VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 24
Binh Duong reports first imported Omicron case
The southern province of Binh Duong has confirmed one imported case of Omicron variant of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, announced the provincial Department of Health on January 23.
The 32-year-old female patient flew home from Canada and arrived at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City on January 9. She was quarantined in Binh Duong’s Thu Dau Mot city and tested positive for COVID-19 two days later.
Her sample was sent for gene sequencing and the results confirmed she was infected with the Omicron variant. She has displayed no symptoms so far.
Dossier seeking UNESCO recognition of Yen Tu complex to be completed this year
The northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, and Bac Giang have committed to complete a scientific dossier on the Complex of Yen Tu Monuments and Landscapes in 2022 to seek the UNESCO recognition of this place as a world heritage site.
Under the commitment, which was signed recently by the People’s Committees of the three neighbouring provinces, the three localities are set to work together to finalise the initial nomination dossier and submit it to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism by July 30, 2022.
After making necessary revisions, if any, they will submit the dossier to UNESCO for evaluation by September 30 and the official dossier to the Paris-headquartered organisation by December 31 this year.
The complex of Yen Tu Monuments and Landscapes is comprised of four clusters of special national historical relics: the Yen Tu historical relic and landscape area (Uong Bi city of Quang Ninh), the Tran Dynasty historical relic area (Dong Trieu town of Quang Ninh), the Tay (Western) Yen Tu relic and landscape area (Bac Giang), and the Con Son - Kiep Bac complex (Hai Duong).
Gov't approves national target program on poverty reduction for 2021-2025
Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has signed Decíion No. 90/QD-TTg approving the national target program on sustainable poverty reduction for the 2021-2025 period with total funding of at least VND 75,000 billion.
The overall goal of the program is to achieve multidimensional, inclusive and sustainable poverty reduction.
The program targets to reduce the nationwide poverty rate by 1-1.5 percent, by over 3 percent among ethnic minority households, and by 4-4.5 percent in poor districts per year.
The number of poor and near-poor households is expected to decrease by half by 2025, according to the program.
Multi-functional open space inaugurated in Hanoi
Hanoi’s downtown district of Hoan Kiem on January 21 partnered with the Livable Hanoi network to convert a waste dump into a new multi-functional public space for the residential com*-munity on the banks of the Red River.
The project was initiated by four organizations, including Think Playgrounds (TPG) social enterprise, Keep Hanoi Clean, Center for Environment and Community Research (CECR), and ECUE, in collaboration with local people.
Under the project, a number of activities were carried out, including the removal of more than 200 tons of garbage, training the community on waste management and reduction, domestic wastewater treatment before being discharged into the Red River, tree planting, the construction of children's playground and a road connecting the community with the green space.
All of the equipment of the playground is made from recycled materials.
Many Singaporean tourists willing to travel to Vietnam
The Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) said that according to the poll results of international tourists passing through Singapore's Changi Airport, 90 percent of Singaporean respondents said they are ready to travel to Vietnam as soon as international travel restrictions are lifted.
The survey "Demand of Singapore tourists to Vietnam" was conducted by Changi Airport Group in two weeks, from November 24, 2021, to December 8, 2021, by distributing survey questionnaires to 5,000 passengers using the airport service.
The summary from the survey results shows that, when international travel restrictions between Vietnam and Singapore are lifted, most Singaporean tourists want to visit Vietnam with family and friends to enjoy famous landscapes, beautiful beaches, and local specialties.
When asked "When are you ready to travel to Vietnam?", survey respondents said that they will travel to Vietnam as soon as they can, and the travel ban is eased at international border gates.
In 2022, Singaporean tourists have shown their growing excitement about the trips to Vietnam. The tourist attractions of Vietnam are very close and familiar to Singaporeans.
Director of CDC Bac Giang arrested for accepting kickbacks from Viet A Company
Lieutenant General To An Xo, Chief of the Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, said that the Investigation Police Agency of the Ministry of Public Security is investigating Viet A case.
Regarding the case of Viet A Company’s Covid-19 test kit price hike, the Ministry of Public Security decided to detain Director of Center for Disease Control in Bac Giang Lam Van Tuan.
The Ministry has determined that the director had colluded with Director of Phan Anh Company Phan Huy Van, General Director of Viet A Company Phan Quoc Viet, and some people who had violated the regulations on bidding, causing serious consequences, abusing positions and powers while performing official duties, giving and receiving bribes when organizing a tender to buy a Covid-19 test kit produced by Viet A Company, with a total value of more than VND148 billions (US$6,539,223).
Tiger-shaped bonsai trees for Tet decorations
With the Lunar New Year, or Tet, fast approaching, Dinh Ngoc Hieu from Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc City is busy creating zodiac animals from bonsai trees. This year, he is primarily focusing on creating tiger-shaped bonsai trees, given the upcoming new year is the Year of the Tiger.
Tigers shaped from coconut bonsai trees with a variety of unique and fun patterns are among the most favoured of his items ahead of the Lunar New Year.
The bonsai tree creator also said he has been working with coconut bonsai trees for six years. As part of his craft, the past three years have seen him make zodiac animal-shaped bonsai trees.
Each bonsai tree costs between 600,000 VND and 2.5 million VND, with prices varying depending on age and design.
The Year of the Tiger gives strength to overcome difficulties in life. Tiger-shaped bonsai trees are therefore a meaningful gift for the Tet holidays.
Exhibition held to welcome Lunar New Year
“Xua va nay” (Past and Present), in cooperation with Hoi quan Di san (Heritage Inns), recently opened an exhibition featuring the Tiger - the zodiac animal for the 2022 Lunar New Year.
The “Mighty spirit” exhibition is part of activities within the “My zodiac animal” programme, which is held annually on the threshold of the traditional Lunar New Year, or Tet.
The paintings on display include “Five tigers”, which was recreated by young painter and designer Nguyen Minh Ngoc. She said she had to spend several months completing the complex work.
It is in a collection of more than ten tiger-themed paintings in the “Hàng Trống” art style.
Also on display are tiger-themed paintings from painter Le Tri Dung, a collection of tiger-themed ceramics by artist Nguyen Van Toan, and the “Khi phach uy manh” collection from Heritage Inns.
The exhibition also introduces the art of shaping the Vietnamese tiger through industrial art products, such as Ho Phu, Ho Vi, Hoang Ho than tuong, and Linh than ve troi, among others.
Tet gifts delivered to soldiers on DK1 platforms
A delegation of Naval Region Region 2 has paid a visit to officers and soldiers on duty on DK1 platforms in Vietnam’s southern continental shelf to bring them gifts from the mainland on the occasion of the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet).
During the trip, which lasts from January 8-24, the delegation presented gifts from the High Command of the Naval Region 2, localities, businesses and organisations to the soldiers.
DK1 is a group of offshore economic, scientific and technical service stations set up in 1989 on Vietnam's southern continental shelf.
Over the past more than three decades, those stationed at DK1 platforms have contributed to marine economic activities and the safeguarding of national sovereignty over seas and islands.
HCM City cares for poor migrant workers, foreign students
A gathering was held by the Labour Federation of Ho Chi Minh City on January 23 for disadvantaged factory workers who stay back in the city for Tet, the traditional New Year holiday which many take as an occasion for family reunion.
It was part of a series of annual activities by the federation to ensure social welfare and help local workers enjoy Tet, which starts in just a week.
Similar gatherings have been organised in Districts 5, 8 and Go Vap District to deliver thousands of Tet gift packages to workers who plan to not return home for Tet and those suffering from serious illnesses. Thousands of free market coupons have been also given away to poor workers in the city.
Earlier, HCM City Power Corporation presented Tet gifts to Lao and Cambodian students in the southern city. It has also hosted various cultural exchange and friendly sport events between local students and their peers from Laos and Cambodia on the occasion of Tet.
Tet celebrations hosted for Vietnamese people worldwide
Vietnamese embassies have been busy organising celebrations of traditional New Year – Tet – for Vietnamese expats across the world.
On January 22, the Embassy in Kuala Lumpur hosted a gathering for Vietnamese people living in Malaysia, during which Ambassador Tran Viet Thai extended Tet greetings to the Vietnamese community.
In a similar event in Algiers, Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Vinh said overseas Vietnamese people remain an inseparable part of the country. He highly spoke of the Vietnamese expats’ contributions to the homeland and valued their mutual support for each other during the pandemic.
Another get-together was held by the Embassy of Vietnam in Slovakia in the capital city of Bratislava on the same day, which gathered a large number of Vietnamese expats and associations in the European country.
Meanwhile, Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long attended a warm Tet gathering held for the first time by the Vietnamese Society in Oxford, bringing together Vietnamese students and PhD candidates as well as professors and lecturers from the University of Oxford.
Vietnamese people in Russia, Israel, Mexico celebrate Lunar New Year
Vietnamese people in Russia, Israel, and Mexico marked the coming Lunar New Year (Tet) with ceremonies organised by the embassies of Vietnam on January 22.
In Moscow, representatives of the Vietnamese community in Russia took part in the “Homeland’s Spring” prorgamme, held in Hanoi by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (OV) Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, via videoconference.
Also on January 22, Vietnamese people in Israel gathered to make “chung” cakes, a traditional food and also the most typical dish of Tet - the largest and most important festival in the homeland.
At a Tet celebration the same day, Ambassador to Mexico Nguyen Hoanh Nam highlighted the significance of the festival along with the homeland’s attainments in economic, political, and social affairs.
Hot air balloon festival debuts in HCM City
A festival for hot air balloons, yachts and water sports, the first of its kind, kicked off on January 22 to celebrate the first founding anniversary of Thu Duc City in Ho Chi Minh City.
The event aims to promote Thu Duc as an appealing destination which boasts various attractions, including a museum for Ao Dai (Vietnam’s traditional gown), Buu Long and Hoi Son pagodas, Hung Kings Temple, and others. It is also part of a series of events preparing the city for its reopening to international visitors in 2022.
The two-day festival features hot air balloon shows, paragliding performances, a yacht parade, music performances, and a number of water sport events around Thu Thiem Tunnel, Sai Gon and Phu My Bridges.
Foreign envoys join lunar New Year experience in Hanoi
Nearly 30 foreign ambassadors and representatives of foreign offices and international organisations in Hanoi on January 23 had a visit to Duong Lam ancient village in the outskirts of Hanoi and a look into activities of the Vietnamese lunar New Year.
The envoys, mostly from key tourism markets of Vietnam and Hanoi, experienced a traditional market space of the most important festival in Vietnam with pavilions offering local specialties and handicraft products. They also joined an event featuring the traditional cultural activities of the occasion.
Cold weather predicted for northern region during Tet
Weather in the northern region will turn warm from January 23 to 26 before a strong cold spell arrives ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Temperatures will stand at around 19 - 24 degrees Celsius in the north for two to three days.
Meanwhile, drizzle and mist are likely to continue in Hanoi capital and other places in the region until January 26 - 27.
From the night of January 28 (the 26th day of the 12th lunar month) onwards, temperatures will fall sharply to about 15 degrees Celsius, and the strong cold will linger through the Tet holiday, which lasts until February 6, the forecasting centre said.
Da Lat - an attractive destination to tourists
Da Lat in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is one of the three cities to receive the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award. Da Lat is an attractive destination not only for its fresh, cool air but also for its beautiful and interesting 'check-in' places.
Book reveals untold stories about water puppetry
A young painter has released a book telling stories about water puppetry as well as the career of artisans and artists of this traditional art.
The book, “Ke chuyen tren mat nuoc” (Stories on water surface), was created by Luong Linh, a young man in Ho Chi Minh City who spent four years cruising Vietnam from the north to the south to meet insiders of the art, which has a history of over 1,000 years.
Combined with knowledge of a painter, the 144-page book not only provides an insight into the origin and secrets of the art but also introduces 184 water puppetry characters in diverse designs, from the oldest to the latest. Some designs even have never been unveiled before as they were made for new plays.
Peach blossoms helping improve Hoa Binh farmers’ incomes
Peach blossoms have added a certain charm to the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh in the spring-time, while generating stable incomes and helping local farmers escape from poverty.
Spring blankets Toan Son commune in Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province, with a light pink hue from peach blossoms. For more than ten years, local people have learned planting techniques and created peach blossom bonsai trees from native varieties.
Spring Fair 2022 offers consumer goods for Tet
The Spring Fair 2022 kicked off on January 22 in Hanoi, exhibiting and selling products from nearly 20 provinces and cities across the country.
There are 50 booths at the fair, introducing farm produce, local specialities, handicrafts, consumer goods, and gift products from 50 enterprises, production and processing facilities.
All products on sale have clear and reputable origins and geographical indication (GI) certification, with many meeting standards of food safety in accordance with VietGAP and Global GAP standards. The fair will last until January 29.
Second centre launched for victims of gender-based violence
The second one-stop service centre to support victims of gender-based violence in Vietnam called “ Ngoi nha Anh Duong 2” was officially put into operation in the central province of Thanh Hoa on January 21.
This is an effort within the framework of cooperation between the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the UN Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam to reduce gender-based violence, especially violence against women and girls, under a project on mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups and ensuring the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Vietnam funded by the Japanese government.
The centre provides integrated, essential and comprehensive services to people suffering from gender-based violence, including health, social, justice and protection services.
Da Nang shakes hands with Klook in tourism promotion
The Da Nang Tourism Promotion Centre on January 21 signed a cooperation agreement with travel firm Klook Vietnam on strengthening communications and tourism promotion to attract more tourists to the central city.
Under the deal, the two sides will work together to conduct joint campaigns to lure domestic and foreign tourists to Da Nang, including digital communications through Facebook, Instagram as well as Klook's website and app, and support local travel firms in digital transformation using Klook platform.
Founded in 2014, Klook is a world leading platform for entertainment, tour and ticket booking. With 28 representative offices around the world, Klook services are provided in 14 languages, allowing the use of 41 kinds of currency.
To mark the partnership with Da Nang, Klook has offered a discount code DANANG2022 worth 150,000 VND to customers who book its services in Da Nang via its app and website at https://www.klook.com/vi/deals from January 21 to February 15, which can be used until December 31.
Canadian PM congratulates Vietnamese people on lunar New Year holiday
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on January 22 extended lunar New Year greetings to Vietnamese people living in Canada at a get-together virtually hosted by the Embassy of Vietnam in Canada and the Canada Vietnam Society.
This is the time to mark new beginnings, welcome the arrival of Spring and reflect on the past, he said via videoconferencing.
It’s time to give thanks to what have united the two peoples, he added noting the lunar New Year holiday is also an occasion to recognize the immeasurable contributions by the Vietnamese-Canadian community.
VN receive reinforcements to face Japan in Asian Cup
VN will be strengthened for their next match against defending champion Japan at the AFC Women's Cup after two more players returned to training following negative COVID-19 tests.
The players, who have not been named, flew from Spain to join the squad in Pune City, India.
To date, only one player and one official remain in Spain because of COVID-19 and three players in India are still positive with the coronavirus.
VN sit third in Group C after losing 3-0 to South Korea in their opening match last Friday.
The Koreans went ahead with two goals in the first seven minutes before confirming the three points with an 81st minute penalty at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
Coach Park aims for history in remaining World Cup qualifers
Despite their poor start to the third round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Coach Park Hang-seo is determined to make history by securing the first Southeast Asian victory at this stage of the competition.
Thailand are the only regional team to have gotten this far before, back in 2018. However, the “War Elephants”, under the management of Kiatisuk Senamuang – Hoàng Anh Gia Lai's current coach - finished bottom of their group with just two points, conceding a total of 24 goals.
To better Thailand, Việt Nam will need good results in their remaining matches against Australia, China, Oman and Japan. Three points against China seems the most realistic for Coach Park’s men.
VN will face Australia in Melbourne on January 27 before hosting China at Mỹ Đình stadium on February 1.
Young singers celebrate Lunar New Year
Young music idol K-ICM performs in the TV music show Gala Nhạc Việt- Năm Mới Bình An (Vietnamese Music Gala – Happy Lunar New Year), which has just been released on YouTube.
The show celebrates Tết (Lunar New Year), which begins on February 1. More than 50 singers, rappers, dancers, musicians and theatre artists are featured.
K-ICM sings his new song, Xuân Hy Vọng (Spring of Hope), a work praising love and youth.
Young female singers Phương Mỹ Chi, Bảo Yến Rosie and Trương Thảo Nhi sing romantic melodies, dance and electronic music at the gala. Famous songs about Tết and traditional culture and lifestyles are performed by pop stars Văn Mai Hương, Đông Nhi and Erik.
Gala Nhạc Việt- Năm Mới Bình An will air at 9am on Hồ Chí Minh Television’s HTV9 channel on the first day of the Lunar New Year, February 1.
Moderna booster a half-dose of the same vaccine used in first two shots
The Moderna booster jab will be a half-dose of the same vaccine used in the first two full shots as recommended by the producer, the Drug Administration of Việt Nam under the Heath Ministry recently announced.
The administration has been in contact with Zuellig Pharma Vietnam Co Ltd, a branch of Zuellig Pharma and the distribution partner of Moderna in Asia, confirming the dosage of the booster Moderna dose, which is also known as Spikevax.
Based on the conclusions of the Advisory Council for the Registration of Circulation of Drugs and Medicinal Ingredients, the Drug Administration of Việt Nam agreed with the company on the application of booster doses of the Spikevax vaccine.
Dine-in services resume in Cầu Giấy, Thanh Xuân and Ba Đình
The three urban districts of Cầu Giấy, Thanh Xuân and Ba Đình have adjusted their COVID-19 pandemic assessment to level 2 (yellow - medium risk) and have allowed the resumption of dine-in services from Sunday.
The districts can also resume indoor exercise and sports activities. However, indoor sport facilities are only allowed to operate at half capacity, not gathering more than 30 people at a time.
Restaurants and food service establishments, except alcohol, beer and draft beer businesses, are allowed to reopen but not exceed half seating capacity, and must close by 9pm. Staff must have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine or have recovered from the virus.
Transport ministry enhances inspections ahead of Tết
The Ministry of Transport has just set up three special teams for inspection of transport activities ahead of the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holidays.
The first team is headed by a deputy minister and representatives from the ministry’s Transport Department, Traffic Safety Department, the inspectorate, the National Committee of Traffic Safety, the Department of Transport Healthcare and the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam.
The team will inspect departments of transport, railway stations, ports, wharves and transport facilities in Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng, Đồng Nai Province, Bình Dương Province and HCM City.
The second team is led by the ministry’s Transport Department. It is designated to check transport facilities in the provinces of Hòa Bình, Sơn La, Bắc Kạn, Cao Bằng, Điện Biên, Quảng Ngãi and Kiên Giang.
The third team will be made of representatives from the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam, city and provincial transport departments and other relevant agencies.
The teams’ inspections aim to well meet people’s travel demand and goods transport as well as ensure traffic safety and prevent the COVID-19 from spreading before and during Tết.
Hanoi will vaccinate at-risk elders during Tết holiday if needed
Hanoi will strive to complete COVID-19 vaccinations for more than 1,000 elderly people with underlying conditions in the city, even if they have to carry out throughout the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, amid case spike.
The work is under the request of the Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.
PC-COVID app now allows users to self-updated vaccination status
The latest update of PC-COVID, Việt Nam’s mobile app for COVID-19 prevention and control, allows users to submit their own vaccination information and stores certificates in a wallet.
In the new version, users can fill in their vaccination information and upload a photo of the paper certificate themselves, and the self-declared form will then be saved on the app with the note ‘self-reported’.
Previously, many people reported that their vaccination status on the app was not correct or not updated. As boosters shots begin to roll out, the newest dose has trouble showing up on the app, even though medical staff have entered data into the system.
Do Thi Ha named among top 40 candidates of Miss World
Miss World revealed its top 40 candidates ahead of the pageant’s coronation night in March, and among those who will advance further in the competition, is Miss World Vietnam Do Thi Ha.
The beauty pageant’s organisers first announced 15 “fast track winners” on its Facebook page on January 21. It then completed the top 40, by naming 25 more candidates, also on its Facebook page, on January 22.
Miss World took place from November 19, 2021, in San Juan, Puerto Rico but was forced to stop before the final round on December 17, when many contestants and staff tested positive forcoronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Miss World Vietnam Do Thi Ha, has expressed her joy on her personal page, upon information from the organisers. She wished everyone will continue to support her throughout the contest.
New regulations for domestic travellers