VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 13

NA Standing Committee opens third session

The 15th National Assembly Standing Committee opened its third session on September 13, which is expected to last until September 22.

Opening the session, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said six draft laws will be tabled for discussion for the first time at this session, which are important to the completion of the legal system and ensuring the system’s consistency, as well as to the implementation of the country’s commitments under signed new generation free trade agreements like CPTPP and EVFTA.

The NA Standing Committee will also perform its supervision function through examining reports on the enforcement of the Constitution, laws and NA resolution, the implementation of the National Target Programme on socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous regions in 2021-2030.

The committee will give opinions on a detailed plan on thematic supervision of the National Assembly and the NA Standing Committee in 2022.

Several measures regarding tax reduction and exemption to support enterprises and citizens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be submitted to the committee for considering and approving during this session.

After the opening, the committee scrutinised the draft law on insurance business (revised)./.

Fully vaccinated people arriving from abroad to be granted Covid green pass

The health sector in HCMC is stepping up preparations to grant a Covid-19 green pass to people arriving from abroad who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Speaking at a press briefing on September 12, Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control, said that after arriving, these people would be placed under concentrated quarantine for seven days and self-isolate for another week at home.

Those who are yet to be fully vaccinated must still undergo a 14-day concentrated quarantine period.

HCMC currently has 2,475 people who are close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases undergoing concentrated quarantine, Tam said, adding that most of them are foreign experts, flight crew members, pilots and those who entered the city from abroad.

As of September 12, HCMC had reported 298,029 Covid-19 infections in the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic, according to statistics from the HCMC anti-virus steering committee.

On September 11, as many as 2,925 patients were discharged from hospitals, raising the city’s total recoveries to 150,341. Besides, the city’s Covid death toll has reached nearly 12,000.

Some 7.8 million Covid vaccine doses have been administered in HCMC, with over 1.3 million people receiving two shots.

Rice and equipment provided to three provinces

Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái has signed decisions to allocate rice, tents and electricity generators from the national reserves to Gia Lai, Bình Phước and Sóc Trăng provinces to support people affected by the pandemic.

Decision 1499/QĐ-TTg assigns the Finance Ministry to take 208,875 tonnes of rice from the national reserve to Gia Lai Province to distribute to people affected by the pandemic.

Gia Lai is required to distribute the rice to the right people in a timely manner according to regulations and in line with local prevention and control measures.

Under Decision1500/QĐ-TTg, the Deputy Prime Minister also assigned the Ministry of Finance to provide tents and generators from the national reserve to the People's Committees of Bình Phước and Sóc Trăng provinces.

Each province receives 30 sets of canvas tents and two sets of 30 KVA generators. The local government of two provinces Bình Phước and Sóc Trăng are required to manage and use the devices in accordance with regulations. 

Thua Thien-Hue, Korean firm cooperate in smart city development

The People’s Committee of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in smart city development with the Korea Land & Housing Corp.

Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Nguyen Van Phuong and Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Dai Vui represented the Vietnamese locality at the online signing ceremony on September 10. Meanwhile, General Director of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation Kim Hyun-jun was representative of the firm.

Under the MoU, the two sides will establish cooperation in developing strategy and policy, master planning, and smart city development, focusing on implementing researches on urban development and Chan May – Lang Co economic zone, and other urban works, which are managed by the provincial People's Committee, towards turning the locality into a typical smart city of Vietnam.

After the signing ceremony, webinars and meetings to discuss and share necessary information in order to prepare plans and strategies for applying models and projects related to smart city development being implemented in Thua Thien-Hue will be organised.

The two sides will also cooperate in promoting projects on a communication smart urban area in An Van Duong new urban area, two industrial parks in the Chan May - Lang Co economic zone and a pilot smart urban area in the Vietnamese locality, and work together on research and development projects./.

Student delivers medicine to COVID patients in HCM City

Lê Thanh Truyền, a final-year student of HCM City-based University of Medicine and Pharmacy, starts his voluntary job bringing medicine to self-monitoring COVID patients across the city at 7am every day.

The first thing he does when arriving at university is to have a quick meeting with the voluntary team’s coordination committee.

After the meeting, he receives the medicine and information of the patients, quickly takes his medical protective clothing and drives his motorbike to the patients’ homes.

Truyền says he often registers to bring the medicine to about four to five COVID-19 patients each day if he travels alone because houses of the patients are located in different districts and it takes time to travel between them.

If he goes with another teammate, they can register to bring the medicine to 10 patients each, he said.

Truyền said he not only brought the medicine to the patients, he also instructed them how to take care of their physical and spiritual health.

Before going to the patient's home, Truyền often calls them to confirm in order to avoid cases where patients have moved to hospitals for further treatment because their situation got worse, he said.

There is a lot of hardship in his voluntary job.

Sometimes, he has to wait very long for patients to open their doors although he always calls them ahead to inform that he is coming.

Sometimes, he has to make a detour to go to the patients’ house to avoid lockdown areas, he said.

“Wearing the medical protective clothing and driving the motorbike when it is very sunny is an uneasy feeling.” 

However, Truyền said he thought the job was worthwhile.

On his journey giving medicine to patients, one day, when Truyền came to a patient’s house, the patient had already gone to hospital to take care of a relative, who was also a COVID-19 patient, because the relative’s situation worsened.

Truyền moved from the patient’s house to the hospital to bring the medicine bag for the patient.

The patient was very surprised and thanked him many times while Truyền gave him the medicine and instructed him how to use the medicine.

Many patients even shed tears when they received the medicine from Truyền, he said.

“It makes all my hardship disappear,” he said.

Besides, Truyền feels very happy when patients call him and informed they have negative for SARS-CoV-2 after several days using the medicine. 

"It's a great joy that cannot be described,” he said.

After finishing his voluntary job every day, Truyền goes home to continue his graduation thesis.

Truyền said: “I always try to make use of the time I have to deliver the medicine. It’s a way to join hands with the authorities to fight against the pandemic.” 

Vietnamese tennis team to compete at Davis Cup Group events

The Vietnamese tennis team left for Jordan on September 12 to compete at the 2021 Davis Cup Group III events in Asia/Oceania, according to the Vietnam Tennis Federation (VTF).

The four-member team is projected to arrive in Jordan in the afternoon (local time), after 10 hours of flying.

They have not competed much in international matches for nearly two years due to the spread of COVID-19, head coach Truong Quang Vu said.

The Davis Cup Group III events in Asia/Oceania will take place on September 14-18. Vietnam are the event’s No.2 seed based on current rankings.

The team, world’s No. 71, will face eight rivals of Hong Kong (China), Syria, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Pacific Oceania and Malaysia.

A draw for the tourney will be held on September 14. At the end of the event, at least three teams will earn a place in World Group II playoffs while those who finish in the bottom three will be relegated.

Vietnam triumphed at the Asia/Oceania Group III in 2019. They missed out on a place in World Group II after falling 4-0 to Morocco in the play-offs in 2020./.

Hanoi reports 22 new COVID-19 cases on September 13 morning

The capital city of Hanoi recorded an additional 22 COVID-19 cases in the past 12 hours to 6am on September 13, according to the municipal Department of Health.

The infections included 18 cases detected in quarantined sites and four in sealed off areas of Thanh Xuan and Hoang Mai districts.

Since April 29, the capital city has logged a total 3,802 infections, including 1,595 cases found in the community.

Nearly 573,830 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered on September 12, raising the total in Hanoi to more than 4.48 million, or 89 percent of its allocated vaccines.

The city is stepping up mass testing and vaccination for local residents, said Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen./.

Drug store for free in HCM City

A drug store, which provides medicine for free for COVID-19 patients as well as common medicine for local people, has run since Wednesday in District 10, HCM City.

The drug store, located on Nguyễn Tri Phương Street, was run under the direction of the district's Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The drug store operates 24-hours a day and members of the district’s Youth Union will deliver the medicine to COVID-19 patients.

Nguyễn Thu Duyên, a medical staff of a hospital in the district, is in charge of the drug store.

Duyên said the drug store received 50 calls from local people to ask for medicines on the first day of operation.

“Local people warmly welcome the model of the drug store,” she said.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Hường, chairwoman of the People’s Committee of the district, said the drug store was part of the programme of “Giving love” in the district.

The programme has delivered 3,000 medicine bags for free to support COVID-19 patients in the district.

Efforts made to keep Ly Son Island safe from Covid-19

While COVID-19 remains a complex issue in Quang Ngai province, with many cases detected in the community, the province’s Ly Son Island is yet to record any infections. The island district is therefore doing its best to stay safe as the pandemic rages on the mainland.

Ly Son Island has over 500 fishing vessels, with the majority of fishing being done on the Hoang Sa-Truong Sa fishing grounds.

Now is the peak of the fishing season, and many fishing boats are returning to their localities after long days at sea. To control and prevent Covid-19 from spreading on the island, fishermen anchored offshore are being traced and tested.

Ly Son Island is considered a “green zone”, as no Covid-19 cases have been detected as yet, and it is in a good position to remain pandemic-free.

But local fishermen out at sea may have contact with others from outside of the locality, while people returning from pandemic-hit areas increase the risk of the disease being spread on the island.

In addition to Border Guard checkpoints, community-based Covid-19 prevention teams also play an important role in pandemic prevention and control.

Ly Son Island has tightened its isolation regulations, with people outside of the locality not being allowed to return, except in essential cases.

Ly Son is one of only a few “green zones” in Quang Ngai province. The tightening of pandemic prevention measures at this time is very important, contributing to protecting the island from the disease./.

Project launched to promote Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam’s historic, cultural values

A project called Cultural Space of Quoc Tu Giam, or Imperial Academy, has been launched by the Van Mieu–Quoc Tu Giam Culture and Science Centre, aiming to popularize the national special relic’s historic and cultural values.

The project will hold cultural activities and exchanges in Quoc Tu Giam’s cultural space and provide information on Vietnamese history to the public.

It will also organize multiple arts and cultural events for young people at home and from overseas, alongside talk shows about the values of ancient education in today’s life.

Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature Complex), is one of the most popular relics and tourist destinations in Hanoi and the country at large. Built in the 11th century during the Ly Dynasty (1010 – 1225), it is also among the most important Confucian symbols in the country.

The complex consists of Van Mieu, a temple dedicated to Confucius as Confucianism used to be a popular religion in Vietnam in feudal times, and Quoc Tu Giam, the first national university of the country.

It taught disciples on the Confucian way of life and revered Chu Van An, one of Vietnam’s most respected scholars. Between 1076 and 1779, Quoc Tu Giam educated thousands of talented men to serve their country to the best of their abilities./.

Online 'Vaccine for Mental Health' programme offers help to HCM City residents during pandemic  programme

An online programme called “Vắc xin tinh thần” (Vaccine for Mental Health) offering community activities for people during the COVID-19 pandemic was launched by organisations in HCM City this week. 

The programme includes Prevention Measures & Ways to Improve Mental Health, Psychological Consulting Online Services and Things One Should Do after COVID-19 Infection.  

Each topic is managed by a group of doctors and experts from Bình Dân Hospital and Thủ Đức Covid-19 Resuscitation Hospital, who have worked to boost morale and help local people in the battle against the virus.

Doctors and experts will participate in online workshops and offer consultation services in psychological care. 

The city’s vaccination and COVID-19 testing programmes will also be included. 

Shopping hotlines and services for quarantined people and those in locked-down areas will be featured.

Stories from volunteers who have assisted the city's medical staff to test and vaccinate locals will be included.

“Through our programme, we want to encourage people and inspire love, unity, mercy, energy and belief in the COVID-19 fight,” Dr. Ngô Thị Phương Lan, rector of the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and member of the programme’s organising board, said.

“Appearing in the programme is a chance for our doctors, experts and volunteers to help people improve their health during the pandemic.” 

The programme “Vắc xin tinh thần” is organised by HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities in co-operation with the city’s Department of Health and Department of Information and Communications. 

People are encouraged to call the programme’s hotline 0987 111 901 for more information.

Winners of Hanoi creative space design contest announced

A contest seeking new ideas and unique initiatives to build creative and cultural hubs in Hà Nội has announced the winners.

It was jointly organised by the Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports and the Kiến Trúc (Architecture) magazine in collaboration with the Hà Nội’s People Committee and the Việt Nam Association of Architects.

Since its launch eight months ago, the contest received 93 entries in three categories: promoting creative infrastructure; organising creative spaces on the basis of exploiting industrial work in urban areas that must be relocated or switch functions; and preserving and promoting the value of architectural spaces and traditional planning.

Forty-one of the projects are works of professional candidates and 52 are from semi-professional and amateur contestants.

The organising board has awarded one first prize in each category for professional candidates and one for semi-professional and amateur contestants

In the category of promoting creative infrastructure, the two first prizes went to the project Con Đường Nghệ Thuật Hà Nội (Hà Nội Art Road) of the joint venture between Avant Architecture and Investment Consultant Joint Stock Company and Arb Vietnam Co Ltd. (Professional); and Hà Nội Phố Cổ: Nghìn Năm Văn Hiến (Hà Nội: Thousand Years of Civilisation) by Nguyễn Văn Tú and Nguyễn Thành Đức.

In the category of preserving and promoting the value of architectural spaces and traditional planning, the project Quận Nghệ Thuật Sông Hồng (Red River Art District) of the Avant Architecture and Investment Consultant Joint Stock Company (Professional); and the project Kết Nối (Connection) by Đặng Văn Quân and Hà Đức Trình (Semi-professional and amateur) won the respective first prizes.

In the category of organising creative spaces on the basis of exploiting industrial work in urban areas that must be relocated or switch functions, the two first prizes went to the project CIRCLE-PUNK by Cube Architecture Construction Design Development Joint Stock Company (professional) and Railway District 4.0 by the group: Nguyễn Kiên Tố, Hoàng Thế Vinh, Nguyễn Đức Thắng, Nguyễn Minh Anh, Nguyễn Thị Minh Hạnh, Trần Duy Tân, Nguyễn Anh Dũng and Trần Hữu Trí.

According to architect Phan Đăng Sơn, chairman of the Việt Nam Association of Architects, editor-in-chief of Architecture magazine and chairman of the jury, the projects are of good quality, showing the enthusiasm and love of the authors for Hà Nội.

Most solutions were proposed on the basis of renovating and transforming spatial functions to promote inherent values, exploiting space to establish creative spaces for the community and the city.

 “The jury highly appreciated the projects with unique ideas, new solutions and modern visual language. Those selected for the prizes share the similarities in practical feasibility, association with culture and environment and therefore could be implemented immediately,” he said.

In addition, the organisers also awarded six prizes recognised by the council and six voted by readers for quality solutions.

Many sideline activities were held within the framework of the contest to open up and connect the contestants with its theme such as the seminars on designing creative spaces in Hà Nội and transforming industrial heritage into creative spaces. 

Online book review competitions open to young readers

Young people nationwide are encouraged to join the online book review competition 'Cuốn Sách Tôi Yêu' (My Favourite Book) as part of an effort to encourage young readers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The event, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, targets young people and children. 

Participants should make a video about their favourite book review. Their talk should provide a summary of the book’s content, the value of the book, and why it is recommended for young readers. Their challenges, dreams and hopes can also be included.

Entries should be sent to bit.ly/sachvatritueviet before September 20.

More than 3,000 videos have been received since the launch of the contest in July. 

Famous authors, poets and editors from leading publishing houses will be part of the jury. 

People are invited to vote for their favourite entries via bit.ly/counsachtoiyeu2021. 

One special prize and three first prizes will be presented. The contest’s awards ceremony is expected to be held online in November.  

Organised by the Kim Đồng Publishing House in July, the National Online Writing Contest targets children aged six to 15. 

Participants are asked to write a book review about their favourite book. The writing must be no more than 1,000 words.  

Video blogs, or vlogs, are encouraged and should be no more than five minutes long, featuring a book review. 

The first prize will be VNĐ5 million (US$200) in cash and a gift card worth VNĐ3 million ($120) for use in Kim Đồng bookstores. The prizes will be presented in December. 

“We hope the contest will give children a chance to improve their reading and writing, and make a video clip as well,” said Vũ Quỳnh Liên, editor-in-chief of the Kim Đồng Publishing House. 

“We believe that many new and good books will be introduced to young readers across the country after the contest’s launch.” 

Two fishing boats with sailors rescued in typhoon

A fisherman receives a medical check-up from a coastguardafter rescue at sea. Photo courtesy of Quang Nam Newspaper

Eighteen sailors onboard two fishing boats from Đà Nẵng and Quảng Ngãi were safely rescued by a Coastguard ship off Lý Sơn Islands as Typhoon Conson was heading to central Việt Nam on Saturday night.

Quảng Nam-based Coast Guard force said it received an SOS signal from a fishing boat from Quảng Ngãi (QNg95058TS) with five seamen after a broken engine caused it to begin to sink at 1.30am on Saturday (September 11).

A fishing boat and five fishermen from Quảng Ngãi were rescued atsea off Lý Sơn Islands.

A rescue ship was sent to help the fishing boat, and it found it 28 miles away from Lý Sơn Islands six hours later. The fishing boat and five sailors were then given first aid and tested for COVID-19 before their vessel was brought back to shore on Sunday morning.

The Coast Guard ship was then assigned to support an adrift fishing vessel (DNa0494TS) from Đà Nẵng, also in the water off Lý Sơn Islands. The fishing boat with 13 onboard was found early Sunday morning at sea 17 miles off the islands. All sailors were healthy and tested for SARS-COV-2 before docking at Lý Sơn Islands’ port on Sunday morning.

Typhoon Conson, which was heading to the north central region with heavy rain forecast of up to 350mm, was eased to a tropical low-pressure storm early Sunday, causing heavy rain in Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Nam, Đà Nẵng, Thừa Thiên Huế and Quảng Trị.

A street in Da Nang downtown is flooded by heavy rain. 

Some low areas and streets in Đà Nẵng City were partially flooded.

More than 1000 fishing boats had already docked at Thọ Quang port during a lockdown from August 16, and no serious damage to boats was caused as of Sunday morning.

Medical staff have been conducting mass testing at Điện Nam-Điện Ngọc industrial zone as 14 new SARS-COV-2 cases were found at shoe and footwear producer Rieker company on Saturday. Forty-four people who had close contact with those infected have been quarantined.

Medical staff from Thừa Thiên Huế come to test for COVID-19 in the flooded Hòa Phong commune. Two positive cases were reported. Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Đình Bách

Meanwhile, a COVID-19 medical team was sent to take tests at Phong Hòa Commune of Phong Điền District in Thừa Thiên Huế Province as two positive COVID-19 cases were found on Saturday in the area. The district was partly flooded by heavy rainfall.

Environmental worker protection strengthened

The environment sector in many localities, especially those severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, has strengthened measures to protect environmental workers from being infected with coronavirus when collecting waste.

In Hà Nội, Tống Việt Dũng, deputy director of the Urban and Industrial Environment No 13 Joint Stock Company, said the company provided enough protective equipment for its environmental workers to ensure their safety.

The company had also constantly disseminated regulations on pandemic prevention and control, he said.

Lê Thị Linh, an environmental worker of the company, said she was always equipped with protective clothing when she did her job. Linh added that she had already received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In HCM City, Huỳnh Minh Nhựt, director of HCM City Urban Environment Company Limited, said the company not only equipped personal protective equipment but also instructed environmental workers on how to obey regulations on anti-pandemic prevention in each location that they had to collect waste.

The company allocated over 300 environmental workers to collect waste in lockdown areas three shifts daily, he said.

The environmental workers had to work very hard to ensure all the waste would be transported to treatment areas in order to minimise the risk of cross infection in lockdown areas, he said.

However, because the amount of waste was large and the collection sites were far away from each other, this put great pressure on the environmental workers, he said.

Nguyễn Văn Thiền, chairman of the Board of Directors of Bình Dương Water Supply Sewerage Environment Ltd., said the company’s waste treatment branch had about 800 employees.

Thiền said waste transported to the company would be treated by specialised machines and an automatic disinfecting and burning system.

The most dangerous stage was when workers had to collect waste from lockdown and quarantined areas, he added. Therefore, the company had provided protective clothing to environmental workers to ensure their safety during waste collection.

The company also periodically conducted COVID tests for environmental workers.

The company has applied the "three on-site" model, which involves eating, sleeping, and working without leaving and aims to keep operation and production going while meeting COVID-19 control and prevention measures.

Under the model, the company arranges accommodation for environmental workers at the company. The accommodation is disinfected three times daily to ensure safety.

Phùng Chí Sỹ, director of the Environmental Technology Centre, said environmental workers who directly collected waste in areas where COVID-19 patients lived or were treated, played an important role in controlling and preventing the spread of the pandemic.

So, they needed to be classified as a frontline group and given priority for vaccination, he said.

Sỹ also said that waste in areas with cases of COVID-19 infection as well as lockdown and quarantined areas should be carefully sorted to reduce pressure on environmental workers and treatment plants.

Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, deputy head of the Việt Nam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said environmental workers had to collect and transport waste daily.

They were a very-high risk group for COVID-19 infection, he said.

Therefore, the ministry already proposed to the Government that environmental workers should be given priority for vaccination as well as regular tests to ensure their safety.

More waste discharged

In Hà Nội, the total amount of waste has increased by about 30 per cent, equal to 7.5 tonnes per day, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The company has sharply increased the frequency of waste collection in quarantined and lockdown areas.

The company’s waste treatment factory now operates eight hours daily instead of five as before. The waste is transported to the factory for treatment following a route that avoids going through residential areas to minimise the spread of the pandemic.

In HCM City, the local Natural Resources and Environment Department said the amount of waste discharged in field hospitals and quarantined areas was 78 tonnes daily.

In Bình Dương Province, the amount of waste discharged in field hospitals and quarantined areas is about 70 tonnes daily.

In response to the situation, the environment ministry has cooperated with the Ministry of Health to issue technical guidelines to instruct localities on how to treat waste related to SARS-CoV-2 right after the pandemic hit the country. Such waste will be treated as hazardous.

In July, the ministry continued sending document 4119/BTNMT-TCMT to ask localities nationwide to strengthen measures to deal with waste related to COVID-19.

The ministry also sent the localities the list of 80 facilities nationwide that are eligible for hazardous waste treatment. 

Son La coffee growers supported in sustainable development

More than 4,300 coffee growing households in the northern province of Sơn La will receive supports in coffee farming, production and trade under a 2-year project by the Foundation for International Development/Relief (FIDR) Vietnam Office – a Japan-based international non-Governmental organisation.

The “Sustainable Coffee Project” launched on Friday via a webinar will be implemented in six communes belonging to Thuận Châu District, Mai Sơn District and Sơn La City.

Nobuko Otsuki, FIDR Vietnam Office’s Country Representative, said that with sponsorship from AEON, the FIDR in cooperation with Tây Bắc University, Sơn La province authorities and several supply chain companies would work together for sustainable coffee production through community development. 

Under the project, local coffee growers will have the chance to join training courses to improve their literacy, negotiation skills, farming techniques and trade-related skills, she said.

Kahori Miyake, representative from AEON, said that the project was prepared for more than one year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project's activities were changed to adapt to the new situation.

However, the participation of parties including the Tây Bắc University, FIDR, Sơn La authorities and coffee farmers made the project run effectively.

“People are happy to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. When having the coffee, we should thank those who grow it, process it and sell it,” she said, adding that the AEON group expected that their consumers, especially those in Japan, to know about Sơn La coffee and coffee growers.

Đinh Thanh Tâm, rector of Tây Bắc University, said that Sơn La Province was the home of delicious fruit and farming produce thanks to a good climate and geographical conditions.

Coffee has been grown in Sơn La province since the 1980s. The province currently has nearly 18,000 hectares of coffee, with last year’s production at more than 25,000 tonnes.

Coffee is grown mostly in the districts of Mai Sơn, Thuận Châu, Sốp Cộp, Yên Châu and Sơn La City.

“Catimor coffee grown in Sơn La Province has good quality and it’s a pride of the locality,” Tâm said, adding that coffee farming helped local people improve incomes and living standards in the last few years.

However, coffee growers in Sơn La Province faced disadvantages relating to limited farming level and trade understanding.

Farmers mostly sold raw coffee at low prices, Tâm said, adding that technical and trade support was much needed.

Cà Thị Biên, a farmer in Chiềng Ban Commune, Mai Sơn District, said that she was happy to see that people liked the coffee made in Sơn La.

She said she expected to learn more about farming and trading thanks to the project’s support so that she could have a better stable income, thus could pay her debts, send her children to school and open a grocery store.

Cầm Thị Phóng, vice director of the province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said that in the last few years despite improved facilities for coffee production, Sơn La coffee still faced difficulties.

Old coffee trees with low yield were common in a large area. Coffee farmers have yet to apply measures to ensure sustainable development or become resilient to climate change, Phóng said.

Nguyễn Xuân Hoàng, vice chairman of Thuận Châu People’s Committee District, said that most of the 5,500 hectares of coffee in the district were in hilly land, causing difficulties for farmers in harvesting and transporting.

Farmers used motorbikes to carry coffee from farms to purchasing sites of wholesalers, so labour costs are very high. Most of the farmers used home-made fertilisers and conventional farming techniques without proper understanding, Hoàng said.

“Notably, farmers sold coffee to wholesalers and hardly knew where the coffee would go next, or for which companies. As a result, Sơn La coffee has not developed its own brand despite its good quality,” Hoàng said, urging further support in brand development.   

Bùi Thị Định, vice head of Mai Sơn District’s Agriculture department, said local farmers had difficulties in processing their coffee and treating agricultural waste.

A kilo of fresh coffee can be sold at VNĐ 8,000-8,500, but a kilo of dried coffee sold at VNĐ 12,00-14,000. Despite the big difference, local farmers mostly sold unprocessed coffee, she said.

The project is expected to offer solutions to lower input costs as well as proper market understanding so that farmers can get better coffee prices.

 

Two greengrocers use illegal travel permit to enter district, spreading COVID-19

Thụy Phương Commune in suburban Chương Mỹ District was put under lockdown on Saturday night after five COVID-19 cases were reported.

About 9,000 people live in the commune.

Nguyễn Đình Hòa, chairman of the district said that the five COVID-19 cases were members of a family including a couple, their two children and a relative.

The couple, who are greengrocers at Đại Từ Market in Hoàng Mai District’s Đại Kim Ward, used illegal travel permits to reach the market, where they were alleged to have been infected.

At least 40 people (F1) who had close contact with the confirmed cases were taken to concentrated quarantine areas while another 78 people have been quarantined at home.

Up to 9,000 people in the commune have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 since Saturday night.

Thụy Hương Commune People’s Committee has implemented measures to ensure supply of food and other essentials for people in the locked-down area.

People with underlying health conditions and pregnant women would be listed to get special attention. The commune also made plans to harvest rice for farmers if the outbreak worsened, Hòa said.

The district authorities received 195 health workers from Quảng Ninh Province and 100 health workers from Hòa Bình Province, who together with local staff would ramp up testing and COVID-19 vaccination in the commune. 

Meanwhile , lockdowns were lifted in COVID-19 hit areas in Hà Nội since early Sunday.

In Chương Dương ward of Hoàn Kiếm District, the lockdown was lifted at Hamlet 105 of Vọng Hà Street and part of hamlet 107 of the same street.

The whole of Chương Dương Street with a population of nearly 23,000 people was locked down since July 30 when the first COVID-19 cases were detected there. For the last 25 days, the ward has reported no community cases.

The cluster at hamlet 24 of Kim Đồng Street in Giáp Bát Ward, Hoàng Mai District with a population of more than 1,900 people was locked down from August 25 as COVID-19 infections were detected among drivers who travelled from HCM City and their close contacts.

In two wards of Văn Chương and Văn Miếu District in Đống Đa District, authorities decided to lift lockdowns in some residential areas.

However, the lockdown was extended until September 19 in some other areas including the apartment building at 16B Ngô Tất Tố Street, houses from No 27 to No 31 Ngô Tất Tố Street, and apartment building at 20D Trần Quý Cáp Street.

Houses from No 35 to No 77 Trần Quý Cáp Street, houses from No 90 to No 126 in Hamlet 88 of Trần Quý Cáp Street will continue to be locked down until September 24.

Clusters in Văn Chương and Văn Miếu Wards with a population of more than 21,000 were put into lockdown from August 21 to September 4. However, the lockdown of the whole two wards was extended until Saturday (September 11).

With the latest adjustment of locked down areas in the two wards, just about 650 people are in locked down areas.

Until Sunday morning, Hà Nội has reported 3,762 COVID-19 cases since late April when the fourth wave of COVID-19 hit Việt Nam. Of those, 1,593 cases were found in the community while the other 2,169 cases were found in quarantine areas. 

Vietnam joins Workers' Party of Belgium solidarity festival

The Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium participated in the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB)’s 11th Manifesta (solidarity) festival in the Belgian western province of Ostend from September 11-12 with one booth introducing the country’s cuisine, culture and tourism.

Publications introducing Vietnamese tourism such as Vietnam Pictorial and Le Courrier du Vietnam were also available at the Vietnamese stall.

Herman Dereymaeker, a member of the PTB, expressed his impression about Vietnamese tourism, land and people.

At the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao held meetings with PTB leaders to brief them on socio-economic achievements that Vietnam has gained over the years as well as the fruitful outcomes of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue's freshly-ended Europe trip, which has contributed to accelerating relations between Vietnam and the EU and Belgium in particular.

Speaking to the Vietnam News Agency's correspondent in Belgium, Deputy Ambassador to Belgium Le Vinh Thang said that the festival is a chance for the embassy to promote the image of the Vietnamese nation and people to foreign friends, while introducing Vietnam’s achievements in international integration and exchanging experience in workers’ movements, social welfare policies and the protection of workers’ interests.

Various activities were held within the festival’s framework, including music concerts, seminars, discussions and book fairs.

Well-known speakers of Belgium and other countries highlighted issues related to the history of Belgium’s communist movement, world peace, the health crisis caused by COVID-19, and the solidarity of the working class all over the world.

Manifesta is one of the first outdoor mass gatherings in Belgium as part of the country’s roadmap to remove restrictions to prevent COVID-19 spreading that started on September 1./.

Programme presents devices for online learning to disadvantaged students

A programme aiming to offer devices to foster disadvantaged students’ online learning has been launched by youth organisations in Vietnam.

Addressing the launch ceremony held on September 12, President of the Vietnam Youth Federation Central Committee Nguyen Ngoc Luong said that complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced students in various localities to study online. However, many of them do not have devices or skills to attend virtual courses.

He called on organisations and businesses to engage in the programme so as to enable students to learn without being disrupted by the ongoing pandemic.

President of the Vietnam Youth Federation Central Committee Nguyen Ngoc Luong (Photo: thieunien.vn)
The programme will work to present technological and telecommunication equipment and applications, Luong said.

It will be rolled out in three phases, with the first one running until the end of this year and aiming to present 50,000 learning devices.

The second phase is to offer at least 100,000 devices and be carried out from next January until the pandemic is brought under control. Meanwhile, the final one aims to support students in mountainous and remote areas, as well as the country’s border regions and islands.

At the launch ceremony, the organising board raised more than 78 billion VND (3.42 million USD).

As many as 220 devices for online learning; 9,000 accounts in courses for learning foreign languages, information technology, and soft skills; along with 9,000 4G SIM cards, were given to students in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Long An provinces and Hanoi capital.

Registration for donations can be made at the National Humanitarian Portal www.inhandao.vn, its mobile app InhandaoVN, and the programme’s website https://www.cungemhoctructuyen.com./.

Central localities endure heavy rains following Conson weakening into tropical depression

Central coastal provinces from Quang Tri to Quang Ngai will continue to see heavy downpours on September 13-14 with total rainfall of between 100 mm and 200 mm, even 250 mm in some places due to the impact of typhoon Conson which weakened into a tropical depression on September 12.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the tropical depression was located in waters off the central Vietnamese localities from Da Nang City to Binh Dinh province on September 12 with a maximum wind speed under 60 kph.

From September 13, provinces from Quang Binh to Thanh Hoa would also have rains of up to 150 mm and over 200 mm in a number of areas.

In addition, due to the influence of the southwest monsoon, there will be showers and thunderstorms in the Central Highlands and southern regions, with rainfall likely to climb as high as 20-50 mm.

Weather forecasters warned about high risks of flooding in provinces from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai, and risks of flash floods and landslides in low-lying and mountainous areas of Quang Tri, Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Kon Tum provinces.

In order to continue to cope with the tropical depression, the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control requested affected provinces and cities to keep a close watch on the tropical depression’s developments, and prepare for the possibility of severe flooding, landslides so as to proactively take preventive measures.

It is imperative to focus on assessing damage, repairing damaged houses, promptly dealing with the consequences caused by the storm to stabilize people's lives soon, the committee said.

Torrential rains and strong winds over the past two days sank 2 vehicles, caused 2 ships to run aground, blew off the roofs of 31 houses, and damaged more than 1,000 hectares of rice.

After Conson, the fifth storm to hit the East Sea this year, there could be another six to eight storms and tropical depressions , with two to four directly affecting the nation, according to meteorologists.

Son La coffee growers supported in sustainable development

More than 4,300 coffee growing households in the northern province of Son La will receive support in coffee farming, production and trade under a 2-year project by the Foundation for International Development/Relief (FIDR) Vietnam Office – a Japan-based international non-Governmental organisation.

The “Sustainable Coffee Project” launched last week via a webinar will be implemented in six communes belonging to Thuan Chau district, Mai Son district and Son La city.

Nobuko Otsuki, FIDR Vietnam Office’s Country Representative, said that with sponsorship from AEON, the FIDR in cooperation with Tay Bac University, Son La province authorities and several supply chain companies would work together for sustainable coffee production through community development.

Under the project, local coffee growers will have the chance to join training courses to improve their literacy, negotiation skills, farming techniques and trade-related skills, she said.

Kahori Miyake, representative from AEON, said that the project was prepared for more than one year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project's activities were changed to adapt to the new situation.

However, the participation of parties including the Tay Bac University, FIDR, Son La authorities and coffee farmers made the project run effectively.

“People are happy to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. When having the coffee, we should thank those who grow it, process it and sell it,” she said, adding that the AEON group expected that their consumers, especially those in Japan, to know about Son La coffee and coffee growers.

Dinh Thanh Tam, Rector of the Tay Bac University, said that Son La province was the home of delicious fruit and farming produce thanks to a good climate and geographical conditions.

Coffee has been grown in Son La province since the 1980s. The province currently has nearly 18,000 hectares of coffee, with last year’s production at more than 25,000 tonnes.

Coffee is grown mostly in the districts of Mai Son, Thuan Chau, Sop Cop, Yen Chau and Son La city.

“Catimor coffee grown in Son La province has good quality and it’s a pride of the locality,” Tam said, adding that coffee farming helped local people improve incomes and living standards in the last few years.

However, coffee growers in Son La province faced disadvantages relating to limited farming level and trade understanding.

Farmers mostly sold raw coffee at low prices, Tam said, adding that technical and trade support was much needed.

Ca Thi Bien, a farmer in Chieng Ban commune, Mai Son district, said that she was happy to see that people liked the coffee made in Son La.

She said she expected to learn more about farming and trading thanks to the project’s support so that she could have a better stable income, thus could pay her debts, send her children to school and open a grocery store.

Cam Thi Phong, vice director of the province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said that in the last few years despite improved facilities for coffee production, Son La coffee still faced difficulties.

Old coffee trees with low yield were common in a large area. Coffee farmers have yet to apply measures to ensure sustainable development or become resilient to climate change, Phong said.

Nguyen Xuan Hoang, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thuan Chau district, said that most of the 5,500 hectares of coffee in the district were in hilly land, causing difficulties for farmers in harvesting and transporting.

Farmers used motorbikes to carry coffee from farms to purchasing sites of wholesalers, so labour costs are very high. Most of the farmers used home-made fertilisers and conventional farming techniques without proper understanding, Hoang said.

“Notably, farmers sold coffee to wholesalers and hardly knew where the coffee would go next, or for which companies. As a result, Son La coffee has not developed its own brand despite its good quality,” Hoang said, urging further support in brand development.

Bui Thi Dinh, deputy chief of Mai Son District’s Agriculture Division, said local farmers had difficulties in processing their coffee and treating agricultural waste.

A kilo of fresh coffee can be sold at 8,000-8,500 VND, but a kilo of dried coffee sold at 12,00-14,000 VND. Despite the big difference, local farmers mostly sold unprocessed coffee, she said.

The project is expected to offer solutions to lower input costs as well as proper market understanding so that farmers can get better coffee prices./.

Russian company presents COVID-19 treatment drug to Vietnam

The Polysan Science & Technology Company in Saint-Petersburg has decided to grant a batch of Cytoflavin drug that is able to treat around 1,000 COVID-19 patients to the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence.

This is the outcomes of meetings between Vietnam’s Defence Attaché Office in Russia and the Government Committee for the External Relations of Saint-Petersburg and the company.

The shipment comprises of a total of 2,376 boxes of Cytoflavin treatment drug.

Cytoflavin is currently being used as part of the treatment regimen for COVID-19 patients in Russia and typically used for the prevention of acute ischemic stroke.

Russian doctors also make use of this drug to treat cardiovascular and brain complications detected in COVID-19 patients.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Attaché Colonel Tran Tien Phuong expressed his sincere thanks for this gift, adding that the invaluable support will help deal with the pandemic in Vietnam while contributing to further enhancing the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries./.

Cooperating with Vietnam benefits South Africa: official

Promoting cooperation with Vietnam will bring practical socio-economic benefits to South Africa, the African country's Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Alvin Botes affirmed while accompanying a delegation of the Vietnamese Embassy on a recent working visit to Northern Cape province.

The official said that South Africa continues to implement the policy of expanding diplomatic relations with traditional friends, including Vietnam.

This time, the Vietnamese embassy presented 250,000 face masks to the province’s Education Department and several schools in the locality.

Ambassador Hoang Van Loi said that Vietnam is striving to curb the spread of COVID-19, giving the highest priority to people's lives and health, promoting the vaccination drive and gradually restoring economic activities.

The two countries’ trade turnover reached around 1.4 billion USD in 2020, up 23 percent year-on-year, and 706 million USD in the first half of this year. However, Vietnamese exports to South Africa accounts for only 1.3 percent of the country’s total import value.

Vietnam is actively increasing exports of apparel, footwear, coffee and pepper to South Africa and expanding cooperation in education and mining with the nation, Loi added./.

Vaccine diplomacy goes hand in hand with action for people's health

Information regarding vaccine donations for Vietnam and accelerated vaccinations in many major cities demonstrates the tireless efforts of Party and State leaders to promote vaccine diplomacy, along with the valuable support of international friends for the nation’s COVID-19 fight.

During phone calls with leaders of many countries, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggests creating favorable conditions for Vietnam to soon access vaccine sources and cooperate in the transfer of vaccine production technology.

Amid complicated long-term developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be affirmed that the vaccine strategy remains the "key" for the nation to contain the disease and strive to boost economic recovery.

Since the initial outbreak of the pandemic, the Politburo, the Secretariat, the Government, the Prime Minister, and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 prevention and control have swiftly predicted and comprehensively directed prevention and control efforts. Indeed, there has been a particular focus on implementing a vaccine strategy.

Vaccine diplomacy has therefore been identified as a spearhead in which the nation can take advantage of its bilateral and multilateral relationships through international organisations in order to help people gain access to vaccine sources.

The Politburo has suggested developing a series of vaccination schemes for people to achieve herd immunity with a specific timeline put in place. In addition to continuing to work out mechanisms and policies to support and promote domestic vaccine research and development, it is also necessary to step up international co-operation in pandemic prevention and control, whilst also ensuring equal access to numerous vaccine supplies.

During a recent meeting held to discuss a score of urgent counter measures with key leaders, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong underscored the major focus on implementing the current vaccine strategy. This is especially true in terms of ensuring the supply of vaccines and rapidly conducting large-scale vaccinations to minimise the negative impact of the disease.

Furthermore, the Government has also decided to establish a working group on vaccine diplomacy led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, with the task of promoting and mobilising aid for vaccines, therapeutic drugs, and medical products. This is alongside accelerating the transfer of vaccine and drug production technology in order to serve COVID-19 prevention and control from bilateral and multilateral partners.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has therefore held a broad array of telephone talks, along with sending letters to leaders of dozens of countries and international organisations in a bid to promote vaccine diplomacy. PM Chinh has also moved to direct relevant ministries, together with overseas Vietnamese representative agencies, to participate in the scheme. As a result of this, hundreds of meetings and exchanges have been held in order to capitalise on access to vaccine sources, both in bilateral and multilateral channels.

Similarly, National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, during talks held alongside parliamentary leaders of other countries or during high-level discussions at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums, also repeatedly touched upon issues relating to co-operation in COVID-19 prevention and control. This is along with providing vaccine support and vaccine production technology transfer to the nation.

Following their recently-concluded European tour, the high-ranking NA delegation was able to receive 200,000 vaccine doses from partners who also pledged to support and transfer millions of vaccines in the near future. In addition, many organisations, businesses, and individuals have providing medical equipment and supplies with a total value of over VND1.028 billion.

According to the Ministry of Health, the country has so far received roughly 35 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from different sources. As of September 12, the nation has administered approximately 28.3 million vaccine doses and is anticipated that a further 103 million doses will arrive by the end of the year.

Through these committed supply sources, the country is gradually moving towards meeting its target of purchasing 150 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to immunise 75% of the national population.

The path ahead remains difficult and challenging, with many unpredictable factors, but the nation’s tireless "vaccine diplomacy" efforts have been creating more confidence, motivation, and resources in the fight against the pandemic to bring the country back to the new normal soon.

Kien Giang supports pandemic-hit Vietnamese workers in Cambodia

Leading officials of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang recently handed over 100 million VND (4,390 USD) to the Consulate General of Vietnam in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk province.

Addressing the ceremony held at the Ha Tien international border gate, which leads to the Prek Chak International Border Gate on the Cambodian side, Deputy Director of Kien Giang’s Department of External Affairs Nguyen Viet Thong spoke highly of the efforts by the office in Cambodia's province in helping Vietnamese-Cambodian stabilise their lives especially in the context of COVID-19.

The assistance, from authorities and people of Kien Giang, aims to support poor Vietnamese workers in Cambodia who cannot return home at present.

General Consul Vu Ngoc Ly said the aid will be used to buy 5 tonnes of rice and other essentials to support the needy.

He said that amid difficulties facing the Vietnamese community in Cambodia, his office has called for donation to help over 8,000 Vietnamese-Cambodian and Vietnamese workers in six Cambodian localities.

Nearly all of them have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 free of charge, the diplomat added.

The Consulate General has called on pandemic-hit Vietnamese workers to remain calm and seek temporary jobs in a bid to surmount difficult times./.

European media highlights Vietnamese NA leader’s visit to Europe, Belgium

Several prestigious newspapers of the EU and Belgium have run articles spotlighting National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s trip to Europe and the country from September 8-9.

The EU Today on September 6 posted an article titled “EU - Vietnam - Belgium relations: A new direction after the pandemic”, which has positive assessments on cooperation prospects between the EU in general and Belgium in particular and Vietnam.

According to the author, the relationship between the EU and Vietnam has become a model of EU cooperation with Asian countries. Both sides have focused on promoting the implementation of the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which was signed in 2012 and which took effect on October 1, 2016, marking an important step forward in the Vietnam-EU relationship, thus creating a legal basis for bringing the bilateral relationship to a new stage of development with a large scope and deeper levels.

After a decade of relentless efforts, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) were signed on June 30, 2019. The EVFTA officially took effect from August 1, 2020, thus opening a brighter and newer chapter in this bilateral cooperation relationship.

These agreements are expected to bring “golden” opportunities for the two sides to effectively exploit the potential of cooperation, promote trade, investment, sustainable development and contribute to promoting economic linkages, the article wrote.

The author said that Europe has the ability to promote stronger cooperation with Vietnam in tourism, education, logistics, agriculture, and high technology.

The EU is also positioned to promote the required Green Technology Transfer to Vietnam in the treatment of waste, water sources, management of seawater intrusion, and sea-level rise to enhance people's lives in areas affected by climate changes such as the central region and the Mekong Delta.

It can also be a valuable partner in supporting Vietnam in sustainable energy development, governance, rule of law, and legislation. Vietnam is also still in need of development assistance for projects on developing green energy and improving the environment in a sustainable way in rural and mountainous areas.

Earlier, the Brussels Times of Belgium ran an article titled “EU-Vietnam relations reach new heights", stressing that the visit of the new Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly is the first high-level visit to Europe by a Vietnamese leader after the elections to the Parliament.

The article reviewed the cooperation between Vietnam and the EU over the past 30 years, during which the legislative bodies of the two sides have played an important role.

The EU continues to consider Vietnam a leading partner in the region, while Vietnam has always positioned itself as a bridge between the EU and the Southeast Asian countries, it added./.

Fostering implementation of Vietnam’s external cultural strategy

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on September 10 signed Directive No. 25/CT-TTg on accelerating the implementation of Vietnam's external cultural strategy.

Under the document, ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, heads of government-run agencies, and chairmen of People's Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities are asked to strengthen the implementation of the strategy while working to promote the development of cultural industries in Vietnam, in line with the country’s foreign policy and socio-economic situation.

In addition, they are asked to foster digital culture by applying science and technology and the achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

It is also necessary to complete the legal system and policies on external culture as well as stepping up the negotiation for the signing and implementation of international treaties and agreements in the field in order to attract more domestic and foreign resources for the sustainable development of culture.

Implementation of external cultural activities must be attached to the overseas Vietnamese communities, who have not only contributed to preserving and promoting the Vietnamese language, cultural identity and traditions in the host countries but also greatly supported the fatherland's sustainable development.

More cultural, sporting and tourism exchanges and trading events should be held at border areas in order to increase mutual understanding between Vietnamese people and those in neighbouring countries while helping protect the national sovereignty.

Medical lockdown lifted in some Hanoi areas

Authorities of Hoan Kiem district in downtown Hanoi decided to lift the medical lockdown imposed on its Chuong Duong ward at the stroke of September 12.

As a COVID-19 patient was detected on July 30, the area with nearly 23,000 residents was sealed off. It has not recorded new infections in the community for 25 days.

On September 11, the measure was lifted in other areas in the capital’s Hoang Mai and Dong Da districts.

Households in such areas are asked to continue to follow guidelines in COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

Meanwhile, some areas in Van Chuong and Van Mieu wards of Dong Da will remain under lockdown.

Hanoi is being put under strict social distancing in accordance with the Prime Minister's directive in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The city recorded 17 COVID-19 infections from 6am to 12pm on September 12, with two being detected in the community, according to the municipal Department of Health.

Five cases were found in Thanh Xuan district and three each in Thuong Tin and Hoan Kiem.

Since April 29, the capital city has logged 3,779 COVID-19 infections, with 1,595 locally-transmitted ones.

More than 411,450 COVID-19 vaccine shots were administered in Hanoi on September 11. The city has fulfilled 77.1 percent of its inoculation plan./.

Central Theory Council for 2021-2026 debuts

The Party Central Committee announced its decision to establish the Central Theory Council for 2021-2026 at its headquarters in Hanoi on September 12.

Politburo member and Permanent member of the committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong spoke highly of the intellectual and enthusiastic contributions by the previous council, and stressed the importance of the theoretical work to the revolutionary cause of the Party.

Chairman of the council Nguyen Xuan Thang highlighted that it will perform well its role, functions and duties as an advisory body to the Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Secretariat on issues of political theory, creating a basis for planning, completing and developing the Party’s policies.

In order to fulfill the assigned tasks, the full-term work plan of the affiliates of the council will be concretised and perfected by closely following the Politburo's Decision on the functions and duties of the council.

At the first session, members of the council focused on discussing its main directions and tasks in the whole term, especially the renovation of the content and mode of operation of the council./.

HCMC to administer 1.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in peak vaccination drive

Ho Chi Minh City ought to administer 879,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine and about 927,000 people were due for the second dose by the end of September 8, in order to achieve vaccine coverage for people aged 18 and older. Thus, Ho Chi Minh City will inoculate more than 1,806,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for people in the upcoming peak vaccination campaign.

The city's Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on September 12 held a press conference to provide information on epidemic prevention and control in the area. Le Hai Binh, Deputy Head of the Central Propaganda Department and Pham Duc Hai, Deputy Head of the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control chaired the press conference.

Speaking about issuance of a certificate for recovered Covid-19 patients at home, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Deputy Director of the Health Department of Ho Chi Minh City, said that the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has just issued a document on the supervision of people with Covid-19 isolated at home.

In many cases, the locality have not well managed Covid-19 let them go out. In addition, many recovered people have not received certification. Therefore, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City requires localities to pay special attention to monitor these special patients in complance with medical isolation.

For those who self-test positive at home without reporting to the local health department, local health care authorities hardly confirm that they have recovered from the disease and issue a green card.

According to the regulations, people who test positive at home need to immediately report to the local health department for monitor and treatment," said Dr. Chau. He disclosed that 60,000 Covid-19 patients are being treated at home while 27,000 other cases are being kept in centralized isolation facilities.

Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau said that, Covid-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting Covid-19. After receiving a vaccine, a person has antibodies, preventing the possibility of disease and serious illness. It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes Covid-19.

However, he said the Delta variant which causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes Covid-19 because the variant often invade human immune system’s antibody response. According to the global statistics, 90 percent of fully vaccinated people are protected yet 10 percent of them still catch the disease and facing deaths.

Regarding the information about anemia health facilities, Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau said that HCMC has maintained 3,000 blood bags continuously for the past one month in the blood bank. The Ho Chi Minh City Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital has just received another 1,000 bags from the National Institute of Blood Transfusion and Hematology on September 1. This is the second time that Ho Chi Minh City has received blood donations from the Central Institute of Blood Transfusion and Hematology.

Doctor Nguyen Hong Tam, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC), said that 2,475 contacts F1 are presently being isolated in concentrated isolation facilities including foreign experts and international flight crews.

Currently, both contacts F1 and Covid-19 people are isolated at home if they satisfy the regulations. If their houses fail to meet the home isolation regulations, they will be sent to concentrated isolation facilities, said doctor Nguyen Hong Tam. Moreover, through rapid tests in high- and very high-risk areas, the rate of positive cases decreased markedly.

A representative of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Ho Chi Minh City said that from August 4 to August 15, around 266,062 support packages have been given to poor people. The committee planned to provide an additional 1,778,660 support packages from August 15 to September 12. Central agencies, members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, provinces and cities nationwide, and businesses have donated for support packages

In addition to support packages, free meals were delivered to destitute residents.

AFF Cup 2020 draw to take place in Singapore this month

The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has announced that the AFF Cup 2020 draw will be held in Singapore on September 21 after a delay in August.

August 10 was originally fixed for the draw ceremony in Singapore. However, the complicated development of the COVID-19 outbreak in the island state forced the AFF to postpone the event.

Singapore is currently easing social distancing measures, but the new variant of COVID-19 is on the rise in the state. Therefore the official draw ceremony is likely to be held virtually.

The AFF Cup 2020 will be held from December 5, 2021 to January 1, 2022 with the participation of 10 football teams from Southeast Asian nations.

The teams will be divided into two groups, and they are originally scheduled to play home and away matches.

However, Singapore recently submitted a proposal to the AFF to allow it to host AFF Cup matches in a neutral venue if the COVID-19 outbreak is completely kept in check.  

The AFF has yet to decide on how the tournament will be held. It may either choose two neutral venues for group matches or choose a state to play host to the matches.

Vietnam are currently AFF Cup defending champions.  

Science, technology application solution to develop ethnic-inhabited areas

Over the past time, the Vietnamese Party and State have set forth many priority guidelines and policies to ensure sustainable development in the mountainous and ethnic-inhabited regions, with a special emphasis on the role of science and technology.

As a result, many national programmes to this effect in those regions have brought about practical economic benefits.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Hoang Giang said that the Rural and Mountainous Region Programme for the 2016-2025 period has created a spotlight in the application of science and technology in production, thus bringing about substantive socio-economic efficiency for those areas. The programme has made an important contribution to the building of agriculture towards large commodity production, as well as the implementation of sustainable socio-economic development programmes of localities.

In order to develop the ethnic-inhabited areas, Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat stated that science and technology must be a solution to create a new breath of life into agro-forestry production.

The National Science and Technology Programme for 2016-2020 has achieved success, with many of its results promptly transferred, he added.

By the end of June, 51 national science and technology tasks under the programme had been implemented, with a total budget of 176 billion VND (7.7 million USD). In the 2016-2020 period only, the programme built 30 value chain-linked production models, 14 information technology application models, and 27 models of high-tech application in production; and made 1,106 transfers of new technologies to ethnic minority and mountainous areas in 34 provinces and cities, thus contributing to promoting socio-economic development there.

In July, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Government Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs signed a joint action programme for 2021-2030 in order to promote the transfer of technologies, especially new scientific and technological advances, that are suitable to the characteristics of the mountainous and ethnic-inhabited areas so as to serve sustainable socio-economic development and poverty reduction./.

Development of digital movies in new context

Recently, digital movies popularised on technology platforms have increased rapidly in number with greater diversity in topics and genres.

According to statistics from Cinematography Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, around twenty domestic digital films have been licensed for popularisation in the first half of 2021, including those attracting the public's attention before the fourth outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic such as “Khuc mua” (The rain) by Bui Tuan Dung, “Bo gia” (Dad! I'm Sorry) by Tran Thanh and Vu Ngoc Dang, and “Gai gia lam chieu V – Nhung cuoc doi vuong gia” (Camellia Sisters 5: Living Like Royalty) by Bao Nhan and Nam Cito.

It can be said that the appearance of digital movies in the context of the prolonged COVID-19 epidemic is a suitable development direction that has helped cinematic works reach the public, as many cinemas have had to close, while showing the common trend of integration and development in the film industry.

On digital platforms, most digital movies have attracted large audiences in both of fee and free-of-charge forms. However, this development also exposes many risks, including the control of the scope of dissemination and the protection of copyright.

Based on the statistics of the digital movie catalogue issued monthly by the Cinematographic Department, there were two noticeable issues: Vietnamese films classified as unpopular with audiences under the age of 16 and 18 accounting for a high rate; and the number of foreign digital movies being about three times higher than domestic films.

Specifically, there were sometimes no licensed domestic digital films, but only foreign ones. For example, 11 foreign digital movies from the US, France, Japan and Norway were popularised in May 2021.

In terms of content, domestic digital films aimed to intrigue audiences in genres of entertainment, action and horror. There are a few rare films that were released in cinemas, achieving high sales and being highly assessed for their good contents, with film “Khuc mua” on post-war topic by People’s Army Cinema. Meanwhile, other movies were of average quality and many others abused many details of violence, hot scenes and shocking situations. This was also the reason why the domestic digital films were noted as “not popular with audiences under the age of 16 and 18”.

On the other hand, most licensed foreign digital movies can be popular for all audiences, many of which are classified as unpopular with audiences under the age of 13. Thus, it can be seen that the increase in quantity is a good signal of change. However, the quality of each cinematographic work and the balance in terms of themes and genres are still challenges for the development of domestic digital movies. In addition, experts also warned that the process of distributing movies on digital platforms can lead to many risks in terms of controlling the scope, contents for popularisation, and copyright protection.

Currently, there are no strict mechanisms to control movies that are classified according to different age groups. While revenue from digital platforms is not high, digital movies have been facing a great challenge from piracy.

Many filmmaking units signed contracts of popularisation with specific partners, attached with many terms. However, within only a few hours following their broadcast, many films faced copyright infringement and were freely exploited. The digital movies are expected to continue to increase rapidly in number. Therefore, it is crucial to implement specific mechanisms and solutions to help them develop stronger and have higher quality.

HCMC faces trouble in finding shelter to decentralize residents
 
In order to reduce the spreading speed of Covid-19 in crowded areas, the Mass Mobilization Commission of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee is cooperating with the localities to relocate people currently living in rented rooms and slums to temporary shelters established inside schools, stadiums, motels. The task proves rather challenging due to a high demand for social security aspects.

The Wards of 15, 22, and 24 in Binh Thanh District at present are checking crowded neighborhoods and long alleys where densely packed housing units of weak build quality exist to move residents there, especially the senior over 65 years old or those with underlying medical problems, to motels and other temporary shelters. This is a part of the plan to relocate 2,000 citizens in rented rooms and slums for medical safety reason.

Until now, the district has moved more than 890 people in 16 out of 20 wards to Apartment Building 1050 and Thanh Da Union Motel. When coming here, these people first have a quick Covid-19 test. Those with a negative result are then vaccinated and offered a social security package each, along with VND500,000 per person (approx. US$22). Mobile foodstuff stores usually visit them to satisfy their food needs.

Following a similar plan, from the end of July 2021, District 7 evaluated and considered the pandemic spreading risk among rented rooms and slums, especially those in small alleys, rather high. Therefore, the localities decided to decrease the population density in these areas by 50 percent. To achieve this, each ward in the district has mobilized mini-hotels, landlords to temporarily donate available rooms to relocated residents.

Right now, the district is focusing on the group of senior people over 65 years old and overweight individuals. They are moved to 500 rooms in the dormitory of the People’s University of Police (PUP). Here they are given medical care and meals to ensure sufficient social security.

Many other districts in HCMC are also trying to relocate people in their area to reduce the population density. However, this task is not as easy as it seems. The first reason is many available locations have already been used as a field hospital or isolation site for F0 cases.

Chairman of District 8 People’s Committee Tran Thanh Tung confirmed this situation in his district. Thu Duc City is sharing the same fate when it has 58 Covid-19 treatment sites, all of which are temporarily changed from schools, new apartment buildings, and dormitories of Vietnam National University – HCMC as well as other universities.

As a result, even though Thu Duc City has 260,000 workers living in rented rooms, nothing can be done to provide more spacious accommodation for them. The good news is the city has been able to mobilize landlords with available rooms to let F1 cases of far contact with F0s in.

Understanding the space difficulties of neighboring districts, Can Gio District announced that it is ready to welcome people from other areas.

However, Deputy Head of the Mass Mobilization Commission of HCMC Party Committee Ngo Van Luan stated that it is not advisable to move people from one district to another since it might wreak a havoc to their daily life and pose more challenges in management tasks.

Head of the Mass Mobilization Commission of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Huu Hiep insisted that the relocation of people to reduce population density and Covid-19 spreading can only be done when the temporary shelters are better than their current home. In addition, he agreed with the viewpoint that moving people between districts might do more harm than good.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 12

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