VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2

 Vietnam enters 61st day without community transmissions of COVID-19

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2

Vietnam has recorded no new COVID-19 infections in the community for 61 consecutive days as of 6am on November 2, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The country has confirmed 1,180 SARS-CoV-2 infections so far. Of the total, 691 were locally-transmitted cases, including 551 linked with Da Nang since the latest coronavirus wave hit the central city on July 25.

As many as 1,063 patients have recovered. Thirty five died from complications related to the disease. Most of the fatalities were the elderly with serious underlying health conditions.

Among the patients still under treatment, six have tested negative for the virus once, four twice and seven thrice. There is no COVID-19 patient in critical conditions at present.

There are 14,775 people who had close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present, including 174 in hospitals, 13,327 in other quarantine sites, and 1,274 at home.

As the COVID-19 pandemic can return at any time, the Ministry of Health recommended people to wear face masks in crowded places, wash hands with soap or hand sanitiser regularly, avoid large gatherings, keep distance from each other and make health declarations.

To date, COVID-19 infections exceeded 46 million worldwide, and the number of people who died from the coronavirus passed 1.2 million./.

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2

Legislators to discuss socio-economic development issues, revised drug prevention law

Socio-economic development issues and a draft amended Law on Drug Prevention and Control will be high on agenda at the 10th session of the 14th-tenure National Assembly on November 2.

In the morning, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong and Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Phan Xuan Dung will deliver a proposal and verification report, respectively, on shifting forest land for other purposes to build Than river reservoir in Ninh Thuan province and Mong village reservoir in Nghe An province.

Legislators will discuss in groups the outcomes of the implementation of socio-economic development and state budget plans in 2020, socio-economic development plan and budget estimate and allocation in 2021, several tasks and solutions for socio-economic development during 2021-2025, the national target programmes on new-style rural development and sustainable poverty reduction during 2021-2025, medium-term public investment plans for the period, and replacing land for the construction of reservoirs in the two provinces.

The deputies will spend the whole afternoon debating the amended Law on Drug Prevention and Control.

They will give opinions on the amended contents, which include state budget to ensure the construction of drug detoxification facilities, organisation of compulsory detoxification, and financial support for addicts who voluntarily register for a detoxification programme.

The amended law also encourages the establishment of private detoxification centres as well as preferential policies for individuals and organisations who invest in the facilities.

Rescuers race against time to find landslide victims in Quang Nam

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2
The rescuers, mainly officers and soldiers of Military Zone 5, are racing against time in the operations before the 10th storm makes landfall in Vietnam.

After three days of combing through the wreckage of the landslide in Tra Leng commune in central Quang Nam province's Nam Tra My district, rescuers have recovered the bodies of eight victims out of 24 people reported missing in the incident.

The rescuers, mainly officers and soldiers of Military Zone 5, are racing against time in the operations before the 10th storm makes landfall in Vietnam.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Nam Tra My district Tran Tri Dung said the rescuers have been deployed to different directions to find the victims.

Lieut. Gen. Thai Dai Ngoc, Commander of Military Zone 5, traveled to the landslide site in Tra Leng to instruct the search and rescue operations. He asked the forces to take advantage of favourable weather conditions to complete the work.

The 10th storm is forecast to slam into Vietnam in the next few days, hampering search and rescue efforts.

On November 1, flood-hit residents in Phuoc Loc commune, Phuoc Son district, also of Quang Nam province, received food and necessities dropped from a helicopter of Air Force Division 372.

Residents in Phuoc Thanh commune, Phuoc Son district, also got food carried by more than 300 people from Phuoc Kim commune.

Landslides have disrupted roads and left about 3,000 residents in Phuoc Loc and Phuoc Thanh communes isolated since October 28.

The transportation of food to the two communes is going on./.

PM calls for redoubling of efforts to compensate disaster losses

The settlement of the consequences of the recent storms and flooding in the central region was high on the agenda at the Government’s monthly meeting on October 30, during which Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc demanded that efforts to compensate local residents for their losses be redoubled.

PM Phuc said storms and floods are common in October, but consecutive storms and floods this year caused huge losses of life and property, with 230 people having died, including cadres and officers of the armed forces while performing their duties, while many civilians are still missing at sea or in landslides.

He said the Government has taken various drastic measures to save people, evacuate residents, and minimise damage, particularly in the face of Storm Molave, which hit central Vietnam on October 28.

More than 1.3 million people were moved to safer places in anticipation of Storm Molave.

PM Phuc asked all-level authorities, sectors, and localities continue with search and rescue efforts, deal with the aftermath of the storms and flooding, pay due regard to the prevention of disease, including COVID-19, and return life to normal as soon as possible./.

At least 10 killed, 390,000 displaced as Typhoon Goni hits Philippines

At least 10 people were killed and three others went missing in the Philippines when Typhoon Goni, the strongest storm so far this year, hit Luzon island’s southern part on November 1, according to the country’s Office of Civil Defence (OCD).

An OCD report said that at least nine died in Albay province and one in Catanduanes island province, while three other people in Guinobatan town in Albay province were reported missing.

Typhoon Goni has also forced the displacement of over 390,000 people, of whom more than 345,000 are staying in the government’s evacuation centres.

Typhoons and tropical storms regularly hit the Philippines from June through December, claiming hundreds of lives and cause billions of dollars in damage.

Located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” the Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world, including active volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, and an average of 20 typhoons a year causing floods and landslides./.

Hanoi metro’s safety evaluation expected to be completed in December

Hanoi's authorities are requested to spend more time handling the remaining issues, especially, the safety of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway.

The Ministry of Transport will strive to complete safety evaluation and hand over to Hanoi’s authorities the Cat Linh-Ha Dong route urban railway project, the first of its kind in the city, by late December, Kinh Te & Do Thi quoted Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The as saying at a governmental meeting on October 28.

The minister said around ten French experts in charge of the safety assessment of Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project would tentatively arrive in Hanoi by mid-November.

Meanwhile, China Railway Sixth Group, the EPC contractor, will try to complete the conditional acceptance for the metro line and the Ministry of Transport will make every effort to put the project into commercial operation before the National Party Congress begins, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2021, Mr. The said.

He added that the Chinese contractor has imported 99% of equipment needed for the project, and their installation is now 97% complete. However, the contractor has not provided all safety certificates for equipment installed and the consortium tasked with safety evaluation has not been able to complete the job.

The Ministry of Transport has proposed that the consortium, comprised of French firms Apave, Certifier and Tricc, grant the project a temporary safety certificate so it can start commercial operations soon.

Apave-Certifier-Tricc said earlier this month that a complete evaluation could take another six months, which means the line will not become operational until next year, even though Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has set a year-end deadline.

PM Phuc suggested that ministries and Hanoi city must spend more time handling the remaining issues, especially, the safety of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway, which is a political task that the investor and Hanoi city must attach special importance to.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, have stalled it for years.

The line eventually entered the testing phase in March with all 13 cars carrying out trial runs on both lines. The ministry wanted commercial operations to begin at the end of April, but this deadline too was missed.

Project costs have more than doubled from the original VND8.8 trillion (US$378 million) to VND18 trillion (US$774 million), according to state auditors.

The line now has 1 percent work remaining, mainly exterior finishing. When complete, the country’s first metro line will run 13 kilometers from Cat Linh station in downtown Dong Da district to Yen Nghia station in southwest Ha Dong district.

HCMC approves project on public transportation and personal vehicles

The People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday approved an infrastructure project which seeks to boost public transportation and limit personal vehicles. 

The project will seek solutions to develop the public transport systems with focus on railway and quick bus fleets and implement new solutions to limit the use of personal vehicles within the city.

After the city has ensured to provide enough public transportation to residents, it will control personal vehicles basing on residents’ agreement. For instance, public transportation will ensure to satisfy 15 percent of urban transportation need by 2025 and 25 percent by 2030.

The Department of Transportation will provide consultation to the city People’s Committee in issuing plans and tasks to state competent agencies at all levels to implement the project synchronously and effectively.

Moreover, the Department must keep track on project progress.

District 1 hands over land for construction of metro project, Thu Thiem 2 Bridge

The Compensation and Site Clearance Board of District 1 of HCMC, Dai Quang Minh Real-Estate Investment Joint Stock Company, NJPT Association – the General Consultants for Ho Chi Minh Urban Railway Construction Project for Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien Section ( Line 1 – ODA Project) and Shimizu-Maeda Joint Operation (SMJO) on October 27 signed a commitment on handing over the premises to build Ba Son Station of the Metro line No. 1 for the HCMC Urban Railway Management Board (MAUR). 

The total area of 168 square meters also help combine the construction projects of Thu Thiem Bridge 2 and the 1B section of the urban railway line no.1 connecting Ben Thanh market to Suoi Tien amusement park.

Currently, the done work volume of the 1B section of the Metro Line 1 running from Opera House station to Ba Son station reaches 87.9 percent.

The Thu Thiem Bridge 2 which spans the Saigon River connects District 1 and Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2.

The cable-stayed bridge has six lanes and a total length of 1,465 meters, with the main section stretching 885.7 meters. The main tower is 113m high, towards the Thu Thiem area.

The project with total investment capital of VND3,082 billion ($132.7 million) is expected to be completed at the end of 2020.

The construction of Thu Thiem 2 Bridge project started in 2015 and was scheduled to finish in 2018. However, the work has been suspended due to site clearance issues at the Ba Son factory area, even though the project is nearly 80% complete with 36 of 56 cables that have been installed.

The project has passed 23 days of completion.

Hanoi's second metro project progresses on schedule

Almost 66% of Hanoi's second metro project has been completed, of which the progress of construction and installation of equipment for the elevated section has reached approximately 81%.

Construction of Hanoi’s second metro line, Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station, has progressed on schedule in 2020 despite impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kinh Te & Do reported, citing a representative of the French embassy in Vietnam.

Speaking at a press briefing on October 28, the representatives said that the Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station metro line will serve 8,600 passengers per hour, and the capacity is projected to increase to 23,900. 

The line will contribute to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, thus contributing to the fight against climate change, the representative noted.

The metro line's elevated tracks are expected to become operational in late 2021 while construction of the underground tracks will commence in the first quarter of 2021, the representative added.

For his part, Head of the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Board Nguyen Cao Minh said that almost 66% of the project has been completed, of which the progress of construction and installation of equipment for the elevated section has reached approximately 81%.

In particular, after considerable efforts, the first train (out of the total of 10) for the Nhon-Hanoi Station line arrived at the Nhon Depot in Hanoi in mid-October from Dunkerque, France.

Before the project is put into official operation in 2021, the elevated section will undergo a test run in tandem with the tunneling of the underground section, Mr. Minh noted.

He stressed that the Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station line is one of the nine metro lines planned for Hanoi, which are expected to become the backbone of the traffic system in the city, improve people’s quality of life, and contribute to reducing the use of private vehicles.

The Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station metro line, one of Hanoi’s first two metro lines together with Cat Linh-Ha Dong, spans 12.5 kilometers from Nhon in the western district of Nam Tu Liem through Kim Ma street to the Hanoi Train Station in the downtown area.

The metro line will run 8.5 kilometers on elevated tracks through eight stations and the remaining four kilometers underground.

It is expected that the 8.5 km overhead section will be put into use in the second half of 2021, i.e from Nhon to S8 station (near the University of Transport in Cau Giay district). The remaining 4km underground will be inaugurated at the end of 2022.

Hanoi urged to complete construction of waste-to-energy plant soon

When the waste-to-energy plant is in service, it is expected to reduce waste pollution that affects the lives of locals.

According to many experts, to solve the garbage issue in Hanoi and avoid the recurrence of dumpsite blockade, the city needs to soon complete construction of the waste-to-energy plant on its outskirts, Kinh te & Do thi reported.

The waste-to-energy plant will contribute greatly to the city’s garbage treatment. The application of the technology can reduce the volume of waste buried in landfills which have become unsustainable due to the leakage of hazardous elements and leachate.

Besides, incineration should not be contemplated as a waste solution as it requires substantial use of fossil energy such as fuel and coal, and emits significant amount of pollutants when unsorted mass waste is burned.

Mass incineration limits the possibilities of beneficially reusing and recycling waste. Over the long term, it is not a sustainable solution or environmentally and economically practical, the experts explained.

Dr. Hoang Duong Tung, former deputy director of the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said that garbage burying is an outdated method.

In many countries, waste is no longer waste but has become a valuable resource for life. Some countries even import garbage to serve their production activities because the local amount of waste cannot meet the demand, Dr. Tung added.

Therefore, over the past years, Hanoi’s authorities have planned locations in Ta Thanh Oai commune (Thanh Tri district); Nam Son and Bac Son (Soc Son district); Dong Ke (Chuong My district); Chau Can (Phu Xuyen district) to build waste-to-energy plants.

Especially, the waste-to-energy plant project in Soc Son district, the largest one in Vietnam, will have a processing capacity of 4,000 tons of waste per day to help treat litter collected from urban districts.

Thien Y Environment Energy Joint Stock Company, the project's contractor, is speeding up the works to put the project into operation in February 2021. Once in service, the plant is expected to reduce waste pollution that affects the lives of locals to below 5% instead from about 80% at present.

However, while waiting for the project to come into operation, the most important measure is to minimize the impacts from the process of collecting, transporting and treating waste for landfill.

An official of Soc Son district administration said that authorities need to strictly sanction garbage trucks which drop garbage on the road during transportation. Besides, they must strictly enforce regulations in the process of receiving and treating garbage to limit the impact on local residents’ lives.

"If the above-mentioned shortcomings are not solved in time, it will cause people’s resentment," the official said.

Hanoi currently discharges around 6,000 tons of solid domestic waste daily, 89% of which is buried.

Five days ago, another garbage crisis occurred in Hanoi when residents of Soc Son district impeded the entry of garbage trucks to the Soc Son Waste Treatment Complex, leaving downtown areas loaded with garbage. They blamed the authorities for the slow compensation and resettlement, leaving them exposed to diseases due to heavy pollution.

This was the second time in 2020 and the fifteenth since the dump was put into operation that people have prevented garbage trucks from entering the landfill, resulting in thousands of tons of garbage piling up along streets in the capital city.

The Soc Son Waste Treatment Complex is the largest in Hanoi, spanning over 157 ha, and was built in 1999. The complex handles around 5,000 of the 6,500 tons the city generates each day.

Public-private co-operation helps Mekong farmers overcome double challenge

With four months to go for Tết (Lunar New Year) 2021, Pham Thanh Tri, a farmer in Son Dong District in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Ben Tre, is happy since he will be able to harvest around one tonne of pomelo for the festival.

For many farmers in this Mekong agriculture hub, one tonne is not a big figure, but for a small orchard like Tri’s, this is a dream since just a few months ago it had suffered from a double impact: salinity and COVID-19.

Tri said due to the salinity he had to cut down many of his pomelo trees.

“Salinity caused many diseases for the pomelo trees, from root to the tree and to the fruit. I and many farmers in the area had to cut down the trees because they could not grow.”

Tri’s worries evaporated the day he began to receive support from a public-private co-operation project carried out by Government agencies and other parties.

Under it, Tri used the knowledge and methods that he was trained to treat pomelo diseases instead of cutting down the trees like he used to do a few months ago.

Tri’s story is clear evidence that innovation, science and collaboration are key to not only fighting the Covid-19 pandemic but also to addressing current and future challenges faced by farmers.

Since the day the Mekong Delta was affected by salinity and the COVID-19 pandemic, many public-private co-operation programmes have been developed to help farmers overcome challenges.

These have demonstrated their importance and efficiency.

Thanh (full name to be checked), a member of the National Agriculture Extension Center (NAEC), said: “Public-private partnership is a good method that helps us take advantage of outside sources of funds in addition to Government funds. This co-operation also helps achieve the Government’s target of supporting farmers who are facing difficulties.”

“Co-operation with private parties also helps us access advanced technologies and reduce trial times because all of these technologies have been tried before.”

According to Thanh, public-private partnership projects help farmers restructure crops, use new seeds and breeds and develop new plants.

In Tri’s case, he was selected to be a trial farmer who will benefit from the “Better Life Farming” which is part of the “Better Farms, Better Lives” initiative by Bayer to help smallholder farmers in the Mekong Delta sustain their production activities and respond effectively to adverse situations such as drought, saltwater intrusion and COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the initiative, the company late last week, in collaboration with NAEC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s international co-operation department, organised a training session for farmers in Ben Tre and distributed for free “Better Life Farming” care packages to the first 100 smallholder farmers.

It is to be followed by other provinces within the scope of the project in the delta.

Tri said: “Despite the fact that this year's crop was severely affected by COVID-19, severe drought and salinity, I and other smallholder farmers in Ben Tre Province are still working hard to revive farming activities, especially for the upcoming Lunar New Year season.

“With the training sessions, we hope that next season we will get better yields in a way that is sustainable and better for the environment.”

In addition to immediate support, in the medium and long terms the programme is also providing smallholder farmers training related to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and modern agricultural technologies. 

Bayer and the NAEC have conducted a series of train-the-trainer sessions in several provinces under the project.

In future train-the-farmer sessions will be conducted with the support of NAEC networks in the provinces.

These sessions include classroom training to 20,000 farmers and virtual training to 60,000 farmers to teach farmers farming techniques from sowing to harvest, provide advice on crops, disease and pest management.

Taking long-term sustainable agriculture to next level

While Bayer’s “Better Farms, Better Lives” initiative is committed to making a difference at the local level, it is also making sure that farmers in Viet Nam are part of the global conversation topics on sustainable agriculture. 

Fittingly for an international programme that aims to support 100 million smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries by 2030, the virtual event Future of Farming Dialogue 2020, held from September 25 to October 13, offered stakeholders from academia, industry and media across the globe the chance to join a discussion on the opportunities for and challenges to sustainable agriculture.

“The agricultural industry is no stranger to adversity – from flooding to drought to pest infestations – and COVID-19 is yet another stark reminder of the need to create a more sustainable and resilient food system to ensure food security,” Liam Condon, president of the crop science division of Bayer, said.

“Innovation, science and collaboration are key to not only solving the pandemic but also necessary in agriculture to resolve the present and future challenges facing farmers.”

The focus of the discussion is how to build more resilient food systems, accelerate sustainability-driven innovations and develop new business models that can reward farmers for their services to the eco-system.

Condon said about Bayer’s sustainability commitments: “Especially in challenging times, it is our responsibility to help ensure food security and reduce our environmental footprint. We also need to help farmers do the same by providing the products, services and technologies needed to produce enough food while using less resource and caring for the environment.

“The key to this is innovation and this is what we continue to drive forward.”

Bayer’s “Better Farms, Better Lives” and its Future of Farming Dialogue series are just part of the company’s wider mission to empower smallholder farmers with the tools and knowledge needed to meet common sustainability goals.

In light of global environmental and social challenges, developing and dispersing transformational technologies remain at the core of Bayer’s commitment to creating a sustainable future free from hunger for all, it said.  

Workshop to provide new regulations for Vietnamese workers in RoK held

A seminar was held on October 29 in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK), to disseminate new regulations relating to Vietnamese workers working in the RoK under the Employment Permit System (EPS) programme.

Pham Minh Duc, head of the EPS Office, said the annual event provides a platform in which to discuss new regulations and policies, along with emerging issues relating to Vietnamese workers in the RoK, especially amid the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the seminar, Kim Sung-jae, Director of the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRDK), highlighted the diligence of Vietnamese guest workers, adding that since the beginning of the year the RoK has not received new guest workers from Vietnam as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.

He advised Vietnamese workers whose labour contracts have expired to visit the RoK’s immigration offices in order to apply for a temporary suspension of their exit permit. The HRDK will continue to organise additional activities in an effort to support foreign workers as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control in the RoK.

Currently, there are approximately 1,200 Vietnamese workers under the EPS programme who have returned to the country on repatriation flights from the RoK

As of June 30, roughly 34,600 Vietnamese migrant workers were still working in the RoK under the EPS scheme./.

ICT helps connect Vietnam, Latin American countries: forum

The Vietnam – Latin America ICT Forum 2020 was held by the Ministry of Information and Communications in collaboration with embassies of 11 Latin American countries in Hanoi on October 29.

The forum, themed “Vietnam – Latin America Digital Connectivity”, was organised in the form of video conference.

At the event, participating countries, including Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, worked to promote the role of ICT in connecting the Southeast Asian country with Latin America – a potential cooperation partner of the former.

ICT is particularly important to boost collaboration between the nations amidst the fourth industrial revolution and complicated developments of COVID-19 pandemic, they said.

They also sharpened focus on national digital transformation, digital market, and “Make in Vietnam” digital platforms, and updated digital transformation policies in Latin American nations.

Several exhibitions highlighting Vietnam’s people and landscapes, and standout products of Vietnamese ICT firms were held in the framework of the forum./.

Workshop talks experience in building new university model

The Vietnamese – German University (VGU) held an international workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on October 29 to share experience in building a new university model, with nearly 200 lecturers, experts and scientists at home and abroad taking part.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said a project on building several excellent universities is an important strategy as part of the Vietnamese Government’s effort to enhance cooperation with international partners such as Germany, France, Japan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Within such framework, three universities have been set up, including the VGU in 2008, the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi in 2009 and the Vietnam – Japan University in 2014.

Participants discussed experience in building a new university model like the VGU and its feasibility in Vietnam, contributing to improving the country’s tertiary education on par with those in the region and the world.

They had a chance to learn about the WB’s role in Vietnam’s tertiary education reform, an overview of Germany’s tertiary education system and concept of a research-oriented university.

 

Mekong Delta localities plant trees, build natural embankments to prevent erosion

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2
A natural embankment in Phụng Hiệp District’s Búng Tàu Town in Hậu Giang Province helps to prevent riverbank erosion. – Photo nhandan.com.vn

More people in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta are planting trees and building embankments made of natural materials to prevent erosion along rivers and canals.  

The delta, which has a dense river and canal network, has faced  increasing erosion along rivers and canals in recent years because of human activity and climate change.

In Hậu Giang Province, the Irrigation Sub-department built three natural embankments with a total length of 380 metres on a pilot basis to prevent erosion in Phụng Hiệp District and Ngã Bảy Town in 2017.

The natural embankments are made by filling eroded areas with soil and setting up a barrier made of cajuput trunks or bamboo between the embankments and water. 

Cajuput and crabapple mangrove trees are planted inside the barriers so that their roots prevent soil erosion. Permeable fabric or fine nets are installed outside the barrier to hold the soil.

At the embankments, water hyacinths are grown along banks to reduce the strength of waves hitting the banks.

In Phụng Hiệp District’s Búng Tàu Town, more than 100 households, mostly along the Búng Tàu and Ngang canals, have built such embankments along the canal bank in front of their houses.

Nguyễn Trường Sanh in Búng Tàu’s Tân Phú A2 Hamlet said he built an embankment on a 10 metre stretch of the canal two years ago and it cost only about VNĐ500,000 (US$22). Local authorities provided him free cajuput trees to grow on the embankment.

Later, he expanded the embankment to more than 100 metres long.

“The embankment is stable now, and the cajuput trees have grown and provide shade and look beautiful,” he said.

Local households in Búng Tàu grow other trees like điên điển (Sesbania sesban) and cà na (Elaeocarpus hygrophilus) on such embankments and harvest điên điển flowers and cà na fruits for sale.

In Hậu Giang, the Châu Thành District Farmers Association has built natural embankments to farmers to protect their lands along rivers and canals from erosion.

Nguyễn Thị Bé in Châu Thành’s Đông Phước A Commune said: “After the commune’s Farmers Association supported the model, we agreed to build such embankment.”

She has also donated bamboo plants and other trees to plant on the embankment.

Châu Thành has four such embankments, according to the district Farmers Association. The association plans to expand the model to erosion-prone areas and grow more crabapple mangrove trees on natural embankments.

Hậu Giang now has about 200km of natural embankments, according to the Irrigation Sub-department. 

Localities in the delta are also expanding the model of planting trees along river and canal banks to prevent erosion.

In Cà Mau Province, people have planted mangrove trees along banks to prevent erosion since their roots are thick and protect the soil.

Natural embankments made by planting mangrove trees are popular in the districts of Cái Nước, Năm Căn and Đầm Dơi in Cà Mau.

In Đồng Tháp Province, water hyacinths are grown near riverbanks and crabapple mangrove trees planted at river banks to prevent erosion in Lai Vung District.

In Lai Vung’s Tân Dương Commune, people in Tân Thuận A and Tân Thuận B have done the same along the Sa Đéc – Vàm Cống River.

Nguyễn Thị Phương in Tân Dương said they provide shade and beautiful view, and stabilise the soil.

“Seeing the effectiveness of the model, many people have planted hyacinth and crabapple trees to protect the riverbank in front of their house,” she said.

Nguyễn Tấn Tài, chairman of the Tân Dương Farmers Association, said the model is low cost and is efficient. It is being expanded throughout the delta. 

Cultural exchange programme celebrates Việt Nam-Russia relations

State-level relations and co-operation between localities in Việt Nam and Russia have been strongly strengthened in recent years, according to the vice-chairman of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province People’s Committee Trần Văn Tuấn.

He made the statement at a cultural exchange programme in Vũng Tàu City in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu on Thursday night.

Organised by the Union of Friendship Organisations of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, the event aimed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Việt Nam-Russia diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Fundamental Principles of the Việt Nam-Russian Federation Friendly Relations.

Notable attendees included Popov Aleksei Vladimirovich, Consul General of the Russian Federation in HCM City, representatives of Việt Nam - Russia Friendship Association in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, the trade union of Việt Nam - Russia Joint Enterprise Vietsovpetro and other related organisations as well as Russians based in the province.

Addressing the event, Tuấn reviewed co-operation activities between two countries in recent years

In October 2010, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province signed a co-operation agreement with the Nenetskiy Autonomous Region and in January 2017, the province and the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia established a co-operative relationship.

A Vietnamese delegation also paid a visit to the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia on October 2018 during which they reached significant agreements on economic, trade, scientific and technological co-operation.  

Delegation exchanges and contacts at all levels, particularly high-level exchanges, have been regularly maintained, including Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc's visit to Russia in May 2019 that opened the celebration of Cross-Year of Friendship 2019-2020 between Việt Nam and Russia.

“The investment collaboration between Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province and Russia has also thrived in the fields of oil exploitation, tourism, maritime and construction. Particularly, Vietsovpetro, Việt Nam - Russia Joint Enterprise, has become a symbolic success of the two nations’ relations.

"Furthermore, the province has also been proactively joined the trade flow between the two countries, exporting key products like seafood, cashew and garments to the Russian market,” he noted.

According to Tuấn, friendship exchange activities to introduce and promote the culture and tourism of each country have been regularly coordinated by the Union of Friendship Organisations, Việt Nam - Russia Friendship Association in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province and the trade union of Vietsovpetro.

“The complicated and unpredictable developments in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic have imposed unprecedented challenges on all nations. However, Vietnamese and Russian peoples, with our long history of solidarity and association, will stand side by side, holding hands to share and support each other in overcoming all difficulties and defeat the pandemic," he added.

Popov Aleksei Vladimirovich, Consulate General of the Russian Federation in HCM City, emphasised that 2019 and 2020 are two special years for the relationship between Russia and Việt Nam.

Vietnamese friends have cherished and preserved the friendship between the two countries. It is a tradition since the October Revolution and has been nurtured by previous generations and developed by Vietnamese and Russia descendants, he said.         

The Consulate General also noted that diplomatic ties between localities and the Russian Federation have grown along with state-level relations.

Also at the exchange programme, a reportage featuring the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Russia and the activities of the Việt Nam-Russia Association were screened, in addition to art performances and traditional cuisine.

HCM City hospital gets modern haemodialysis centre

The State-owned Thống Nhất Hospital in HCM City has set up a haemodialysis centre equipped with modern machines, a new-generation reverse osmosis water purification system and other international standard equipment.

The centre, which has ISO 1900 : 2015 certification, is expected to improve the quality of haemodialysis for patients and in turn their life.

The launch coincides with the 45th anniversary of the hospital, arguably the largest gerontological facility in the country.

In 2017 it became financially autonomous, and thanks to this it has taken the initiative to adopt a number of advanced technologies and upgrade training for its staff.

This year the hospital has treated more than a million outpatients, while all its 1,200 beds are invariably occupied.

To celebrate the 45th anniversary, the hospital also organised a conference on diseases of the heart, stroke and others. 

Children enjoy toys made of old tyres in Hải Dương

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2
Children play on seesaws made of old tyres in a kindergarten in Tân Tiến Commune, Gia Lộc District, in the northern province of Hải Dương.

Hundreds of children in kindergartens and residential areas in the northern province of Hải Dương’s Gia Lộc and Thanh Hà districts have enjoyed new swings, seesaws and balance paths made of old tyres.

Đoàn Thị Nhạn, principal of a kindergarten in Tân Tiến Commune, Gia Lộc District, said the toys were beneficial for the children.

Swings were very good for the children’s physical improvement while seesaws and balance paths helped them improve their intelligence and creativity when they played together, she said.

Nguyễn Thị Mây, vice-principal of Gia Xuyên Kindergarten, Thanh Hà District, said the school was large so it needed many toys.

The toys made of old tyres were quite strange, so the children were very interested in them, she said.

The swings, seesaws and balance paths were created by members of the district’s Youth Union and donated to the kindergartens and residential areas, following the programme 'The second journey of tyres', launched by the provincial Youth Union in May.

The programme, which is set to run until December 2022, aims to respond to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's anti-plastic movement.

Vũ Hồng Điệp, vice chairman of Gia Lộc District’s Youth Union, said old tyres of many different sizes were donated by individuals and organisations in the district.

After receiving the old tyres, the members of the youth union would clean and sort them, he said.

Big tyres would be used to make swings and balance paths and small tyres would be used to make seesaws, he added.

The old tyres were painted in many colours with attractive vivid patterns and animals on the swings’ surface, he said.

Điệp said at first, with no experience in creating toys for children, members of the youth union had to search online about how to make toys from old tyres.

Now, after several months of practising, the team could make the toys of the old tyres faster and more beautifully, he said.

The toys, donated by the youth union, had provided a livelier playground for the children, especially in local schools that had limited funds for buying toys, he said.

Each set of toys made of old tyres was estimated to be VNĐ5-7 million (US$215-301) and the quality was the same as the toys for sale in the market, he said.

Vũ Nguyên Đăng, Secretary of the provincial Youth Union, said the youth union had donated 20 sets of toys made of old tyres to local kindergartens and residential areas since May.

It planned to give an additional of 31 sets of toys made of old tyres to local kindergartens and residential areas by the end of this year, he said.

Nghiêm Xuân Tuấn, Deputy Secretary of the provincial Youth Union, said reusing old tyres to create toys for children, especially kids in rural areas, was a meaningful thing.

It not only created a livelier playground for the children but also contributed to raising their awareness of protecting the environment, he said. 

Railway sector continues supporting storm and flood-hit localitiesDespite difficulties in infrastructure and transportation, the railway sector has joined efforts to further support the central region by shipping relief goods free of charge.

Saigon Railway Transport JS Company on Thursday said that the firm has offered a 20% discount on ticket prices for trains SE3/SE4, SE7/SE8, SE21/SE22 between October 30 and November 1 for the section from Quang Ngai Station to Yen Trung Station in Ha Tinh Province.   

The railway sector has joined efforts to further support the central region by shipping relief goods free of charge. 

The company has also continued providing free transport of relief goods to areas affected by storms and floods in the central region until November 15.

Vietnam Railways suffered losses of roughly VND27 billion (USD1.16 million) between October 7 and October 23, when heavy rain lashed the country’s central region, leading to flash floods and landslides.

The North-South railway system was temporarily closed twice during that time.

Amid the challenges, the company offered the free transport of relief goods to central localities affected by floods.

Communist Youth Unions launches IELTS contest for Vietnamese citizens

The Communist Youth Unions has launched a IELTS contest for Vietnamese citizens of all ages who are currently living in Vietnam except for those who have already had IELTS certificates with band score 8.0 up. 

The contest has three categories including category A for eighth and ninth graders, category B for senior high schoolers and category C for university students. Candidates can register IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training in computer at website https://ieltstalent.vn.

The contest from October, 2020 to September, 2021 countrywide includes three rounds. The first round is from October, 2020 to August, 2021, competitors will do tests in computers.

Candidates taking part in the quarter contest will make video clips according to theme required by contest organizer. The final round scheduled to take place on September 19, 2021 in Hanoi, candidates will enter a contest of eloquence.

The organizer will give prize in each round. There will be one first prize, one second prize, one third prize, two consolation prizes and one favorite prize selected by audience in the final round.

First prize winner will be awarded one gold cup and VND50 million (US$2,156) in cash, second prize winner VND20 million in cash and third-prize winner VND15 million. All winners will also be presented IELTS certificates.

Hanoi to host Great National Unity – Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage week in November

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 2

An opening ceremony of the week will take place on November 16 and last until November 23.

A week themed “Great National Unity – Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage” will be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Dong Mo tourism area in Son Tay town, Hanoi, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18) and 75 years of the National Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).

This year, the organization of event will be geered towards strengthening the great national unity bloc as well as preserving the values of the traditional cultures of Vietnam’s ethnic groups.

An opening ceremony of the week will take place on November 16 at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism and last on November 23.

Within the framework of the annual event, there will be a host of special activities such as welcoming the moon lady and a number of folk performances of the Thai people (Nghe An); introduction and recreation of the wedding ceremony of the Pa Then ethnic group (Ha Giang); the performance of unique art forms of the Tay and Nung people (Lang Son), and the Kate festival of the Cham people (An Giang).

The program aims to preserve and uphold the traditional cultural value of Vietnamese ethnic communities and enhance the great national unity bloc, while  promoting the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism as an attractive tourist destination among visitors from both home and abroad.

The Great National Unity week - Vietnam Cultural Heritage week is an annual activity hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in coordination with the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front. The activity is of practical significance to honor and encourage the great unity of the Vietnamese people and the values of Vietnam's cultural heritage.

Vietnam starts projecting itself as safe destination post-Covid

New "Why not Vietnam?" ad invites tourists back after Covid-19.

To revive inbound tourism, relevant agencies and local enterprises in the industry have joined hands to promote Vietnam as a safe and attractive destination.

In mid-October, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has partnered with CNN International to run a new promotional clip inviting travelers to consider Vietnam for their first holidays post Covid-19.

The 30-second clip, featuring some of Vietnam’s top tourism products and destinations ends with the sentence, “When you’re ready to travel again, why not Vietnam?” VNAT officials said the ad aims to remind travelers of Vietnam’s charms and suggest the country as a safe and enticing destination for vacationers in 2021.

The video was created with support from the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), and can be viewed during commercial breaks on CNN Asia for six weeks from October 15, and on the National Administration tourism website and its social media channels.

Vietnam will soon launch more activities to accompany the ‘Why Not Vietnam?’ video, including giveaways on social media, ad banners, and articles that highlight Vietnam’s capability of handling of the coronavirus and its commitment to the safety of its guests and citizens.

“The story of how Vietnamese people join efforts to fight the coronavirus and support each other is one that we want to share with our friends overseas,” said Mr. Dinh Ngoc Duc, director general of the Tourism Marketing Department at VNAT. “Through the ‘Why Not Vietnam?’ campaign, we will put forward suitable tourism experiences for travelers looking to escape and unwind after Covid-19 passes, as well as emphasize Vietnam as a safe destination within the region.”

Vietnam’s strong safety record since the start of the pandemic and its ability to provide socially distanced holiday options are top reasons for travelers to consider the country for upcoming trips, Mr. Duc said. He added that Vietnam has a wealth of beautiful lesser-known destinations where travelers can have peace of mind while still enjoying Vietnam’s delicious food and timeless culture.

In the coming months, Vietnam intends to entice travelers with a number of high-value travel giveaways on its social media channels. Its first giveaway, which will launch in November, features a pair of international flight tickets from national carrier Vietnam Airlines valid throughout 2021, as well as a four-day holiday in Sa Pa with Topas Riverside Lodge and Topas Ecolodge, a National Geographic Certified Unique Lodge.

Relief aid delivered to storm-hit residents in central provinces

Truong Thi Mai, Politburo member and Chairwoman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation, has stressed the need to stabilise livelihoods of people in the central province of Quang Tri, who have suffered huge damage from storm Molave.

Visiting the province on November 1, the Party official spoke highly of the locality’s efforts to respond to the storm, saying the State has carried out many support policies for flood-hit provinces to ensure that they will overcome consequences of the storm in a timely manner.

She also ordered the local authorities and people to outline rational response plans to mitigate losses of life and property since the storm season is going on in the central region.
On the occasion, Mai presented gifts to 100 local families who were hardest hit by recent floods.

Storm Molave left 50 people dead and four missing in Quang Tri province. Total damage caused by the storm was calculated at more than 2 trillion VND (86.32 million USD).
The same day, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Red Cross Society Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu presented 100 relief gifts, each worth 1 million VND, to residents in neighbouring Thua Thien-Hue province, which was critically battered by the storm.

She expressed her hope that the local authorities will continue efforts to help flood-hit people stabilise their lives and production soon.

While in Quang Ngai province, the “warm house” programme was carried out by the provincial youth union, provincial Party Committee’s Board for Mass Mobilisation, and the organising board of Miss Vietnam 2020 to support local people to weather the consequences of storm Molave.

Some 1.2 billion VND was presented to the province to repair houses for families having their accommodations collapsed in the storm.

Thirteen people were injured, 325 houses were damaged, and over 140,000 houses having their roofs blown away due to the impacts of Molave./.

PM asks for maximum efforts to support flood, storm victims

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 1 urged authorities of central provinces to make maximum efforts to support residents hit by recent storms and floods.

He made the request at a meeting with officials of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh provinces, and Da Nang city on November 1 in Tam Ky city of Quang Nam on measures to overcome storm consequences and search and rescue operations.

Reporting at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and standing deputy head of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that typhoon Molave, the ninth storm hitting Vietnam this year and among the strongest ones in 20 years, caused serious damage to lives and property in the country, especially central provinces.

Currently, competent forces are urgently looking for missing people and focusing on the rescue work at landslide-hit places, he said, adding that priority is now given to ensuring people have enough food and restoring essential facilities such as electricity and water works, schools and houses.

The Government leader emphasised the need to urgently surmount the consequences of floods and typhoon Molave by all means, since there are still many missing people yet to be found, and risks for diseases and environmental problems are looming. He also urged long-term solutions to be taken into account to effectively respond to storms and floods, and ensure the safety of people's lives and property.

“The most important thing is to take practical measures to deal with the situation in the context of huge losses in life and property,” he said.

As many people are becoming homeless, many places are isolated, and children cannot go to school, the PM required ministries, sectors and localities to take stronger and more timely measures to overcome the consequences of typhoon Molave.

Stressing huge damage to lives and property caused by natural disasters, floods and storms in October in the country, especially in the central region, PM Phuc expressed his belief that people in the region will overcome all difficulties as consequences of storms and floods to stabilise their lives.

Regarding specific measures, he emphasised the urgent need to ensure travel on arterial traffic routes, particularly those for distributing reliefs, while taking all measures to search for and rescue people still missing due to storms and floods and actively treat those injured.

He also said that Quang Nam province must direct its General Hospital to provide free treatment for victims of the recent landslides.

The province was asked to provide shelters for people in need, together with necessities such as food and medicine; and ensure that students can get back to their study early.

The localities, which receive reliefs, need to be open and transparent,” the Prime Minister noted.

The PM tasked military and police forces with repairing and building houses and public facilities, which, he said, must be resistant to storms and floods.

He called for great efforts in response to the 10th storm, Goni, which is forecast to make landfall in Vietnam in the next few days.

Ministries and agencies were assigned to help the affected localities deal with consequences of the 9th storm. However, he said, local authorities and residents need to play a more active role in response efforts.

The Government leader asked the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Public Security and Military Zone 5 to deploy forces and equipment, including helicopters, to join search and rescue operations.

|The Ministry of Finance should consider allocating capital to the localities hard hit by the 9th storm, especially Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh provinces, and submit the allocation plan to the PM for approval, he said./.

No Vietnamese casualties reported in quake in Turkey, Greece

No Vietnamese casualties have been reported following a deadly earthquake that struck Turkey and Greece on October 30.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered representative agencies in Turkey and Greece to continue keeping a close watch on the situation and remain in touch with local authorities and the Vietnamese communities in the two nations, in an effort to timely update information and carry out citizen protection measures if necessary.

In case of emergency, Vietnamese citizens can contact the embassies in Turkey  +90-545-785-8548, in Greece +30-695-194-9459, or the citizen protection hotline +84-981-848-484.

At least 27 people were killed while hundreds of others wounded in Turkey and Greece when a powerful earthquake hit the Aegean Sea on October 30 afternoon./.

Korean expert tests negative for COVID-19: HCM City says

The Ho Chi Minh City Disease Control Center (HCDC) said on October 31 that they have received negative results for a Korean national who had initially tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival in Japan.

After taking a rapid antigen test at Narita International Airport, Japan, on October 24, the man was tested again through the RT-PCR method, with his results eventually coming back negative. He is said to undergo another RT-PCR test in accordance with Japanese regulations.

The Korean citizen originally entered Vietnam on July 29, and completed a mandatory quarantine period on August 16 in Hanoi. He then travelled to a number of localities in Vietnam on business before leaving for Japan on October 24.

According to the HCDC, before departing for Japan, the man had not taken any conclusive real-time PCR test. An epidemiological investigation indicates that he had not come into contact with any positive COVID-19 patient.

Following the Korean man’s initial positive COVID-19 test, authorities moved to swiftly quarantine 38 individuals who had come into close contact with him. Fortunately, the entire group tested negative for the virus through the RT-PCR method.

5,000 runners join Longbien Marathon 2020

The Longbien Marathon 2020 took place at Viet Hung New Urban Area in Hanoi on November 1, attracting nearly 6,000 runners from 21 countries and territories worldwide.

The race included men and women’s events in four categories: 42km full marathon, 21km half marathon, and 10km and 5km runs.

The event was first launched in 2016 by the Long Bien District People’s Committee, the Race Vietnam Company and the SVCLB Run Club with the aim of encouraging healthy lifestyle, connecting the community, and developing awareness of running habits.

Courses of Longbien Marathon are also certified by IAAF-AIMS to ensure distance accuracy. Longbien Marathon race results can be used to qualify for other international races such as the Boston Marathon.

The participants’ entrance fees were donated to Long Bien District’s Fund for the Poor. At this year’s event, the organising board also presented VND110 million to support flood victims in the central region.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/SGGP/VOV/NDO/Dtinews/SGT

 
 

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