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First Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in Vietnam

The first shipment of 97,110 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on July 7 morning.

Truong Quoc Cuong, Deputy Health Minister of Vietnam, Christopher Klein, Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Hanoi, and John Paul Pullicino, Country Manager and Chief Representative at Pfizer Vietnam, were at the airport to receive the first vaccine batch.

The first batch is part of a 31 million dose contract that the Ministry of Health has signed to purchase the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Health Minister Cuong said that from last September, when Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was in the third phase of human trials, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Pfizer had started talks to supply Vietnam.

After more than 20 meetings over the past 10 months, the two sides reached the agreement on vaccine supply on June 7, 2021, he said.

The MoH thanked Pfizer for providing training and guidance to readily receive and use its COVID-19 vaccine, he added.

He urged Pfizer to ensure its delivery schedule of 31 million doses within this year, and consider supplying another 20 million doses as well as the possibility of vaccine production technology transfer in the future.

Klein stressed that the delivery is a signal of hope, that working together can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the economy and bring people’s lives back to normal.

According to the diplomat, the US’ top priority at the moment is fighting the pandemic, so the US has committed billions of US dollars to the COVAX Facility and millions of vaccine doses to many countries.

He affirmed that 2 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as a donation from the US Government will arrive in Vietnam soon.

Meanwhile, Pullicino said this batch of vaccine marks an important step in the process of supplying 31 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to Vietnam.

Pfizer believes in its ability to meet and provide safe Pfizer vaccines for Vietnam, he added.

As scheduled, more batches of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be handed over to Vietnam in July.

At a press conference on June 7 (Vietnam time), White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that the US will send 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines produced by Moderna to Vietnam this week.

Previously, at his phone talks between Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on May 28, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US will continue to support Vietnam and other countries in accessing vaccines through the COVAX programme, including 80 million doses of vaccinea that the US will provide to the world./.

Politburo introduces additional senior personnel to State apparatus

The Party Central Committee on July 7 examined a Political Bureau proposal to nominate some additional personnel in the State apparatus for voting at the upcoming first session of the newly-elected National Assembly.

Key Party members attending the ongoing third conference in Hanoi heard Truong Thi Mai, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Organization Commission, deliver the Politburo’s report on the organizational structure of the State apparatus and a plan to introduce additional personnel in the State agencies.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the conference on July 5, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong noted that the introduction of personnel to hold leadership positions in State agencies for the 2021-2026 term was very important.

At the last session held in March and April this year, the 14th National Assembly elected the President, Prime Minister, Chairman of the National Assembly, alongside electing and approving 24 other leadership positions in the State agencies.

The Party Central Committee is now preparing and continuing to introduce nominees for election or approval at the 15th National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution and law.

Trong requested the Party Central Committee not to give opinions on and vote for positions of the President, Prime Minister, Chairman of the National Assembly and 24 other leading positions of State agencies that had been voted at the second conference of the Party Central Committee.

For the remaining 23 positions, the Politburo will ask the Party Central Committee to vote before introducing them to the National Assembly for consideration and election or approval at its first session due to open on July 20.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 infections surpass 23,300

Additional 314 new COVID-19 cases were added to the national tally from 7:30pm on July 7 to 6:00am on July 8, raising the caseload to 23,385 which include 1,891 imported cases.

According to the Health Ministry, among the new infections, 234 were recorded in Ho Chi Minh City and the remaining in its neighbouring province of Binh Duong. Of the total, 264 were detected in quarantine sites or sealed-off areas.

The ministry’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department said 8,557 patients have been given the all-clear, and the national COVID-19 death toll has reached 102.

Among active patients still undergoing treatment, 311 have tested negative to the coronavirus once, 179 twice, and 83 thrice.

There are now 259,428 people whose health is being monitored nationwide, including 2,749 being quarantined at hospitals.

As of 4:00pm on July 7, nearly 4 million vaccine doses had been conducted. A total of 241,913 people have received two sufficient doses./.

US Embassy presents COVID-19 lab equipment to Defence Ministry

US Embassy presents COVID-19 lab equipment to Defence Ministry hinh anh 1


The US Embassy in Vietnam on July 6 presented lab equipment for COVID-19 testing to the Ministry of National Defence to aid the fight against the coronavirus.

On behalf of the Ministry of National Defence, Maj. Gen. Nguyen Xuan Kien, Director of the Military Medicine Department under the General Department of Logistics, thanked the US Embassy for the donation, saying it is very timely and important as it will help ease testing overload in Vietnam and increase the ministry’s capacity in COVID-19 response in the coming time.

US Chargé d'Affaires Christopher Klein said the US and Vietnam have closely coordinated in combating the COVID-19 since the outset of the pandemic. He also expressed his thanks to Vietnam for supporting the US in the toughest time when it was hit hard by the COVID-19 last year.

Klein expected the lab equipment would assist the Military Medicine Department in providing mobile testing services for people and strengthen Vietnam’s resilience in managing the COVID-19 crisis.

Vietnam reported 277 more COVID-19 infections over the past 12 hours to 6am on July 7, taking the national tally to 22,341. Ho Chi Minh City remained the country’s largest hotspot with 270 new cases./.

Vietnam, Canada hold bilateral defence consultation

The 2021 Vietnam - Canada defence consultation took place via videoconference on July 7, highlighting that defence cooperation has been carried out effectively and reaped encouraging outcomes, the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) daily reported.

The Vietnamese delegation included Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang, Director of the Foreign Relations Department at the Ministry of National Defence, along with representatives of the ministry’s agencies, and the military attaché of Vietnam to the US and Canada.

The Canadian side was led by Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) at the Department of National Defence Peter Hammerschmidt, who was joined by the military attaché of Canada to Vietnam.

The officials affirmed that defence cooperation between the two countries has continually received attention from the two ministries’ leaders and been implemented fruitfully.

They agreed to maintain the annual defence consultation and defence policy dialogue, increase high-level meetings, while strengthening ties in personnel training, UN peacekeeping operations, and maritime security.

Thang expressed his hope that the Canadian Department of National Defence will pay attention to and support the cooperation fields Vietnam has demand for such as war aftermath settlement, defence industry, military medicine, humanitarian aid, and disaster relief.

He stressed that Vietnam will back Canada, on the basis of ASEAN’s consensus principle, when the latter takes part in the bloc’s cooperation mechanisms.

At the consultation, the two sides also discussed and reached an agreement on the defence cooperation plan for 2021 - 2023, as well as the preparations for the Vietnam - Canada defence policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level this year./.

Tay Ninh's border guards arrest nine people for illegal exit attempts

Border guards in the southwestern province of Tay Ninh have arrested nine people who were planning to illegally cross the border to enter Cambodia.

Of those, four men were captured on July 6 in Long Cuong hamlet, Long Khanh commune, Ben Cau district.

The five others, including a woman, were arrested a day later when they were attempting to illegally cross the border in Phuoc Thuan hamlet, Phuoc Chi commune, Trang Bang township.

The arrestees confessed that they planned to come to Cambodia to find jobs.

Authorities are conducting further legal procedures to deal with the cases./.

COVID-19: Indonesia’s death toll surpasses 1,000 in 24 hours

Indonesia on July 7 recorded 1,040 COVID-19-related deaths in the past 24 hours, double the number just two days ago, the country's latest data show. This is the largest number of fatalities recorded in a day since the pandemic hit the Southeast Asian nation in March 2020.

It registered 34,379 new cases on the day, also a daily record.

As of July 7, the country reported a total of 2,379,397 infections and 62,908 deaths, while 343,101patients were under treatment or self-quarantine. The number of new infections in Indonesia has skyrocketed in recent times due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. The rapidly increasing number of cases is causing overloads in some hospitals on Indonesia's most populous Java island.

Amid the complicated development of COVID-19, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the country has imposed strict prevention measures in 43 cities and districts in Java island and Bali. With the new restriction measures, the government is planning to add more hospital beds and apply travel restrictions in cities and districts, from the island of Sumatra in the west to the province of Papua in the east.

According to Hartarto, if medical facilities in these areas are overloaded by the influx of new patients, new emergency measures will be applied like in the two islands of Java and Bali./.

Jobless rises to over 1.1 mln in Q2 amid COVID-19


Vietnam’s labour market continues to be severely affected by the recent resurgence of Covid-19, with the number of unemployed people in the first six months of this year rising to over 1.1 million, a surge of more than 100,000 year-on-year.

According to the General Statistics Office, there have been no signs of recovery in Vietnam’s labour market. In the first six months of this year, over 1.1 million people in the working age were unemployed, 101,700 people higher than the same period last year.

Services and agro-forestry-fishery sectors have been most affected by the pandemic.

Most sectors posted a downwards trend in average incomes in the second quarter compared to the first.

Monthly per capita income averaged 6.8 million VND (295 USD), down 17.8 USD compared to the first quarter but up 19.8 USD compared to the second quarter of last year./.

Vietnamese President extends condolences to Russian counterpart over plane crash

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 7 sent a message of condolences to his Russia counterpart, Vladimir Putin, over a plane crash in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula a day earlier, killing all 28 people on board.

The plane, a Russian-built Antonov An-26 twin-engined turboprop, was flying from the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to the village of Palana, in Kamchatka's north, when it missed a scheduled communication and disappeared from radar, according to local emergency and transport officials.

There were 22 passengers and six crew members on board the plane, Russia's emergencies ministry said. Two passengers were children under the age of 12./.

Japanese mayor suggests Vietnam equip people with disaster response skills

The provision of disaster response skill training for people is critically important to the countries vulnerable to natural disasters like Vietnam so as to create response preparedness for each individual, said Kazuko Kori, Mayor of Sendai city in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture.

This is part of the recommendations Kori made for Vietnam on the basis of the lessons Sendai city learnt from the double disasters of earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011.

The disasters destroyed 30,034 houses and part of nearly 100,000 others while claiming 904 lives and injuring 2,275 others in Sendai city.

In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Kori said natural disasters can happen at any time and spare no one, and that disaster response depends much on each people’s response capacity and skills.

Stressing the importance of disaster response skill training, she held that mutual assistance among local residents in the initial period of a disaster is highly important to the mitigation of disaster consequences.

Among the three major lessons Sendai city learnt from the 2011 twin disasters, the first is preparing infrastructure resilient to strong earthquakes, the mayor said, noting that after a major earthquake in 1978, the Sendai administration has invested resources in building resilient public works.

Thanks to that, although the scale of the 2011 tsunami was beyond imagination, its consequences were minimised, which was also a favourable basis for the city to quickly address the aftermath and recover.

The second lesson is that post-disaster reconstruction efforts should not only restore the status quo but also work towards sustainability, the official said.

The third is people’s unanimity in disaster relief, Kori said, elaborating that it is important to secure people’s self-awareness and unanimity since the administration’s capacity is limited while natural disasters are increasingly unpredictable.

The local administration is working to develop Sendai into an environmentally friendly and disaster resilient city, and equipping each resident with disaster response skills is among its focuses to achieve this goal in the time ahead, she added./.

Conference spotlights Vietnam-Cambodia border demarcation outcomes

Outcomes of border demarcation and marker planting of Vietnam and Cambodia were highlighted at a conference jointly held by the Party Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies in Hanoi on July 7.

The online conference, which saw the participation of representatives from 10 provinces sharing border with Cambodia, gave an insight into relevant legal documents signed by the two countries.

They are the Supplementary Treaty to the 1985 Treaty on the Delimitation of National Boundaries and the 2005 Supplementary Treat and the protocol on land border demarcation and marker planting, which took effect as from December 22, 2020.

Phung The Long, Vice Chairman of the National Border Committee under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed the significance of building a modern common border to defence and security management and guaranteeing in border areas.

The documents have consolidated the legal framework for the two countries to continue building a shared border line of peace, stability, friendship, cooperation and sustainable development, contributing to continuously enhancing the good neighbourliness and traditional solidarity, for the sake of their people, he said.

Long urged border localities to closely coordinate with Cambodian authorities to raise border management capacity, and protect results of border demarcation and marker planting.

Joint efforts are needed to fight plots and activities that aim to sabotage authorities in each country and undermine the traditional friendship between the two countries, he added.

The conference put forth major tasks in the time ahead, especially the communication work./.

Man faces criminal proceedings for anti-State posts

The Investigation Security Agency of Can Tho city’s Department of Public Security has decided to commence criminal proceedings against a man from Hanoi for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State, the rights and legitimate interests of organisations and individuals.”

Le The Thang, 39, was granted bail, but prohibited from leaving his residential area to serve investigation.

According to investigation results, Thang and four others who had been arrested earlier, including Facebook user Truong Chau Huu Danh, 39, residing in Long An province, created a Facebook page named “Bao sach”.

Thang also owned a Youtube channel named “BS Channel” to post video clips and photos produced by his group – “Lam bao sach.”

The group published many articles about issues of public concern like the land dispute in Dong Tam commune, Hanoi’s My Duc district, drought in the western region and Vietnam’s rice export amidst COVID-19.

After Danh was arrested, the remaining members left the group. Thang directly removed the Facebook page and Youtube channel.

However, competent forces still stored 47 articles published by the group, which have violated the Law on Telecommunications and the Law on Cybersecurity, with distorted information inciting acts of sabotage, affecting the role, leadership and management of the State and authorities.

The defendants confessed that the information is inaccurate, causing misunderstanding among the public and eroding public trust in the Party and authorities.

Can Tho police proposed prosecuting Danh and the three others – Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao, Deputy Director of FOCUS Business Communications Limited; Doan Kien Giang, born in 1985 and residing in HCM City, and Nguyen Thanh Nha, Director of FOCUS, for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State, the rights and legitimate interests of organisations and individuals.”/.

Vietnam futsal team to play warm-up matches ahead of World Cup

The Vietnamese national futsal team will play several fixtures as part of a friendly tournament in Spain from August 28 to August 31 in preparation for the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The schedule will see the national futsal team gather for a training camp on August 2 with the participation of 22 players. The squad will fly out to Spain on August 25 to compete in an international futsal tournament involving four sides as a warm up to the upcoming Futsal World Cup.

The Vietnamese team will have the chance to compete against the likes of Japan, Guatemala, and hosts Spain.

Following the tournament, the national futsal team are then expected to play a game against leading Spanish side Cordoba on September 3.

Before departing for Lithuania for the Futsal World Cup which will run from September 12 to October 3, the team will play another friendly against the Moroccan team on September 6.

At the Futsal World Cup, Vietnam have been drawn in Group D alongside Brazil, the Czech Republic, and Panama.

The team are scheduled to play their first game against Brazil on September 13, followed by Panama on September 16, and the Czech Republic on September 19.

Late, great photojournalist Hứa Kiểm remembered

Hứa Kiểm once said that to be a war photographer is to know how to accept danger and sacrifice to take good photos.

The journalist recently passed away at the age of 83 and his funeral was held on Wednesday, July 7 at the National Funeral House No 5 Trần Thánh Tông Street in Hà Nội. He was then buried in his hometown in Lạng Sơn Province.

Trần Mai Hưởng, former General Director of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), expressed surprise and mourning at Kiểm's passing.

"Although I know this is inevitable when he is old and seriously ill, I still feel very sudden. On the occasion of Reunification Day April 30, talking to me, he still passionately talked about his plans and reviewed the memories we had together. I still feel a lot of desire and enthusiasm in the 83-year-old cameraman with whom I used to have a lot of attachments.”

Journalist Hứa Kiểm, whose real name was Hứa Thanh Kiểm, was born in 1938 in northern Lạng Sơn Province.

In 1953, while still a student, he volunteered to join the army.

When peace was restored in the north, Kiểm worked as a culture teacher of the General Department of Politics. In 1964, when the US imperialists attacked the north, he volunteered for battle.

In early 1966, after being trained in journalism, he took a job in the war photo group of the Vietnam News Agency, working at anti-aircraft artillery battle spots at key targets for American aircraft such as the Nam Định Textile Factory, the Thái Nguyên Iron and Steel Factory and the Phú Lương Bridge in Hải Dương Province.

At the end of 1966, he was assigned to be a permanent reporter in Vĩnh Linh District, the central province of Quảng Trị. Since then, he was regularly assigned to photograph major battles and important campaigns. From 1970, he accompanied Cambodian soldiers to take pictures of battles. In 1971-72, he photographed all kinds of battles in the north.

In the spring of 1975, Kiểm was assigned to accompany Regiment 66, Division 304, Army Corps 2 on its mission to liberate Sài Gòn and the southwestern provinces. Four years later, he returned to Cambodia to photograph the struggle against genocide in the country.

Throughout his career, he always wondered how he could convey the most realistic images of the war and contribute to the promotion of all classes of people.

Glory came to him from those efforts as the set of photos Road 20 decided to win consists of five photos was awarded the State Prize for Literature and Art for photography in 2016. He was also personally awarded many noble titles by the Party and State such as the Third Class Military Merit Medal in 1981, Victory Medal the Second Class in 1960, Military Medal of the Decisive Victory in 1981, and Order of the Glorious Soldier, First, Second, and Third Class in 1960.

Those who met Hứa Kiểm will surely never forget the generous, enthusiastic and old-fashioned photographer.

Journalist Chu Chí Thành, former chairman of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists, said that the Kiểm was one of the few ethnic minorities involved in journalism during the war.

Thành said the Tày man was a humble, sociable, cheerful, gentle person who was loved and respected by friends and colleagues, and in his profession, was enthusiastic, passionate and devoted. In the military photo group in the years 1967-75, Kiểm was always ready to rush into danger to take vivid pictures of the war to inform both the public at home and abroad.

Thành said in 2013, he introduced journalist Kiểm to the French International Press Photo Organisation named Visa pour L´Image.

After seeing Kiểm's photos, French photographers invited him to send photos and attend the 26th International Press Photo Festival at the end of September 2014 in Perpignan.

At the festival, Kiểm's photos surprised and moved the public. His photo Engineer crossing the swamp on Trường Sơn Road was enlarged to about 60-70sq.m, stretching across the stream in the heart of the old city with three other large horizontal photos of Vietnamese authors Đoàn Công Tính, Mai Nam and Chu Chí Thành.

Thành said that in the history of Vietnamese photography, Kiểm's photos are invaluable. These are photos that depict the hardships and difficulties of the war, but also artistic photos.

“Journalist Kiểm produced top-notch photo works, precious images, through which the public can see many generations of Vietnamese people during the war years. Thousands of photos left by him to the VNA are extremely valuable documents. These are not only precious documents but also valuable artworks that contribute to the richness of Viet Nam's photographic art treasure," said Thành.

Thành said that he and his colleagues will continue to select valuable photos by Kiểm to put them on display at an upcoming exhibition, as a tribute and gratitude to their departed comrade.

Fourth wave of COVID-19 disrupts labour market recovery

The fourth wave of COVID-19 infections has disrupted the recovery of the labour market in the first six months of this year, said Nguyễn Trung Kiên, deputy head of the General Statistics Office (GSO).

He was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday about employment in the second quarter.

According to the GSO, more than 1.1 million people of working age were unemployed in the second quarter, an increase of 173,500 people compared to the previous quarter and down by more than 137,000 compared to the same period last year.

As many as 12.8 million people from the age of 15 nationwide have been adversely affected by the pandemic, with the impacts including losing their jobs, having their working hours and income reduced, or taking unpaid leave.

“Due to the fourth wave of COVID-19 which has spread the virus more quickly, making it more difficult to control, the unemployment rate in urban areas stands higher than rural areas," Kiên said.

More than 389,000 people from the age of 15 to 24 lost their jobs in the second quarter. The unemployment rate among the group in the urban area was 9.57 per cent, about 3.1 per cent higher than in rural areas.

Notably, 57.4 per cent of people were employed in the non-official sector in the second quarter, the highest proportion in the last three years.

The average income rate showed signs of recovery from the third quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. But the unpredictable development of the pandemic has disrupted the recovery of average income level, the GSO deputy head said.

The majority of economic sectors recorded a declining average income compared to the previous quarter. The average monthly income stood at VNĐ6.8 million in the second quarter, down by VNĐ411,000 compared to the previous quarter.

Statistics on the employment situation in the second quarter of 2021 have reflected the difficulties and fluctuations of the economy and Việt Nam's labour market in recent years, according to the GSO.

The office has proposed a number of solutions to remove difficulties for the labour market amid the pandemic.

The GSO proposed consistently implementing the dual goals of both effective pandemic prevention and control, while also removing difficulties for the business community and employees.

The office also recommended speeding ​​up vaccination to achieve herd immunity, giving priority to frontline workers, workers in industrial parks and export processing zones to maintain production and prevent the disruption of the production chain.

Agencies must provide assistance to employers and employees affected by the pandemic, especially labourers who have their labour contracts suspended or ended or have to take unpaid leave.

People in disadvantaged groups including factory workers, owners of small businesses and workers in the non-official sector need more assistance to help them be less exposed to social evils, the GSO said. 

Northern region gearing up for heavy rains and strong winds

A low-pressure tropical weather system is forming in the East Sea and is expected to become stronger after entering the Gulf of Tonkin this afternoon bringing heavy rains, strong winds and rough seas in the northern and north central regions, according to the National Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre.

At 1am on Thursday, the eye of the weather system is forecast to be hovering over coastal Thái Bình to Nghệ An provinces producing wind speeds of up to 61km per hour.

It is expected to move westwards over the following 12-24 hours at a speed of 20km per hour directly impacting the northern and north central regions before weakening.

Coastal areas from Quảng Ninh to Hà Tĩnh and from Bình Thuận to Cà Mau will see strong winds and rough seas with 2-3m high waves while localities in northern and north central regions are expected to experience downpours of up to 300mm on Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Hydrometeorological Forecast Centre also warned of possible flash flooding and landslides in lowland areas, particularly in Lai Châu, Sơn La, Hoà Bình, Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Tuyên Quang, Thanh Hoá, Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on Wednesday called on localities in northern and north central regions to prepare for possible heavy rains and flash flooding.

They were requested to closely watch the development of the weather conditions and prepare plans to deal with heavy rains, floods and landslides; take measures to ensure safety for local residents, particularly prepare to evacuate people from high-risk areas when needed while ensuring COVID-19 prevention and control; assign forces to guide traffic in case of heavy rains; and deploy measures to prevent flooding in urban and low land areas.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development and Transport has been asked to check the safety of hydropower dams and reservoirs.

The committee has also asked coastal localities from Quảng Ninh to Cà Mau to keep close watch over the developing tropical storm and inform vessels operating offshore to be prepared for choppy seas.

Hà Nội tests random arrivals from HCM City for COVID-19

Some arrivals at Hà Nội's Nội Bài International Airport from HCM City will undergo COVID-19 screening tests due to the severity of the outbreak in the south, according to Hà Nội health authorities.

The Hà Nội Department of Health recently sent an official dispatch requesting the health centres of Sóc Sơn and Mê Linh districts and the Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to take samples for random testing of people on flights from the southern city from July 6 by using the rapid diagnostic method or PCR test pool sample.

Hà Nội CDC, Nội Bài International Airport, and Sóc Sơn and Mê Linh medical centres must carry out the testing and report the results to the municipal Department of Health daily.

The airport previously ran a similar screening programme for arrivals from HCM City for 4-5 days in mid-June.

Also on Wednesday, following health ministry's guidelines, Chu Ngọc Anh, Chairman of Hà Nội People's Committe, has signed a decision on COVID-19 measures, which include asking people to refrain from travelling to and from outbreak-hit areas and especially HCM City.

The Ministry of Transport is considering a proposal to suspend passenger flights from HCM City to Phú Quốc Island and vice versa.

On July 5, the People's Committee of Kiên Giang Province sent a proposal to the Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Administration of Việt Nam (CAAV) requesting permission for the suspension from July 6 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Although no community COVID-19 cases have been reported on the island so far, Phúc Quốc is an isolated island city, far from the mainland and with limited medical resources, especially COVID-19 testing capacity and quarantine facilities.

The provincial People's Committee will propose to reopen the flights when the pandemic is under control.

The Ministry of Transport has assigned the CAAV to comment and report to the ministry on the proposal.

On July 4, the Ministry of Transport agreed to suspend all passenger flights to Côn Đảo Airport of Bà Rịa- Vũng Tàu Province and Thọ Xuân Airport of Thanh Hoá Province and passenger flights from Tân Sơn Nhất of HCM City to Hải Phòng City and the provinces of Quảng Ninh, Gia Lai, Quảng Bình, Nghệ An, Quảng nam and Thừa Thiên-Huế.

HCM City uses 1,300 resettlement apartments for Covid-19 quarantine

HCM City will use 1,281 resettlement apartments as quarantine facilities for Covid-19 prevention amid the city’s ongoing pandemic outbreak.

Of the figure, 953 apartments are at Vinh Loc B resettlement area in Binh Chanh District, and 120 at Block A of Linh Chung apartment building and 208 others at Hiep Phuc apartment building in Thu Duc District.  

These resettlement apartments have not yet been used for years.

The municipal Department of Construction has been asked to submit a plan to upgrade the apartments to ensure quarantine conditions are in line with the Ministry of Health’s requirements.

Many resettlement houses have been left idle so they could quarantine around 5,000 people. This would help to ease the pressure on the city’s quarantine sites.

As of 6 am on Wednesday, 52,556 people were under quarantine in HCM City, including 14,908 at quarantine facilities and the others at home.

The city has continued witnessing a sharp rise of new Covid-19 cases with many still under epidemic investigation.

30 tonnes of fish found dead on Da River

Around 30 tonnes of fish have been found dead on a section of Da River which runs through the northern province of Hoa Binh.

The information was confirmed by the Board of Agriculture and Rural Development of Da Bac District. The fish deaths happened to six local communes, including Nanh Nghe, Dong Ruong, Mieng Chieng, Dong Chum on June 2-6.  

According to the board, the water level on the river remains low due to limited rainfall. In addition the hot weather with a temperature of roughly 40 degrees centigrade has caused the lack of oxygen, resulting in mass fish deaths.

Most of the fish are hemibagrus, tilapia and grass carp.

Local authorities have set up a task force to check the current fish-raising areas on Da River. Fish cages in shallow and muddy areas have been urged to move transparent ones. Households need to install pipes to bring clean water to increase the oxygen content of their fish cages.

The dead fish have been removed, while local authorities are seeking retail outlets for the fish.

Da Bac District has been forecasted to see rains in some days to come but the rainfall would still be limited. This would be not enough to ensure safety for fish. So the locality is likely to face more fish deaths.

Luong Van Thi, chairman of Da Bac District, said that Da River’s water level is often low in the dry season. But, this year it was even lower than normal at this time of the year, therefore, the local authorities and people needed to respond to the change.

Thi expected that households affected by the fish deaths would be offered with assistance such as debt payment extension and preferential loans. 

Party Central Committee’s draft working regulations discussed

Draft working regulations of the 13th Party Central Committee (PCC) and those relating to the implementation of the Party Charter dominated the third working day of the committee's third plenum on July 7.

In the morning session, participants discussed the draft working regulations of the 13th Party Central Committee and its Politburo, Secretariat and Inspection Commission.

Vuong Dinh Hue, Politburo member and Chairman of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Politburo, chaired the discussion.

Later, delegates discussed in groups the draft regulations on the implementation of the Party Charter and rules on the Party's inspection, supervision and discipline.

In the afternoon, the PCC mulled over the draft regulations on the implementation of the Party Charter and rules on the Party's inspection, supervision and discipline. The debate was presided over by Vo Van Thuong, Politburo member and Permanent member of the Secretariat.

Truong Thi Mai, member of the Politburo, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the Party Central Committee's Organisation Commission, presented the Politburo's report on the State apparatus' organisational structure and a plan on introducing additional personnel to a number of leading positions of State agencies during the 15th tenure of the National Assembly (2021-2026 term) and those to be elected as members of the Inspection Commission for the 13th tenure.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chaired the discussion on this issue on behalf of the Politburo.

Later, the Party Central Committee discussed in groups the above-mentioned contents.

“Vietnamese Culture Bookcase” project launched

Chibooks and Literature Publishing House and Labour Publishing House have just announced the “Vietnamese Culture Bookcase” project with works written on the cultural characteristics of each locality in Vietnam.

The “Vietnamese Culture Bookcase” includes titles such as “Vat Qua Nhung Ngan May” by Do Quang Tuan Hoang, “Sai Gon Ruoi Rong Noi Nho” (Dao Thi Thanh Tuyen), “Nha Trang Mua Dep Nhat” (Dao Thi Thanh Tuyen), “Ben Song O Lau” and “Ve Hue An Com” (Phi Tan), “Nguoi Ha Noi: Chuyen An, Chuyen Uong Mot Thoi” (Vu The Long), “Ha Noi Nhung Pho Nhung Nguoi" (Nguyen Viet Cuong), “Tinh Dat Man" (Nguyen Chi Ngoan).

Some books are expected to be translated into Chinese and English, and are expected to be released in July-August, such as “Ben Song O Lau”, “Ve Hue An Com”, “Nguoi Ha Noi: Chuyen An, Chuyen Uong Mot Thoi”.

In particular, two books “Nguoi Ha Noi: Chuyen An, Chuyen Uong Mot Thoi” and “Nha Trang Mua Dep Nhat” have been translated into Chinese.

It is expected that, after being translated, these titles will be published and exported to other countries. They will also feature in international book fairs, offering their copyright to the world.

Dong Nai reports first Covid-19 death

A Covid-19 patient in Dong Nai Province died this morning, July 7, becoming the first Covid-19-related death in the southern province, a local health official confirmed today.

The deceased is a 48-year-old woman from the province’s Thong Nhat District. She had visited the HCMC-based Hoc Mon wholesale market, which was recently closed due to Covid-19, to do business, reported Thanh Nien newspaper.

She was taken to a local concentrated quarantine center set up at the Mien Dong University of Technology on June 29. She was then transferred to the Dong Nai Lung Hospital for further medical treatment after testing positive for the coronavirus on July 1.

The health official said that she had a medical history of diabetes and hypertension.

Her husband and two children, who had direct contact with her, are being quarantined at the university. Accordingly, her younger brother in the district’s Quang Trung Commune is managing her funeral.

According to the provincial Department of Health, Dong Nai reported 142 Covid-19 cases as of this afternoon, including 110 cases in the current fourth coronavirus wave which began on April 27. Most of the cases are in Thong Nhat District and were linked to the Hoc Mon wholesale market.

Two more trains for first metro line to arrive in HCMC next week

Two more trains with three carriages each for HCMC’s first metro line project linking Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9 are set to arrive in the city on July 13 for the upcoming trial operation.

The Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCMC (MAUR) on July 7 said that the six carriages of the two trains had left the Japanese port for Vietnam two days ago.

After these carriages arrive at the Khanh Hoi Port in District 4, they will be transported to the Long Binh Depot in Thu Duc City on July 15 and 17 for installation.

Each train carriage measures 21 meters in length, four meters in width and three meters in height and weighs 37 tons.

The city’s first metro line will have 17 trains manufactured in Japan. Each three-carriage train is capable of carrying 930 passengers. The train is designed to move at a maximum speed of 110 kilometers an hour on the elevated section and 80 kilometers an hour on the underground section.

After the two trains arrive in HCMC, the 10 others will also be transported to the city soon, said MAUR.

Between October last year and June this year, five trains arrived in the city and are waiting for a trial operation, which is set to start in the fourth quarter of the year, the local media reported.

14 provinces say to help HCMC fight Covid

As many as 14 cities and provinces are willing to send their medical workers and RT-PCR testing systems to HCMC to help the city fight the raging Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Health.

They include the central provinces of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa and 12 northern provinces, Tuoi Tre Online newspaper reported.

The Ministry of Health has sent an urgent dispatch to provinces nationwide mobilizing available resources to help HCMC stop the uncontrollable spread of Covid.

The ministry has asked the 14 provinces to report the number of medical workers who can make it to HCMC to take samples for Covid-19 testing, conduct tests and treat Covid-19 patients as well as the number of RT-PCR testing machines that they can send to HCMC.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son, who leads a special delegation of the Ministry of Health to HCMC, said the ministry was gauging the demand in the city to mobilize outside support.

The ministry might mobilize a maximum of 10,000 medical workers, including 5,000 from central-level hospitals in HCMC.

More than 300 students and lecturers of the Hai Duong Medical Technical University have supported the sample collection and test performance in Binh Thanh and Go Vap districts. They have also supported the performance of RT- PCR tests at labs as appointed by the HCMC Center for Disease Control.

HCMC, which is now the country’s largest coronavirus hotspot, had reported nearly 7,700 Covid cases as of this morning, July 7. The city has come up with multiple solutions to deal with the steady spike in new cases, such as launching a large-scale testing program, quarantining direct contacts of Covid-19 patients at home, closely controlling people entering and exiting the city and preparing for a scenario with 15,000 Covid-19 cases.

Covid-19 testing fees different in different provinces

The southern cities and provinces are offering different prices for Covid-19 testing services, causing confusion among local residents.

Due to the raging Covid-19, some cities and provinces in southern Vietnam require incoming people to have a Covid-19 negative test certificate. This requirement has forced many people to rush to hospitals for Covid-19 testing, but the testing fees differ significantly among the southern provinces.

According to the Dong Nai Health Department, the province currently has three facilities accredited to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 tests, namely the Dong Nai Center for Disease Control, the Dong Nai General Hospital and the Thong Nhat General Hospital. The PCR Covid-19 test fee is capped at VND734,000 per person.

The Thong Nhat General Hospital also offers door-to-door Covid-19 testing services for enterprises with fees ranging from VND600,000 to VND1.5 million per person depending on the distance between the hospital and the company.

The province also has 22 hospitals and medical centers that conduct rapid Covid-19 tests which produce results within four hours. The fees range from VND230,000 to VND400,000 per person.

In Binh Duong Province, the fees at the Thuan An Medical Center are VND1.8 million per person for PCR tests and VND450,000 per person for rapid tests.

The MEDI L.A.P Binh Duong Medical Center offers PCR tests at VND2 million per person and rapid tests at VND400,000 per person.

In Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, the fee for rapid tests is VND238,000 per person at public health facilities such as the Ba Ria Hospital and the Le Loi Hospital.

Meanwhile, rapid test fees range from VND300,000 to VND380,000 per person at private clinics.

Tran Quoc Vuong, director of Asia Phu My General Clinic in Phu My Town, said, “Our clinic is offering rapid Covid-19 tests at VND340,000-380,000 per person. We will soon reduce the fee to VND238,000 per person as regulated by the Ministry of Health.”

In Vinh Long Province, people can take rapid tests at Covid-19 checkpoints at VND238,000 per person. The test results will return within 40 minutes.

In HCMC, the Le Van Thinh Hospital offers rapid tests at VND350,000 per person and PCR tests at VND2.5 million per person. The fees at Gia An 115 Hospital are VND600,000 per person for rapid tests and VND1.8 million per person for PCR tests.

Dr. Nguyen Minh Quan, director of Thu Duc City Hospital, said the hospital conducted over 1,200 rapid Covid-19 tests on July 5 at VND350,000 per person.

Leaders of the Thu Duc City Hospital and Le Van Thinh Hospital said the Ministry of Health sets the fees at VND238,000 per person for rapid tests and VND734,000 per person for PCR tests at public medical facilities. However, private clinics and hospitals have to raise the fees to avoid losses.

On July 6, the HCMC Department of Health wrote to public and private hospitals and medical centers citywide asking them to offer PCR and rapid Covid-19 tests at the prices regulated by the Ministry of Health.

On the same day, chairwoman of Dong Nai Province Nguyen Thi Hoang asked the provincial Department of Health to work with relevant agencies to ensure that Covid-19 testing fees at hospitals, clinics and medical centers in the province are the same.

The Dong Nai Province Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is encouraging enterprises to provide financial support for Covid-19 testing for employees.

HCMC seen taking more aggressive measures to stop spread of Covid-19

The central Government has signaled that HCMC can take more aggressive measures such as lockdowns to stop the spread of Covid-19 as new daily cases in the city and its neighboring provinces have continued to surge.

A Government Office statement issued yesterday said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made clear that the trajectory of Covid infections in HCMC is still unpredictable and the disease had begun spreading to a number of provinces surrounding HCMC. 

More aggressive measures must be adopted to prevent Covid from spreading, stressed the PM.

Early in the nation’s fourth coronavirus wave, which started on April 27, the government of HCMC put the entire Go Vap District and District 12’s Thanh Loc Ward on lockdown and imposed social distancing rules on other parts of the city. Later the lockdowns on Go Vap District and District 12’s Thanh Loc Ward were lifted and then the laxer social distancing rules were applied to the entire city.

Even though the city later on issued stronger restrictions on social mixing as indicated in Directive 10, new daily infections have kept escalating, with the number of Covid positive cases in HCMC from April 27 to July 6 amounting to 7,385.

PM Chinh called for the public to sympathize with HCMC and other provinces to take measures such as large-scale lockdowns and restrictions on social mixing, according to the Government Office statement. But he noted these measures should have minimal impact on people’s lives.

When lockdowns, including large-scale ones, come into force, local authorities must speed up testing to detect and isolate carriers of coronavirus as soon as possible to prevent community spread.

PM Chinh told HCMC to focus on fighting the disease now and take tougher measures when applying the prime ministerial Directives 15 and 16 on Covid prevention and control but the city should take responsibility for whatever it does.

“As the country’s economic center with many industrial parks and big factories, (HCMC) should practice prudence and caution, and consider the order of priorities because any strong anti-pandemic measures will interrupt production and supply chains,” said the statement.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the national anti-Covid steering committee, said in a teleconference with HCMC yesterday afternoon that the city would have to take stronger action to stop Covid from spreading.

The social distancing order has been in place for five weeks but there is little sign of community spread abating.

Deputy PM Dam said, “HCMC must join hands and get ready for a tougher life in a short period of time so that it could get back to normal.”

There are currently more than 14,000 people put under mandatory quarantine at state-run isolation centers and over 37,000 others self-isolating at home.

PM agrees to give HCMC priority for vaccine distribution

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has accepted to give Ho Chi Minh City priority for vaccine distribution as well as the southern city will go into lockdown under Government Directive 16 for 15 days starting July 9 to curb the coronavirus spread.

The Prime Minister requested Ho Chi Minh City with the spirit of effectively fighting against the coronavirus epidemic to quickly prevent, control and repel the epidemic, but also create favorable condition for the operation of industrial parks, export processing zones, hi-tech parks, factories and production facilities.

Accordingly, these establishments which can meet the safety requirements for epidemic prevention and control will be allowed to be operated. Moreover, companies in industrial parks and export processing zones should cook and provide accommodation for workers in parks’ premises.

At the same time, Ho Chi Minh City has actively coordinated with relevant ministries, branches and localities to work on the plan of synchronous mobility solutions that are helping to reduce traffic congestion and facilitate freight transport between the southern metropolis and localities, especially provinces and cities in the region.

Furthermore, the city should encourage and create favorable conditions to effectively mobilize all legal resources in the society for epidemic prevention and control, especially the purchase of equipment and vaccines.

Ho Chi Minh City should also enhance the information of the disease to increase city dwellers’ awareness of Covid-19 so that they will effectively implement epidemic prevention and control measures.

The Prime Minister also assigned the Ministry of Health to give HCMC priority in the distribution of vaccines. The Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Transport, and relevant ministries must work together to ensure social order and safety in HCMC during the implementation of Directive 16.

Da Nang asks arrivals from Covid-hit areas to pay for testing, quarantine costs

All arrivals coming or returning to Da Nang City from affected areas have to pay for their 21-day quarantine at dedicated centralized quarantine facilities and Covid-19 test fee.

Da Nang City asks all arrivals from affected areas to pay for testing and quarantine costs, starting on July 6.
The decision issued by the People’s Committee of Da Nang City comes into effect from July 6.

The Department of Information and Communications, the Department of Transport, the Central Airports Authority must inform this statement to carriers and transport operators.

In addition, Chairman of the City People’s Committee agreed with competent departments to offer Covid-19 tests for all healthcare workers, employees of businesses providing services at Da Nang hospital, patients and their relatives after the 16,634th patient, a relative taking care of a patient in the hospital was confirmed positive for Covid-19. The testing will be conducted five times at intervals of three days.

Additionally, the city’s Department of Police has been required to build Covid-19 preparedness and response plan in prisons.

HCMC detects two infected Covid-19 students in high school graduation exam

The education sector in Ho Chi Minh City detected two infected Covid-19 students who were taking the Literature test on the first day of the high school graduation exam today.

The two infected students were sitting the exam at Le Thanh Ton High School in District 7 and Le Quy Don High School in District 3 today.

Aside from that, one student was discovered to contract the disease while completing formalities at Dang Tran Con Secondary School in Tan Phu District on July 6. He did not participate in the test on July 7.

Currently, the city Department of Education and Training is coordinating with the Center for Disease Control, the People's Committee and the health centers in districts to implement measures to prevent and control the epidemic at the exam points above.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training’s statistics, the total number of candidates nationwide registered for the high school graduation exam this year was 1,015,000, about 100,000 more than last year. Candidates across the country completed the exam procedures yesterday.

A delegation led by Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Vo Van Hoan yesterday came to inspect the organization of the 2021 high school graduation exam at Nguyen Trai Secondary School in Go Vap District.

Tran Cong Tuan who is responsible for all activities in the school said that 553 out of 580 candidates participated in the Covid-19 test in the expanded screening for candidates on July 3; while the 27 remaining students are from neighboring provinces; therefore, they were undergoing Covid-19 test at their localities presenting a certificate of negative results to be eligible to participate in the first round.

In the afternoon of the same day, the delegation came to check the exam organization at Nguyen Chi Thanh High School in Tan Binh District.

According to the report of the city Department of Education and Training, approximately 86,943 out of 89,275 candidates came to complete the procedures for the first exam accounting for 97.39 percent. Previously, on July 3, around 95.26 percent of candidates were participating in the Covid-19 tests to be eligible for the first exam.

More than 101,000 candidates in Vietnam’s capital city registered the exam. The Hanoi Department of Education and Training has established 188 test sites. Before the exam day, Hanoi detected some new clusters of Covid-9 cases. Accordingly, the Hanoi Department of Education and Training replaced all supervisors at Ung Hoa A High School in Ung Hoa District because a supervisor was a contact F1.

Vice Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee Chu Xuan Dung affirmed that the exam has been carefully prepared. Yesterday, over 5,600 candidates registered for the exam at the Department of Education and Training’s Examination Council in the Northern mountainous Province of Ha Giang.

HCMC Police launches patrols to strengthen Covid-19 prevention, control

To implement the urgent measures on Covid-19 prevention and control, the Municipal Department of Public Security yesterday said that it has been implementing patrols to tighten and control the pandemic situation in the city up to July 10.

Particularly, the HCMC Police collaborated with medical forces of the city, districts and Thu Duc City to conduct investigations, pandemic tracking, zoning and distinguishing; ensuring the safety and security in isolated and social distancing areas, vaccination and Covid-19 sample test areas.

Besides that, the police forces have strengthened fighting and preventing the activities of taking advantage of the Covid-19 prevention and control to distort party or state policies and incite disorder. They have also accelerated suppression of criminal organizations and related matters, focused on fighting against vaccination fraud and counterfeit Covid-19 vaccines smuggling and supply.

France-Vietnam friendship group affirms its continued support for Vietnam

The France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians' Group of the Senate of France is ready to support the nation in strategic issues in the near future, said Stephanie Do, chairwoman of the Group

At a reception for Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang who paid a courtesy visit on July 7, Do said she always maintains a close watch on the ongoing situation in the country and looks out for updated information on the relationship between the two legislative bodies, along with localities from both nations. She displayed her elation at the positive developments in terms of bilateral relations, especially in recent exchanges held between senior leaders of the two countries despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do went on to express how impressed she has been with the Vietnamese response to COVID-19, safety measures put in place, and the recent achievements recorded in socio-economic development.

Applauding the contributions made by Do and the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians' Group of the Senate of France in developing multifaceted relations between the two countries, as well as the law-making bodies, Ambassador Thang thanked her and the group. Indeed, special thanks was given for lobbying the European Parliament to grant approval to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), as well as organising activities to help politicians and French senators better understand current Vietnamese affairs.

Ambassador Thang said he hopes that Stephanie Do and the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians' Group will continue to support the nation by encouraging the parliaments of various EU member states to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). This is in addition to helping the nation deal with fisheries-related issues regarding mutual ties, respond to the impact of climate change, and ensure sustainable development.

The Ambassador affirmed that the country always places great importance on relations with strategic partners, including France.

The two sides have already agreed to push ahead with greater efforts to promote delegation exchange between the two parliaments and prepare for the 12th Vietnam-France Decentralized Cooperation Conference, an event scheduled to take place in Hanoi by the end of 2022.

They went on to express their belief that with the contribution of many factors, the bilateral relationship will continue to promote the existing momentum and achieve positive results moving towards the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and a decade of the Vietnam-France Strategic Partnership in 2023.

The France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians' Group of the Senate of France, consists of one president, 14 vice presidents, two secretaries, and 38 members, is currently one of the largest friendship groups within the French Senate.           

France-Vietnam Parliamentarians’ Group affirmed continued support for Vietnam

The France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group in the French Parliament will continue coordinating closely with the France – Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Senate to support Vietnam in strategic issues in the coming time.

The statement was made by Stephanie Do, President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group, during her reception for Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang on July 7.

She expressed her delight at fine development steps in the bilateral relationship, reflected through recent discussions of the two countries’ high-ranking leaders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambassador Thang acknowledged contributions made by Stephanie Do and her group to developing the diverse and multifaceted cooperation between the two nations in general and the two legislative bodies in particular.

He thanked the group for canvassing the European Parliament to approve the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, and for organising activities on Vietnam’s topic issues.

He showed his hope that group will continue helping Vietnam through encouraging EU member countries to pass the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement, supporting the settlement of fisheries-related issues in the Vietnam-EU relations.

The diplomat affirmed Vietnam always attaches importance to its relations with strategic partners, including France.

At the meeting, both sides agreed to maintain efforts to speed up delegation exchanges and prepare for the 12th Vietnam - France decentralised cooperation conference slated to be held in Hanoi in late 2022./.

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



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