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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MAY 24

COVID-19: 96 new cases, 73 recoveries

Vietnam recorded 96 more COVID-19 infections over the past six hours to 6:00pm on May 24, including one imported case, according to the Health Ministry.

The 95 new domestic infections comprise 44 in Bac Giang, 31 in Bac Ninh, 13 in Hanoi, six in Lang Son, and one in Ho Chi Minh City.

The new infections brought the national tally to 5,424, including 3,918 domestically-transmitted cases.

On May 24, 73 patients were given the all-clear from the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, raising the total number of recoveries to 2,794. The death toll is now 44.

Among active patients, 70 tested negative to coronavirus once, 41 twice, and 69 thrice.

As the pandemic has become more complicated, people are advised to strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration)./.

Hanoi set to open 90-100 new bus routes

The capital city of Hanoi has planned to introduce 90-100 new bus routes in the years to come to meet 16-18% of the passenger travel demand by 2025 and 25% by 2030. Of them, 10 new bus routes will serve students and workers.

Moreover, the city will expand bus services to more areas where the daily travel demand remains high and infrastructure facilities meet requirements to offer public transport services, reported Bnews.

As a main provider of public transport services in the city, the Hanoi Transport Corporation (Transerco) has over the years implemented many programs and projects to open more bus routes and enhance the connectivity between urban and suburban areas and improve public transport services.

During the 2016-2019 period, Transerco opened 33 new bus routes and expanded 15 of the existing bus lines. Some of them linked the city center with the Noi Bai International Airport and the bus rapid transit system. The services were also offered further to many outlying districts of the city.

In the upcoming period, Transerco will continue to work on plans to adjust and open bus routes to localities where bus services are not available and submit them to the municipal government and the relevant agencies for approval.

HCMC-Moc Bai expressway project costs an additional VND2.3 trillion

The total investment in the HCMC-Moc Bai expressway project, linking HCMC and neighboring Tay Ninh Province, has been estimated to increase by nearly VND2.3 trillion due to a higher site clearance cost.

According to the HCMC Department of Transport’s report on the execution of the project sent to the municipal government on May 18, the prefeasibility study for the project has been completed, news site VnExpress reported.

Accordingly, the investment for the project was estimated at VND15.9 trillion, up some VND2.3 trillion over the figure in the previous estimation and VND5.2 trillion versus the figure announced in 2019.

The investment hike was attributed to an increase in the cost of the site clearance work for the project and compensation for the affected households. The cost has increased from VND5.1 trillion to over VND7.4 trillion, including over VND5.9 trillion for the section in HCMC and the remaining for the section in Tay Ninh.

The project will be submitted to the HCMC People’s Council for approval at its sitting in July.

The HCMC-Moc Bai expressway project was designed to have a total length of 53 kilometers, starting at Ring Road No. 3 in HCMC’s Cu Chi District and ending at the Tay Ninh’s Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone.

In October last year, the Government allowed the HCMC government to take charge of the project, which will be executed under the public private partnership format with a build-operate-transfer contract.

The road, which will have four lanes in the first phase, is expected to be opened to traffic in 2025. The capital poured into the project is expected to be recovered 23 years and eight months after the project is put into use.

Once in place, the expressway will help improve the traffic system in the southern key economic zone, increase the capacity of a road connecting HCMC and Cambodia and ease traffic on National Highway 22.

Vietnam records 43rd death related to COVID-19

The patient was hospitalised at the General Hospital of northern Hai Duong province and his blood culture was identified as positive to multi-drug resistant Ochrobactrum anthropic bacteria. He was subsequently given a five-day course of antibiotics but it failed to alleviate the infection.

He was transferred to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi on April 25, where he was diagnosed with sepsis and cirrhosis ascites. On May 5, he was confirmed positive to coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

As conditions became worse, he died on May 23 night due to septic shock, multi-organ failure, sepsis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and SARS-CoV-2 infection with underlying condition noted as ascites in liver cirrhosis.

This has been the eighth death in the fourth wave of COVID-19 hitting Vietnam since April 27 with a few clusters detected in the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the National Cancer Hospital in Hanoi./.

Scented books for kids make debut

The first two in a set of scented books developed by Dinh Ti Trading And Culture Service Company Limited and Youth Publishing House have made their debut, one with the fragrance of flowers and the other with that of various kinds of fruits.

The books include short stories and colourful pictures on species of flowers and fruits. By rubbing his/her fingers on the pictures, readers can enjoy the sweet fragrance.

All the scents used are tested and certified as safe for readers. The scents can be faded away after six months to two years, depending on the frequency of use.

In addition, children can also learn English words of these flowers and fruits by using QR codes on smartphones./.

63.4 percent of Vietnamese communes meet new-style rural criteria

A total of 5,248 out of Vietnam’s 8,267 communes, or 63.4 percent, fulfilled the criteria set for new-style rural areas as of the end of April, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The rate is expected to reach 65 percent at the end of June.

Also by the end of April, 305 and 24 communes nationwide were recognised as advanced and model new-style rural ones, respectively. Meanwhile, 12 provinces and cities have seen all of its communes meet the criteria.

The national target programme on building new-styled rural areas was initiated by the Government in 2010 with the aim of developing rural regions. The list of criteria includes the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacity, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural values.

Advanced and model new-style rural status have higher requirements./.

General elections constitute a comprehensive success: Minister

The elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly (NA) and People's Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure was a comprehensive success as it took place democratically and in line with legal regulations, said Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) late on May 23 after the elections were completed, Tra said this political event really became a festival of the entire people.

Tra, who is also a member of the National Election Council (NEC), emphasised that security, order and safety were guaranteed for the elections.

According to the minister, the high turnout rate of voters nationwide, even in COVID-19 pandemic-hit areas, showed the people's faith in the regime, the Party and the State in building a socialist rule-of-law state.

Tra said in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, localities and relevant units have made all efforts to disseminate information about the elections and mobilise voters to participate in the event.

The entire political system has focused on leading, directing and organising the elections, along with the positive response, consensus and unity of the people, she noted.

Local election organising agencies created the most favourable conditions for people to exercise their citizenship rights and obligations, thus promoting democracy, she said.

For voters, they still well performed their citizen rights and duty even in the context of extremely complex developments of the pandemic, Tra added.

Preliminary reports show that 95.65 percent of voters nationwide went to the polls by 17:30 on May 23 to elect deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 term.

More than 69 million people across the country voted to elect 500 deputies to the 15th NA among 866 candidates.

Meanwhile, 3,726 deputies were expected to be selected among 6,199 candidates to provincial-level People’s Councils, 22,952 deputies to district-level People’s Councils among 37,468 candidates, and 242,312 deputies to communal-level People’s Councils among 405,244 candidates./.

Vietnam adds 56 domestic cases to COVID-19 tally

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The number of domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases in Vietnam has risen to 3,790 cases, with 56 patients confirmed in the past 12 hours to 6am on May 24, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of the new cases, 33 were recorded in Bac Giang province, eight in Hanoi, seven in Bac Ninh, five in Lang Son, two in Dien Bien and one in Hai Duong.

Meanwhile, Yen Bai, Quang Ngai, Dong Nai, Nghe An, Quang Ninh, and Quang Nam provinces went through 14 straight days without any new infections.

The country has recorded 1,485 imported cases so far.

As many as 2,220 domestic cases have been logged since the nation was hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave on April 27.

According to a report from the ministry’s Medical Examination Administration, the country has seen 2,721 recoveries and 42 deaths related to the disease.

Among active patients undergoing treatment, 56 tested negative to coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, 31 twice, and 31 thrice.

A total of 173,440 people who came in close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide, including 4,356 in hospitals, 36,126 in other quarantine sites, and 132,958 at their places of residence.

Since the pandemic has become more complicated, people are advised to strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration)./.

Stuffed toys cheer up bus passengers

Passengers on a public bus in HCM City have reacted favourably to dozens of stuffed toys on the vehicle.
Bus conductor Pham Van Sang, 49, works on a 146 route bus. Sang said he and the driver, Pham Ngoc Tuyen, have decorated the bus with stuffed toys for over a year and now they have had over 100 toys. The toys are decorated mostly around the driver seats and hung along the passenger grab bars.

"Mien Dong Bus Station used to have four toy claw machines. I used to play and gave the toys to my children, nieces and nephew. One day I hung the toys along with the handlebars and the passengers were very interested. That's when I got the idea to decorate the bus with toys," Sang said.

Sang used to spend VND20,000 to VND30,000 on the claw machine and gradually filled up the bus with toys. Sang said he hoped the toys would cheer people up. After a year, the toys have gained favour from many passengers, especially young children.

"They are really well-behaved. No one makes the toys dirty or asks to take them home," Sang said. "One day, I noticed that a child kept looking at the new toy so I gave it to him but he refused. He said the bus would not look pretty anymore."

Sang and Tuyen then organised small games for the children on the bus with toys as prizes. Sang said the toys also helped lighten the mood of some cancer patients that took the bus. Sang always clean the bus and dust the toys so that they will stay clean.

"They looked up at the toys and said they brought back their childhood," he said. "That makes us happy and feels like what we're doing is meaningful and positive for others."

HCM City to improve management as land prices soar

The deputy chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Lê Hòa Bình, has directed authorities at all levels to strengthen land administration.

He instructed district authorities to strictly enforce regulations on dividing lands for sale, especially in suburban areas where the practice has caused prices to rise.

The prices are increasing dramatically in some places, which could affect socio-economic development and investment.

Bình has tasked the Department of Construction with strengthening oversight of property projects to ensure compliance with the Law on Land, the Law on Investment and the Law on Real Estate Business.

At the same time, it must inspect and correct real estate brokerage activities, ensuring that the activities comply with the provisions of law, to prevent brokers increasing property prices.

In many localities, fake news has been spread about government development plans, including taking advantage of speeches made by top leaders to create fake documents to spread news, and this has hugely affected the interests of investors who lack knowledge and experience, according to the city People’s Committee.

There are also instances of people selling lands to which they have no title, such as forest lands, and brokers spreading fake information to drive prices up, it said.

It instructed all related authorities to publicise plans, the progress of infrastructure development works and real estate projects, especially major ones, and mergers and upgrades of administrative units.

It promised businesses that the city would continue to support them amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and speed up major projects that have been delayed.

People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong said more efforts should be made to improve the business climate and competitiveness, eliminate difficulties faced by businesses and push forward with administrative reform.

He instructed the Department of Home Affairs to set up a working group to mitigate the problems faced by enterprises, especially those related to administrative procedures. 

PM: COVID-19 quarantine policy demonstrates humanitarian spirit

The quarantine policy in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic shows the spirit of humanity of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has stated.

Chinh made the statement while visiting officers and soldiers on duty at a concentrated quarantine facility of Regiment 926 of the Military High Command in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on May 22.

He said that after each wave of the pandemic, Vietnam has learned from experience to carry out better prevention and control measures, in which quarantine has played an extremely important role with the motto of quickly tracing, detecting and quarantining positive patients and those in contact with them, as well as actively treating confirmed patients, thus quickly stabilising the situation.

On behalf of the Party and State leaders, Chinh lauded efforts by all forces in the fight with the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy”.

The leader affirmed that Vietnam has basically controlled the pandemic, with the number of infections accounting for only 0.004 percent of the population – one among the lowest in the world.

He, however, asked localities and units to maintain strict implementation of regulations on quarantine and post-quarantine management.

Reiterating Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s direction of not pursuing economic growth at the expense of social progress and justice, Chinh said that the stance has received more attention amidst the pandemic, with focus on vulnerable groups and those with illnesses./.

Indonesian, Singaporean scholars comment on Vietnam’s NA election

Vietnam’s elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and the People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 term are of great significance, said Veeramalla Anjaiah, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies in Jakarta and a senior journalist.

In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Indonesia, Anjaiah stated that despite recent spike in COVID-19 infections, Vietnam’s election body made all preparations to conduct the most important elections in an open, safe and transparent way on March 23.

“Though Vietnam follows one-party system, the elections will not be unanimous and people have the power to reject any candidate,” he added.

According to the scholar, the most laudable thing about the elections will be a high representation of women candidates. At least 393 female candidates, or 45.3 percent, are competing in the elections. There are 185 candidates are from ethnic minority groups.

The National Assembly has been playing an important role in the transformation of Vietnam and its society and economy, he said, stressing it is the backbone of Vietnam’s economic and political reforms, and truly represents the aspirations of Vietnamese people.

Thanks to the quality and useful laws, which were enacted by the NA recently, today Vietnam has emerged as a dynamic country in Southeast Asia with rising exports, foreign direct investments and forex reserves. It is also on its way to become an upper middle income country soon.

Regarding the role of the new legislative body in the process of policy-making and development of Vietnam in the future, Anjaiah stated that the National Assembly will play a strategic role in making suitable policies and relevant laws to sustain the high economic growth rate, attract more foreign direct investments, and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

He suggested the body work together with the Government and the Party to keep the country on a high growth trajectory, as the cooperation between these three will be an important factor in determining Vietnam’s future.

Sharing the same view, Lye Liang Fook, Senior Fellow at Singapore-based ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, said that the new National Assembly will lead Vietnam in its next important development stage, which will focus on growth and innovation, digital economy, hi-tech manufacturing, and quality education and health.

He proposed Vietnam pay attention to cutting down bureaucratic administrative procedures, creating opportunities to training and re-training the labour force, addressing bottlenecks on infrastructure and stepping up the fight against corruption./

Vietnamese expats in Germany pin high hopes on new parliament

Vietnamese expatriates in Germany commended the contributions by the 14th-tenure National Assembly (NA) to the national development, and pinned high hopes on the new parliament.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondents in the country on the occasion of the elections of deputies to the 15th NA and People’s Councils at all levels, Professor Nguyen Xuan Thinh, Chairman of the Vietnam – Germany Innovation Network, hailed the achievements of the 14th NA which issued 72 laws and two ordinances that helped bring the 2013 Constitution into life.

He described the move as significant to affirm the role of the organ of highest State power in building and completing the institution of the law-based Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Thinh expressed his delight at the renewal of the NA, saying the its intensive debates were broadcast live, helping Vietnamese expats keep a close watch on the NA’s discussions.

The 14th NA also supervised seven projects with huge impacts on the socio-economic development and local livelihoods, and decided on the implementation of a wide range of important projects.

He recalled Vietnam’s remarkable achievements in the past time, including impressive average growth of 5.9 percent in the past five years in the context of global challenges, and income per capita surging 145 percent.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Quang Anh, president of the Vietnamese war veteran association in Germany, said the 14th NA issued an array of legal documents which serve the need of national development and international integration.

President of Tan Trao Association in Germany Le Hong Cuong held that the NA had a successful 14th tenure as it won trust from the Vietnamese people and respect from international friends.

Thanks to the NA’s sound decision, Vietnam has gained excellent results in the fight against COVID-19 and economic development, he said.

Regarding the NA’s roles in the nation’s external activities, Cuong stated the 14th NA successfully hosted the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26), and the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41).

Besides, Vietnamese expats also expressed their hope that the 15th NA will work out policies suitable to bring the nation to a new high, and build a more modern society.

Thinh wished that the new NA will continue its interest in the Vietnamese people in foreign countries as an inseparable part of Vietnam’s solidarity bloc, and outline suitable policies so that the Vietnamese expats can make further contributions to the homeland as well as improve their roles in the host nations.

Anh and Cuong expected the new NA and Government will enhance exchange and cooperation with other nations, including those in the EU, saying this will help promote Vietnam’s role and position in the international arena./.

Another apartment building in Hanoi locked down due to COVID-19

An apartment building in Hanoi has been placed under lockdown after a 11-year-old boy tested positive for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Residents at the Park 11 building of the Times City complex in Hoang Mai district are not allowed to go out as from 1:30 on May 23.

Earlier, the People’s Committee of Mai Dong ward also decided to lock down the Park 9 building of the complex after detecting a suspected case of COVID-19.

The domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases in Vietnam have risen to 3,658, 1,483 detected since the nation was hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave on April 27.

According to a report from the Ministry of Health’s Department of Medical Examination Management, the country has seen 2,721 recoveries and 42 deaths.

A total of 179,006 people who came in close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide, including 4,490 at hospitals, 36,815 at other quarantine sites, and 137,801 at residences./.

COVID-19 prevention crucial to success of elections

COVID-19 prevention and control work has enjoyed due attention in all localities to ensure the success of the elections of the deputies to the 15th National Assembly (NA) and People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure, according to Bui Van Cuong, NA Secretary General, Chairman of the NA Office and Chief of the National Election Council Office.

Cuong said on May 23 that the elections have been held in accordance with the set plan.

Several localities claimed high turnout such as Dien Bien province with 85 percent, Quang Ninh 84 percent, and Da Nang over 50 percent.

Nearly 69.2 million voters across Vietnam are eligible to go to the polls on May 23 to elect 500 deputies to the 15th NA, and nearly 4,000 to provincial-level, almost 23,000 to district-level, and over 240,000 to communal-level People’s Councils./.

Security, order ensured on election day: Public Security official

Security and order has been ensured across Vietnam on the national election day – May 23, Chief of the Office of the Ministry of Public Security, Lieut. Gen. To An Xo has affirmed.

According to him, as of 2pm, the turnout rate exceeded 50 percent in many localities.

As the elections is taking place in the context of complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Public Security has prepared measures to ensure security and order and quarantine regulations, and respond to any problems arising, he added.

The entire public security force has exerted efforts to fight the pandemic, ensure security and order at concentrated quarantine facilities, participate in pandemic control and inspection stations, trace suspected cases, and boost international cooperation.

The force has also carried out prevention and control measures to ensure absolute safety at prisons, detention centres, and compulsory educational establishments, and organised vaccination for over 40,000 officers and soldiers./.

COVID-19 relief aid handed over to Vietnamese Cambodians

Dozens boxes of medical supplies and mosquito repellents have been delivered to Vietnamese-Cambodian families in Saeb and Ta Ches communes of Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang, to support them in the fight against COVID-19.

The aid was donated by Vietnam’s Military Region 5, Military Region 7 and budget carrier Vietjet Air through a programme launched by the Khmer-Vietnamese Association in Kampong Chhnang province in collaboration with Kampong Trolach district’s authorities to help locals combat COVID-19 and Chikungunya fever.

Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia handed over the assistance to local authorities and households, including more than 10,000 face masks, 400 bottles of hand sanitiser, and 400 mosquito nets.

The two communes are home to 340 Vietnamese-Cambodian families moving from the Tonle Sap since October 2018.

Last year, the localities were hit by dengue fever and Chikungunya fever, with nearly 200 cases./.

Vietnamese medical experts lauded in COVID-19 fight in Laos

Lao Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune on May 23 highly valued the timely and effective support of the Vietnamese Party, State and people to his country in the COVID-19 fight.

He was speaking at a ceremony held by the Lao health ministry in Vientiane to honour Vietnamese health experts who have been sent to help the neighbouring country combat the pandemic.

Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, who is also Chairman of the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, described the assistance as a vivid demonstration of the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples.

He lauded the achievements the Vietnamese medical experts gained during the past more than 10 days in Laos, saying with their assistance, Laos has been able to better curb the pandemic spread and reduce COVID-19 cases.

The Deputy PM expressed his belief that the bilateral relationship will further prosper in the time ahead.

At the ceremony, Lao Minister of Health Bounpheng Phoummalaysith presented certificates of merit to the Vietnamese experts in recognition of their contributions to the pandemic fight in Laos.

The ministry on May 23 reported 19 new cases, including four locally-transmitted infections, pushing the national tally to 1,801. The number of recoveries stands at 1,074, while there are two fatalities./.

Public security forces praised for efforts in COVID-19 fight

Politburo member and Minister of Public Security General To Lam has lauded efforts made by the public security forces in the fight against COVID-19.

In his letter, the Minister praised officers and soldiers for sparing no efforts in ensuring security and order, engaging in all spheres of life and rolling out COVID-19 prevention and control measures and contact tracing in an endeavour to contain the spread of the pandemic.

They have joined hands with patrol forces to tighten border control, prevent illegal migrants and efficiently carry out tasks in entry-exit and foreigner management, he added.

Lam noted that the forces have partnered with other countries in fighting COVID-19, and presented medical supplies to the public security forces of Laos and Cambodia to help them battle the ravaging pandemic.

The Minister asked the public security forces to take the initiative in safeguarding national security, and social order and safety, as well as participating in COVID-19 prevention and control, and illegal migration prevention./.

Southeast Asian nations report surging daily COVID-19 cases

Countries in Southeast Asia continued to see a large number of COVID-19 cases on May 23.

Cambodia logged 560 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths on the day, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

The country’s tally of COVID-19 infections has to date reached 25,205, with 17,701 recoveries.

On the same day, 42 Indonesian medical workers were found to be infected with the coronavirus after providing treatment for 13 Filipino sailors.

With more than 1.7 million COVID-19 cases and the death toll of 49,000, Indonesia is the hardest-hit country in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Department of Health announced 3,083 new infections and 38 fatalities on the day, raising the national count to nearly 1.18 million and 19,951, respectively.

Malaysia documented additional 6,976 cases on May 23, the highest daily figure since the start of COVID-19. Most of the new patients were in Selangor state. The country has a total of 512,091 cases.

Thailand has announced to tighten border control after the detection of three cases with COVID-19 variant that originated in South Africa.

It has to date logged a total of 129,500 infections and 776 fatalities.

An online survey by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat university revealed on May 23 showed that 64.39 percent of 2,644 respondents nationwide said they agree to receive COVID-19 jab provided by the government./.

Ministry of Health receives VNĐ160 billion and 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

The Ministry of Health has received grants of VNĐ160 billion and 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine sponsored by the banking industry, Vingroup, Sovico Group and HD Bank.

Nguyễn Thanh Long - Minister of Health and other leaders of Departments/Offices under the Ministry of Health were receiving the grants on behalf of the Government at a ceremony at the ministry's headquarter on May 21.

Also present at the ceremony were Nguyễn Thị Hồng - Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam,  Nghiêm Xuân Thành - Chairman of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), Lê Đức Thọ - Chairman of Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank), Phan Đức Tú- Chairman of Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), and Phạm Đức Ấn - Chairman of Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (Agribank). The four banks contributed VNĐ100 billion (VNĐ25 billion each) to the COVID-19 vaccine purchasing fund. 

Vingroup also sponsors 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to the Ministry of Health.

Previously, Vingroup sponsored VNĐ20 billion to the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) under the Ministry of Health to conduct a research and clinic trial of the  "Made in Vietnam" COVID-19 vaccine COVIVAC.

Vingroup also sponsors projects to prevent and combat COVID-19 waves including ventilator manufacturing, medical equipment, machines and chemicals for testing SARS-CoV-2 virus; three research studies on rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of Sovico Group, Phạm Quốc Thanh, General Director of HDBank, said the bank had sponsored VNĐ60 billion for the COVID-19 vaccine purchasing. "We will continue accompanying the Ministry of Health, frontline doctors and nurses fighting against the pandemic.”

Long said the Ministry of Health was making every effort to guarantee 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for 75 per cent of the Việt Nam's population.

Also on May 21, the Government decided the entire amount of money received for COVID-19 prevention through the Vietnamese Fatherland Front will be used to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

A tank driver keen on tank-related innovations

Tanks are some of Major Trần Thanh Bình's best friends.

The tank driver in Regiment 68, Division 304 of 2nd Army Corps based in Hà Nội’s Sóc Sơn District joined the army in February 1993 and has spent years working with tanks.

His dedication to learning more about tanks as well as how to operate and maintain them has led to innovations that have helped reduce hardship for artillery soldiers.

Due to his years of experience, Bình knows how hard it is to operate and maintain the giant vehicles, particularly when soldiers mostly do the work manually.

For example, when soldiers assemble or disassemble a gun or cannon barrel manually, they are not only exposed to grease but also health risks as the work takes a lot of time and hard work.

Bình said he thought a grease pumping machine could solve all the problems.

He searched for materials, spent days reading materials and designing and testing some models.

Once he successfully made a grease pumping machine his unit started using it to great effect.

The innovation also helped Bình earn a second prize at a technical innovation contest of the 2nd Army Corp in 2016.

Bình also created equipment to help move the armoured panels at the bottom of the tank.

“Previously, at least two or three people were needed to snake under the tank to move the panel and clean other items there,” Bình said, adding that equipment was used to lift the vehicle but it posed a high risk to the soldiers during the maintenance process.

Moreover, at the bottom of the tank, there was a lot of grease, dirty water and leaked impurities.

In 2018, Bình invented a machine to remove soil and waste from tank chains and equipment, improving safety for tank engines. 

The two pieces of equipment have been used widely in Việt Nam’s military since 2020.

“As a technician, I’m interested in machines that help reduce hardship for soldiers,” Bình said.

Lieutenant Colonel Đinh Quốc Nam, Political Commissar of Regiment 68, Division 304, applauded Bình’s initiatives, saying Bình was a tank driver who always has a sense of self-study and self-forging to constantly improve the level of vehicle control, meeting the increasingly demanding requirements in the training and combat readiness work of the army. 

Bình is usually assigned to perform important tasks such as controlling tanks, disembarking specialised trucks and participating in military drills, Nam said.

Besides working as a tank driver, Major Bình was also entrusted by his superiors to manage the tank warehouse of the entire division, with a large number of weapons and equipment.

“He always upholds a sense of responsibility in managing and preserving the weapons and equipment in the warehouse,” Nam said.

Last year, Bình was commended by the then Minister of Defence Ngô Xuân Lịch and he was named among the outstanding soldiers in the emulation movement of Việt Nam People’s Army. 

Division 304 under Corps 2 was established on 10 March 1950 at Xuân Thọ Commune, Thọ Xuân District, Thanh Hóa Province. 

In the resistance war against the French colonialists, the division was involved in several campaigns and won glorious victories. In the Điện Biên Phủ Campaign, it successfully fulfilled its task of occupying Hồng Cúm sub-region, killing and capturing 2,000 enemy troops. 

In the resistance war against the US imperialists, the division was involved in several major important operations, such as the Siege of Plei Me in 1965, the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968, Operation Lam Sơn 719 in 1971, the Battle of Quảng Trị in 1972, the Battle of Thượng Đức in 1974.

In the Hồ Chi Minh Campaign in 1975, the division worked with local forces to liberate the coastal central provinces and broke the enemy’s defensive line on the outskirts of Sai Gon and headed toward the Independence Palace, captured President Dương Văn Minh and his cabinet, forcing them to surrender unconditionally.

In recent years, the division has been tasked with training the reserve force and recruits, ensuring combat readiness and other ad hoc duties. 

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

 

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MAY 23 (Updated hourly)

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MAY 23 

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Tourism industry faces serious labor shortage

Because of low pay, many workers have left the tourism sector.

Industrial parks, economic zones absorb US$ 230 billion in foreign direct investment

Industrial parks (IPs) and economic zones (EZs) across the country have attracted nearly 11,000 foreign direct investment projects worth US$230 billion, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong.

Property, fishery sectors face hardship as credit chokes

At a government-to-business conference held yesterday, representatives of business associations expressed their concern over being unable to access bank loans as banks are running out of credit growth quotas.

Utilising every opportunity to grow and overcome challenges

That is the message and guideline of Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at the national conference on how to sustainably develop.

Outbound tours to Europe rocked by passport tangle

A number of Vietnamese outbound travel companies have already been affected by the decision of some European nations to not recognise Vietnam’s new passports.

Young people discover the universe via telescopes

Many young people have been spending time and money to buy telescopes and build rooftop observatories to admire the wonders of the universe.

Ample room remains for Vietnam’s exports to EU

There is still a lot of room for Vietnamese goods to expand their presence in the European Union (EU) market, but accessing its retail distribution systems is extremely important, heard a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on August 11.

Vietnam yet rolls out Covid jabs for under-5s

Vietnam has yet planned to get younger kids aged under five vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Vietnam to host Mekong Tourism Forum in October

Vietnam is scheduled to host the 2022 Mekong Tourism Forum, themed “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience”, from October 9 – 14, the first in-person meeting of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) destinations since the pandemic began in 2019.

Cryptocurrencies show high risks

Even though cryptocurrencies are not legally recognized in Vietnam, they have gradually become popular due to unlawful trading via specific platforms.

Pandemic-hit labourers continue to receive financial support

The Unemployment Insurance Fund plans to pay out 1.15 trillion VND (49.15 million USD) to support labourers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a resolution issued by the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee.

Seven petroleum wholesalers’ licenses suspended

The Ministry of Industry and Trade suspended the operating licenses of seven key petroleum import and export businesses after inspecting 33 wholesalers in February this year.

President reduces death penalties to life sentences for 21 prisoners

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 12 decided to reduce death penalties to life sentences for 21 prisoners, including two foreigners.
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