VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 16
Hanoi to restore tourism when pandemic under control
The capital city of Hanoi will quickly restore its tourism activities when the COVID-19 pandemic is under control at home and abroad, said the municipal Tourism Department during its conference on January 14 to launch 2022 tasks.
The municipal tourism sector will step up technological application, develop infrastructure, improve tourism quality and enhance international cooperation in the field.
Annual tourism festivals and events will still be held in cities and provinces to popularise the images of the capital.
Last year, Hanoi welcomed 4 million domestic visitors, or 53 percent of that recorded in 2020 and 36 percent of the yearly target. The total revenue from domestic visitors was estimated at 11.28 trillion VND (490 million USD), equivalent to 40 percent of the total in 2020 and 23 percent of the yearly plan.
In 2022, the city strives to serve 10-12 million visitors, including 1.2-2 million foreigners.
Vietnam reports 16,378 new COVID-19 cases on January 15
Vietnam logged an additional 16,378 COVID-19 infections, including 73 imported cases, over the past 24 hours to 16:00 on January 15, the Ministry of Health reported.
The capital city of Hanoi found the highest number of infections, with 2,810 cases. It was followed by the central city of Da Nang and the northern port city of Hai Phong, with 874 and 814 infections, respectively.
Meanwhile, 139 new fatalities were reported on the day, raising the death toll to 35,480, equivalent to 1.8 percent of the total infections.
As many as 166,942,276 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, including 78,563,059 first shots, 72,121,184 second jabs and 16,258,033 third injections.
Injured fishermen rescued in Truong Sa
The High Command of Navy Region 4 said on January 15 that military medical staff have provided emergency treatment for a fisherman whose right hand was crushed while working at sea.
Nguyen Van Tay, 39, from Tam Nam Quan ward, Hoai Nhon township, the south-central province of Binh Dinh, underwent a surgery at the medical centre on Song Tu Tay island, Truong Sa district, Khanh Hoa province.
The fisherman was then allowed to return to his boat for further care.
On January 13, Truong Sa’s health centre also provided emergency aid for another fisherman from Tuy Hoa city, Phu Yen province, who also met an occupational accident.
HCM City halts operations of four temporary COVID-19 treatment hospitals
Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health has decided to stop the operations of four temporary COVID-19 treatment hospitals No. 3, No. 5, No. 10 and Cu Chi from January 19.
Currently, the number of patients being treated at temporary COVID-19 treatment facilities in the city accounts for 10-30 percent of their capacity. However, the new Omicron variant of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to cause an outbreak again.
To create conditions for medical staff participating in the fight against the pandemic to have time to recover their health, and be ready to respond when the pandemic situation becomes complicated, the department decided to halt the operations of these treatment facilities until further notice.
Medical workers and other staff working at these hospitals will temporarily return to their original units to perform duties as assigned by the managing directors.
Tuyen Quang: Man detained for anti-State propaganda
Police in northern Tuyen Quang province have arrested a 52-year-old man for making, storing, distributing or disseminating information, documents and items against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code.
Initial investigations revealed that Le Manh Ha had complied, published and shared articles and video clips on social networks such as Youtube and Facebook, defaming the people’s administration, President Ho Chi Minh, and Party and State leaders, triggering public concern.
While searching the man’s home in Kim Phu commune, Tuyen Quang city, the police found many documents and evidence relating to his wrongdoings.
The case is under further investigation.
Miss Fitness Vietnam 2022 to be launched
The selection round of Miss Fitness Vietnam 2022, a national event featuring fitness enthusiasts, will open on January 16 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Contestants will compete in the categories of fitness performance, sports talent, swimsuits, question-and-answer sessions and evening wear.
Twenty-one candidates will be selected for the semi-final round in late February in HCM City. They will take part in social and charity activities to encourage the public, particularly youth, to maintain good health by doing sports.
Ten finalists will compete for the crown at the final, which is scheduled for April 16 in HCM City.
The winner will receive a 300 million VND (over 13,200 USD) award in cash, while the two runners-up will take home 200 million VND each.
The jury includes Miss Vietnam 2014 Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen and experts from the HCM City Weightlifting & Bodybuilding Federation. Miss Supranational 2018, runner-up of Asia’s Next Top Model 2017 and fashion model Minh Tú will lead contestants during the contest’s selection and semi-final rounds.
VSS works to ensure rights, interests of people amid COVID-19
Vietnam Social Security (VSS) made efforts to complete its tasks while effectively rolling out policies in support of employees and employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Amid the pandemic outbreaks, the VSS has kept a close watch on the latest situation and quickly implemented flexible solutions to ensure rights and interests of participants, helping to consolidate the public’s confidence in social welfare policies of the Party and the State.
Notably, the aid package worth over 30 trillion VND earmarked from the unemployment insurance fund, the biggest-ever of its kind in cash, has been rolled out.
By the end of 2021, the number of social insurance participants was more than 16.5 million, up 2.1 percent from 2020, while 13.4 million others joined unemployment insurance, a year-on-year rise of 0.4 percent, and 88.8 million participated in health insurance, up 0.9 percent.
The number of voluntary social insurance participants also increased by 28 percent to 1.4 million last year, surpassing the set target by 1.94 percent.
Investment Support Forum for Overseas Vietnamese established
The Investment Support Forum for Overseas Vietnamese (Invesfov) was launched at a ceremony in Hanoi on January 14.
Established by the Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese, the forum is set to materialise Conclusion No. 12-KL/TW dated August 12, 2021 of the Politburo on overseas Vietnamese affairs in the new context, attract more resources from Vietnamese abroad and create optimal conditions for them to contribute more to national development.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu, who is also Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, lauded the association for its initiative and efforts to establish the forum.
According to the Deputy Minister, 5.3 million Vietnamese are living and studying in 130 countries and territories worldwide.
Foreign Minister receives Special Envoy of UN Secretary General on Myanmar
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son hosted a reception in Hanoi on January 14 for Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer via videoconference.
Expressing concern over instability in Myanmar, both sides highlighted the top and urgent priority to ending violence, increasing humanitarian support for Myanmar citizens while promoting dialogue and trust building to seek a peaceful, comprehensive and sustainable solution that suits interests of Myanmar people.
The two sides agreed to work closely together to help Myanmar return to normal for the benefits of Myanmar people as well as for peace, stability, cooperation and common development in the region./.
VUFO raises awareness of people-to-people diplomacy
The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) will work harder to raise public awareness of people-to-people diplomacy and improve operational quality, VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga said on January 14.
Addressing the fourth conference of the VUFO’s presidium for 2019-2024, Nga said the union will continue to expand the network of friends and partners this year.
The union will further consolidate its system from central to local levels, promote digital transformation, encourage innovation and improve personnel quality, the President said.
Up to 57 foreign non-governmental organisations sent 123 aid packages worth nearly 10.64 million USD to Vietnam, Son said.
Apart from maintaining the relations with traditional partners, the union and its members set up ties with 10 new partners, both bilateral and within multilateral mechanisms.
HCM City preschools to reopen in February, but optional
Ho Chi Minh City preschools will reopen after Tet (traditional Lunar New Year) after more than half a year of closure due to COVID-19 outbreak, but children’s attendance has been left to their parents’ discretion.
Since last September preschool teachers and employees have been provided training to teach and work safely amid the pandemic.
The school year is expected to end on July 29.
Campuses have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
The city Department of Education and Training has been tasked with deciding when students need to attend school in case of harsh weather, natural disasters and epidemics, arranging back-up classes and ensuring the quality of education and the safety of teachers and children.
Hanoi remains at top of travellers’ lists despite COVID-19
Hanoi has remained at the top of global travellers’ wish lists although COVID-19 travel restrictions severely hit the city’s tourism last year.
In 2021, Hanoi came second in Trip Advisor’s top 25 popular destinations in Asia and sixth in the world’s list.
The world’s largest travel site wrote Hanoi has “aged well, preserving the Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside.
Hanoi ranked first among the 10 cheapest cities to live in the world selected by the US’s World Packers. It is described as a multicultural and historical city known for “architecture, street food, nightlife, and vast history”.
Together with Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc Island, Hanoi was listed among the world’s 100 greatest places to explore on earth in 2021 by the US’s Time Magazine.
The city was also on the list of the “Best Cities for a Workation” released by the UK travel website Holidu, ranking 18th among the 147 cities globally, and named among the top 50 cities responding the best to the COVID-19 pandemic by the UK’s Deep Knowledge Analytics.
Vietnam photographer wins gold at int’l photo contest
The photo “Afternoon on the Cat Ba Bay” by Vu Manh Cuong has won the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) gold medal at the international photo contest RGB 2021.
The contest honours outstanding works of both professional and amateur photographers around the world in the four categories of Open Monochrome, Open Colour, Nature and Photo Travel.
Vietnamese photographers winning the ribbon award at this contest include Duong Duy Khang with “Ben thuyen Tam Coc” (Tam Coc Marina), Vu Manh Cuong with “Wayback 2”, Duong Vu with “Feeding 3” and “Tinh phu tu 2” (Father Love 2), and Vu Hai with “Mu Cang Chai tourist site”.
Updated climate change scenarios, national climate assessment report released
The updated climate change scenarios and the national climate assessment report were released at a workshop on January 14 by the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).
MoNRE Deputy Minister Le Cong Thanh said the new climate change scenarios were built on the basis of statistics updated as of 2020 and the latest data from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
They provide detailed climate change and sea level rise scenarios as well as flooding risks, even for district-level administrative units, islands, and archipelagos of Vietnam, he noted.
The workshop also launched the national climate assessment report, which is the first to be compiled with the aim of helping managers and people understand more about the features, situation, and levels of climate change.
1.5 million blood units to be mobilised in 2022
The entire nation is striving to mobilise 1.5 percent of the population to donate 1.5 million blood units this year, heard a January 14 conference held by the national steering committee for blood donation.
Throughout the year, close to 10,000 blood donation communications and mobilisation campaigns took place, attracting more than 1.5 million participants. More groups joined the donations, including military personnel, civil servants, Buddhist monks and nuns, and religious dignitaries.
As a result, more than 1.3 million blood units were collected nationwide, basically meeting first aid and treatment demand, particularly during COVID-19 outbreaks. Nearly 20,000 blood units were sent to aid cities and provinces in the south as the fourth wave of the pandemic in Vietnam began in April last year.
Ministry eyes Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years
Vietnam is exercising caution in consideration of COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long told local media.
The Ministry of Health has submitted a tentative inoculation plan to the Government awaiting approval, however, Long stressed the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not issued official guidance for vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years yet.
To date, Vietnam has administered over 14 million COVID-19 vaccine shots for children in the 12-17 age group, with first-dose coverage hitting 90 percent and second-dose coverage reaching 68.5 percent.
Some countries have commenced vaccinating young children against COVID-19, such as the US, Canada, Brazil, many European countries, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Malaysia, (with paediatric doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines); China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Argentina, Columbia, (using China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines); and Cuba and Venezuela (with Cuba’s Sobenara 2 vaccines)./.
HAGL, Viettel face daunting tasks in continental cups
Local sides HAGL FC and Viettel FC will face a difficult pathway when competing in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup following the AFC revealing the schedule for the 2022 season.
The AFC Champions League in the West and East Regions will take place from April 14 to May 1, with all teams playing six matches in a centralised place that has yet to be announced.
As a result of this, HAGL FC will have to play six matches over a 15-day period. During this time, HAGL FC will not play any fixtures in the V.League 1 and will have to return to playing domestic matches as soon as the AFC Champions League finishes.
Elsewhere, the group stage of the 2020 AFC Cup in the ASEAN Zone will be held from June 24 to June 30. All teams will play three matches in a centralised venue that will be selected by the organizing board.
In line with this, Viettel FC will have to play three matches in just six days. In addition, several players such as Thanh Binh, Manh Dung, and Dang Trung will also have to take part in the AFC U23 Championship Final in early June.
Programme on domestic violence prevention and control adopted
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam signed a decision on January 13 approving a programme on domestic violence prevention and control towards the year 2025.
The scheme has been designed to see 40% of households participate in talks on the issue organised by the commune People's Committees in villages and residential areas, with over 70% of people at risk of domestic violence being equipped with knowledge and skills to cope with the matter.
At least 50% of main television channels of the central and local governments should feature a regular programme on the topic of domestic violence prevention and control, while 95% of detected victims should be able to receive legal support and health care, according to the scheme.
Furthermore, over 80% of people who commit acts of domestic violence should be given consultations and knowledge and skills in order to control themselves.
Bach Long Vi island district get aid prior to Lunar New Year
The High Command of the Vietnam Coast Guard Region 1 has organised several activities to the tune of 200 million VND (8,800 USD) to support local residents in Bach Long Vi island district on the occasion of Tet (Lunar New Year).
They include visiting units of armed forces in the district, offering gifts worth 1 million VND each to policy beneficiary families and outstanding students with difficult circumstances.
A "Zero dong" market was also held to assist residents on the occasion of Tet. The total fund for the activities is nearly 200 million VND.
Ministry works to ensure warm Tet for social policy beneficiaries
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has devised specific solutions to ensure a warm Tet (Lunar New Year) festival for social policy beneficiaries, and support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such solutions form part of a recently-issued action plan, under which the ministry also prepared resources to support labourers in case of risks amid the pandemic.
The MoLISA will continue with the policy on poverty reduction, and effectively implement the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction, with priorities given to poor households in ethnic minority-inhabited areas.
Notably, vulnerable groups will receive both regular and unscheduled assistance, according to the plan.
Over 2 million poor households access social policy bank loans