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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES AUGUST 29

HCM City's home-care programmes for COVID-19 patients offer doctor consultations, medicines

HCM City has rolled out its home-based care programmes for COVID-19 patients as one of its solutions for epidemic prevention and control.

The city Department of Health's updated guidelines on home-based COVID-19 healthcare only allow home monitoring of patients who meet requirements for self-care capability and facilities at home.

COVID-19 home treatment includes antipyretic drugs; health-enhancing drugs such as vitamins, micronutrients and traditional medicine; antiviral drugs; and anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and oral anticoagulants (for patients with early symptoms of respiratory failure and without support from medical staff), according to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper.

Meanwhile, the team in charge of the programme "Helping COVID patients recover from illness" consists of 52 doctors, nurses from the Young Physicians Association of HCM City, and a quick response force with volunteers to examine and treat patients at home in Phú Nhuận District.

The team provides drugs and necessary medical equipment for treatment at home, including 14 types of oriental and western medicine under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. It also operates online with patients to promptly advise and provide timely measures when problems arise.

Phan Minh Hoàng, chairman of the HCM City Young Physicians Association, said the team monitors COVID patients remotely, tells patients how to take care of themselves, and takes a look at their mental health frequently. If serious issues come up, the team directs patients to the nearest medical facility for treatment. 

The HCM City Young Physicians Association expects to work with other districts to expand the programme.

The HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy has also implemented a home-care model in District 8 and District 10.

The model has two teams. While Team 1 monitors patients remotely, Team 2 is in charge of providing outpatient emergency in collaboration with the locality.

In District 10, 14 wards are monitored by 41 units of Team 1. Team 2 has prepared 20 emergency beds, eight doctors, 12 nurses, and eight students and staff working in three shifts 24/7. 

Each consulting team takes care of 20 to 30 patients and calls patients for health updates. Patients can call doctors if they encounter any health issue.

When patients have respiratory failure or other problems, Team 1 will contact Team 2 to take the patient to the emergency station. If the patient is stable after the treatment, he or she will be sent home for Team 1 to continue monitoring. If patients become worse, they will be transferred to hospitals at a higher level.

Similarly, Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine recently launched a remote medical team consisting of experts, doctors and senior students who provide remote consultation for patients isolated at home.

The model is currently being implemented in District 10 and Thủ Đức City, and the list of patients will be taken from the local health system. 

Along with official programmes that help COVID patients at home, many prestigious medical organisations and doctors have joined hands to offer remote consultations as well.

Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, an expert in infectious diseases, has set up a fanpage to offer consultations for patients at home.

“From the first day when a family member is positive with the virus, fever-reducing medicine, vitamin C and medicine for people with chronic underlying diseases should be prepared," Khanh said.

"Oxygen concentration monitoring is also necessary. It is important for family members and patients to stay calm when the disease worsens and patients should learn to breathe evenly. If a patient's oxygen level drops continuously at below 93%, family members should immediately call 155 or 1055 and local health hotlines for further guidance." 

Nearly 2.5 million workers at 19 Southern localities cease working due to COVID-19

Nearly 2.5 million workers working in enterprises or manufacturing establishments in 19 Southern localities have to cease working due to COVID-19 pandemic, making up 70 percent of the total number of laborers stopping working nationwide.

The information was released by the special working group on COVID-19 prevention and control under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

As of August 28, more than 79,000 firms withdrew from market because of impacts of COVID-19, a year-on-year increase of 25.5 percent.

Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the nation’s fourth coronavirus wave, witnessed over 23,000 businesses having to stop operation, the highest number recorded during 2016-2020 period, up 14.8 percent against the same period last year and accounting for 29.1 percent of the total figure in the nation.

According to the special working group, Southern localities are home to 195 industrial parks and one high-tech park, creating 2.3 million jobs. In addition, the region houses 97 industrial clusters with 113,000 laborers. At present, nearly half of these businesses have to stop operation due to COVID-19 or lack of production materials or facing difficulties in circulation of commodities.

In Ho Chi Minh City, only 1,700 enterprises are operating with 50 percent of their capacity during social distancing period.

In Binh Duong Province, the second biggest coronavirus hotspot of Viet Nam, more than 1,800 firms located at industrial parks, 65 enterprises at industrial clusters and 2,000 businesses outside industrial parks have remained "three-on-spot" operation - which means production, meals, and rest after work at the same place.

HCDC corrects COVID-19 vaccination information on Electronic Health Book for people

The HCM City Centre for Disease Control has promised to amend information entered wrongly in the Electronic Health Book app for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

It said information has been updated on the app for most vaccinated people in the city, but there are errors, with some people vaccinated weeks ago still not shown as such in it.

In case of incorrect information, it said people could correct it at the app's correction page. 

The Ministry of Health created the app earlier this month, and the public can register in it for vaccination.

It replies, informing people about the vaccination time and place.

Those who meet medical requirements will be immunised and certified in the app, and the data will be used for vaccination passports.

People can report symptoms and post-vaccination reactions in it for health agencies to manage and treat.

According to Lê Minh Tấn, director of the city Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, COVID shots will also be given to 14,000 people at 12 drug addiction treatment centres.

Lao Cai police break large trans-border drug trafficking ring

Lao Cai police break large trans-border drug trafficking ring hinh anh 1

The police seized two suspects and 20 bricks of heroin (Photo: cand.com.vn)

Police in the northern border province of Lao Cai have broken a drug trafficking ring, seizing two suspects and 20 bricks (7kg) of heroin.

The police earlier followed a trans-national drug trafficking ring with the involvement of both local residents and foreigners.

On early August 27 morning, they caught the two suspects – Chang A Cu, born in 1990 and from Muong Hoa commune of Sa Pa town, and Chau Thi Cha, born in 1992 and residing in Lao Cai city - when they were illegally trading the drugs.

The police also seized two motorbikes and 9 million VND on the spot.

At the police station, the two confessed that they collaborated with another suspect to buy drugs from Myanmar. In mid-August, they travelled to Dien Bien province to receive the drugs to sell in Lao Cai.

The police are conducting further investigation into the case./.

Hung comes sixth in Paralympic javelin

Cao Ngọc Hùng managed his seasonal best at the Tokyo Paralympics' men's javelin throw on Saturday, but it wasn't enough to earn a medal.

Hùng, who won bronze at the last Paralympics and is the current Southeast Asian Games champion, threw 43.91m in his sixth attempt to rank sixth at the Olympics Stadium.

At the Rio de Janeiro Games five years ago, Hùng claimed a bronze medal with a 43.27m throw. His medal is the first and only one of Việt Nam's track and field paralympic history.

Hamed Heidari of Azerbaijan took a gold with 51.42m result which is also a new world and Paralympic record.

Amanolah Papi of Iran was second. He set up Asian record of 49.50m.

Former world champion Cicero Valdiran Lins Nobre of Brazil whose world record was broken by Papi finished third with his seasonal best of 48.93m.

Earlier, Vietnamese swimmer Đỗ Thanh Hải earned better results at his second Paralympics.

Hải came sixth in the men's 100m breaststroke SB5 finals with a time of 1min 35.68sec. It was five seconds faster than he swam five years ago when he finished seventh in Rio.

Later Saturday, Trịnh Thị Bích Như finished seventh in the women's 100m breaststroke SB5 finals with a time of 1min 53sec. Her result and position, however, were not as good as what she performed in Rio.

In the morning, regional leading athlete Nguyễn Thị Hải competed in the women's discus throw F57 event.

She threw 27.39m which is her seasonal best but was not enough to push her to top three. Hải ranked ninth.

She will take part in the women's shot put on September 2.

Vietnamese athletes will have a free day on Sunday before they are back in action on Monday with Như in her last competition in the women's 50m butterfly S6 event and Võ Thanh Tùng in the men's 50m freestyle S5. It is Tùng's strongest event and he is aiming to win Việt Nam's second medal from Tokyo.

State employee to be fired for taking bribes for quick vaccine jabs

A state employee in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District has been suspended for allegedly receiving bribes from people who do not want to wait to have their Covid-19 vaccine shots. 

According to reports from local authorities, Nong Thi Co was an employee at the Statistics Office of Vinh Phuc Ward and worked at a local vaccination point.

In order to have a quick vaccine shot without waiting in line, the residents were told to give Co between VND800,000 to VND1m (USD43). She would immediately arrange the schedule and issue appointment papers. People from other wards and districts could also have a quick vaccine jab in Vinh Phuc as they would be included in a group of employees in a local firm.

After the news broke out, Ta Nam Chien, chairman of Ba Dinh District People's Committee, said they had suspended Co for 15 days for investigation and punishment.

On August 25, Hanoi Party Secretary Dinh Tien Dung urged the police to quickly investigate the case.

"If the accusations are true then she must be punished. We'll not let this case affect the city's reputation and efforts in the vaccination programme," Dung said.

Vinh Phuc Ward People's Committee said that they have proposed to the Ba Dinh People's Committee to fire the employee.

New music video by young pop idol Orange tops trending music on YouTube

The latest music video "Em hat ai nghe", “I sing who listen” in English, by young Vietnamese pop idol Orange has won the most trending song in the Trending Music category of YouTube Vietnam, recording more than 3.6 million views one week after debuting.

Her album also topped the iTunes Chart, was second in the Apple Music Chart, and was top of Hot14 Realtime. This is in addition to earning high rankings on domestic online music platforms 72 hours after release.

Along with the release of the music video, Orange has also been honoured to be the first Vietnamese gen Z artist to be represented in Spotify's global EQUAL campaign.

Her song “Khi Em Lon”, “When you grow up” in English, has featured in the playlist EQUAL Global, Spotify's long-term global campaign which honours female artists in the music industry. Most notably, her image has recently appeared on a billboard in Times Square in New York.

Orange revealed that this memorable milestone in her music career gives her fresh impetus to make further contributions to her artistic journey.

Ministry allocates 103,680 vials of Remdesivir to Hanoi, Southern localities

The Ministry of Health on August 27 has allocated 103,680 vials of Covid-19 drug Remdesivir to treat severe Covid-19 patients in medical facilities in Hanoi, HCMC and Southern provinces.

These bottles of Remdesivir have been distributed to 12 hospitals and intensive care units in HCMC, Hanoi, Can Tho, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An,Tra Vinh and Vinh Long.

The antiviral drug Remdesivir is used for hospitalized patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, oxygen saturation of 94% or less while they were breathing ambient air, and radiologic evidence of pneumonia.

Remdesivir is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Covid-19 in October, 2020. The antiviral drug Remdesivir helps shorten the duration of Covid-19 treatment and reduce recovery time from coronavirus. It has been approved for temporary use as a Covid-19 treatment in approximately 50 countries worldwide. The access to this new drug has been extremely difficult.

Vingroup successfully negotiated an order of 500,000 Remdesivir drug vials. . The amount of drugs could be used to support the treatment of about 80,000 to 100,000 Covid-19 patients in Vietnam. The shipments of medicines have been delivered to Vietnam in August.

On the same day, the Ministry has also launched a temporary list of medicines to treat Covid-19 at home.

Int'l Army Games 2021: Vietnamese delegation receives high evaluation

A high-ranking delegation from the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) led by Lieutenant General Phung Si Tan, Deputy Chief of the General Staft of the VPA, visited Alabino training ground in Moscow, Russia, and encouraged Vietnamese officers and soldiers joining the ongoing International Army Games 2021.

Lauding the efforts and achievements that Vietnamese teams have gained so far, Tan asked them to make better preparations for competitions, ensuing safety and continuing to maintain the highest determination and solidarity.

He said that the Russian side highly valued Vietnam’s sending of a high-ranking delegation to the International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2021” and showed interest in the Vietnamese tank team, especially Tank Crew No. 1.

Vietnam’s high sense of discipline and friendship with teams from other countries has also received high evaluation from the Russian side, he said.

The performance of Vietnamese teams competing in events in Russia have been applauded by other countries, Tan added.

The Vietnamese tank team ranked ninth overall as of August 27 after Tank Crew No. 2 finished its competition in group one at Alabino military training ground in Moscow.

Teams in group one will have last games on August 28 and 29. The Vietnamese tank team will compete on August 29 morning (local time) to gain a birth to the semi-final round.

The International Army Games 2021 is being held from August 22 to September 4 in 11 countries, Russia, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Vietnam, Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, China, Serbia, Uzbekistan. In total, more than 5,000 military personnel, consisting of 277 teams from 42 countries, take part in 34 competitions of the Games 2021./.

Military medicos supporting home-bound Covid-19 patients

 

In addition to providing treatment to Covid-19 patients at field hospitals, doctors from the Military Medical Academy have also been deployed to nearly 400 mobile medical stations to support patients at home.

These laneways where Covid-19 patients are being treated at home have become familiar to military doctors at a mobile medical station in Ward 13 in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh district.

Due to their mild symptoms, Covid-19 patients Nguyen Bao An and his family members were instructed to treat the illness at home, but they are not alone, as military medical doctors often visit.

Ward 13 in Tan Binh district currently has 200 Covid-19 patients being treated at home. The timely support from military medical staff has helped reduce the burden on the local health sector and saved lives.

Mobile medical teams will support Covid-19 patients until they test negative and then for a further 14 days. Along with the Military Medical Academy, medical forces from cities and provinces around the country have headed to the epicentre of the pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern region, with a determination to save lives./.

US$37,295 collected from book auction to raise funds for Covid-19 fund

The Ho Chi Minh City-based Tri Viet Publishing House, registered as First News Company has so far collected VND855 million (US$37,295) from putting up Professor John Vu’s Muon Kiep Nhan Sinh ( Many Lives - Many Times) books for auction. The sum of VND855 million will be sent to Covid-19 funds citywide.

As the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City has developed complicatedly with an increasing number of infection cases and deaths, many people are facing difficulties due to prolonged social distancing, First News - Tri Viet has organized an auction of publications of the book with special leather cover with the signature of author Professor John Vu.

The special limited edition of eternal life is a book for collectors of precious books. This version has a total of 550 books and its covers are hand-made with artificial leather. The book size is 16cm x 24cm, the intestine is printed on Japanese cream ford paper. In addition to the special signature copies, the remaining 546 editions all have First News red stamps, numbered from EFN - 001 to EPN - 546 for collectors to keep.

Many Lives, Many Times is a very special book written by Professor John Vu - Nguyen Phong to share a wise perspective amid the tumultuous period of the pandemic and the ongoing calamities in the world. The book was released in Vietnam in 2020 and it has soon become a special phenomenon setting a release record with more than 240,000 copies within six months.

As First News – Tri Viet yearned to buy ventilators for field hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, which are in a serious shortage of equipment, oxygen, and ventilators, and to supply medical meals for doctors at hospitals and people suffering severe financial hardship, it has successfully auctioned 16 special editions of Eternal Life, earning VND 855 million.

The publisher has transferred VND480 million for Hat Vung - Soha fund for the purchase of five ventilators for Covid-19 hospitals in addition to VND250 million for meals for frontline doctors and nurses, poor patients and residents as well as medical equipment for hospitals and isolation facilities.

Volunteers of First News also gave another sum of VND125 million to assist low-income families in blocked and isolated quarters in districts citywide and Que Huong Humanitarian Center in the Southern Province of Binh Duong’s Di An town.

Prior, the publisher had supplied 30,000 facemasks and 2,000 books to patients and health care workers in isolation facilities and field hospitals.

Vietnamese swimmers enter final round at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Vietnamese swimmers Do Thanh Hai and Trinh Thi Bich Nhu showed strong performance and bagged tickets to the final round of the men’s 100m breaststroke SB5 and the women’s 100m breaststroke SB5, respectively, at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.

Hai finished his competition in 1 minute and 35.97 seconds, ranking seventh out of eight swimmers with the highest scores to enter the final round.

Meanwhile, Nhu completed her 100m breaststroke in 1 minute and 53.31 seconds to win a berth in the final round of the event.

Hai and Nhu will compete in the final rounds at 19:00 on August 28 evening (local time)./.

Vietnam's National Day celebrated in Canada, Malaysia

The Vietnamese Embassy in Canada held a get-together on August 27 to celebrate the 76th National Day of Vietnam (September 2).

Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Cao Phong highlighted the significance of the victory of the August Revolution in 1945 and the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam now).

The ambassador underlined that despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese economy has still maintained positive growth, showing the confidence of foreign investors in the country.

From a poor country, Vietnam has become one of the 16 most successful emerging economies in the world with a rising position in the world arena, he noted.

Phong highly valued the support from foreign friends and international organisations during the country’s cause of national construction and defence as well as COVID-19 prevention and control at present.

He expressed his hope that Vietnam will continue to receive more assistance in vaccines as well as support in promoting production and import-export of medical equipment and medicine.

For his part, Paul Thoppil, Assistant Deputy Minister, Asia-Pacific at Global Affairs Canada, affirmed his country’s unshakable solidarity with Vietnam, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada has recently donated 3.5 million CAD (2.77 million USD) to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, he said, adding that the country is working to increase global vaccine access through the COVAX Facility.

Highlighting the diverse partnership between Canada and Vietnam, he noted that since 1990, Canada has provided 1.7 billion CAD to socio-economic development programmes in Vietnam.

Trade between Vietnam and Canada rose 12.9 percent in 2020 and 38.5 percent in the first sixth months of 2021. Vietnam and Canada are expanding cooperation in climate change response, sustainable development and green growth. Businesses of both nations are also seeking partnership in digital economy and green energy.

At the event, the embassy raised 18,000 CAD (14,000 USD) from the Vietnamese community in Canada for Vietnam's COVID-19 vaccine fund.

On August 28, the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia also held a ceremony to celebrate the country's 76th National Day.

Ambassador Tran Viet Thai said that despite complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in the homeland, the Party and State have paid great attention to the Vietnamese community abroad and in Malaysia in particular by bringing them home and providing them with medical equipment and finance.

The diplomat pledged to continue to accompany the community to overcome the pandemic. The embassy will make more trips to Vietnamese-inhabited areas to help them deal with their problems, he said.

At the event, Vietnamese businesses in Malaysia donated 25,000 RM (about 130 million VND) to charity activities of the embassy./. 

Ngoc Ha Market closed as new Covid-19 case detected

Hanoi has closed the Ngoc Ha Market in Ba Dinh District since August 27 after a trader tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. 

The trader was given a quick test at the Trung Chau Commune Medical Station on August 27. The market will be closed until further notice. Local authorities have quickly arrived to disinfect the area, carry out contact tracing tasks and screen tests residents living around Ngoc Ha Market.   

Hanoi Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention has issued a notice searching for people who went to Ngoc Ha Market from 3 am on August 21 to 5 pm on August 27. People have been advised to self-isolate at their homes and contact the nearest medical station if showing Covid-19 symptoms. They can also call 0969 082 115 or 0949 396 115 to Hanoi CDC or 0243 8432 113 for Ba Dinh Medical Station.

The trader is a woman born in 1969 and lives in Village 1, Dan Phuong District. She felt tired and had a fever on August 26.

From April 29 until now, Hanoi has reported 2,909 Covid-19 cases including 1,525 community cases and 1,384 cases in quarantine centres.

Overseas Vietnamese commended for contributions to home country

President of the Vietnamese Fatherland (VFF) Front Do Van Chien has spoken highly of the contributions of Vietnamese communities abroad to the development of the home country, especially in the current battle against COVID-19.

The comment was made during a virtual conference on August 27 between the VFF, its overseas members and Vietnamese organisations in foreign countries.

Chien said that despite facing numerous difficulties, Vietnamese people living abroad are always looking to the homeland and have organised many substantive activities to support the pandemic prevention efforts in Vietnam and contribute to the vaccine fund.

He noted that many Vietnamese compatriots living abroad have provided advice and proactively approached vaccine suppliers in order to send home as many vaccines as possible at the earliest time possible.

According to a report at the conference, overseas Vietnamese individuals and organisations have donated money and goods worth nearly VND60 billion (US$2.6 million) to help in the fight against COVID-19.

They also donated VND30 billion and many essential items for people affected by typhoons and flooding in the central region.

State leader offers incense in tribute to President Ho Chi Minh

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 28 offered incense and flowers in tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the August Revolution (August 19) and the country's National Day (September 2), and the 52nd year of the implementation of President Ho Chi Minh's Testament.

At the relic site House 67 inside the Presidential Palace complex where President Ho Chi Minh breathed his last 52 years ago, President Phuc and and other officials offered incense and flowers in commemoration of the nation’s beloved leader.

Paying respect to the great leader of the Vietnamese Party and people and the hero of national liberation and a cultural celebrity, President Phuc expressed his boundless gratitude to the late President, who devoted his whole life to the glorious revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation.

House 67 is where President Ho Chi Minh lived, worked and passed away. It provides a venue for the Political Bureau’s meetings during the fiercest years of the war in Vietnam./. 

US-supported project strengthens efforts to protect wildlife 

Prosecution rates for wildlife violations have increased 50 per cent over the last three years thanks to a project which focuses on protecting wildlife in Việt Nam.

That was one of the key results of the USAID Saving Species project announced in Hà Nội on Friday, at a virtual event that marked the end of its five-year implementation.

The US-supported project began in 2016 with coordination between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It helped the Vietnamese Government to improve and harmonise the legal system related to wildlife protection, strengthen law enforcement and prosecution of wildlife crimes, and reduce demand and illegal consumption of wildlife. 

Reports showed that thanks to the project, prosecution rates for wildlife violations have increased from 25 per cent in 2018 to 75 per cent in 2021.

Three social behaviour change communication campaigns run by the project and the CITES Management Authority of Việt Nam have raised public awareness about wildlife protection, with a focus on reducing consumption of ivory, rhino horn and pangolin products.

Among high income earners, the percentage of buyers of ivory decreased from 16 per cent in 2018 to nine per cent in 2021, and the percentage of buyers of rhino and pangolin products decreased from eight per cent in 2018 to six per cent in 2021.

The project also supported the development, amendment and adoption of four important legal documents that are key to ensuring consistent management and protection of wildlife in Việt Nam, resolving legal gaps and overlapping regulations.

It trained more than 2,600 officials from agencies including forestry protection departments, customs officials, environmental police, wet market managers, border guards, courts, and prosecutors to help them more effectively tackle wildlife crimes.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Quốc Doanh said: “The joint effort of USAID and the Vietnamese government through USAID Saving Species project has contributed significantly to protect wildlife species and maintaining important eco-services to the national and regional sustainable socio-economic development.”

USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock added: “USAID is proud to support Việt Nam to reduce consumer demand for illegal wildlife products, build wildlife law enforcement and prosecution capacity, as well as augment and harmonise the legal framework for combating wildlife crime in Việt Nam.

"We are very pleased to see that the cooperation between the two countries through this project has brought meaningful results. Việt Nam is a critical partner of the United States for countering wildlife trafficking.”

Through subsequent projects, USAID will continue to support effective protection of wildlife and the strengthened cooperation of the two countries in wildlife crime prevention and control.

What is Hanoi’s COVID-19 screening plan before end of social distancing?

Hanoi has issued a mass testing plan to be carried out over the next week to detect people infected with coronavirus in the community before the current social distancing period is set to end on September 6.
During two previous testing stints, the capital city found 83 positive cases out of nearly 1.3 million samples collected.

Based on its assessment, the city government stated that undetected COVID-19 cases may still remain in the community and the latest testing drive will concentrate on lockdown areas and high-risk people.

The campaign will take place from August 27 to September 4, with about 200,000 samples to be tested using the RT-PCR method.

If the rate of positive cases is below 1% and the cases are concentrated in central districts, Hanoi will mobilise local healthcare centres and hospitals to provide treatment for the infected people.

In a worse scenario of the positive rate being greater than 1%, the city is expected to call for support from other provinces and cities.

Overseas Vietnamese contribute remarkably to COVID-19 fight in homeland

The Standing Board of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee on August 27 held an online conference with overseas Vietnamese (OV) associations, including those in Cambodia, Thailand, Russia, Hungary, Japan, Poland, France, the US, Canada and the Czech Republic.

The meeting aimed to increase the exchange of information, gather ideas and recommendations, and promote the role and contributions of members of the 4th VFF Central Committee and Vietnamese associations abroad in enhancing unity among OV communities and contributing to development in the homeland.

Participants were updated on the country's socio-economic situation, and results of OV-related affairs in 2020 and in the first eight month of 2021 implemented by the Standing Board of the VFF Central Committee.

According to Vice President of the VFF Central Committee Phung Khanh Tai, many practical activities were held to promote unity among OVs, and take care of and protect legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese communities abroad.

Tai said Vietnamese organisations and individuals abroad donated money and goods worth nearly 60 billion VND (over 2.6 million USD) to support the fight against COVID-19 in the homeland, and more than 30 billion VND (over 1.3 million USD) and essential goods to help flood victims in the central region.

Those, who are overseas members of the 4th VFF Central Committee, have shown an active role in disseminating the Party's guidelines and policies and the State's laws, and mobilising OVs to respond to patriotic emulation movements launched by the VFF.

Phan Bich Thien, Chairwoman of the Vietnamese Women's Association in Hungary, said the organisation has collected donations totalling 20,000 EUR (nearly 23,600 USD) to support COVID-19 affected people in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tran Ba Phuc, Chairman of the Vietnamese Business Association in Australia (VBAA), said the Vietnamese business community in the country is making efforts to lobby the host government to donate vaccines to and assist Vietnam in purchasing COVID-19 vaccines produced in Australia.

Representing the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic and Europe, Chairman of the Union of Vietnamese People Associations in Europe Hoang Dinh Thang reported on difficulties facing OVs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their efforts to stabilise their lives and prevent the disease.

The Union of Vietnamese People Associations in Europe has organised practical activities to raise funds for and support expatriates as well as local people affected by natural disasters and the pandemic, Thang said.

President of the VFF Central Committee Do Van Chien highly valued the efforts and contributions made by members of the committee, Vietnamese unions and associations abroad, especially in socio-economic development and the fight against COVID-19 in the homeland.

He called on Vietnamese expats in particular and communities in general to have more practical activities and contributions in order to firmly reinforce the national great unity bloc./.

HCMC Party chief assumes direct role in city’s anti-Covid fight

HCMC Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen will assume the overall responsibility in the anti-Covid-19 fight in the city, while other leaders will oversee such efforts in particular districts or a special task in the city’s anti-Covid fight, according to the municipal Party Committee.

Apart from the role of overseeing the fight against Covid-19 in the city, Nen is responsible for directing Thu Duc City and Binh Tan District to suppress the pandemic.

In addition, newly-elected Chairman of HCMC Phan Van Mai, deputy head of the city’s anti-virus steering committee, is in charge of giving directives over Covid infection prevention and control in the entire city, and directly guiding the Covid fight in District 8.

HCMC People’s Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Le is responsible for directing the supervision of epidemic prevention and control and directly guiding prevention and control operations in District 3 and Cu Chi District.

Deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Ho Hai was tasked with mobilizing forces for the anti-virus fight, ensuring social welfare and directly monitoring Covid-19 infection prevention and control operations in District 4 and Tan Binh District.

Other members of the municipal Party Committee were also assigned to assume Covid-19 infection prevention and control tasks in the remaining districts, including Nguyen Huu Hiep, head of the municipal Commission of Mass Mobilization, in Go Vap District; and Phan Nguyen Nhu Khue, head of the HCMC Party Committee’s Board for Propaganda and Education, District 5.

Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCMC To Thi Bich Chau is in charge of the anti-virus tasks in Phu Nhuan; Le Thanh Liem, head of the Internal Affairs Department, in District 6; Duong Ngoc Hai, chairman of the HCMC Inspection Commission, in Tan Phu; Nguyen Van Nam, commander of the HCMC High Command, in District 12.

The Covid infection prevention and control operations in the districts of 10, Thu Duc and 1 were assigned for Le Hong Nam, director of the HCMC Police Department; Nguyen Van Hieu, Thu Duc Party secretary; and Tran Kim Yen, District 1 Party secretary, respectively.

Further, HCMC vice chairpeople, including Ngo Minh Chau, Vo Van Hoan, Duong Anh Duc, Le Hoa Binh and Phan Thi Thang are in charge of monitoring the tasks in the districts of Nha Be, 11, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh and Binh Thanh.

Nguyen Van Dung, vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Council, was responsible for guiding and monitoring anti-virus tasks in District 7, while Huynh Thanh Nhan, director of the HCMC Department of Home Affairs, will lead the anti-Covid fight in Can Gio District and mobilize anti-virus forces.

The governments of Thu Duc City and other districts were told to work with these officials to adopt anti-virus measures and ensure social welfare.

The assignment was aimed at bringing the Covid-19 pandemic under control as soon as possible, the local media reported.

Dong Thap presents gifts to Cambodia’s Prey Veng

The Fatherland Front and Border Guard Command of Dong Thap Province presented gifts to the Solidarity Front for Development of Cambodia’s Prey Veng Province on August 27.

The gifts included 25,000 medical masks, 500 bottles of sanitisers and 2 tonnes of rice worth a total of VND80 million (US$3,500).

The goods are expected to help ease difficulties for poor households in the Cambodian province during the fight against COVID-19.

Chairman of the Dong Thap Fatherland Front Le Thanh Cong said he expects that the two provinces will uphold the traditional solidarity between Vietnam and Cambodia and build a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.

For his part, Vice President of the Prey Veng Solidarity Front for Development Moam Chanh Da Ra thanked Dong Thap for the support and pledged to use the gifts in fighting against COVID-19 effectively.

HCMC has yet to issue Covid-19 vaccination plan for people 12-17 years old

Speaking at a press conference held by the HCMC Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 27, Deputy Head of the HCMC Center for Disease Control Dr. Nguyen Hong Tam said that the HCMC’s health sector has not issued Covid-19 vaccination plan for people 12-17 years old yet.

Regading to the plans for the 2020-2021 academic year, head of the Office of the HCMC Department of Education and Training Nguyen Thanh Trung said that textbooks have already been prepared. Of these, 70 percent of primary school textbooks have been transported to schools.

The department has also proposed the HCMC People’s Committee to add school books to the list of essential goods in the beginning of the new academic year to create advantage for granting travel document and the supply of books to students.

Besides, the municipal Department of Education and Training has cooperated with publishing houses to deploy free online textbooks in case of students' textbook purchase delay, he added.

In order to resolve the problem of the support of food shopping, the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC has publicized phone numbers of districts’ units in charge of the areas for local residents to contact for assistance, said deputy director of the department Nguyen Nguyen Phuong.

Regarding to the problem that many people could not connect with the Covid-19 support hotlines 1022, Deputy Director of the Information and Comunications of HCMC Le Quoc Cuong said that they have been overload with calls.

The zero branch of the Information Portal 1022 received 47,000 calls reflecting Covid-19 situation and transferred them to the functional agencies from May 28 to August 25.

The lines of the branch No.1 of the HCMC People’s Council got 335 opinions from July 16 – August 25 while the lines of branch No.2 receiving information of the munical Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the People’s Committees and functional departments at all levels received more than 179,000 requests.

Doctors and specialists provided over 26,200 calls for healthcare consultancy via the lines of the branch No.3 from July 23 – August 25 while volunteers accepted 65,225 calls for support on the lines of the branch No.4 from August 6-25.

People can aslo use social media sites and platforms, including email, website, mobile apps, facebook and zalo to connect with the Information Portal 1022, he said.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Communications, Tu Luong suggested people consider the accuracy of the information on social media and the impact it may have before sharing.

The department and relevant authorities have imposed many administrative fines for spreading fake news and rumors on social media, especially false news against the government and untrue information about Covid-19 pandemic, he stressed.

Diplomatic sector effectively serves national defence, development: Minister

The diplomatic sector has made great contributions to the cause of national defence, construction and development throughout the country’s history over the past more than seven decades, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son wrote in an article on the occasion of the ministry's 76th founding anniversary (August 28, 1945-2021).

He noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam was founded 76 years ago together with the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, with the first Minister of Foreign Affairs being Ho Chi Minh, who was also the President of the then Provisional Government.

Right after its foundation in the context that the country was facing enemies from both inside and outside, the sector focused on protecting the young revolutionary administration and prolonging the valuable peaceful period for the preparation of forces for a long-term resistance period.

Upholding the principle of peace, national independence and socialism, the sector became a strategic front in the two resistance wars, mobilising the support from socialist countries and peace-lovers in the world for the just struggle for national freedom, according to Son.

In close coordination with political and military struggles, the diplomatic sector gained important successes at the negotiations in Geneva in 1954 and Paris in 1973, opening up great opportunities for the nation to head to the reunification day, the minister wrote.

During the post-war period with numerous difficulties and challenges, the Vietnamese diplomatic sector optimised the support and help from socialist countries and international friends to the cause of national reconstruction, development and defence.

Diplomacy became a tool to clear the way for the country to generally remove blockage and embargo and set up relationships with neighbouring countries, world powers and many partners, opening up a new context for external relations to effectively serve the country’s comprehensive reform process, Son affirmed.

Regarding the sector’s contributions to the country’s “Doi Moi” (Renewal) and international integration, Son underlined that with an external policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation, development, multilateralisation and diversification, and active and proactive international integration for the interests of the nation, the sector has taken the lead in constructing peace, protecting the Fatherland and attracting resources for the country’s development, and improving Vietnam's position.

So far, Vietnam has established diplomatic ties with 189 countries, including 17 strategic partners and 13 comprehensive partners. The nation also set up economic partnerships with more than 230 economies around the world and signed 15 free trade agreements (FTA), including many new generation deals.

Vietnam has successfully hosted many large-scale international events and completed many international missions such as the role of a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2008-2009 and 2020-2021 tenures, the host of the ASEAN Summits in 1998, 2010 and 2020, the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in 2004, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meetings in 2006 and 2017, the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in 2010 and the WEF on ASEAN in 2018, and the US-DPRK Summit in 2019, he noted.

Son stressed that since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and developed complicatedly in the world and inside the country, the diplomatic sector, together with other ministries and sectors, enhanced “medical diplomacy” and "vaccine diplomacy” to optimise the timely and efficient support of the international community in vaccine, medical supplies and medicine, thus joining hands with the whole country in controlling the pandemic and boosting socio-economic development at the same time.

These outstanding achievements of the diplomatic sector have significantly contributed to the country's great successes of historical significance over the past 35 years of renewal, proving the sound foreign policy of the Party, the minister concluded./.

Charity auction to raise funds for COVID-19 fight

A charity auction programme to raise funds and donate medical supplies to frontline medical workers and hospitals in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will be organised on August 28 evening by the organisers of the Vietnam International Fashion Week (VNIFW).

The event will take place on OnMeeting platform and will be livestreamed on the Fanpage of the VNIFW.

It aims to call on those working in the fashion industry to join hands in the fight against COVID-19.

Chairwoman of the Vietnam International Fashion Week Trang Le said the auction is expected to partially contribute to COVID-19 prevention and control efforts of the country, especially in the southern region.

The programme will see the participation of famous people such as Francesca Baronio - wife of the EU Ambassador to Vietnam, businesswoman and actress Truong Ngoc Anh, businesswoman and fashionista Tien Nguyen, artist Minh Trang, singer Tung Duong, singer Doan Trang, and designers Nguyen Cong Tri, Adrian Anh Tuan, and Thuy Nguyen, among others./.

Vietnamese student wins third prize at 50th UPU writing contest

Vietnamese student Dao Anh Thu, an eighth grader from Nguyen Huy Tuong Secondary School, Dong Anh District, Hanoi City, won third prize at the 50th Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Letter Writing Contest. 

The information was announced by the UPU International Office at the closing plenary session of the 27th Congress of the Postal Union in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) on the evening of August 27, 2021. 

The 50th UPU International Letter Writing Competition - 2021 was organised by the UPU with the theme: "Write a letter to a family member about your experience with COVID-19".

As the author of the letter that won the international third prize, Dao Anh Thu chose the idea of sending a letter to a baby girl born while her mother was treating Covid-19 at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases. The letter described the difficulties and hardships of the doctors and the pride in their contributions to the prevention and control of the pandemic in Vietnam. 

With a clear message, a logical and reasonable presentation, and a record of practical experiences, the letter brought Vietnam one of the top three prizes of the 50th UPU International Letter Writing Contest, extending Vietnam’s performance in the 33rd year of participation. This is the 16th time that a Vietnamese student has won an international prize at this competition.

The international first prize went to Nubaysha Islam (female, 14 years old) from Bangladesh. The international second prize was awarded to Bruno Ivanovski (male, 14 years old) from North Macedonia for a letter to his grandmother. In addition, UPU also awarded five consolation prizes to students from Belarus, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Libya.

Every year, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) holds the UPU International Letter Writing Contest encouraging young writers aged 9-15 to write letters on a given theme to win exciting prizes. The competition is an excellent way to develop writing skills among youths and boost their ability to express their thoughts clearly regarding the social problem they may be concerned about. It also aims to foster and nurture the young generation's awareness and responsibilities towards society, their nation, as well as the whole world.

US CDC Southeast Asia Regional Director: Vietnam and the US to promote strategic relationship on health security

“Vietnam and the US will strengthen strategic ties on health security” said Dr. John MacArthur, US CDC Southeast Asia Regional Director at the press conference took place over the phone on August 27.
According to Dr. John MacArthur, Vietnam plays an important role in ASEAN, plays a leadership role in the Global Health Security Agenda, and meets the conditions for the US to set up a regional CDC office in Vietnam.

“I want to highlight that, when talking about CDC’s 70-plus-year relationship in Southeast Asia, it actually began with a trip from malaria experts from CDC to Vietnam to work in the northern part of the country on malaria control. We value our longstanding relationship with the people of Vietnam and we also value the 23-year history of our bilateral office here in Vietnam.

We also recognise that Vietnam plays a leadership role in ASEAN. It also plays a leadership role in the Global Health Security Agenda, having led one of the action packages for that agenda. The government has been very welcoming and supportive in working with us. I mentioned we had the deputy prime minister, the vice minister of foreign affairs, and the health minister all in attendance at our launch on Wednesday, and I think that this shows the strong, strong political commitment we have.” said John MacArthur.

The regional office will build on relationships with regional partners, support countries in the region that previously had limited CDC presence, and enhance cross-country collaborations. The regional office will work to strengthen core health security capacities in areas such as surveillance, data use, laboratory science, workforce development, and emergency preparedness.

Earlier, at the opening ceremony of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Southeast Asia Regional Office in Hanoi on August 25, US Vice President Kamala Harris said "We are working to train health professionals in the field of epidemiology, and the training programme ‘disease detectives’ has actually been in place in Asia since 1980.".

“This is really an extremely important programme for developing the public health workforce, providing training for the epidemiologists who respond to these disease outbreaks.

We’re happy to say that there is the ASEAN+3 Field Epidemiology Training Network here in the region, and this is run through ASEAN, as a means for all these ASEAN programs to be networked together and learn from one another. With the launch of this Regional Office, we will work with our key partners in workforce development and field epidemiology training, because we want to build their capacity and use their network throughout the Southeast Asian states.” said John MacArthur.

“Vietnam was selected as a regional platform because of the successful relationships and the infrastructure developed through programs that we’ve had for many years here in the country, including PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and our global health security work. We recognise that Vietnam is an active participant in regional bodies such as ASEAN. They have been very active in the Global Health Security Agenda as well. The Vietnam Ministry of Health is supportive of this regional focus of the CDC is very interested in working with us.”

“The US thus far has donated over 23 million vaccines for emergency health and humanitarian assistance across ASEAN, including sending 6 million doses here to Vietnam. We’ve also pledged US$500,000 to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, which will support the purchase of additional vaccines. And finally, while maybe not quite specific to Vietnam or even Southeast Asia, the United States has pledged 500 million additional Pfizer vaccines for distribution through the COVAX mechanism, which is the single largest vaccine donation in history and essentially half of the G7’s commitment thus far.”.

The CDC Southeast Asia Regional Office builds upon the collaboration between our governments and the unity that Southeast Asia has demonstrated during the pandemic, and also through organisations such as ASEAN.

Long An Province urged to step up testing in “red zones”

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the southern province of Long An to accelerate testing within “red zones”, which refer to areas where there are many COVID-19 cases.

The request was made on August 27 during a tour to inspect pandemic prevention and patient treatment in the red zone district of Duc Hoa.

He stated that local authorities need to provide even better care for those living in lockdown areas and quickly prepare plans for restoring production in safe zones.

The Deputy PM noted that Long An should consider the option of allowing workers in safe zones to return to work while paying attention to health supervision and vaccination so as to ensure safety against the virus.

According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam recorded 12,920 cases of COVID-19 and 356 deaths on August 27, of which the hotspot of Ho Chi Minh City accounted for 5,383 cases.

Books brought to residents in blocked, isolated areas in HCMC

Along with the supply of necessities, over the past time, many organizations and publishing houses have joined hands to bring books into isolation and blocked areas so that patients can take up reading during these days when Ho Chi Minh City has been practicing strict social distancing. In these boring days of social distancing, the activity of bringing books to readers is very meaningful.

Since mid-July, Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House and leaders of Phu Nhuan District have donated books to people in quarantine and blocked areas in the district.

The program has donated nearly 1,000 books of various kinds including literature, children, culture, history, skills, health to city dwellers in blocked and isolated areas. People can listen to Audiobooks (audiobooks) with 200 books on the Voiz FM app within 30 days.

Additionally, around 1,000 vouchers were issued to people to access free movies on the Galaxy Play app in isolation facilities. Up to now, the program has donated books to 30 blocked zones and 4 concentrated isolation areas in Phu Nhuan District.

At the same time, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union, the office of Vietnam Publishing Association in the Southern region, and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications jointly implemented the program.

In a short time, the program has received more than 20,000 books of all kinds, including paper books, e-books, and audiobooks. Many publishing companies such as Youth Publishing House, National Political Publishing House, Saigon Books, Huy Hoang Books, Thai Ha Books, Fahasa, Quang Van Company have joined the program.

According to Mr. Le Hoang, Vice President of the Vietnam Publishing Association, the program of bringing books to readers in quarantined and isolated areas should be expanded because many provinces and cities across the country have been practicing social distancing.

Books were given just some places not all isolated and blocked areas meanwhile the demand is still great. Nevertheless, due to travel restrictions, employees of the publishing houses were unable to send books to the program.

After sending books to residents in Phu Nhuan District, on August 16, Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House donated paper books and e-books to habitants in District 1 and districts 5 and 7 respectively. The program happily has created a positive effect.

Currently, the Ben Tre Provincial Youth Union has been working with this publishing house to equip e-books for two field hospitals in Ben Tre City, and isolation areas in two districts of Ba Tri and Thanh Phu.

Director of the General Publishing House of Ho Chi Minh City Dinh Thi Thanh Thuy said that the Covid-19 epidemic has affected the country for two years, many publishing companies are currently facing difficulties. Publishing companies can only partially support it because they are also facing difficulties while bookstores are not allowed to open. Worse, they can’t sell books on the internet as books are not classified as essential commodities; therefore, shippers can’t ship books to residents.

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

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