said, stressing the observance of international law, the elimination of injustice and inequality, and the building of trust, friendship and cooperation between countries.

The ambassador reiterated countries’ legitimate rights to procuring, producing, transferring and owning small arms and light weapons for the purposes of national defence and security.

Delegates shared the view that illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and light weapons continue to initiate, sustain and exacerbate armed conflict and impact security, stability, and socio-economic development in many areas in the world, especially Africa.

 

Over the past two decades, the UNSC has adopted resolutions with various measures to tackle issues regarding small arms and light weapons, including Resolution 2117 (in 2013) and Resolution 2220 (in 2015).

Many said the UNSC need to further integrate the fight against illegal small arms and light weapons into conflict prevention, peace-keeping operations, post-conflict reconstruction, anti-terrorism and cross-border crime combat.

UN peace-keeping missions should increase the control and management of weapons, and support to countries in reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction, they said. /.

Việt Nam calls on int’l community to expand support for DR Congo

Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the United Nations, called on the international community to intensify multi-faceted assistance for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) during the UN Security Council’s meeting on the country’s situation on Tuesday (US time).

Quý noted the ongoing tensions among political and civil society actors in the DR Congo and underlined the critical importance of integrating women’s voices in the political process.

Expressing concern over the continued deterioration of the security situation in the east of the country – especially in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu – he strongly condemned attacks against civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian operations. 

Also citing the impacts of socio-economic hardship, displacement and COVID‑19, he stressed the utmost importance of addressing the root causes of instability. In that regard, he welcomed the Government’s establishment and implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Community Recovery and Stabilisation Programme, which maps out a comprehensive strategy to combat hostile armed groups, and commended efforts to formulate a transition plan for the progressive and phased drawdown of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO).

UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DR Congo Bintou Keita, who also heads MONUSCO, called on the UN Security Council to continue providing its “full backing” to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in that country.

According to UN statistics, 19.6 million out of over 90 million people in the DR Congo are in need of humanitarian assistance. With over 5 million internally displaced people, the country has the highest number of internally displaced people on the African continent. More than 26 million Congolese also suffer from food insecurity, about 29 per cent of the population.

Hanoi Police lead the way for northern migrant workers returning from southern provinces

Checkpoint No 1 in Hà Nội on Tuesday night saw a large number of migrant workers travelling back to their northern hometowns from COVID-19 battered localities in the southern region.

Leader of the checkpoint, which is on the Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Highway, said that on Tuesday, more than 1,000 people riding motorbikes carrying women and children from Highway 1A to pass through Hà Nội.

They have driven thousands of kilometres from southern provinces, passed Hà Nội and wanted to come back home in northern mountainous provinces, even though the COVID-19 hot spots have been gradually lifting their stringent lockdowns in the past few months to resume economic and production activities.

Most of the migrants are poor people from ethnic minorities group in Sơn La, Điện Biên, Lai Châu, mountainous provinces bordering China, and came to HCM City and other industrial provinces in the province for work, but the social distancing measures enforced have left many out of jobs and cash-strapped, despite receiving some support from local governments and charity efforts.

To ensure COVID-19 prevention and control, Hà Nội transport police arranged guide vehicles to lead the way for people transiting via Hà Nội, handing over to local police in neighbouring provinces.

HCM City thanks volunteers for help restoring city's vitality

HCM City is gaining back its vitality, not only because of the central Government and city's leadership, and people's perseverance, but also thanks to the tremendous support from all corners of the country, Phan Văn Mãi, Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee said.

He made the remarks on Wednesday as the southern city’s authorities held a ceremony to honour the volunteers – 12,000 medical workers and medical students, 14,000 armed forces personnel, along with other religious volunteers – deployed to help the country’s COVID-19 epicentre deal with the severe outbreaks in the past few months.

The attendants spent a minute at the beginning of the ceremony to pay tribute to people who have died from COVID-19 as well as heroic medical workers and frontline responders that have lost their lives in the line of duty.

HCM City was hardest hit in the country, with over 400,000 COVID-19 cases and 15,200 deaths confirmed to date, accounting for half of the country’s caseload (818,200), and three fourths of the national death count (nearly 20,000).

Mãi on behalf of the city’s leadership expressed gratitude for all individuals and organisations that contributed to the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.

The fight against the outbreaks in HCM City and southern region has seen “brutal and intense times,” especially in the last two months, when COVID-19 cases and deaths surged to unprecedented levels, overwhelming the entire medical system, he said.

“All doctors and medical staff were mobilised, and worked day and night and still couldn’t meet the growing demand for care and treatment," he said.

In support of the city’s needs, the Central government, other provinces and cities, as well as religious organisations, have provided assistance and aid to help the city put the outbreaks under control.

Just like before, when groups of doctors and medical staff from HCM City provided dedicated help to some outbreak-hit localities in the north and central regions in previous wave of infections, all who have volunteered to come to the aid of HCM City have done so with little hesitation.

“You have had to leave the sides of your young children, old parents, some couldn’t even be there to say the last goodbyes to their dying relatives. Rain or shine, you have spent the days in restrictive protective gear beside patients, sometimes didn’t even have a full meal or sound sleep for yourselves,” Mãi said.

"All these noble gestures of profound medical ethics, imbued with love and responsibility, will always be remembered by HCM City’s residents,” the city’s chief said.

He hoped that the experience, the good and the bad during the prevention and control efforts in HCM City, would become valuable lessons for the city and others.

Mãi noted that the outbreak situation could still have complicated developments and challenges would still be there, but with national unity, we will overcome to return to a new normal.

HCM City hoped to welcome all the volunteers back again when the outbreaks were completely under control, to truly see a “warm, friendly, affectionate southern city.” 

On behalf of the organisations and individuals honoured today, Dr Bùi Quang Huy, deputy head of paediatric cardiology faculty at the Cardiovascular Center of Hospital E in Hà Nội, said that when he and colleagues decided to volunteer in HCM City, “we deemed that this is not just the usual support mission, but our own fight, and we need to fight at 200 per cent of our strength to share the burden with our colleagues in HCM City.”

Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, deputy director of HCM City’s health department, said that with reinforcements, the city has successfully carried out mass testing, mass inoculation efforts, and especially the treatment of seriously ill patients at four health ministry-run intensive care centres.

HCM City’s positive rate and number of critical patients is falling, while over 95 per cent of the adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine, as 45.5 per cent fully vaccinated.

At the ceremony, 43 organisations received certificates of merit from the HCM City People’s Committee along with VNĐ20 million each, while 100 individuals received HCM City’s medal.

Virtual workshop held to tackle worldwide lack of adherence to medical treatment

In Việt Nam and across the world, the lack of adherence to medical treatments is a critical public health challenge, participants heard at an exclusive media workshop on October 5.

The media knowledge session is an introduction to the first global Congress on adherence management and behavioral science, entitled ‘Adherence: From Treating Diseases to Treating People”, will be organised by US healthcare company Abbott on October 20-21.  

The session was addressed by Prof. John Weinman of King’s College, London, who is commonly recognized as a founder of modern health psychology. Other eminent speakers included Dr Sheri Pruitt, a Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Science Consultant from the US, Prof. John Piette, Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education and Director of the Centre for Managing Chronic Disease, Ann Arbour, in the US.

The speakers discussed the various components of adherence, including social and economic factors, the role of behavioural science, and how to make action efficient and sustainable adherence solutions.

“Adherence is an observable and measurable behaviour that is typically repeated, such as taking daily medication or exercising. When patients don’t adhere to advice, behavioural science can provide interventions that help them change their behaviour,” said Dr Sheri Pruitt, Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Science Consultant.

During the online event, world-renowned experts across therapeutic areas shared their knowledge, experiences and insights about adherence. This has significant implications for Việt Nam where the non-adherence rates among patients living with chronic conditions are very high; more than 50 per cent in case of hypertension, for example.

A study in the rural northern region of Việt Nam in 2017 revealed that two-thirds of people living with Type 2 diabetes have uncontrolled blood sugar levels (HbA1C > 7 per cent) and 31.9 per cent of people diagnosed with this condition do not adhere to their medication. Addressing poor adherence can therefore be beneficial for Việt Nam’s rising diabetic population of 3.8 million people, which is projected to double by 2045. 

To combat non-adherence and reimagine care, Abbott introduced ‘a:care,’ a pioneering programme that leverages digital tools and behavioural science to support healthcare professionals. It empowers patients to take small, manageable steps to drive better treatment adherence and build lasting change.

Since being launched in 2019, a:care has become a well-designed healthcare ecosystem that provides doctors, pharmacists, caregivers and patients online and offline assets to help take charge of their health.

Abbott’s a:care pro website, launched in 2020, provides doctors and pharmacists access to tools and information to help patients better understand, manage and monitor their conditions. There are more than 45,000 healthcare professionals globally and up to 4,000 healthcare professionals from Việt Nam that have attended the a:care masterclasses which educate them in the latest behavioural science techniques on how to best help people on their health journey.

“The World Health Organisation has recognised that the number one thing we can do today to improve the health of the overall population is to increase adherence to treatments. The a:care program, developed by Abbott, aims to educate health care professionals and empower patients to take their medicines as prescribed, to ensure medicines work as intended and lead to better health. That’s why, as part of our relentless work to improve people’s health, we’re working on ways to help more people follow their doctor’s advice more often, so that they can live healthier and fuller lives,” said Noel Hanley, Divisional Vice President, Abbott’s medicines business.

Worldwide, an estimated 31 per cent of patients don't complete their prescriptions and 50 per cent do not take their treatment as indicated by their doctor. Treatment non-adherence has drastic impacts on individual health and healthcare systems – from the cost of treatment to rising health complications and risk of mortality. As a result, the management of various diseases has not improved, despite numerous medical advancements. Factors driving this trend are varied and complex, including concerns about medication and cost, accessibility, cultural beliefs and psychological aspects. Creating health resilience to mitigate such challenges is key and can help people take better control of their health.

“The a:care programme is an ambitious and novel program, which is reaching out to doctors to enhance their understanding and support of treatment adherence in their patients. Never before has a program focused on the crucial role of doctors and provided such a well-planned and evidence-based approach to improving treatment adherence," said Prof. John Weinman, Professor of Psychology as applied to Medicines in King’s College. 

Vietnam records 4,363 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday

The Ministry of Health has announced 4,363 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with a further 119 COVID-related deaths. 

Among these new cases, seven were imported and 4,356 were local transmissions. A total of 2,223 new infections were reported in the community.

The national tally now stands at 822,687, of which 818,091 are the result of the fourth wave of infections that have swept the country since late April.

HCM City recorded the highest number of daily infections with 1,960, followed by Bình Dương Province with 852 and Đồng Nai Province with 534.

The other cases were detected in An Giang (180), Kiên Giang (79), Long An (74), Tiền Giang (72), Bình Thuận (60), Đắk Lắk (58), Trà Vinh (52), Khánh Hòa (47), Đồng Tháp (47), Cần Thơ (44), Tây Ninh (41), Bạc Liêu (32), Hà Nam (25), Cà Mau (22), Bến Tre (21), Vĩnh Long (20), Gia Lai (20), Bình Định (18), Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu (17), Ninh Thuận (14), Hà Nội (9), Quảng Nam (8 ), Đắk Nông (7), Quảng Ngãi (7), Quảng Bình (7), Bình Phước (5), Thừa Thiên Huế (5), Nghệ An (5), Kon Tum (4), Thanh Hóa (2), Nam Định (2), Lạng Sơn (1), Sơn La (1), Ninh Bình (1), Hà Tĩnh (1), Phú Yên (1) and Đà Nẵng (1).

5,743 patients nationwide are in serious condition, according to the Ministry of Health’s report, with 747 requiring invasive ventilation and 23 on life support (ECMO).

There were also 119 COVID-related deaths announced in HCM City (88), Bình Dương (16), Tiền Giang (2), Long An (2), Đồng Nai (2), Đồng Tháp (2), Tây Ninh (2), An Giang (2), Bình Định (1), Cần Thơ (1), Kiên Giang (1), bringing the country’s death toll to 20,098 or 2.4 per cent of all cases.

A further 10,033 patients were given the all-clear on Wednesday, taking the total number of recoveries to 757,086.

Eleven out of 63 provinces and cities have not detected any new infections in the last 14 days. They are Bắc Kạn, Tuyên Quang, Lai Châu, Hòa Bình, Yên Bái, Hà Giang, Thái Nguyên, Điện Biên, Hải Phòng, Thái Bình and Lào Cai.

A total of 48,155,037 vaccine doses have been administered in Việt Nam to date, with 12,221,677 people fully inoculated. 

Coach Park wants to see the quality of friendly opposition improved before signing a new contract

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) plans to meet all terms put forward by Coach Park Hang-seo to extend his time with the Vietnamese national football team.

According to thethao247 (sport247), Coach Park won’t be asking for a much higher salary in his new contract. Instead, he wants to talk with VFF about plans related to the operation of the national teams, including the U23 national team.

One of the main requirements is that the teams face stronger opponents in friendly matches to enhance the quality and experience of the players.

More investment in infrastructure and service conditions, from eating to sleeping, are also a priority of the 64-year-old Korean manager.

"VFF will try their best to meet the demands from the coaching board for the national team," said VFF President Lê Khánh Hải.

“We have sent an offer to coach Park's agent for an official meeting. It is expected that the two sides will meet after the two matches against China and Oman in the 2022 World Cup's third qualifier.”

Park's agent, Lee Dong-jun, will arrive in Việt Nam after Việt Nam's 2022 World Cup qualifiers to open discussions about Park's long-term future.

Park first came to work in Việt Nam in 2017 on a two-year deal, which he then extended by three more years.

His current contract runs out in four months time, at the end of January. A one-year extension to that deal is already written into his existing contract, therefore it is likely the coach will honour the extra 12 months until January 31, 2023.

In the previous extension, VFF doubled the Korean's salary to around US$50,000 per month, after-tax. Even when international football was mostly frozen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VFF still maintained Park’s salary as a tribute to his outstanding contribution to the Việt Nam national football team. 

This policy differed from the Football Association of Thailand as they reduced the salary of their former coach Akira Nishino by 50 per cent.

The South Korean is considered the most successful manager of the national team to date. Under Park, Việt Nam secured fourth place at the Asian Games, second place at the AFC U23 Championship and won the AFF Championship in 2018. The team also won the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

Park Hang-seo and the national team have some important assignments ahead. They are expected to go as far as possible in the 2022 World Cup's third-round qualifiers and the 2022 Asian U23 Championship qualifiers. They will then defend their titles at the 2021 AFF Cup and the 31st SEA Games.

Park and his players are currently in the UAE to prepare for their match against China on October 7. Five days later, they will play the hosts Oman in Muscat. 

Vietnam urges prompt response to humanitarian needs in Ethiopia

Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), has stated that responding to humanitarian needs in Ethiopia is currently the most urgent task, requiring support of the international community.

Addressing an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on humanitarian situation in Ethiopia in New York on October 6, the Vietnamese diplomat called on the Ethiopian government, the UN and relevant parties to conduct dialogues, build trust and work closely to resolve differences in this issue.

Tra highlighted the vital role played by UN agencies, including the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN humanitarian aid coordination body (OCHA) and other international partners, in supporting humanitarian activities in the African nation.

According to the diplomat, the current conflict in Ethiopia stems from political, historical and ethnic causes, so involved parties need to stop fighting, conduct dialogues, and start a political process led by Ethiopia, and put interests of the people first, towards a comprehensive solution for stability and development in the country on the basis of principles of international law and the UN Charter.

She called on the international community, including the UNSC, to support Ethiopia to overcome current difficulties on the basis of respecting Ethiopia's independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underlined the magnitude of the crisis in northern Ethiopia after nearly a year of fighting between federal troops and Tigray regional forces.

The conflict has spilled over into neighbouring Afar and Amhara, and some seven million people in total require food aid and emergency support, he said.

Guterres said aid levels are currently insufficient to meet needs amid obstacles such as roadblocks and movement restrictions, adding that access to electricity remains precarious, and millions have been cut off from communications as well as vital services, such as healthcare.

In this context, the Ethiopian government’s recent expulsion of UN staff is inconsistent with principles enshrined in the UN Charter, he stressed.

He urged the Ethiopian Government to allow the unrestricted movement of desperately needed fuel, cash, communications equipment, and humanitarian supplies into all the regions in need, while appealing to all members of the UNSC to do all they can to support these calls and to unify behind the efforts of the UN and its partners in Ethiopia.

The UN chief said all efforts should be focused on saving lives and avoiding a massive human tragedy./.

Vaccines, drug, awareness – key to living safely with COVID-19

Vietnam has shifted its strategy from “zero COVID-19” to safely and flexibly adaptation to and effectively containment of the pandemic, under which ensuring vaccines for all people is one of the main goals.

COVID-19 vaccines and treatment drugs are the key and the prerequisite to help Vietnam live safely with the coronavirus, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Vu, who is also deputy head of the government’s working group on COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy, highlighted the timely establishment of the working group, which is important in stepping up the vaccine strategy and ensuring quick access to vaccine sources.

Since its inception, the working group has improved the coordination of different channels and at different levels in vaccine diplomacy, resulting in more vaccine delivered to Vietnam, according to the official.

Vu further explained that Vietnam had about 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in August, and 54 million last month, saying the country expects to get more doses this month, enough to cover the majority of its population.

The biggest difficulty in ensuring vaccines for Vietnam’s population of nearly 100 million as soon as possible lies in the limited supply, he said.

Vu, however, said with its prestige and position in the international arena, a wide network of friends and partners, and its role in the global supply change, Vietnam has been receiving support from many countries in this regard.

During the first stage of the pandemic, Vietnam also helped international friends with masks and medical supplies, which has been appreciated by the international community. The international support to Vietnam now, therefore, is part of the returns.

Vu has high hope on Vietnam’s access to more COVID-19 vaccine sources in the time ahead, saying the focus in the time ahead should be on implementing vaccine purchase agreements between Vietnam and partners and vaccine producers in the world.

He also suggested promoting and materialising cooperation possibilities in the transfer of production technologies of COVID-19 vaccines.

Apart from vaccines and drug treatments, Vietnam needs to intensify the communication work to raise public awareness of long-term adaptation to COVID-19, encouraging them to observe pandemic prevention and control measures in the new normal, he said./.

PM thanks Australia for COVID-19 vaccine donation

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on October 6 sent a thank-you letter to his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for Australia’s donations of COVID-19 vaccine and medical equipment to Vietnam’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier the same day, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Modie handed over additional 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Australia, and medical supplies, including medical masks and personal protective suits, to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong.

So far, Australia has donated over 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam, as part of its commitment to share 1.5 million doses to support the Southeast Asian nation’s pandemic fight.

Australia also announced that it will support Vietnam with 3.7 more million doses of vaccine in the near future through an agreement with UNICEF and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, lifting the total number of vaccines it committed to provide for Vietnam to 5.2 million doses worth 60 million AUD (over 43.6 million USD).

The Australian side is working in partnership with UNICEF to support cold chain upgrades, training for healthcare workers, communications, and planning and implementation of the vaccine rollout in remote provinces in Vietnam./.

Party Central Committee discusses report on Party building, rectification

The fourth plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee spent the morning of its third working day (October 6) to discuss a report reviewing the five-year implementation of the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.04-NQ/TW dated October 30, 2016.

The resolution provides guidelines on strengthening Party building and rectification work, preventing and driving back degradation in political thought, morality and lifestyle, manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” among members, as well as regulations on things that Party members are not allowed to do.

Delegates studied documents in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Politburo convened a meeting to give comments on the outcomes of the Party Central Committee's discussion on the five-year implementation of Resolution No.04-NQ/TW of the 12th Party Central Committee./.

Vietnamese striker amongst players to watch in Group B: AFC

Forward Nguyen Tien Linh has been chosen by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) amongst players ‘who could make a difference for their teams’ in Group B at the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

The AFC said the game against China could be the opportunity Linh needs to quench his thirst for scoring.

“Becamex Binh Duong striker Nguyen Tien Linh was Vietnam’s main source of goals in the previous round of qualifying, and the 23-year-old remains the spearhead of their attack in the AFC Asian Qualifiers, albeit one that hasn’t yet managed to hit the target in the opening ties,” the AFC wrote on its website.

It went on to say that Linh, aided and abetted by talented playmaker Nguyen Quang Hai, “will be keen to rediscover his goal-scoring touch and fire Vietnam to a historic first victory”.

Vietnam lost to China in all their previous six face-offs.

Vietnamese players have been thoroughly prepared for the match and will join a training session at the Sharjah Stadium in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the venue of the game, on October 6.

The match will be played without audiences due to COVID-19, according to the stadium's managing board.

Both Vietnam and China collected zero points after their two opening matches.

The Vietnamese team was defeated 0-1 by Australia and 1-3 by Saudi Arabia, while China lost 0-3 to Australia and 0-1 to Japan.

This is the first time Vietnam have ever played in such a round of World Cup qualifiers. Vietnam are in Group B along with Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China and Oman for a berth at the 2022 Qatar World Cup./.

Southern localities work to support returnees from pandemic-hit areas

The Ho Chi Minh City High Command will coordinate with agencies of the city to ensure workers living in the city return to their home provinces and cities safely.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Thanh Phong, political commissar of HCM City High Command, said that the workers will be provided with food, water and medicines during their journey back to their home villages. They can call the hotlines 069652401 and 02866822000 to request support if necessary.

According to the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, nearly 20,000 people have returned to the province from pandemic hotspots since October 1, and more are likely to arrive in the coming days.

Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Huynh Quoc Viet and the Standing Board of the provincial Party Committee have agreed to apply a 28-consecutive-day quarantine period at home for returnees.

To ensure the health and safety of people as well as contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial People’s Committee clearly stipulates that people who are allowed to be quarantined at home must have received at least one shot of vaccine against COVID-19 for at least 14 days, or fully recovered from the disease within six months. They also have to show negative testing result for SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho Duong Tan Hien on October 5 signed a document on implementing policies to support local people returning their home.

Accordingly, local forces have maintained checkpoints at entrances to the city, where returnees will be tested and sorted out for quarantine. Those who are quarantined at designated facilities will receive subsidies for meals and medical care, while those who are eligible for home quarantine are given 15kg of rice and 500,000 VND in cash each to help them with daily needs./.

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

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