General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong


General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong will lead a high-ranking delegation to attend an upcoming summit between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and world political parties.

The Party chief ’s attendance will be made at the invitation of the CPC Central Committee.

The virtual summit is slated for July 6.

Tropical depression to enter Central Vietnam next week

The National Center for Hydrology Meteorology Forecasting yesterday forecast that a tropical depression will be formed in the East Sea from July 6 to July 8 and the system will be likely to enter the Central region of Vietnam.

From the beginning of next week, the southwest monsoon is expected to intensify in the southern territorial waters of the East Sea including the Spratly Islands, causing big waves of 2-4 meters and rough sea, affecting the mainland of the Southern region.

According to updated weather news, the ongoing heatwaves in parts of the Northern and Central regions are forecast to gradually end after July 5. Many places will maintain a scorching temperature of up to 39 degrees Celsius in the next three days.

From July 4 to July 9, the Southern region will alternatively experience hot days and thundery showers along with risks of whirlwinds and lightning.

Vietnam expects Russian transfer of vaccine production technology

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi has requested that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), and other relevant Russian ministries support the transfer of vaccine production technology to Vietnam.

This comes following Ambassador Khoi recently presenting a copy of the credentials of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister welcomed Ambassador Khoi for taking on his assignment in Russia, affirming that he will create the best conditions possible for the Vietnamese diplomat to fulfill his various tasks as a means of strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership that exists between the two nations.

Both sides held open and substantive exchanges on bilateral relations whilst also reviewing a bilateral co-operation plan.

Ambassador Khoi and Russian Deputy Minister Morgulov also affirmed that the two nations consider each other to be a reliable and priority partner in their respective foreign policies, adding that maintaining a positive relationship which has been tested over time is an important condition for promoting bilateral co-operation moving forward.

Most notably, both side consented to jointly ramping up effective co-operation through a range of measures, including intensifying delegation exchanges, transferring vaccine production technology, and developing key economic projects, with a particular focus on oil and gas, energy, agriculture, logistics, science, and technology. This will include providing support for the Vietnamese community residing in Russia and co-ordinating actions within the international arena.

Amid a range of complicated developments relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ambassador Khoi asked that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), and relevant ministries and sectors to support the transfer of vaccine production technology to the country. This is along with providing the nation with the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines ahead in July or August.

The local diplomat went on to thank the Russian side for their donation of a thousand doses of vaccine during the visit to Vietnam in March by Secretary of the Security Council of Russian Federation Nikolai.

Deputy Minister Morgulov said he is elated to see Russian vaccines being appreciated by the Vietnamese side and promised to speed up the delivery of vaccines to the Southeast Asian nation in the near future.

He also praised the Vietnamese community in Russia for their active contributions to the host nation’s socio-economic development efforts, adding that he will continue to pay close attention to and co-ordinate alongside the Vietnamese Embassy to solve some pending legal problems. This will therefore create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals to live, work and study in Russia.

Ho Chi Minh City students get Covid-19 tests before national exams

Ho Chi Minh City on July 3 carried out Covid-19 testing on over 100,000 students and supervisors who are going to take part in the 2021 National High School Graduation Examination.

Some 120,000 students in Ho Chi Minh City will join in the exams which is scheduled from July 6-8. All the students and supervisors who take part in the exams here have been required to have Covid-19 tests as the outbreak is spreading widely in the area.

According to a requirement issued by the municipal Department of Education and Training, students who have Coronavirus positive results or fail to get the virus tests as well as those who reside in locked-down areas will take the exams later.

Ho Chi Minh City is now the country's biggest virus hotspot. Local authorities have admitted that the virus fight in the city is facing great challenges as more chains of transmission of unknown origin have been uncovered, and many cases are asymptomatic.

As of Saturday noon, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 5,187 infection cases since the new outbreak occurred in the country on April 27

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, localities nationwide have been actively preparing for the 2021 National High School Graduation Examination, while designing feasible plans to organise the exam in the context of the pandemic, ensuring it takes place safely and seriously.

Building rule-of-law State to better serve people: President

A scheme to build a strategy for building and perfecting a rule-of-law socialist State till 2030 with orientations to 2045 aims for the people’s prosperity and the country’s sustainable development, affirmed State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the first meeting convened by the steering committee for the scheme on July 3.

Delivering his opening speech, Phuc, also head of the 21-member committee, said the scheme has a wide research scope and is expected to be submitted to the Party Central Committee in October 2022.

He affirmed the need to build a strategic and practical project and to reach an agreement on basic viewpoints needed for successfully building of the rule-of-law socialist State, including human protection, corruption prevention and combat, and a legal system that ensures international integration.

At the function, participating members suggested a series of measures to identify the date for related research based on the nation’s achievements obtained after 35 years of reform.

They recommended focusing on studying and reviewing the current situation and results of the building the rule-of-law socialist State in Vietnam so far, considering this an important practice for future works.

Concluding the meeting, President Phuc stressed that the project aims to serve the people for the goal of sustainable national development in accordance with the Resolution adopted by the 13th National Party Congress. Therefore, the project should take scientific approach with a long-term vision till 2045 amid the global integration and the fourth industrial revolution.

Assigning the committee to collect feedback at the meeting, the State leader wished that its members would offer objective opinions that correctly reflect realities.

He asked relevant units to invite researchers and scientists to join in building the project, suggesting choosing the time since 1991 for research, with systematic topics with breakthroughs and solid steps.

Before the meeting, Phuc held a working session with legal experts in Hanoi on July 1 to listen to their feedback on the scheme./.

Ships carrying fishermen from Malaysia discovered in Ba Ria – Vung Tau

Border guards in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau on July 3 discovered two ships carrying 25 Vietnamese fishermen from Malaysia.

Specifically, they detected ships BV 98766TS and BV 95824 TS about 20 nautical miles southwest of Nghinh Phong cape in Vung Tau city at 4am.

Later, they ordered ships to anchor at an inland waterway port in Sao Mai – Ben Dinh area in the city and contacted the provincial Centre for Disease Control to spray disinfectant over the ships and send the fishermen to quarantine facilities in line with regulations.

The case is under investigation./.

CAAV proposes halting flights to/from Tho Xuan, Phu Bai, Chu Lai airports

 The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has sent a document to the Transport Ministry proposing the suspension of flights to and from Tho Xuan airport in Thanh Hoa province, and flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Bai in Thua Thien-Hue province and between HCM City and Chu Lai in Quang Nam province.

Accordingly, flights to and from Tho Xuan airport and HCM City-Phu Bai flights will be suspended from 0am on July 4, and those between Ho Chi Minh City and Chu Lai and vice versa from 0am on July 5.

The CAAV said the proposal was raised by authorities of the central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Special flights carrying medical staff and supplies will be considered by CAVV.

As of 12:30pm on July 3, Vietnam confirmed 16,853 local and 1,837 imported cases. The numbers of recoveries and deaths amounted to 7,395 and 84, respectively.

Among active patients undergoing treatment, 260 tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, 138 twice and 89 thrice.

The number of cases since the fourth COVID-19 wave hit the country in late April reached 15,283, of whom 4,621 had been given the all-clear./

HCM City urged to exert every effort to control pandemic by August

Ho Chi Minh City should make every effort to place its current COVID-19 outbreak under control by August, requested Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh at a July 2 meeting with the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.

The official also ordered effective implementation of a large-scale health screening and vaccination drive. The city has to arrange goods distribution to ensure the supply of necessities serving locals during the period of tightened pandemic prevention measures.

n the same day, Binh attended a ceremony to receive 279 billion VND (12.17 million USD) worth of donations from 23 organisations, businesses, and individuals to the municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee and the committee for the mobilisation, receipt and distribution of the city's COVID-19 prevention and control fund.

According to the chapter, between March 20 and July 1, the municipal VFF Ccommittee received more than 867 billion VND in cash and kind, and pandemic prevention equipment.

As of 12pm on July, HCM City had recorded 5,187 COVID-19 cases./.

Traffic death toll hits 3,192 in first half

Vietnam saw 6,340 traffic accidents taking place between December 15, 2020 and June 14, 2021, claiming 3,192 lives and injuring 4,475 people.

These figures represented annual decreases of 8.38 percent, 2.74 percent and 11.29 percent, respectively.

In the period, 6,278 road accidents (99 percent) killed 3,147 people and left 4,465 injured. Their causes were mainly speeding and driving in the wrong lanes, among others.
Meanwhile, 38 railway accidents left 30 dead and nine injured, while twenty-four accidents on waterways claimed 15 lives and injured one.

Also during the reviewed months, traffic police handled more than 1.73 million violations on road, railway and waterway, with total fines of nearly 1.72 trillion VND (75 million USD), revoking 167,761 driving licences, and temporarily seizing 298,008 vehicles.

Compared to last year's same period, the number of violations was down 5.57 percent, while the total fines increased by 6.16 percent./.

HCM City: 90% workload of VND10 trillion anti-flooding project completed

The first phase of a VND10 trillion (US$433.3 million) project to control flooding caused by tides in the Ho Chi Minh City has so far seen 90% of its workload completed, informed the investor Trung Nam Group on July 2.

The public-private partnership (Build-Transfer) project builds six tide-controlling sluices naming Ben Nghe, Tan Thuan, Phu Xuan, Muong Chuoi, Cay Kho and Phu Dinh, and three pumping stations in Ben Nghe, Tan Thuan and Phu Dinh sluices.

It also includes the construction of a 7.8-kilometre-long dyke in the section of the Saigon River from Vam Thuat to Song Kinh and 25 culverts under the dyke from Vam Thuat to Muong Chuoi.

To date, between 90% and 95% of the workload at the six sluices have been done. The percentage for the dyke was 85%.

A central management building and a system for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), another component of the project, have been completed.

The project aims to help the 570-sq.km core part of the city with around 6.5 million people better respond to flooding. It also helps regulate the water level in canals that would improve the city’s drainage capacity, landscape and water environment.

Vietnam wants to enhance ties with Colombia: diplomat

Vietnam hopes to further promote its friendship and cooperation with Colombia, especially in economics, trade, culture, education and tourism, Vietnamese Ambassador to Venezuela and Colombia Le Viet Duyen has stated.

Duyen presented his credentials to Colombian President Ivan Duque at a ceremony held in an online format on June 30.

The Vietnamese Ambassador expressed his hope to receive the attention of the President as well as the coordination of ministries and agencies of Colombia so that he can well fulfill the assigned tasks during his term, thus contributing to lifting the good relations between the two countries to a new height.

President Ivan Duque said he believes the Vietnamese diplomat will complete his missions to help consolidate and promote the bilateral friendship and cooperation in all fields.

Vietnam and Colombia established their diplomatic ties on January 1, 1979. The relations have developed continuously over the past more than 40 years. Two-way trade surpassed 640 million USD in 2020. The two sides are striving for 1 billion USD in bilateral trade turnover in the coming time./.

Hoi An working to restore architectural relics as wet season nears

After hundreds of years of use, many architectural relics in Hoi An ancient town in the central province of Quang Nam have fallen into disrepair and are in need of upgrades. Many are at risk of further damage from the upcoming wet season.

Along with the seriously degraded Pagoda Bridge, the Hoi An Centre for Cultural Heritage Management and Preservation said the ancient town has 34 other relics in poor shape, with nine being in serious disrepair.

In order to prevent further deterioration of privately-owned relics, many households have re-tiled their roofs or stretched tarps underneath to prevent leaks, while installing additional columns, trusses, and beams prior to the upcoming wet season. But these are only temporary solutions and will not guarantee the core value of the relics./.

Vietnam expects to receive 8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in July

Vietnam expects to receive 8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in July, said Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long in a meeting of the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination for 2021-2022 in Hanoi on July 2.

Earlier, in the Government’s regular meeting on July 1, Long said Vietnam is scheduled to receive 30 million doses of vaccines in the third quarter of 2021.

According to the minister, Vietnam received commitments to be provided with 105 million doses and is negotiating for an additional 45 million doses this year.

The Ministry of Health is stepping up research and transfer of technology to produce vaccines at home; promoting negotiations with the US, Japan, Germany, Russia and Cuba on the transfer of technology. It also asked domestic producers to accelerate clinical tests while ensuring compliance with regulations.

As of July 1, over 3.81 million doses were administered nationwide, including more than 2.57 million doses in June alone. As many as 204,000 people were given fully two shots.

In the coming time, Vietnam will strive to contain the pandemic outbreaks, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and adjacent localities./.

Hanoi maintains craft villages’ traditional value amid COVID-19

With 1,350 craft villages, including 308 traditional ones, Hanoi has seen a need to balance maintaining production and preservation of traditional values, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ha Thai lacquer village in Duyen Thai commune, Thuong Tin district is known as an outstanding traditional craft village in Hanoi. It is now home to over 300 households with more than 1,500 workers. Its lacquer products have been exported to many European markets thanks to their durable prestige and quality made by the skillfulness and creativity of artisans.

Do Trong Doan, a local artisan, said the village is meeting difficulties in production such as weak vocational training, low competitiveness and reliance on imported materials. Other traditional craft villages are also in the same situation when handicraft products are experiencing bad sales amid the pandemic.

In face of such situation, the Hanoi Association of Handicraft Fine Arts and Craft Villages assisted its members in joining programmes on product design consultation, vocational and corporate governance training, and learning about policies related to craft villages.

Hoang Quoc Chinh, Chairman of the Da Sy Craft Village Association in Ha Dong district, said apart from natural landscapes, Da Sy village also boasts a system of historical relic sites. Tourists will not only have a chance to learn about the traditional craft, but also make their own products. Therefore, Ha Dong authorities have created favourable conditions for its production and business activities in order to preserve and bring into play the traditional craft during the 2020-2025 period.

In Hanoi, several traditional crafts have been recognised as national intangible cultural heritages. Each year, local authorities make dossiers to honour artisans for their dedication to building and preserving the traditional crafts./.

Đồng Tháp farmer delivers organic success

In a black rice field in Nhị Mỹ Commune, Cao Lãnh District of the southern province of Đồng Tháp, farmer Nguyễn Văn Tùng removes weed by hand and take notes about the rice’s growth day by day.

He also uses nets to stop insects from damaging the rice, not chemical fertiliser. 

Black rice is not a variety native to the southern province. Two years ago, Tùng heard about black rice cultivation in the northern province of Bắc Giang. Seeing an increasing demand for organic rice, Tùng travelled north and met with Nguyễn Thị Thành Thực, a member of the executive committee of the Việt Nam Digital Agriculture Association and the first person who brought black rice to grow in Bắc Giang.

Returning to his hometown in Đồng Tháp with 10 kilos of black rice seeds, Tùng and his wife started growing the rice in the summer-autumn crop 2020. However, the crop failed, likely due to the climatic differences between the southwestern region and northern region.

Undeterred, Tùng tried again in the winter-spring crop 2020-2021. With an adjusted farming technique, the black rice grew much better in Đồng Tháp's soil.

“Growing black rice is much different from growing conventional rice,” Tùng said, explaining that he had to use organic fertiliser on the soil before transplanting seedlings.

Only four kilos of seeds were used on the area of more than 1,000 sq.m. During the cultivation, the water level in the field had to be adjusted to minimise the growth of weeds and preserve good insects, Tùng said.

“My farming method was at first very strange to many local farmers,” Tùng said.

In the winter-spring crop 2020-2021, Tùng harvested about 3.5 tonnes of black rice from his 1.5ha field.

The rice productivity was not high but it tasted much better and was stickier than other varieties, Tùng said.

As the black rice was more nutritious than other rice varieties, it could be sold at higher prices, Tùng said.

With the black rice, Tùng and his wife made sprout rice tea and black rice powder which sold well in HCM City and Bình Dương Province.

Before black rice, Tùng and his wife started farming organic rice in 2016 with Akita Komachi – a Japanese rice variety.

“In the first season, I used pesticides as normal but the Japanese rice variety did not grow well with chemical products,” Tùng said, remembering that nearly 2,000 sq.m of rice died soon after he sprayed the pesticides.

He and his wife kept researching and adjusting their farming technique.

After four seasons, Tùng mastered growing the Japanese rice organically.

In 2019, his Akita Komachi rice grown in Đồng Tháp won the third prize in the province’s first rice contest.

With the two organic rice varieties, Tùng is determined to make them the signature farming product of its hometown. 

He plans to register his rice with the One Commune-One Product programme which promotes outstanding farming products across the country.

Huỳnh Thanh Sơn, head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cao Lãnh District, said Tùng’s black rice was healthy for consumers and could generate high economic efficiency.

Tùng’s work could inspire other farmers to go organic, Sơn said.

He added that the district authorities would support the expansion of the farming model, facilitating the consumption and promotion of organic farming products. 

Online book sale to raise funds for Trần Văn Khê Foundation

An online book sale has been launched to raise funds for the Trần Văn Khê Foundation, a non-profit organisation named after late Professor Trần Văn Khê, a legendary musicologist, writer and teacher, as well as talented performer of Vietnamese music. 

Profits from the sale of the book Trần Văn Khê -- Tâm và Nghiệp (Trần Văn Khê -- Life and Career) will be sent to the foundation, according to the publishers, the Lao Động Publishing House and Thái Hà Books.

The book features the life and career of Prof Khê, a world-renowned ethnomusicologist specialising in traditional Vietnamese music. It also highlights his devotion to Vietnamese music. 

It was written by 35 artists, including journalists Nguyễn Thế Thanh and Trần Trọng Thức, cultural reseacher Thái Kim Lan, and cải lương (reformed opera) guru Bạch Tuyết. 

Readers can order the book via tranvankhefoundation@gmail.com.

Prof Khê was born in 1921 to a traditional family in Mỹ Tho City in the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang.

His love for Vietnamese music began when he was a child. He studied the đàn kìm (two-stringed banjo) and đàn tranh (Vietnamese 16-string zither) with his father while at school. 

In 1949, he was sent to study in France. In 1958, he defended his doctoral dissertation on traditional Vietnamese music in Paris, becoming the first Vietnamese to earn a doctoral degree in music. 

Khê later worked for France's prestigious Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (National Centre of Scientific Research), and taught at Sorbonne University. He was elected a member of UNESCO's International Council of Music.

He was an honorary member of the International Music Council (IMC), founded in 1949 by UNESCO, and a member of the European Academy of the Sciences, Letters and Arts. 

He lived in Paris for more than 50 years and worked to research and expand Vietnamese music through his performances, talks and writings. He received many top prizes and medals from international organisations for his contributions to music. 

In 2005, he returned to live in HCM City. He donated to the city his massive collection of hundreds of documents, research books, dictionaries, videos, cassette tapes and CDs about Vietnamese folk songs and music as well as ancient musical instruments like đàn bầu (monochord) and16-string zither. 

His collection was packed in 460 parcels and shipped from France to Việt Nam. They are stored at libraries and museums in HCM City.

The book Trần Văn Khê -- Tâm Và Nghiệp was first released in 2016 in HCM City, one year after Khê’s death. 

The Trần Văn Khê Foundation was established last year. It is managed by a group of cultural researchers and artists in HCM City. The foundation works to encourage and support young musicians and theatre artists in their careers. It also honours individuals and groups for their contributions to Vietnamese music and theatre.

Agricultural expansion in Gia Lai adds value to products, increases farmers' incomes

The Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Gia Lai will spend VNĐ100 billion (US$4.3 million) for agriculture extension activities from now to 2025 in an aim to increase the added value of agricultural products and farmers’ incomes.

Kpă Thuyên, deputy chairman of the province People’s Committee, said that agricultural production grew each year in the 2015-20 period and played an important role in stabilising the province’s economy and the life of farmers.

The provincial agriculture extension plan from 2021 to 2025 calls for 100ha of vegetable and flower cultivation with advanced techniques, post-harvest processing and preservation under Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards or organic standards.

Concentrated vegetable growing areas on a total of about 2,000ha using VietGAP, GlobalGAP, or organic standards will be set up by 2025.

Farming skills and techniques will be provided to local farmers, especially those living in rural or remote areas, and ethnic farmers.

Fruit growing models with origin traceability and efficient irrigation systems will be set up on a total area of 300ha. Fruit areas in which farmers have linkages with companies to secure outlets and stable prices will be expanded by 2,000ha each year.

The province will also develop medicinal plant models on a total area of 200ha. It plans to turn 500ha of unproductive rice fields into high-value crops like corn, vegetables and fruits to increase income for farmers and adapt to climate change. 

Acacia tree and indigenous tree cultivation will expand by 500ha each year.

Thirty-four agriculture extension models will use machines to tend and harvest crops, while drones will be used to spray pesticides to save labour costs.

The province will also expand animal husbandry by developing hybrid cow herds and breeding indigenous pigs, chicken, deer and other animals. 

It will have 4,400 cu.m of floating aquaculture cages on rivers, spring and lakes.

In 2015 – 20, the province spent VNĐ52 billion ($2.25 million) for its agriculture extension activities. These activities included providing 100,000 seedlings of various types of plants and 15 tonnes of rice seeds to farmers.

It grew 20 types of plants on a total of nearly 1,400ha in 2015-20. During the period, the province raised fish in floating cages on more than 15,000ha of surface water on rivers, spring and lakes.

Last year, the province achieved agricultural value of more than VNĐ30 trillion ($1.3 billion), up 5 per cent against 2019.

The province has nearly 850,000ha of farmland, including more than 400,000ha for short – term crops and nearly 440,000ha for perennial trees. Nearly 99,000ha of farming area have certificates of quality cultivation standards.

About 30,000ha of farming areas use efficient irrigation systems which save water and improve the yield and quality of agricultural products. 

Four highways at HCM City gateways in urgent need of expansion

Four national highways in HCM City will be widened and upgraded to reduce traffic congestion at city gateways.

The work is expected to begin soon and be completed by 2025, according to Lương Minh Phúc, the director of the city's Management Board for Traffic Works Construction and Investment.

The highways currently serve as arterial roads linking the city with neighbouring provinces but parts of them are narrow and have traffic jams.

The city has approved investment for the upgrade of National Highway No 50. Investment proposed for the upgrade and expansion of national highways No 1A, 13 and 22 is still waiting for approval.

Costing nearly VNĐ1.5 trillion (US$65 million), the project to upgrade National Highway No 50 includes a new 4km section and widening of a 3km section in Bình Chánh District, and two new bridges.

National Highway No 50 links the city, Long An and Tiền Giang provinces, and the Bến Lức – Long Thành Expressway between the city and Đồng Nai Province.

The city plans to upgrade a 4.5km section of National Highway No 13 at an estimated cost of VNĐ10 trillion ($434 million).

The section will be widened to 53-60m from Bình Phước Intersection in newly created Thủ Đức City to Bình Triệu Bridge which links Bình Thạnh District and Thủ Đức City.

National Highway No 13 links the city’s Bình Thạnh District with Bình Dương Province.

A 5.4km section of National Highway No 22 from An Sương intersection between District 12 and Hóc Môn District to Nguyễn Văn Bứa Street in Hóc Môn District will be widened to 6-8 lanes with two new overpasses.

The work will cost about VNĐ935 billion ($40.5 million).

National Highway No 22 is the only road connecting the city and Tây Ninh Province, which has become overloaded.

The widening of a 2.5km section of National Highway No 1A from Tân Kiên Intersection to Bình Thuận Intersection in Bình Chánh District will cost VNĐ3.4 trillion ($147 million).

The section will be expanded from 30m to 120m with 10 lanes. It is at the city’s southwestern gateway and links the city with the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta where heavy traffic regularly occurs during peak hours and holidays.

The city is taking a number of measures to speed up the progress of the traffic projects, including land clearance and administrative procedures.

Three men die of COVID complications

Three more people have died of COVID-related complications, all men in their 60s with underlying health issues.

Their deaths bring the total number of fatalities nationwide to 84.

One of the men, aged 69 from Bắc Ninh, was being treated for pneumonia when he tested positive for COVID-19. After he began suffering breathing difficulties he was transferred to Bắc Ninh Provincial General Hospital and treated with antibiotics.

His condition gradually worsened and he was placed on a machine to help him breathe properly. Despite consultations from the Professional Council of the Ministry of Health he never recovered and on June 30 lost his fight for life. Cause of death was recorded as septic shock, multi-organ failure and severe pneumonia complicated by ARDS related to COVID-19.

The next man who died was 67 and living in HCM City. He had a history of diabetes and chronic kidney failure. He was being treated at Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital and on June 28 suffered a cardiac arrest.

Attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead the following day. Cause of death was recorded as acute myocardial infarction, moderate SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney failure, prostate enlargement.

The final death announced on Friday is a man aged 64, also from HCM City. He had a history of hypertension and heart disease.

On June 18 he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the Củ Chi COVID-19 Field Hospital. He died on June 30 with cause of death recorded as septic shock, multi-organ failure, sepsis, severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2, complications of progressive respiratory failure in patients with hypertension and heart disease.

School fees to remain unchanged in many provinces, cities amid COVID distress

Many provinces and cities will keep tuition fees at public schools unchanged for 2021-22 as instructed by the Ministry of Education and Training to mitigate the financial difficulties people face due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Hải Phòng City People’s Committee has drafted a resolution to not hike tuition fees and it is awaiting approval by the People’s Council.

Nghệ An and Thừa Thiên Huế provinces are also waiting for similar approval.

In Nghệ An, many private schools too will not increase fees.

The Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp has decided to keep the fees unchanged.

In HCM City, some private schools have said they do not plan to make an increase. 

The city Department of Education and Training has urged private schools considering hikes not to do so.


The Hà Nội University of Technology reduced fees during the second semester last year for poor students and those living in areas with social distancing or with parents losing their jobs due to COVID.

The National Economics University in Hà Nội cut fees by VNĐ1 million for students for online courses.

Thương Mại University reduced tuition fees and 4G connection costs by 7 per cent for students learning online.

Many universities and English centres in HCM City have announced scholarships for new outstanding candidates in 2021-22.

The Việt Nam National University HCM City (VNUHCM)-International University will set aside more than VNĐ32 billion (US$1.4) for scholarships to outstanding new students, especially in the civil, space and environmental engineering faculties. 

The HCM City University of Technology and Education will provide scholarships worth VNĐ36 billion, including 260 full scholarships to outstanding new students in robotics-AI, IT, automotive engineering, mechatronic engineering, control engineering and automation, and logistics and supply chain management.       

Students with scores of more than 26 in the upcoming national high school graduation examination will get these scholarships.

The university will also provide 50 per cent scholarships for candidates from high schools for gifted students and women candidates who apply for its 11 technical training programmes.

The HCM City Industrial University will set aside VNĐ40 billion to provide scholarships to outstanding students, and expects to have nearly 30 per cent of students getting them.   

The VNUHCM- University of Information Technology plans to offer scholarships worth billions of đồng.

Prime Minister calls for increased efforts to prevent forest fires as temperature hit 40C

The Prime Minister has sent telegram calling for forest fire prevention measures to be stepped up as intense heat and parched weather spreads across northern and central Vietnam.

Many forests in central provinces are now at an extremely high risk of catching fire, with several incidences already occurring in Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue.

As the dry weather is expected to continue, the Prime Minister required local authorities to increase inspection and supervision of forest fire prevention measures, considering them as key tasks.

He also asked local authorities to review their forces and equipment, as well as to arrange for people to stay on duty around the clock, set up checkpoints and send out patrols to high-risk areas to promptly detect fires and prevent them from expanding.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was asked to enhance the application of high technology in predicting forest fires.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Security were asked to stand ready to mobilise their forces to put out forest fires when requested.

According to the national weather service, the average temperatures this year will be 1-2C higher than in previous years, with 3-4 heatwaves expected to occur in July and August where the mercury could hit 40C, and even higher in some places.

Country’s biggest pumping station fails to keep Hanoi dry

Yen Nghia, the largest flood pumping station located in Hanoi still can't operate at full capacity and deal with flooding in the city three years after starting operation due to incomplete ditches and canals constructions. 

The Yen Nghia Pumping Station was built in 2013 with total investment of VND4.7trn (USD203m) to prevent flooding in Hanoi’s western districts of Ha Dong, Bac Tu Liem, Nam Tu Liem, Hoai Duc and Cau Giay. It boasts a capacity of 120 cubic metres of water per second.

However, the station has never operated at full capacity since being put into operation in 2018. The western districts in Hanoi have continued to experience flooding whenever there are heavy rains. Only three out of 10 engines have worked over the past three years. Many major streets in the area including Pham Hung, Le Huu Tho and Thang Long Avenue have continued to be severely flooded.

The reason is that the project's 5.7km long canal, which directs the water from Nhue River to the station and then to Day River, has not been completed.

A part of the canal section which runs through Ha Dong District has been encroached upon. Meanwhile, another part of the construction has not even started because local authorities are unable to clear 500 houses on the ground.

In Hoai Duc District, the construction is also incomplete and the construction team has not even bothered to clean up the site during the rainy season.

Promoting digitisation in library activities

Vietnam has a widely developed library system, from the central government to the 63 provinces and cities, with strong investment for both public libraries and those at agencies, universities and schools.

However, the development of science and technology and the increasingly diverse needs of readers are requiring the breakthrough changes in management and operation of libraries, with the acceleration of digitisation becoming a top important solution.

Previously, the library was simply a place to store books, newspapers, magazines and readers could only access this source of documents through librarians. Services at the library were also quite simple, such as reading right on the spot, borrowing books and copying documents.

However, with the strong development of technology, the libraries have been developed under the trend of digitisation to become information centres, learning resource centres, scientific research support centres and community cultural centres in many countries. They will possess modern facilities capable of meeting the increasingly diverse needs of different users. Notably, many libraries have become symbols of architecture, education and culture of a country.

It could not deny the efforts of Vietnam’s library industry in self-renewal and capacity improvement to meet the diverse needs of readers in recent years. That was the basis for the increase of the number of library users from 15% to 20% per year, the average number of books and newspapers from 35% to 45% per year.

Libraries have also been gradually modernised. The models of electronic and digital libraries have been formed such as the National Library, the library of Ton Duc Thang University in Ho Chi Minh City and S Hub e-library in the campus of the Ho Chi Minh City General Science Library.

However, to meet the demand and requirements for knowledge, library activities should create a stronger transformation because the challenges posed in the era of technology boom are not small, particularly as readers can access sources of documents, books, newspapers and information via the internet.

The audio book market has also been developed diversely, bringing many benefits to readers. According to Vu Duong Thuy Nga, Director of Library Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, with the strong development of science and technology today, if libraries do not enter the "game" of digitisation, they will gradually be replaced by other sources of knowledge.

Since 1991, the US Library of Congress has been using new technological advances and the internet to connect with educational institutions across the country. By the end of November 2005, as the world's largest library, it used digital technology to store books and other materials from all cultures of mankind and announced the project to establish the World Digital Library.

In Finland, readers to the Oodi Library – a new of this kind in Helsinki city can access nearly 3-4 million book categories with just one click thanks to the support from a group of robots sorting books and online services.

The digitisation of documents at libraries not only helps preserve and maintain the life of archived documents more convenient and longer but also attract more users of this source as well as contributing to bringing great benefits and facilitating readers in sharing the information resources of this library to other libraries.

The development of digital libraries still faces many difficulties. In fact, at present, digital libraries are only popular in a few big cities or universities. Meanwhile, libraries in localities have not yet met the demand for human resources, infrastructure, financial capacity and technologies to realise digitisation.

Currently, in Vietnam, there are about 20% of public libraries that do not have digital documents. In addition, there is no clear regulations on the legal rights in digitising documents and providing documents to readers.

Another problem is the lack of linkage and coordination among libraries, leading to the situation of overlapping sources of documents. Several libraries have even spent a lot of money on modernisation projects but only bought modern equipment and then leave it unusable. The human factor is also very important. However, the reality showed a crisis of lack of human resources for the development of digital libraries.

To remove difficulties and speed up digitisation, the library sector needs to determine that document digitisation is a necessary job that should be maintained regularly. Accordingly, the implementation process should be selected in accordance with the actual situation as well as the potential of investment and digitisation for the old documents with high risk of damage, the precious and unique documents and those that are of great interest to many readers.

One of the new points of the 2019 Library Law is the enhancement of linkages among libraries inn adding, purchasing, collecting, sharing and using information resources. This will be the basis for building and developing a shared digital library system that connects all big data digital libraries, towards creating a unified digital library knowledge portal.

Thanks to that, readers can easily access and use them on computers and mobile devices, contributing to meeting the needs of readers as well as promoting reading culture and researching, training and creative activities.

Several libraries have cooperated with publishers to share digitised documents as the publishing houses have actively digitised printed books to serve readers using digital devices.

In addition, according to the experience of many countries around the world, the digitisation of documents is often assigned to one focal point. This focal point will receive the fund directly from the State, different individuals and organisations and then conduct coordination activities for activities.

Deputy Director of the National Library of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Dung said that this approach will not only avoid the overlapping among sources of documents but also standardises the criteria for document digitisation. Moreover, it is essential to renew and improve the quality of human resources training for library industry under the international standardisation.

The fourth industrial revolution 4.0 will continue to mark technological innovations and inventions. This is both an opportunity and a challenge for the library system of Vietnam, requiring constant efforts in updating new trends, digitising documents, and modernising operation methods to improve their operation. The development of digital libraries is not only meeting the general trend of the world but also the requirement of the library industry itself in order to help this cultural institution develop sustainably towards ensuring its function as a source providing basic knowledge, serving the needs of many contemporary readers and preserving documents for future generations.

Park Hang-seo: “Vietnam ready to face challenge with strongest fighting spirit”

Following the unveiling of groups in the final round of the 2022 World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo affirmed that his side is ready to face their challenge with the strongest fighting spirit despite playing stronger opponents.

The draw ceremony on Thursday saw the Golden Star Warriors added to Group B alongside Asia’s top-ranked Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China and Oman.

Such a grouping is considered acceptable to the Vietnamese team as Group A promises to be much tougher with the presence of the continent’s second-ranked Iran, the Republic of Korea, the UAE, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

“This is the first time Vietnam have appeared in the final round of the World Cup Qualifiers. We will prepare our best for each match and are ready to conquer every challenge and competition at all levels,” Park told reporters.

The Korean tactician attributed Vietnam’s success in the second round to the team’s solidarity and resilient fighting spirit, expressing his hopes that the players would continue to uphold that spirit when encountering tough challenges in the final round.

Appreciating home fans’ sentiments and encouragement given to the national team, he said that if conditions allow Vietnam to play five games on home turf, cheers from fans will be a great source of motivation for him and the players. 

Park also admitted a reality that other Group B representatives are all considered stronger than his Vietnamese side. “In my opinion, this will be a good chance for Vietnam to learn more from other teams and improve their profession.” 

For his part, Standing Vice President of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) also hailed the progression into the final round of the World Cup Qualifiers as a very good opportunity for Vietnamese football to look towards greater goals in the future.

“The final round features the presence of leading teams in Asia. It is a valuable opportunity for Vietnam to play the continent’s strongest opponents in an official tournament. This will help the Vietnamese players accumulate more experience and further improve their capabilities towards greater goals, especially as the number of World Cup teams is set to be raised to 48 in 2026,” the official said. 

The final round of the 2022 World Cup Asian Qualifiers will be played between September 2021 and March 2022 on a home-and-away round robin basis. The respective group winners and runners-up will receive direct slots for the global showpiece, while the two third-placed teams will advance to the Asian playoff to determine which side will advance to the intercontinental playoff.

Art, essay contest honoring medical staff launched

Phuong Nam Bookstore in collaboration with the Center for Healthcare Improvement Research Social Company launched an art and essay contest themed “My beloved white blouse” to honor medical staff and express the gratitude to their silent contributions in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam.

The contest is opened to all kids and pupils of the age of 3-15 years who are medical staff’s children nationwide.

The contest is divided into two groups. Of these, group A is an art contest for candidates from three to six years old and the Group B is an essay contest for the age group of seven to 15 years.

The organizing board will select one first prize, two second prizes, three third prizes, ten consolation prizes and one voting prize.

The total value of prizes is up to VND100 million (US$4,350), including children books and shopping vouchers at Phuong Nam Bookstore, cash and e-certificate of merit.

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



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