Vietnam documented one locally-transmitted COVID-19 case in the northern province of Bac Giang in the past 12 hours as of 6 am on February 10, taking the national tally from the latest outbreak to 484 cases, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Patient 2,070, a 20-year-old man, had close contact with Patient 1,820. He was put under quarantine from February 1, and is receiving treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases No. 2 in Dong Anh district, Hanoi.

The country has registered 2,070 COVID-19 cases so far. Of the total, 1,177 were locally-transmitted cases.

According to the Treatment Sub-committee under National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, 1,474 COVID-19 patients have recovered while 35 died from complications related to the disease. Among the patients still under treatment, 14 have tested negative for the virus once, 14 twice, and four thrice.

There are 99,854 people who had close contact with confirmed cases or came from the pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present, including 809 at hospitals, 20,826 at other quarantine sites, and 78,219 at home./.

Vietnam to raise rate of trained workers to 40 percent by 2030

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Workers at a garment factory


Vietnam targets raising the proportion of trained workers to 35-40 percent by 2030 under a support programme for labour market development newly issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Overall, the programme aims to provide a strong premise for comprehensively developing the labour market; effectively mobilising, distributing, and utilising resources to boost socio-economic growth; shift to a modernised labour structure; and promote links between the domestic labour market and those of the region and the world.

Its objectives are to increase the number of workers with labour market-relevant skills and raise the number of trained workers to 30 percent by 2025 and 30-45 percent by 2030.

Under the programme, Vietnam expects to be among the top 60 countries in the Knowledge Workers sub-pillar of the Global Innovation Index (GII) by 2025 and among the top 55 by 2030. The country also sets having 80 percent of its workforce possess IT skills by 2025 and 90 percent by 2030, while reducing the rate of young adults unemployed or untrained to below 8 percent.

To this end, the country plans to improve the relevant legal framework to bolster the development of the labour market; support the development of labour supply and demand, a labour market database, social welfare and insurance, and a specialised labour market; and promote links between the domestic and foreign labour markets.

It will also develop a set of indicators measuring the development of the labour market compared with the regional and global markets, and evaluate the labour gap between regions./.

PM meets medical workers ahead of Tet festival

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has described doctors and health workers as soldiers who stand at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.

At a meeting with medical workers on the occasion of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday on February 9, the PM stressed that the health sector has made direct and very important contribution to the country’s socio-economic achievements in 2020, as part of concerted efforts by the entire political system and people.

The sector has taken drastic actions and coordinated closely with other sectors and agencies during the epidemic combat, he added.

The leader extended thanks and appreciation of the hard work and the sacrifice of all medical workers, especially those who are working in pandemic-hit areas, as well as their families.

The pandemic would develop more complicatedly in 2021 with new variants, he said, calling on the sector to mobilise all resources to contain the epidemic and treat patients.
He stressed the need to provide sufficient equipment and supplies for medical workers to ensure their safety at the highest level and prevent transmission to medical workers and their family members.

The health sector must stay ready for any circumstances, and put in place plans for timely supporting localities, building COVID-19 treatment hospitals, and readying medical supplies in case the pandemic spreads on a larger scale, he said.

He required agencies and localities to take practical measures to care for frontline medical workers, especially during the Tet holiday.

The government leader informed that he had signed a decision on allowances for medical workers and others who are engaged in pandemic prevention and control work.

On the occasion, PM Phuc talked online with local officials and medical workers in several pandemic-affected localities and hospitals, giving encouragement and wishing them a happy new year.

At the meeting, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son spoke from Ho Chi Minh City that the ministry on February 8 established a special permanent team for the COVID-19 combat in Ho Chi Minh City in order to mobilise all resources for contact tracing in the city.

From Hai Duong province, Professor Tran Nhu Duong, head of the COVID-19 prevention and control group under the health ministry in Chi Linh town, said as from January 27, Hai Duong has traced 12,000 F1 cases, and collected samples of 75,000 people for testing.

The ministry has also sent many experts and officials, as well as equipment to the locality since the pandemic broke out there, he said./.

Universities provide support to students who stay through Tet

Many university students have received support after choosing to stay through the Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday amid the new virus outbreaks.

Nguyen Phong Dien, deputy director of Hanoi University for Science and Technology, said they would organise events to celebrate Tet with 150 international students who are still staying at the university.

Nguyen Viet Thai from Hanoi Trade University said Vietnamese students had returned to their hometowns but they still have 30 students from Laos and Mongolia staying at the dorms. An activity to make traditional Chung cakes was recently held and they will celebrate Tet with the students on the lunar new year’s eve.

At the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, 13 students who are from outbreak areas and many international students will celebrate Tet in Hanoi. 159 students are staying at Vietnam National University, HCM City, through Tet, including 81 international students.

HCM City University of Technology and Education said they would give 30 Vietnamese students and 19 international students who stay over Tet VND1m each as lucky money.

The Hue University of Education called for students to stay instead of returning to their hometowns this Tet. Students from Gia Lai Province and international students who stayed were provided with the financial support of VND300,000 per person.

The National Economics University has 10 students from outbreak areas staying and the University of Communications and Transport has 3 students from outbreak areas and 72 international students staying.

Antibacterial substances distributed to aid anti-COVID-19 efforts

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has assigned the Ministry of Health to supply 15 tonnes of Chloramine B and 15 million water purification tablets, free of charge, from the national reserves to certain provinces and ministries to serve the COVID-19 fight.

The beneficiaries are Hai Duong, Gia Lai, and Quang Ninh provinces, which are all in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak, along with the Border Guard High Command under the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Health.

As of the morning of February 8, Vietnam had recorded 2,005 infections, of which 1,115 are community infections, with 422 detected since this latest outbreak hit the country on January 27.

Some 1,472 patients have recovered while fatalities remain unchanged at 35, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control./.

Over 3.5 billion VND channeled into charity market for Tet

The Central Committee of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) channeled more than 3.5 billion VND (153,000 USD) into charity markets opened by its chapters nationwide from January 22 to 31 to support needy people before the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet).

Pham Thi Hoa, a resident in Hanoi, who received assistance from the charity market serving Tet, said her family is poor and gifts from the market helped ease her difficulties.

VNRC Vice President Tran Thi Hong An said these markets for Tet have made a practical support for needy people so that they can enjoy a warm and happy holiday.

Initiated in May last year, the market model is organised on the basis of mobilising resources and supports from the community, in order to serve people in difficult circumstances or severely affected by natural disasters, which hinder them from having enough food and necessities. Due to its high flexibility and practical response, it can run anywhere on a large scale.

The market offers food and household items of good quality and clear origins, with its consumers given coupons worth at least 300,000 VND to shop for their demand.

According to An, in mountainous, border, and island areas with poor transport infrastructure, mobile charity markets have been organised, attracting a large number of participants./.

Lao embassy extends New Year greetings to Vietnamese counterpart in Singapore

Lao Ambassador to Singapore Khonepheng Thammavong on February 8 led a delegation to the Vietnamese Embassy in the country on the occasion of the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.

At the reception for the Lao delegation, Ambassador Tao Thi Thanh Huong highlighted the special relationship between Vietnam and Laos, as well as the close ties between the two embassies.

She congratulated Laos on successfully containing the COVID-19 pandemic and organising the 11th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), saying Laos is one of the countries with the lowest COVID-19 death toll.

For his part, Ambassador Khonepheng Thammavong expressed his belief that the Vietnam-Laos relationship will grow stronger in the time ahead.

LPRP leaders are delighted at the re-election of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong as the leader of the Communist Party of Vietnam, he said./.

Vietnamese embassy in South Africa shows strong performance as APC Chair in 2020

The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa successfully completed its role as Chair of the ASEAN Pretoria Committee (APC) in 2020, contributing to promoting the partnership between ASEAN and South Africa and Africa in general.

Addressing a ceremony in Pretoria on February 8 to take the role of APC Chair from Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi, Indonesian Ambassador Salman Al Farisi lauded the activeness of Vietnam as the APC Chair in 2020.

He said that Ambassador Loi received the role from Thailand when South Africa was experiencing severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on aspects of life as well as operations of foreign representative offices.

Despite difficulties, the Vietnamese diplomat applied operation methods to adapt to the reality, he noted, adding that Ambassador Loi regularly contacted with APC members and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to exchange information on the situation in South Africa and Africa and share experience in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as promote cooperation among parties and optimise opportunities from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Vietnamese Embassy played the role as a bridge linking the DIRCO and the Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry in preparing for South Africa to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

Under the chair of Vietnam – the ASEAN Chair 2020, South Africa, along with Colombia and Cuba, signed the agreement to join the TAC, opening opportunities on broader and deeper cooperation in politics, economy, socio-culture between ASEAN and the countries.
         
Ambassador Loi coordinated with other APC members to organise the ASEAN Golf Day in late November 2020 to boost cultural and sport exchange between the APC and local authorised agencies, he noted.

Ambassador Salman Al Farisi hailed the achievements that Vietnam has made as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, contributing to strengthening the common voice of ASEAN in the international arena, dealing with challenges of the region in a timely manner, and helping to build a Southeast Asian region of peace, solidarity and prosperity.

Ambassador Loi said that in 2020 when South Africa performed the role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the President of the African Union, Vietnam and South Africa coordinated closely at regional and international forums for the common interest of the international community, Africa and Asia.

The Vietnamese and Indonesian ambassadors agreed to continue exchanging information and experience to help Indonesia fulfil the APC Chair role in 2021.

Earlier on January 27, ASEAN ambassadors in South Africa had an online meeting to evaluate the performance of the committee in 2020 and sketch out plan for 2021.

Vietnam Social Security launches programme to bring warm Tet to poor patients

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) on February 8 launched a programme to bring a warm Tet (Lunar New Year) festival to poor patients covered by health insurance in central and provincial-level hospital across the country.

At least 1,000 gift packages are set to be presented to the patients with funding raised from VSS staff and donors.

The two-day programme is held in different forms in localities depending on the developments of COVID-19.

Earlier in 2020, the VSS carried out numerous charity activities to support victims of consecutive storms and flooding in the central and Central Highlands regions, including the raising of 1 billion VND for them, along with the provision of electronic health insurance cards for locals in 10 flood-hit provinces.

Last year, the sector collected nearly 11.6 billion VND as donation from its staff and donors to present nearly 73,500 health insurance cards and 940 health insurance record books to the needy./.

Russian official underscores people-to-people diplomacy

Vice Chairwoman of the Russia - Vietnam Friendship Association (RVFA) Regina Budarina has attributed the success of the 13th National Party Congress to the pillars of Party, State, and people-to-people diplomacy.

In a recent interview with Russian news agency Sputnik, Budarina said the results of the congress will contribute to ensuring political stability in Vietnam for the years to come. The Communist Party of Vietnam’s leadership, along with people-to-people diplomacy on the back of State support, have found success in various fields.

She described people-to-people diplomacy as an important external policy resource and an equitable partner of the State in dialogue development and international cooperation, which has helped improve mutually-beneficial ties and raising understanding of the culture, tradition, and lifestyles of citizens worldwide.

Regarding Russia-Vietnam ties at present, Budarina said the two countries marked the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties last year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the RVFA still completed important plans, such as holding the fifth junior painting competition and exhibitions on the memory of Vietnamese soldiers in the Great Patriotic War of Russia.

On October 20, the RVFA also held a scientific seminar on the role of people-to-people diplomacy in the development of Russia - Vietnam ties, with 358 Russian and Vietnamese delegates taking part.

It also successfully organised over 60 online trade promotion meetings between Russian and Vietnamese companies seeking partners./.

HCM City leaders pay tribute to fallen soldiers

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen on February 8 led a delegation to lay wreaths and offer incense at the HCM City Martyrs' Cemeteries at Khong Ten and Lac Canh hills.

This is a traditional activity of the municipal Party Committee, authorities and people on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

Delegates spent a minute of silence, expressing their deep gratitude to heroes and martyrs who laid down their lives for the national independence and reunification.

Immediately after the visits, the delegation offered incense and Banh Tet (round glutinous rice cake) in tribute to Hung Kings - the legendary founders of Vietnam, and Nguyen Huu Canh, who founded the Saigon – Gia Dinh region (present HCM City) in 1698, at the Hung Kings Memorial Park in Thu Duc city.

The delegation also laid wreaths in tribute to President Ho Chi Minh, President Ton Duc Thang at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in HCM City.

On the same day, a delegation of the municipal People’s Council, People’s Committee and the Fatherland Front Committee of HCM City burnt incense to commemorate martyrs at Ben Duoc Martyrs Memorial Temple in Cu Chi district./.

Vietnam Red Cross helping people hit by pandemic, disasters

The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) spent a total of 4.8 trillion VND (209.6 million USD) on humanitarian activities in 2020, a 10 percent increase compared to 2019.

The funds were mobilised from all resources, from organisations and individuals inside and outside of the country to international friends, said Tran Quoc Hung, Vice President of the VRC Central Committee in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency.

Its humanitarian activities last year primarily targeted those affected by COVID-19 and natural disasters in the central region.

When the pandemic first broke out in Vietnam, the VRC stepped up dissemination efforts to raise awareness about disease prevention and control measures, and mobilised resources to support medical workers and volunteers on the frontlines of the fight as well as people living in locked-down areas.

It also appealed for support for central provinces hit by storms and flooding.

As an active and responsible member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the VRC also provided support for people in China, the US, India, and Cambodia, with over 800,000 medical facemasks worth 176,000 USD and 30,000 USD in cash sent in response to an International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ appeal.

The organisation has recently proposed several projects relating to COVID-19 vaccines, through the federation or with partners of member societies.

In 2021, with the pandemic and natural disasters developing in a complex fashion, the VRC commits to effectively organising movements and campaigns and improving external and mobilisation affairs to ensure sufficient resources to carry out its efforts and measures./.

Three ethnic villages in Binh Dinh connected to electricity grid

Three disadvantaged villages in the central province of Binh Dinh have been given access to the national electricity grid as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday nears.

Cat, Chom, and Ka Bong villages are in Van Canh district’s Canh Lien commune and home to 300 families from the Bana ethnic minority group.

Invested by the People’s Committee of Van Canh district, the power transmission project cost some 15 billion VND (645,700 USD) from the provincial budget.

The power system comprises a 22 kV transmission line measuring 9.5 km and three transformer stations with a capacity of 50 kVA each.

 

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Ho Quoc Dung said the completion of the project bolsters local people’s access to information and enhances production and studies, thereby improving the quality of people’s lives.

On the occasion, a number of electrical appliances were presented to the forest management department and teachers at the Canh Lien kindergarten in the three villages.

Three other villages in Binh Dinh have yet to be connected to the national grid./.

Chinese locality presents medical supplies to Quang Ninh

Representatives from the northern border province of Quang Ninh received medical supplies from Dongxing city and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China at a ceremony held at Bac Luan II Bridge in Mong Cai city on February 8.

The aid included 5,000 personal protective suits, 2,000 pairs of protective glasses, and 1.8 tonnes of disinfectant from Dongxing.

The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, meanwhile, presented 420,000 surgical masks and 992 bottles of sanitiser.

Quang Ninh is one of Vietnam’s new COVID-19 hotpots. As of the morning of February 8, the province had recorded 47 community infections in this latest outbreak, which began on January 27./.

PM makes pre-Tet visit to Hanoi air defence division

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc inspected combat readiness and conveyed New Year wishes to officers and soldiers at Division 361 under the Air Defence-Air Force in Hanoi on February 8.

The PM took the occasion to send his New Year greetings to officers and soldiers on duty in remote and island areas nationwide to safeguard national sovereignty.

He hailed Division 361 for fulfilling the task of firmly safeguarding the air space of Hanoi and consolidating internal solidarity.

The leader asked the whole army, the Air Defence-Air Force in general and Division 361 in particular to stay ready to safeguard border areas, air space, seas and islands of the nation, realise the Resolution adopted by the 13th National Party Congress, and the Resolution by the 11th Congress of the Army’s Party Organisation.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the working session with Division 361 (Photo: VNA)
He required the Vietnam People's Army to build a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually modern army, towards building an elite and strong army by 2030 to firmly safeguard national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity in all cases.

Division 361 must continually improve training quality, maintain close ties with people and well perform mass mobilisation in the new situation.

PM Phuc expressed his belief that on the back of the past achievements, Division 361 will continue overcoming challenges and accomplishing its assigned tasks, thus deserving the trust of the Party, State and people.

Founded on May 19, 1965, Division 361 fought in over 1,800 battles in more than 20 cities and provinces nationwide, shot down 591 enemy aircraft of various kinds, including 35 B52 aircraft. They also contributed to the “Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu on Air” victory in December 1972./.

Cà Mau wants to reduce poverty rate by 0.3 percentage points this year

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Cà Mau targets a 0.3 percentage point reduction in the poverty rate this year, according to its Fatherland Front Committee.

Phan Mộng Thành, deputy chairman of the committee, said poor households would be carefully identified together with socio-political and religious organisations, and specific measures would be taken to help every poor and near-poor household escape poverty.

The measures include helping them carry out small trade, breed animals or grow crops, he said. 

The number of poor households had reduced from 9.94 per cent in 2016 to 2.25 per cent at the end of 2019, but they still number more than 10,900. 

To help the poor household escape poverty sustainably, the Fatherland Front Committee plans to mobilise resources from society through the Fund for the Poor and the Social Welfare Fund for welfare policies.

Each grassroots level branch of all socio-political and other organisations will help one poor or near-poor household escape poverty, or help prevent a newly escaped one fall back into poverty.

Last year more than 3,000 households escaped poverty, exceeding the target set by the People’s Committee by 11 per cent.

Of the 3,000, 2,400 were assisted by the Fatherland Front Committee and other organisations.

Thành said to achieve this, the families were helped with production or business and obtaining soft loans for the purpose.

The Fatherland Front Committee has mobilised more than VNĐ71 billion (US$3 million) for the fund and used it to build 84 rural bridges, build or repair 1,941 houses belonging to the poor, drill 92 wells, give 26,000 gifts and donate nearly 130 tonnes of rice, and provide health checks and medicines for 12,000 poor people since the beginning

The province’s Fund for Supporting Farmers has provided loans worth more than 42 billion ($1.8 million) to 4,600 farmers, helping many escape poverty.

Trần Thị Quyết, deputy chairwoman of the province Farmers Association, said before the implementation of the projects, many farmers faced difficulties such as lack of resources and access to advanced techniques.

But after the projects began many have achieved excellent results and become model farmers.

The participating farmers have co-operated among themselves and with companies, she said.

Their products include blood cockle, rice straw mushroom, clean vegetables, and shrimp farmed using two – stage method with advanced techniques.

The Fund for Supporting Farmers has provided soft loans worth a total of VNĐ300 million ($13,000) to 15 farmers in Phú Tân District’s Việt Thắng Commune for a project to breed blood cockle.

Through the Fund for Supporting Farmers, the province has established 230 co-operative groups, 17 co-operatives and 519 occupation groups. 

Around 77 per cent of the province’s population lives in rural areas and 56.7 per cent of its workforce is in agriculture, according to the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Ethnic cultures, national treasures on display at An Giang Museum

The An Giang Museum in the Mekong Delta province of the same name opened an exhibition on February 9 of the Khmer, Cham, and Hoa ethnic minority cultures and a section preserving five national treasures.

The exhibition showcases the groups’ traditional crafts of beading and brocade weaving and their weddings, folk art, and culinary delights, among other cultural features.

The five national treasures are the Brahma Giong Xoai statue, dating from the 6th-7th centuries, two sets of Linga and Yoni from the 5th-7th centuries, a Giong Xoai wooden Buddha statue from the 4th-6th centuries, and a Khanh Binh stone Buddha statue from the 6th-7th centuries.

Ho Thi Hong Thi, deputy director of the museum, said the exhibition aims to create a cultural space for the public on the occasion of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday and attract tourists.

The number of visitors is restricted and COVID-19 prevention and control measures are strictly applied, she said.

Both exhibition spaces are open until February 14./.

Congratulations continue to come for Party General Secretary on re-election

Foreign party and state leaders have sent their warmest congratulations to Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong on his re-election as the leader of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee for the 13th tenure.

The congratulatory messages were cabled by President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, Chairman of the People's Action Party of Singapore Gan Kim Yong, Chairman of the Mongolian People's Party Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the All India Forward Bloc Debabrata Biswas, and President of Communist Party of Bangladesh Mujahidul Islam Selim.

On the list are also the Workers Party of Bangladesh’s Chairman Rashed Khan Menon and its Secretary-General Fazle Hossain Badsha, along with Chairperson of the Communist Party of Sweden Povel Johansson, President of the Communist Party of Chile Guillermo Teillier, Secretary General of Mexico’s Popular Socialist Party Jesus Antonio Carlos Hernandez, several ambassadors and leaders of friendship organisations with Vietnam in foreign countries./.

Party official commends National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology on good work

Politburo member and standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong has commended staff members of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) for their tireless efforts in COVID-19-related research.

Making a visit to the institute on February 9 on the occasion of the Lunar New Year festival, the Party official affirmed that the NIHE has always fulfilled its tasks in researching and training, especially in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that Vietnam was one of the first four countries in the world successfully in culturing and isolating the SARS-CoV-2, thus contributing to the development of vaccine for COVID-19.

Leaders of the institute are always the first to arrive at pandemic hotspots and the last to leave after the outbreaks are contained, helping enhancing the quality of medical services at the grassroots level, and people’s trust in the control of the pandemic, Thuong said.  

He asked relevant agencies, especially the Health Ministry, to provide the best possible support for the institute to fulfill its tasks.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the health sector has done its best in 2020 and has fulfilled the tasks assigned by the Party and the State, contributing to achieving the twin targets of containing the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining economic development.

The sector will make further efforts in 2021, an important year for reforming the health sector, he promised./.

Embassy updates South African Communist Party on 13th National Party Congress results

The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa informed the South African Communist Party (SACP) about major outcomes of the recent 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) during an online meeting on February 9.

The meeting aims to enhance mutual understanding, solidarity and cooperation between the two Parties, and further contribute to promoting left-wing, worker and progressive movements in the world.

It was co-chaired by Vietnamese Ambassador Hoang Van Loi, and Politburo member and head of the SACP Central Committee’s commission for foreign relations Frans Baleni.

Ambassador Loi thanked the SACP Central Committee for extending congratulations to the 13th National Congress of the CPV, saying nearly 370 congratulatory messages and letters sent by parties, agencies, organisations and individuals from 93 countries to the congress are a great source of encouragement and reflect the confidence of comrades, friends and partners in the Vietnamese Party.

The SACP showed interest in the preparations for the congress, including the collection of feedback on draft documents. It also wanted to know more about the role of the CPV Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, personnel training and planning in the Party, the enhancement of female Party members’ role at all levels, and Vietnam’s experience in COVID-19 prevention and control, among others.

The South African officials said Vietnam’s valuable experience will be useful for the SACP in organising its 15th congress slated for 2022.

Over the past time, the two Parties have regularly exchanged high-ranking delegations, cooperated in bilateral and multilateral forums, and shared information about their operation.

In July 2019, Politburo member Pham Minh Chinh, Secretary of the CPV Central Committee and head of the Committee’s Organisation Commission, paid a visit to South Africa, during which he held talks with SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande to seek ways to boost the bilateral cooperation, friendship and traditional ties./.

Government chief allows enforcement of social distance in major pandemic-hit localities

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has allowed pandemic-hit localities, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hai Phong to deploy drastic COVID-19 prevention and control measures, including social distancing in an effort to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19.

In his address at a government meeting on February 8 discussing how effective to cope with the swiftly spreading virus, the Government leader asked HCM City authorities to stay calm and spare no efforts in containing the outbreak while encouraging residents to strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K (in Vietnamese) message: Khau trang (facemask) – Khu khuan (disinfection) – Khoang cach (distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (health declaration).

He also welcomed the decision made by HCM City and Ha Noi administrations to cancel fireworks shows on the forthcoming Lunar New Year’s Eve to limit crowds as a way of preventing the virus transmission to the wider community.

PM Phuc consented to the Ministry of Health’s proposal to intensify COVID-19 testing in high-risk areas, while calling on local residents to refrain from travelling during the Lunar New Year holiday in a bid to help prevent spread of the disease.

He also agreed with the ministry’s proposal to purchase COVID-19 vaccine produced by the AstraZeneca Group and begin injections in the first quarter of the year.

The Ministry of Health and its minister are responsible for selecting partners, vaccines, and those to be vaccinated, with funding coming from the State, Phuc stated.

With regard to COVID-19 update, the Ministry of Health confirmed a further 45 new community cases on February 8 afternoon, including  Quang Ninh (3), Hanoi (3), Gia Lai (2), Ho Chi Minh (25 ), and Hai Duong (12).

The majority of fresh cases came into close contact with coronavirus patients from the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots.

Vietnam has documented 2,050 SARS-CoV-2 infections so far. Of the total, 1,160 are locally-transmitted cases, with 467 detected since the latest coronavirus outbreak hit the country on January 27.

Amid complicated developments relating to COVID-19, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long has requested that Ho Chi Minh City apply fresh social distancing measures in some areas following the latest detection of new cases linked to the outbreak at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The proposal has come following the southern city recently detecting 25 new cases in the community.

Minister Long said the latest outbreak in the baggage handling area at Tan Son Nhat Airport could have initially occurred a while ago and some people involved may have already been infected and then gone on to recover.

"The outbreak in HCMC was quite complicated and has gone through many cycles of infection; therefore, the source of this outbreak has not yet been determined. This is what makes us very worried," he said.

The Heath Minister added that even though they did not come into contact with air passengers, the infected airport staff could still have interacted other people in the community. He has therefore asked the municipal administration to take urgent steps aimed at preventing the outbreak from spreading further among the wider community.

Over the past 11 days, the nation has registered 467 domestic cases throughout 12 cities and provinces. Indeed, Hai Duong, and Quang Ninh, top the list of hotspots with 321 and 50 cases, each.

HCM City on full COVID-19 alert, sets up epidemic command centre

As the largest city in the south of the country, Ho Chi Minh City has been requested to establish an epidemic command centre specifically aimed at bringing the metropolis’ latest novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak under control.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the request after the Ministry of Health confirmed 29 locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases in Ho Chi Minh City throughout Feb. 7 and 8.

He has therefore assigned the Ministry of Health to work closely alongside the municipal administration to promptly establish the command centre.

The PM also permitted HCM City and Hanoi capital as well to impose social distancing measures at a number of selected places that can be judged to be high-risk locations in terms of spreading the virus.

HCM City is on full alert after dozens of cases closely linked to the southern city’s latest hotspot at Tan Son Nhat International Airport were detected. In addition, a further two suspect cases at the airport were also announced on February 9.

Local authorities moved to ramp up epidemic preventive measures to the highest level at the airport and in other sites throughout the city. All passengers and their relatives were required to strictly abide by health recommendations taken against COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health. 

Following the most-recent cases, the southern metropolis scrambled to quickly track down and quarantine all individuals who came into contact with COVID-19 patients and their relatives. The HCM City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) was required to re-test all staff at the airport on a daily basis. 

The city has locked down more than 10 residential quarters and blocks of flats across seven districts in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. It decided to suspend all non-essential services, starting from February 9, along with not holding the opening ceremony of the Nguyen Hue Flower Street Festival in the buildup to the Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet.

Experts have warned that with the source of infection yet to be identified, Ho Chi Minh City is at high risk of seeing the virus spread among the community. The number of infections is likely to increase considerably over the coming days.

Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 31 COVID-19 cases since the virus recurred in Vietnam late last month.

Since the latest outbreak, the virus has since spread to 12 cities and provinces nationwide, with 470 cases confirmed so far. At present, the northern province of Hai Duong is still the country’s largest hotpot with 321 cases.

Businesses provide additional support for COVID-19 fight

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) of Hanoi on February 9 received donations from local businesses as part of contributions aimed at helping with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and control efforts in the capital.

The donations include VND1 billion from Sun Group, VND1 billion from Him Lam Land Corporation, and VND750 million from Geleximco Group.

During the ceremony the Hanoi VFF chapter also announced cash deliveries to on-duty workers and needy people in concentrated isolation areas.

Nguyen Lan Huong, chairwoman of the Hanoi VFF chapter, showed sincere thanks to doctors and nurses who are on the front line to fight COVID-19, as well as businesses, soldiers, police officers, and people who have come together in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/SGGP/VOV/NDO/Dtinews/SGT/VIR