Dmitry Medvedev, chairman of the United Russia Party (URP) and deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, is in Vietnam for a three-day working visit. This is Medvedev’s first visit to Vietnam in his capacity as leader of the ruling URP.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on May 22 held talks with Medvedev under a cooperation agreement between the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the URP, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

Party chief Trong said that in its foreign policy, Vietnam values the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia and that the CPV attaches importance to developing relations with political parties in Russia, including the URP, as a political foundation for long-term and sustainable ties between the two countries.

The two sides also discussed current international affairs, major orientations to promoting positive developments worldwide, and their views on issues of mutual concern.

They agreed to continue raising mutual understanding and political trust via high-level visits and exchanges in flexible forms; improving the efficiency of and expanding cooperation in economy, science and technology, culture, education, and other areas under bilateral agreements.

They also agreed to pay attention to young generations and facilitate exchanges among mass organizations and young people of the two Parties, along with upholding bilateral and multilateral trade and investment frameworks and mechanisms and working closely together at multilateral forums.

Before the talks, the Russian delegation laid a wreath at the Monument to Heroic Martyrs, paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum, and held a meeting with the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association.

On the occasion, both sides issued a joint statement on the outcomes of Medvedev’s official visit to Vietnam, which aims to reinforce cooperation on regional and global issues to strengthen peace and security for the benefits of the two peoples and protect and enhance principles of international law and the UN Charter.

They also pledged to continue pushing forward bilateral ties in accordance with documents and agreements signed between leaders of the two Parties and countries.

Medvedev also had separate meetings with President Vo Van Thuong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi.

PM appoints new Commander of the Air Defense - Air Force

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has appointed Major General Nguyen Van Hien as the new Commander of the Air Defense - Air Force.

Nguyen was born in 1967 in Vu Thu district of the northern province of Thai Binh.

He was promoted to the new role from his previous position as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Air Defence - Air Force.

Nguyen is a member of the 13th Party Central Committee.

Chinese naval training ship visits Da Nang

Chinese navy training ship Qi Jiguang is visiting the central coastal city of Da Nang from May 23 to 25, as part of the activities within the nations’ bilateral cooperation framework.

Aboard the vessel are officers, sailors, and students from the Dalian Naval Academy, an education institute under the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. The delegation is headed by Major General Su Yinsheng, Political Commissar at the academy.

After an official welcome ceremony on May 23 at the Tien Sa port, the Chinese delegates are scheduled to pay a courtesy call to the Da Nang authorities; engage in exchange activities with the Vietnam People's Navy Region 3 Command and the Military Region 5 High Command; and tour the city.

The visit is expected to help consolidate and beef up the friendship between Vietnam and China in general and the relationship between their naval forces in particular.

Slovenian Foreign Minister visits Ho Chi Minh City

Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on May 22, beginning an official two-day visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son.   

Receiving the guest, Vo Van Hoan, deputy head of the municipal administration, affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to the friendly relations with Slovenia, saying both countries have many things in common historically.

In his view, Slovenia is Ho Chi Minh City’s potential partner, but the current trade and investment relations are not commensurate with the two sides’ potential. He suggested that both sides make good use of the advantages of the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to access each other’s markets so as to promote stronger trade in the coming time.

Hoan highly appreciated the gains Slovenia has made in implementing its Smart Specialization Strategy and the Digital Slovenia Strategy, along with progress in developing advanced digital technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).

He expressed hope that Slovenia would share experience and help the city undertake its digital transformation and innovation initiatives, while increasing cooperation in the fields of logistics and maritime transportation.

Ho Chi Minh City will create the best possible conditions for Slovenian firms to come and operate successfully in the locality, Hoan assured his guest.

Minister Tanja Fajon for her part affirmed that Slovenia always welcomes Vietnamese businesses, at the same time, stays ready to introduce investment opportunities of Vietnam to the Slovenian business community.

She spoke highly of the city’s development potential and expressed hope that Slovenian firms who are accompanying her during the visit would find cooperation opportunities in areas where the two sides have advantages and needs such as seaport development, digital transformation, smart cities and tourism.

Ho Chi Minh City and Slovenia can also boost cooperation in green growth related issues, through diversifying energy sources and reducing emissions towards sustainable development goals, said the diplomat.

Hanoi Open Cup basketball tournament finds four new champions

The 3x3 basketball tournament Hà Nội Open Cup (HOC) ended on May 21 with four new champions.

Ba Đình Club defeated Hanoi Wolves 22-11 in the Men's Pro category final to lift the trophy at the pedestrian area near Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hà Nội.

Ba Đình was unbeaten on their way to the top spot, defeating defending champions Dwarf in the group round.

Scorpius and Hà Nội City shared third place.

In the Pro Women category, Chicken Dunk defended their title, proving their power throughout the tournament. The reigning champion with national team player Bùi Thu Hằng in the line-up won all five matches to top the podium.

Dwarf came second, followed by Fưđô and Hà Nội City squad.

Hanoi Amigos shone brilliantly, securing both titles of the U16 and U18 classes.

In the U18s, the Amigos trounced defending champion Hà Nội 13-9 in the final. Meanwhile, their younger teammates WBA won 19-18.

Besides the main prizes for the high-ranked teams, organisers also gave the MVP award to the four best players. They also delivered bonuses to Shoot-out Contest winners.

HOC is an annual tournament jointly organised by the Hà Nội Culture and Sports Department and the city's Basketball Federation, and they expect to hold it twice per year in the near future.

It is considered a key event to develop basketball in the community. Talented players will be pushed to elite clubs and city and national teams. 

Veteran artist holds exhibition of lifestyle paintings

Veteran artist Ngô Đồng of HCM City is introducing his realistic paintings featuring the lifestyles and people of urban areas across Việt Nam.

The Hiện Thực Đa Chiều (Multidimensional Reality) exhibition displays 85 oil paintings that the artist created from 2007 to 2023.

Đồng spent years traveling across the country to find inspiration for his work.

The 69-year-old artist told local media that he loved the realistic style inspired by real life so that viewers could easily feel what he wanted to talk about through his paintings.

Đồng uses bright and vivid colours of green, yellow, and blue to portray the peaceful life in big cities, particularly in HCM City, which is featured in the works Ký Ức Về Một Quán Cà Phê (Memories of a Coffee Shop) and Bài Ca Biển Ngọc (Song of the Sea).

Meanwhile, Nữ Sinh (School girls in áo dài) and Cô Gái Bán Hủ Tiếu (A vendor selling noodle soup) dwell on the beauty and charm of Vietnamese women.

Born in the northern province of Nam Định, Đồng joined the military in 1972 and began learning art with late sculptor Đinh Rú, who was awarded prizes and medals for his contributions to the development of fine arts in Việt Nam.

He then studied at the HCM City Fine Arts University from 1975 to 1983 and was mentored by veteran painters Ca Lê Thắng and Đào Minh Tri.

He has joined many group exhibitions across Việt Nam.

In 2000, he received a silver medal at the National Fine Arts Exhibition for the painting Trong Lòng Thành Phố (In the City).

The exhibition runs until May 30 at the Fine Arts Museum of HCM City, 92A Phó Đức Chính Street in District 1. 

VN fashion designer calls for environmental protection in new collection

Leading Vietnamese fashion designer Minh Hạnh will showcase her new collection at the Cát Tiên National Park in Đồng Nai Province on May 27 to mark World Environment Day (June 5).

The collection, named “Cát Tiên – Bốn Mùa Xanh Lá” (Cát Tiên in Four Seasons), features around 25 dresses made from a wide range of flowers and plants growing in the national park such as peach blossom, Queen’s crape myrtle and golden chain flowers, along with green leaves and dried tree branches.

Cát Tiên is recognised as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO and has become a major tourism destination for night excursions. The 71,000ha park is home to about 1,500 species of animals and more than 1,600 plant species.

According to Hạnh, her collection aims to spread a message of protection of the environment, as well as contribute to promoting eco-tourism in the region.

The designer also invited Meritorious Artist and dancer Linh Nga, đàn nhị (Vietnamese two-chord fiddle) player Thùy Anh, and 20 models to perform in the show.

Hạnh is globally known for pioneering designs honouring the beauty of Vietnamese brocade fabric made by ethnic groups in the northwestern and Central Highlands regions.

Her collections have been shown at many fashion shows around the world, including in Japan, France and Italy.

She has won many international prizes, such as New Designer at Asia Collection Makuhari in Japan in 1997.

Hạnh was presented with the Knight of Arts and Literature title by the French government in 2006 for her contribution to promoting French-Vietnamese cultural co-operation, particularly in the world of fashion.

In 2016, she was presented with the prestigious Fukuoka Prize for Arts and Culture in Fukuoka, and became the second Vietnamese to receive the prize after historian Professor Phan Huy Lê in 1996. 

Activities and camps spice up summer children's vacations

Summer activities and camps are starting to boom as students prepare to end the school year and begin the summer vacation.

Nguyễn Thị Hiền, the mother of a third grader in Hà Nội's Hoàng Mai District, has been bombarded with flyers promoting summer camps for children with costs ranging from just a few million đồng to hundreds of millions.

Classes or clubs as well as summer camps are very diverse with many different themes such as English lessons, life skills, survival experiences, careers or short-term summer camps abroad for between one week and two months.

Many parents like Hiền get a headache searching for extra classes for their children.

Phan Thanh Tâm, from Thanh Xuân District, told the Voices of Việt Nam: “After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, children's outdoor activities had been greatly affected.

Tâm said she has researched for more than a month about summer programmes for her son, but still feels confused and can’t find a suitable place.

Vũ Thu Hương, a former lecturer of the Faculty of Primary Education at the Hà Nội National University of Education, said participation in summer camps is good for children, but the quality of activities may not be as advertised.

Parents need to learn carefully about the centres, their activities, safety, insurance and responsibilities when something goes wrong, she said.

In particular, a contract or commitment between two parties is necessary.

According to education expert, Dr Vũ Việt Anh, activities at summer camps can help children develop social skills that are important for future development.

Summer camps provide children with a completely new environment, allowing them to discover new things and experience things that they have never before.

Summer classes also help children improve thinking by learning how to solve problems and face new challenges.

However, not all summer classes are of benefit, he said.

HCM City public high schools to accept 70 per cent of 10th-grade students

More than 96,000 students will attend the 10th-grade entrance exam for public high schools in HCM City, but enrollment quotas of 114 public high schools in the city total only 77,294, according to the city’s Department of Education and Training.

Around 19,000 students unable to get admission to public high schools will have to enroll in private high schools, vocational education centres or centres for continuing education.

More than 109,000 ninth-grade students would graduate secondary schools this year, said Lê Hoài Nam, deputy director of the department.

More than 96,000 students registered to take the 10th-grade entrance exam for public schools and the remaining 13,000 students opted to not take the exam and seek admission to centres for continuing education, vocational training schools or study abroad, Nam said.

Only 70 per cent of graduates from secondary schools would attend public high schools in the 2023-2024 school year, he said.

The entrance exam for public schools is slated to take place from June 6-7.

Private high schools, vocational education schools and centres for continuing education will offer a total of 51,000 seats for 10th-grade students in the 2023-2024 school year.

The Ngô Thời Nhiệm high school in Thủ Đức City announced the highest enrollment quota among private high schools in the city with 1,310 seats.

Tưởng Nguyên Sự, principal of the school, said it received admission of students nationwide without taking 10th-grade entrance exam.

However, rising tuition fees at private high schools are the major concern for students who fail to enter public high schools, which offer affordable tuition fees.

Most private high schools announced an increase of VNĐ600,000-1 million (US$25-42) in monthly tuition fees.

Private high schools will receive online applications from July 3 to August 25. 

Vietnamese students win prizes at int’l science and engineering fair

A project of Vietnamese students won a third prize at the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF 2023) Grand Awards, making Vietnam one of 33 countries and territories to be honoured at the competition.

The winning project on pharmacological effects on the central nervous system of Litsea cubeba fruit and leaf essential oils based on pharmacological network in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBIO) category was developed by Nguyen Thi Mai Anh and Nguyen Binh Giang from the High School for Gifted Students of the University of Science under the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU).

Another project, a quadruped robot model used to assist search and rescue operations in landslide-affected areas by Le Minh Duc and Le Nguyen Trung Kien from Le Hong Phong High School for Gifted Students in Ho Chi Minh City earned a Special Awards presented by the US Agency for International Development.

REGENERON ISEF 2023’s organising board highly valued Vietnam's extensive promotion of scientific research and the organisation of an annual science and engineering competition for high school students, saying that these are an important foundation to gradually improve the quality of scientific research in general and projects for national and international competitions in particular.

Initiated in 1952, ISEF is the world's largest global science competition for high school students. Every year, about 1,800 high school students from 80 countries and territories around the world introduce their research results in 22 fields of the competition.

This year's competition was held in Dallas, the US, from May 14 - 19, attracting the participation of 1,600 students from 61 countries and territories with 1,302 projects. Vietnam had seven projects competing in the competition.

“Top Chef Vietnam” to hit the airwaves next month

“Top Chef Vietnam” – a reality television programme – made its debut in Ho Chi Minh City on May 22, aiming to promote Vietnamese cuisine to the world.

Co-organised by the VTV3 channel and TV Hub JSC, the show has the support of the Cuisine Culture Association and the Young Chief Association, among other units.

It is scheduled for 8:30 every Monday on the VTV3 channel, starting June 12, and expected to draw great audiences thanks to the attractiveness of local cuisine.

Le Hanh, CEO of TV Hub JSC, said “Top Chef” chronicles a competition between professional chefs, where they create world-class dishes, noting that the show has been run successfully in over 24 countries over the last 10 years.

With the participation of many talented chefs across the country, “Top Chef Vietnam” will bring Vietnamese cuisine to a new height, she said.  

Sixteen chefs will be selected for the show, where they are expected to introduce the uniqueness of Vietnamese dishes. The winner of “Top Chef Vietnam” will receive 300 million VND (12,800 USD) and a scholarship to a prestigious culinary school, and also represent Vietnam at various international competitions.
Vietnamese cuisine has continuously climbed up in the world culinary rankings. TasteAtlas, a world-famous culinary website, ranked it as the 20th in the world. In late January 2023, the US travel magazine Travel and Leisure named Vietnam as the top culinary destination in Asia in their Bucket List Places in Asia 2023, especially for street food.

Deputies discuss socioeconomic performance at NA’s fifth session

National Assembly (NA) deputies on May 22 discussed a report on supplementary assessments on outcomes of the socioeconomic development plan and State budget in 2022 and the implementation of such plan for the first months of this year, following the opening of the 15th NA’s fifth plenary session.

Delivering the report, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said that last year, 13 out of the 15 targets set for the year were completed and exceeded.

After being supplemented, the socioeconomic development results of 2022 changed positively, with GDP growth of 8.02% compared to about 8% in the original report, and CPI increase of 3.15% from about 4% in the previous report. Meanwhile, the State budget collection in the year topped 1.81 quadrillion VND (77.18 billion USD), more than 201.4 trillion VND higher than the previously reported figure, Deputy PM Khai said.

However, the number of unfinished targets was raised to two from only one as reported to the NA earlier, as the contribution of the processing-manufacturing industry in GDP reached only 24.76% compared to 25.7-25.8% in the original report, lower than the set target of 25.7-25.8, said Khai.

Clarifying major socioeconomic tasks and solutions in the time to come, he said that amid the complicated and unpredictable domestic and world situation, ministries, sectors and localities should work harder, optimising growth motivations, effectively mobilising and using all resources. They should continue to implement tasks and measures given in particular areas following resolutions and conclusions of the Party Central Committee and the Politburo as well as directions by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong during the mid-term meeting of the Party Central Committee, along with resolutions of the NA and the Government.

He highlighted 10 major groups of tasks, including maintaining the macro-economic stability, controlling inflation, promoting growth, ensuring major balances of the economy, strengthening institution building and completion, and speeding up public investment disbursement towards a target of disbursing 95% of all capital in 2023.

At the same time, Thanh also stressed the need to speed up the design and approval of planning at national regional and provincial scales as well as thematic planning. He said it is also important to address problems in public investment disbursement and the implementation of the socioeconomic recovery and development programmes as well as the three national target programmes.

Free COVID-19 vaccination continues this year: ministry

People will continue benefiting from free COVID-19 vaccinations in 2023, and funding will come from the state budget, the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund, with sponsorship from domestic and foreign organisations and individuals, along with other legal sources.

This is part of the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s recently issued plan on COVID-19 vaccine use for 2023, which aims to help localities identify their vaccine demand and build and carry out their own vaccination plans.

The MoH said Vietnam has completed the administration of primary doses to people aged 12 and over, and that in 2023, it is necessary to continue giving primary doses to those reaching the ages eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, along with booster shots.

Existing COVID-19 vaccines will be maximised, especially the ones recommended or included in the list of vaccines for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and those licensed by the MoH.

The health sector will apply the mixed use of vaccines based on research findings and the experience of Vietnam and other countries to enhance the immune response and guarantee safety, according to the plan.

The MoH will conduct vaccination for groups of people in line with WHO recommendations. Meanwhile, the administration of primary doses to children under five and other doses to those aged five and above will be guided by the MoH when there are sufficient scientific grounds and the disease situation requires.

The ministry also said in the plan that COVID-19 vaccination campaigns could also be combined with regular vaccination activities in localities.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr. Tran Dac Phu, former Director of the MoH’s Department of Preventive Medicine and senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operation Centre, said the COVID-19 situation in the country remains under control. Most new infections have shown light or no symptoms, and have not caused overload for the healthcare system.

The majority of severe cases and deaths are people with underlying health conditions, the elderly, unvaccinated persons, or those with immunodeficiency. Given this, he recommended those patients suffering from immunodeficiency, underlying health conditions, and chronic diseases get vaccinated sufficiently and on schedule as instructed by the MoH.

Phase 2 of TB control programme along Vietnam-Cambodia border begins

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has launched the second phase of its “Cross-border Tuberculosis control along the Vietnam and Cambodia border” project in partnership with Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Control Programme and National Lung Hospital and Cambodia’s National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control.

With financial aid from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the project aims to improve access to TB diagnosis and treatment for migrants in the border areas between the two countries and strengthen cross-border partnership and collaboration between health authorities in the provinces of An Giang and Tay Ninh in Vietnam and Svay Rieng and Takeo in Cambodia.

The IOM kicked off the programme in Ho Chi Minh City on May 19.

Cross-border migrants often have difficulty in accessing healthcare services due to a lack of health insurance, language barriers, limited understanding of the local healthcare system, and discrimination, according to IOM Vietnam.

This could cause delays in seeking TB diagnosis and treatment, and treatment interruption, resulting in poor treatment outcomes and drug resistant TB.

In the 2022 WHO Global TB Report, Vietnam remained one of 30 highest burden countries for the disease, and Cambodia is on a watchlist though it has been phased out of the list.

In 2020 IOM, in partnership with Vietnam’s National Tuberculosis Control Programme and Cambodia’s National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control, conducted operational research to better understand the barriers to accessing and utilising TB diagnosis and treatment faced by cross-border migrants in the four border provinces.

It provided a platform for public health officials in the two countries to develop practical interventions for collaborative TB control in border areas.

It also highlighted the current limited collaboration and partnerships.

Law, ordinance making plans for 2023, 2024 under consideration

The law and ordinance making programmes for 2023 and 2024 are among the issues to be discussed at the second working day of the 15th National Assembly (NA)’s fifth session on May 23.

In the morning, legislators will listen to the Government’s proposal and the NA Committee for Financial and Budgetary Affairs’ verification report on thrift practice and wastefulness prevention in 2022.

A draft law and ordinance making programme for 2024 and adjustments to the one for 2023 will also be submitted to and scrunitised by the parliament.

In the afternoon, the NA will listen to the Government’s proposal and the NA Committee for Financial and Budgetary Affairs’ verification report on the allocation of capital to the tasks and projects under the socio-economic recovery and development programme; the assignment and adjustment of the medium-term public investment plan using the central budget for 2021 - 2025, the allocation of the national target programmes’ investment capital sourced from the central budget for 2023; and a report on changes to the draft revised Law on Prices.

After that, legislators will look into some debatable issues on this draft revised law at the plenary sitting.

The 15th NA’s fifth session is taking place in two phases with a total duration of 22 days, with the first from May 22 to June 10, and the second from June 19 to 23.

Photo exhibition marks monk’s self-immolation

The Ho Chi Minh City Photographic Association and the Vietnam Institute of Buddhist Studies on May 22 opened a photo exhibition on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the US-backed South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem. (June 11, 1963 - June 11, 2023).

With the theme "Buddhism with peace", the weeklong exhibition displays 138 photos selected from the "Buddhism with Peace" contest which was launched from March 31 to May 15 with more than 1,200 entries from photographers across the country. 

Speaking at the event, President of the association Doan Hoai Trung said the exhibition contributes to promoting meaningful and sacred images of Buddhism as well as expressing gratitude for the great values and contributions of Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc to Vietnamese Buddhism.

The works also focus on reflecting and promoting the role of values and aspiration for peace in the spirit of Buddhism, denouncing crimes and consequences of wars, and promoting the spirit of companionship and solidarity.

Vietnam sees great opportunity to access mRNA vaccine production technology: UNDP official

Vietnam is seeing a great opportunity to access the mRNA technology for vaccine production, said Patrick Haverman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Vietnam, at a workshop held by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Health Strategy and Policy Institute (HSPI) under the Ministry of Health in Hanoi on May 22.

Haverman underlined the need for Vietnam to carefully consider the steps and timelines, the scale and sources of the required investment of funds, and the development of expertise to ensure this technology transfer's effectiveness and financial sustainability.

The collaboration among the key departments, institutes, enterprises, senior experts, and partners at the workshop will contribute to developing an effective national strategy to improve vaccine access in Vietnam and the broader region in the coming time.

The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for Vietnam and other countries in accessing vaccine supplies. In mid-2021, Vietnam had one of Southeast Asia's lowest COVID-19 vaccine coverage rates. However, through a combination of COVAX supplies, donations and procurement from international suppliers, Vietnam rapidly increased its vaccination rates in the latter half of 2021. This achievement not only saved lives but also created conditions for reopening and recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic.

The workshop aimed to disseminate the results of three studies on strengthening vaccine production and certification in Vietnam and to update on Vietnam’s participation in WHO’s mRNA technology transfer programme through the project "Support to Strengthening Vaccine Access and Health System Capacity for Vietnam's Response to COVID-19" which is funded by the Japanese Government through the UNDP.

The workshop provided a platform to share the key findings of three crucial studies conducted under this project, focusing on sharing international experiences on domestic vaccine development and production, mapping Vietnam's current vaccine production capacity, and reviewing international vaccine licensing policies and procedures, including licensing of international COVID-19 vaccines for use in Vietnam.

During the workshop, Vietnam's participation in the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) was highlighted.

A significant highlight of the workshop was the proposal of a roadmap to establish Vietnam as a regional vaccine production center. This roadmap outlined the necessary steps and actions to enhance Vietnam's capabilities in vaccine production, contributing to regional health security.

Dr. Nguyen Khanh Phuong, HSPI Vice Director, said that Vietnam has the ability to master vaccine production technology as it has previously mastered technologies such as inactivated vaccines, antitoxin vaccines, subunit vaccines.

She underlined the need for Vietnam to focus on developing highly qualified and skilled human resources for vaccine production, while building a GMP (good manufacturing practice) production facility with a scale to meet domestic and export demand, among others.

Hospitals should take heed of heat prevention for patients amid heat wave

Amid a brutal heat wave, hospitals should take heed of heat prevention for patients and their family members.

Hospitals should take heed of heat prevention for patients amid heat wave ảnh 1

Hospitals must supply drinking water for patients and their family members

The Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health yesterday sent an official dispatch to directors of hospitals across the country about heat prevention for patients and medical staff at hospitals.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Health requested hospital leaders to prepare drugs, equipment and emergency vehicles at the hospital and outpatient clinic as well as re-train medical staff in first aid skills for people suffering from heat stroke for timely emergency treatment.

Hospitals should coordinate with media units and preventive medicine centers in the area to instruct people on how to prevent heat and sudden temperature changes.

Hospitals were asked to immediately renovate their infrastructure to ensure that patients and their family members are waiting in fully-equipped rooms. Hospitals must install roofs covering the aisles between blocks and in outdoor areas with large gatherings of sick family members.

At the same time, hospitals review areas with a lot of patients such as waiting rooms, corridors and treatment departments, patient rooms, and administrative rooms as well as planning to add fans and air conditioners to departments and areas within their premises.

In particular, hospitals must ensure to provide enough free drinking water for patients and their family members in clinical departments and waiting rooms.

Hospitals with limited resources or facing difficulties should call for financial assistance from philanthropists and businesses that will provide fans, air conditioners, and drinking water to hospitals for the satisfaction of patients and medical staff.

Farmers worry about unripe durians falling from trees

Massive unripe durians felt from tree branches due to downpours right after prolonged scorching days. 

The number of fallen durians accounts for 50 percent of total fruits in many gardens, making farmers worry about their incomes.

Accordingly, Chu Se, Chu Puh, Ia Grai, Chu Prong, Duc Co and Chu Pha are localities having big areas for planting durian in Gia Lai Province. Of these, Ia Grai District has over 600 hectares of durian. At the current time, the harvest period for durians is coming, however, the fallen young fruits have happened widely.

The family of resident Nguyen The Anh in Village No.6, Ia To Commune, Ia Grai District is planting 1.5 hectares of durian trees but there were only a few fruits.

Nguyen The Anh, a resident of Ia To Commune, Ia Grai District said that the quantity of fallen fruits last year was fewer than this year. Besides, the fallen young fruit rate reached around 50 percent meanwhile the cost of supplies and fertilizers was high so the income for this harvest season is likely to decrease.

Le Trung Giang, a resident of Ia To Commune, Ia Grai District said that the weather this year is severe so the ratio of fruit is moderate. Following his observation, the harvested crop this year would gain around 40 to 50 percent over last year.

Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ia To Commune Ro Mah Klin said that the whole commune has 300 hectares of durian. During the passing time, the weather condition was severe causing fallen young durian with an average rate of around 40 percent. The commune desired that the relevant sectors would impose solutions to guide the techniques of planting durian more effectively in the upcoming time.

According to the Division of Agriculture and Rural Development of districts of Ia Grai and Chu Se, facing the fallen young fruit situation, the districts’ authorities have sent officials to the sites to make statistics of damages and find solutions to overcome the situation to limit unripe durians falling from trees.

Vietnam makes macro-economic stability a top priority

Amid global uncertainties Vietnam will continue to pursue the goal of maintaining macroeconomic stability, controlling inflation, promoting growth, and ensuring major balances of the economy, said Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai while addressing lawmakers at the ongoing session of the National Assembly in Hanoi on May 22.

Presenting a government report, Khai pointed out that the national macro economy in the first months of 2023 was stable, with inflation brought under control. Vietnam secured a GDP growth rate of 3.32% in the first quarter; the consumer price index increased by 3.84% in the first four months; and the trade surplus hit US$7.56 billion in the reviewed period.

Reputable international credit organizations have constantly had a positively outlook for the Vietnamese economy in 2023 and beyond, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecasting that the Vietnamese economy would grow by 5.8%, 6.3% and 6.5% this year respectively, said Khai.

However, the government admitted in its report that production and business activities are in difficulty, especially in the fields of industry, construction, and operations of small and medium enterprises. Vietnam’s large export markets have been shrinking due to rising inflation and economic recession. The number of newly established and returned businesses has decreased, while the number of enterprises suspending operations and filing for dissolution has increased.

To iron out the snags, the government will continue to reduce lending interest rates, ensure the liquidity of the credit institutions system, strictly control credit quality, limit bad debts, and promote cashless payments, said the Deputy PM.

In addition, he said the government will accelerate the disbursement of public investment capital, striving to raise the disbursement rate to at least 95% this year. Along with that, the government will also promote economic restructuring in association with renovating the growth model, and improving productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.

The government will continue to perfect the organizational apparatus, streamline the staffing and implement the salary reform roadmap. It will soon submit to competent authorities a roadmap for salary policy reform according to Resolution No. 27-NQ/TW of the seventh Plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee in 2018.

The 2018 Resolution stated that the new salary policy for officials, civil servants, public employees and armed forces was scheduled to take effect in July 2021. However, this policy was not materialized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At its year-end session in November 2022, the National Assembly requested the Government to submit to competent authorities a roadmap for salary policy reform in 2023.

Nguyen The Son reveals his Decade of Exposure

According to Art Vietnam Salon Gallery, this exciting and insightful exhibition portrays the energy and transformation of Hanoi into the thriving metropolis it is today, a model of change and development for all of Southeast Asia.

 Visual artist Nguyen The Son reviews his career through an exhibition titled A Decade of Exposure, opening this week at Art Vietnam Salon Gallery in Hanoi.

Son has selected eight photo-reliefs he made ten years ago and then takes the same image from the same vantage point now in 2023.

Witnessing the transformation of the landscape after ten years is an exciting revelation for the public, but especially for the photographer, as the city plunges into modernity with a speed that seems limitless in energy and creativity.

As Son explored numerous structures in the city, from old communal houses and pagodas communal dwellings, shops, and old French villas giving way to modern life and commercial activities, the artist could see how the landscape was changing to suit new tastes and lifestyles.

Delicate ironwork on windows and balustrades of old French villas give way to wide modern storefronts displaying the latest fashions and merchandise.

Wooden lanterns and gas lamps evolve into flashing neon in bright colors that flicker day and night. Private courtyards give way to the economy of space, becoming rising multi-story tenements to accommodate the influx of migrants from the countryside, eager to join the emerging economy and leave behind the rice fields and agrarian way of life.

"Here and there, we can still see glimpses of the past. A small tea shop hidden in a dark alleyway that twists and turns between the soaring towers of the apartment complexes becomes a faint reminder of the rich texture of the ancient past," said Suzanne Lecht, gallery director of Art Vietnam Salon.

Lecht stressed that Son honors the past while celebrating the new. He captures the quintessential nature of Vietnamese life, which modulates with changes on the surface but remains firm in the spirit and soul of the ancient city of Hanoi.

Based in Hanoi, Nguyen The Son is a visual artist, photographer, curator, and fine arts lecturer. He graduated from the Hanoi University of Fine Arts, the University of Languages and International Studies, and the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) with a master's degree in fine art photography and experimental art.

Son has participated in 20 solo and group exhibitions in Vietnam and the world. To connect contemporary art with public spaces in Hanoi, he presents public art on Phung Hung Street, art space in the basement of the National Assembly Building of Vietnam, and Phuc Tan public art project.

The exhibition runs until July 19 at Art Vietnam Salon Gallery, No. 2, Alley 66, Yen Lac Street, Hanoi.

It is part of the Hanoi Photo'23 Biennale. Nguyen The Son is also the curator of several exhibitions in this event.

Vietnamese heritage painting competition launched

 The opening ceremony of the painting competition entitled "Vietnamese Heritage in Fine Arts" was held on May 18, highlighting the importance of preserving cultural heritage and natural values.

Participants in the contest have a chance to win a special prize worth VND100 million or nearly US$4,400, according to the Cultural Heritage Association of Vietnam.

The contest offers 17 with a total value of VND960 million (US$40,500), including the US$4,400 grand prize.

To Van Dong, Vice President of the Cultural Heritage Association of Vietnam (CHAV), said the event organizer calls for the participation of young local artists and art lovers who can depict the beauty and value of Vietnam's heritage through artworks.

Entries to the contest could be in the painter's choice of materials and genres with the themes of tangible and intangible heritages and beautiful landscapes.

Submissions should be sent to the organizers by email to by October 30, while the results will be announced in November 2023.

The organizer will select 100 best artworks for an exhibition at the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi to celebrate Vietnam's National Heritage Day on November 23.

In addition, the winning artworks will be widely used in publications, media, and social networks at home and abroad to promote the values of Vietnam's cultural heritage as well as Vietnam's tourism.

Mass fish death on HCM City canal
There have been mass fish deaths in HCM City’s Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal following heavy rain. 

On the afternoon of May 22, lots of dead fish could be seen floating among the rubbish in the canal section running through District 3, Tan Binh, and Phu Nhuan.

According to a local man, Nguyen Van Binh, the fish started to die after heavy rain on the afternoon of May 20. Environmental workers have continued to collect the dead fish from the canal over the past two days.

“This situation usually occurs when it rains after a long-time heat wave," Binh said. "We see the problem at the beginning of the rainy season every year."

It is said that the most serious case occurred in 2016 when over 70 tonnes of fish died in this canal after heavy rains. Local authorities had to use lots of chemicals to deal with the serious pollution caused by the dead fish then. After the pollution was curbed, young fish were released into the canal.

Ca Mau needs VND5 trillion to tackle coastline erosion

The southernmost province of Ca Mau will need around a total of VND5 trillion (USD212.76 million) to consolidate dykes to deal with coastline erosion. 

Ca Mau is home to 254 kilometres of coastline. Over the past 10 years, coastal erosion has destroyed over 5,251 hectares of forest in Ca Mau.

Many dyke sections have been damaged by violent waves, threatening nearby residents and crops.

The province has invested VND1.8 trillion (USD76.59 million) into 58.4 kilometres of sea dykes in recent years.

Bui Van Dong, head of Ca Mau Dyke Management Board, said that the agency was speeding up the construction of dykes on the western coast to ensure safety during the rainy season.

According to Ca Mau People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Quoc Viet, the province would seek approval from the prime minister and concerned agencies for a VND5 trillion project to settle coastline erosion.

Complete central HCM City sleeper bus ban proposed

The HCM City Transport Department has just proposed to completely ban sleeper buses from central areas after a pilot period.  

According to the department, the 6 am to 10 pm ban running from January 10 saw traffic improve on local ring roads and inner city streets. However, some parking lots and stations have illegally operated during this time in the city centre.

Therefore, the department has just sent a proposal to the city's administration and some relevant agencies to ask for a complete ban on sleeper buses in the central areas to eliminate unlicensed buses and stations and relieve traffic congestion.

Sleeper buses will be banned in the area surrounded by National Highway 1, Nguyen Van Linh, Vo Chi Cong, Nguyen Thi Dinh, Dong Van Cong, Mai Chi Tho streets, and the Hanoi Highway.

The city's administration and some relevant agencies are expected to reply to the department's proposal before May 30.

Industry and Trade Ministry launches nationwide electricity saving movement

The Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday held a conference to launch the national electricity saving movement in 2023 under the chair of Deputy Minister Dang Hoang An.

At the conference, a leader of the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed electricity-saving urgency to reduce pressure due to electricity shortage in 2023 via solutions such as the usage of rooftop solar power and energy-efficient equipment and devices.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the world energy market has recently remained extremely vulnerable in addition to energy prices that have constantly been pushed to very high levels in combination with the impacts of climate change and the El Nino phenomenon, resulting in the prolonged drought, water shortages, sharp reduction of the water volume at nationwide hydropower reservoirs over the same period of previous years.

The problems have seriously affected the power generation capacity of hydropower plants.

Moreover, renewable electricity is also facing difficulties, the capacity and output of wind power plants have declined significantly due to poor wind conditions and the current generation capacity of only 5.6 percent of the installed capacity.

At the conference, General Director of Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Tran Dinh Nhan informed that water levels at 18 out of 47 nationwide hydropower reservoirs have dropped to “dead level”, 20 out of 47 hydropower reservoirs have recorded their capacity of under 20 percent.

In the past few months, the volume of water flowing into hydropower reservoirs measured at the lowest level in the past 100 years.

By May 21, the remaining power output in the reservoirs is only about 29 billion kWh, 1.7 billion kWh lower than this year’s plan.

Hanoi electricity officers distribute leaflets to encourage people to save electricity. Amid the current situation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed the relevant ministries and sectors, EVN and localities to strengthen propaganda on efficient electricity usage via various forms.

The General Director of Electricity of Vietnam also called on all power-using units and households to respond to the power-saving movement.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes