Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on May 21 issued a directive requesting the improvement of occupational hygiene and safety, given the recent occurrence of consecutive serious accidents.

The directive said these dreadful accidents have resulted in fatalities and injuries, affecting production, socio-economic development and causing psychological instability among workers.

In the document, the PM instructs the Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to enhance the management and conduct regular inspections and audits, particularly at key construction projects and high risk areas at enterprises using machinery and equipment.

Media agencies are urged to intensify communications efforts, raise awareness on the matter among employers and employees, publicly disclose violations, good examples, and valuable experiences and lessons learned nationwide.

Chairpersons of People's Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities are asked to heighten their sense of responsibility in ensuring occupational hygiene and safety and consider the work as a long-term and important task in local socio-economic development and human security. Enterprises should be incentivised to proactively invest in and implement effective prevention measures, while successful models should be multiplied and violations must be strictly tackled, the PM noted./. 

Vietnamese Deputy PM to attend Future of Asia Forum 2024 in Japan

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai will attend the 29th Future of Asia Forum in Tokyo, Japan, and pay a visit to Japan from May 22-25.

At the forum, Khai is scheduled to deliver a speech and meet leaders of countries attending the event. He is expected to deliver a message of a dynamically developing Vietnam that is determined to innovate and deeply integrate internationally, while consistently implementing Party guidelines on national development and foreign affairs, with a focus on promoting green growth, digital transformation, and sustainable development, as well as welcoming international investors.

His working trip is also to concretize the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia and the world that the two countries have recently established.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu said that Khai’s visit takes place in the context of Vietnam - Japan relations developing very well, especially after the two countries upgraded their relationship to a level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership late last year.

According to the diplomat, bilateral relations have developed positively and comprehensively with high political trust, in all fields, including economy, trade, investment, defense - security, culture-education, and people-to-people exchange. Both countries have much potential for stronger cooperation as the two economies can complement each other for mutual development.

Future of Asia is an international gathering where political, economic, and academic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region offer their opinions frankly and freely on regional issues and the role of Asia in the world. Held by Nikkei every year since 1995, it is considered to be one of the most important global conferences in Asia.

Vietnam first attended the 15th Future of Asia Forum in 2009 and it has continuously sent high-level delegations to attend this annual event until now.

Art programme, charity activities to be held to mark Vu Lan festival

An art programme will be held at the Hanoi Opera House in August together with social welfare activities in the northern province of Dien Bien in celebration of the Vu Lan festival – a Buddhist tradition and a cultural activity aimed at honouring and showing gratitude to parents and ancestors.

The event organisers - the communication board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and Sen Cong Joint Stock Company – announced the plan at a press conference held in Hanoi on May 21.

Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Gia Quang, who is also head of the communication board, said that the art programme will be the 8th of its kind held over the last ten years.

In July, a pilgrimage "following the footsteps of Dien Bien soldiers" will be held, taking participants to visit the graves of soldiers who joined the Dien Bien Phu battlefield 70 years ago and offer incense to commemorate the heroic martyrs.

Within the framework of the programme, financial support will be given to Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, and elderly people who live alone or in disadvantaged situations.

The programme will fund about 450 million VND to build a canteen with a capacity of 160 students at Nam Ty primary school in Hua Thanh commune in Dien Bien district, Dien Bien province.

Vu Lan festival is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar.

The origin of the festival is explained by the legend of Maudgalyayana (known as Muc Kien Lien in Vietnam), a chief disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha, who was unable to alleviate the suffering of his mother in the realm of hungry ghosts.

He was told that the only way to deliver his mother from the pains of suffering is to rely upon the strength of monastics of all directions in their cultivation of meritorious virtues.

The merits could liberate the deceased from the three suffering realms and allow them to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune, and longevity. Therefore, by observing the practice, all Buddhists can deliver their parents from the miseries of the three suffering realms.

From this, many Buddhist countries have developed their custom of offering food, clothing, and other items to hungry spirits in the seventh lunar month.

This festival has been widely celebrated in Vietnam to express respect, love, and honour towards parents./.

Phu Tho hospital to receive support to improve cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills

The Hanoi-based Institute of Medical Technology Application (IMT) and the Hung Vuong General Hospital in the northern province of Phu Tho on May 21 signed a cooperation agreement to improve the hospital’s capacity for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Under the agreement, the IMT will provide the hospital with two international-standard CPR training models, an AED Trainer 302 machine (automatic defibrillator used in training) and 1,000 online first aid learning accounts for the hospital’s customers, aiming to improve first aid skills for cardiac arrest in the community.

The agreement is part of a project that aims to provide CPR training for 1 million people in Vietnam.

The project not only helps equip people with the necessary knowledge and skills but also contributes to raising the community awareness about the importance of first aid in emergency health situations. This is an important step forward in reducing the death rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, opening up opportunities for many people to access and learn these important life-saving skills.

According to a study conducted at four major hospitals in Hanoi on 297 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the death rate was up to 96.2%, of these, 85.2% of the cases were witnessed by relatives, but only 8.7% of the victims received CPR and no victim accessed AED.

At the signing ceremony, delegates also exchanged and discussed issues relating to first aid skills for cardiac arrest./.

Charitable operation brings light to poor people in Thua Thien – Hue

40 impoverished people in the central province of Thue Thien – Hue have received free cataract surgeries under a charitable programme organised by the Hue Eye Hospital, in collaboration with the Asia - Pacific Prevention of Blindness Association (APBA), the provincial support Association for Poor Patients, and the Nam Dong district medical centre.

According to Dr. Pham Minh Truong from the hospital, this is the second free surgery campaign conducted in 2024 by its 25-member team which have helped more than 100 impoverished people from mountainous areas regain their sight, including many elderly people who had been blind for decades.

In this programme, supported by CEO at APBA Prof. Dr. Hattori Tadashi, 250 patients were screened, with nearly 80 cases recommended for surgery. Besides the 40 patients receiving on-site surgeries, the remaining ones will be provided with free surgeries in the coming time.

Through this charitable surgery campaign, foreign experts also transfer the latest eye surgery techniques to the Hue Eye Hospital’s staff, contributing to improving the quality of ophthalmic treatment in the locality.

Ambassador underscores Vietnam’s attendance at Future of Asia in Japan

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai’s attendance and address at the 29th International Conference on the Future of Asia (FOA) in Tokyo will again underscore Vietnam's image as a reliable partner and an active, responsible member of ASEAN, the region and the world, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu.

In an interview recently granted to the Vietnam News Agency, Hieu underlined the significance of the Deputy PM’s visit to Japan from May 22-25. The FOA, organised by Japan’s Nikkei Group since 1995, is a vital and reputable annual dialogue platform that addresses common regional and global issues. It attracts high-ranking leaders, scholars, representatives of the media and major corporations across Asia.

The Vietnamese delegation’s presence at the event will reaffirm the Government’s commitment to maintaining a pro-business environment, ensuring that Vietnam remains a safe destination for corporations amid global uncertainties, aligning with the conference's theme this year, he said.

According to him, the working trip coincides with a period of the growing Vietnam-Japan ties, especially after their celebrations of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023 and upgrade of their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia and the World. It is also the first trip by a Vietnamese Government leader to Japan under the new relationship framework, demonstrating Vietnam's support for Japan's initiatives.

Vietnam has attended the FOA since its 15th edition in 2009, consistently sending high-level delegations. This engagement allows Vietnam to stay abreast of new development trends, seek solutions to common challenges, and build a solid foundation for the future.

Reflecting on the over 50 years of the Vietnam-Japan ties, the diplomat highlighted the strong bilateral cooperation in various fields, including economy, trade, investment, national defence-security, culture-education, agriculture, health care, labour, people-to-people and locality-to-locality exchanges. He noted that there is ample room to enhance bilateral collaboration based on mutual trust and complementary strengths.

To further strengthen ties, Hieu suggested fostering reliable political relations through high-level visits and meetings. He also called for leveraging the complementary strengths of the two economies, enhancing economic linkages, and maintaining Japan as Vietnam's leading partner in official development assistance (ODA), investment, and trade.

He expressed hope that Japan would continue providing Vietnam with new-generation ODA in strategic and transportation infrastructure, digital transformation, climate change response, and health care, facilitating the Vietnamese firms' integration into Japan's supply chain.

Joint efforts in potential fields such as digital transformation, digital economy, digital society and green transition should also be a focus, he added.

Vietnam Culture Week underway in Cambodia

The 19th Vietnam Culture Week in Cambodia is taking place from May 20-25, with the official opening ceremony held in Phnom Penh on May 21 evening.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong said that during this week, Vietnam wishes to introduce to the Cambodian people and international friends the beauty of Vietnamese culture through traditional music and dance performances, including some art forms listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Dong expressed his belief that along with cultural exchange activities in recent times, the 2024 Vietnam Culture Week in Cambodia will continue to be an important milestone in strengthening bilateral solidarity, friendship, and mutual understanding, thus contributing to consolidating, enhancing and further developing the good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and long-term sustainability between the two countries.

Affirming the significance of the programme, Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona said that the culture ministries and relevant agencies of the two countries have been working to promote cooperation in various fields such as exchanging practical experiences, supporting each other in participating in international mechanisms and forums and in cultural heritage collaboration, and research and training of human resources for the cultural sector.

She proposed the two sides exchange experiences in cultural industry - a field with both economic and social potential in the bilateral cooperation, affirming that her ministry will continue supporting and stepping up the organisation of joint activities, considering these as model events for both countries to implement in cooperation with other countries to introduce each other's culture, arts and people.

On May 24, an art programme in the framework of the week will be held in Banteay Meanchey province./.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau reinforces multifaceted ties with Japanese city

Vung Tau is delighted to promote economic partnerships with Izumiotsu city of Japan’s Osaka prefecture and expand bilateral ties to other fields, an official of the southern Vietnamese province said on May 21.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Cong Vinh and other local officials had a meeting with a visiting delegation of Izumiotsu city led by Mayor Minamide Kenichi.

He said Ba Ria - Vung Tau is housing over 40 FDI projects of Japan with registered capital totalling about 3.1 billion USD, making the Northeast Asian country the fifth largest foreign investor in the province. The projects focus on steel, industrial glass, rare chemical, packaging and apparel production, and seaport.

In 2014, the province established a Japan Desk to update Japanese enterprises about local potential, advantages, as well as investment and business procedures and assist them with other issues.

Vinh went on to say that since a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation was signed in 2014, Izumiotsu and Ba Ria - Vung Tau have carried out various exchanges and cooperation activities. Information sharing was sustained even during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2022.

Thanks to support from Izumiotsu, Ba Ria - Vung Tau has made strong progress in attracting Japanese investment. Its connectivity with Japanese firms and investors has also been strongly fostered.

The province is very delighted to press on with economic ties with the Japanese city on the basis of the 2014 MoU and expand collaboration to other fields, especially agriculture, education, human resources development, cultural exchange, health care, and emergency response, he said.

The vice chairman expressed his belief that coming cooperation activities will help enhance mutual understanding and generate common prosperity, thus contributing to the Vietnam - Japan comprehensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia and the world.

For his part, Minamide perceived that the two localities have built intensive relations in many areas such as investment, human resources development, education, and seaport, and reaped positive results.

The mayor said he hopes that this year, they will keep working together in existing areas and strengthen partnerships between their administrations and enterprises.

In September, Izumiotsu will hold a programme to introduce agricultural products of Ba Ria - Vung Tau to its residents so as to create a prerequisite for boosting the export of farm produce, a strength of the Vietnamese province, to the Japanese market, he added.

Indian founder of Infosys visits FPT's headquarters

The visit of Narayana Murthy, often referred to as 'India's Bill Gates', is seen as an indication of the strengthening of the relationship between Indian and Vietnamese IT businesses, stated FPT in a press release.

"As the founder of Infosys, one of the top three IT service companies in the world, Murthy brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in business, management and building corporate culture," it wrote.

During his four-day visit to Vietnam (May 19-23), Murthy shared practical experiences and inspirational stories with managers, experts and leaders in the Vietnamese IT industry. He discussed topics, including promoting innovation in businesses, the development of new technology trends and the opportunities available for the Vietnamese IT industry.

Murthy also recognised Vietnam's emergence as a global technology destination, attributing it to the country's commitment and investment in the IT sector.

He praised the qualities of the Vietnamese people, including their courage, hard work, discipline, creativity and ambition. He expressed his belief that Vietnam has the potential to become one of Asia's leading developed countries and one of the fastest-growing nations in the world. With a rising GDP and the determination of its people, Vietnam is expected to bring prosperity to its citizens faster than many other countries.

Murthy highlighted the role of companies like FPT in realising Vietnam's national potential. FPT, under the leadership of Truong Gia Binh, aims to achieve significant milestones in IT service revenue from foreign markets. He expressed confidence in FPT's ability to contribute significantly to Vietnam's future growth and emphasised the company's importance in Vietnam's development.

Binh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FPT, acknowledged the inspiration and influence of India and Infosys on FPT and Vietnam. He explained that 24 years ago, FPT looked to India and Murthy for inspiration on how to transform Vietnam into a software super power. FPT's decision to venture into the global market for software exports was influenced by the belief that Vietnam that it could develop and export software to the world. Over the years, FPT has played a pivotal role in rallying domestic software companies and promoting Vietnamese intelligence abroad, contributing to national prosperity.

The Software and IT Services Association (VINASA), formerly the Vietnam Software Business Association, was established in 2002 with the aim of promoting the global presence of the Vietnamese software and IT services industry.

Vietnam has made significant progress in narrowing the gap with India's software industry powerhouse, achieving more than ten times the revenue in the span of 20 years. VINASA's ambitious goals include reaching US$50 billion in revenue by 2030 and US$150 billion by 2045, further establishing Vietnam as a prominent player in the global IT industry.

Murthy's visit to Vietnam, along with his engagement with the Vietnamese IT community and government leaders, serves to strengthen the cooperative relationship between Indian and Vietnamese IT businesses.

His insights and experiences contribute to the growth and development of the Vietnamese IT industry, while also highlighting Vietnam's potential as a technology destination and a rapidly emerging economy.

Guangxi’s tourism potential introduced to Vietnamese travelers

A programme has been held in Hanoi to introduce the rich and diverse culture and tourism potential of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to Vietnamese travelers.
Addressing the event, Ha Van Sieu, deputy director of the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT), emphasised that blessed with magnificent natural landscapes, long-standing cultural heritages, and unique cuisine, Guangxi represents an ideal destination for Vietnamese tourists who are keen to explore cultural diversity.

Both sides are required to create the most optimal conditions possible for travel firms to ramp up co-operation and the exchange of tourists in order to explore their natural landscapes, Sieu noted.

He expressed his belief that the event provides an ideal opportunity for Vietnamese tourism businesses to gain greater insights into Guangxi's tourism unique products and services, thereby working alongside the Chinese locality’s partners to design tour products for local holidaymakers.

The VNAT has committed to continuing stepping up linkages and cultural tourism exchanges between Vietnamese localities and Guangxi province in order to accelerate sustainable development for the tourism industry in the future, he added.

Last year witnessed Vietnam  welcome over 1.7 million Chinese visitors, enjoying a recovery rate of 30% compared to 2019 in the period before the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the opening four months of 2024, Vietnam received nearly 1.25 million Chinese visitors, with a recovery rate of 73% compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

Quy Nhon fishing boats to be relocated

The southern central province of Binh Dinh's Quy Nhon City fishing boats will be relocated to Phu Cat District to prioritise tourism development.

According to the Binh Dinh Province People's Committee plan released on May 21, all fishing boats at Quy Nhon Fishing Port, Phan Chu Trinh Wharf and Bac Ha Thanh areas will be relocated to De Gi Fishing Port in Phu Cat District by 2025.

Around 602 fishing boats in Quy Nhon City will be relocated.

Binh Dinh will upgrade and expand De Gi Fishing Port to four hectares, including constructing a 300-metre-long pier and fish sorting facilities. The province will call for investment in fisheries-related services at the port.

The province will build a resettlement area for affected fishermen at Vinh Loi.

According to Binh Dinh People's Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Tuan Thanh, the province has recently witnessed strong tourism development, particularly in Quy Nhon City. Therefore, moving fishing boats out of Quy Nhon was necessary to provide space for tourism development.

Software to monitor forest protection tasks proves effective

By using proper software, forest management boards have been able to track the performance and progress of their staff in forest protection tasks.

Le Trong Hao, an employee in Bargook Forest Protection Station (Chu Mom Ray National Park in Sa Son Commune of Sa Thay District in Kon Tum Province), shared that he usually travels 10km per day fulfilling his work duty. This has been recorded via an app installed on his smartphone.

“The smart device with this app is mandatory to us when patrolling the assigned forest area. It is quite user-friendly and is excellent evidence of what we have done”, said Hao. For the past two years using this app, at peak time, he did travel 300km for his duty compared with the normal requirement of 150km to be classified as ‘Job done’.

Head of Bargook Forest Protection Station Le Van Nghia informed that the six members in his station often cover a distance of 240 – 360km per month to perform their duty. This app prevents them from making false reports for others or asking their colleagues to patrol on their behalf. The patrol results are one criterion for performance evaluation.

Director Dao Xuan Thuy of Chu Mom Ray National Park said that this useful app has been in use since 2022. To better suit the real situation, the app had its data adjusted so that it can record images at the end of each patrol route as proof.

The evasion of duty has clearly reduced thanks to the implementation of this app, making performance evaluations more honest and objective.

More importantly, the images taken by forest rangers at different locations in the assigned forest areas help the forest managers have a more exact view of the current forest ecosystem status in order to adopt suitable management measures for more effective forest protection.

Director Thuy added that besides the app, his organization has used drones and camera trapping technologies on mini-cameras installed in different locations for forest control at a high altitude. Thanks to these advanced technologies, even with a shortage of human resources, for the past four years, there have been no cases of violating forestry laws or wildfires, which greatly contributes to maintaining the greenness of the forests.

Hanoi to pilot waste segregation in June

Starting in June, 23 wards in Hanoi will pilot a program to sort waste into four categories and the model is expected to be applied citywide by 2026.

According to the Hanoi Urban Environment Company (URENCO), the districts of Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, Dong Da, and Nam Tu Liem will pilot waste separation at the source. Specifically, Pham Dinh Ho Ward in Hai Ba Trung District, Nguyen Trung Truc Ward in Ba Dinh District, Phu Do and Cau Dien wards in Nam Tu Liem District, and Nam Dong Ward in Dong Da District will participate. Hoan Kiem District, which already has a foundation for waste separation, will implement the pilot in all 18 wards.

The first phase of the pilot will run through the first quarter of 2025. The districts will then review and adjust the approach for the second phase, which will go on for the rest of 2025. The pilot aims to gather data and practical experience for the Project on Classifying, Collecting, Transporting, and Treating Household Solid Waste at  Source in Hanoi, which will be submitted to the Hanoi People's Committee for approval in 2025.

This will lay the groundwork for citywide waste separation in 2026.

In Pham Dinh Ho Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, waste will be divided into four categories: recyclable waste, bulky waste, hazardous waste, and residual household waste (including food waste). The district has conducted awareness campaigns and training for ward officials and has prepared the necessary infrastructure and standardized collection equipment, such as specific types of storage bags.

For recyclable waste from households and small businesses—such as paper, books, plastic cups, and bottles—the ward will set up collection points with fixed collection times twice a week. Initially, residents will use transparent storage bags of their choice, with an official bag design to be issued later for measuring waste volume.

Bulky waste, such as wardrobes, tables, chairs, and sofas, can be dropped off at a designated location every Saturday between 7am and 11am. Households with large quantities of such waste can call a hotline to arrange for it to be collected separately.

Hazardous waste, including light bulbs, batteries, thermometers, and oil containers, will be collected at a specified site and must not be mixed with any other type of waste. All other waste, including food waste, will be collected directly and placed in bins according to the current schedule.

Under the Environmental Protection Law of 2020, waste sorting at source will be mandatory nationwide by December 31, 2024. Environmental workers will refuse to collect unsorted waste. Households and individuals who fail to sort their waste or use the prescribed containers will be fined between VND500,000 and VND1 million (US$20-US$40).

Hanoi generates about 7,000 tons of household waste daily, the second highest in the country after Ho Chi Minh City. Since 2005, some wards in Hanoi have piloted waste sorting, but these efforts have not been sustainable due to inconsistent collection infrastructure and legal systems.

Proposals could include imposing urban traffic fees in the draft Law on Roads

National Assembly deputies discussed various aspects of the draft Law on Roads, including the possibility of imposing fees on personal cars entering city areas during specific times, during a plenary session on Tuesday morning as part of the 15th legislature’s seventh sitting.

Twenty-three deputies participated in the discussion, offering suggestions on several pressing issues of the draft Law on Roads. The draft law contained 86 articles, six fewer than the version submitted by the Government and has undergone revisions on 82 articles and the removal of seven articles.

Deputy Nguyễn Phương Thủy from Hà Nội said that collecting fees could curb the excessive growth of personal vehicle use and help reduce traffic congestion in urban areas. It could also provide supplementary revenue for the State budget and could be used to pay for better road infrastructure and support public transport systems in cities.

The five centrally governed cities have been the authority to impose driving charges not previously defined by law. Both Hà Nội and HCM City have developed plans for urban traffic and possible congestion fees, however because the legal implications may be unclear, the implementation has been cautious.

According to Thủy, if the draft law officially includes this type of fee and delegates the authority to provincial People's Councils, defining where they might be applied and how much motorists might pay, the implementation in localities would be much more feasible.

Deputy Nguyễn Thị Huế from the northern mountainous province of Bắc Kạn suggested adding the act of illegally setting up toll stations to the list of crimes.

She explained that there have been numerous instances where individuals have arbitrarily set up toll stations, especially during road blockages caused by landslides.

Huế cited the Government’s Decree 100/2019 on penalties for administrative violations in the road and railway traffic, which includes provisions against constructing or establishing toll stations without the consent of State management agencies.

In terms of land allocations, Deputy Hà Phước Thắng from HCM City noted that the demand for parking in the city is exceptionally high. So he asked whether spaces under road bridges, which are currently unused due to regulatory constraints, could not be used.

A review of the 2008 Road Traffic Law and related decrees revealed that there are no provisions for the exploitation and use of spaces under road bridges and viaducts.

Therefore, the deputy recommended that these regulations be included in the draft which would then provide a legal framework for proper management and use.

Thắng also proposed that the provincial people's committees should have the authority to decide on the use of spaces under road bridges and viaducts managed and maintained by local authorities, which could then be used as parking lots or to store road maintenance equipment.

This should not compromise the structural safety of bridges and roads, he added, and needed to ensure fire and explosion preventions and maintain traffic order and safety.

Meanwhile, Deputy Nguyễn Văn Cảnh from the central province of Bình Định said he was focused on Article 10, which addresses road classifications.

He noted that high-speed roads differ from expressways in that they may lack central reservations and emergency lanes and have traffic patterns similar to national highways. High-speed roads also differ from national highways in that they do not have residential areas on either side.

Cảnh proposed that the NA consider adding high-speed roads to the draft law to ensure comprehensive coverage of all road types.

Deputy Huỳnh Thị Phúc from the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu pointed out the lack of regulations concerning decommissioned toll stations.

These abandoned toll stations cause traffic disruptions and inconvenience for commuters and in spite of numerous complaints from voters, the situation remains unchanged. He told the Assembly that there have been accidents around the abandoned toll booths due to the lack of regulations and people and commuters had been injured by falling debris.

Phúc recommended that the current draft law should include provisions mandating the dismantling and restoration of decommissioned toll stations to ensure traffic safety in the future. 

Vietnam acts early to better disaster management

The National Week for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control in 2024 is taking place across Vietnam from May 17-22 under the theme of “Anticipatory action – a proactive approach to disaster management”, with an aim to raise the community’s capacity and the responsibility of all levels and sectors in this work.

As of the end of April, natural disasters had caused 12 people dead or missing, injured 21 others, pulled down 189 houses and damaged over 25,300 others.

To date, four southern provinces of Tien Giang, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, and Long An have announced emergency situations due to drought.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep, who is also deputy head of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said that early action to strengthen resilience is a topic launched and oriented by the United Nations over the past years to raise awareness of countries on warning, forecasting, and preparation to respond to natural disasters.

The UN’s policies and strategies have been responded to and actively implemented by Vietnam in many activities in different fields at both central and local levels.

Therefore, localities need to have a concerted solution to implement the “three pillars” of early action of improving information, planning and implementing early action, and arranging available financial resources, Hiep said, stressing the importance of ensuring more accurate warnings and forecasts, and promptly providing them to vulnerable groups.

Pauline Tamesis, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, stressed the necessity to strengthen cooperation in the Natural Disaster Mitigation Partnership (NDMP) by creating effective communication and cooperation channels among NDMP members, ministries, sectors, localities, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations, thereby building a comprehensive approach to disaster management.

Joining hands to act early on a large scale is possible and effective against natural disasters, helping people receive support more early and quickly with costs reduced by half compared to the response phase, she said./.

Cause found in food poisoning case that hospitalised over 400 people in Vĩnh Phúc

The bacteria Bacillus cereus was detected in the food samples found to be the primary cause in the food poisoning case at Shinwon Ebenezer Vietnam Co., Ltd. that saw over 400 people taken to hospital in Vĩnh Phúc in April.

Lê Hồng Trung, Director of the Vĩnh Phúc Department of Health revealed the cause of the mass food poisoning incident at the National Conference on Strengthening Food Safety and Preventing Food Poisoning on Tuesday, adding that all of those hospitalised have now been discharged.

The mass food poisoning incident happened at around 3.30pm on April 15, after workers had their lunch. They started to vomit, suffer from abdominal pain and headaches and 438 of them were rushed to medical facilities in Vĩnh Yên City. The workers reported that their lunch consisted of stir-fried turkey with lemongrass and chili, stir-fried cauliflower, pickled vegetables and bean sprout soup.

"Bacillus cereus bacteria were detected in the food samples, identified as one of the main causes of food poisoning," Trung said. "This result was compiled from samples tested, including food ingredients, water sources, environment and patient waste. This bacterium produces two main toxins that cause vomiting and diarrhoea, which aligns with the symptoms exhibited by the food poisoning victims." 

Trung said the food item which had caused the sickness was the sour soup with bean sprouts, which included ingredients like tamarind, spring onions and coriander. The investigation revealed that on that particular day, there was a shortage of six kilograms of bean sprouts during the menu preparation and so kitchen staff had bought additional supplies from Vĩnh Yên Market.

Although the vegetable supplier for the kitchen met food safety standards, the additional vegetables bought from the market did not go through the supplier. Provincial authorities are continuing to investigate to clarify further details.

Nguyễn Thanh Phong, Director of the MoH's Food Safety Department pointed out that although many food shops do possess a Certificate of Food Safety, ingredients can be sourced from anywhere in the market and can lack clear origins and are unregulated.

"Hence, regular inspections and sample storage must be conducted to prevent food poisoning incidents," said Phong.

Permanent Deputy Minister of Health Đỗ Xuân Tuyên praised Vĩnh Phúc Province's quick response to the poisoning incident, which ensured that all patients were discharged without any fatalities.

Tuyên also stressed the importance of tracing the exact cause, from food supply to processing and consumption and the need to impose severe penalties on organisations or individuals violating food safety regulations. 

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