VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18

HCMC launches QR Code program to introduce street history

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18

 
The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Department of Transport yesterday announced that from now on, people interested in finding out more about the biography of famous people selected for street names in the city are able to scan a QR code put directly under each street sign for detailed information.

At the moment, the city’s Transport Department is piloting this program in District 1, at 6 intersections between Le Thanh Ton St. - Dong Khoi St., Le Thanh Ton St. - Pasteur St., Ly Tu Trong St. - Pasteur St., Ly Tu Trong St. - Dong Khoi St., Nguyen Du St. - Dong Khoi St., Le Duan St. – Cong Xa Paris St.

In order to look up street information, people first need to download one QR Scanning app like QR Code Reader or QR Scanner. Some newer versions of smart phones have already had this function installed.

After this application setup, users can open the software and capture the QR code put under each street sign for corresponding reference such as street length, width, number of lanes, and past names, along with those historical figures’ biographies.

These pieces of information are provided by HCMC Department of Culture & Sports, and updated regularly by the Transport Department. They will be sent to users’ smart devices as a picture (with the extension .jpg).

To publicize the new feature, HCMC Transport Department requested that the city’s Department of Culture & Sports and Department of Tourism, HCMC People’s Committee help to spread the good news to related state units and offices, the press, and residents.

The Transport Department is also collecting feedback from the public regarding the matter via formal written documents, the 1022 hotline, the city’s transport portal, its official website, and its Fanpage until November 10, 2020.

Two imported cases of COVID-19 reported on October 17

Two cases of COVID-19, all imported, were recorded in the afternoon of October 17, raising the total count to 1,126, according to the Ministry of Health.

One of the patients is a 30-year-old Indian expert who is in quarantine after his arrival at HCM City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport on October 6, and is being treated at the city hospital for tropical diseases.

The other is a 37-year-old Vietnamese returning from Myanmar. He was also quarantined after arriving at Can Ranh airport in the central province of Khanh Hoa on October 15.

Some 13,090 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or come from pandemic-hit areas are under health monitoring nationwide.

A total of 1,031 patients have been given the all-clear so far. The death toll remains at 35.
Among patients still under treatment, seven have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, four twice and 12 thrice./.

Heavy rains to continue in flooded central region

Heavy rains will continue in some central provinces, especially Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, from October 16-21, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

A man travels on a motorbike on a flooded road in Huong Khe District, Ha Tinh Province.

The centre's director Mai Van Khiem told Dantri/DTiNews on October 16 that a new tropical pressure is moving to the central region and may strengthen into a storm in the coming days. A cold spell, together with a tropical convergence, are also going to hit the region which is predicted to cause heavy rains.

"It is forecasted that heavy downpours will occur in the central region, especially in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces between October 16-21," Khiem said. "Average rainfall will be between 500-800mm, with some areas experiencing up to 800mm. Meanwhile, some neighbouring provinces of Nghe An, Quang Trị, and Thua Thien Hue will have average rainfall of between 300-500mm."

The official warned that large-scale flooding and landslides might continue in some central provinces which have already been hit by heavy rains and floods from October 6-13.

He also said that there would be two to four tropical pressures and storms hitting Vietnam by the end of this year and flooding may still occur from now to the end of November. 

55 dead and 7 missing in severe flooding

55 people have been confirmed dead while seven others remain missing in the recent flooding in the central region according to latest report. 

A snap report by the National Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Search and Rescue showed that as of October 16, 55 people had been killed and seven others were missing in heavy rains and severe flooding in the central region.

649 houses have been destroyed, nearly 151,000 houses submerged under water and 168 sections of roads damaged. 900ha of rice, 5,514ha of other crops, and 3,978ha of fish farms have been ruined. 445,708 livestock were swept away.

The aftermath of Storm Nangka also left one person missing. One house was destroyed and 14 houses were damaged. In Nam Dinh Province, 105ha of crops and the embankments were damaged.

Nearly 15,000 households in the central regions have been evacuated due to flooding and landslides. In some other areas, the water has receded and people are starting to return home.

On October 15, the bodies of 13 members of a rescue party were found in Thua Thien-Hue Province. Authorities are still searching for 29 people who remain missing in connection with a landslide at Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plantin the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

The local authorities are cleaning up the roads and making ways to access Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant.

Digital skills for teachers, students must be prioritised: education minister

Teachers and students should have access to information technology (IT) to take full advantage of humanity’s knowledge, Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ said on Thursday.

He made the comments at the ASEAN-UNICEF conference on 'Digital Transformation of the Education System Throughout ASEAN' held by the Ministry of Education and Training in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and UNICEF Việt Nam.

The conference was organised as part of Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and in the context of the bloc’s education sector working to ensure students are safe and their studies are not interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nhạ called on education ministers in the bloc to work towards adopting effective policies and a legal framework on digital transformation in the education sector, emphasising that these would improve management and teaching quality.

Education ministers should build a common set of criteria on digital skills in the region, he said, noting it would pave the way for technologies to be applied in the education sector both thoroughly and systematically.

Sharing Việt Nam’s efforts in promoting digital transformation, Nhạ said that as the country targets students in all grades being equipped with digital skills, IT is taught at primary schools and focuses on digital skills, the application of IT, and computer science.

The application of IT in teaching and knowledge-sharing has developed in Việt Nam, he said, adding that the ministry holds e-learning lesson design contests to improve teachers’ capacity in digital transformation while building digital learning and teaching data in the sector.

At the end of the conference, ASEAN education ministers adopted a joint statement that affirmed the importance of efforts to promote digital skills and digital transformation in the education sectors of member states.

They agreed to facilitate safe access for students to opportunities for digital study, co-operate with relevant bodies in open education resources, and support the building of the ASEAN statement on digital transformation in the education system. 

US grants US$100,000 aid to storm Linfa-affected victims

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18

The United State will grant US$100,000 in disaster relief to help Vietnam to address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities in areas most affected by tropical storm Linfa.

The aid will be channeled by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC), according to a media release by the US Embassy in Hanoi.

Linfa, the sixth tropical storm to hit Vietnam in 2020, made landfall on October 11. Three days later, Nangka, another tropical storm, slammed into northeastern Vietnam.

As of October 15, the flooding had adversely affected over 136,000 households, claiming at least 40 lives, injuring 15 people, and leaving 29 people missing. As many as 150,000 people have been evacuated from flood- and landslide-prone areas.

VNRC, USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance partner, has mobilized rapid disaster response teams to support evacuation, search and rescue, and emergency response operations.

“The US Mission in Vietnam expresses our deepest condolences to the people of Vietnam for the loss of life, destruction of property, and displacement of people due to the flooding in central Vietnam. We stand together with the Government and the people of Vietnam as they mourn their loved ones, address the damage caused by this terrible flood, and move forward, as the people of Vietnam have always done. We pledge to assist you in your work to rebuild,” said US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, announcing the aid.

“I would also like to express my concern for persons with disabilities in the provinces affected by the typhoon as they are amongst the most vulnerable populations in this disaster. They are often home-bound, have less access to information and cannot take full advantage of preparedness activities and evacuation protocols,” he added. 

It is estimated that the provinces impacted by tropical storm Linfa are home to over 200,000 persons with disabilities, of whom 61,000 persons with disabilities are directly affected by this disaster.

Since 2000, USAID, through the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, has provided more than US$26 million in disaster response, preparedness, and risk reduction assistance in Vietnam. Through the Department of Defense, the US Government has also provided more than US$28 million since 1998 to train military and civilian emergency responders and develop and equip disaster management centers, maritime response centers, and disaster shelters at the community level.

USAID continues to support Vietnam’s disaster relief efforts and plans are underway to provide additional assistance, according to the media release.

HCMC’s eastern innovative urban area ready for sustainable development
 
The eastern highly innovative and interactive urban area of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) was formed in 2018, including the districts of 9, 2, and Thu Duc. It is based on the three main pillars of Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP), Vietnam National University – HCMC (VNUHCM) urban area, and Thu Thiem New Urban Area, with the aim to create a strong foundation for a sustainable growth of the city.

SHTP had a 4-year export revenue of US$46.36 billion, with an estimate of $17.24 billion this year. It has become the nucleus of the eastern highly innovative, interactive urban area in Industry 4.0. Its main strengths are novel technological ideas, easy capital attraction, and skillful human resources coming from all over the nation and the world.

In the new development period between 2021-2025, SHTP’s Management Board plans to actively promote supportive industries for hi-tech products, supposedly leading to a more impressive increase of domestic value added.

In addition, SHTP is now applying IT and AI in administrative management; upgrading its Research & Development Center into a formal Research Institute, its Incubation Center into an Innovative Center, and its Training Center into a Hi-quality Human Resources Training Institute; boosting the existing connections between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) businesses and domestic ones, between VNUHCM and enterprises; and creating more bilateralisms and multi-lateralisms among scientific experts, between scientists and businesses.

To fulfill these missions, SHTP will focus on the three key aspects, the first of which is to adopt Resolution No.50-NQ/TW issued by the Politburo on orientations to perfect mechanisms, policies, raise quality and efficiency of foreign investment by 2030. This means SHTP will actively and selectively attract international investment, with a priority on efficiency, quality, and environment protection.

Secondly, SHTP will boost the implementation of investment projects for the Scientific Space (a surface area of 93ha), while increasing links among inner enterprises, between inner and outer businesses, and between enterprises and universities. This is supposed to unlock the innovative potential and to boost hi-tech goods manufacturing.

Lastly, SHTP will speed up the establishment of its scientific-technological park, which plays the role of both a research center and a hub for technology transfer.

Being one of the three main pillars in the eastern innovative urban area, VNUHCM urban area (a total surface area of 643ha) is considered a training center for hi-quality human resources and a scientific research center for various fields to meet the demands of the society.

VNUHCM now has 27 educational institutes and 8 members, becoming one of the largest educational organizations in Vietnam. There are now more than 69,000 students of all levels learning here and the strong teaching staff of over 400 professors, associate professors, along with more than 1,300 doctorates.

After being aware about the establishment of the eastern innovative urban area, VNUHCM immediately assigned its IT Park (ITP) to form a research team for the field.

At the moment, VNUHCM urban area plays the role of connecting and supporting the other two pillars in order to build a support center for innovative startups. Therefore, its ITP is oriented toward being a startup ecosystem, especially for those in the IT and communications industries.

Thanks to its current advantages, VNUHCM is perfectly suitable to become a hub for technology transfer as well as an effective human resources training center.

Hanoi focuses on improving quality of human resources

Universities and colleges are centers which focus on attracting talent and developing high-quality human resources to meet immediate development requirements of Hanoi city.

Hanoi needs to focus on improving the quality of human resources and spend sizable investment on researching solutions for urgent issues, Kinh Te & Do Thi quoted Nguyen Thanh Son, Secretary of the Party Committee of the bloc of Hanoi universities and colleges, as saying at the recently-concluded 17th Congress of the city Party (2020-2025 tenure).

Mr. Son said that universities and colleges are centers which not only focus on attracting talent and developing high-quality human resources to meet immediate development requirements of the city, but also on finding ways to boost socio-economic development of Hanoi in the future.

Since one of the three breakthroughs is to improve the quality of human resources, especially highly-skilled ones, Mr. Son emphasized that increasing investment in education, science and technology is imperative.

To realize the goal, Mr. Son suggested that the city leadership should show high political determination, issue resolutions and programs to promote the potential of the intelligentsia in academies, universities and colleges so that they can meet the needs of Hanoi’s socio-economic development and international integration.

For his part, Director of the municipal Department of Education and Training Chu Xuan Dung said that education and training should develop people with comprehensive qualities and capabilities.

Hanoi's education and training is gradually improving quality, efficiency, implementing standardization and modernization, making Hanoi inhabitants global citizens.

In order to achieve the targets, Mr. Dung stated a number of solutions have been outlines, such as planning the school network in the city by 2030, with a vision to 2045, in line with Hanoi city’s socio-economic conditions and educational development.

New features in HCMC's South and East sides near completion

Besides the newly established Metro Train No. 1 route, there have been many significant infrastructural shifts to the East and South area of Ho Chi Minh City that are welcomed by the people.

With the rail tracks and terminals completed, the No. 1 Metro Route from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien is nearing its completion after the recent test run.

An elderly man named Tu who lives in District 9 expressed his excitement about the new track. “I’m going to take a ride to Ben Thanh Market for some noodles, then come back and tell my wife all about it”, he exclaimed.

Meanwhile, the Hanoi Highway was expanded into a proper highway with 12 to 16 lanes in 2010, with skyscrapers replacing the rundown slums along both sides.

Another big part of the Eastside is Pham Van Dong street that connects Tan Son Nhat International Airport with the bordering Thu Duc District and then Bien Hoa City in the neighboring province of Dong Nai. This route which includes 6 to 12 lanes has significantly cut down people’s travel time from the airport since it was opened.

15 years ago, the land along Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Nha Be District was among the land plots not properly to the main urban road infrastructures.

At the time, the owner of Phu Long Real Estate Company risked it all to bid for the plot at VND500 billion (about US$21.5 million). Now people believe it has earned the potential to become a prosperous project like Phu My Hung.

At another juncture, 7.5km of road on Nguyen Van Linh Avenue and Nguyen Huu Tho Street that leads to Nha Be district has been expanded.

The land acquired after clearance was auctioned off by the city, earning them a large amount enough for road building.

Hoang Tung, the newly appointed Chairman of Nha Be District’s People’s Committee, said Nguyen Huu Tho is the backbone of the district, connecting the city center with nearby urban areas and most specially the Hiep Phuoc port area with the scale of 3,000 ha.

The right of way on Nguyen Huu Tho street is 40m wide with 4 lanes but has recently become cramped, and the city had approved an expansion plan.

According to an expert at the HCMC System Center Remote Sensing and Geographic Information, satellite images and population growth data showed that Nha Be district has an urbanization rate of 10% per year, and population growth rate of 8% per year.

As a result, Nha Be District sets out to become an urban district for the term 2020-2025.

Health sector ensures emergency treatment for flood-affected residents

Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long yesterday sent his dispatch to health departments ordering to keep track on flooding, raining development to provide timely emergency treatment for flood-affected residents.

Health departments from the Northern Province of Quang Ninh to the Central Province of Phu Yen were asked to recheck plans for rescuing people and treating injured victims.

They must prepare human resources, drugs and chemicals for flood prevention as well as evacuation of medical clinics for patients’ safety especially these facilities in low-lying areas and flash flood-prone , erosion districts.
The Ministry of Health ordered infirmaries to maintain mobile emergency team, disease prevention teams and hygiene sanitation teams to help grassroot clinics when necessary.

The central general hospital Hue, the Da Nang hospital C, the central general hospital in the Central Province of Quang Nam and other health units must take proactive measures as well as work with the local steering board for disaster prevention and rescue to have plan for treatment of flood-affected residents especially victims of landslides at Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in the Central Province of Thua Thien-Hue..

Hanoi to hold annual ceremony honoring outstanding enterprises in 2020

This year, over 200 enterprises representing Hanoi’s business community would receive the acknowledgment from leaders of the government and the city.

The Thang Long Entrepreneur Gala 2020, an annual event to honor outstanding enterprises and entrepreneurs in Hanoi, is set to take place on October 24 at the Hanoi Opera House, according to the Hanoi Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (Hanoisme).

The Gala is part of a number of events celebrating the upcoming 13th national Party Congress, the successful conclusion of Hanoi’s 17th Party Congress, Hanoi’s Liberation Day (October 10), the 1,010th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi, and 25th anniversary of the establishment of Hanoisme.

This year, over 200 enterprises representing nearly 290,000 from Hanoi’s business community would be recognized by leaders of the government and the city for their outstanding contributions to the process of socio-economic development.

The ceremony also offers an opportunity for enterprises to discuss business strategies and measures for sustainable development.

In the January – September period, nearly 20,000 enterprises were established in Hanoi with a combined registered capital of VND260.8 trillion (US$11.28 billion).

This year, Hanoi targets 30,000 newly established enterprises, representing an 11% increase from 27,000 in the previous year, which remains one of the city’s main priorities set by the Hanoi People’s Committee for rest of the year.

Vietnamese diplomats get training on services to vulnerable women migrant workers

About 50 Vietnamese diplomats were provided with training on delivering coordinated quality services to women migrant workers subject to violence in Hanoi on October 15.

The training workshop was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in partnership with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the International Labour Organisation.

This was the second time the Training Workshop for Diplomats has been held under the programme #SafeandFair: Realising women migrant workers' rights and opportunities in the ASEAN region, a part of the #SpotlightInitiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.

In his opening remark, Deputy Director General of the MoFA’s Department of Consular Affairs Do Hoang Tung said it is an important capacity-building event that helps enhance the effectiveness of the protection of Vietnamese citizens overseas, particularly vulnerable people like women migrant workers.

Protection of the legitimate rights and interests of migrants is the primary goal and priority in Vietnam's international migration management policy, which was underscored in the country’s implementation plan for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), he said.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Representative of UN Women Vietnam, said that the workshop provides all necessary information about the risks of violence, abuse, the role of women as well as barriers to them when accessing to support services, thereby helping diplomats – the first responders to fulfil their challenging tasks in serving citizens.

Vietnam, South Africa step up military medicine ties in pandemic response

Vietnam is willing to share with South Africa its research and production of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 test kit so that the two nations could together overcome the pandemic that are plaguing 213 countries around the globe, said a Vietnamese official at a virtual discussion which gathered leaders and experts of the two nations’ military medical corps.

Speaking at the event, which spotlighted pandemic response experience, Colonel Nguyen Van Giang, deputy head of the Ministry of Defence’s Military Medical Department, continued highlighting Vietnam’s willingness to share its practical experience in COVID-19 prevention and control.

He praised South Africa’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic. He noted 600,000 of the country’s 700,000 COVID-19 patients have been recovered, saying the rate is encouraging.

Regarding Vietnam’s current situation, he informed that no community infections have been detected in the past 43 consecutive days. Vietnam, however, stays vigilant as the pandemic developments remain complicated worldwide, the official affirmed.

International researches and exchanges on response measures should be carried out frequently, Giang suggested.

Major General N.P Maphaha, Chief Director of Military Health Force Preparation at the South African Military Service, lauded the organisation of the online meeting, saying it is an opportunity for top military medicine experts of the two nations to exchange knowledge and expertise in combating COVID-19.

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s pandemic response capacity, including the nation’s successful production of a test kit that is highly evaluated by the international medical community.

Maphaha said South Africa needs to learn from Vietnam’s production experience, as the country still has to rely on imported test kits.

At the function, Vietnamese and South African experts exchanged views on a range of issues, including those on the deployment of the medical corps, testing methods and procedures, methods for virus sources tracing and quarantine, and the monitoring of recovered patients, among others.

Dong Thap inaugurates first advanced rice farming project

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18
A drone is used to spray pesticides on a rice field under the province’s first advanced rice farming project in Thap Muoi district.


The Dong Thap province People’s Committee has held a ceremony to celebrate the Mekong Delta province’s first advanced rice farming project that uses modern techniques in all production stages and uses irrigation water efficiently.

The project is being implemented on 170ha by the My Dong 2 Commune Co-operative in Thap Muoi district.

Under the project, participating farmers use machines and smart devices for all production stages such as sowing seeds, fertilising, harvesting and post-harvest handling.

Participating farmers use slow-release fertiliser buried in soil as well as smart devices that use alternate wet and dry irrigation methods to save water.

They are also using smart devices to monitor brown plant hoppers, which are the main pests on rice fields.

The use of drones to spray pesticides helps farmers reduce the quantity of pesticide by 10 – 20 percent compared to traditional spraying methods.

Rice produced under the project has traceable origin and is guaranteed sales outlets under farming contracts.

The production cost of rice planted under the project is about 4,266 VND a kilogramme, nearly 400 VND lower than the production cost under traditional methods.

The project is estimated to offer a profit of 15.8 million VND (680 USD) per hectare a crop, up nearly 10 million VND (430 USD) compared to rice planted under traditional methods.

The project also creates conditions for farmers to exchange farming techniques, which reduces pollution and pesticide residue in rice fields.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said that advanced techniques, modern machines and information technology, as well as linkages among farmers, scientists and rice companies are also being applied.

The project has reduced production costs, improved production efficiency, and protected the environment and farmers' health.

He said the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and local authorities should expand the project to other localities.

The Mekong Delta province, one of the delta’s largest rice producers, has more than 200,000ha of land devoted to growing rice.

The province’s farmers grow a total of more than 520,000ha of rice in three rice crops a year with an annual paddy output of more than 3.3 million tonnes./.

“Van” chestnuts paving the way for people in remote areas to escape from poverty



This “Van” chestnut farm belongs to farmers with the Hop Phat cooperative in Duc Van commune, Ngan Son district, in Bac Kan province. They are hybrids between Trung Khanh chestnuts and “Van” chestnuts, which are indigenous to northern Cao Bang and Lang Son provinces, respectively. The nuts from these trees have been warmly welcomed by consumers due to their flavour and fragrance.

The northern reaches of Ngan Son district boast an ideal climate and soil conditions for planting “Van” chestnuts, and local authorities have been producing more hybrids to expand the planting area.

Hop Phat cooperative is now home to some 5 ha of “Van” chestnuts. The plant is expected to pave the way for local people in the remote district of Ngan Son to escape from poverty.

Ngan Son district is home to nearly 70 ha of “Van” chestnuts. The cultivation area is expected to expand by over 100 ha each year./.

UpRace raises $129,104 for charities, scholarships

A charity race for the UpRace community raised more than VNĐ3 billion (US$129,104) for Newborns Vietnam, GreenViet, Vietseeds, and Operation Smile.

 

The UpRace was organised by VNG, a technology company from September 18 to October 11. The race’s attendees ran more than 3 million kilometres.

The UpRace’s number of attendees this year reached 114,947, double the organisation’s initial expectation.

Rather than racing in person, runners recorded their runs with a mobile application on the UpRace website.

The app and the website measured the cumulative distance, with each validated kilometre fetching donations of at least VND1,000 from sponsoring companies.

The money raised for the four organisations via ZaloPay on UpRace’s Zalo account totalled more than VNĐ114 million.

After the UpRace ended, ZaloPay remained on the organisation’s Zalo account for donations from the community.

Last year, the UpRace run attracted 32,000 people and raised VNĐ6 billion (US$258,566) for Newborns Vietnam, GreenViet and Vietseeds.

VNG started UpRace's Race for the Community in 2018. It provides technical assistance for the race.

“Resilient Vietnam” photo contest winners shown in Times Square

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18
A winning image from the “Resilient Vietnam” photo contest goes on display on the big screen in New York.

Six winning shots from the “Resilient Vietnam” photo contest went on display on the big screen of Times Square in the centre of New York City, the United States, on October 15. 

These photos are the winners of the “Resilient Vietnam” photo contest organised by the Vietnam Public Relations Network (VNPR) with the aim of capturing the resilience of Vietnamese people in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

They were selected from approximately 1,000 entries by 350 professional photographers from across the country.

In total, six photographers were awarded in two categories, including professional photos and mobile phone photos. In addition, the “Inspirer” award was presented to photographer Nguyen A from Ho Chi Minh City.

The competition is being held to promote photography arts and utilise photography to tell stories about Vietnam during its fight against COVID-19. It is hoped that the contest does this in a lively way that is both full of respect and gratitude, Nguyen Khoa My, president of the Vietnam Public Relations Network, told an awards ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City.

Illegal beer destroyed in Can Tho

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18

Market Management Department in Can Tho Province has destroyed smuggled and low-quality beer. 

According to the General Department of Market Management, the Market Management Department in Can Tho destroyed 330 beer cartons smuggled from Holland and didn't meet the national standards for alcoholic beverages. 

The beer cans were destroyed by the bulldozer under the monitoring of the Department of Finance, Department of Industry and Trade, Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the press.

The beer was valued at VND143m (USD6,100).

English video clip contest launched to promote Vietnam’s beauty

A contest on making English video clips was officially launched by the Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, in collaboration with Thanh Giong (Saint Giong) Knowledge Portal and AMES English system at a ceremony held in Hanoi on October 14.

The contest, themed “Proud of Vietnam”, is aimed at all individuals and groups under the age of 35 who are living, studying and working in Vietnam.

The contestants can shoot or edit the video clip by themselves or make the film from available images and video clips with clear origin and under the consent of the original authors.

The content should highlight red addresses, famous landscapes and relic sites in Vietnam. In the entries, the description or introduction must be implemented in English and have Vietnamese subtitles.

The organising board will present eight weekly awards, worth a full two-month scholarship of VND8 million, for the works receiving the highest votes via social network.

After that, the 20 most outstanding entries will be selected for the final round, towards claiming the first prize of VND10 million and an English scholarship worth VND24 million. Onesecond and two third prizes will also be awarded.

The awards ceremony will be held in December in Hanoi.

Bilingual artbook on French-style buildings in Hanoi released

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18
The book introduces viewers to nearly 150 sketches and paintings by members of the Urban Sketchers Hanoi

A Vietnamese – English artbook entitled ‘Impressions of Hanoi - from the sketches of French colonial buildings’ was recently released by Kim Dong Publishing House.

The book introduces viewers to nearly 150 sketches and paintings by members of the Urban Sketchers Hanoi, who won the Job Prize of the 2019 Bui Xuan Phai – For the Love of Hanoi.

The participating artists include both professional and amateur architects and painters who share a common interest in sketching and a passion for learning of Hanoi’s history and culture from the past to the present.

The book also introduces readers to researches and studies by acclaimed Vietnamese scientists, experts and scholars into Hanoi’s history and the French-styled buildings in the capital city.

Notably, the book has a chapter dedicated to sketches by child members of the Urban Sketchers Hanoi, with the youngest being just six years old.

Urban Sketchers Hanoi was established in September 2016 with an aim to keep memories of the capital city through their paintings, especially of Hanoi’s old tenements. The group has attracted the participation of more than 4,000 members from across the country as well as foreigners of various ages and social backgrounds.

Fines for violations in journalism and publishing activities

The Government has promulgated Decree No. 119/2020/ND-CP on administrative penalties for violations in the realm of journalism and publishing.

Under the Decree, illegal hindrance to press activities shall be fined as follows:

(i) A fine from VND 10,000,000 to VND 20,000,000 shall be imposed for illegal hindrance against activities of journalists or correspondents (the current fine is from VND 5,000,000 to VND 10,000,000).

(ii) A fine from VND 20,000,000 to VND 30,000,000 shall be imposed for illegal seizure of journalism tools, records or documents of journalists or correspondents.

(iii) A fine from VND 30,000,000 to VND 40,000,000 shall be imposed for one of the following violations:

- Any offence to the honor and dignity of journalists or correspondents on duty.

- Ruin and intentionally damage journalism tools and documents of journalist or correspondents.

(iv) A fine from VND 40,000,000 to VND 60,000,000 shall be imposed for words and activities that pose threat to a journalist and correspondent’s life (the current fine is from VND 20,000,000 to VND 30,000,000).

Violation against regulations on provision of information

Violation against regulations on provision of information to press agencies and use of information from press agencies shall be fined as follows:

(i) A fine of VND 1,000,000 to VND 3,000,000 shall be imposed for hindering organizations and individuals from providing information to press agencies, or failing to provide information to press agencies in accordance with laws (the current fine is from VND 200,000 to 500,000).

(ii) A fine from VND 10,000,000 to VND 15,000,000 shall be imposed for mispresenting opinions that interviewees give to press agencies, or failing to comply with interviewee’s request for review of interview contents before publishing or broadcasting such contents on news media (the current fine is from VND 3,000,000 to VND 5,000,000).

The Decree shall take effect from December 1, 2020, replacing Decree No. 159/2013/ND-CP dated on November 12, 2013./.

Indonesia, Philippines report surges in COVID-19 infections

Indonesia recorded 4,301 more COVID-19 cases and 79 deaths in the last 24 hours, lifting its total number of infections and fatalities to 353,461 and 12,347, respectively.

It surpassed the Philippines to become the country in Southeast Asia with the highest number of infections and deaths.

Meanwhile, with 3.139 new cases recently reported, the Philippines’s total number of COVID-19 infections reached 351,750, including 6,531 deaths.
However, the Philippine government announced that it would abolish the restrictions on unnecessary travel activities previously imposed.

The policy will take effect from October 21 and benefit Filipinos who want to visit their relatives abroad, according to Harry Roque, the spokesperson of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Businesses and stores in the country will be allowed to resume sales and marketing activities, he added./.

Action Month for the Vietnamese Elderly launched

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 18

The Central Committee of the Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE) launched an Action Month for the Elderly 2020 in Hanoi on October 16.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is Chairman of the National Committee for the Vietnamese Elderly, said that October was selected as the Action Month for the Elderly to remind society about providing care for senior citizens and upholding their role.

He attributed successes in the fight against COVID-19 to the efforts of the entire system and people from all walks of life, including the elderly.

Dam called for attention to healthcare for the elderly, as the Health Ministry’s figures show that 54 percent suffer from high blood pressure, 42 percent live with rheumatic disease and 20 percent with lung disease, and 18 percent have digestive disorders.

Apart from building hospitals and medical establishments for the elderly, he said the health sector is also providing remote health check-ups and amending and supplementing health insurance policies.

Vice Chairwoman of the National Committee for the Vietnamese Elderly and VAE Chairwoman Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said this is the sixth year the action month has been held.

With a different theme each year, the month focuses on pooling resources to care for the elderly, holding cultural-art-sports activities and contributing to improving their material and spiritual lives.

The VAE mobilised 841.7 billion VND from 2015 to 2019, benefiting over 2 million senior citizens living in need.

To date, 106 central and provincial-level hospitals have geriatric departments, with over 10,000 beds in total. Some 1.9 million elderly people have been provided with healthcare knowledge, while 96 percent have health insurance cards.

Most hospitals give priority to those aged above 80. Several localities, like Bac Ninh, Hung Yen, and Vinh Phuc, earmark local budget funds for the purchase of health insurance for those aged 60-80./.

Meeting promotes ASEAN-EAS cooperation in adapting to COVID-19

Senior experts from the East Asia Summit (EAS) have gathered at an online meeting to discuss cooperation orientations in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, co-chaired by Vietnam, as the Chair of ASEAN and EAS 2020, and Indonesia as the Chair of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD).

The meeting was held within the framework of a joint initiative from Vietnam and Indonesia to strengthen EAS cooperation in dealing with the health crisis and future public health emergencies, towards coordinating efforts to minimise the negative effects of the disease and promote sustainable recovery, while contributing to improving the EAS’s ability to effectively respond to emerging challenges in the region.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung highlighted the spirit of cohesion and proactive adaptation of ASEAN member nations and the group’s close coordination with its partners, including the EAS, in responding promptly and effectively to the pandemic.

He called upon EAS partners to continue active support to ASEAN initiatives in containing the spread of COVID-19, responding to other diseases in the future, including the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and the regional medical supplies reserve warehouse, and helping ASEAN build an overall recovery plan.

The EAS needs to continue improving its ability to respond promptly and effectively to emerging challenges in the region, he said.

Dung suggested participants focus on discussing and proposing practical and specific measures to continue to improve the effectiveness of EAS cooperation in controlling and containing the pandemic, while minimising its socio-economic impact and promoting sustainable recovery.

ASEAN’s existing efforts and initiatives along with its cooperation with EAS partners are an important foundation for further promoting EAS cooperation towards these goals, he affirmed.

ASEAN SOM Leader of Indonesia Ngurah Swajaya emphasised the need to enhance cooperation among countries to effectively respond to the pandemic’s increasingly complicated development, proposing EAS partners continue supporting ASEAN in improving health capacity to respond to the pandemic and in researching and developing COVID-19 vaccines and medicines.

Experts from the EAS countries welcomed the organisation of the meeting, saying it offers an opportunity to further promote the role of the EAS in promoting effective cooperation to respond to emerging regional challenges, especially the pandemic.

They agreed it is necessary to strengthen close coordination with and support for ASEAN to effectively respond to the pandemic.

Participants also agreed to submit the results of the meeting to the 15th East Asia Summit, in November./.

Vietnam sends message of solidarity on anniversary of Salvador Allende’s election

Hoang Binh Quan, Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, cabled a message of solidarity to the Sao Paulo forum on the occasion of its virtual event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the victory of Salvador Allende and his Popular Unity political alliance in the 1970 Chilean presidential election.

In his message to the commemoration, held on October 15, Quan said Allende’s sacrifice continues to be a source of encouragement for the common fight of progressive left-wing forces in Latin America and the world.

It has created a trust in victory in the fight for peace, independence, life, democracy, social progress, cooperation, and development, he added.

He stressed that to the Vietnamese people, the late Chilean President remains a symbol of international support for Vietnam during the country’s past struggles for national independence.

Allende was a friend and comrade of the Vietnamese people and the last foreign politician to meet President Ho Chi Minh, in May 1969, Quan noted.

He said Allende played a key role in laying the foundation for diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as between the CPV and Chile’s Socialist Party and progressive left-wing forces.

Allende is often recalled as one of the most progressive Chilean presidents. His tenure led to falling unemployment, progress in agricultural reform, and the nationalisation of the copper industry, among other achievements./.

Vietnam - Germany Friendship Association celebrates 35th founding anniversary

The Vietnam - Germany Friendship Association celebrated its 35th founding anniversary at a ceremony in Hanoi on October 16.

Chairman of the association and Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung told the gathering that in contributing to bilateral relations for peace, cooperation, and development, the association has worked to introduce Vietnam to Germans to increase mutual understanding and friendships.

The association has attracted public attention in Germany for its activities supporting Vietnam’s poverty eradication efforts, socio-economic growth, fight for AO/dioxin victim’s rights and interests, and protection of national territorial sovereignty.

Guido Hildner, German Ambassador to Vietnam, said the celebrations are meaningful for both nations.

He said the association’s donation of over 80,000 face masks to the German people amid COVID-19 is a timely and valuable gift.

The diplomat stressed the importance of education in the many fields of Vietnam - Germany cooperation, adding that about 7,500 Vietnamese students are studying in Germany.

He hoped educational ties would be further enhanced and become a key point of the bilateral friendship.

On behalf of the Party and the State, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung presented the association with a second-class Labour Order in recognition of its distinct services to fostering relations and cooperation between the two countries.

He affirmed that the friendship and strategic partnership plays an important role in Vietnam’s policy on external relations, adding that Germany has for many years been a key partner in Europe.

To extensively, effectively, and practically reinforce ties in all fields, from politics and diplomacy, trade and investment, and defence, to education and tourism, he recommended the association follow the Party’s orientations on external relations, boost people-to-people exchanges, and actively cooperate with partners./.

Korean President appreciates Vietnam’s support in range of fields

Vietnamese Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (RoK) Nguyen Vu Tung presented his credentials to Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul on October 16.

The Korean President welcomed the new ambassador taking up office despite the effects of COVID-19 on his daily life and work.

He highlighted the important role of the ambassador and the Vietnamese embassy in connecting and promoting cooperation between the two countries in both bilateral and multilateral aspects.

Moon expressed his thanks for the support from the international community, including Vietnam, to the country’s efforts in promoting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, as well as facilitating the development of multilateralism, especially in the field of international trade, COVID-19 prevention and control, and climate change response.

For his part, Tung expressed his pleasure at taking on the role as the ambassador to the RoK, at a time when the strategic cooperative partnership is flourishing and ASEAN and the RoK are implementing the RoK’s New Southern Policy.

He vowed to work hard to make contributions to the development of Vietnam-RoK ties as the two countries are looking forward to the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations (December 12, 1992-2022)./.

Singapore to extend COVID-19 testing

Singapore has decided to extend testing for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 for more groups of citizens.

Stallholders, stall assistants and cleaners working at 110 hawker centres and markets and more than 1,120 coffee shops, as well as food delivery personnel operating in the locality of these eating places can go for the voluntary testing due to their higher frequency of interactions with the public, said a joint news release on October 15.

The testing operations will be rolled out to different regions of Singapore before the end of the year.

A pilot run of the voluntary COVID-19 swab tests was conducted for stallholders, stall assistants and cleaners working at three selected hawker centres and markets and seven coffee shops in the Marine Parade in September, as well as food delivery personnel operating in the locality.

Over 750 people took the test and there was no positive COVID-19 case.

On October 15, Singapore reported three new COVID-19 cases, with two imported cases and one patient residing in the dormitory who is detected through routine testing. The country’s tally has risen to 57,892./.

HCM City workshop seeks to promote, realise children’s rights

A workshop aimed at improving the quality of care and support for disadvantaged children took place in HCM City on October 15.

It offered a forum for domestic and foreign experts, non-governmental and civil society organisations (NGOs/CSOs), and relevant agencies to discuss and share experience.

Entitled “Strengthening the Role of NGOs/CSOs in Promoting and Realising Children’s Rights”, it was co-organised by the Ho Chi Minh City Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights and UNICEF Vietnam.

Vice President of the association Pham Dinh Nghinh said the child protection system and services offering care have improved and diversified over the recent past.

He called upon NGOs and CSOs to strengthen their role in raising the efficiency of child protection efforts into the future.

The association intends to hold regular events with organisations on promoting children’s rights. It will devise specific programmes and plans based on recommendations on removing bottlenecks in child protection, he underlined.

For her part, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Vietnam Lesley Miller said it has conducted a range of activities in child protection with agencies in Vietnam and in HCM City in particular, most notably the Child Friendly Cities Initiative.

Delegates at the workshop put forth solutions to enhance the role of NGOs and CSOs in realising children’s rights, pointing out that children being equipped with skills and knowledge about their rights is the most effective method of child protection./.

Workshop reviews project on reducing child marriage among ethnic minorities

Some 70 experts on gender equality and delegates from ethnic committees of 15 provinces and cities across the country attended a workshop on October 15 to review the first five years of a project on reducing child marriage and inter-marriage in ethnic minority areas during 2015-2025.

The workshop was organised by the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), with support from Irish Aid.

Speaking at the event, Vu Phuong Ly from UN Women said child marriage and inter-marriage are among the most obvious manifestations of gender inequality, which has persisted for generations in ethnic minority areas.

The problems require long-term systematic solutions in terms of socio-economic development, and these must correspond to the customs and cultures of each ethnic minority group. This, however, has not been given adequate attention, she noted.

Deputy Minister –Vice Chairwoman of the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs Hoang Thi Hanh said that, in the next five years, the issues of child marriage and inter-marriage should be placed in a broader and multi-dimensional context. She also highlighted the importance of promoting gender equality, the empowerment of women, women’s leadership, and their participation in household and community decision-making.

The committee plans to ramp up activities to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against ethnic minority girls and boys, including child marriage, which will be a priority in promoting gender equality in ethnic minority areas.

The rate of child marriage among ethnic minorities in 2018 was 21.9 percent; 4.7 percentage points less than the 26.6 percent recorded in 2014, according to the results of a General Statistics Office survey on the socio-economic circumstances of Vietnam’s 53 ethnic minority groups. The decline is still low, however, and varies between localities. The ratio remains high in many provinces, such as Lam Dong and Lao Cai./

Memorial service for hydropower plant landslide rescuers

A memorial service will be organised for 13 members of a rescue team buried by a landslide in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue this weekend.

The victim's bodies had been retrieved at the Song Bo forest rangers’ office in Phong Dien District as of 7:30 pm on Thursday.  

The rescue team included Major General Nguyen Van Man, Deputy Commander of the Military Region 4, and Chairman of the Phong Dien district People's Committee Nguyen Van Binh.

The 13 were part of a 21-member rescue team set up on October 12 to rescue workers buried by another landslide on a construction site near the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant, around 13 kilometres from the Song Bo forest rangers’ office.

They stopped there for a rest for the night and a landslide hit the station at midnight and only eight of them successfully managed to escape from the site.

Military Region 4 will hold a memorial service for the dead at Military Hospital 268 in Hue City on Sunday, October 18.

The government has agreed on recognising them as having died in the course of their duty as well as army rank promotion for them.

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

 
 

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