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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MAY 28

Vietnam records 174 COVID-19 cases on May 28 afternoon

Vietnam recorded 174 new COVID-19 infections, including one imported case, in the past six hours to 6pm on May 28, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of the domestically-transmitted cases, 123 were reported in Bac Giang, 25 in Ho Chi Minh City, 20 in Bac Ninh, three in Hanoi and two in Lang Son.

As of 6pm on May 28, Vietnam logged a total of 5,077 domestically-transmitted cases and 1,493 imported cases.

Report from the ministry’s Medical Examination Administration showed that the country has seen 2,896 recoveries and 47 deaths related to the disease.

Among active patients undergoing treatment, 112 have tested negative to coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, 41 twice, and 70 thrice./.

More COVID-19 cases related to religious organisation detected in HCM City

Ten additional COVID-19 patients have been detected in Ho Chi Minh City, eight of them are related to the cluster at “Hoi thanh truyen giao Phuc Hung” (Revival Ekklesia Mission), the city’s Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) reported on May 28 morning.

According to the centre, among the 10 patients, three are members of the Revival Ekklesia Mission, four are from the same family living near the house of a pastor of the Revival Ekklesia Mission in a locked down area, and one is the son-in-law of the pastor, who resides in Tan Phu district.

The other two are a couple who tested positive to SARS-CoV-2 in Hoan My Hospital on May 27 without a clear infection source. The woman is pregnant.

The HCDC said that so far, 44 COVID-19 infections related to the Revival Ekklesia Mission have been confirmed.

Currently, the city is urgently tracing people related to the chain, while seeking other possible sources of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

The HCDC advised locals to stay calm and cooperate with local authorities and health care sector to implement pandemic prevention and control measures, while updating mainstream information and avoiding sharing fake news.

Authorities have persuaded religious establishments to suspend activities as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19./.

Religious establishments asked to halt activities in face of COVID-19

Authorities will persuade religious establishments to suspend activities as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, an official has said.

Facing complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and 36 infection cases linked with the Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Protestant congregation, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vu Chien Thang, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Chairman of the Government's Committee for Religious Affairs, appealed to religious organisations and their followers to apply pandemic prevention and control measures.

Thang told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on May 27 that he appreciated religious organisations standing side by side with all-level administrations in the COVID-19 combat, which reflects their high sense of responsibility towards the nation and helps with anti-pandemic efforts.

Leaders of 43 religious organisations have pledged to comply with the Government’s directives on pandemic prevention and control, and many have instructed their sub-divisions, dignitaries, and followers to minimise religious activities and practices with mass gatherings, according to the official.

Regarding the 36 infection cases linked with the Revival Ekklesia Mission in HCM City, Thang said this mission is a Protestant sect that operates independently from other Protestant organisations, and its religious activities have only taken place at the registered place with 29 regular members.

Local relevant agencies are speedily tracing contacts to identify sources of virus transmission and work out plans to thoroughly deal with this hotbed, he noted.

The fourth wave of COVID-19 infections is developing complicatedly and coincides with the time some religions in Vietnam like Buddhism, Catholicism, Caodaism, and Islam are preparing for their major events, he said, calling on religious sects to seriously apply social distancing, conduct religious practices online, and not hold mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the disease.

As of May 28 morning, Vietnam confirmed a total of 6,356 COVID-19 cases, including 4,864 domestic ones, with the number of infections reported since April 27, when the fourth coronavirus wave hit the country, amounting to 3,294. The death toll stood at 46 while the recoveries numbered 2,853, according to the Ministry of Health.

Vietnam Airlines completes transport of AstraZeneca vaccine to localities

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on May 28 completed the free-of-charge transport of several batches of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine supplied by COVAX Facility between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Buon Ma Thuot.

The batches were delivered between May 25-28, which included nearly 819,000 doses of vaccine and medical supplies weighing around 7.2 tonnes in combination.

With sound logistics service, modern freezers, professional human resources, and a network of 60 domestic air routes, Vietnam Airlines is able to transport large volumes of vaccine to dozens of provinces nationwide.

On March 6, the airline operated the first flight to transport vaccine between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

It also provides free transport of personnel who are sent to assist Bac Ninh and Bac Giang in the fight against COVID-19 from May 26.

The airline exempts luggage fees for those personnel, allowing them to take along more medical supplies and materials for epidemic prevention and disease treatment.

Vietnam Airlines said it took the move in response to the appeal of the Health Minister on supporting localities seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early May, the national flag carrier also transported medical experts and medical supplies sent by the Vietnamese Party, government and people to Laos to help the neighbouring country cope with COVDID-19.

The airline has always accompanied the Government and the community in COVID-19 prevention and control efforts since the pandemic began. It has carried out numerous flights to repatriate Vietnamese from abroad, or transport medical personnel and medical supplies to serve the anti-pandemic fight in the country, as well as to support other countries./.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc works with Communist Review

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Communist Review – the magazine of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), to create a forum on important theoretical issues of the Party.

During a working session with representatives of the magazine on May 27, the State leader stressed that the theoretical work of the Party plays an important role.

After 35 years of Doi Moi (renewal) process, the theory on socialism and the path to socialism of Vietnam, and the theory on the development of the socialist-oriented market economy and on building a rule-of-law and democratic socialist State, have become increasingly clear, he said.

He emphasized that those theoretical issues need to be widely disseminated throughout the Party in order to promptly orient, concretise and transform the theories into revolutionary actions and movements in practice.

With its 91-year history as the political theoretical body of the Party, the Communist Review must shoulder the main responsibility for implementing this important task, the President added.

According to Editor-in-Chief of the Communist Review Doan Minh Huan, the magazine has focused on renewing its press products in the direction of improving the quality of theoretical content on various issues such as the relationship between the State, the market and society; and the reform of policies and laws on land, agriculture and farmers.

The magazine has also promoted external information work by disseminating theoretical research outcomes on the Doi Moi cause, and progressive and revolutionary ideology of the CPV through different versions of English, Chinese, Lao, and Spanish on its website, he said./.

Spokeswoman: Vietnam seeks to diversify COVID-19 vaccine supply sources

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang has said that Vietnam has been focusing on negotiations to seek supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.

During the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on May 27, Hang said that as directed by the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam’s representative agencies abroad have been negotiating with vaccine producers and suppliers worldwide to access more supply sources and increase vaccination coverage for Vietnamese at home, contributing to driving back the pandemic.

Vietnam has successfully negotiated with AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and the COVAX Facility on securing vaccines. It is also working with other countries and partners to diversify supplies, she said, adding that the Government has decided to establish a COVID-19 vaccine fund to receive, manage, and use donations to buy, import, study, produce, and use vaccines at home.

The Government's Resolution No 21 dated February 26, 2021 on the purchase and use of COVID-19 vaccines lists nine priority groups for vaccinations, including frontline staff in the fight against COVID-19 and the elderly, she said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is holding discussions with ministries, agencies, and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to conduct vaccinations for the diplomatic corps, international organisations, and foreign correspondents residing in Hanoi.

Regarding vaccine passports, Hang said Vietnam has yet to issue specific regulations on entry for those vaccinated against COVID-19. As several countries are applying such a policy, relevant Vietnamese agencies are working on proposals on the matter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also partnering with authorities to study the experience of other countries to recommend an entry-exit policy as well as open the door to visitors, to achieve the dual goal of effectively combating the pandemic and promoting socio-economic development, she said./.

Vietnam acting to ensure workers’ rights: Foreign ministry spokesperson

Vietnam makes every effort to ensure workers’ rights as developing human resources is one of its strategic breakthroughs in socio-economic development, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told the ministry’s press conference on May 27.

Based on this spirit, Vietnam has joined and effectively implemented many international cooperation agreements and programmes on labour and human resources development, Hang stressed when commenting on the signing of a new memorandum of understanding between Vietnam and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which includes the country’s accession to more ILO conventions.

Vietnam has so far joined 25 ILO conventions, including seven of the eight basic conventions, including those related to collective bargaining, preventing and fighting discrimination, child labour, and forced labour. The country has also made efforts to implement these conventions, including the internalisation of their provisions in the national legal framework, especially the 2019 Labour Code.

To promote the application and implementation of international labour standards in Vietnam and to intensify close cooperation, especially in studying Vietnam’s accession to 15 more ILO conventions, Vietnam and the ILO signed an MoU on May 20 on cooperation in accelerating the implementation of international labour standards in Vietnam over the next 10 years, Hang said./.

Prime Minister to attend Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals Summit

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will attend the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit on May 31, at the invitation of President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in.

Under the theme "Inclusive Green Recovery Towards Carbon Neutrality”, the summit will be held in the form of videoconference.

P4G is a global platform pioneering green partnerships to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth./.

Hanoi leads nationwide in Covid-19 tracing app Bluezone downloads

The contract-tracing mobile app identifies people who have interacted with Covid-19 patients.

Hanoi leads the country in the number of people installing the Bluezone contact tracing app with 3.1 million downloads, followed by Ho Chi Minh City with 2.8 million, as of May 24.

According to the latest report conducted by the Authority of Information Technology Application under the Ministry of Information and Communications, the number of active Bluezone accounts in Hanoi is the highest in the country with 1.23 million, accounting for 40% of the city’s total. 

Ho Chi Minh City has more than one million active Bluezone users, accounting for 38% of the city’s total. According to the department, Hanoi and HCMC are two localities having the highest number of people downloading this app in the country. 

As of May 24, the country has nearly 34 million people downloaded the Bluezone app, marking an increase of more than 2.5 million compared to that of before April 28 when the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. 

The Bluezone app allows smartphones in close range to communicate among them using Bluetooth. The communication data could later be used for tracing contacts of Covid-19 cases, according to the ministry.  

The app can promote its maximum effectiveness in disease prevention and control unless it is used by about 60% of the country’s adult population. 

According to the report, localities with the lowest number of people downloading Bluezone are the mountainous provinces of Dien Bien (70,500 downloads), Tuyen Quang (121,000), Yen Bai (130,000). 

Hanoi and other localities are continuing to mobilize people to apply technological solutions including electronic medical declaration and installing the app to prevent and control the pandemic.

COVID-19 claims another life as national fatality count climbs to 46

The Treatment Subcommittee under the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control confirmed the death of another person caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on May 27 in Hanoi, increasing the nation’s overall fatality count to 46.

The latest patient is an 82-year-old man who had been suffering from poor health after being involved in a traffic accident four years ago that left him with broken ribs and a broken collarbone. In addition, he had also been suffering from liver abscess for the past two years and resided in an area hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Symptoms were initially detected on May 11 when the patient had a high fever and a persistent cough. Three days later he was showing signs of shortness of breath, leading him to visit Thuan Thanh District Medical Center for a quick COVID-19 test.

He was later transferred to Bac Ninh Provincial General Hospital after his test result came back positive for the SARS-CoV-2-virus.

Following this, the patient was transferred to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Dong Anh district of Hanoi on May 15, after being diagnosed with septic shock and pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Six days later, the Professional Council of the Ministry of Health said that the patient was in a very serious condition and had been infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of bacteria.

The patient subsequently died on the evening of May 26, with the diagnosis of death being due to septic shock, pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2, complications of progressive respiratory failure, and sepsis typically found in elderly patients.

Forty COVID-19 infections added to national tally

Forty domestically-transmitted cases of COVID-19 were added to the national count over the last 12 hours to 6am on May 28, according to the Ministry of Health.

The new infections include 30 in Bac Giang, eight in Lang Son, and one each in Thai Binh and Long An provinces.

So far, Vietnam has confirmed total of 6,356 COVID-19 cases, including 4,864 domestic and 1,492 imported, with the number of infections reported since April 27 when the fourth coronavirus wave hit the country amounting to 3,294.

Among active patients, 111 have tested negative to the coronavirus once, 40 twice, and 67 thrice. The death toll remained at 46 and the number of recoveries totalled 2,853.

The ministry said an additional 4,129 people in four cities and provinces were vaccinated against the virus on May 27, raising the number of vaccine doses given to Vietnamese to 1,038,741. A total of 28,529 people have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

In the face of the growing complexity of the COVID-19 resurgence, the ministry has called on people to refrain from non-essential outings and avoid public gatherings. People must stay vigilant against the virus and promptly report any suspected illegal immigrants to authorities.

People nationwide 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)./.

Vietnam, UK look to beef up education cooperation

A webinar on higher education and postgraduate cooperation between Vietnam and the UK was held on May 27 by the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and the Vietnam-UK Friendship Network (VUFN).

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long affirmed that education is one of the top priorities in cooperation between the two countries, stressing that the UK is an important partner of Vietnam in the field.

This is reflected not only in the number of Vietnamese students studying in the UK but also in the number of cooperation projects between universities and colleges of the two countries, Long said.

The UK currently has more than 40 direct investment projects in education in Vietnam, he noted, adding that the potential for educational cooperation between the two countries is great and needs to be transformed into specific programmes and activities.

Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International (UUKi) which represents and promotes British universities abroad, said that cooperation in education and training between Vietnam and the UK has yet to match with their potential.

The two countries have many opportunities to develop a long-term, sustainable and high-quality partnership in education, especially as Vietnam is among the five priority countries in the UK's international education strategy, she stressed.

Stern also pointed out opportunities for universities and companies in Vietnam to collaborate and exchange students with educational institutions in the UK through the Turing project, a student exchange programme in which the UK government will sponsor 35,000 British students to study abroad.

The latest statistics show that there are 244 British student studying at universities or interning in businesses in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, about 12,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the UK, of whom nearly 3,500 Vietnamese students have come to the UK to study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the past year alone.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training, the UK ranks first in the number of international training cooperation programmes in Vietnam with 74 trans-national education programmes of 23 British universities./.

Books about President Ho Chi Minh draw visitors at St. Petersburg Int’l Book Salon

The Vietnamese stall, especially books about President Ho Chi Minh, is attracting a large number of Russian visitors at the 16th St. Petersburg International Book Salon, which opened on May 26.

Held on the occasion of the 800th birth anniversary of Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky and the 200th birth anniversary of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nikolai Nekrasov, the event drew the participation of 111 leading publishing houses, university publishing centres and professional associations, with more than 170 pavilions and 200 speakers.

Hosted by the Vietnamese Association in Russia, the Vietnamese stall displays books in the fields of economy, politics, culture and history in Vietnamese, Russian and English, notably books about President Ho Chi Minh by the National Political Publishing House.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Russia and member of the management board of the support fund for Russia – Vietnam cooperation, said on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of Uncle Ho’s departure to find the way for national salvation, the National Political Publishing House translated and published a book about Nguyen Ai Quoc’s activities in the former Soviet Union from 1923-1938 in Russian language. The book was introduced at the event via videoconference.

Vyacheslav Kalganov, Vice Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, said Russian readers, both old and young, are interested in the Vietnamese history, especially the life of President Ho Chi Minh./.

 

Embassy officials visit conflict-affected Vietnamese students in Israel

Officials from the Embassy of Vietnam in Israel on May 27 visited Vietnamese students living in Israel’s central city of Netivot, one of the hardest-hit places during the recent Israel-Palestine conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The students said the past over 10 days were a difficult time for them as they experienced life during wartime for the first time.

During that time, they encouraged each other to stay calm and follow regulations and guidelines of relevant agencies. All of the students are safe and stay fit.

Shlomo Nezer, Director of the Sedot Negev Agriculture Centre, said about 60 Vietnamese interns are studying in the centre.

At the working session, the students also posed questions related to employment, daily activities and studies.

About 400 Vietnamese students are attending a 11-month agricultural programme in four major Israeli centres of AICAT Arava, Ramat Negev, Sedot Negev and Agrostudies./.

Haiphong, Thai Binh allow resumption of some services

Haiphong City and Thai Binh Province allowed a number of services to reopen starting this morning, May 26, to execute the dual task of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring socioeconomic growth.

In Thai Binh, eateries and hair salons can resume operations from 5 a.m. today and must strictly follow Covid-19 preventive measures. Eateries can offer dine-in services until 9 p.m. everyday, while hair salons have to maintain a customer diary, reported Tuoi Tre Online.

Sports and physical activities were permitted to resume, while the suspension on sports competitions remains in place.

In Haiphong City, eateries and lodging facilities were allowed to resume operations starting 6 a.m. on the day after one week of suspension to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The municipal government also allowed the resumption of golf courses, parks and flower gardens and demanded that these locations strictly follow Covid-19 preventive measures. Eateries were told not to serve too many customers at the same time and to practice social distancing.

Operators of golf courses were required to only serve golfers residing in the northern city and those who could produce a negative Covid-19 test certificate conducted within seven days or a Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

The district-level governments and the Department of Tourism in the city were required to jointly monitor compliance with Covid-19 safety measures among these businesses and local residents. Violators would be fined.

Le Khac Nam, vice chairman of the Haiphong City government, said that the coronavirus outbreak in the city has been brought under control. People returning to Haiphong from the coronavirus hotspots of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh will be quarantined for 14-21 days. The resumption of some services is aimed at creating conditions for the locals to make a living.

Earlier, Haiphong on May 18 decided to suspend all dine-in and lodging services after the detection of coronavirus cases by community transmission. Only take-away services were allowed.

Bac Ninh to build two bridges connecting with Hai Duong, Bac Giang

The Bac Ninh People’s Council has approved a plan to develop two bridges over the Thai Binh River and Cau River in 2022 with total investment of some VND2.2 trillion to connect the province with Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces.

The project to build the Kenh Vang bridge and two approach roads linking Bac Ninh Province and Hai Duong Province will cost nearly VND1.6 trillion.

The 13.4-kilometer project, with the bridge measuring 740 meters in length and 23.5 meters in width, is set to start in Gia Binh District in Bac Ninh Province and end in Hai Duong Province’s Nam Sach District.

The project, which is set to get off the ground in 2022 and be completed in 2025, is expected to create favorable conditions for the economic growth of the two provinces, the local media reported.

Another projected bridge is the Ha Bac 1 Bridge, which will cross the Cau River to connect Bac Ninh with Bac Giang Province.

The bridge will be some 900 meters long, while the two approach roads of the project are 300 meters in length and 22.5 meters in width.

The Ha Bac 1 bridge project, with total investment of over VND580 billion, will help the two provinces attract more investors and form industrial clusters.

HCM City to build 12 anti-flooding projects by 2025

HCM City will spend VNĐ8 trillion for construction of 12 anti-flooding and environmental sanitation projects between 2021 and 2025.

Many flood control projects in HCM City have become outdated and are ineffective.

The deputy director of HCM City Department of Construction, Đặng Phú Thành, said the city People’s Committee has developed anti-flooding plans to 2025. Over the years, HCM City has implemented dozens of anti-flooding projects but many of them have lagged behind schedule.

Compared to the master plan, only 46 per cent of the target has been achieved. This can be seen at a sluice gate construction project to control tidal flooding worth VNĐ10 trillion. It has finally reached 96 per cent of the volume, but has been suspended for six months. The delay was due to a disagreement on contract appendices between the investor and the city People’s Committee. 

Authorities said that litter, outdated drainage and ineffective anti-flooding projects have all contributed to the flooding situation in the city.

The Department of Construction has proposed construction of 12 key projects, including 11 anti-flooding projects and one environmental sanitation project between now and 2025. They will cost more than VNĐ8 trillion.

Three projects will be in Thủ Đức City, on Road No. 8, Nguyễn Duy Trinh Street and Lã Xuân Oai Street.

However, architect Trần Vĩnh Nam, an urban expert, said that current anti-flooding projects are “patchy” and if these projects are implemented at the same time, construction sites will block city streets, causing even more inconvenience for locals. The timing is not ideal because the rainy season is coming, he added.

“Many projects are implemented on roads where residential areas have existed for a long time. Road digging and resetting of sewer pipes will cause a great waste of resources,” he said.

In a related matter, excessive exploitation of underground water has contributed to subsidence and created more flooding points. 

Because districts 12, Bình Tân and Bình Chánh are expanding, they need a long-term and sustainable anti-flooding solution. Though the initial cost is expensive, more money will be saved in the long run.

Professor Lê Huy Bá, former director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Environmental Management, said that current flood control projects in HCM City are outdated and lack consistent planning, and some have not even started.

The long-term solution involves speeding up current anti-flooding projects and planning large-scale projects.

Bá said that authorities should consider projects that are regional, linking neighbouring provinces and cities, so that water drainage and tidal prevention measures are more visible.

Manzi to present audio installation ‘Liberation Radio’

A special art installation will be presented to the public from May 28 at Manzi Exhibition Space, 2 Hàng Bún Alley, Ba Đình District.

In 1968, a group of American military deserters went to the North Vietnamese mission in Stockholm with one object in mind – to join the army they had been drafted to fight against.

Instead, they were recruited for the propaganda war – to use pop music and political rhetoric to persuade other American servicemen to desert. Their recordings were transported from Sweden to Việt Nam by diplomatic bag and broadcast from transmitters on the rooftops of Hà Nội, and revolutionary bases in the countryside.

This installation work by artist and filmmaker Esther Johnson, sound artist Nhung Nguyễn, and historian Matthew Sweet revives that circuit of communication, five decades later. It also transmits something of the atmosphere of paranoia in the 1970s, when anxieties about propaganda, brainwashing and war produced films such as Alan J Pakula’s The Parallax View (1974).

With contributions from some of the surviving American deserters, Swedish anti-war activists and Vietnamese journalists of the period, the voice of Liberation Radio speaks again.

Due to the fragility of the installation and the complexity of the set-up, the exhibition can only accommodate five people for each slot.

The event, which runs from June 13, 12pm-6pm, from Tuesday to Sunday, is open by appointment only. Please register via RSVP by emailing manzihanoi@gmail.com.

Deutsches Haus holds portfolio review session for photographers

The Goethe-Institut HCM City and Noirfoto Darkroom-Studio-Gallery will host a Portfolio Review session at Deutsches Haus on June 4 at 6pm. 

Participants will have opportunities to listen to reviews and advice on general art creation and profiling practices, both technically and aesthetically, from experts like German photographer Christian Berg.

Berg, who has lived and worked all over Southeast Asia, will give a talk on "How to develop a personal project" before the review.  

Participants can submit a PDF file containing 10-20 images with introductions of the photos and short biographies of the artists via email noirfotodarkroom@gmail.com by June 1. The results will be released on June 2.

The free event will be conducted in English. It will be livestreamed on the Goethe-Institut’s Facebook page. The venue is at 33 Lê Duẩn Street in District 1.

Symposium “The Gathers” to be held on Zoom

The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre and the Indonesia-based Selasar Sunaryo Art Space will host an online symposium “The Gathers” on Zoom on May 28-30.

The three-day event will introduce interdisciplinary perspectives from the project “Of Hunters and Gatherers” curated by artists from Pollination, a programme initiated by The Factory in 2018.

The artists spent a year on field trips to Mount Merapi in Indonesia, and the Lower Mekong between Thailand and Laos to learn about local environmental degradation and ecological survival.

The symposium will feature artists, historians, filmmakers, curators, writers and social scientists from Việt Nam, Indonesia, Thailand and India who will share their works and opinions on the project and environmental issues. 

The event will take place from 3-5pm. Free registration can be found at bit.ly/pollination3. 

Indian Business Chamber sends oxygen to India to ease shortage

The Indian Business Chamber in Việt Nam has sent some 520 liquid medical oxygen cylinders donated by Indians living in HCM City and Vietnamese individuals and organisations to help mitigate an oxygen shortage in India.

The HCM City Medical Association- AloBacsi donated VNĐ200 million (US$8,681) in cash and INCHAM in Hà Nội gave 120 LMO cylinders.

Vạn Tấn Phát Company not only offered these cylinders at a cost basis but also donated 20 cylinders at a time when many other suppliers escalated prices to profit from the crisis.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha contributed 108 oxygen concentrators, and 700 monks conducted a special prayer with 1,000 candles to invoke the blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for India and its people.

Indian naval ship Airawat arrived in HCM City port on May 24 to lift the relief materials which also comprised ventilators.

The effort was also supported by the Vietnam India Friendship Association and the HCM City Union of Friendship Organisations.

The relief materials are expected to reach India in seven to 10 days.

Donations worth VND12.5 billion boost anti-pandemic efforts in Hanoi

Various agencies, businesses, and other benefactors on May 27 donated more than VND12.5 billion to the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF), Hanoi chapter, to help bolster COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.

Expressing appreciation for the support provided by benefactors, Nguyen Lan Huong, chairwoman of the VFF's Hanoi chapter, said the assistance will support anti-pandemic forces operating in the capital.

She also noted that vaccination is a best way to prevent people from being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and to do this Hanoi requires VND1,500 billion to carry out the programme.

During the hand-over ceremony, Huong called on agencies, businesses and individuals to stand shoulder to shoulder with Hanoi and other localities in the COVID-19 fight, in a joint effort to bring the pandemic under control and ensure life can return to normal.

At the event, Huong handed over 2,000 test kits to the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control, along with 2,000 rapid test kits to the Hanoi Oncology Hospital worth VND735 million.

At present, the VFF's Hanoi chapter has received a total of VND43.1 billion, including VND39.5 billion in cash, along with a large number of essential goods worth VND3.6 billion.

It has provided VND7.5 billion in cash to support pandemic prevention and control activities.

Vietnam leaves strong imprint at St.Petersburg International Book Fair

Vietnam introduced many books on President Ho Chi Minh at an International Book Fair which officially opened in Saint Petersburg City, Russia on May 26.

The opening ceremony saw the attendance of Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko and Governor of Saint Petersburg City Alexander Beglov.

Taking place across four days, the fair is an outstanding cultural event in Russia’s “northern capital with many activities promoting books from leading publishing houses and featuring the participation of various famous writers and speakers. 

This year, Vietnam’s pavilion attracted a large number of Russian readers, including the Governor of Saint Petersburg, Special Representative of the Russian President on international cooperation on culture Mikhail Shvydkov and President of the Russian Book Union Sergei Stepashin. 

Especially, the Su That (Truth) National Political Publishing House introduced readers to the Russian version of the book “Activities of Nguyen Ai Quoc in the Soviet Union (1923-1938)” that was translated and published on the occasion of the 131st birthday anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh and in celebration of 110 years since Uncle Ho left the country to find a way to save the nation.

The book vividly and systematically reflects the activities of Nguyen Ai Quoc (another name of President Ho Chi Minh) during the time he lived in the Soviet Union as well as the valuable support and goodwill of the Soviet Government and people for Vietnamese people’s struggle for national independence.

On the occasion, Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Russia Nguyen Quoc Hung presented the book titled “The Russians write about President Ho Chi Minh” to the Governor of St.Petersburg. 

This is a collection of 17 memoirs by well-known Russian generals, revolutionary activists and social activists who worked, met and interviewed President Ho Chi Minh.

Son La suspends passenger transport services from/to Hanoi

The Son La Department of Transport has ordered the suspension of passenger road transport services from/to Hanoi City from today, May 26, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Under the order, vehicles operating on fixed routes, contract cars, passenger coaches and taxis must temporarily stop traveling from/to Hanoi City until further notice, while vehicles serving the fight against Covid-19 will remain operational.

Bui Trong Thang, deputy director of the provincial department, said that since May 8, the province has suspended passenger transport services from/to 15 provinces and cities. The traffic police will regularly conduct checks and impose harsh sanctions on violators, he added.

Vehicles used for transporting goods, food and medicines will still be operational, but must adopt Covid-19 safety protocols, the local media reported.

The provincial department also discouraged residents and workers in Covid-19-hit provinces and cities from entering Son La Province at this time to prevent the risk of community transmission.

Vehicles which pass through Son La Province are only permitted to drop off passengers at 25 sites designated by the province.

Since April 27, Son La Province has reported only one locally-infected Covid-19 case.

Soc Trang declares emergency landslide situation in Hau River’s islets

The People’s Committee of Soc Trang Province yesterday announced an emergency landslide alarm in the riversides of Ke Sach District.

Accordingly, the emergency landslide situation was alerted for the islets on Hau River, including My Phuoc Islet in Nhon My Commune, An Tan and An Cong Islets in An Lac Tay Commune, the riverside of Phung An Canal.

Amidst the warning above, the People’s Committee of Soc Trang Province required the People’s Committee of Ke Sach District to keep a close watch on the situation, coordinate with relevant authorities to zone out and install the warning signs along with dangerous erosion areas and landslide-prone ones, raise public awareness of the danger and urgently evacuate people, especially children and the elderly and property to safer places.

In recent years, the landslides have become worse in Ke Sach District, with an average erosion rate of about two kilometers per year. Landslides have happened deeply into concrete roads and fruit gardens from three to ten meters.

From the beginning of 2021 until now, there have been 13 sections of embankment erosion with a total length of 525 meters, and many dikes on Hau River have been eroded with a total length of 714 meters and total damage was estimated at over VND7 billion (US$303 million).

Toll revenue through BOT stations reduces over 40 percent from beginning of May

According to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam, from the beginning of May up to now, the toll revenue of the BOT projects has reduced over 40 percent compared with the previous time in advance the fourth wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

The toll revenue through 54 BOT stations nationwide in the first quarter was VND3,294 billion (US$142 million) with the number of vehicles reaching 58 million turns which approximately equals the figures in 2019; however, the toll revenue of BOT stations has reduced remarkably from the beginning of May up to now.

Particularly, electronic toll collection (ETC) system on the entire Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway reached the highest revenue in the first quarter with an amount of VND620 billion (nearly US$27 million).

Secondly, the Phap Van- Cau Gie Expressway Investment and Upgrading Project and the National Highway No.51 Upgrading and Expansion Project reached over VND205 billion (US$8.9 million) in revenue.

The toll revenue for construction project of Ca Pass Tunnel on the National Highway No.1 was on the third rank with over VND188 billion (US$8.1 million).

Construction and investment projects of Thai Nguyen – Cho Moi in Bac Kan Province and Viet Tri – Ba Vi Bridge connecting National Highway No.32 and National Highway No.32C are two BOT projects with the lowest revenue of over VND8 billion (US$345.000).

HCMC strengthens measures against natural disasters

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City yesterday held a conference to summarize the results of natural disasters prevention and research and rescue, forest protection and forest fire prevention in 2020 and plans for 2021.

According to the Municipal Steering Committee for Natural Disasters Prevention and Research and Rescue, in 2020, there were nine cyclones and thundery showers, four high tides and three landslides along riversides and canals causing two deaths and damaging 17 houses, 18 rental houses, one school, one motorbike, 319 trees and about 2,400 square meters of land.

This year, it is forecasted that the weather condition would continue to be complicated.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Vo Van Hoan suggested relevant units summarize, evaluate and learn from the experience of the natural disasters prevention and research and rescue in 2020, continue to implement plans for 2021 and build the plan from 2021 to 2025, vision to 2030.

To more effectively carry out the disaster prevention and search and rescue works, Mr. Vo Van Hoan assigned the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to continue working closely with Dau Tieng-Phuoc Hoa Irrigation Exploitation Company in terms of operating and regulating reservoirs' flood volume and discharging reasonably, ensuring construction safety, proactively reducing floodwater volume for downstream areas and supplying water to the reservoirs during dry season following regulations.

Additionally, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will coordinate with the Southern Regional Meteorology and Hydrometeorology Station to strengthen forecasting information on weather and natural disasters to help the authorities at all levels and people proactively deal with the bad weather condition.

To avoid the incident of falling trees, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Vo Van Hoan required the Department of Construction to prune trees with a high risk of falling, ensure absolute safety for residents especially in residential places, schools, hospitals, etc.

At the same time, the Department of Construction needed to instruct the investors of works to ensure safety measures during constructing, installing and using scaffolding and cranes at the construction site; to reinforce old apartments, public works and tower-shaped works.

Localities had to regularly check billboards, posters and advertisement signs meeting technical requirements.

The Department of Public Security had to strengthen patrols and inspections, and resolutely handle the illegal exploitation and transportation of sand and gravel to prevent landslides along riverbanks and canals.

HCMC concentrates on implementing environmental improvement projects

HCMC’s government will focus on implementing major flood reduction and environmental improvement projects from now until 2025.

Among these projects is the infrastructure construction and environmental improvement project for Tham Luong–Ben Cat–Rach Nuoc Len canal. The project will connect HCMC with neighboring provinces through inland waterway network, including Long An Province on Cho Dem River, Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces on Sai Gon River.

The clean-up project on polluted Xuyen Tam canal which runs through Binh Thanh and Go Vap districts aims to prevent flooding on the canal and clean up Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal.

Additionally, other plans on the third phase of the HCMC Water Environment Improvement Project on Tau Hu-Ben Nghe-Doi-Te canal, boosting the project on preventing flooding caused by high tides linked to climate change, building and upgrading the 96km-long water drainage system and renovating the 5km-long canal system in the 2021-2025 period will be kicked off.

The city needs more than VND101,000 billion (US$4.38 billion) for the above mentioned projects.

HCMC urban planning projects in 2040-2060 period asked to be urgently completed

The People’s Committee of HCMC has delegated the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture to urgently build the overall urban planning scheme by 2040 with a vision to 2060, complete and submit the project to get the approval of the Ministry of Construction before the third quarter of 2022.

Regarding a planning scheme of Thu Duc City by 2040 with a vision to 2060, the municipal authorities have asked Thu Duc City to set up a detailed plan of the project’s planning process simultaneously with the building of the overall urban planning scheme.

The reports of a series of urban planning projects, including an overall urban planning scheme by 2040 and a planning scheme of Thu Duc City must be sent to the HCMC People’s Committee before July 15, the standing board of the HCMC Party Committee before August 15 and the Ministry of Construction before October 15.

According to the overall urban planning scheme by 2040 with a vision to 2060, HCMC will be developed into a city of innovation, creativity, and dynamic development; a pioneer in the large metropolitan region; a center of intellectual and international trade in the country; a service center in the Asia-Pacific region; a city with the highest quality of life and attractive working environment, diversified culture, heritage conservation and scenic river system, a sustainable urban infrastructure and climate change adaptation by 2060.

While Thu Duc City will be established as the first class city and developed into the highly interactive and innovative urban area, serving as a driving force for the implementation of the 4th Industrial Revolution of HCMC. The smart city’s infrastructure is composed of four functional layers, including nature, construction, digital technology and smart service.

Vietnam to promote distance learning for building learning society

Vietnamese Prime Minister has requested to promote on-the-job training and guided self-study to help workers, especially those in rural areas, people with disabilities, housewives, elderly people easily access to vocational education for building learning society and their employability skill improvement.

The Prime Minister has just issued a Directive 14/CT-TTg on promoting on-the-job training - a form of training provided at the workplace, distance learning, and guided self-study with the aim to build a learning society in the 2021-2030 period.

He assigned the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to diversify training methods based on open, diverse, and flexible educational practices associating with the national qualification framework and the labor market to meet the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution.

In order to continue improving the quality and effectiveness of study and talent promotion and building a learning society, the Ministry of Education and Training was instructed to promote and effectively implement digital transformation in educational institutions with the focus on enhancing the quality of distance learning programs, building open and mass online courses in universities and colleges.

The Ministry should diversify training content and increase the use of advanced technologies to support learning, especially enhancing the use of social media in continuing education schools.

Last but not least, the Ministry should study and apply educational management models with an orientation towards adoption of new technologies, open management in schools besides using shared technology infrastructure and database. Administrators and teachers should be encouraged to participate in activities to promote talents and to create a learning society.

The Prime Minister also asked to promote the connection between formal education and continuing education, and between literature education and job training. Especially, the education sector needs to increase the application of information technology, new technologies, and appropriate solutions in teaching and learning activities to actively adapt to the epidemic development.

22nd Vietnam Film Festival planned to be held virtual in September

The 22nd Vietnam Film Festival themed “Building Vietnamese movie industry with rich national identities, modernity and humanity” is expected to be held online in Hue City in Thua Thien-Hue province from September 12-16 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival will promote the creativity of the cinematic art and its professionalism, humanitarian values, Vietnamese cultural characteristics; towards audience taste; and boosting the development of the film market and building the film industry towards the international integration.

Main events in the film fest will include the screening of the submitted films, the panoroma program of movies, seminars and others.

Sideline activities will be a film week in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City; exchanges between film makers, artists and audiences; outdoor screenings associated with a performance of Ao Dai.

Quang Binh detects four illegal Chinese immigrants

An interagency task team on the Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control on National Highway 1A passing through Quang Dong Commune, Quang Trach District, Quang Binh Province yesterday detected and arrested four Chinese people who illegally entered Vietnam without any identification.

At 4:15 p.m. of May 26, the functional forces at the Covid-19 checkpoint at the entrance to Quang Dong Commune, Quang Trach District, Quang Binh Province checked a car with license plate 30G-60875 carrying six people, including two Vietnamese and four Chinese from the capital city of Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

The car with license plate 30G-60875 carrying six people, including two Vietnamese and four Chinese from the capital city of Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is detected with unusual signs at the Covid-19 checkpoint
All people were under 40 years old.

According to the initial investigation, four Chinese crossed the northern border to enter Vietnam. After that, these Chinese engaged two Vietnamese people, namely Nguyen Duy Cuong (36 years old) and Nguyen Duy Dong (29 years old), who live in Hau Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province, to take them to Ho Chi Minh City.

When the car arrived at the Covid-19 prevention and control checkpoint, Nguyen Duy Cuong got off the car and performed declaration procedures. As the functional forces suspected unusual signs, Dong and Cuong run away from the Covid-19 checkpoint with the car, leaving the four Chinese.

By 7:30 p.m. Dong and Cuong were arrested, all six people were sent to the local quarantine center.

Vietnam effectively implementing technologies for Covid-19 prevention, control
 
Observing the instruction of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, many regions in Vietnam has actively applied information technology in their Covid-19 fight, gaining impressive results in timely pinpointing suspected cases and minimizing the disease spread. 

At the end of April 2021, in response to the urgent demands of fight against Covid-19 in Vietnam, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued the ‘Instruction for Using the Solution Set to Support Covid-19 Prevention and Tracing in the Community’.

This document explains in details the use of domestic solutions based on advanced technologies, combined with propaganda campaigns and administration methods of the local authorities. It mentions Bluezone – an application for close contact detect, VHD – an app for online medical status declaration for people entering Vietnam, NCOVI – an app for online medical status declaration for people residing in Vietnam, a system to record check-in and check-out at public places throughout the nation, and a digital map for Covid-19 fight updates.

At the beginning of May, MIC continued to release a formal document to the People’s Committees of all provinces and municipalities regarding the installation of monitoring camera systems in centralized isolation areas to ensure medical regulations are strictly obeyed.

Accordingly, MIC assigned Viettel Group and VNPT Group to be responsible for this camera installation task. They had to cooperate with the localities to finish this task as soon as possible. 3,000 cameras were then successfully set up in centralized isolation locations in the Northern regions. Viettel Group also added another batch of 1,000 cameras in 5 days at 125 communes of Bac Giang Province, the hot spot of the latest Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam.

All images recorded by these cameras are sent to and processed at the Covid-19 Operation Center, which stores them with a cloud-based service so that all regions in the country can access them 24/7, helping them timely tackle any possible problem arisen.

Recently, MIC has proposed the use of a special digital bracelet on isolated people to the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control. This method has already been used in many nations, and has proved its usefulness.

MIC, therefore, suggested the use of similar made-in-Vietnam digital bracelets that apply GPS technology to record the locations where quarantined or isolated people visit. Thanks to a long-lasting battery of 30 days, the device can send warning signals to the operation center whenever monitored people try to destroy them or to get out of the quarantined zone.

MIC asked the permission to assign certain domestic technological enterprises to develop these practical devices using the fund raised from the community. These kinds of equipment should be ready 4 weeks after project approval. They have the two main features of detecting close contact via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and checking the rule observation of wearers via GPS technology.

This digital bracelet can amend the situation when monitored people do not own or bring along a smart device, they purposely turn off the Bluetooth function on their smart devices.

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Hanoi employees required to not going out of the city 

Those who need to get out of the city must be permitted by their superiors and make a medical declaration when returning.

State employees working in Hanoi who want to go out of the capital city during public holidays or weekends, must be permitted by their superiors and make a medical declaration when returning, said authorities of the Hanoi People's Committee.

The move came as Vietnam is struggling the fourth wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, in which the city's neighboring provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh are hotspots with the highest numbers of infections nationwide, 1,481 and 560, respectively.  

The city has set up four Covid-19 checkpoints in Soc Son district bordering between Hanoi and the two provinces.

On duty at the checkpoints is a cross-functional team comprising personnel from the police, the militia, and health workers, who work 24 hours to measure body temperature, take medical declarations of the people moving between the two localities.

Hanoi has so far reported 335 cases in the new Covid-19 wave. Of these, 137 have been detected in two hospitals under lockdown, including the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the K Hospital that specializes in cancer treatment.

The managing director of Hosiden Vietnam Co. Ltd in Bac Giang who was confirmed last Friday positive for coronavirus lives in the Mandarin Garden residential area in Hanoi’s Cau Giay district.  

A driver working for the city-based Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam, who lives in Bac Ninh, was confirmed with Covid-19 two days ago. His three relatives residing in Hanoi have contracted the virus.

Hanoi has had 17 different samples of Covid-19 patients at four new clusters in the past few days. All have been confirmed to be infected with the Indian strain B.1.617.2, which is said to spread faster and pose more danger than other strains, said Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of Hanoi’s Department of Health.

Hanh said the source of transmission is in the community and the risk is high for the city, adding that more stringent measures are needed to stop the spread of virus infections.

The city has ordered food and beverage establishments as well as hair salons and beauty parlors closed, starting May 25. Local residents have already stopped their entertainment activities, outdoor physical exercises and large gatherings in parks, gardens and public locations.

Hanoi Party chief Dinh Tien Dung said on May 25 that a citywide social distancing order is not under consideration yet. For now, the city will continue the method of isolating only affected areas.

Former Russian governor high values Vietnam’s attainments in COVID-19 fight

Sergey Levchenko, First Secretary of the Irkutsk regional division of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and former Governor of Irkutsk, has expressed his admiration for Vietnam’s achievements in the COVID-19 fight.

In a recent interview with the Vietnam News Agency, he said he is impressed with the Southeast Asian country’s attainments in COVID-19 prevention and control, and that Vietnam has been combating this pandemic in an effective manner.

Since the pandemic began in Vietnam in April last year, the country has been making drastic, sound, and smart response, showing that if a country is governed well and if all are determined to win over this pandemic, it will definitely gain success, he noted.

Voicing his admiration, Levchenko, who served as Governor of the Irkutsk region from 2015 to 2019, said Vietnam has outperformed even many developed economies in the COVID-19 combat.

He also wished the country more success in this regard.

The former governor attributed the accomplishments to the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the superiority of socialism and noted Vietnam has been moving in the right direction and chosen the sound socialist path of development./.

#Thank you Vietnam programme to promote humanitarian values in society

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee and the VNPT VinaPhone on May 27 launched the “#Thank you Vietnam” programme in 2021.

The programme aims to promote humanitarian values in society, creating chances for all to show respect and gratitude towards older generations and those who make contributions to the community, contributing to building good habit for youngsters and children, as well as forming a fund for the construction of works supporting needy people.

Addressing the launching ceremony, Standing Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee and President of the Vietnamese Students’ Association Bui Quang Huy said that “#Thank you Vietnam” is part of a movement to spread “one piece of good news each day and one good story each week”.

Making the best use of social media, the programme hopes to create an environment for youngsters and children to expressed thankfulness to good things around them, building a positive living attitude, thus spreading good and humanitarian values among them as well as in entire society, said Huy, adding that it is also expected to multiply the thank-you culture in the community.

People who are interested in the programme can join it at www.thankyouvietnam.com.vn, or sending a music message to their beloved ones through the website, which can be shared in social networks.

By joining the programme, users will contribute to a fund for the needy. The programme expects to raise 5 billion VND (216,519 USD) to build 60 houses for the needy./.

Vietnam attends 142nd IPU Assembly’s plenum, closing session

Chairman of the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee Vu Hai Ha led a delegation to attend a plenary session and the closing session of the 142nd International Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, which were held via videoconference on May 27 evening under the chair of IPU President Duarte Pacheco.

During the plenary session, delegates continued discussing many issues related to the common theme of “Overcoming the pandemic today and building a better tomorrow: the role of parliaments”. The session also approved a resolution on parliamentary strategy to enhance peace and security against risks and conflicts posed by climate change-related disasters and their consequences, and a Resolution on integrating digitalisation and circular economy to achieve sustainable development goals, especially responsible consumption and production.

Regarding the resolution related to digitalisation and circular economy, the Vietnamese NA delegation said that education plays an important role in equipping people with knowledge about circular economy to enable them to practice the circular economy and shape responsible consumption habits from early on. At the same time, the ability to use digital tools, digital skills, and the readiness to implement digitalisation must also be considered as one of the basic contents of the educational curricula at all levels.

Vietnam shared the call in the resolution for the IPU to strengthen cooperative relationships with member parliaments which are members of other organisations, including regional parliamentary organisations, to collect evidence and information on the circular economy, the environment and digitalisation, and to develop a guiding framework for parliamentary actions.

In addition, there should be economic and financial incentives to promote more sustainable goods and services.

At the closing session, delegates emphasized the importance and urgency of vaccination against COVID-19 globally, as well as the fair and equal access to vaccines, and ensuring human rights and continuing to promote the implementation of sustainable development goals in the context of the pandemic.

IPU President Duarte Pacheco said that the 142nd IPU Assembly is the first to be conducted in the form of videoconference, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading around the world and developing complicatedly. This assembly discussed many important parliamentary issues, highlighted the parliaments’ role in overcoming the pandemic and building a better tomorrow, and provided recommendations and solutions to strengthen international solidarity and cooperation in response to the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.

Within the framework of the assembly, IPU Committees also discussed and the assembly issued resolutions on important issues in the field of security – peace, sustainable economic development, and other contents related to the United Nations, democracy and human rights, the role of young parliamentarians in post-pandemic recovery, and promoting gender equality./.

Vietnam attends meeting of Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments

Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Truong Giang on May 27 attended an online meeting of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) entitled "Role and organisation of Parliaments in a pandemic".

Under the chair of ASGP President Philippe Schawab, the meeting focused discussions on the role and organisation of parliaments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and shared experience in holding virtual meetings.

Addressing the event, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong expressed his delight at fine cooperation between IPU and ASGP, and his hope for continued collaboration with the association.

At the meeting, participants showed their delight when the member parliaments have basically reached a consensus on adapting to the pandemic via digital transformation, application of information technology, building digital parliaments, and increasing online meetings.

On May 26, National Assembly Standing Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man participated in the virtual opening of the 142nd IPU Assembly, during which he stressed the necessity to continue to promote the partnership between the IPU and regional parliamentary organisations and international organisations in preventing and settling crises or emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Man suggested that the IPU should call on countries with advantages in COVID-19 vaccine production to support developing and pandemic-hit countries to gain fair and timely access to vaccine sources and modern medical equipment at reasonable prices.

He also proposed the World Health Organisation (WHO) and countries foster their partnership and collaboration in transferring vaccine production technology and training to improve COVID-19 response capacity./.

Vietnam attends 18th ARF Security Policy Conference

A Vietnamese delegation, led by Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien, attended the 18th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Security Policy Conference (ASPC-18) via videoconference on May 27.

Vietnam’s attendance at the conference aimed to continue affirming its role as an active, proactive, and responsible member in bolstering defence cooperation between ASEAN and partners within the ARF framework, build on its achievements during its ASEAN Chair Year 2020, and express support for Brunei during its ASEAN Chair Year 2021.

Addressing the event, Chien spoke of the global and regional security situation, including intertwined traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as maritime security, terrorism, and cyber security.

Affirming the importance of peace and stability in post-pandemic recovery and the upholding of the role of defence-military cooperation within ASEAN as well as between ASEAN and partners, Chien expressed his support for Brunei’s proposal regarding the sharing of information on defence-security collaboration at the ARF Defence Officials’ Dialogue (ARF DOD) on the basis of continuing Vietnam’s initiatives during 2020.

He expressed his belief that with the joint efforts of members, the ASPC will continue serving as a main driving force in promoting trust building and preventive diplomacy, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Brigadier General Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma’ awiah, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of Brunei, who chaired the conference, said countries need to cope with challenges and boost defence coordination to ensure that the region is ready to respond to future challenges.

He described the ASPC as an important channel for parties to share views on defence-security issues and to reinforce cooperation.

Participants discussed regional and global issues of concern, security challenges now and in the future, including the impact of emerging technologies on national defence-security, and measures to build trust and cooperation for the sake of peace and stability in sub-regions and the Asia-Pacific./.

Vietnamese in Mozambique celebrate Buddha’s birthday

A Vesak ritual was hosted by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) and the Embassy of Vietnam in Mozambique to mark Buddha’s 2,565th birthday and to pray for peace on May 26 in the capital Maputo.

The ceremony featured incense offerings, Buddha bathing, and a peace prayer recited online by President of the VBS in Mozambique Most Venerable Thich Dong Hue and monks from Nom Pagoda in Vietnam.

A number of musical performances on Buddhism and depicting aspirations for peace and the beauty of Vietnamese and Mozambique culture and nature were also held.

In his remarks, Most Venerable Hue called on Buddhists to emulate Buddha’s compassion and spiritual purity to together live in peace and harmony and be devoted to the fatherland.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Mozambique Le Huy Hoang, for his part, said the ritual is a meaningful religious ceremony that will further spread Buddhism’s humanistic thought in the African country, promote the image of Vietnamese people, and strengthen the solidarity of the Vietnamese community.

Speaking highly of the VBS’s charity activities in Mozambique, Hoang said he expects Vietnamese Buddhists and people in the country to remain united and integrate into local society. He also urged them to continue sharing with each other and to take active measures to prevent infections amid the complicated COVID-19 and security situation in Mozambique./.

PetroVietnam donates 30 billion VND to COVID-19 vaccine fund

The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has donated 30 billion VND (1.3 million USD) to the COVID-19 vaccine fund in a bid to join hands with the nation to fight the pandemic as well as ensure social welfare and people’s wellbeing.

Following the directions of the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam on the policy of purchase of vaccines against COVID-19 for the people using the state budget and other legal financial sources, the Government issued a resolution on COVID-19 vaccine purchase and use. Per the resolution, 150 million doses of vaccines will be bought for the injection of about 75 million people. It is estimated to cost some 25.2 trillion VND (1.08 billion USD). Of the total, about 16 trillion VND is expected to come from the central budget, while the remaining 9.2 trillion VND will be sourced from the local budgets and contributions by businesses and organisations.

In order to meet the urgent requirements of pandemic prevention and control, and speed up access to buying and importing vaccines for large-scale vaccination, the Ministry of Finance has asked for Government permission to set up a COVID-19 vaccine fund. The fund aims to receive funding from domestic and foreign organisations and individuals, as well as other legal capital sources for the purchase of vaccines against COVID-19.

To join hands with such efforts and implement its corporate responsibility, PetroVietnam has decided to donate 30 billion VND (1.3 million USD) to the COVID-19 vaccine fund. Of the sum, 5 billion VND was from the mother company PetroVietnam, 10 billion VND from the PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PV GAS), and 5 billion VND from each of the Vietsovpetro joint venture, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR), and PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power).

In addition to the above-said units, PetroVietnam will continue to call on its other members to support the vaccine fund.

On the occasion, the group also earmarked 2 billion VND which was raised from its staff to assist the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, which are the nation’s current hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks, in the fight against the pandemic.

Its member units and trade union also donated hundreds of millions of VND and items to support front-line medical staff and localities in the effort.

Earlier, to protect the health of 56,000 oil and gas workers amid the complicated developments of the pandemic, PetroVietnam’s trade union offered its members 2.8 billion VND to buy medical supplies and necessities for COVID-19 prevention and control.

So far, staff of the oil and gas sector donated over 70 billion VND to the fight against the pandemic.

The number of domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases in Vietnam has risen to 4,621 cases, with 24 patients confirmed in the past 12 hours to 6am on May 27, according to the Ministry of Health. Of the new cases, 23 were recorded in Bac Giang province, and one in Lang Son.

As many as 3,051 domestic cases have been logged since the nation was hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave on April 27. Another case was added to the imported infection tally on May 27 morning, raising the imported count of the outbreak to 1,490.

Report from the ministry’s Medical Examination Administration showed that the country has seen 2,853 recoveries and 45 deaths related to the disease.

Since the pandemic has become more complicated, people nationwide 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)./.

Election of supplementary deputies to be conducted within 15 days from May 23

Elections of supplementary deputies have been set for localities that failed to elect two-thirds of the number of deputies to People’s Councils at all levels on the election day, May 23.

On May 23, over 69 million Vietnamese voters cast ballots to elect deputies to the 15th National Assembly (NA) and People’s Councils at all levels in the 2021-2026 tenure.

Under the Law on the Election of Deputies to the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels, if the number of NA candidates elected in the main election is less than that designated for the constituency, the local Election Committee must clearly state this in a report on election outcomes and promptly send it to the Election Committee of the province or centrally-run city, which shall request the National Election Council consider and decide upon an election of supplementary deputies at the constituency.

If, in the main election, the number of elected People's Council deputies is less than two-thirds of that designated for the constituency, the Election Committee at the same level must clearly state this in a report on election outcomes and promptly send it to the higher-level Election Committee to decide upon an additional election at the constituency.

If an election of supplementary deputies is needed, the polling day shall be no later than 15 days after the main election day. In this additional election, the list of voters will be based on the list in the first election.

On May 26, the Election Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang reported that the election of supplementary deputies will be held in constituencies where less than two-thirds of the planned number of deputies were elected to People’s Councils.

On the same day, the Election Committee of the southern province of Binh Phuoc also reported that a number of constituencies had less than two-thirds of the planned number of deputies elected to People’s Councils at all levels. The province plans to hold election of supplementary deputies as soon as the results of the first election are announced./.

State President appeals for joint efforts in COVID-19 combat

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has appealed to people both at home and abroad, businesses, and organisations to make material and spiritual donations to the fight against COVID-19.

At the launch of a fundraising campaign held virtually by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee on May 27, President Phuc expressed his gratitude to the healthcare workers, other forces, and the entire political system for their efforts to contain the pandemic.

He affirmed that the Vietnamese Party, State, and people are highly grateful to philanthropists for their donations, calling on all people to stay united in this combat.

Stressing that the country is now in need of contributions from every people, the State leader asked citizens from all social strata both at home and abroad, businesses in all economic sectors, organisations, followers of religions, as well as other countries’ people to join hands with the entire Party, people, and army to defeat the pandemic.

He also told all-level authorities, sectors, and people to thoroughly grasp the spirit of “fight the pandemic is like fighting an enemy”, asking the Government to invest every resource and take drastic, timely, uniform, and effective actions to combat the coronavirus disease.

Ensuring sufficient COVID-19 vaccines at this point of time is also a decisive factor in the fight’s victory, the President emphasised.

At the launch, President Phuc, leaders of ministries and sectors, socio-political organisations, and religious dignitaries made donations to the pandemic prevention and control.

Businesses and philanthropists pledged contributions worth over 2.7 trillion VND (116.8 million USD) to the efforts, according to the event organising board.

The country recorded more than 1.3 trillion VND donated to the tasks between April 27 and May 26./.

Vietnamese, Lao Party commissions forge cooperation

The information commissions of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) on May 27 agreed to boost their collaboration in the time ahead.

The consensus was reached by Nguyen Trong Nghia, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, and Khamphanh Pheuyavong, Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and head of the LPRP Central Committee’s Commission for Propaganda and Training, during their phone talks.

Nghia emphasised the traditional friendship between the two commissions and reviewed their cooperation over the past time, with the exchange of delegations and the organisation of theoretical seminars.

The commissions have instructed press agencies and information and communication boards in localities to step up the information work, thus promoting major events as well as the friendship and solidarity between the two countries' Parties, States and people, he continued.

Vietnam’s 13th National Party Congress has made headlines in Laos, Nghia said, adding that the two Parties have also successfully organised online conferences on outcomes of the National Party Congress of each country.

He said the CPV's Commission for Information and Education has seriously and effectively implemented the cooperation agreement for 2016-2021, and suggested the two sides consider signing another agreement for 2022-2026.

The agencies would organise virtual seminars given the COVID-19 spread, according to the official.

The Vietnamese Party, State and people always stand side by side with their Lao counterparts in the pandemic fight, Nghia stressed, expressing his belief that under the sound and drastic leadership of the Lao Party and State, and with the determination ad consensus of Lao competent agencies and people, the neighbouring country will soon put the pandemic under control, recover socio-economic activities, and continue to develop sustainably.

For his part, Khamphanh Pheuyavong said he believes that cooperation between the two commissions will grow stronger in the new period, contributing to consolidating and enhancing the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos./.

 

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

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