VN launches elderly healthcare programme in response to ageing population


Elderly people receive free medicine in the northern province of Lai Châu earlier this month. 

A 10-year healthcare programme for the elderly will start in Việt Nam next year as part of the Government’s response to the country’s fast-ageing population.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has approved the healthcare programme, under which authorities at all levels will be required to develop planning and arrange funding for elderly healthcare by 2025. This funding will be maintained until at least 2030.

Over the next five years, at least 70 per cent of elderly people aged over 60 and their caregivers will be informed about the programme and their right to care.

That percentage is expected to increase by 85 per cent by 2030.

Under the programme, at least 70 per cent of elderly people across the country will have medical check-ups once a year.

By 2025, 95 per cent of the elderly will have health records, with that figure rising to 100 per cent over the following five years.

Thanks to improved health records, it is expected that 70 per cent of elderly people who have non-communicable diseases will be detected and treated by 2025.

All elderly people who require care will receive the support they need from their families or the community by 2025.

Intergenerational self-help clubs and other kinds of healthcare clubs will also be set up as part of the programme.

The Intergenerational Self-Help Club (ISHC) model - community-based organisations that promote healthy longevity through a variety of inter-generational activities - was first launched in Việt Nam in 2006. There are now nearly 3,000 ISHCs nationwide with a total membership of around 160,000 people.

ISHCs carry out social and cultural activities to promote psychosocial health such as games, performances and home visits, and they promote life-long learning through monthly talks, study visits and intergenerational cross-learning and sharing on a broad range of topics.

They also focus on physical health by raising awareness of and promoting healthy and active lifestyles, for example, exercise, sports, hobbies, meditation and volunteerism, and thorough access to regular health screenings (monitoring weight and blood pressure), check-ups, treatment and insurance.

The model offers homecare services through volunteers.

In order to achieve these goals, leaders at all levels have been urged to pay more attention to elderly healthcare. Primary healthcare services, non-communicable diseases prevention and control, regular health check-ups and health monitoring for old people need to be improved.

Long-term healthcare models for old people are also expected to be developed.

Under the programme, those who deliver healthcare services for the elderly will receive further training. Geriatrics will be included in tertiary/ post-graduate training programmes at medical schools and universities.

Việt Nam will also call for more resources for the programme, and is expecting increased engagement from the private sector.

Việt Nam now has about 12 million elderly people aged from 60.

The country officially entered the "ageing phase" in 2011, and is among the most rapidly ageing countries in the world.

The proportion of older persons in the total population has increased to 11.9 per cent, and one in nine persons was over the age of 60 in 2017.

According to projections from the General Statistics Office, the population of over 60-year-olds is expected to reach 21 million, accounting for 20 per cent of the total population, by 2038, and 27 million, accounting for 25 per cent of the population, by 2050.

According to the General Office for Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health, 65.7 per cent of elderly people in rural areas are farmers with low or unstable incomes.

Up to 73 per cent of them live without pensions, face multiple challenges and are dependent on their offspring.

Over 72 per cent live with their offspring while nuclear families are an increasing trend in Việt Nam, replacing traditional extended families.

“Living alone is a disadvantage for the elderly as when they get older, they tend to rely on family more," said Nguyễn Doãn Tú, head of the general office.

Moreover, their health limited them. With an average life expectancy of 73, they usually lived healthily to the age of 64, he said, adding that up to 96 per cent of the elderly had illnesses, mostly chronic non-communicable diseases.

Efforts underway to help localities recover after severe flooding

Authorities in central provinces have mobilised all available forces to help flood victims recover, while another storm has formed in the East Sea which is expected to bring more rain in the coming days.

Data from the National Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Prevention and Control shows that as of Monday, 132 people were killed and 27 others were still missing due to the floods and landslides in the central region.

Floods have also destroyed nearly 7,000ha of crops, swept away over 685,000 domestic fowls and damaged or submerged many national highways in central localities.

At a meeting held in Hà Nội on Tuesday morning, Deputy Chief of the Standing Office of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Vũ Xuân Thành urged relevant agencies and authorities of localities to continue carrying out rescue measures and help local people recover after the flood and soon resume their lives.

Authorities of central localities have mobilised all available forces to help flood victims repair and clean houses, schools, fix damaged roads and areas affected by landslides. 

At the meeting, Thành said a low tropical pressure system has developed into a storm on Tuesday morning. The storm, Saudel, was 330km east of the Luzon Island of the Philippines at 7am on Tuesday.

It is moving in the west and north-western direction at a speed of 20-25km per hour and was forecast to enter the East Sea on Wednesday. The storm is expected to be 740km off the east and southeast of Hoàng Sa Island.

Thành urged relevant agencies and localities to keep a close watch over the development of the storm, promptly inform owners of vessels operating offshore and prepare measures to cope with the storm. 

Meanwhile, floodwaters in rivers in central provinces are receding, leaving high risks of erosion, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

Central provinces from Hà Tĩnh to Quảng Ngãi on Tuesday experienced rainfall of 80-150mm, while Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình provinces had very heavy rain with rainfall of 300mm or even 600mm.

Due to prolonged heavy rains, the water level in different rivers in the central region such as the Ngàn Sâu, Gianh, Kiến Giang and Bồ have fluctuated around the second warning level.

It is forecast that central areas face a very high risk of landslides in mountainous districts.

Wide-scale flooding will continue to be seen in urban areas of Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình provinces. Natural disaster risks caused by floods, flash floods and landslides are at the third warning level.

By Tuesday, many places in Hà Tĩnh Province were still isolated by flooding.

Thousands of households in Cẩm Xuyên and Thạch Hà districts and Hà Tĩnh City were submerged.

A Vietnam News Agency correspondent observed a great number of vehicles stuck for many hours because Thạch Hà and Cẩm Xuyên districts were flooded, preventing vehicles from moving.

Nguyễn Văn Sáu, deputy chairman of the Thạch Hà District People’s Committee, said that the district assigned all canoes and boats to deeply flooded places to provide local residents with food and not let them suffer from hunger and cold.

Local authorities in Hà Tĩnh Province plan to evacuate more than 45,000 residents living downstream of Kẻ Gỗ reservoir as the water level is rising.

Reservoir levels have been almost a metre higher than normal due to prolonged torrential rain. While facing water flow from upstream, the Kẻ Gỗ reservoir has released water at 900 cu.m per second on Monday morning.

By Tuesday, the Hà Nội Fatherland Front Committee received donations from 55 organisations with total money of more than VNĐ22 billion (US$948,800) and other essential goods. 

Việt Nam urges parties in Central Africa to respect peace agreement

Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, head of the Việt Nam mission to the UN, has appreciated the Central African Republic’s efforts to ensure national stability and create an environment conducive to the organisation of elections, despite increasing violence and escalating tensions.

While addressing the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Central African Republic on Monday, Quý stressed that attacks by armed groups, including those against civilians, posed a serious challenge, especially in the last stages of electoral preparations.

Implementing the peace agreement is the only viable path forward, he said, also calling on the signatories to abide by the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Continued technical and financial support is required from the international community to help fill funding gaps for the upcoming election and to alleviate the humanitarian effects of COVID-19,” Quý stated.

Underlining the important role being played by regional stakeholders, including the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), he reiterated Việt Nam’s support for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and called for full respect for the safety and security of peacekeepers.

MINUSCA was set up on the basis of the UN Resolution 2149 in 2014 with the aim to protect civilians, support the peace process, make and reform laws, and solve humanitarian challenges. Việt Nam now has six officers joining MINUSCA.

Speaking at the event, Mankeur Ndiaye, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Central African Republic and Head of the MINUSCA, reiterated his appeal to the Central African Republic and neighbouring nations to allow refugees to participate in the electoral process.

He also welcomed a rise in women’s participation, noting that they now comprise 46 per cent of the electoral roll. 

The elections are slated for late December. 

Buildings in Hà Nội and HCM City go pink for breast cancer month

The Euro Window Building uses pink lights to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention. — Photo courtesy of the Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients – Bright Future

A number of large buildings in Hà Nội and HCM City turned pink  for 30 minutes on Monday night to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The event last from 8pm to 8.30pm.

In Hà Nội, five buildings were lit pink, including the TNG Building at 54 Nguyễn Chí Thanh Street , the Doji Building at 5 Lê Duẩn Street, the Hoàng Huy Building at 275 Nguyễn Trãi Street, the Euro Window at 2 Tôn Thất Tùng Street and the Sun Grand City at 3 Lương Yên Street.

The buildings used pink lights with symbol of a pink knot to call for community’s notice for breast cancer prevention.

The Vincom Landmark 81 Building goes pink. — Photo courtesy of the Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients – Bright Future
In HCM City, the Vincom Landmark 81 Building in Bình Thạnh District –the tallest building in Việt Nam also turned pink and featured the pink knot icon.

This event aims to attract attention of the whole society to prevent this disease to raise awareness of prevention and action against breast cancer.

The event is a part of activities in response to the breast cancer screening and communication campaign 2020, named “Share hands with the women I love”. The campaign is in the framework of the World Breast Cancer Prevention Month and celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Vietnamese Women’s Day October 20.

The event was launched and organised by the Ministry of Health, the Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients – Bright Future with sponsor from the Roche Việt Nam. 

HCM City needs more overhead roads to ease traffic congestion

The HCM City Department of Transport is urging the city People's Committee to approve investment for 55 urgent transport infrastructure projects next year, including five new overhead roads to ease traffic congestion at hotspots connecting eastern and western areas.

Traffic gridlock often occurs during rush hour on Trường Sơn Street leading to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and the Lăng Cha Cả Roundabout in Tân Bình District, and at an area at a railroad crossing on Nguyễn Văn Trỗi Street in Phú Nhuận.

Flyovers have been built around these areas, but congestion has only slightly decreased.

Under the department’s proposal, the projects would cost about VNĐ81.8 trillion (US$3.5 billion) sourced from the State budget and VNĐ68.6 trillion ($2.95 billion) under public-private partnerships (PPP).

The first priority would be given to construction of two overhead roads No. 1 in and No. 5, to be implemented in the 2020-30 period.

With a cost of VNĐ17.5 trillion ($755 million) sourced from the local budget, the overhead road No.1 would be 9.5km long, starting from Lăng Cha Cả Roundabout in Tân Bình District to the Phú An Bridge in Bình Thạnh District.

The overhead road No. 5 will run from the National Highway 1A section at Trạm 2 Intersection in District 9 and Thủ Đức District to An Lạc Intersection in Bình Tân District, with a total length of 34km.

The VNĐ32.9 trillion ($1.4 billion) project will receive funds under a public-private partnership (PPP). It is expected to reduce traffic jams and enhance transport connections between eastern and western areas.

The department has also proposed three other overhead roads.

The 12km overhead road No. 2 will start at the overhead road No. 1 at the Lăng Cha Cả Roundabout and end at the intersection of Hương Lộ 2 Street and National Highway 1A in Bình Tân District.

The overhead road No. 3 will have a length of 8km from the intersection of the overhead road No. 2 and Thành Thái Street in District 10, running through Lý Thái Tổ and Nguyễn Văn Cừ streets to Nguyễn Văn Linh Street in District 7.

The overhead road No. 4 will be about 7.3km long, running from the intersection of National Highway 1A and the overhead road No. 5, through Vườn Lài Street, spanning Vàm Thuật River, and Phan Chu Trinh Street, and ending at the intersection of Điện Biên Phủ Street and the overhead road No. 1.

If these routes were expanded, the costs for site compensation would be too high. Therefore, building overhead roads will be more practical and feasible.

Hà Ngọc Trường, vice chairman of the city's Road, Bridge and Port Association, said building the proposed overhead roads was urgently needed to tackle traffic jams in key areas in the city.

The city should create favourable conditions for the private sector to invest in the overhead roads under PPPs, he said.

Võ Kim Cương, former deputy chief architect of the city, said the city’s development of transport infrastructure had not caught up with its urbanisation and strong economic and population growth.

Upgrading transport infrastructure requires huge financial resources, so the city needed policies to speed up compensation and site clearance to start construction and complete the traffic projects on schedule. 

Young man works for hometown development

Trần Thanh Tú (first left) serves free meals to poor patients in Sa Pa town's General Hospital, Lào Cai Province. — Photo

Trần Thanh Tú, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Youth Union in Sa Pa, Lào Cai Province, has been working with dozens of local youngsters to build a beautiful, civilised and prosperous town.

After graduating from Hà Nội Law University in July 2017, Tú returned to his hometown and started working for the Sa Pa Youth Union.

Two months later, he founded the volunteer club "Sa Pa Youth for the Community" with 42 youngsters who were studying and living in the town.

He came up with the idea while he was at university in order to mobilise young people and promote solidarity and creativity to build a better homeland.

"I decided to devote my entire youth to contributing my knowledge and efforts to build a good local youth movement to support the community with the slogan 'Ready to go anywhere and do anything when the country needs'," the 27-year-old man said.

All the club's members work together to mobilise, donate and support students and people in extremely difficult circumstances in Sa Pa.

One of their community activities is to prepare free meals for poor patients at the general hospital.

"I feel sympathy for people suffering from illnesses. I saw many cases when I was living in Hà Nội and I thought of the poor patients and ethnic minority people in Sa Pa," he explained.

"I'm very happy because my idea is supported by many people, including many union members and local youths," said Tú.

In the beginning, they could only cook about 60 meals each week due to their limited budget.

Each meal cost the club VNĐ20,000 to prepare, and patients and their families knew they could count on being fed free of charge.

Over the past two years, the club has received a lot of support from individuals and organisations, and they can now provide more free meals for poor patients.

Nearly 8,350 free meals have been provided for people in need.

Hạng Thị Mai, 45, the relative of a poor patient from Mường Bo Commune, said: "I am very happy to receive free meals from the club. It really helps my family to overcome our difficulties because my mother has to go to the hospital regularly to treat her disease."

"We feel glad to know that there are many young people with kind hearts, caring and sharing with people in difficult circumstances," said Mai.

In 2018, Tú opened a stall to sell brocade products made by ethnic groups in Sa Pa in order to raise funds and help poor children. Products such as clothes, towels and bags are made by union members, youngsters and children around the district.

The stall not only creates regular jobs for 10 local people, but is also an effective place to promote culture and tourism in the town centre.

Over the past two years, Tú and his union members have also planted nearly 30,000 new trees in the town and coordinated with agencies, departments and youth unions to organise volunteer programmes to clean up the environment.

He has also co-ordinated with Hà Nội Law University to organise charity programmes to provide clothes and school supplies for semi-boarding students at the primary school in Nậm Cang Commune, open a library and build a charity house.

Tú has helped about 60 people find regular jobs, and activities to help youngsters start their own businesses have been held in Nậm Sài, Bản Khoang, Tả Van communes.

On October 11, Tú was one of 57 outstanding young people across the country to receive an award for their worthy contributions to youth union activities.

"I will continue to help the young people in Sa Pa with working, learning and playing to develop the local economy," Tú said. 

Drastic measures needed to encourage workers to join social and health insurance

Many businesses have scaled down production and reduced their workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a decrease in the number of those participating in social and health insurance, as well as an increase in unpaid social security debts, experts have said.

As a result, the Government’s targets on sustainable development of participants in social insurance will be difficult to achieve if no drastic measures are taken.

Phạm Xuân Toan, director of southern Bình Thuận Province’s Social Security, said the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on many businesses in the province, proven by the adjustment of participants in social security and health insurance. 

Figures from March 1 to the end of June showed that more than 740 enterprises in the province, accounting for 47.5 per cent of the total, have stopped participating in health insurance for more than 12,240 workers. These workers either quit their jobs or requested unpaid leave. 

More than 7,000 employees have suspended social insurance contributions. 

Toan said these businesses were mainly in the fields of tourism, restaurants and hotels, shoe production, and garment and textile.

The reduction of social insurance and health insurance participants had affected the sector’s targets, he said, adding that the unit had urged businesses to pay debts to ensure the interests of employees.

Bình Thuận is not the only province affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Reports from Vietnam Social Security showed that many enterprises across the country scaled down their production or temporarily suspended operations. 

People's incomes decreased, so many people are not continuing their participation in voluntary social insurance or household health insurance. This led to a decrease in the number of participants in social and health insurance schemes.

The unpaid debts for social and health insurance have increased due to enterprises’ financial difficulties.

By the end of August, more than 15.3 million people participated in social security scheme, accounting for 31.2 per cent of the workforce; 12.8 million people participated in unemployment insurance, accounting for 26 per cent of the workforce; and 86.4 million people participated in health insurance, covering 89.2 per cent of the population.

Although the number of people participating in voluntary social insurance and health insurance increased compared to last year, the number of those participating in compulsory social insurance and unemployment insurance has decreased sharply.

The social insurance revenue has been lower than the same period last year, and the debts have reached VNĐ21.4 trillion (US$925 million), an increase of 0.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The Vietnam Social Security estimates that the sector need to attract more than 1.8 million people to join social insurance, 1.4 million people to join unemployment insurance, and 1.6 million people to join health insurance by the end of this year to achieve the Government’s targets.

Ensuring people’s benefits

Vietnam Social Security and local social security have made efforts to promote the reform of administrative procedures and the application of information technology in payments.

In the past eight months, the country has paid VNĐ151 trillion ($6.5 billion) in social insurance and VNĐ1.7 trillion ($73.5 million) in unemployment insurance for beneficiaries.

Compared to the same period in 2019, the number of people entitled to the sickness and maternity benefits has decreased, but the number of people eligible for monthly social insurance, lump-sum social insurance and unemployment insurance has increased.

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Social Security Đào Việt Anh has asked the units to review and reassess the targets.

Addressing the challenges on the development of compulsory social insurance targets in this year, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Social Security Trần Đình Liệu said it was possible to ensure the revenues this year.

Local social insurance agencies needed to implement measures to reduce debts of social insurance and health insurance for hard-hit businesses and strengthen inspections on businesses delaying debt payments. 

Weather forecasting centre rejects fake news about super typhoon


The National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre has rejected reports alleging the eighth storm to hit the central region of Việt Nam, known as Saudel, is actually a super typhoon.

The fake news was spread on Facebook citing the Japanese national weather forecasting centre.

“All of these predictions about Typhoon Saudel are baseless and fake. The Japanese weather forecasting centre and other countries have said no such thing,” said Trần Quang Năng, head of the weather forecasting department at the centre.

At 1pm on Tuesday, the typhoon was about 220km from Luzon Island in the Philippines, with winds reaching 60-75km per hour.

In the next 24 hours, it will move west-northwest across the South China Sea (called the East Sea by Việt Nam) on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Typhoon Saudel is predicted to strengthen after it makes landfall and brings heavy rain to northern and central regions.

Năng asked the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control to punish those responsible for spreading inaccurate information on social networks, causing public confusion.

This issue should be handled promptly to ensure people only access accurate information released by the authorities so they could respond to natural disasters, helping to mitigate the damage they caused, he said. 

Health experts recommend women undergo early breast cancer screening

More and more breast cancer cases in Việt Nam in the last few decades have been found among young women, many of whom still think they are safe from the disease due to their age, doctors said during a recent conference.

At a conference hosted by Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper on Sunday, Head of the Department of Breast, Endocrine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology at HCM City Oncology Hospital Trần Nguyên Hà said that Việt Nam recorded about 15,000 new breast cancer cases every year, fewer than other Asian countries.

In developed countries, people with breast cancer were usually over 50, while in Việt Nam, the age was about 45, Hà said, adding that in some cases, the disease was detected too late.

“Women over 40 should have a breast cancer screening once a year,” Hà said.

Besides age, people whose relatives had breast cancer or other types of cancers are urged to get regular screenings. Those who have previously had breast cancer are also at higher risk.

Women who are obese, have early periods, late menopause or are postmenopausal using long-term hormonal replacement measures should pay attention to screening.

Hà said there were few differences between malignant and benign tumours and currently, a treatment method could target the differences and work effectively.

Doctor Huỳnh Quang Khánh from the Oncology Centre at Chợ Rẫy Hospital said that when finding unusual lumps or bumps in their breast, women should go to a health facility for testing.

Thanks to improvements in cancer screening, diagnosis, early detection as well as advanced methods, treatment for breast cancer patients is often successful, according to Khánh.

Deputy Health Minister Trần Văn Thuấn said at the launching ceremony of an action month against breast cancer that the disease was the most common cancer found in women and had become a burden for many countries including Việt Nam.

In Việt Nam, nearly 164,700 new cancer cases were detected yearly, of which, there were 15,229 breast cancer cases, accounting for nearly 21 per cent of cancers in women.

Notably, in the last few decades, more Vietnamese women at younger ages had breast cancer, Thuấn said.

“Breast cancer is treatable if detected early,” Thuấn said, emphasising the importance of early detection which can help increase the effectiveness of treatment and reduce medical costs.

“However, because of shyness, many women are hesitating to take early screening,” he said, adding that in many cases, patients went to hospital for treatment too late. Diagnosis is often very late with a small portion of patients accessing the best medicines for their diagnosis, resulting in over a third of Việt Nam’s breast cancer patients dying of the disease. 

Free breast cancer screening offered to about 5,000 women

About 5,000 women in Hà Nội, HCM City and seven northern provinces are expected to receive free breast cancer screening from October 18 to November 15.

This is part of activities in the action month against breast cancer that was launched by the Health Ministry’s Patient Support Fund – Bright Future Fund, with the sponsorship of Roche Vietnam on Sunday.

The fund co-operated with hospitals including the National Cancer Hospital, Chợ Rẫy Hospital, HCM City Oncology Hospital, Tâm Anh Hospital, Lạc Việt Friendship Hospital and Phú Thọ General Hospital to offer the free screening including clinical examination, breast ultrasound for all women coming to these destinations and mammogram screenings for suspected malignant cases.

Women from northern provinces of Bắc Ninh, Thái Bình, Hà Nam, Nam Định and Hải Dương would be taken by bus to two branches of the National Cancer Hospital for the screening.

Furthermore, there are many activities aimed to raise public awareness about breast cancer during the month-long campaign.

From October 5 to December 3, text UT to 1406 to donate VNĐ20,000 to the Bright Future Fund to support cancer patients.

From 8pm to 8.30pm on October 19th, a series of high-rise buildings in Hà Nội and HCM City will be lit up in pink to raise awareness of breast cancer. In the two cities, a series of "Doctor Talks" will be hosted in hospitals and public venues to educate people on breast cancer, where experts will also instruct women how to detect cancer in early stages, effectively preventing breast cancer and answering all concerns related to the disease. 

Sluice opened to regulate floodwater in Mekong Delta

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang on Monday opened the Trà Sư Sluice to release floodwater into the Long Xuyên Quadrangle region to bring sediment into fields in the low-lying region.

The Long Xuyên Quadrangle region stretches across An Giang and Kiên Giang provinces and Cần Thơ City.

Lương Huy Khanh, head of the An Giang Irrigation Sub-department, said this year floodwater has occurred later and been at low levels compared to normal years. The release of floodwater this year is about a month later than last year.

The delta’s flood season, which is caused by the rising level of the Mekong River in the rainy season, normally occurs between August and November.

The release of flood water into the Long Xuyên Quadrangle region helps to regulate floodwater flowing from Cambodia into the sea, and prevent floodwater flowing toward the National Highway No. 91 to protect the summer-autumn rice and the winter-spring rice in An Giang and Kiên Giang provinces and Cần Thơ City.

The Trà Sư Sluice is under construction, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.


The Trà Sư Sluice and Tha La Sluice, which is under construction in Tịnh Biên District, are the two major flood regulating sluices for the Long Xuyên Quadrangle region.

The 88-metre-wide Trà Sư Sluice has four sluice gates and the 66-metre-wide Tha La Sluice has three sluice gates.

The two sluices, which cost VNĐ232 billion (US$10 million), are replacing the degraded Trà Sư and Tha La rubber dams.

Khanh said the replacing of rubber dams with sluices facilitates the release of floodwater as floodwater can be released at any time and boats can travel through the sluices after the release.

Previously, boats could not travel through the Trà Sư and Tha La rubber dams. 

Mekong Delta protects crops, shrimp ponds against rains, high tides

Local authorities and people in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta are taking measures to protect crops and residential areas from heavy rains and high tides.

The delta, the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, has faced heavy rains in recent days, causing damage to many ripe rice fields ready for harvest.

In Cà Mau Province, heavy rains have flattened more than 14,600ha of summer – autumn rice, including 14,280ha in Trần Văn Thời District, according to the province’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue. 

Farmers in Trần Văn Thời have had to harvest paddy by hand because combine harvesters cannot operate in inundated fields.

Lê Phong, chairman of the Trần Văn Thời District People’s Committee, said the district’s Military Command had mobilised more than 1,000 soldiers and commune-level militia and self-defence forces to help farmers harvest rice and consolidate embankments of shrimp ponds.

In Hậu Giang Province, heavy rains have inundated about 521ha of ripe rice fields and 304 ha of fruits, according to the province’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue.

The 521ha of ripe rice fields are estimated to have a harvest loss of 5 – 40 per cent.

Hậu Giang authorities are consolidating dykes and embankments to protect rice, vegetables, fruits, aquatic farming areas and residential areas.

In Kiên Giang Province, heavy rains and high tides have inundated more than 2,800 houses, 115 schools and 74 km of rural roads.  

More than 4,620ha of rice and 3,560ha of vegetables in Kiên Giang have been damaged by heavy rains, strong winds and high tides.

In Sóc Trăng Province, heavy rains and high tides have damaged 30 – 50 per cent of about 4,000ha of ripe rice in Trần Đề, Long Phú and Mỹ Xuyên districts.

High tides have entered sugarcane fields, fruit orchards and shrimp ponds in Sóc Trăng’s Cù Lao Dung District on Sunday.

High tides have also eroded 15 dykes and more than 1,500 metres of embankments in the islet district.

Lê Minh Đương, deputy chairman of the Cù Lao Dung People’s Committee, said high tides would continue to increase and break down other embankments in coming days, affecting agricultural production.

The Cù Lao Dung People’s Committee in co-operation with relevant agencies has prepared human forces and facilities to help local residents. 

In Cần Thơ City, high tides and heavy rains flooded more than 100 streets in Ninh Kiều District on Sunday, according to the district People’s Committee.

The ongoing high tides are expected to increase until October 19.  

Nguyễn Quí Ninh, head of the city’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue, said the steering committee’s branches at all levels have worked around the clock to solve emergency cases related to natural disasters and to operate high-tide prevention sluices.

The branches have helped move people out of deeply inundated areas and erosion-prone areas, and consolidated dykes and embankments to prevent high tide water from flowing into fruit orchards and aquatic farming areas. 

HCM City approves another 15 quarantine hotels

The HCM City Department of Tourism has released a list of another 15 hotels with 982 rooms that can be used to quarantine people coming from abroad, taking the total number to 23 hotels and 1,718 rooms.

Two of the hotels with 126 rooms are earmarked for flight crews. 

At least 18 other establishments are completing procedures and setting up facilities to serve as quarantine facilities.

Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, director of the department, said hotels had been instructed to publicise room tariffs and rates meals, laundry and transportation.

The rates for three- to five-star hotels are VNĐ 2.5-5.7 million (US$108-245) with three meals a day thrown in.

The five-star Holiday Inn in Tân Bình District offers rooms at VNĐ 2.5 - 4 million($108-172) a night, the four-star Norfolk in District 1 at VNĐ1.8 - 6 million ($78-258) and the three-star Bát Đạt in District 5 at VNĐ1.7 – 3.9 million ($73-168).  

The department is calling on one- to three-star hotels to join the quarantine programme to meet the rising demand from international arrivals and Vietnamese returnees.

Selected hotels and other lodgings are required to strictly follow COVID-19 prevention and control measures and hotel staff should be trained in COVID-19 prevention and equipped with personal protective equipment, it said. 

Association established for cat protection in Việt Nam

The Việt Nam Cat Association was established on Sunday, raising social awareness of cat welfare, rights and protection in Việt Nam.

The association will operate under the Vietnam Animal Welfare Association (VAWA).

Speaking at the ceremony, Phạm Thanh Sơn, deputy head of the VAWA said: “The forming of the Việt Nam cat association will contribute to the enhancement of cat welfare and cat breed protection in Việt Nam.

“I believe and hope that the association will bring a humane message to society, so cats will be treated as friends of people,” he added.

The association will focus on building regulations on cat protection and against mistreatment and maintaining cat breeds in Việt Nam.

The group will also connect with other cat protection centres in Việt Nam to aid finance and human resources to provide a better living environment for cats at centres.

“The association is the first social group dedicated to cats in Việt Nam, so we understand our mission is to protect cat welfare in Việt Nam,” said Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, head of the Việt Nam Cat Association.

“We will also work to harmonise the perspective of the global animal protection organisations with the traditions and beliefs of local people,” he added.

According to a report by international animal welfare organisation Four Paws, more than one million cats are illegally traded and slaughtered each year in Việt Nam.

“I hope that the association will try their best to eliminate the illegal cat meat trade in Việt Nam, so cat owners like me will no longer have to worry about our pets' safety,” said Nguyễn Vũ Hải Đăng, a cat owner. 

Long Biên Bridge painting wins contest


Trần Diệp Anh, 11, talks about her inspiration for the painting of Long Biên Bridge.

A painting of Hà Nội's Long Biên Bridge won the top prize at the painting contest Green City in the Future, organised by the Kim Đồng Publishing House in co-ordination with the Hà Nội Council of the Hồ Chí Minh Young Pioneers Organisation.

The winner, Trần Diệp Anh, 11, from Cầu Giấy District's Yên Hòa School, said she was impressed by the trees below Long Biên Bridge and she wished the city would have more trees in the future.

The awards ceremony and exhibition of excellent artworks took place yesterday in Hà Nội’s Trung Yên Primary School.

Launched in September last year for the first time, the contest received more than 30,000 entries from students of 200 primary schools in the capital.

The participants had to describe their dream city with green spaces or suggest ideas to make the living environment clean, safe and green.

A green city was an attractive subject for the children, according to painter Phạm Hà Hải, member of the judge.

“Most of the paintings show joyful angles, bright colours and interesting ideas of a dream city. The contestants used various kinds of materials such as watercolours, crayons, acrylic and recycled materials.

“The entrants express good observation and knowledge on the history and culture of the city. Their artworks reflect popular symbols of Hà Nội such as Long Biên Bridge, the Temple of Literature and Sword Lake,” said Hải.

“We believe that the contest can help the children nurture the love for the city where they are living in and become an inspiration for the entire society to join hands to protect the existing beauty of Hà Nội,” he said.

The role of áo dài emphasised at seminar

Cultural experts have hailed áo dài, the traditional Vietnamese tunic, for the extent to which it honours the intangible values of humanity. 

Of the 13 UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritages in Việt Nam, seven were closely related to the garment, the experts told a seminar titled Áo Dài and Cultural Heritage held at the Áo Dài Museum recently in HCM City. 

Huỳnh Ngọc Vân, director of the museum said numerous áo dài models had been collected and showcased at many exhibitions and seminars since 2018.

They had helped underline the garment’s role as a significant intangible cultural heritage and gradually garner public interest, she said.

“Feedback from these exhibitions and seminars are beneficial to the conservation and promotion of the áo dài.”

Artist Xuân Hoà, who heads the Quan Họ Kinh Bắc Club, said áo dài was the main costume used in folk arts all over the country.

"It is essential for authorities to recognise the art of tailoring áo dài as a national intangible cultural heritage in future," he added. 

Dr Nguyễn Đức Trí, director of the HCM City University of Economics’s Institute of Tourism, said referring to the garment, “These are invaluable treasures that cannot be forgotten.”

Tourism should not only be about exploiting traditional cultures but finding ways to revive and make it meaningful to locals’ lives, he added. 

Authorities need to collate all information about intangible cultural heritages and create interesting tourism products to educate Vietnamese about their traditional values, he added. 

The experts have been for many years seeking the recognition  áo dài as a national intangible cultural heritage.

They said the traditional dress offers a comprehensive evaluation of history. Through its function and the habit of using, áo dài features the social and cultural value, art and cultural identity of the Vietnamese tradition.

Photo exhibit celebrates 90th anniversary of Việt Nam Central Women’s Union

A photo exhibition about the history and development of the Việt Nam Central Women’s Union opened on Monday in HCM City as part of the city’s cultural activities to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the union’s establishment and the 10th anniversary of Việt Nam Women’s Day (October 20). 

The event, called Dấu Ấn Vàng Son (Golden Moments), features 200 black-and-white and colour photos highlighting the contributions of Vietnamese women during the country’s history and development. 

Photos capture the heroic, brave spirit and sacrifices of southern women during the wars against the French and American forces. Works displaying the fighting done by women in Sài Gòn-Gia Định (now HCM City) are also featured.

The event also includes a series of colour photos capturing the union’s recent developments. Many pictures portray the creativity of southern women to build their land. 

“I understand more about the country’s history and contributions of Việt Nam Central Women’s Union,” said Trần Thị Bảo Trân, a second-year student at the HCM City University of Economy, who visited the exhibition’s opening ceremony on Monday morning.  

Trân and her friends viewed photos about southern women who took part in a special force known as Đội Quân Tóc Dài (Long-Haired Army), formed in the Đồng Khởi Movement throughout the South in the 1960s. 

The force was led by heroine Nguyễn Thị Định. They surprised, confused and terrified the enemy.

In 2018, they were granted the title of the Hero of the People's Armed Forces by the Government as recognition of their outstanding contributions. 

“I heard many legendary stories about the females of the Đội Quân Tóc Dài who are a symbol of the tradition of the whole national unity in fighting against invaders - women also fought back when the enemy came to their house. Today, I saw photos of them in the past,” said Trân. 

The exhibition, organised by the city People’s Committee, is being held at Chi Lăng Park and on Đồng Khởi Street in District 1. It will run through October 30. 

Pop star Trường’s online concert highlights famous songs in late 90s

Pop stars Lam Trường and Cẩm Ly of HCM City—who played a role in the developments of Vietnamese music in the 1990s  — Photo 

Pop star Lam Trường of HCM City, known as Pop Prince in the 1990s, will sing during a livestream concert on YouTube to celebrate his 25-year career.

The event, called Phòng Trà Online Vol3 (Online Nightclub Vol3), will feature romantic songs written by talented musicians Bảo Chấn, Bảo Phúc and Đức Trí in the late 1990s. 

Highlighted works will include Tình Thôi Xót Xa (Bitter Love), Mưa Phi Trường (Rain at Airport), Khi Em Ra Đi (When You Leave) and Đêm Nay Anh Mơ Về Em (Dreaming of You Tonight, all of which were top hits and helped to shoot the singer to fame.

Trường has spent hours working with his band, The Friends, and music producer Hoài Sa in the studio to prepare for his performance. 

“Though I will sing my top hits, new styles will be added,” said the 49-year-old. “I have invited female singers Tiêu Châu Như Quỳnh, Minh Thư and Bảo Chân to join my concert. I’m confident my online show will win over fans.”

Trường began his career in 1995 when he was at the HCM City College of Culture & Arts. 

His first album, Baby I Love You, released in 1997, was a hit phenomenon in the industry.  

He was one of two Vietnamese singers chosen by the Japanese TV channel NHK to appear on its music programme.

In 2003, he was invited to perform at the ASEAN Pop Festival in Yokohama. He performed with Asian pop stars in concerts in Thailand and Hong Kong. 

Trường is also a songwriter. He has released more than 30 albums, mostly top hits of the year voted by leading TV stations, radios and music channels. 

He has held five live concerts in HCM City, Hà Nội and Singapore, performed as a lead role in several films and TV series. 

He has won dozens of top music prizes, including 12 prizes from 1997 to 2008. They include Best Male Singer of the Year and Most Favourite Male Singer of the Year at Làn Sóng Xanh (Blue Wave), one of the country’s prestigious music awards presented by the Voice of HCM City People (VOH).

His online concert, Phòng Trà Online Vol3, will begin at 8pm on October 28. 

Exhibition featuring beauty of ASEAN nations and people to open in Lâm Đồng

Photos, feature films and documentaries by people from Southeast Asian countries that reflect environmental issues and the beauty of the countries and people within the region will be on display at the Administrative Centre of the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng from October 19-22.

The exhibition is organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications and Lâm Đồng Province’s People’s Committee within the Government’s Action Programme on the promotion of ASEAN. It also celebrates the formation of the ASEAN Community and Việt Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

According to the organisers, the four-day event aims to introduce the beauty of the countries and people in ASEAN, in addition to addressing the issues about environmental protection and climate change within the region.

Nearly 300 photos and 60 feature films and documentaries from ASEAN countries will be showcased, the majority of which have won awards or been finalists of festivals organised by Việt Nam’s Ministry of Information and Communications in recent years.

The highlight of the exhibition is the theme 'ASEAN in Each of Us' featuring photos which have been selected and sent to the event by the 10 ASEAN countries.

Renowned Vietnamese photographers and the authors of the works displayed at the exhibition will also be invited to interact with the viewers.

According to the organisers, the works displayed at the exhibition are not only of high artistic quality but also convey rich and multi-dimensional information about ASEAN, providing viewers with a closer, more authentic view and better understanding about the customs, society and emerging issues in the area. It helps connect peoples and improve efforts to build an ASEAN Community of solidarity, friendship, co-operation and development, obtaining the common goals of peace, stability and prosperity.

After the exhibition, all photo works, feature films and documentaries will be presented to the People's Committee of Lâm Đồng Province by the Ministry of Information and Communications for further promotion of ASEAN. 

Viettel better than Thể Công team of 1998: coach Hoàng

Viettel FC coach Trương Việt Hoàng has said his players are playing better than his generation who won the national title with Thể Công in 1998.

On Monday, Viettel beat Becamex Bình Dương 1-0 to stretch their lead at the top of the V.League 1 table thanks to Brazilian striker Bruno Cunha Cantanhede's penalty.

In the 1998 V.League 1, Thể Công (the previous name of Viettel FC), were crowned the champions with an impressive 47 points after 26 matches. Coach Hoàng was a member of Thể Công squad at that time.

Hoàng praised his students when he was asked to compare them with the 1998 vintage.

"It is very difficult to compare Viettel in 2020 with Thể Công in 1998. I think Viettel now have better conditions, play with foreign players and are cared for and practice more scientifically,” said Hoàng.

"In my generation, the most important and decisive thing was the skills and expertise of the players. Now, young players are in touch with international football and develop faster. In comparison, I think the current Viettel club play better than Thể Công in 1998,” Hoàng added.

Regarding the title race, Hoàng said the championship was what he always aims for, but he and the players wouldn't get ahead of themselves and would take it one game at a time.

Meanwhile, coach Nguyễn Thanh Sơn of Bình Dương said the quality of the match was poor.

"In this match, I took the initiative to give young players a chance to play. It's not that we gave up. In fact, the young players played quite well against Viettel who lead the rankings. I think, we will play better in the next games,” said Sơn.

Sơn, a former national team assistant, also shared the team's goal this season to finish fourth or fifth.

Sơn said that the rest of the season will be very attractive with Sài Gòn FC, Hà Nội FC and Viettel fighting for the title. He tipped one of the two capital sides to win the championship over Sài Gòn who drew goalless with HCM City FC on Monday.

Coach and president Vũ Tiến Thành of Sài Gòn said he was not satisfied with the draw.

"If we want to vie for the championship, we have to win this match. But admittedly, after the COVID-19 pandemic, we were in a bad shape. We will try to prepare for the upcoming matches better,” said Thành.

Meanwhile, coach Chung Hae-seong of HCM City said the draw was not too bad because his team had three consecutive losses before.

"We had a lot of difficulties today. The team lost three games in a row and many players were injured. Maybe this result is not great but we had a draw after three defeats. This gives us more confidence in the remaining matches of the tournament,” said the South Korean.

Quảng Nam at risk of relegation

Former champions Quảng Nam are at risk of relegation after taking only nine points from 15 matches in the V.League 1 this year.

Now they find themselves at the bottom of the division, a far cry from three seasons ago when they were crowned champions.

Hoàng Văn Phúc was coach when the team last won the league in 2017. He feels injuries to key players is a major reason for their current dip in form.

"Quảng Nam did not play well from the beginning of the season,” said Phúc.

“They struggled in the first matches, so the player's mentality was affected. The current formation still has many key players who took the title in 2017. However, the problem is that the stability no longer exists.

"Captain Đinh Thanh Trung is still a good player, an example for the whole team. Huy Hùng used to contribute to Quảng Nam's championship, but this season, he did not play much due to his injury.

“Lacking Hùng is the preventing the team unable from having the desired results. Other players such as Huỳnh Tấn Sinh and Hà Minh Tuấn also have had injury problems.”

This season, Hùng has played nine games. Three years ago, coach Phúc succeeded in building the midfield duo Hùng - Phan Thanh Hưng, who were the heartbeat of Quảng Nam's styleaying.

Currently, both are struggling with injuries.

According to commentator Vũ Quang Huy, Quảng Nam's dip in form is because the squad is not built on a clear foundation. Three seasons since the lifted the title, they still have most of the same team, but many are not performing to the levels they were in the past.

"After many seasons, the number of self-trained Quang Nam players is promoted to the V.League 1 is small. In the five-year cycle, no team in the league has a small number of self-trained players like Quảng Nam,” said Huy.

"This year, they still depend on the old players. Đinh Thanh Trung and Hùng are in bad shape, they are unable to carry many tasks at the same time in the V.League 1.”

Quảng Nam have recruited many notable recruits over the years. Đinh Viết Tú and Nguyễn Hoàng Quốc Chí are two players who had been called by coach Park Hang-seo to the national team.

Nguyễn Anh Hùng and Đào Duy Khánh were also brought to reinforce the defence, but all struggled to integrate.

"Quảng Nam bought a series of players with good expertise,” said Huy.

“However, the common problem of all is the inability to integrate. The team have made efforts to invest, but playing football in a way that recruits players is always risky. The core point is still building the team from the internal strengths of the club.

“Quảng Nam four points behind Hải Phòng at the bottom of the league. In theory, they still have a chance, though with fragile hope. The appearance of newly-appointed coach Nguyễn Thành Công is expected to help the team create a miracle.

"Quảng Nam are in a difficult position, but the opportunity remains. They used to win the V.League 1 in a way no one expected. Therefore, it is possible that they successfully compete in the final matches. With football, everything is possible. Many national players and former national players are fighting with Quảng Nam. They hope all their efforts will be paid off,” said Phúc.

Today, Quảng Nam will face Nam Định at 5pm at Tam Kỳ Stadium. 

Central Enterprises Bloc holds Party Congress

The third Congress of the Party Organisation of the Central Enterprises Bloc (CEB) opened in Hanoi on October 20 with the participation of nearly 293 delegates.

In his address, Y Thanh Ha Nie Kdam, Secretary of the Party Committee of the CEB, said the Congress will review the implementation of the resolution adopted at the second Congress (2015-2020 tenure) and set forth orientations, targets, tasks, solutions, and action programmes to realise the resolution to be adopted at the third Congress (2020-2025 tenure).

The Congress will also look into draft documents to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress, he said.

It was reported at the Congress that amid all the difficulties and challenges, the Party Organisation has instructed businesses in the bloc to complete targets set at the previous Congress.

Between 2016 and 2019, the total revenue of the 33 groups, corporations, and banks that make up the bloc increased 38 percent, and pre-tax profit grew 60.8 percent, and State budget contributions rose 24 percent, ensuring the jobs and incomes of more than 725,000 workers.

In the fight against COVID-19, they have joined hands in bringing home Vietnamese living abroad, provided chemicals, materials, and equipment in service of the fight, and stabilised the market.

They have also played an active role in social welfare and rapid, sustainable poverty reduction over time, with total funding for these programmes amounting to 9 trillion VND (388.41 million USD).

In his remarks, Nguyen Xuan Thang, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, and head of the Party Central Committee’s Theory Council, lauded the Party Organisation’s contributions to national socio-economic development.

He asked that the participants raise their sense of responsibility, democracy, and objectivity to elect the new Party Committee as well as delegates to the 13th National Party Congress.

Thang expressed his belief that the Party Organisation will make comprehensive and strong changes and breakthrough methods in leadership, thus further contributing to the country’s socio-economic development.

Delegates to the Congress also raised funds to support flood victims in the central region./.

Nearly 330 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Angola

Close to 330 Vietnamese citizens were repatriated home safe and sound from Angola on a flight of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on October 20.

The flight was arranged by Vietnamese authorities, the Embassy of Vietnam in Angola, Vietnam Airlines and relevant agencies of the African country.

The passengers included the ill, labourers with expired contracts and those in extremely disadvantaged circumstances.

The Vietnamese Embassy had sent staff to the airport to assist them with boarding procedures.

Strict security, safety and epidemiological measures were implemented during the flights to ensure passengers’ health and prevent the spread of diseases.

After landing Van Don airport in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, the passengers and crew members had their health checked and were sent to quarantine in line with regulations.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in the country./.

Vietnam attends ASEAN-RoK joint cooperation committee’s meeting

Head of the Vietnamese mission to ASEAN Ambassador Tran Duc Binh on October 19 attended the 7th meeting of ASEAN-Korea Joint Cooperation Committee (AKJCC), which discussed measures to strengthen cooperation between the two sides in the time to come.

At the virtual meeting, participants highly valued the practical cooperation in all areas over the past time, and acknowledged positive results in implementing the Programme of Action (PoA) between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the 2016-2020 period.

Representatives from ASEAN member countries appreciated RoK's effective cooperation and support for the bloc for many years through the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF), as well as the country’s active contributions to the bloc in narrowing the development gap, developing human resources, training in information technology, and in the fields of health care, environmental protection, forest management, and disaster relief, especially in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants highlighted the role played by the ASEAN-Korea Centre and the ASEAN Cultural House in recent years, saying that they serve as a bridge to promote investment and trade cooperation and cultural and tourism exchange between ASEAN member countries and the RoK.

They also emphasised the RoK's effective support for bilateral cooperation programmes and projects through the ASEAN-RoK Economic Cooperation (AKEC) Fund.

The Korean side affirmed its support for multilateral cooperation, saying that it attaches importance to the relations with ASEAN and supports the group to promote its central role in the regional cooperation and integration.

It also committed to actively participating in and contributing to ASEAN's key regional cooperation mechanisms and forums such as ASEAN 1, APT, EAS, ARF and ADMM , while wishing to expand its cooperation with the group in implementing the ASEAN Perspectives Document on the Indo-Pacific.

The country proposed to soon establish an ASEAN-Korea travel corridor to facilitate investors in the region, and pledged to continue its supports for ASEAN in the bloc’s efforts to mitigate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two sides asserted their commitment to further strengthening the ASEAN-RoK strategic partnership and effectively implementing the Joint Declaration of senior leaders, including the joint vision statement for peace, prosperity and partnership.

They agreed to work closely in implementing the PoA for the 2021-2025 period, with priority given to activities and projects to support ASEAN to successfully implement its goals of community building./.



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