Three arrested for facilitating illegal entry of patient No. 1440

Phan Phu Hung

Police in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on January 8 arrested three men to further investigate their role in the illegal entry of COVID-19 patient No. 1440.

The men, comprising 42-year-old Phan Phi Hung, 26-year-old Pham Thanh Hap, and 32-year-old Trang Van Ut, all from An Giang, had completed their quarantine and tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 twice.

According to preliminary investigation results, Hung set up links with people at home and abroad, including Hap and Ut, in an effort to bring home illegally a 33-year-old man, who was later defined as patient No. 1440, and eight others.

Truong Chi Tai and Le Van Dinh who took part in the ring are still in quarantine.

Four out of the nine illegal immigrants tested positive for the coronavirus – patients No. 1440, 1451, 1452 and 1453.

Earlier, the investigation agency under the provincial police decided to launch criminal proceedings against the case that took place in An Phu district, An Giang province on December 24./.

Vietnam reports three new imported COVID-19 cases on January 8

Vietnam recorded three new imported cases of COVID-19 during the past 24 hours to 6pm on January 8, all of them are Vietnamese citizens returning from abroad and being quarantined upon their arrival, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The new cases brought the national tally to 1,512, including 693 locally-transmitted cases.

The number of recovered patients reached 1,357 after four were given the all-clear on January 8, while fatalities remain at 35.

Among patients under treatment, 11 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, nine twice and eight thrice.

A total of 19,554 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-affected regions are staying in quarantine nationwide./.

Upgraded runway at Tan Son Nhat airport to be inaugurated on Jan. 10

The project to upgrade runway 25R has a total investment of more than 2 trillion VND (86 million USD

Tan Son Nhat International Airport’s runway 25R will be put into use again on January 10 after six months of closure for upgrading, according to the Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure under the Ministry of Transport.

The upgrading project, started on June 29, 2020, has a total investment of more than 2 trillion VND (86 million USD). The upgrade is carried out in two phases, with the first lasting six months.

In the second phase, the project will upgrade five existing taxiways and build new rapid exit taxiways, connecting taxiways and parallel taxiways besides a drainage system, taxiway lights and aviation signboards.

Tan Son Nhat, Vietnam’s largest airport, has been overloaded for many years and the resultant damage has been evident in visible cracks and deformation and subsidence of the asphalt surfaces.

Earlier on January 1, runway 1B of the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi was also put into operation after upgrading.

The two-phase project to repair the Noi Bai runway kicked start on June 29 with an estimated cost of about 2.03 trillion VND (over 88 million USD). The second phase is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2021./.

PM sets deadline for Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line

The PM has agreed to set the deadline for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro Line Project to March 31, the Metropolitan Railway Management Board under the Ministry of Transport announced. 

According to Nguyen Khanh Tung, vice head of the management board, the trial run has been successful and they are working with the state agencies, contractors and consultants and Hanoi Metro Company to carry out the review and transfer processes to Hanoi People's Committee.

He went on to say that because of Covid-19, the Chinese contractors and French consultants couldn't enter Vietnam quickly. Moreover, there were many problems with the contracts and adjusting the project following the conclusions of the State Audit.

"We have had prime ministerial approval and an official decision by the Ministry of Transport to adjust the project's deadline to March 31," he said.

On January 7, during the review meeting on 2020 and new tasks for 2021, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The asked the management board to take the highest responsibility for the project and focus all resources and energy to complete the project as soon as possible.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro Line Project went into a rest run from December 12 to 31, 2020. The whole system is managed and operated from the OCC Operations Centre in Ha Dong.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong said major contents had been agreed by all sides and problems arose during the test run were all dealt with quickly.

"By January 15, reports about the project's technical and operational safety assessments will be completed. The reports will be reviewed and analysed. Only when the line is confirmed safe by responsible agencies that it will be put into operation," Dong said.

Art performance to be held for charity

An art performance Spring for Children will take place on January 10 in Hà Nội to raise funds for poor children.

The programme held at the Hà Nội Opera House will be broadcast live on VTV2 from 8pm, featuring famous singers and troupes.

The programme will tell audiences stories of children with heart disease, those suffering from the consequences of floods in the central region and poor ethnic minority children. Meritorious Artist Xuân Bắc will narrate the stories.

Hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the National Fund for Vietnamese Children, this is the 14th edition of the event.

The event is expected to receive about VNĐ100 billion (US$4.3 million) from philanthropists, according to Hoàng Văn Tiến, director of the National Fund for Vietnamese Children,

Over the years, the programme has raised VNĐ1.2 trillion ($52 million) to support 1 million children through scholarships, clean water projects, free operations and building schools.

The organisers will present certificates of merit to individuals and units with excellent contributions to protecting and caring for children in 2020 and introduce new projects for children in 2021.

Vice President Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh will attend the event, calling on people to join hands to care for, protect and educate Vietnamese children.

Localities tighten supervision of people arriving from abroad

Hanoi’s localities must tighten supervision of people arriving from abroad and fix loopholes in regulations at quarantine facilities, in a bid to prevent community transmissions of COVID-19 at all costs, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung has said.

Dung made the order during a virtual meeting of the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control held on January 7.

Hanoi so far has logged a total of 198 infections, including 77 cases since July 25, and zero deaths, according to Deputy Director of Hanoi Department of Health Hoang Duc Hanh.

The capital has gone through 143 days without locally transmitted cases, he added.

Eight new infections reported in the past week were all among people returning from abroad who had been quarantined upon arrival. The patients are receiving treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Relevant agencies were urged to review procedures related to concentrated quarantine, as all citizens returning from abroad must stay in quarantine for two weeks and test negative with COVID-19 twice before leaving the facilities.

The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap also vowed to tighten management of the border to prevent illegal entries.

At a working session between the provincial authorities, the provincial border guard high command and other organisation on January 7, it was reported that between March 2020 and January 6, 2021, more than 1,100 people were sent to concentrated quarantine facilities of the province, including 373 illegal migrants. Four cases were transferred to competent agencies for legal actions.

The border guard force also worked with Cambodian authorities to launch joint actions to curb the spread of the pandemic and crime activities.

The provincial leaders asked the border guard force to maintain sufficient personnel at border posts, and bolster patrol at trails and border crossings along with information sharing with the Cambodian side./.

Workshop talks Mekong Delta’s sustainable development

Sea water threats the Tay Vam Ray dike in Kien Giang province

A workshop on the Mekong Delta’s sustainable development in keeping with climate change adaptation was held in Hanoi on January 7.

It was jointly held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment together with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam, the World Bank and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF).

It was part of events held in various countries in response to the virtual Climate Adaptation Summit slated for January 25 hosted by the Netherlands, which is to launch a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda with clear commitments to global efforts for climate adaptation with a vision to 2030.

Efforts in climate change adaptation by the Vietnamese Government were discussed at the workshop, as well as challenges and support for the Mekong Delta in the coming time.

In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Cong Thanh called on ministries, sectors, localities and international organisations to bolster cooperation in climate change adaptation and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta, dubbed Vietnam’s “rice bowl”.

Close to 39 percent of the Delta’s land areas will be submerged and 10 percent of its population affected in case the sea level rises by 1 metre, threatening food security of the country and the world, he noted.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has joined hands with relevant agencies to develop a master plan for the Mekong Delta for 2021-30, with a vision to 2050 in a holistic approach, in an endeavour to capitalise on the region’s potential and strengths amid globalisation and international economic integration.

For her part, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman said as both the Netherlands and Vietnam are among countries hardest-hit by climate change, the two Governments will continue to collaborate and devise suitable solutions to climate change for the Mekong Delta and Vietnam at large, she added.

The WB's representative also pledged to continue working with Vietnam for a clean environment./.

13th National Party Congress: greetings from political parties in Latin America

Many political parties in Latin America have sent congratulatory letters to the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and Vietnamese people ahead of the CPV’s 13th National Congress slated for January 25 to February 2.

In its message, the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) lauded the CPV’s efforts to prepare for the congress, especially in the context of the serious impacts brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

The PCB showed its hope that during its 13th Congress, the CPV will outline national development orientations to gain greater achievements in the socialism building process. It also affirmed its commitment to boosting friendship and solidarity between the two Parties and peoples.

The Communist Party of Argentina (PCA) said in its greeting letter that the targets the CPV set forth for the 13th Congress demonstrate the Vietnamese Revolution’s success over the past decades of nation building and safeguarding.

The PCA emphasized that the achievements gained by Vietnam in the over 30-year renewal process would be a foundation for the country to work on development plans for the next five years, towards the celebration of the 100th founding anniversary of the CPV (2030) and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam) (2045).

Meanwhile, the Solidarity Party of Argentina (PSOL) stressed the significance of the 13th Congress for Vietnam’s development in the coming years, amidst complicated and unpredictable developments in the international situation.

The Communist Party of Uruguay (PCU) lauded the sound leadership of the CPV during Vietnam’s past struggle for national liberation as well as the current national building and safeguarding cause.

It affirmed that under the leadership of the CPV, the Vietnamese people are the role model for the world in terms of organisation and discipline in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The party expressed its belief that the 13th Congress will be a premise for Vietnam to further promote economic development and improve its people’s living conditions./.

Seven more Special National Monuments recognized

President Ho Chi Minh Relic Site in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue

The Prime Minister has decided to recognize seven relic sites as Special National Monuments. 

1. President Ho Chi Minh Relic Site in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.  

2. An Toan Khu II (Safe Zone II) Relic Site in Hiep Hoa, the northern province of Bac Giang. 

3. Cai Chanh historical relic site in the southern province of Bac Lieu.

4. An Xa Temple in Tien Lu, the northern province of Hung Yen.

5. Ha Hiep communal house in Phuc Tho District, the capital city of Ha Noi.

6. Nguyen Xi Mausoleum and Temple in Nghi Loc, the central province of Nghe An.

7. Ganh Da Dia, also known as the Reef of Plates, in the central coastal province of Phu Yen

As many as 119 Special National Monuments have been recognized by the Prime Minister so far. 

Binh Thuan lauds contributions by local religious followers, ethnic people

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee of central Binh Thuan province and the provincial Military Command held a gathering with local religious dignitaries and exemplars of ethnic groups on January 6.

Informing participants about the 2020 socio-economic situation, officials said the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged drought greatly impacted local economic sectors.

However, they noted, thanks to efforts by authorities, businesses, and people, the economy of Binh Thuan still grew, with the GRDP up 4.54 percent, per capita GDRP hitting 2,865 USD (up 123 USD from 2019), and labour productivity reaching 116.1 million VND (5,000 USD) per person (up 5.2 percent).

The province has managed to meet the twin targets of promoting socio-economic development and effectively fighting against COVID-19.

In 2020, all-level VFF committees in Binh Thuan mobilised more than 6 billion VND and a large volume of essential goods to support frontline forces and localities in the pandemic combat. They also launched a fundraising campaign to call for aid, over 12 billion VND, for flood-hit central provinces, officials added.

Chairwoman of the provincial VFF Committee Bo Thi Xuan Linh appreciated substantial contributions by local religious dignitaries and ethnic groups’ exemplars to the achievements, noting that they have actively worked with all-level VFF committees to encourage locals to take part in administration building, comply with the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws, and enhance the great national unity.

At the gathering, religious dignitaries and representatives of ethnic groups shared their communities’ aspirations. They expressed their hope that authorities will continue creating conditions to facilitate the development of local religious and ethnic groups./.

Regional Outlook Forum discusses Southeast Asia’s post-pandemic future

The Regional Outlook Forum 2021 is being held via video conference on January 6-7 by the Singapore-based ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

This is the first time the annual event held online, attracting the participation of hundreds of experts, scholars and reporters from countries in the Southeast Asian region and the world.

In his opening remarks, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Director Choi Shing Kwok said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused difficulties, changes, and uncertainties to all people.

Themed “Power, Policy and Politics in a Post-COVID World,” the forum examined key dynamics at the regional and national levels, informed by two far- reaching global events – the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcome of the 2020 US Presidential Election.

Participants are also expected to discuss the new normal outlook in the US-China relations after the election, as well as its impact on the Southeast Asian region, and analyze political and economic development trends in the five ASEAN countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia./.

At least 15,000 Filipinos to join WHO-led COVID-19 vaccine trial

At least 15,000 Filipinos are expected to participate in the World Health Organisation-led coronavirus vaccine trial that will likely kick off this month, a Philippine government official said on January 6.

The Philippines and Colombia will be the first two countries to take part in the vaccine trial. Participants will come from Metro Manila, the capital region and the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines.

The trial aims to determine the safety and efficacy of the candidate vaccine.

The Philippine Government is now "in the advance stages" of negotiations with at least seven vaccine makers, including Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech, Novavax, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson of the US, and Russian medical research institute Gamaleya to buy vaccines.

According to the latest statistics, Philippines now records over 480,000 infection cases, including more than 9,300 deaths./.

HCM City to host Japan Film Week 2021


A Japan Film Week 2021 will kick off in Ho Chi Minh City on January 16 to promote Japanese cinema to Vietnamese audiences.

This will be the third event of this kind held in Ho Chi Minh City following those organized in 2013 and 2014.

Hosted by the Department of Japanese Cultures, the week-long festival will feature 15 works, including feature films, cartoons and classic movies, which won many film awards./.

Ly Son attaches QR codes to series of tourist attractions

The management board of the Ly Son-Sa Huynh Geo-Park and the Ly Son district People's Committee have applied QR codes to 28 tourist attractions throughout Ly Son island in Quang Ngai province.

The main content encoded within the QR codes are the names of historical relics, along with a helpful travel guide for visitors to use. This added feature will allow guests to use their smartphones to scan the QR code in order to receive full information about cultural and historical relics, landscapes, tourist attractions, and specialties when visiting one of the sites.

Furthermore, the scanning spots will provide information in both Vietnamese and English. Truong Dinh Thuan, deputy director of the Department of Culture and Information of Ly Son district, said that the attachment of the QR codes is expected to create favourable conditions for tourists, allowing them to travel the region with ease.

The launch of the QR codes at various sites on Ly Son island being done for the purpose of promoting smart travel and bringing fresh experiences to visitors. Indeed, these locations are situated within the geological and cultural heritage system of the Ly Son - Sa Huynh Geopark.

Bạc Liêu should focus on hi-tech shrimp farming: deputy minister

The southern province of Bạc Liêu should focus on super intensive, high-tech shrimp farming to become the nation’s shrimp hub, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến has said.

Speaking at an investment conference this week in the capital, Bạc Liêu City, he said the province should focus on improving its business environment and establishing close links with the rest of the Mekong Delta, especially with neighbouring provinces like Cà Mau, Kiên Giang and Sóc Trăng, and with HCM City for both production and selling.

It should apply the climate change model to shrimp farming to take advantage of the weather and market demand, he said.

“To achieve the goal, the province must sustain clean production with high-quality products and new technologies.”

He called on local authorities to improve infrastructure and logistics to enable shrimp farming and processing.

They should focus on developing human resources and addressing long-term weaknesses like lack of transparency and support for enterprises and dynamism, he added.

Bạc Liêu is strongly impacted by climate change and rising sea levels and soon needs solutions to ensure economic development and social welfare.


Aquaculture in the province, particularly high-tech shrimp farming, has developed well in recent years because of investments in various farming models, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province has 13 companies that have invested in high-tech shrimp farming models such as intensive farming to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards and super-intensive shrimp farming.  

Other models like breeding shrimp in the dry season and growing rice in the rainy season in the same rice field and the breeding of shrimp in mangrove forests have proven efficient and helped protect the environment.

The province’s fisheries output in the first seven months of this year was 403,000 tonnes, including 203,000 tonnes of shrimp, which exceeded its target, according to its People’s Committee.

Bạc Liêu has 131,000ha of aquaculture ponds, including more than 123,000ha of shrimp farms.

With a coastline of 56km, it also has brackish water suited for breeding aquatic species, but suffers from the impacts of climate change, rising sea levels and disease outbreaks, according to the People’s Committee.

Tiến said his ministry would help create a better business environment for investors coming to Bạc Liêu.

It would also support Bạc Liêu with research and techniques for treating waste created from farming shrimp using super-intensive, intensive and semi-intensive farming models to reduce pollution, he said.

He said Bạc Liêu should focus on resolving the problems faced by Việt Úc Group and enable it to soon open the Bạc Liêu Agricultural High-tech Application to develop a shrimp centre and a shrimp farm, forming a closed loop between shrimp seed and export.

The goal of building it is to attract investment from all quarters in hi-tech shrimp farming, and thus help supply the shrimp industry with products offering high productivity, quality and efficiency and added value.

It would be a basis for replication in other high-tech farming areas in the province and elsewhere in the country, contributing to achieving the country’s shrimp export target of US$10 billion by 2025. 

101st birthday of Hoa Hao founder marked in An Giang

The Central Executive Board of the Hoa Hao Buddhist Sangha held a ceremony in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on January 7 to mark the 101st birthday of the founder of Hoa Hao Buddhism, Huynh Phu So.

Vice President of the provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee Truong Hoang Trong hailed the Hoa Hao Buddhist Sangha for standing united and staying side-by-side with the nation.

Through five congresses, Hoa Hao Buddhist followers have actively responded to the national target programme on building new-style rural areas and civilised urban areas as well as spread charity models, contributing to local socio-economic development.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the organising board prepared body screeners, hand sanitiser, and thousands of masks to participants.

There are more than 2 million Hoa Hao Buddhist followers in Vietnam at present, with An Giang being home to the largest number./.

Tet goods hit the shelves in Da Nang

Production and retail businesses in central Da Nang city are now in a position to sell Tet goods to customers. The diverse and plentiful offerings, some of which include attractive promotional programmes, have also hit the shelves of supermarkets and shopping malls.

At the Coop.Mart in Da Nang, a range of goods for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday are now on display. Thousands of Tet products, mostly foodstuffs and special goods with attractive promotions, have hit the shelves.

Thirteen businesses and retailers in Da Nang have spent nearly 550 billion VND on Tet products. Due to the influence of COVID-19, this year’s products mainly focus on essential and affordable goods such as confectionery, jam, and pork, with fewer luxury goods such as beer, wine, and high-grade processed foods.

Tet products are also flooding into the city’s four big markets. It is forecast, however, that purchasing power this year will be lower than last year. Retailers will therefore not stock as many products as usual.

Local authorities are enhancing supervision to ensure an abundant supply of Tet goods for local citizens.

COVID-19: Thailand plans free vaccine injections for half of population this year

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has recently reiterated that half of the country's population will get free COVID-19 vaccinations this year.

Local media reported that as Thailand prepares to launch the first COVID-19 vaccinations next month, the PM announced on his Facebook page a long-term plan to ensure Thais will have access to affordable and locally made vaccines.

He said the country will receive the first 200,000 doses of vaccine, made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, in February, and they have been reserved for frontline medical staff and elderly people at high risk.

The first lot is a part of two million doses which the government ordered from Sinovac. Another 800,000 and one million doses will arrive later in March and April.

Previously, the Thai Government pre-ordered 26 million doses from AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish company, and recently sought another 35 million doses.

Prayut assured the authority and public health sector has prepared for local COVID-19 vaccine research and production.

He said local pharmaceutical manufacturer, Siam Bioscience, received a concession from Oxford University/AstraZeneca to produce the vaccines. It plans to produce 200 million doses annually.

Medical institutes at the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, also planned to produce their own vaccine formula, the PM added.

On January 7, Thailand recorded 305 new COVID-19 cases and one related death, raising the infection tally to 9,636 with 67 fatalities./.

Pandemic prevention tactics remain unchanged despite new COVID-19 variants

Vietnam will not change its current tactics in pandemic control amid the detection of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus, the standing board of the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said, asking relevant forces to continue keeping a close watch on the situation, and maintain strong guard against outside threats while intensifying preventive measures in the country.

The board reached agreement on the response at its meeting on January 7.

In order to prevent the pandemic from entering the country from the outside, along with efforts of the border guard and security forces, the committee requested local administrations to enhance their monitoring of the situation in their localities.

It also requested the strict implementation of the Prime Minister’s instruction regarding inbound flights from other countries.

Accordingly, inbound flights from countries and territories where the new variants of the coronavirus are causing complicated developments will be suspended, so as to ensure safety inside the country.

The military, medical, transport, and diplomatic sectors should review the capacity of quarantine facilities, with a view to gradually responding to the wish to return home of Vietnamese citizens abroad.

Regarding special cases when patients tested positives after more than 14 days since arrival and multiple test, it is necessary to re-evaluate quarantine regulations to minimize the risks of infection inside quarantine facilities, said Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the committee.

He asked the Ministry of Health to coordinate with relevant forces to strengthen the management of people quarantined in hotels, while intensifying the update of information on its systems to make sure that all Vietnamese returnees are monitored since they register for flights to the time they are placed in quarantine after arriving./.

Vietnam Airlines adjusts schedules of flights from/to Vinh city

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced that it will adjust the schedule of flights from and to Vinh city in the central province of Nghe An due to bad weather conditions.

The airlines will cancel flights VN1690/VN1691 between Buon Ma Thuot city in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and Vinh city on January 7, along with flights VN1530/VN1531 between Cam Ranh in the south central province of Khanh Hoa and Vinh the same day.

Flights VN1717/VN1718 between Hanoi and Vinh on January 7 will be postponed to after 6pm the same day, while flights VN1260/VN1261, VN1262/VN1263, VN1264/VN1265, VN1266/VN1267 between Ho Chi Minh City and Vinh will take off after 6:35pm on January 7.

Vietnam Airlines advised passengers planning to travel from and to Vinh city to regularly updating the weather conditions and notifications from the carrier via website, Facebook account at, or its hotline at 1900 1100./.

Thue Thien-Hue: Campaign to plant 2,500 trees in Phong Dien Nature Reserve underway

A new environmental campaign was launched on January 7 to plant 2,500 indigenous trees on five hectares of land at the Phong Dien Nature Reserve in Phong Dien district, central Thua Thien-Hue province.

The “Hanh Trinh Viet Nam Xanh” (Vietnam Green Journey) campaign was kicked off by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Bao Viet Life Insurance.

Phong Dien Nature Reserve lies within the Central Truong Son Ecoregion, which has been named among the world’s most important ecoregions as it is home to many endangered and endemic flora and fauna.

The campaign is significant for afforestation and biodiversity conservation, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh said, adding that it is in response to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s call to plant 1 billion trees around Vietnam in 2021-2025.

Through the campaign, Bao Viet Life Insurance hopes to lend a hand in protecting people’s lives from natural disasters and lay seeds for the future, Director General Pham Ngoc Son said./.

Get-together celebrates joint Vietnam-Cambodia victory over Pol Pot

Participants pose for a group photo at the event

Ho Chi Minh City’s Union of Friendship Organisations and the Cambodian Consulate General in the city held a get-together on January 7 to mark 42 years since the victory in the Southwestern border defence war and the joint victory on January 7, 1979 of Vietnam and Cambodia over the genocidal Pol Pot regime.

Cambodian Consul General Sok Dareth expressed his profound gratitude for the support from the Vietnamese Party and Government as well as Vietnamese voluntary experts and soldiers for helping Cambodia escape from the genocidal regime.

He quoted Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen as saying that thanks to Vietnam, Cambodia could build up its armed forces and liberate the people and the country has the best friend that is Vietnam.

Cambodia and Vietnam have stood shoulder-to-shoulder, supporting each other at regional and international forums and cooperating in developing their economies.

In 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19, the bilateral comprehensive cooperation saw outstanding achievements. Of particular note, the two countries recently exchanged documents ratifying two legal documents recognising the outcomes of land border demarcation and marker planting, thus helping raise bilateral ties to a new height, said Sok Dareth.

Truong Minh Nhut, President of the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association of HCM City, said that January 7, 1979 was the manifestation of pure international solidarity and the special friendship between the Vietnamese and Cambodian peoples.

Nurtured by their sweat and blood, the friendship is being consolidated in all political, economic, and socio-cultural aspects, for peace, stability, and prosperity in the two countries, he added./.

Mass mobilisation head pays pre-Tet visit to Lam Dong

A delegation led by Truong Thi Mai, Politburo member and head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation, paid a visit to children, policy beneficiary families, and poor and disadvantaged ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on January 7, on the threshold of the Lunar New Year (Tet).

Some 210 gift sets worth 1 million VND (43 USD) each were presented to beneficiary families and people in Don Duong district who rendered service to the nation.

The Party official expressed her wish that local people can overcome difficulties, stabilise their lives, and enjoy a happy Tet holiday.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Lac Duong district and a provincial welfare centre on January 8./.

Vietnam Fatherland Front to spend 14 billion VND on Tet gifts to the needy

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) plans to offer over 12,000 packages of Tet (Lunar New Year) gifts to poor households and welfare facilities at a total cost of over 14 billion VND (606,519 USD), according to Vice President of the VFF Central Committee Truong Thi Ngoc Anh.

At an online conference of the committee on January 7, Anh asked localities nationwide give special attention to needy and social policy beneficiary families in areas hit by natural disasters and COVID-19 pandemic, as well as poor households from border, island and remote areas when distributing Tet gifts.

VFF Central Committee President Tran Thanh Man said that along with efforts in preventing the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic during the Tet holidays, it is necessary to ensure that the poor and policy beneficiary enjoy a warm festival.

The Prime Minister has recently submitted a proposal to the State President on presenting gifts to people who made contributions to the revolution on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) with a total value of nearly 518 billion VND (over 22.4 million USD).

Indonesia's police arrest six suspected drug traffickers

Indonesia's Aceh provincial police have arrested six persons suspected of smuggling 61 kg of crystal methamphetamine by sea, a police officer said on January 6.

The police also confiscated a revolver with five bullets, two cars, a motorboat, cell phones, satellite phones, and GPS equipment, said Aceh provincial police's Chief Inspector General Wahyu Widada.

Widada explained that the operation began based on information from people about the smuggling of the illicit goods by an international network on January 1.

Based on the information, officers stopped a minibus in front of the Lhoksukon bus terminal in North Aceh district, arrested five suspects and confiscated 15 kg of crystal methamphetamine.

Police also captured another suspect in East Aceh district with 46 kg of crystal methamphetamine as evidence./.

UNFPA helps better reproductive healthcare in Vietnam

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam on January 7 handed over 64 Doppler foetal monitors and personal protective equipment worth 300,000 USD to help Vietnam ensure the continuity and quality of sexual and reproductive healthcare services in flood-affected provinces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the handover ceremony, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam Naomi Kitahara said she appreciated the Vietnamese Government’s disease prevention and control efforts, as the country has to date reported 1,505 infections, including 35 fatalities, since the first cases were confirmed nearly a year ago.

She noted that the pandemic is developing in a complex manner around the globe and in Vietnam, with pregnant women, new-borns, and young children being the most vulnerable.

Due to anxiety about COVID-19 infection at medical clinics, many women have postponed or cancelled pre-natal check-ups and related tests, she warned.

Phan Le Thu Hang, deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Planning and Finance Department, said the ministry appreciates the UNFPA’s assistance, affirming that protecting the health of all people, particularly pregnant women in ethnic minority-inhabited areas and disaster-affected areas, is the priority of the Vietnamese Government./.

Red Sunday blood donation campaign to collect 50,000 blood units

Miss Việt Nam 2020 Do Thi Ha presents gifts to blood patients at the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusions.

Organisers expect to collect 50,000 blood units in the Chủ Nhật Đỏ 2021 (Red Sunday), a blood donation campaign that will be kicked off officially at the Hà Nội University of Science and Technology in Hà Nội on January 17.

Organised by Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, the National Steering Committee on Traffic Safety and the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusions (NIHBT), the annual event aims to handle the shortage of blood for emergency and treatment during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.  

Lê Xuân Sơn, Tiền Phong newspaper editor in chief and head of the campaign organising committee, said the Red Sunday campaign has become a national scale event with profound human significance, aiming to overcome blood shortages during the Lunar New Year period.

“The event also aimed to call on organisations, State or private enterprises and a large number of people of different ages, regions, ethnic groups and professions to donate blood for the lives of patients who need blood transfusions.”

“We expect to receive 50,000 blood units from 80 blood donation festivals as part of the Red Sunday 2021 campaign that will be organised in 43 provinces and cites nationwide from late December 2020 to March. As of January 6, the programme has collected nearly 11,272 blood units at 16 blood donation festivals,” said Tiền Phong newspaper editor in chief Lê Xuân Sơn at a press conference on Thursday.

Sơn added that the Red Sunday 2020 campaign received nearly 47,000 blood units. The COVID-19 pandemic occurred after Lunar New Year holiday so many provinces and cities were unable to organise the blood donation festivals as planned.

According to Dr. Bạch Quốc Khánh, Director of the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, the pressure to receive and supply blood before, during and after Tết is always a constant concern for blood transfusion facilities; especially for blood products like platelets that can only be stored for three to five days.

“From the success of "Red Sunday" over the past few years, we call on organistions and communities not only to actively donate blood at this time, but if eligible, to donate platelets to ensure blood and other blood products for patients,” said Khánh.

Khánh said that the institute provided blood and blood products to 180 hospitals in 28 provinces and cities in the North. During Tết, the institute needs at least 50,000-55,000 units of blood, of which 36,000-41,000 units of blood in January and about 16,000-18,000 units in February.

"Every drop of blood for us is a drop of life. Many sick people live mainly on the blood donated by the donor community. The lives of me and thousands of other sick people depend greatly on the hearts of donors who silently donated blood and platelets. I hope Red Sunday will bring meaningful drops of life to the community for our sick people,” said Nguyễn Trọng Hùng, 36, a blood cancer patient from central Nghệ An Province.

HCMC’s Phuoc Loc bridge put into use after eight years of construction

Vehicles travel on Phuoc Loc Bridge in HCMC’s Nha Be District, which was put into use on January 7 – PHOTO: TNO

Phuoc Loc Bridge connecting Phuoc Kien and Phuoc Loc communes in HCMC’s outlying district of Nha Be was opened to traffic today, January 7, after eight long years of construction.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, HCMC Vice Chairman Le Hoa Binh said that the bridge was expected to contribute to developing waterway transport and tourism in the district and the city as a whole.

In the coming time, the city will carry out a number of projects to upgrade traffic infrastructure, said Binh, adding that in the next five years, eight bridges would be built, helping improve the city’s road and waterway traffic systems.

Nguyen Vinh Ninh, deputy director of the HCMC Management Board of Investment and Construction of Traffic Projects, the investor of the project, said the Phuoc Loc bridge, which is 386 meters long and 10 meters wide with two lanes, is one of the city’s key traffic projects that will help improve traffic infrastructure in Nha Be District and the south of the city.

Work on the bridge with a total investment of VND405 billion started in June 2012, but was suspended a year later due to obstacles over site clearance.

The cleared site was handed over to the investor of the project in 2019 so that work could continue, the local media reported.

Seminar shares Japan’s experience, new policies in e-Government

The Vietnamese Government Office and the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam on January 8 co-hosted an online seminar entitled “Sharing Experience and New Policies of Japan to Promote e-Government, towards Digital Government” in Hanoi.

The event, chaired by Minister, Chairman of the Vietnamese Government Office Mai Tien Dung and Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Takio Yamada, virtually brought together experts from Japan and 23 cities and provinces in Vietnam.

Addressing the seminar, Dung said it is the third event of this kind and forms part of Japan’s activities to support Vietnam in building e-Government. He said in the context of social distancing measures put in place to stem the spread of the COVID-19, the use of information technology (IT), artificial intelligence (AI), and digital technologies is crucial to sustaining a normal functioning of the Vietnamese economy.

Vietnam has developed and operated a number of the e-Government’s key information and database systems which have not only promoted a new way of working at governmental units but also facilitated the delivery of online public services to businesses and people, he said.

These systems have allowed society to save up to about 9.8 trillion VND, or 426 million USD, in expenditure annually, the minister unveiled.

He further said that such success would not be possible without the help of the Government of Japan through the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, Japan’s Cabinet Office and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The e-Government development must ensure a close connection between IT application, public administrative reforms and improvement in transparency and publicity, he noted, adding that the satisfaction of people and businesses is among key factors to measure the e-Government building.

Ambassador Yamada, for his part, highlighted the significance of e-Government and digital Government at the time of COVID-19, saying the use of digital technologies at many administrative bodies in Vietnam enables the delivery of a variety of online public services with added values and no direct contact.

He said he is impressed by the Government of Vietnam’s proactive response to the pandemic with the quick rollout of a contact-tracing app NCOVI.

E-Government is also one of the top priorities of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the diplomat stated, adding that the Japanese government will continue adopting more cooperation programmes to assist Vietnam’s reforms in the coming time.

During the seminar, specialists from Japan discussed Suga’s new policies in developing digital Government and shared experience in digitalizing public services as well as formulating policies for the application of AI./.



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