Treating TB patient


“Vietnam defeats COVID, ends Tuberculosis” is the main theme set by the National Programme against Tuberculosis (TB) in response to the World TB Day 2021 (March 24).

Associate Professor and Doctor Nguyen Viet Nhung, Director of the National Lung Hospital and head of the programme, said that the theme of the World TB Day 2021 – “The clock is ticking” – conveys a message that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB.

According to the World Health Organisation, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, over 4,000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.

According to a WTO report in 2020, about 170,000 new cases are detected in Vietnam each year, of whom 70 percent are in working age.

Last year, the number of new cases detected decreased by 3.1 percent year-on-year.

Although the figure is quite small compared with the decrease rate of 20 percent globally, Vietnamese people are more aware of the prevention and control of respiratory infectious diseases.

The political system also has sufficient information about the role of the health sector in socio-economic development as well as measures to address respiratory infectious diseases.

This is a chance for Vietnam to put an end to TB, Nhung added./.

Departure ceremony held for third Level-2 Field Hospital

The Defence Ministry held a ceremony on March 23 in Ho Chi Minh City to send off the staff of the third Level-2 Field Hospital, who will participate in the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien appreciated the cooperation of the United Nations, the Australian Government and partners with Vietnam in deploying the third Level-2 hospital to replace the second Level-2 Field Hospital in accordance with plans that have been adjusted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The officer said the staff of the third Level-2 field hospital have completed training in foreign language and pandemic prevention and control, all materials and equipment have been packed, and the hospital is ready for its noble international mission.

Delivering a speech in virtual form at the ceremony, UN Under-Secretary-General Atul Khare spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in sending Level-2 field hospitals to UN peacekeeping missions since 2018. He said the participation reflects Vietnam’s strong commitment to the partnership between Vietnam and the UN.

The UN official commended the staff of Vietnam’s Level-2 field hospitals for their work, especially in treating COVID-19 patients and in sharing valuable experience in epidemic prevention and control.

Director of the third Level-2 Field Hospital Lt Col Trinh My Hoa, on behalf of the hospital’s staff, said it is their honour to join UN peacekeeping activities, thus contributing to the implementation of the Party and State’s foreign policy and enhancing Vietnam’s position in the international arena.

The third Level-2 Field Hospital was established in March 2020 with 70 staff members. They will be transported to South Sudan by military aircraft provided by Australia in two batches. The first batch will depart on 17:00 March 24, and the second on April 21. All the staff members have been vaccinated against COVID-19./.

Top leader emphasises youth’s role in national development

Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong has affirmed the important role of young people to advance the nation forwards.

At the ceremony marking the 90th founding anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) on March 23, the top leader stressed that, during the country’s long history, young people have always promoted the tradition of patriotism, actively pioneered in all fields, and made significant contributions to the cause of national protection and development.

Speaking highly of the HCYU’s contributions, he said young people should further promote their pioneer role and creativeness, while the youth unions at all levels should create momentum for young people to study and work harder to protect the nation, as well as develop high-quality young officials for the Party.

Besides, the leader asked Party committees and administrations at all levels, ministries and sectors to create favourable conditions to consolidate the youth unions.

He affirmed that the Party, State and people have strong belief and high expectations for younger generations, expressing his hope that the Vietnamese youth, particularly young Party members, will lead the way in building a prosperous nation.

Meanwhile, First Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee Nguyen Anh Tuan affirmed that the youth union’s development throughout different periods has met urgent requirements of youth movements.

On the occasion, the HCYU was presented with an Order of Ho Chi Minh./.

Memorandum signed to boost UXO risk education in Vietnam

The Vietnam National Mine Action Centre (VNMAC) and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Vietnam on March 23 inked a memorandum of understanding on enhancing explosive ordnance risk education.

At the signing ceremony in Hanoi, Major General Tran Trung Hoa, Commander of the Engineering Arms of the Vietnam People’s Army and VNMAC General Director, said apart from unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection and clearance, communications and education are also one of the importance pillars of the UXO settlement.

These activities have received attention from the Government and involved ministries, sectors, central agencies, localities, as well as many international organisations, he noted.

Under the MoU, CRS Vietnam pledged to provide technical and financial aid for VNMAC to build a national strategy for UXO risk education and set up the national standards on the education and those on support for UXO victims.

This project, which will last through July 2024, will help improve VNMAC staff’s capacity and support related communications and education activities carried out by the centre.

CRS Vietnam will also assist VNMAC to access common information and further take part in events like workshops and training conferences of the international UXO settlement community.

According to VNMAC, there are about 800,000 tonnes of UXO left from wartime nationwide, with nearly 6.1 million ha of land contaminated or suspected to be contaminated, accounting for 18.71 percent of Vietnam’s total area.

Since 1975, UXO has killed more than 40,000 people and injured 60,000 others, most of whom are breadwinners of their families, ethnic minority people, and children./.

Four Vietnamese honoured as excellent foreign workers in Japan

Four Vietnamese were among the five workers awarded the title of excellent foreign construction workers of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport during a ceremony held on March 23.

They are Than Van Hoang working for Osaka-based Okasan Kogyo, Dang Van Kien of Nitta group in Tokyo, Hoang Manh Hung of Sato Construction Management Company (Sacom) in Hokkaido and Nguyen Manh Duong of Masuko in Ibaraki.

The fifth worker honoured is a Myanmarese, Moon Aung of Ecowork in Shizuoka.

Phan Tien Hoang, chief representative of Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in Japan said the awards recognise the constant efforts of Vietnamese workers to sharpen their skills and adapt to the working environment in Japan, which is all the more significant in the context of the great impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of many trainees and workers of Vietnam and other countries in Japan.

As of late 2020, about 5,500 foreign workers were working in the construction industry in Japan./.

Tomb of royal concubine restored

A project to renovate the tomb of a 17th-century royal concubine has begun in Duy Xuyen district, the central province of Quang Nam.

The project to renovate the tomb of Doan Quy Phi (1601 – 1661), the chief concubine of Lord Nguyen Phuc Lan (1601-1648), who ruled south Vietnam (1635-1648) from the city of Phu Xuan (modern-day Hue). The project aims to celebrate the 360th anniversary of the concubine’s death.

The project, set to cost 15 billion VND (647,000 USD), includes an entrance gate, parking lot, main tomb, garden, lotus lake and the surrounding landscape with a total area of 38,000sq.m.

The tomb site, which was recognised as the national relic site in August 2011, has been upgraded three times in 1806, 1814 and 1992.

The present area is seriously downgraded, with no entrance to the tomb and a damaged surrounding concrete fence.

Doan Quy Phi, whose real name was Doan Thi Ngoc, was an official concubine of Lord Nguyen Phuc Lan, and mother of Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan. Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan (1620-1687) ruled the south of Vietnam between 1648 and 1687. After her death, Doan Quy Phi was awarded the title Queen Hieu Chieu.

When she was alive, she encouraged people to plant mulberry and raise silkworms to weave silk. People nicknamed her 'Goddess of Silkworms'./.

Friendship Order presented to Russian Ambassador to Vietnam

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung on March 23 handed over the Friendship Order to Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vnukov.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Dung affirmed the continuous development of the Vietnam-Russia relations since the two countries set up diplomatic ties more than seven decades ago, saying the relationship has been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Ambassador Vnukov has actively and effectively contributed to consolidating and enhancing the traditional friendship and the comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

Dung highlighted the ambassador’s role in the signing and ratification of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the organisation of the Vietnam Year in Russia and the Russia Year in Vietnam, and the expansion of investment cooperation between the two countries in various spheres.

For his part, Vnukov thanked the Vietnamese Party, State, Government and people for their good sentiments and whole-hearted support towards the Russian Embassy and the ambassador himself.

He pledged that in any position, he will make all-out efforts to promote the fruitful friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Russia./.

Vietnam attends 28th ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue

Nguyen Quoc Dung, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of Vietnam’s ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), attended the 28th ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue held virtually on March 23.

In his remarks, Dung emphasised the significance of maritime cooperation to security and economic development in each country, as well as the daily lives of regional residents.

He suggested ASEAN and New Zealand step up their coordination within the frameworks of the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).

The move aims to promote dialogue, cooperation, trust building, and respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), he explained.

Dung also called for support towards efforts in building and promoting codes of conduct such as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The two sides should strengthen sustainable cooperation and join hands in consolidating and improving the operational efficiency of maritime cooperation mechanisms and frameworks in the region, he said.

The countries also need to enhance dialogue, collaboration, trust building and law respect, and ensure an environment of peace, security and stability, in order to facilitate recovery and sustainable growth, Dung stressed.

Alison Mann, head of New Zealand’s ASEAN SOM, said New Zealand attaches importance to the relations with the ten-member grouping, and commits to further working as ASEAN’s active partner in frameworks, dialogues and cooperation mechanisms led by ASEAN in the region.

The two sides agreed to closely coordinate in pushing ahead with the implementation of the Joint ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders’ Vision Statement approved last November so as to deepen their strategic partnership.

With the 2021-2025 action plan, the two sides will boost cooperation in such priority areas as economy, trade, investment, the fight against terrorism and transnational crime, education, environmental protection, climate change, natural disaster management, sub-regional development, and narrowing development gaps.

The countries consented to continue their close coordination in order to contribute to maintaining regional peace, security and stability, including security and safety in the East Sea./.

Ministry of Construction plans to expand HCM City drainage system

The Ministry of Construction has submitted to the Government for approval plans to triple the length of HCM City’s drainage network.

The existing network, built in 2001, is 650 square kilometres, and the ministry wants to expand it to 2,095sq.km to deal with the flooding that routinely occurs in parts of the city.

The work is proposed to be completed in 2030.

It includes setting up in 2026-30 seven more sewage treatment plants, Nhiêu Lộc–Thị Nghè, Tây Sài Gòn, Bắc Sài Gòn 1, Bắc Sài Gòn 2, Cầu Dừa, Tây Bắc, and Suối Nhum.

When they start operating, the city’s treatment rate will reach an estimated 88.3 per cent.

Because of high tides in the Sài Gòn and Đồng Nai rivers, heavy rains and land subsidence, HCM City is among 10 global cities most vulnerable to sea-level rise.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, its rivers could rise by 30cm by 2050 and 75cm by the end of this century.

By 2050 the number of communes and wards affected by tidal flooding is expected to rise to 177 covering 61 per cent of the city's total area. 

Vietnamese photographer wins prestigious international award

Drying Fish by Vietnamese photographer Khánh Phan won the travel category of the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards. Photo by Khanh Phan via Sony World Photography Awards


A photo capturing a farmer surrounded by drying fish by Vietnamese photographer Khánh Phan has won the travel category of the Sony World Photography Awards.

The photo, entitled Drying Fish, was taken in Long Hải market in the central province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu on July 26, 2020. The wooden trays viewed from above look like a giant brocade woven by the farmer.

The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most competitive photo contests in the world, as it receives 330,000 entries from around the world, among which only the 10 best photos are selected as winners for its 10 categories of open competition.

These 10 best photos will be selected further to find the best work of the season and the photographer awarded US$5,000, plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment. The overall winner of the competition will be announced on April 15.

Khánh Phan is the first and only Vietnamese photographer to win the open competition of the prestigious photo contest.

Phan said winning was a memorable experience in her photography career and all winning works by Vietnamese photographers like hers are “tourism ambassadors” for Việt Nam.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the annual Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures in the photographic calendar.

The awards are a global voice for photography and provide a vital insight into contemporary work today. Now in their 14th year, the awards consist of four competitions: Professional (for photographers entering a body of work or portfolio), Open (for photographers entering a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19 year-olds).

The jury will evaluate and award the final first prize to a single photographer with the best work.

Khánh Phan was born in Quỳnh Phụ District in the northern province of Thái Bình, but is now based in HCM City. In 2017, she bought her first camera, sparking her passion for photography.

Khánh Phan said her journey to become a photographer was not easy. She tends to venture into difficult conditions such as climbing high mountains, swimming in mud or waiting for dawn at a graveyard to take photos.

However, the trip throughout Việt Nam over the past three years has helped Khánh Phan gain a lot of success in pursuing a career in photography and win 30 domestic and international awards.

Earlier, she won a gold award in the People/Culture category with her work entitled The Children Dancing With Gong and a silver one in the Travel/Tourism category with Drying Fish at the Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA) 2020.

Nearly 38,000 people vaccinated against COVID-19

As of 16:00 on March 23, Vietnam had administered the COVID-19 vaccine to 37,911 people who are frontline medical workers, and members of community-based anti-COVID-19 groups and steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control.

As many as 1,829 people got the vaccine shots on the day, according to the National Expanded Programme on Immunisation.

Since the launch of the inoculation campaign on March 8, the vaccination has been carried out in 16 cities and provinces nationwide.

The northern province of Quang Ninh and the southern provinces of Tay Ninh and Dong Thap are scheduled to roll out the injection this week.

From March 24-28, the Ministry of Health will send working groups to Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh to supervise pandemic prevention and control, and the vaccination work there.

Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen will lead a delegation to Quang Ninh and Hai Duong provinces on March 24.

The ministry has also tightened the implementation of regulations on immigration, medical quarantine and COVID-19 prevention and control in order to prevent the pandemic spread among the community.

It reported that Vietnam detected no cases of COVID-19 over the past 12 hours to 6am on March 24. The country has gone through six consecutive days without domestically-transmitted cases.

The national count stands at 2,576, including 1,601 domestic infections.

A total of 37,754 people who came into close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit areas are under health monitoring nationwide.

The number of recoveries is now 2,246, whilst the deaths remain at 35.

Among the active patients, 42 have tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, 29 twice and 66 thrice./.

Thu Duc City proposes to follow specific mechanism for overall development

The Party’s Committee of Thu Duc City (municipal city of Ho Chi Minh City) has just announced the missions for the city’s socio-economic growth in 2021. One of the key targets is to completely human resources organization for all state units in the city and introduce corresponding work policies. Another major goal is to address current problems in the community.

In 2021, Thu Duc City is going to finish 26 main missions, including meeting the state budget collection goal of VND8,327 billion (approx. US$ 361 million) and ensuring 95 percent of the disbursement progress of the basic construction investment from the state budget.

The city also listed 31 key investment projects in 2021, including 15 to be finished this year like 5 new schools, So Ga closed garbage compacting station, street expansion on Le Van Viet Street, landslide-protection embankment along Saigon River (in Thao Dien Ward), Cau Ngang Canel cleaning.

The local authorities are going to tackle issues related to land compensation and resettlement for major construction projects in sites of Saigon Hi-tech Park, Thu Thiem new urban area, the Cultural Historical Park, Long Binh Ward.

Additional policies to be applied for projects related to Vietnam National University – HCMC will also be introduced.

The projects to transform Thu Duc City into a smart one and to carry out the digital transformation process are going to be implemented as well.

Notably, the Party’s Committee of Thu Duc District proposed to use a specific state management mechanism in the city in the fields of finance; land resource collection and enrichment; development policies; project and land bidding policies; capital attraction for infrastructure projects; preferential policies for commercial organizations and business people.

Finally, the city is planning to improve telecoms facilities for the growth of 5G services and to create Thu Duc Software City, a center for high performance computing (cooperation with Vietnam National University – HCMC).

PM urges safe, prompt COVID-19 vaccination

It is necessary to conduct proper and timely COVID-19 vaccination to ensure safety, towards the vaccination for the whole population, while considering and accessing different vaccine sources and continuing to research and develop domestically-made vaccines so that the vaccines can be put into use in 2022, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has directed.

Under a notice on Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s conclusion at a meeting of permanent cabinet members on COVID-19 prevention and control, localities nationwide were asked to strictly abide by guidance from the Ministry of Health on pandemic prevention and control, while staying determined to boost economic development in the new normal, ensuring social welfare.

Ministries, sectors and localities were requested to comprehensively and effectively implement fiscal, monetary, trade, investment solutions and policies to support people and businesses to recover and expand production and business, while proposing new support measures.

The PM asked for the strict management of entries and quarantine facilities.

He also assigned the Ministry of Health to direct the whole sector to apply the readiness mode to respond to any pandemic circumstances, and coordinate with relevant agencies to design suitable pandemic prevention and control measures when applying the “vaccine passport”.

The Ministry of Public Security is requested to strengthen its control over exit and entry activities at border gates, while the Ministry of Transport was asked to continue to roll out measures to control people entering Vietnam aboard international flights and give guidance on pandemic prevention and control on domestic flights.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism was directed to coordinate with the Foreign Ministry and relevant agencies to consider proposals from the Tourism Advisory Council on control measures when international tourism activities are resumed.

The Foreign Ministry was assigned to build plans to arrange flights to bring Vietnamese citizens abroad home when international flights are re-operated, while strengthening communications to provide relevant regulations to encourage Vietnamese citizens abroad not to enter the country illegally./.

HBSO kicks off 2021 season with famous French operatic arias

HCM CITY The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will kick off the 2021 season with a night of arias from famous French operas at the city’s Opera House on March 28.

The concert will open with the overture to the five-act opera Mireille by French composer Charles Gounod. It premiered in 1864.

The work tells the love story of Mireille, a young woman from a good Provencal family and the poor farmer Vincent.

The concert will continue with the 13th movement titled The Swan from the 14-movement musical suite by French composer Camille Saint-Saens.

The Swan, the suite’s famous cello solo published in 1887, will be performed by Meritorious Artist and cellist Nguyễn Tấn Anh.

Meritorious Artist Hồng Vy will sing Depuis le Jour (Since the Day), a love song from the four-act opera Louise by French composer Gustave Charpentier which premiered in 1900.

The programme will also feature the aria Avant de quitter les lieux (Before I Leave This Town) from Gounod’s opera Faust, Bell Song from French composer Delibes’s Lamek, and Ah! Mes amis (Ah! My Friends) from Gaetano Donizetti’s La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) .

The works will be sung by Đào Mác, Phạm Khánh Ngọc and Phạm Trang along with the HBSO chorus.

After the intermission, arias from Georges Bizet’s Carmen, including Habanera, Parle moi de ma mere (Tell about My Mother), Escamillo, and Je dis que rien ne m’epouvante (I Say that Nothing Frightens Me) will be sung.

The performance will present vocalists Phan Hồng Dịu, Phạm Duyên Huyên, Phạm Trang, Nguyễn Thu Hường, Trần Thành Nam and Võ Nguyễn Thành Tâm.

The HBSO chorus and orchestra will be featured.

The concert will begin at 8pm. The venue is at 7 Lam Sơn Square in District 1. 

EU Ambassador affirms safety of AstraZeneca vaccine

Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, and some ambassadors of EU member countries on March 23 affirmed the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

During a meeting with the press before the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Vietnam via the WHO-led Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, Ambassador Aliberti said the EU has put the safety of the vaccine first.

Regarding the suspension of AstraZeneca vaccine rollouts by certain EU countries, the ambassador said the EU’s competent agencies have made efforts in tracing scientific evidence proving the safety of the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently allowed to resume the inoculation, he added.

The cases of vaccination side effects found in Europe over the past time are very rare, about only one in one million vaccinated people, according to the ambassador.

Echoing Aliberti’s view, German Ambassador to Vietnam Guido Hildner said seven out of 1.7 million vaccinated people in Germany have experienced side effects. However, the German Government then agreed to resume the vaccination following cautious assessments.

Vaccinated people must be under close supervision following the injection, he suggested.

According to Aliberti, through the “TeamEurope” initiative, the EU has become the first sponsor that has significantly contributed to the COVAX facility, with funding of 2.6 billion EUR, making up 40 percent of the programme’s total budget.

Via COVAX, the EU wants to press ahead with COVID-19 vaccine procurement to vaccinate the global population, he stressed.

Vietnam is among the 92 countries selected by the EU to receive the vaccine during the first phase of the programme, the ambassador said, noting that more than 1.3 million doses of vaccines are scheduled to be delivered to Vietnam in late March or early April.

COVAX announced Vietnam will receive from 4,886,400 to 8,253,600 doses, of which 25 – 35 percent will be delivered in the first quarter and the remainder in the second quarter of 2021. Astra Zeneca vaccine has been selected for the initial rollout.

The EU will make its best to soon bring COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam, Aliberti pledged. Around 18 million doses are expected to arrive in the country by the end of this year, covering 15 percent of its population, towards the target of vaccinating 20 percent of the population in the first stage.

Ambassadors from Spain, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic affirmed their support for the EU’s efforts to roll out COVID-19 vaccines in countries worldwide, including Vietnam./.

ODA disbursement issues of first metro line project need to be removed


The People’s Committee of HCMC has proposed Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh to chair a working session on defining the value of the rest of ODA (official development assistance) loan which will be allocated from the Central budget for the Metro Line No 1 project in HCMC.

The meeting is expected to be participated by leaders of ministries of Finance, Planning and Investment.
On December 31, 2020, the HCMC government submitted a report on extending Loan Agreement VN11-P7 of the first metro line to the Government Office. Accordingly, the municipal People’s Committee collected opinions from ministries of Finance, Planning and Investment and proposed the Prime Minister and the Government to calculate the value of the ODA capital of the project.

The city’s authority hoped that the assessment would be promptly carried out, difficulties and obstacles in the disbursement of ODA loans and the volatile exchange rate between the Vietnamese dong and the Japanese yen to be resolved to speed up the public investment disbursement.

The ODA capital allocated for the project from the State budget that has not been disbursed yet was VND 2,185 billion (US$94.6 million) in 2020 and over VND2, 484 billion (US$123.4 million) in 2021.

Currently the done work volume of the metro line No. 1 linking Ben Thanh in district 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City reaches 82.5 percent. Investors and consulting units have cooperated with each other to boost up the construction progress to ensure the installation will be completed in 2021.

Nine toll-suspended BOT projects need maintenance

The Ministry of Transport asked the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to find temporary solutions in order to perform maintenance for nine BOT projects being temporarily suspended tolling.  

Of these, four projects without carrying out maintenance were National Highway No.2 crossing Noi Bai- Vinh Yen route, bypass route of Ha Tinh on the National Highway No.1, Km2+478 - Km12+971 section on National Highway 1K and bypass section of Cai Lay on National Highway No.1. 

The bypass of Thanh Hoa City on National Highway No.1 and Km14 - Km50+889 through National Highway 91 were two projects carrying out the maintenance without meeting the quality requirements.

Meanwhile, Dong Nai Bridge, National Highway 20 through towns, Hoa Cam- Hoa Phuoc section and Tu Cau- Vinh Dien section were three BOT projects under the maintenance. 

These projects have not been terminated the construction contracts and have not yet handed over the site as the management agencies and investors have not reached agreement of cost to determine the payback period, investors' benefits in the construction process, some relevant costs, interest loan, etc.  

In order to avoid exceeding the tolling process as regulated, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam actively suspends the toll collection for the above projects.

Private troupe offers variety of traditional performances

A special traditional theatre programme in HCM City offering cải lương (reformed opera) performances aims to preserve and introduce the art to young audiences. 

The programme, Hội Quán Sân Khấu (Club of Vietnamese Theatre), offers different performances of cải lương, the south’s traditional music begun 100 years ago, and tuồng or hát bội (classical drama), a traditional genre of Vietnamese theatre which began in the 17th century in the central region.

The performances are being staged by Sen Việt, a private drama troupe that opened last year in HCM City. 

Each show, featuring traditional songs, dances and musical pieces, is directed and produced by Meritorious Artist Lê Nguyên Đạt, the theatre director of Sen Việt. 

Cải lương and tuồng plays are also featured. 

All performers are accompanied by Vietnamese music played by folk instrumentalists on the tranh ( zither), bầu (monochord) and nguyệt (two-stringed long neck moon flute). 

Young and veteran artists from the art programme Hội Quán Sân Khấu (Club of Vietnamese Theatre), launched by private drama troupe Sen Việt, are working to preserve and develop Vietnamese theatre. Photo courtesy of the theatre 
Director Đạt and his staff have worked with veteran artists, musicians and cultural researchers from the HCM City Theatre Association on the programme, Hội Quán Sân Khấu.

“Our programme offers shows aimed at young people. We want to bring Vietnamese theatre closer to young audiences,” said Đạt, who has more than of 15 years' experience in the industry.

In coming weeks, Đạt’s actors will offer historical plays that highlight national heroes. Productions featuring the beauty of Vietnamese women will also be staged.

Cải lương stars, such as Bình Tinh and Điền Trung, will be featured.  

The first show debuted last weekend with young actresses Ngọc Gấm and Lệ Trinh, graduates of the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography University and HCM City University of Culture. 

The artists performed vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) songs, which are often used in cải lương, featuring the dreams and hopes of southern farmers. 

“We want to create a new art space where traditional artists can improve, share and introduce their art together and to audiences,” said actress Tinh, winner of the Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ (Golden Bell) Awards 2016, a national cải lương contest presented annually by HCM Television.

Hội Quán Sân Khấu performances will be staged at 8pm every Saturday and Sunday at the city’s Theatres Association at 5B Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3. 

Tickets are priced at only VNĐ50,000 (US$2) to attract students and people with lower incomes. 

Thu Duc City to implement 31 key projects in 2021

Thu Duc City will implement 31 key works and projects in 2021, of which 15 projects will be completed and 16 ones are expected to be started construction.  

The newly-established city has set a target of speeding up the construction progress of key projects, especially projects related to technical infrastructure, traffic connection, drainage, anti-flooding, urban embellishment, contributing to make changes and urban development. 

Particularly, 15 key projects are expected to be completed in 2021 including Phuoc Long A Kindergarten, Hiep Binh Phuoc- Saigon East Kindergarten, Hiep Binh Phuoc Middle School, Hiep Binh Phuoc Kindergarten, Linh Xuan 1 Kindergarten, construction and expansion project of the old Thu Duc District Police Head Office, So Ga garbage compression station, renovating and upgrading project of the Thu Duc City martyrs' cemetery, upgrading and expanding project of Le Van Viet Street across La Xuan Oai Street and My Thanh T-junction, the road axis between D1 and D2 connecting to 1.36-hectare land near the 38.4- hectare resettlement area in An Khanh Ward, upgrading and expanding project of District 2 Hospital in Binh Trung Tay Ward, anti-landslide embankment construction along Saigon River in Thao Dien Ward’s Quarter 4, maintenance dredging projects of Ngang Bridge Canal, compensation and site clearance for the construction of Luong Dinh Cua Street and Tran Nao - Luong Dinh Cua Intersection, compensation for site clearance and resettlement to build the park under Saigon Bridge Pier and the Saigon riverbank corridor.

Below is a list of 16 key  works and projects in Thu Duc City which will be started construction in 2021. 
1. An Khanh Ward Kindergarten
2. Hiep Phu 1 Kindergarten
3. Hiep Phu 2 Kindergarten
4. Truong Thanh Kindergarten
5. Phu Huu Middle School
6. Phuoc Long B Kindergarten
7. Truong Tho Kindergarten
8. Linh Xuan 2 Kindergarten
9. Sen Hong Kindergarten
10. Drainage system at Vo Van Ngan Street
11. Construction project of Ba Ca Street and Bridge 
12. Drainage system project along railway at Linh Dong Ward
13. Upgrading project of Le Van Chi Street
14. Building street and drainage system on the old National Highway 13
15. Upgrading and expanding La Xuan Oai Street across Lo Lu Street and Nguyen Duy Trinh Street
16. Anti-landslide work on the left side of Saigon River – The upstream area of Binh Loi Bridge

Hue Traditional Craft Festival to be held in late May


The Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2021 will take place from May 29 to June 26, with an official opening ceremony set for June 12. The festival is expected to dazzle participants with several new activities compared to previous holdings.
The Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2021 will have something for everyone, as it features a wide range of activities such as the Hue Culinary Festival, a sculpting camp, a book exhibition, stand-up paddle board racing on the Huong River, a TED-Talk on culture and arts, a design contest using traditional crafts, and much more.

The month-long festival will hold special activities on weekends in order to attract more visitors to the city.

It is expected to present traditional products from the province and neighbouring localities to consumers and attract more visitors to Vietnam’s former imperial capital./.




Foreigners in Vietnam to get visa online

Visa for foreigners living in Vietnam will be issued online via the National Public Service Portal in 2021.

It is among more than 50 public services to be provided in the portal this year as approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Among those services, 11 are in the group of administrative procedures related to resident management, including the issuance and re-issuance of ID cards, verification of ID numbers, registration of permanent or temporary stay, birth registration and passport issuance.

In addition, the newly-approved list comprises 44 essential public services in accordance with the United Nations’ E-Government Development Index, particularly extension of temporary stay and visa issuance for foreigners, vehicle registration plates and change of driver license.

The Government Office will work with relevant agencies and localities to study and improve users’ experience in the direction of developing a mobile version of the public service portal app./.

Vice President presents gifts to poor students in Bac Giang province

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Chairwoman of the National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC), on March 23 visited and presented 100 bicycles to impoverished students in the northern province of Bac Giang.

In the morning, she attended a ceremony to inaugurate 16 new classrooms at the Nghia Phuong Primary School in Nghia Phuong commune, Luc Nam district.

The classrooms were built at a total cost of over 6 billion VND (259,400 USD) donated by benefactors. They are equipped with desks, boards, and television in accordance with the national standard.

At the event, Thinh, local leaders and benefactors presented hundreds of gifts, scholarships and online English studying cards to students at the school.

The NFVC was established by the government on May 4, 1992 to gather donations from organisations and individuals to help the country achieve its goals in childcare and protect children’s rights in accordance with the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child./.

Hydro-meteorological forecasting helps facilitate sustainable livelihoods

The Vietnam Meteorological Hydrological Administration (VMHA) held a ceremony on March 23 to launch activities in response to World Meteorological Day 2021, which is themed “The Ocean, Our Climate and Weather”.

The ceremony was linked with 63 hydro-meteorological centres nationwide, drawing officials from ministries, sectors, localities, scientists in the fields of meteorology, marine hydrology, climate change, natural disaster prevention and control, and marine search and rescue, and representatives from embassies and international organisations.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Cong Thanh recognised the major contributions of the hydro-meteorological sector in natural disaster prevention and mitigation, socio-economic development, and the safeguarding of national defence and people’s safety.

He said the theme of World Meteorological Day 2021 aims to highlight the link between the ocean, the climate, and the weather in the earth system.

The Deputy Minister noted that as understanding about oceans remains limited, the UN has launched the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in the 2021-2030 period.

He expressed his hope that relevant agencies will continue to coordinate with the hydro-meteorological sector and support it in issuing alerts to serve natural disaster prevention and mitigation.

Thanh affirmed that as a member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Vietnam will coordinate closely with relevant parties to promote oceanic monitoring and researching activities, contributing to implementing the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development goals of “safe ocean”, “predicted ocean”, and “transparent ocean”.

At a workshop following the ceremony, head of the VMHA Tran Hong Thai said that hydrological forecasting, including oceanographic forecasting, plays an important role in helping ministries, sectors, and localities adjust their socio-economic activities and crop farming, as well as in preparing preventive measures to minimise the impact of natural disasters.

He said that two new weather radar stations will be built, in Phu Lien in northern Hai Phong city and Vinh city in central Nghe An province, to increase hydro-meteorological forecasting capacity. Meanwhile, the entire weather radar system will be upgraded to cover the mainland and marine areas, including the Truong Sa archipelago and Phu Quoc Island, thus monitoring the development of storms.

Deputy head of the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and head of the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority Tran Quang Hoai said that accurate and timely forecasting of weather conditions at sea helps fishermen avoid losses in property and human life, thus helping people secure stable livelihoods.

Forecasting activities also help the committee as well as search and rescue, the marine police force, and ministries, sectors, and localities give active directions to minimise risks from natural disasters, he said./.

PM chairs meeting of compilation board for book on Government history

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a meeting on March 23 of the board responsible for the compilation and publishing of a book on the history of the Vietnamese Government.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the draft of the four-volume book is scheduled to be completed this year.

Two other works - a 30-episode documentary on the Vietnamese Government’s history from 1945-2015 and the outline of a photo book on the same theme, are about to be appraised.

The Government leader requested the thorough and meticulous implementation of these works considering their importance, and required the MoHA and other agencies to keep a close eye on quality and progress.

The agencies were also urged to arrange seminars and discussions to garner the opinions of experts, scientists, and members of the Government over the years.

Those who take part in the compilation of the works were asked to highlight the Government’s achievements over the years across the fields of politics, economy, society, culture, and science-technology, including analysis on strategic targets, methods, and outcomes.

In addition, the application of digital technologies is vital in improving archiving tasks, PM said, adding that the compilation should be conducted in an economical and efficient manner./.

Photo exhibition on Vietnam’s border areas opens in Hanoi

A photo exhibition on Vietnam’s border areas opened in Hanoi on March 23.

On showcase are 100 outstanding works, including 21 award-winning photos of a contest of the same theme held previously.

They introduce the landscape and people living in Vietnam’s border areas, as well as their daily lives, production activities, cultural festivals and folk art forms of ethnic minority groups.

The photos also feature activities of border soldiers who stand ready to protect Vietnam’s sovereignty and security, along with cultural and trade exchanges of people in border areas. 

The exhibition also aims to raise public awareness of border demarcation, management, and sovereignty, thereby strengthening people’s trust in and support for the Party and State.

The event will run until March 28.

In addition to Hanoi, the event will be organised in Ninh Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Gia Lai and Kien Giang provinces, and Ho Chi Minh City./.

Road 9 - Southern Laos victory in the hearts of Lao officials

Road 9 - Southern Laos victory in March 1971 reflected the strength of the special solidarity and fighting alliance of Vietnam and Laos, according to senior Lao officials.

Speaking with a Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the event, Lao Minister of Defence General Chansamone Chanyalath recalled the battle with pride. He affirmed that the victory defeated a strategy of the US and puppetry regimes in south Vietnam and Laos attempting to divide the three countries of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, while demonstrating the strength and solidarity of the Laos-Vietnam combat alliance.

At the age of 90, Buasy Chaleunsouk, who worked as secretary of Lao President Kaysone Phomvihane from 1964 to 1984, still vividly remembers the victorious atmosphere at the Viengsay revolutionary base in Laos’ northern province of Houaphanh half a century ago.

The victory was of great significance in both military and political terms, he said, adding that it was celebrated in all Lao localities.

The Road 9 - Southern Laos victory in March 1971 marked the growth of the Vietnamese army in large-scale joint combat, becoming a vivid manifestation of the special combat solidarity between the Vietnamese and Lao armies and people./.

PM receives Austrian Ambassador, AT&S executive

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for Austrian Ambassador to Vietnam Thomas Schuller-Gotzburg and AT&S Chief Operations Officer (COO) Ingolf Schroeder on March 23.

Speaking highly of the Vietnam visit by Schroeder and AT&S staff to study investment possibility in the country, PM Phuc informed his guests that despite COVID-19, Vietnam recorded a GDP growth of 2.91 percent last year, which is a major success of the country.

Vietnam continues to attract foreign direct investment projects, the Government leader said, noting his welcome of the Austrian manufacturer’s intention to invest in the country.

Ambassador Schuller-Gotzburg congratulated Vietnam on the successful organisation of the 13th National Party Congress, adding that as the two nations will celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, he hoped that COVID-19 will be brought under control so that the sides can resume exchanges across multiple spheres.

He also expressed his belief that AT&S’ planned project in Vietnam, which is a major one with investment of about 1.5 billion EUR (1.78 billion USD) and expected to employ 6,000 workers, will be in line with Vietnam’s policy of drawing high tech investment.

Austria is paying heed to the project as Vietnam is among the world's leading destinations for FDI, the diplomat said.

For his part, Schroeder thanked the Vietnamese government and localities for facilitating the visit, which he said is important for the company to make decision on investment. He said the company is confident that it will be able to build a manufacturing plant in Vietnam in a short time, meeting an increasing demand in the sector. Therefore, it is planning to build two plants in the first phase, he said.

The Austrian firm hopes to receive support from the Vietnamese Government for the fruitful implementation of the project, especially the recruitment of at least 1,500 engineers, according to the AT&S executive.

In reply, PM Phuc said that many FDI projects in Vietnam have reaped success, citing as example Intel and Samsung. He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government has always offered the best conditions for foreign investors through investment incentives, especially for hi-tech projects.

The PM said both the northern province of Thai Nguyen and the southern economic hub of HCM City have good infrastructure, from transport to electricity, water and gas supply, which can meet the needs of investors.
He voiced his belief that Vietnam is the best choice for foreign investors, and hoped that AT&S will soon finalise its investment decision.

The Vietnamese Government leader also stressed that the Vietnam-Austria relations have been flourishing, and the two nations have optimal conditions for successful cooperation./.

Philippine media lauds Vietnam’s anti-COVID-19 formula

The Manila Times, one of the leading national broadsheets in the Philippines, on March 23 ran an article highlighting Vietnam’s effective anti-COVID-19 formula.

Titled “Doing it better: The lesson Vietnam,” the article said 'Vietnam’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was based on its experience in handling the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic back in 2003."

It was the second country after China to report the appearance of SARS —, as it were — and the first to be declared SARS-free by the World Health Organization (WHO), after only a few months.

“Vietnam’s pandemic playbook basically has four pages,” said the article.

First, as soon as it became apparent that there would be a need for them, the government provided substantial financial and administrative support for the development and production of home-grown medical treatments and supplies.

Research on a vaccine began as soon as enough sample material was available to start the work, and Vietnamese pharmaceutical concerns began work on no fewer than four different types of coronavirus test kits. These became available in export-quantity overabundance as early as April last year, and earlier this month, Vietnam began rolling out its own domestically produced vaccine, which according to available data is efficient.

Second, Vietnam employed a strategy of short, airtight lockdowns and restricted movement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, acting at once to shut down entire areas that could possibly be affected by the appearance of a case.

The Vietnamese government spent generously on social support, even delivering food to people’s homes, the article said.

Third, realising that an effective tracing system is the most critical component of the pandemic response, Vietnam immediately developed and implemented a thorough, accurate and centralised contact tracing system.

Contacts for any person testing positive for the coronavirus are traced to three levels, and all of those people are tested immediately.

Finally, the article said, infected persons, regardless of their condition, are immediately quarantined for monitoring and treatment in government facilities, as are all of their first-level contacts.

While Vietnam is still restricting non-essential visits by foreigners, movement and economic activity in the country is for all intents and purposes normal. The Vietnamese government has even launched an aggressive marketing campaign to promote domestic tourism to boost the economy, according to the article./.

Digital transformation expected to help Da Nang with smart city building

Da Nang is drafting a plan on digital transformation which is viewed as momentum for the central city to address bottlenecks in development and complete its smart city building by 2030.

Experts gathering at a workshop on March 22 recommended Da Nang to focus its digital transformation plan until 2025, with a vision to 2030, on digital economy, digital society, and digital administration.

It should develop a digital foundation, digital data, digital infrastructure, digital personnel, and cyber safety and security, which are considered driving forces of digital transformation, they said.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Quang said the national digital transformation programme, issued under the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 749/QD-TTg on June 3, 2020, is key to implementing the Politburo’s Resolution No. 52-NQ/TW on some guidelines and policies for proactive participation in the fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Da Nang must carry out digital transformation to help national digital transformation be successful,” he stated.

Quang noted that digital transformation is momentum for removing bottlenecks that have hampered the city’s development over the last years and helping to achieve the goal that by 2030, Da Nang will complete its smart city building and be uniformly connected with the smart cities networks of Vietnam and ASEAN.

It will also support Da Nang to become an ecological, modern, and worth-living city as targeted by the 12th-tenure Politburo in Resolution No. 43-NQ/TW on the development of Da Nang until 2030, with a vision to 2045, he added.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Quang Nam said Da Nang identifies its people and businesses as the centre of digital transformation, adding that to reap successes, it is necessary to have right, clear, and feasible strategies, visions, targets, tasks, and solutions, as well as resolutions and plans reflecting municipal leaders’ political resolve.

Also at the workshop, the municipal People’s Committee announced a decision to set up the city’s digital transformation advisory council and designated August 28 as the digital transformation day of Da Nang./.

Vietnam hailed by WHO for End TB efforts

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Vietnam has praised the country for its significant progress in fighting tuberculosis (TB) over the previous year in a letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on the occasion of the World TB Day (March 24).

WHO Representative to Vietnam Kidong Park took the occasion to invite Deputy PM Dam, who is head of the National Committee on Tuberculosis Prevention and Control, to participate in this year’s World TB Day global campaign.

The theme of the World TB Day 2021 – “The clock is ticking” – conveys the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB. The WHO is urging countries to implement ten priority recommendations to put the world on track to reach agreed targets by 2022 and beyond.

It is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put the End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

According to the WHO, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, over 4,000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.

In 2015, world leaders committed to ending the global TB epidemic by 2030 and they reaffirmed their commitment to fighting the disease at the UN General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Fight to End TB in 2018. It is expected to have around 40 million people worldwide provided with access to diagnosis and treatment by 2022.

Heads of State and Government committed to mobilise sufficient and sustainable financing from all sources for universal access to quality TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. They aim to increase overall global investments for ending TB at least 13 billion USD annually by 2022.

Vietnam has seen considerable progress in reducing TB burden. The number of new cases founded in 2020 dropped 3.1 percent from 170,000 in the previous year./.

Buddhism logo design contest gets underway

A design contest to create a logo aimed at depicting the theme of Buddhism has got underway to mark 40 years of the establishment of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha.

The competition’s entrants include monks, nuns, and Buddhists, along with other individuals and organisations based nationwide.

All entries must show the great achievements of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha through the past 40 years.

Logo designs must be creative, and not similar to any other current logo, whilst each entrant must attach a message relating to 40 years since the initial establishment of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha.

Each contestant is able to enter a maximum of five artworks, with the time for receiving entries between April 1 to May 30.

All logos which are submitted must be sent in a JPEG file format between 3MB and 6MB and emailed to vp1giaohoi@gmail.com, or alternatively sent to the headquarters of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha at 73 Quan Su street in Hanoi.

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