The National Assembly on April 7 adopted a resolution approving the Chairman of the National Election Council (NEC)’s proposal on relieving several NEC vice chairpersons and members, with “yes” votes from 446 out of 449 deputies present at the legislature’s 11th sitting, or 92.92 percent of all NA deputies.

Accordingly, Tong Thi Phong and Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh were relieved from their positions as NEC vice chairwomen, while Pham Minh Chinh, Ngo Xuan Lich, Uong Chu Luu, Phung Quoc Hien, Tran Van Tuy, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Le Vinh Tan, and Le Quoc Phong were relieved from their posts as NEC members.

On the same day, a resolution approving the State President’s proposal on relieving certain members of the Defence and Security Council was passed with 449 out of 452 deputies present at the sitting voting in favour, or 93.54 percent of all deputies.

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Ngo Xuan Lich, and Pham Binh Minh were relieved from their posts as Defence and Security Council members.

The resolutions took effect as soon as they were approved by the legislature.

Earlier, on behalf of the NA Standing Committee, member Nguyen Thi Thanh reported to the legislative body on the outcomes of group discussions on the relief of several NEC vice chairpersons and members, and Defence and Security Council members.

New NA and NEC Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue reported to the legislature on the explanation and acquisition of opinions from NA deputies on the relief of several NEC Vice chairpersons and members.

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc presented a report on the explanation and acquisition of opinions from NA deputies on the relief of several Defence and Security Council members.

NA approves relief of Deputy PM, ministers, cabinet members

The National Assembly on April 7 adopted a resolution on relieving Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung as well as 12 ministers and other cabinet members during its ongoing 11th session. 

Under the resolution, passed by 454 out of 457 attending deputies, the relieved ministers and cabinet members in the 2016-2021 tenure are Minister of Defence Ngo Xuan Lich; Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh; Minister of Home Affairs Le Vinh Tan; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong; Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha; Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien; Minister-Chairman of the Government Committee for Ethnic Affairs Do Van Chien; Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung; Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung; Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha; Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh; and Government Inspector General Le Minh Khai.

Also on April 7, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh submitted a list of proposed personnel for a number of positions of deputy prime ministers, ministers and other cabinet members to the National Assembly for approval. Legislators’ discussion outcomes on the list will be announced on April 8 morning./.

Vietnam records 11 new imported cases of COVID-19

Eleven new COVID-19 cases, all imported, were recorded in Vietnam in the 12 hours to 6pm on April 7, the Ministry of Health said.

Among the new patients, there are a 30-year-old Singaporean man, a 46-year-old Pakistani man, and nine Vietnamese.

They have been quarantined upon their arrival in the country.

So far, Vietnam has reported 2,659 cases of COVID-19. Of the 1,603 domestic infections, 910 cases have been detected since January 27, when the latest outbreak began.

According to the ministry’s Department of Medical Service Administration, seven patients were given the all-clear from the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on April 7, raising the number of recoveries to 2,429, while the fatalities are still kept at 35.

Among patients undergoing treatment, 22 have tested negative for the virus once, 11 others twice, and 17 thrice.

There are 36,682 people having close contact with confirmed cases or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present.

To live safely with the pandemic, people have been advised to remain proactive in pandemic prevention and control by continuing to wear face masks when going out, disinfecting frequently, maintaining a safe distance, refraining from mass gatherings, and making medical declarations./.

Vietnam suggests cooperation with US in COVID-19 vaccine production

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc held phone talks with Ami Bera, a Democratic congressman representing California and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on April 5.

Ngoc congratulated Bera on his re-election as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, highly valuing the latter’s contributions to the development of the US’ ties with Vietnam and other ASEAN countries.

Both sides noted with satisfaction the great strides in the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership and expressed optimism about the outlook for bilateral relations in the time ahead.

Ambassador Ngoc proposed the US increase support for Southeast Asian countries to access COVID-19 vaccines, cooperate with Vietnam in transferring vaccine production technology and licensing and manufacturing vaccines, and promote cooperation to ensure effective and sustainable supply chains.

For his part, Bera applauded the Vietnamese Government and people’s success in the COVID-19 combat and agreed to foster ties to keep supply chains stable.

The congressman said as a doctor, he understands the need for vaccine access for all people, adding that he will discuss with the US administration about the possibility of cooperation in vaccine production as suggested by Vietnam.

He agreed with Ngoc that the two countries should maintain constructive dialogue to resolve outstanding problems, including the US Trade Representative Office early wrapping up the “Section 301” investigation and not taking any action unfavourable for bilateral trade and investment.

Voicing his concern about the escalation of violence and discrimination against people of Asian descent, including Vietnamese, Ngoc asked Bera and all-level administrations and parliaments, especially those in California, to carry out effective measures to ensure security, safety, and access to healthcare, education, employment, and other social welfare services for the Vietnamese community.

Bera noted that he opposes racial discrimination and pledged to keep working with Vietnam and other countries to deal with this issue.

During the talks, the two sides also discussed the enhancement of the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership in some regionally important issues.

The Vietnamese diplomat applauded the US’ commitment to maintaining the fundamental principles to secure rules-based maritime order, including the adherence to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He called on the US administration and congress to pay more attention to and reserve more resources for effectively implementing the Mekong-US Partnership.

Affirming the importance of the East Sea, Bera expressed his concern over the recent developments in the East Sea, showing support for ensuring navigation freedom, maritime security and safety, the rule of law, as well as regional peace and stability.

The congressman also affirmed that his country advocates efforts by ASEAN, including Vietnam, to seek peaceful solutions to the Myanmar issue.

In response to Ambassador Ngoc’s invitation, he noted the wish to visit Vietnam and the region once the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.

The phone talks followed an array of recent discussions between the Vietnamese Embassy and the President Joe Biden administration and the 117th Congress of the US./.

No new COVID-19 cases over last 12 hours

A military officer receives COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Vietnam had no new COVID-19 cases to report over the last 12 hours from 6pm on April 6 to 6am on April 7, keeping the national count at 2,648, according to the Ministry of Health.

The country has so far confirmed 1,603 local infections, including 910 detected since January 27 when the latest coronavirus resurgence recorded in Hai Duong.

The total recoveries are 2,422, the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported while the death toll remained at 35.

Among those still undergoing treatment, 17 have tested negative for the COVID-19 once, nine others twice, and 16 thrice.

There are 36,701 people having close contact with confirmed cases or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present.

The Ministry of Health also announced that more 1,985 Vietnamese people were vaccinated against COVID-19, raising the number of those receiving the vaccine to 53,953, most of whom are health workers and frontliners./.

Ten prioritised groups to receive free COVID-19 vaccinations

The Ministry of Health has asked localities nationwide to promptly compile a list of individuals prioritised for COVID-19 vaccinations as guided by the Government.

The ten prioritised groups in the free vaccination programme include frontline medical staff, army and public security officers, diplomatic officials and their families who are about to be sent abroad, diplomats and members of UN bodies in Vietnam, teachers, aviation and transport staff, people suffering chronic diseases, people above 65 years of age, those living in pandemic-hit areas, poor people, and social policy beneficiaries.

Vietnam has so far given COVID-19 vaccine shots to nearly 53,000 people in 19 cities and provinces around the country. Many health care facilities providing COVID-19 treatment have finished their vaccinations.

On April 1, the first 811,200 doses of the vaccine supplied by the COVAX Facility through UNICEF arrived in Hanoi.

COVAX has pledged to give Vietnam over 4.17 million doses by the end of May.

Vietnam aims to give COVID-19 shots to 20 percent of its population by the end of this year./.

Boeing 737 Max allowed to transit through Vietnam’s airspace

The Ministry of Transport has agreed with a proposal from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to allow the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to transit through Vietnam’s airspace.

The proposal was made based on Boeing’s corrective work; assessments from major aviation authorities around the world, such as the US’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Transport Canada Civil Aviation, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); and the aircraft’s performance indicators.

The ministry also requested that CAAV update it on information from aviation authorities in Russia, Australia, and China.

In March 2019, the CAAV decided to nullify the granted licenses and not to grant new ones for flights using the Boeing 737 Max to operate in Vietnam’s airspace.

The move was made following the Ethiopian Airlines crash a few days before, which was the second involving the Boeing 737 Max in just several months.

However, the ban on the aircraft has been lifted by most of the countries worldwide, except for China, Russia, Australia and Southeast Asian nations, according to the FAA and Boeing./.

Vietnamese racers ready for E1 Championship Season 1

For the first time, Vietnam has two representatives at the sim (simulated) racing tournament E1 Championship Season 1, which began on April 7.

Dang Ho Gia Huy and Le Hoang Vinh Long are both members of Saigon United Motorsports (SUM).

Despite their young age, they are experienced sim racers, with Huy attending the Salzburgring track and Formula Raceroom X-17 and Long joining a series of tournaments including the Hanoi Street Circuit (F1 2020), Nordschleife (Porsche 911 RSR), and Nurburgring Grand Prix (Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo).

According to the Vietnam Recreational E-sport Association (VIRESA), the championship lasts until June 2 with eight rounds taking place weekly at 8pm every Wednesday.

There are 28 racers in 14 teams from Asia-Pacific nations such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, and Vietnam.

300-kg whale washes up on Phu Yen’s beach

A whale, about 3 metres in length and 300kg in weight, was found washed up on the shore of Tuy Hoa city in the south-central province of Phu Yen on April 6.

The whale, with many injuries but still alive, was spotted by beach goers on the beach near Tuy Hoa’s An Duong Vuong Street at around 5 o’clock on the morning.

Local people has made several attempts to push the whale back into the sea. However, it was so weak that it was repeatedly brought ashore by waves.

Several local fishermen then decided to bring it to a whale shrine in Long Thuy Village, the city’s An Phu Commune, at noon where it can be buried after dead.

Vietnamese coastal residents have believed that whales would always help fishermen in need at sea. So, they often rescue the animal whey they run aground or bury the dead ones./.

Lao Prime Minister makes phone call to congratulate Vietnamese counterpart

Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh made a phone call to the new Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on April 6 to offer his congratulations.

The Lao PM earlier sent a message of congratulations to Chinh on April 5.

During the call, PM Phankham Viphavanh said he believes PM Chinh will excellently fulfill his important missions assigned to him by the Vietnamese Party, State and people.

PM Chinh said he wishes to work closely with the Lao PM to continuously strengthen and develop the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.

The two PMs rejoiced at the continued cooperation between the two countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and agreed to collaborate more closely to respond to common challenges and mobilise international resources for each country’s socio-economic development as well as for bilateral cooperation.  

They agreed to work to improve the efficiency of the coordination between the two governments so as to well implement high-level agreements and outcomes of the 43rd meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee, as well as to enhance cooperation across the fields, from defence-security, trade-investment, transport, to education-training, people-to-people exchange and local partnerships.

The two government leaders also vowed to closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral forums, especially ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Sub-region frameworks. Besides, the two sides will also work together to organize activities to mark the 60th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic relations and 45th anniversary of the two countries’ friendship and amity treaty in 2022.

The two PMs took the occasion to invite each other to visit their respective countries. PM Chinh extended his warm greetings to Lao leaders and people on the occasion of their traditional Bunpimay festival.

Cambodian PM congratulates new Vietnamese PM via phone talks

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen congratulated the new Prime Minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Chinh, over the phone on April 6.

On April 5, the Cambodian leader also sent a letter of congratulations to PM Chinh.

During the phone talks, PM Hun Sen highly valued Vietnam’s enormous achievements in the recent past, voicing his belief that under the leadership of PM Chinh, the Vietnamese Government and people will reap more successes in national reform and development and unceasingly promote the country’s role and stature in the region and the world.

Thanking his Cambodian counterpart for the congratulations, PM Chinh affirmed the wish to work closely with PM Hun Sen so as to continue sustainably and effectively developing the sound neighbourliness, traditional friendship, and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and the two governments.

He said he believes that the Cambodian Government and people, under the clear-sighted leadership of Hun Sen, will contain the COVID-19 outbreak soon and obtain new achievements.

He also agreed to assign the countries’ ministers of health to share experience in COVID-19 prevention and control.

The two PMs noted with satisfaction their countries sustaining cooperation amid the pandemic, maintaining phone talks and teleconferences at all levels, and effectively bringing into play bilateral cooperation mechanisms.

They agreed to coordinate to effectively implement the agreements between Vietnamese and Cambodian leaders, strengthen ties in defence and security, improve the effectiveness of borderline management, prevent the spread of diseases, and ensure the smooth flow of goods through border gates.

Both sides also concurred in keeping close coordination at multilateral forums and joining other member nations to maintain the solidarity and promote the centrality of ASEAN.

PM Chinh thanked Cambodia for supporting Vietnam to successfully serve as Chair of ASEAN in 2020, while affirming Vietnam’s support for Cambodia to successfully organise the 7th Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit and the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in 2021.

During the talks, the leaders exchanged the invitation to visit each other’s nations.

PM Chinh also took this occasion to extend greetings to the Cambodian leaders and people on their traditional New Year festival.

Defence ministry urged to transfer land for Tan Son Nhat Airport expansion

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung has asked the Ministry of Defence to transfer over 16 hectares of land for the construction of a new terminal at the Tan Son Nhat Airport.

The ministry has started land-use planning for national defence for the 2021-2030 period to help speed up the Tan Son Nhat expansion project. 16.05ha of land will be transferred to HCM City People's Committee that must develop HCM City’s planning for the 2021-2030 period as well as the five-year land-use planning and Tan Binh District land-use planning in 2021.

Tan Son Nhat Terminal 3 project was approved by the prime minister in 2020. The new terminal will have the capacity to serve 20 million passengers a year, raising Tan Son Nhat Airport's capacity to 50 million passengers a year.

Lai Xuan Thanh, chairman of the Board of Airports Corporation of Vietnam, said the new terminal would cost VND11trn (USD474m). The investor is completing all required procedures to start construction this October. The project is expected to be completed in two years. In order to meet the schedule, the Ministry of Defence must transfer the land this second quarter.

A road project leading to the new terminal and connecting Tran Quoc Hoan and Cong Hoa streets will also be started at the same time. The project requires 11.8ha of land.

HCM City authorities will ask the Ministry of Defence to convert 11.8ha of land into public land for traffic infrastructure.

Vietnam, Japan co-chair 14th meeting of EWG on peacekeeping operations

The Ministry of National Defence held the 14th meeting of the Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on peacekeeping operations, fourth cycle, for the 2021-2023 period via video conference on April 6, within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM ).

The event was co-chaired by the head of Vietnam’s group of experts on peacekeeping operations, Col. Mac Duc Trong, and his Japanese counterpart Matsuzawa Tomoko.

It was the first activity of the EWG on peacekeeping operations, fourth cycle, and showing that Vietnam has proactively fulfilled its dual role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and co-chair of the event together with Japan, as well as affirming the country’s role, prestige, position, and contributions to multilateral cooperation mechanisms in the field in the region.

It also provided a platform to enhance the sharing of expertise and experience between ASEAN member states and the UN to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping operations.

Speaking at the event, Trong said that over the past decade since its establishment, the ADMM has made considerable contributions to enhancing national defence-security cooperation for the sake of peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.

Accordingly, ADMM is focusing on seven practical cooperation areas, with UN peacekeeping operations being one of the major contents.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a long-term political and economic toll, the event reflects both Vietnam and Japan’s efforts to maintain the EWG’s activities.

He suggested delegates offer opinions on reviewing activities in the third cycle, devise plans for the fourth cycle and thematic discussions on women’s participation in peacekeeping activities, and discuss the challenges in dealing with sexual violence and abuse.

Following the success of co-chairs Indonesia and Australia in the last cycle, Vietnam and Japan have worked closely together since last year to ensure the success of this fourth cycle.

Tomoko, for her part, said Japan will mark the 30th anniversary of its participation in UN peacekeeping operations during the fourth cycle.

She expressed her belief that discussions at the event will make positive contributions to each country’s commitments and peacekeeping operations.

As co-chair, Japan pledged to do its best in the next three years to make the fourth cycle a success, thus bringing benefits to all member states, she said.

Nearly eight years after joining UN peacekeeping operations, Vietnam has sent three teams with 189 officers to level-2 field hospitals, including 33 women, or over 17 percent, which is higher than the 8-10 percent requested by the UN.

The country has also sent 54 officers to UN missions in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and UN headquarters, including four women, or 7.4 percent./.

Party Delegation of Vietnam Fatherland Front has new chief

The Political Bureau has assigned Do Van Chien, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, to hold the position of Secretary of the Party Delegation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) in the 2019-2024 tenure.

Vice Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission Ha Ban announced the appointment decision at a conference held by the Party Delegation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front on April 6.

Chien has worked as Secretary of the Party Civil Affairs Committee and Minister-Chairman of the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs.

Congratulating Chien on his assignment to the new position, Politburo member, Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly and President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man expressed his belief that Chien and members of the Party Delegation of the VFF will complete all missions, further promoting the role of the VFF in the current period.

For his part, Chien pledged to continue improving his political virtue and enriching his knowledge to make more contributions to the revolutionary cause of the Party and people./.

Vietnam Digital Awards launched in Da Nang

The Vietnam Digital Communications Association (VDCA) on April 6 kicked off the 2021 Vietnam Digital Awards (VDA) in the central coastal city of Da Nang.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the VDCA’s annual awards aims to honour outstanding digital achievements by individuals, businesses and State agencies that contribute to accelerating the national digital transformation.

VDCA Chairman Nguyen Minh Hong, said it promotes digital products, services and solutions, notably “Make in Vietnam” products, to both domestic and foreign markets.

It also encourages State agencies and businesses to step up investment and application of digital technology, he added.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Quang Nam underscored that digital transformation is key to the active approach to the 4th Industrial Revolution following the Politburo’s orientations.

The transformation offers an opportunity for Da Nang to clear its bottlenecks and create development breakthroughs in turning the city into a modern, smart, and worth-living eco urban area, Nam said.

Entries should be submitted to the organiser by the end of July, at

The award ceremony is scheduled to take place in October, and be broadcast live by the Vietnam Television./.

Vietnamese embassy in US moves to fight discriminations against Asian Americans

The Vietnamese Embassy in the US has repeatedly contacted with and canvassed authorities and parliaments of the US and its states for ensuring security and safety as well as the right to access to full services for Vietnamese citizens and Vietnamese Americans in the US, given increasing discriminations against the Asian American community in the country.

Discussing with representatives from the White House National Security Council (NSC), the Department of State and parliament committees, the Vietnamese side expressed concerns over discriminations and even violence suffered by Vietnamese citizens in the US and Vietnamese Americans related to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese representative office in the US has always emphasized active contributions of the Vietnamese Americans and overseas Vietnamese community in the US to the host country, especially to the front lines of the COVID-19 fight to ensure the health, security and social welfare for people across the US.

On March 31, Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc and ambassadors of other ASEAN countries to the US sent a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and the NSC condemning discriminations targeting Asian Americans. They also asked local authorities to continue carrying out measures to address the issue, including ensuring security and the right to access to health care, education, employment and other social welfare services for them.

Ambassador Ngoc also sent letters to US members of parliament, including Senator Patrick Leahy, President pro tempore of the Senate; Congressman Ami Bera, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation; and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, the first Vietnamese American woman elected to the Congress, to require them to raise voice to end racial discriminations against Vietnamese citizens and Vietnamese Americans in the US.

The NSC and the Department of State acknowledged ideas of the representative offices of Vietnam and other ASEAN countries in Washington DC, pledging to maintain support to ensure interests of the Asian American community in the US.

The Vietnamese embassy has frequently maintained information channels and provided around-the-clock support for people in need. For support, people are advised to call hotlines of the Vietnamese Embassy in the US, Vietnam’s Consulates General in Houston, San Francisco and New York, and the Citizen Protection Call Centre of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris strongly condemned the hate and violence against Asian Americans, and committed to putting an end to the situation. Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Ami Bera also tweeted to protest the discrimination. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy ran an article on Washington Post, criticizing discriminations against Asian Americans and showing support for the Washington administration to intensify measures to protect them./.

Lao news agency reports on election of top Vietnamese leaders

The Lao news agency (KPL) on April 6 run an article highlighting the election of Vietnamese leadership positions.

The 14th Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) has focused on electing the country’s top leaders during its 11th sitting – the last of the tenure – which takes place from March 24 to April 8, the KPL said.

Vuong Dinh Hue was elected as Chairman of the 14th NA and of the National Election Council while Nguyen Xuan Phuc was elected as State President and Pham Minh Chinh as Prime Minister, said the article.

The article said that all the new leaders have left imprint in their previous positions with their hard work, innovation and high responsibility.

It highlighted Phuc’s successful five-year term of office as the Prime Minister who has been firm in mind, key to guide the government in search for proper solutions to many challenges, particularly the COVID-19. During his tenure, Vietnam has maintained relatively high economic growth and stable macro-economy and heightened its role and reputation at the international arena.

The article also highly spoke of new NA Chairman Vuong Duong Hue, who was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in 2016. According to the article, Hue, together with members of the government, has made achievements in stabilising Vietnam’s macro-economy, and spreading the economic gains and new mindsets to rural areas. He has held multiple meetings with relevant ministries, sectors and localities to seek solutions for public debt restructuring and reduction. He has also advised the government and NA to issue a resolution on handling bad debts of credit institutions and to revise the Law on Credit Institutions.

As the Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee over the past year, Hue has created significant changes in the capital city’s political system with his style of “talk less and do more.”

Pham Minh Chinh served as Secretary of the Quang Ninh Party Committee from 2011 – 2015, the article said. He worked hard to accelerate public administrative reforms in the northern province so as to improve local business climate and better serve people. Thanks to his efforts, Quang Ninh has taken the lead in the Public Administration Reform Index for years and succeeded in attracting private investment in infrastructure development.

Elected as a Politburo member and appointed as head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission in 2016, Chinh has contributed to streamlining governmental personnel and improving the quality and efficiency of operations of agencies. He has also initiated the launch of the Golden Hammer and Sickle Press Awards honouring journalists and their works about Party building.

Voters pin high hope on new top leaders

Many Vietnamese people have been following the 11th sitting of the 14th National Assembly, as Vietnam's top leaders are to be decided upon.
Though living in a far-flung commune in Lang Son province, Hoang Thi Thuy has carefully watched the 11th sitting of the 14th National Assembly. She has high hopes for the top leaders announced during sitting.

Many Vietnamese people across the country have expressed a hope that new leaders will be serious, determined and capable of addressing challenges now facing the country.

Though challenges remain, most Vietnamese people believe that with  unanimity and decisiveness, the newly appointed leaders will lead Vietnam through the hardships and toward the long-held targets of becoming a strong nation with wealthy people and a democratic, fair and civilised society./.

HCMC tries to lure investors to pour money into construction of green parks

Going green drives revenue for a city and green spaces are measurement for the growth of a metropolis like Ho Chi Minh City; therefore, it’s time for re-assess planning for green spaces and find a way to lure investors to pour money to construction of green parks with the aim to turn the southern metropolis into green city.

Urban green spaces such as parks, sports fields, woods, lakesides, and gardens give people the space for physical activity, relaxation, peace, and an escape from heat.

Multiple studies have shown that these spaces reduce stress and boost mental and physical health as well as mitigate the effects of pollution and can reduce a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect generated by people, transport, shops and industry is trapped in the narrow roads and concrete structures, unable to escape to the atmosphere.

For many years, land for parks citywide have been shrinking. For the first time, the municipal People’s Committee has greenlighted to build a lot of new parks with the aim to increase the area for park construction from 0.64 square meters presently to 1.2 square meters of urban green space for each person by 2030.
Phu Huu Park in Thu Duc City is one of seven newly-built park this year.

Resident Nguyen Thi Vui living near the park said that after the 3,500 square meter public park has been open to public from early 2021, people nearby started to gather in the park for outdoor workout and activities.

Elsewhere in the city, construction workers are being rushed off their feet to complete three new parks in District 7, one in District 12, one in Tan Binh District, and one in Cu Chi outlying district.

Head of the district Urban Management Division Nguyen Duc Tri said the park investor is speeding up the park and the district authority is determined to open the park this year as scheduled.

District 7 has been building three big parks, one in Tran Xuan Soan Street with area of over 97,000 square meters and 10 -hectare Song Tan park in Tan Kieng ward and 9-hectare park along Ban Don canal in Binh Thuan ward.

However, to attain the goal of one square meters of urban green space for each person by 2030, the city’s limited budget fails to carry out the plan. Accordingly, social contribution is needed, the city will call for enterprises’ cooperation.

In recent years, social contributions have proved effective as the city has additional green parks including Nam Vien park in Phu My Hung urban area in District 7.

Dai Phuc Group, investor of Van Phuc urban are in Thu Duc City’s Hiep Binh Phuoc ward poured VND350 billion (US$ 15,157,252) in 5-hectare Kenh Song Trang park.

Chairman of the People’s Committee in Hoc Mon District Duong Hong Thang said that the local administrators encouraged inhabitants to plant trees in addition to call for enterprises’ participation in park construction to achieve the goal by 2030.

The District focused on greenery development to better serve city dwellers by asking property investors to build parks in their projects

City authorities are strongly oriented towards smart, innovative and greener city for sustainable development and green space is the big goal.

The city therefore needs to fix its inadequacies and take back land in parks used for businesses and impose harsh punishment on property investors who failed to follow their registered design of the condominium.

A leader of the Department of Planning and Architecture in HCMC revealed in early 2021, the municipal People’s Committee has approved the project to develop parks in tree in public places for the 2020-2030 period.

In the project, the city strives to increase public park area to 150 hectares in the period with 0.65 square meters of urban green space for each person meanwhile it will be 1.2 square meters for each person for the 2026-2030 period.

To soon attain the set goal , the city has put forward several solutions including taking back public land for construction of parks. Moreover, existing factories and industrial establishments in residential areas will be removed out of the inner city.

Empty land will be for building parks or flower gardens to serve city dwellers. City administrations will require investors of property projects to build green space.

The city will have software to record all assets of green areas and their attributes, like trees, playgrounds, lawns, flower beds, hard assets.

Repairs to 22 disaster-hit schools in central region completed: Red Cross

The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRSC)’s Central Committee said that repairs to 22 schools damaged by downpours and floods in the central region were completed on April 5-6.

The repairs were carried out using aid of 2.2 billion VND (96,000 USD) from Lee’s Sandwiches International, Inc., a Vietnamese-American fast food restaurant chain based in the US.

Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces had eight schools each undergoing repairs, while Quang Ngai province had six.

Vice Chairman of the VRSC’s Central Committee Tran Quoc Hung said the society worked with chapters in the central region to select schools hit hardest by natural disasters in late 2020 and which had yet to receive aid from other charities.

Heavy rains and flooding last October and November inundated and destroyed many schools in the central region and also swept away classroom facilities./.

Digital transformation in hospitals proves imminent

As digital transformation continues to bring positive results in medical examination, treatment and administrative management, hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City are pushing technological integration to accommodate an increasing number of patients.

Digital transformation in hospitals currently involves the intelligent exam department, medical e-records, and the internal management portal for administrative purposes like assigning and monitoring tasks.

The portal enables internal procedures to be completed on any connected mobile device. These activities are dependent on 3 bases: the software, the framework, and confidentiality. One application of digital transformation in hospitals can be found in medical declaration.

As observed at HCMC hospitals, a common software for medical declaration was issued by the Department of Health around March 2021. Accordingly, medical declaration can be done via QR codes instead of a written form.

Hospital visitors are required to declare personal info on the Zalo messaging app after scanning a QR code at reception. Their info is recorded after the first medical declaration, and subsequent ones would only take under 1 minute.

Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital is a member of the digital patient management network established by Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program. The online system allows doctors to look up patients’ medical history and give a suitable prescription.

M.D. Nguyen Thien Minh, Head of Quality Control, Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, said that the hospital has been a part of the national TB prevention program for many years, so we have experience in digitalizing medical records.

Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital is in the third phase of Circular 54 by the Ministry of Health on the implementation of electronic medical records. Circulars 54 and 27 require all level 1 hospitals to prepare adequate infrastructure and software for electronic medical records to be put into use from 2024 to 2028.

Meanwhile, Hung Vuong Hospital expects to complete its software for general medical exams in 2021. By then, patients’ medical history will be archived and made available to them, along with doctors’ schedule to help them pick suitable times to come in for checkups.

M.D., Dr. Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, Director of Hung Vuong Hospital, said that e-records for the inpatient sector are being prepared and expected to be ready for approval in 2021. It will help save time for medical staff and reduce human errors.

Records from different departments will also be interlinked. A complete network of e-records will help HCMC hospitals work together better.

A potential setback is that each medical facility is building an internal record network based on their own needs and circumstances, which might not be compatible with those from other facilities, she said.

For example, two distinct maternity hospitals cannot implement each other’s system since their procedures are different, though they may follow the same treatment plan. There is currently no shared software that every facility can use.

In addition, there needs to be a significant budget for the software, framework and network security.
Funding for digital transformation is often the career development fund of each hospital, which needs to be approved by higher bureaus with regards to the annual capital plan.

According to Ms. Tuyet, the hospital looks forward to beneficial policies from the Ministry and Department of Health to help medical facilities establish a career development fund.

Thu Duc City Hospital, formerly Thu Duc District Hospital, is the first in HCMC to implement electronic medical records. All medical procedures here have been digitally integrated, from medical exam registration to treatment and to prescriptions.

Regarding the efficiency of e-records, the hospital in 2018 saved nearly half the time to prepare records after going digital by 86 percent, while also saving printing costs.

In addition, e-records ensure doctors’ orders are transmitted accurately, and can archive patient data for life. The hospital has seen an increasing number of patients after the digital transformation.

There were 3,000 daily patients to Thu Duc Hospital in 2014, and 6,000 each day as of 2021.

M.D. Huynh My Thu, Head of Quality Control at Thu Duc City Hospital, said that after 6 years of operation, the hospital's capacity is currently at 1,000 hospital beds and it plans to expand the scale of operation. It is expected that infrastructure upgrades will be completed in 2021, and components of the e-record system in 2025.

The successful digital transformation at Thu Duc City Hospital has saved costs and accommodated better service. HCMC medical facilities pushing digital integration is an appropriate move in this day and age.

800 local taekwondo artists to compete in Korean Ambassador Cup

Approximately 800 taekwondo athletes from 45 clubs nationwide are set to compete in the National Taekwondo Clubs Championships-Korean Ambassador Cup 2021, which is scheduled to take place from April 7-14 in the central province of Quang Nam.

The tournament is co-hosted by the Vietnam Taekwondo Federation and the Korean Cultural Centre in Vietnam and will witness the participation of competitors from numerous age categories, including 12 to 14, 15 to 17, and over 17. Competitors will battle it out for various medals in both combat and performance events.

Upon addressing a press conference held on April 2 in Hanoi, Le Thi Hoang Yen, deputy director general of the Vietnam Sports Administration under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, stressed the importance of Taekwondo when stating how vital the sport is in promoting friendly ties between the nation and the Republic of Korea.

She added that the competition will serve as a warm-up event for athletes as they prepare for the SEA Games 31.

As part of the occasion, the Vietnam Taekwondo Federation and the Korean Cultural Centre in Vietnam also announced that they will continue to carry out a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral co-operation for the 2020 to 2023 period, which was signed last year.

Illegal sand extraction rampant on Da River

The illegal excavation of sand has been found at a section of Da River which runs through Hanoi, and local authorities have apparently done little to curb the problem.

The issue is focused on Son Ha village in Hanoi's outlying district of Ba Vi, which is just a kilometre from the headquarter of Khanh Thuong Commune People’s Committee. The illegal activity happens in daytime.

The sand extractors are suspected to be a group of local people.   

The sand dredging lasts around 45 minutes each time. The sand is often transported upstream to Hoa Binh Province. The boats blatantly operate without being stopped by local authorities.

“We have informed management agencies of the problem, but this has been still ignored. This has posed the threat of erosion to households nearby”, said a local woman.

Hoang Van Chiu, chairman of Khanh Thuong Commune People’s Committee, said that no locality in Hanoi is licensed for sand excavation.

"The commune does not have enough staff to supervise the problem,” the official added.

According to a local policeman, due to the lack of the technical equipment, it is difficult for local authorities to collect images of sand mining boats from distance.

Vietnamese celebrities join "Arise’21” music project for COVID-19 fight

A large number of local celebrities have participated in a music project titled “Arise–Singing the hope for a new day of revival”, in an effort to raise funds for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched by the Ministry of Health.

The music video features some of the memories during the country’s fight against COVID-19, aiming to honour medical workers and soldiers, all of whom fought on the frontline against the pandemic.

Plenty of famous singers make an appearance in the MV, including the likes of My Linh, Ha Tran, Ho Ngoc Ha, and Uyen Linh, as part of the S-GENERATION project launched by Sun Group.

The video is to support the campaign “Joining hands to purchase vaccines against COVID-19” among the community after it was initiated and launched by Sun Group.

Running until April 30, with 10,000 shares of the music video on Facebook in public mode with the hashtags of #SGENERATION, #GenS, #100klieuvaccine, and #theheS, the project is expected to contribute VND1 billion to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination fund.

Through the video-sharing platform TikTok, every 1,000 videos with those hashtags will also be equal to VND1 billion to be donated to the fund.

Book on UK market launched to promote UKVFTA

The Vietnamese Embassy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in collaboration with the Vietnam-UK Friendship Network and the Vietnamese Association in the UK, held an online ceremony on April 1 to present a book entitled “The UK Market: Things to Know”.

The book is expected to help Vietnamese enterprises grasp the import demands of the UK market, export opportunities for Vietnamese products as well as rules regarding business in the UK, distribution channels, payment methods and trade dispute resolution procedures in the country.

The book is a collaboration between market experts from the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK, the Vietnam-UK Friendship Network and the Vietnamese Association in the UK.

Addressing the ceremony, Ambassador Tran Ngoc Anh said that Vietnam and the UK have exchanged official notes announcing the coming into full effect of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) from May 1, 2021 after the deal was signed by the two countries in late December 2020.

The UKVFTA is a significant milestone in the bilateral relationship, marking an important development in trade and investment between the two countries. In the first two months of 2021, bilateral trade revenue increased by 20% after the signing of the UKVFTA, Anh said.

However, Ambassador Tran Ngoc An said that the two countries still have room to strengthen bilateral trade cooperation as Vietnam's export revenue only accounts for about 1% of the UK’s imports.

He expressed his hope that the book will be useful, helping Vietnamese enterprises to better understand the UK market, and promoting the potential for trade cooperation between the two countries.

He also believes when the UKVFTA officially takes effect, it will create a strong driving force for economic-trade cooperation between the two countries in the future.

Preferential loans for social housing extended up to 25 years

The loan term for the purchase of social housing has been extended to 25 years at the highest, according to a recently-issued Government decree regarding the issue.

Accordingly, under Decree No. 49/2021/NÐ-CP, amending and supplementing a number of articles under Decree No. 100/2015/NÐ-CP on development and management of social housing, the loan term for the purchase and lease purchase of social housing agreed by banks and customers is consistent with the repayment capacity of customers and must not exceed 25 years from the first loan disbursement date.

Previously, under Decree No. 100, the minimum loan term was set at 15 years from the disbursement date of the first loan.

According to the latest decree, the maximum loan amount for purchase and lease purchase of social housing is equal to 80% of the value of the purchase, lease purchase contract.

In case of building, renovating or repairing a house, the maximum loan amount is 70% of the estimate value or loan plan, but not exceeding VND500 million and 70% of the value of the security guarantee.

Regarding interest rates, the lending interest rate at the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies is decided by the Prime Minister for each period at the request of the lender’s board of directors.

Loan interest rates at designated credit institutions are determined and announced by the State Bank of Vietnam on the basis of ensuring the principle of not exceeding 50% of the average lending interest rate of commercial banks in the same period.

The provincial People's Committees are responsible for allocating enough land fund for social housing development, based on the local demand for social housing and the approved housing development programmes and plans.

They are also tasked with directing functional agencies to determine in detail the location and scale of each social housing project so that they are synchronous with technical and social infrastructure systems for social housing development.

In commercial housing or urban area projects with land use from 2 ha in special urban centres, and those in grade I or at least 5 ha in urban centres in grades II and III, they must use 20% of the total residential land area in detailed planning projects approved by competent agencies for the construction of social housing properties.

HCMC Information and Communications Dept gets new head

Lam Dinh Thang, former secretary of the District 9 Party Committee, has been chosen as the director of the HCMC Department of Information and Communications.

HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong on April 2 handed the standing board of the municipal Party Committee’s decision on the appointment to Thang, the local media reported.

He led the District 9 Party Committee from April 2020. He was previously deputy secretary of the Binh Thanh Party Committee between July 2017 and April 2020.

Thang said the HCMC Department of Information and Communications plays an important role in the city’s development, especially when the city has set many development targets related to science, technology, innovation and the fourth industrial revolution.

HCMC is also the first locality in the country to launch the digital transformation program. Therefore, in the upcoming periods, the department will actively make proposals to the municipal government.

Municipal chairman Phong expressed his confidence in Thang’s professional knowledge and ability and expected officials of the department to support Thang to fulfill his duties.

Eight investors bid to build Cat Lai Bridge

Eight investors have submitted documents to bid for the construction of the Cat Lai Bridge connecting Nhon Trach District, Dong Nai Province and Thu Duc City, according to the Dong Nai Province Department of Planning and Investment.

However, the investors will have to wait until the governments of Dong Nai Province and HCMC finalize the construction plan.

The Dong Nai Province Department of Planning and Investment has proposed two construction plans for the Cat Lai Bridge.

In the first option, the bridge would start from My Thuy Intersection, run along Nguyen Thi Dinh Street in HCMC’s District 2 and cross the Dong Nai River to connect with Nhon Trach District. As per this plan, the bridge will have six to eight lanes.

Under the second plan, the bridge will stretch from the Ring Road 2 project, some 450 meters away from Phu My toll station and over one kilometer from My Thuy Intersection, crossing Ky Ha Canal in District 2, an area which now belongs to Thu Duc City, and the Dong Nai River to reach Nhon Trach. Similarly, the bridge as envisaged in the second plan will also have six to eight lanes.

The Cat Lai Bridge was projected to be a four-kilometer-long cable-stayed bridge, with a clearance height of 55 meters for ships to navigate under. It requires an estimated investment of VND7.2 trillion.

Dong Nai Province proposed that HCMC invest in the road leading to the bridge on its side, while Dong Nai will invest in the leading road running in the province. The bridge would be built under the build-operate-transfer combined with the build-transfer format. 

The two localities are evaluating the feasibility of the construction plans as well as designs of the bridge until they come up with the final plan and select the investor.

Work on Thu Thiem 2 bridge to resume before April 15

After a long suspension, work on the Thu Thiem 2 bridge project, which spans the Saigon River and connects HCMC’s District 1 with the Thu Thiem Peninsula in Thu Duc City, is expected to continue before April 15, said Phan Cong Bang, deputy director of the municipal Department of Transport.

At a conference on District 1’s socioeconomic development on April 2, Bang said the competent agencies had addressed the proposals of the investor, Dai Quang Minh Real Estate Investment Company, the local media reported.

The HCMC Department of Transport, the District 1 government and the investor have agreed to resume the project. The District 1 government will quickly clear the site for the project so that the investor can complete the project by April 30 next year as committed.

The Thu Thiem 2 bridge project was designed to have six lanes and be nearly 1,500 meters long. Work on the project started in 2015.

It is some 70% complete but the investor has suspended work on the project since August 2020 due to slow site clearance.

The land lots of Ba Son JSC, the High Command of the Navy and the Government Office in District 1 have yet to be handed over.

Four rubber cushions at HCMC’s first metro line found displaced

The HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has found that four rubber cushions belonging to package CP2 of the city’s first metro line have deviated from their positions.

The cushions are used to connect girders with pillars and act as a buffer. Two of them were made by South Korea’s Megaba Group and two others were produced by Japan’s Kawakin Holdings Group. It is still unclear how they deviated 7-11 millimeters from their positions.

Sumitomo - Cienco 6 is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of package CP2, while the subcontractor and designer are FVR and Systra, respectively.

The package comprises 1,184 rubber cushions provided by Tan Co Company. They were produced by either Megaba or Kawakin.

“The cause of these faults needs to be urgently investigated, thus minimizing damages for the entire upper structure,” a transport expert told Tuoi Tre Online. 

Up to now, package CP2 of the city’s first metro line is 92% complete. This is not the first time such faults have been detected in the process of implementing the package. On October 30 last year, MAUR discovered that a rubber cushion used for a girder of a viaduct which was constructed in 2016 had fallen off. In January 2021, MAUR found one more rubber cushion of another viaduct displaced.

According to MAUR, Sumitomo - Cienco 6 as the EPC contractor has been late in identifying the cause of these incidents, which have affected the progress of the entire project.

PM wants VND10-trillion anti-flooding project to go on

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 1 issued a resolution, asking for the continuation of the first phase of a tidal flood prevention project in HCMC, with the impact of climate change taken into account, worth nearly VND10 trillion.

The Government leader ordered the early removal of obstacles to put the project into operation soon, Tuoi Tre Online newspaper reported.

PM Phuc said this was a key project of HCMC. It is 90% complete and is expected to be completed to deal with floods in the city.

The prime minister asked the HCMC government to take responsibility for completing the project in line with the law, pay the investor of the project and eliminate unreasonable expenditures.

As for capital for the project, the HCMC government must work with the State Bank of Vietnam and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam on the allocation of loans for the project.

In addition, the city must review and remove legal obstacles facing the project.

Earlier, the project, invested in by the Trung Nam Group, had been on the verge of suspension as an appendix to extend the deadline of the project has yet to be signed. The investor and the relevant departments and agencies have repeatedly worked on the issue, but in vain, resulting in delays in the completion of the project.

Tri An Lake faces pollution challenge

Through the observation result of the Environmental Protection Department under the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the water quality does not meet the standards, especially the concentration of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), nutrient and microorganism testing in the water at the upstream Tri An Lake and La Nga Bridge generally exceed the standards. 

The water quality at Gia Tan stream is always under a condition of organic pollution. 

The pollution was due to wastewater from livestock breeding and dairy production, from the neighboring residential areas.

Tri An Lake is an artificial lake on the Dong Nai River in Dong Nai Province’s four districts of Vinh Cuu, Dinh Quan, Thong Nhat and Trang Bom which plays an important role in storing water to provide and regulate drinking water for millions of people living in the downstream areas, including Ho Chi Minh City. 

Ho Chi Minh City announces eight key programs and projects in 2021

Lately, the Department of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City has announced eight key programs and projects in 2021 approved by the municipal People’s Committee.  

Specifically, the city administration has issued programs and branch programs to support enterprises including the list of key industrial products and the list of potential industrial products in the city for the period of 2021-2025.

The city has introduced general and specific norms for each sector and each group of key industrial products. As per the list, key industrial products include the mechanical engineering industry, rubber- plastic, food and foodstuff, IT- electronics-telecommunications, and textile and garment while potential industrial products are comprised of pharmaceutical medicines, herbal medicines, traditional medicines, and vaccine- biological products.

Additionally, the city released supporting programs just for enterprises and industrial products with eight groups of duties for the 2020-2030 period. Moreover, a supporting program was launched to assist industrial automation firms and food processing companies to develop and the consumption of rubber-plastic products for the period of 2020-2030. Last but not least, the city also had a program to promote the development of food processing companies between 2020 and 2030.

When it comes to supporting e-commerce development and export market, the city People’s Committee released an e-commerce development project citywide till 2025 with a vision to 2030 and an export promotion project in the city until 2025 with an orientation towards 2030.

Furthermore, the city also set up a logistics growth project till 2025 with an orientation towards 2030 to facilitate transportation of commodities in the country and for import-export.

The Department of Industry and Trade in coordination with other competent agencies and sectors have been asking for opinions for the implementation of the above-mentioned key programs and projects with the aim to facilitate the development of the city’s industry and trade sector in connection with the regional economy and scientific application and innovative creativeness gradually switching to smart production approaches based on achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0).

The city authorities encouraged investors to pour their money into shopping centers and retailers, food stores, essential commodities to serve residents in the outlying districts.

HCMC ensures enough textbooks for new academic year

The Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday announced that it has worked with publishing houses to ensure enough textbooks for the new academic year 2021-2022. 

Moreover, the Department and publishing houses will provide refresher courses upon new textbooks to teaching staffs.

The Department also revealed as planned, the city People’s Committee will report the textbook selection result for second and sixth grades to the Ministry of Education and Training in early April for the new school year. Additionally, the city administration will approve and publicize a list of additional textbooks for the first grade.

Before, the Department of Education and training had issued plan No.333 on February 2, 2021 on the selection of new textbooks for the school year 2021 – 2022 basing on the Ministry’s circular No. 25/2020. Specifically, the education authority organized an online seminar in which certified publishing houses introduced their textbooks to school managers, teaching staffs who discussed what textbooks to be chosen and then arrived at the final selection of textbooks.

Deputy Head of the Department of Education and Training in HCMC Nguyen Van Hieu said that the textbook selection councils for the second grade completed their duties on March 30, 2021. The Department has submitted the selection results to the municipal People’s Committee.

Strict punishment on case of community warden beating two boys at school ordered

Vice-Chairman Duong Anh Duc of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City ordered strict punishment on the community warden who directly beat two teenagers at Nguyen Van To Secondary School and individuals involved in the incident. The handling result must be reported before April 10.

Regarding the case of a community warden brutally beating two teenagers at Nguyen Van To Secondary School after they were caught when sneaking into the school, attempting to steal things, on the afternoon of April 2, the office of the municipal People's Committee issued an urgent dispatch, conveying the directions of Vice-Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Duong Anh Duc.

Mr. Duong Anh Duc assessed that the above incident is serious and greatly affects the mental and physical health of children.

To promptly protect the legal rights and interests of children, Mr. Duong Anh Duc assigned the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs of HCMC to lead and coordinate with the HCMC Municipal Police, the People's Committee of District 10, and relevant agencies to urgently verify information on the incident, and handle it following the law provisions for acts of children’s rights violations.

Especially, he ordered strict punishment on the community warden, who directly beat those two boys, and individuals involved in the incident. The handling results must be reported to the People's Committee of HCMC before April 10.

At the same time, Mr. Duc also assigned the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training to direct schools in Ho Chi Minh City to strengthen school security and prevent violence against children, especially in educational institutions.

Earlier, on April 1, a video clip longer than one minute recorded the scene of a young man in the uniform of a community warden repeatedly punching and kicking two teenagers sitting on chairs. Noticeably, the incident happened in the presence of many adults. The incident is identified to have occurred at Nguyen Van To Secondary School in Ward 14 of District 10.

Artworks of visual artists on display at ECO-SUS exhibition

The exhibition is a dialogue among scientists and artists about the matters of ecological nature and sustainable development.

An exhibition on sustainable development will take place in Quy Nhon city, the central coast province of Binh Dinh from April 9 to August.

The exhibition entitled ECO-SUS, organized for the first time at the province's International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education (ICISE) will feature 11 artworks of visual artists across Vietnam, including Pham Thai Binh, Diego Cortizas Del Valle, Vu Xuan Dong and Tri Minh.

ECO-SUS is curated by artists The Son and Uu Dam, and opened along with Winter School for Sustainable Development with the participation of 100 excellent fellows and respected speakers organized by Danh Nguyen.

The ECO-SUS project is a way of continuing the dialogue among scientists and artists with issues such as ecological nature and sustainable development.

Most of the artists who participated in this project have previously been working on recent public art projects in Phuc Tan ward and Phung Hung street in Hanoi.

As this project has expanded to include a more diverse range of both artists and artistic mediums from three regions, the organizers want to give the viewers a new perspective of this unique architectural space and landscape, with new reflections and points of view through art in an oasis of science, in Binh Dinh amid the raging Covid-19.

ICISE is a European-style building inspired by Binh Dinh nature, is a remarkable architectural work designed by famous Jean François Milou.

Vietnamese intellectuals in Germany have high expectations of new government

The new government should set forth policies to facilitate investment and connectivity between overseas Vietnamese and Vietnamese-German entrepreneurs and experts in Germany with the homeland, said several Vietnamese intellectuals in the European country when being asked about their expectations of Vietnam’s newly-elected government.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Berlin, Professor Nguyen Van Thoai from the University of Trier and Doctor Nguyen Viet Anh, President of the Vietnamese Students’ Association in Germany, stated that the overseas Vietnamese community believes that the Party and State continue putting forward sound leading policies to make the country thrive and consolidate its relations with international friends, especially Germany and Europe.

Giving comments on the newly-elected Government head, Pham Minh Chinh, both of them appreciated his experience gained through years of working in many important positions.

Viet Anh said he believes that with the resoluteness and the spirit of creativeness and innovation of the Government and the Prime Minister, the bilateral economic and trade ties between Vietnam and Germany in particular and the EU in general will grow further.

Regarding the role of the new government in the relations with ASEAN and in conducting international missions and in ASEAN-EU connectivity, he said that Vietnam is one of the driving forces of the ASEAN bloc.

Vietnam’s assumption of the role as the UN Security Council Chair in April will surely create good influences on maintaining peace in the East Sea, ASEAN and other regions around the world, he stated, adding that this affirms the country’s position, but poses pressures on the new government in leading the bloc and maintaining security in the East Sea.

Both intellectuals spoke highly of Vietnam’s recent efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and step up post-pandemic economic recovery and development.

They expressed their belief that Vietnam will continue succeeding in driving back the pandemic, maintaining political stability and making the economy thrive./.

VFF hosts draw for V.League 2 fixtures

A draw to organise the games in the V.League 2 season was held at the headquarters of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) in Hanoi on April 5.

The first round of matches will get underway from May 4 to June 3, with the second leg of ties set to be held between July 5 and August 4.

The tournament will see the involvement of 14 teams nationwide, including Dong Thap FC who will be dropping down from the V.League 1.

This is in addition to Hai Nam Vinh Phuc FC and Quang Nam Youth FC, two sides who will compete in the league after recently being promoted from the third level of Vietnamese football.

Participating teams will then be divided into two groups, with the best two sides from each group progressing to the final round which is scheduled to take place on August 12.

Indonesian media appreciative of new Vietnamese leadership

The Indonesian media published positive reports on April 5 detailing results of Vietnam's recent senior personnel election, while also praising the country for its novel coronavirus (COVID-19) containment efforts and national development.

Newswire CNN Indonesia also provided coverage of the swearing-in ceremony of new President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, featuring his previous positions and various achievements recorded during his term of office.

The article highlighted President Phuc’s efforts to direct the national economy as it strives toward rapid development, whilst also effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts which have earned plaudits both at home and abroad.

The author of the article also quoted political expert Nguyen Khac Giang of Victoria Wellington University in New Zealand as saying that President Phuc's experience in maintaining relations with the United States under the administration of Donald Trump will serve him in good stead as he conducts foreign affairs in his role as State Vice President.

Economic outlet Warta Ekonomi said that under the leadership of the former Prime Minister, Vietnamese GDP increased by 1.4 times compared to 2015. In terms of the global competitiveness index, the nation moved up 10 places to 67th out of 141 countries, according to the World Economic Forum.

Furthermore, several Indonesian newspapers also introduced new Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Indeed, Antara News ran an article featuring the appointment of a former national security official to the role of Prime Minister, with the author summarising the positions that new PM Chinh has experience in after gaining the necessary approval votes at the 14th legislature.

Daily publication Rmol featured an article highlighting five major targets aimed at promoting Vietnamese reforms under PM Chinh in his first speech following the swearing-in ceremony held on April 5.

The new PM spoke of the importance of Government in boosting national construction and development, whilst also maintaining independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, the article said.

He also underscored the need to devise an action plan aimed at implementing the resolutions adopted at the 13th National Party Congress.

Several other Indonesian newspapers also closely covered the results of the election of senior Vietnamese personnel. This includes the likes of Merdeka newspaper, the website of Berita Satu television channel, the Harian Aceh daily newspaper, the Today line, the Okezone website, the website of CNBC TV channel, and Tempo magazine, a leading Indonesian magazine detailing news and political events.

Second phase of Nano Covax human trials set for completion on Apr.8

Vietnam is scheduled to finalize the second phase of human trials for NanoCovax, a local-produced novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, on April 8.

According to Chu Van Men, director of the Military Medical University’s Centre for Clinical Trials and Bioequivalence, the majority of vaccinated individuals during the second-stage of human trials, remain in a stable condition . Only a few of those who received the jab recorded a mild pain around the injection site, whilst some had a fever which disappeared after only one or two days.

Ahead of being given their second shot, all volunteers will be given a health check, with samples being carefully taken.

Chu Van Men stated that as of April 6, a total of 270 volunteers in Hanoi and 276 volunteers based in the southern region have been given their second shot of the Nano Covax vaccine as part of the second phase.

The third phase is set to see the engagement of over 10,000 volunteers, with trials set to begin from May, he added.

Vu Dinh Thiem, director of the Center for Clinical Trials under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said that as of April 6, a total of 60 volunteers have received their first shot of COVIVAC, the second domestically-produced COVID-19 vaccine.

Only a few of the subjects recorded any mild side-effects, such as a headache or muscle pain around the injection site.

On April 7 a group consisting of 15 volunteers, who received a dose of the experimental vaccine on March 31, are set to undergo a health check. The following day will see the participation of 15 other volunteers who will be given the vaccine.

Thiem added that the vaccine has so far proved to be safe and effective against the new SARS-CoV strain detected in both the UK and South Africa.

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