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The Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City has asked school leaders to increase students’ knowledge about cybercrimes to ensure digital learning is conducted in a safe and responsible manner.

According to the Department’s document, heads of education divisions in Thu Duc City and 21 districts, principals of high schools and vocational training institutions must support students to engage with digital technology in a safe and responsible way.

Students should be instructed to exploit data stores, digital data, digital platforms and video clips to support psychology, study skills, and use social networks safely.

School managers should increase supervision to instruct students against cyberbullying, cybercrime and child sexual abuse so that children can learn to successfully avoid these risks and to take advantage of the Internet’s many opportunities.

Additionally, schools should report violations in online teaching and learning activities.

Teachers, high schoolers and university students are encouraged to make videos to share their experience in teaching and learning in internet and rules of internet etiquette.

Beforehand, the Ministry of Education and Training had issued guidelines about safe use of digital technology for preschoolers, high schoolers and university students.

Currently, the education authority allowed schools to use online teaching because of unexpected incidents.

Petrolimex Long An head arrested for involvement in substandard fuel ring

Dong Nai Province police arrested Luong Dinh Tien, director of Petrolimex Long An, this morning, April 15, for his alleged involvement in producing and trading in 2.7 million liters of substandard fuel.

The Dong Nai Province police also collaborated with the Long An Province police and Criminal Police Department to raid the headquarters of Petrolimex Long An at No. 10, Tra Quy Binh Street, Ward 2, Tan An City, Long An Province.

Tien was appointed as director of Petrolimex Long An on October 1, 2020.

The substandard-fuel ring was co-led by Phan Thanh Huu, residing in HCMC, and Nguyen Huu Tu, residing in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long, both aged 64.

Up to now, the Dong Nai Police Department has filed charges against more than 40 people involved in the ring and seized 10 vessels, six tank trucks, 2.7 million liters of substandard fuel, VND120 billion in cash and many other valuable assets.

On February 6, the department cooperated with the Criminal Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security to dispatch more than 500 police officers to inspect the storehouses, gas stations, workplaces and houses of those allegedly involved in the ring in Dong Nai, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Long An, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and HCMC.

According to the initial results of the investigation, the ring provided an average of over one million liters of substandard fuel a day to the market. Since August 2020, more than 200 million liters of substandard fuel had been sold.

Former director of VEAM auto plant arrested

The Ministry of Public Security’s investigators have detained Pham Vu Hai, former director of Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery (VEAM) Corporation’s VEAM Motor Factory, to probe into his alleged violations over regulations in the management and use of State assets that caused losses for the State.

The investigators today, April 15, issued a decision to prosecute and arrest Hai after collecting an adequate amount of evidence and documents.

Early last year, the investigators had pressed charges in an embezzlement case linked to the VEAM auto plant. In the case, they decided to prosecute and detain Nguyen Duc Toan, deputy director of the factory, and Tran Thi Thanh Tam, an executive at the factory, for their alleged embezzlement.

The investigators recently also released their conclusions over the investigation into the mismanagement and misuse of State assets that caused losses for the State at VEAM, Vetranco and a number of related businesses.

Specifically, the conclusions indicated that the violations of Tran Ngoc Ha, former chairman and former general director of VEAM, caused losses of over VND135 billion for the State.

Also, from its own capital and bank loans as well as VEAM’s borrowed funds, Vetranco had falsified contracts for trading goods and transferring money to other companies illegally, causing losses of nearly VND183 billion to the State.

Man jailed for abusing freedom, democracy rights

The People’s Court of Tan Phu district in Ho Chi Minh City on April 15 handed down a jail term of four and a half years to a former city official for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State, and the rights and legitimate interests of organisations and individuals” under Article 331 of the 2015 Penal Code.

According to the indictment, Quach Duy, a former official at the municipal People’s Committee, posted many articles and photos on his Facebook account, of which three had content defaming the honour and prestige of former Party and State leaders and city leaders. He was placed into temporary detention on September 18, 2020.

During search, the Tan Phu police investigation agency found many documents, including some deemed “secret”, and passed them on to relevant forces for further investigation.

The judge said Duy’s actions were serious, harming security and social order and safety.

He confessed at the trial that he had compiled and published the articles on Facebook./.

Da Nang pushes ahead with serious reception of overseas Vietnamese

The Da Nang People’s Committee issued on April 15 a document on the reception and health quarantine of overseas Vietnamese citizens coming to the central city.

To ensure coordination in the reception of overseas Vietnamese entering the city via Da Nang International Airport and in self-paid quarantine at local hotels, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Trung Chinh requested that from April 14 through May 31, relevant agencies only receive and provide health quarantine for overseas Vietnamese citizens coming to the central city on flights organised by enterprises that have quarantine plans approved by authorities.

Chinh also told competent agencies to continue receiving and quarantining foreign experts and diplomatic and official passport holders in line with regulations.

Passengers from foreign destinations arriving at Da Nang International Airport must undergo quarantine at local military-managed facilities or quarantine sites in other provinces and cities.

After May 31, if there are more than two flights from foreign destinations per week, the Health Department will propose quarantine plans to the municipal People’s Committee, according to the city mayor.

As of April 15 morning, the COVID-19 infection tally in Vietnam stood at 2,737, including 2,445 recoveries and 35 deaths. A total 38,743 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or came from foreign pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined across the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

Danang suspends rapid transit bus plan

The central city of Danang has decided to suspend a plan to build a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system due to concerns about its ineffective operation.

The move was approved by local authorities on Monday.  

The BRT system is part of the city’s World Bank-funded sustainable development project. To date, only 33% of the plan work has been carried out. Initially, the city wanted to pilot the system to link Hoi An City and the Ba Na Hill area. Approved in 2013, the pilot system was expected to enter operation in 2018.

However, following careful consideration by the municipal authorities, the trial run of the system would be wasteful due to the forecast of the low passenger numbers.

Therefore, the city has halted the BRT investment to turn into focusing on improving the quality of 12 subsidised bus routes. This has also received the agreement from the World Bank.

The decision was supported by some people in Danang who cited experience from localities in the country as examples about the ineffective BRT investment.

Danang’s sustainable development project involves some other areas, including water drainage and main urban roads. So far, roughly 84% of the project’s total work has been finished.

Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro route to receive disbursement soon

The value of ODA loans for the No. 1 metro route through Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien is soon to be determined by the HCMC People’s Committee at the request of The Government Office on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on April 14, 2021.

According to the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the No. 1 Metro Route is over 82 percent completed. However, disbursement of the capital plan has not been approved since the issuing currency of ODA loans is not yet agreed upon.

Accordingly, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh at a meeting on July 20, 2020 with government leaders on promoting public investment projects requested central agencies and the HCMC People’s Committee to work on related agreed plans.

At the meeting on July 20, 2020, the Prime Minister asked the HCMC People’s Committee to determine the value of ODA loans to be issued from the central budget. On that basis, the Ministry of Planning and Investment shall coordinate with the Ministry of Finance to consider if the amount is adequate.

The expected budget is equivalent to over 17, 8 billion Japanese yen granted in VND.

Previously in 2020, the project was allocated VND2,185 billion but the amount was not disbursed due to lack of basis.

Many packages of North-South Expressway project behind schedule

Nine of 11 packages of the Cam Lo-La Son subproject and another package of the My Thuan 2 Bridge subproject of the North-South Expressway project have fallen behind schedule, according to the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau under the Ministry of Transport.

Among the 11 subprojects of the North-South Expressway project in the 2017-2020 period, six subprojects are under construction, while work on two others will start in the coming periods. In addition, contracts for three subprojects executed under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model are being negotiated, the local media reported.

Specifically, work on the Cam Lo-La Son section began in September 2019 and 99.5% of the cleared site has been handed over for the subproject. Its workload has reached some 36.4%.

The slow execution of the nine packages of the subproject was attributed to storms in the central region last year.

If the investor fails to work out solutions, the subproject may not be completed this year. Therefore, the Ministry of Transport asked the Ho Chi Minh Road Project Management Board to come up with solutions to accelerate the execution of the subproject, a representative of the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau said.

As for the My Thuan 2 Bridge subproject which kicked off in February 2020 and was expected to be completed in 2023, the contractor has started work on four packages. The contractor for the CW3B package is being chosen.   

Of the four packages under construction, three have met progress targets, but the XL3A package is only 6.9% complete and its progress may be delayed by three months.

The Ministry of Transport required the Project Management Board No. 7 to direct the contractors, especially of the XL3A package, to speed up the progress by sufficiently mobilizing machines, equipment, human resources and materials and maintaining the approved construction line and working on backup plans to promptly deal with incidents and complete the subproject by December 31 this year as committed earlier.

As for the Cao Bo-Mai Son subproject which kicked off in December 2019, the construction site has been handed over and the subproject is some 60% complete, so it can be completed this year.

The three subprojects whose work started on September 30 last year, comprising the Mai Son-National Highway 45, Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet and Phan Thiet-Dau Giay, are expected to be completed in 2022.

Regarding the two subprojects which were transferred from the PPP model to the public investment model, including National Highway 45-Nghi Son and Nghi Son-Dien Chau, the first packages of the two subprojects will be executed in June this year and completed in 2023.

Work on the three subprojects executed under the PPP model, comprising Dien Chau-Bai Vot, Nha Trang-Cam Lam and Cam Lam-Vinh Hao, are planned to start next quarter.

HCMC told to choose optimal solution to build An Phu Intersection

The Ministry of Transport has asked the HCMC government to study and choose the most optimal solution to develop the An Phu Intersection in Thu Duc City that costs over VND5.1 trillion.

On April 7, the ministry worked with the city and the consulting firm of the project to discuss the preliminary design solution and scale of the project.

As for the construction, the ministry asked the city to direct the investor and the consulting firm to ensure safety as there will be two railways passing through the intersection in the future.

The ministry also required the city to build a railway bridge under the projected flyover and plan branches of the flyover to ensure traffic safety.

During the construction process, the municipal government must come up with an optimal solution to ensure the economic and technical factors and organize traffic smoothly at the construction site.

The prime minister in late 2020 asked the HCMC government to complete investment procedures before May 31 this year and submit the project to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The HCMC government has assigned the municipal Department of Transport to prepare for the execution of the project and is completing procedures to submit the project to the municipal People’s Council for approval at its meeting on April 23.

In October last year, the city proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment review and allocate VND3.3 trillion from the State budget in the 2021-2025 period for the project. The remainder will be sourced from the city’s budget.

The intersection, when completed, will be a three-level structure, accommodating overpasses and a tunnel. It is the starting point of the approach road to the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway and the end point of Luong Dinh Cua Street, and often sees heavy traffic jams.

Local residents to benefit from clean water project

Thousands of residents in the central provinces of Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên Huế will be able to get clean water from a project mitigating water shortages in the dry season that has started in the central region.

Local brand Huda company said in a statement that an expansion of the long-term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme has been scheduled from April on the basis of positive achievements in the first two years in the five provinces.

Huda said it decided to fund five additional projects in the central provinces with the aim of significantly improving local water facilities, and the implementation schedule will start later in April.

It also said these projects are expected to help alleviate local water shortages which often peak during summer months and the flood season, contributing to a healthier, more stable way of life.

This year will mark the third consecutive year of the fresh water programme that the company has provided for local people in the five provinces.

Nathaniel Moxom, Managing Director of Carlsberg Việt Nam, said: “Giving back to society has always been a part of our DNA. It’s what motivates us to run our business with a sustainability mindset imprinted in every of our decisions.”

“This programme is no exception. It will contribute to a better community through a relentless drive towards sustainable development.”

Andrzej Bialasiewicz, VP Marketing Carlsberg Việt Nam, added: “The project has had proven social as well as economic impact and has become part of the long-term journey Huda endeavours to carry on, come what may. In 2021, we are headed for a new programme milestone, sharing the daily burden with significantly more local families.”

Over the past two years, the programme has included seven projects, providing reliable access to clean water for more than 20,000 people, and this despite the global pandemic, periods of extreme flooding and hot weather.

Apart from the campaign to improve local water access, Huda’s community-centric efforts have included support in the form of 6,000 care packages for residents of central Việt Nam during 2020’s extreme flooding and more recently, 9,000 care packages distributed directly to underprivileged families at Tết (Lunar New Year).

Pedestrian street to be piloted at Ninh Kieu Wharf

A pedestrian street will be piloted at Ninh Kieu Wharf in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

The plan was approved by Nguyen Ngoc Anh, vice chairman of Ninh Kieu District People’s Committee.

The pedestrian street in the Hai Ba Trung Street area, runs along the wharf, and is divided into three areas. The first will specialise in shopping and cuisine activities as well as the performance of Don Ca Tai Tu, a genre of chamber music from the southern region of Vietnam. The second area is for incense offering ceremonies for Late President Ho Chi Minh on special occasions and holidays. While the third is for music and folk games activities.

The street is scheduled to become operational on the coming occasion of Reunification Day (30/4) and May Day (1/5).

According to Anh, during the trial run period, the street will be open every Saturday, from 6 to 10 pm.

Tan An Ward authorities have been assigned to arrange a parking lot for people on the pedestrian street. Vehicles are kept free of charge during the operational time of the street.

The district then will review the pilot phase for further investment so that the pedestrian area would be put into use officially.

Quang Binh to launch a series of new tourism products

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience some new tourism products, in the second quarter of 2021, according to the Quang Binh provincial Department of Tourism.

Of which, the highlight is surely the tour "Son Doong - virtual space, real experience" by Mix Reality technology.

In the first quarter of 2021, the number of tourists to Quang Binh province was estimated at 202,970, a decrease of 59% compared to the same period in 2020.

In the second quarter of this year, the Quang Binh provincial Department of Tourism strives to welcome 470,000 visitors, up 13% over the same period in 2020, mostly focusing on the domestic market. In order to achieve this goal, the province is making great efforts to develop new tourism products, improve service quality and promote tourism. 

A series of new tourism products, such as “Son Doong - virtual space, real experience" by Mix Reality technology, Dong Hoi city tour, adventure travel products, and hot spring ecotourism resort, will be launched in the second quarter. 

Earlier, in the first quarter of 2021, Quang Binh province also launched some tourism products, such as "Exploring nature and learning about the Van Kieu ethnic people’s community culture in Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts" or "Experiencing nature and learning about Ruc ethnic people’s community culture in Thuong Hoa Commune, Minh Hoa District". 

In addition, Quang Binh tourism is focusing on promoting on digital platforms; while at the same time upgrading the Quang Binh tourism website in both English and Vietnamese, and continuously updating information on social networking sites. 

Some upcoming events, such as the Dong Hoi Culture and Tourism Week; the Culture, the Sports and Tourism Week; and the Quang Binh Discovery Marathon, are expected to become a good opportunity to promote and attract visitors to Quang Binh. 

Especially, although the COVID-19 pandemic remains complicated, Quang Binh tourism always maintains its connection with the international tourism market. Recently, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park topped the list of “Most Hospitable Destinations” in Vietnam via the annual Traveller Review Awards 2020 as announced by TripAdvisor readers also chose Phong Nha-Ke Bang in the central province of Quang Binh as one of the world's 25 best national parks. Son Doong cave was chosen by CNN as one of the seven best Vietnam cave experiences.

70 percent of Vietnamese adults infected with H. Pylori: doctor

The rate of H.Pylori infection in Vietnamese adults accounts for more than 70 percent, said Dr. Bui Huu Hoang, head of the Ho Chi Minh City-based University Medical Center's Department of Gastroenterology.

H. pylori is a common type of bacteria that grows in the digestive tract. It can cause inflammation and irritation of the stomach lining and ulcers. It has also been linked to duodenal ulcer and gastric ulcer.

Helicobacter pylori infection can be spread through kissing, oral sex, and contaminated food or drinking water or through gastrointestinal techniques such as gastrointestinal endoscopy and nasopharyngoscopy.
Although more than half of the world's population are infected with H. pylori but not every detected case requires treatment.

In fact, only a few people infected with H. pylori have clinical symptoms.

Some patients often worry about H. pylori much because of lack of full understanding of the disease. On the contrary, others show their apparent indifference to the disease and even ignore the treatment.

Poor body, food, and water sanitation in non-industrialized countries may be contributing to the increased rate of the bacteria.

Therefore, if a patient is aware of the bacterium avoiding the risk factors and taking certain preventative measures, he/ she may be able to lower their risk of contracting a H. Pylori bacterial infection.

Tra Vinh expands forest coverage

The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh plans to grow new forests from now to 2025, increasing the province’s total forest area to 10,000ha and reaching a forest coverage rate of 4.2 per cent.

To meet the targets, the province is providing funds to individuals, households and organisations responsible for growing new mangrove forests and protecting existing forests.

Individuals, households and organisations who grow new forests on an area of more than 0.3ha will receive no more than VNĐ37 million (US$1,600) per hectare to buy seedlings.

This is 4.5 times more than the financial assistance given previously.

Individuals and households responsible for protecting forests will be given VNĐ500,000 ($21) per hectare a year. The money will be provided for up to 15ha to individuals and 30ha to households.

Phạm Minh Truyền, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the support policies aim to protect the environment and protect against the impact of high tides, rising sea levels, and erosion along the province’s 65km coastline.

These support activities have helped to create livelihoods for households, especially shrimp – forest farms, that have provided sustainable incomes in coastal areas.

The province has more than 9,160ha of forests, mostly mangrove forests, and a forest coverage rate of 3.63 per cent, according to the department.

Of the total forest area, more than 4,000ha are planted by households in the coastal districts of Duyên Hải, Cầu Ngang, Châu Thành, and Duyên Hải Town.

The households also breed black-tiger shrimp or other aquatic species in the 4,000ha of mangrove forests.  

The shrimp – forest farming model requires low investment cost, has a low risk of disease, is environmentally friendly, and is sustainably efficient.

Households that breed shrimp or other aquatic species in mangrove forests earn an average income of VNĐ70 million ($3,000) per hectare a year, according to the department.

Last year, the province turned nearly 3,800ha of protective forests into commercial forests to improve incomes for households who protect and exploit forest resources. 

The move was done to improve the management and protection of forests.

The province has sought donations at home and abroad to grow forests and train human resources for forest management and protection.

It has also encouraged the use of advanced techniques, including the use of digital forest data at all management levels. 

In 2015 - 20, the province’s coastal districts of Duyên Hải, Cầu Ngang, Châu Thành, and Duyên Hải Town planted a total 625ha of new forests.

The province’s People’s Committee has zoned a total area of 23,984ha for forest development.

Quqng Nam Province praised for improved breastfeeding statistics

Half of all childbirths in Quảng Nam Province now take place in 'Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding', ensuring thousands of newborns and their mothers have access to quality newborn care and breastfeeding support.

A survey from the Alive & Thrive initiative showed there were 23,600 newborns in Quảng Nam Province in 2020, of which 12,500 babies were delivered at Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding.

The statistics were revealed at a workshop on Tuesday to discuss efforts in the province to build a network of universal family-friendly health services, which also provides more equitable access to newborn care and breastfeeding support for ethnic minorities and families with special needs.

Supported by Irish Aid through the Alive & Thrive initiative, the Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding model in Việt Nam aims to improve quality of maternal and newborn care and promote the implementation of the 'Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding' in health facilities.

“We are delighted to know that up to one in four babies will be born in a Center of Excellence for Breastfeeding in Việt Nam by 2022 if all 58 enrolled hospitals from 12 provinces become accredited. Today, we are more confident about this vision after hearing Quảng Nam’s mission to have five out of seven hospitals designated as Centers of Excellence,” said Lisa Doherty, Deputy Head of Development, Embassy of Ireland in Việt Nam.

Quảng Nam has more Centers of Excellence for Breastfeeding than any other provinces in the country, with a percentage of early and exclusive breastfeeding of 95. Just two years after the initiative was launched in Quảng Nam, the rate of uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has sharply increased from 53 per cent to 86 per cent for vaginal births and 46 per cent to 96 per cent for caesarian births.

“Quảng Nam, which was a pandemic hotbed and natural hit area, received nearly 350 pregnant women from COVID-19 high-risk countries. Two mothers confirmed with COVID-19 were supported to practise prolonged skin-to-skin contact and direct breastfeeding and were also enabled to bring a birth companion of choice despite strict COVID-19 infection control measures. I am impressed with the resilience of the health services and health workers in Quảng Nam, and you are an exemplar to follow to maintain service provision for mothers and newborns during pandemics and disasters,” said Roger Mathisen, Southeast Asia Director for Alive & Thrive.

“We are proud of the comprehensive support package to ensure equitable access to breast milk for all newborns, including at-risk infants,” said Dr Mai Văn Mười, Director of Quảng Nam Department of Health.

“Each year in the province, there are more than 2,000 pre-term, low-birth weight and sick infants who cannot directly breastfeed for a period of time. Therefore, a Human Milk Bank Service Network was set up at Quảng Nam General Hospital, a Center of Excellence for Breastfeeding, to provide pasteurised donor human milk for these babies,” added Mười.

The Human Milk Bank in Quảng Nam was launched in July 2020 in connection with the Đà Nẵng Human Milk Bank and has already provided 54 litres of pasteurised human milk from donating mothers to 80 at-risk infants.

On April 14, three more hospitals will be recognised as the Centers of Excellence designation, including Vĩnh Đức General Hospital and Quế Sơn General Hospital in Quảng Nam, and Hải Châu General Hospital in Đà Nẵng, increasing the total number of Centers of Excellence in Việt Nam to 21. 

Candidates begin to apply for national high school graduation examination

The Ministry of Education and Training has issued a registration form for the high school graduation examination in 2021, candidates begin to register from April 27. The Department of Education and Training decides the test registration venues to facilitate candidates.

The Ministry of Education and Training April 12 held a training conference for the 2021 high school graduation examination at Vietnam Maritime University in the Northern City of Hai Phong. Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do chaired the conference.

The 2021 high school graduation examination will basically maintain as 2020. The main goal of the examination is to evaluate the student's learning results according to the educational objectives of the high school education program.


Students’ academic results will be qualified for high school graduation as well as it will be basis for assessment of teaching and learning quality of high schools. Colleges, universities and vocational training institutions can use the high school graduation examination results for admission.

The examination is scheduled to take place on July 7 and 8. The examinations will be Math, Literature, Foreign Language and two combined tests comprising Natural Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and Social Science (History, Geography, lessons for citizenship education; or History, Geography for candidates studying in continuing education centers).

The examination content is mostly taken from the high school program, mainly grade 12. In terms of form, except for Literature examination essay, other subjects are given in the form of objective tests. Time to do Literature lesson is 120 minutes; Math 90 minutes; Foreign language 60 minutes; 50 minutes for each component examination of the Natural Science and Social Science composite examination.

At the training conference, the Internal Political Security Department under the Ministry of Public Security carefully instructed security tasks and safety tasks in the examination meanwhile the Department of Higher Education announced some contents about enrollment activities in 2021. During the training course, teachers discussed issues relating to regulations, guidance and safety problems in the 2021 high school graduation examination.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do affirmed the importance of the 2021 High School Graduation Examination which will be used for high school graduation and as a basis for university admission; therefore, to ensure safety, accuracy, and transparency during the significant examination, the Ministry of Education and Training and related ministries and local administrations in 63 cities and provinces must work carefully.

This is an annual high school graduation examination, with the participation of the entire machinery of state under the close supervision of the Ministry of Public Security, the Government Inspector, the whole education sector. This proves the high determination towards an important examination in accordance with regulations.

However, in order for the examination to take place well, the Ministry of Education and Training said that local authorities and those in charge of the examination must well prepare for facilities and hypothetical situations.

According to the instructions of the High School Graduation Examination, candidates start to register for the examination from April 27. The Ministry of Education and Training has issued a registration form for the high school graduation examination in 2021. The Department of Education and Training will decide the registration venues to facilitate candidates.

Noticeably, candidates who take the examination for high school graduation recognition are only allowed to take one combined test (Natural Science or Social Science). Candidates who have a high school diploma and an intermediate diploma take the examination to use the results as the basis to register for admission only to register to take the component test.

In regard to Foreign Language test, candidates are allowed to take part in one of the 7 languages: English, Russian, French, Chinese, German, Japanese and Korean. Candidates are eligible for sitting a test of a foreign language which is not the foreign language they are studying in high school. Candidates from continuous education institutions are allowed to register for the foreign language examination to get admission results into universities and colleges.

Hospital reports rising hand-foot-mouth cases

Vietnam National Children's Hospital has reported a sharp rise in the number of children with hand-foot-mouth disease. 

Since early 2021, the Hanoi-based hospital has received 125 hand-foot-mouth cases, six times higher than the same period last year.

Nguyen Van Lam, the hospital's director, said, "We receive five to six patients a day with high fever and they need to stay at the hospital. Most of the children are under five years old. The symptoms show up after five or seven days."

A 13-month-old child was admitted to the hospital on April 13 after vomiting and having a fever. When the child was admitted, the rash had already appeared on his limbs.

According to Lam, it's best to bring the children to hospitals if there are a fever and rash. If a child's fever does not go down with antipyretics, they should be monitored at medical facilities.

"Parents should clean their children's toys and clothes frequently as hand-foot-mouth disease is spread by direct contact with saliva, mucus, and fluid from blisters," the doctor said. "Children should have a healthy diet to boost their immune system."

Severe complications of hand, foot and mouth disease include encephalitis, cardiovascular disease, and acute pulmonary edema.

"When the fever does not go down even though the children already use antipyretics, parents should not attempt to use a different brand or type of medicine or else it will lead to paracetamol poisoning," he stressed.

Thu Duc City, four districts to have water supply cut for pipeline repair

Saigon Water Corporation (Sawaco) will cut the water supply in some areas of Thu Duc City and four districts in HCMC between Saturday evening and Sunday evening to repair the D1500 Binh Thai-Binh Loi water pipeline.

According to Sawaco general director Tran Quang Minh, the maintenance will take place on the section of Sawaco’s water supply network located some 200 meters from Nguyen Van Ba Street in Truong Tho Ward, Thu Duc City. The maintenance will force the Thu Duc 3 Water Plant to stop pumping water into the network.

From 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, until 9 p.m. the following day, Sawaco will cut the water supply in the wards of Hiep Binh Chanh, Hiep Binh Phuoc, Linh Dong, Linh Tay, Tam Binh, Tam Phu and Binh Chieu in Thu Duc City and the wards 11, 12, 13 and 28 in Binh Thanh District. Thanh Loc Ward in District 12, Ward 1 in Go Vap District and Ward 2 in Tan Binh District will also be affected by the water supply cut.

The water supply cut will affect dozens of thousands of households in these areas. Minh said households in some areas may experience low-pressure water shortly after the water supply is resumed.

Built at a cost of more than VND1.27 trillion, the Thu Duc 3 Water Plant is capable of treating 300,000 cubic meters of water from the Dong Nai River a day to provide clean water for the city.

This is the second time in one month that Sawaco has had to cut the water supply in some areas of HCMC to repair the D1500 Binh Thai-Binh Loi water pipeline.

Singer Dong Lan nominated at Berlin Music Video Awards

Singer Dong Lan is the first Vietnamese representative to receive the “Best Song” nomination at the Berlin Music Video Awards 2021. 

The nomination chart also brings together many of the world’s top music names such as Selena Gomez, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa and Cardi B, among others.

The Berlin Music Video Awards recently announced a series of nominations for this year's awards. Dong Lan's song entitled “Dung Yeu Mot Minh” (Don’t love alone) is the first and only representative from Vietnam in the "Best Song" category.

Dong Lan said Director of the MV - La Zung silently submitted her MV to the awards, adding she only became known after the MV reached the top 40 and was very surprised when the song was nominated for “Best Song”.

Many precious books to be introduced at “book market”

Many precious books will be introduced at a “book market” programme themed “A cultural identity of Hanoi” that will take place in the capital city of Hanoi from April 16-18.

The event will be held at Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (the Temple of Literature) as part of activities in response to Vietnam Book Day (April 21).

During the programme, various cultural and art activities will introduce readers and collectors to many precious books, including those made with traditional do paper.

The organising board will focus on beautiful scholar, heritage and children’s books that were translated from Russian.

The event will contribute to connecting publishers and book-makers with the community while featuring traditional cultural values of the thousand-year-old city.

Visitors to the event will also have the chance to join various activities such as making do paper and com as well as enjoy traditional art performances and join folk games.

More rain forecast to hit southern region

The southern region will see more rain, coupled with thunderstorms and strong winds, from now until April 23, according to the Southern Regional Hydrometeorological Center.

Convective clouds developed, leading to rain in many parts of the southern region, including Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Long An and HCMC from last night until early this morning, April 15.

They were unseasonal rains, said Le Dinh Quyet, deputy head of the center, adding that HCMC and the southern region have yet to experience the rainy season, the local media reported.

The rainy season will be in late April and early May, he said.

In the next few days, especially after April 19, many parts of the southern region, including HCMC, will continue seeing more downpours, thunderstorms and strong winds in the afternoons and at nights, Quyet said.

Book festival to open at Vietnam National Library

The Book Festival 2021 with the theme "Book - Mission to Develop Reading Culture " will take place at the National Library of Vietnam in Hanoi from April 16 to 21, as part of the activities to mark Vietnam Book Day (April 21) and World Book and Copyright Day (April 23).

Many activities and programmes to promote reading and towards the development of reading culture will be organisedwithin the framework of Book Festival 2021. 

In particular, the highlight of the event will be an exhibition with the theme "Books - Mission to develop reading culture",including four contents: Books - Path to knowledge; Books - Gifts nourishing the soul; Reading skills and methods; and Enjoying reading passion, with about 800 books on display and introduction. 

In addition, a seminar titled "Youth with reading culture" will be organised with the participation of many experts and representatives of publishing units. 

As in previous book festivals, this year’s festival will also provide the children with a drawing corner through a drawing contest by book, and a reading corner for children. Young readers can also explore reading through technology with the activity “Explore Digital Library - Let's Read” includes over 2,000 titles in more than 20 languages. 

In addition, within the framework of the book festival, there are indispensable bookstores introducing thousands of book titles with rich content, many attractive promotions and gifts.

The 5th IT Festival promotes smart education in Hanoi 

The festival’s focus is the exhibition of products and activities for solutions that have been successfully applied in schools across Hanoi city.

The 5th Information Technology (IT) Festival opened on April 14 is expected to accelerate smart education in Hanoi schools.

With the theme "Digitalization in education sector - building smart education", the IT Festival has profound implications for enhancing IT application in management, teaching and learning as it would raise awareness on the process and open up opportunities to access new technologies in education and training.

The festival’s focus is an exhibition of products and activities for IT application and IT solutions that have been successfully applied in schools across the city.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Education and Training Pham Van Dai emphasized that the 5th IT Festival will create a breakthrough for IT application in teaching and learning activities, the management of each educational unit, with a view to improving the quality of teaching and learning in the city, equipping students with knowledge and skills on digital transformation to become a global citizen.

The highlight of the festival are conferences and seminars on IT, which are a city-level conference on “orientation of digital transformation in Hanoi's education and training sector - building smart education" and the symposium "Digital transformation in the capital city’s education and training sector”.

With expected participation of some 2,000 visitors, the festival will contribute to encouraging and education workers to make more efforts and fulfill their tasks.

Late American peace activist Rennie Davis commemorated

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) on April 15 held a ceremony to commemorate and posthumously present the “For peace and friendship among nations” insignia to Rennie Davis, an American peace activist and a loyal friend of Vietnam.

Born on March 23, 1940 in Michigan’s Langsing city, Rennie was one of the leaders of the anti-war movement in the US in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1960s, he was one of the founders and leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society and a coordinator and director of the National Mobilization Committee to End War in Vietnam.

He visited the north of Vietnam during the war. In particular, in 1969, as a representative of the peace and students’ movement of America, he arrived in Paris to meet Foreign Minister Nguyen Thi Binh, head of the negotiation delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of Vietnam at the Paris Conference on Vietnam, to introduce an initiative from American students on a Peace Treaty between Vietnam and the American people, which was then signed in late 1970 and announced in January 1971.

He made significant contributions to the friendship and solidarity between the Vietnamese and American people. He passed away on February 2, 2021, at the age of 80.

Addressing the ceremony, Bui Van Nghi, head of the America Department of the VUFO and Secretary General of the Vietnam-US Society, highlighted the imprint that Rennie has left in the minds of people in Vietnam and around the world.

Through the Vietnam-US Society, former Vice President Binh, who could not attend the commemorative ceremony for health reasons, conveyed her sympathies to Rennie’s family. She described him as an excellent leader and organiser of American peace and anti-war movements and a great, loyal, and close friend of the Vietnamese people.

“The sentiments and heritage left by Rennie Davis will be an eternal flame enlightening the trust in the friendly relationship and mutual understanding and respect for peace, cooperation, and development between the people of Vietnam and the US in the present and future,” Binh wrote in a letter sent to the ceremony.

Workshop talks ways to promote participation of disabled persons in political life

A workshop on opportunities, challenges and solutions to promote the participation of people with disabilities in politics was held in Hanoi on April 15.

Co-organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam and the Centre for Education Promotion and Empowerment of Women (CEPEW), the event aimed at enhancing the right to political engagement of people with disabilities in Vietnam where is home to more than 6 million disabled persons.

Speaking at the workshop, Diana Torres, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Vietnam, said there will be a political gap between non-disabled and disabled people unless the community joins hands to promote equality and empower people with disabilities on political platforms.

Without their voices in agencies under the National Assembly and People’s Councils, the people with disabilities will find it difficult to really integrate into society, she added.

Le Ngoc Hoan, a member of the Blind Association of Lang Son province, who is a self-nominated candidate for the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly, said people with disabilities need representative voices in the law-making body so that their legitimate aspirations and needs will be heard.

According to a quick assessment of the group’s readiness for political involvement as candidates in the elections of deputies to the National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils, 92 percent of people surveyed hoped to have disabled deputies and 63 percent said they are ready for self-nomination to the elections in the next five years.

The assessment, jointly conducted by the UNDP Vietnam and the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam, was released as part of the workshop.

It showed three challenges facing the group in elections – feeling unconfident in the possibility of success, lacking knowledge on self-nomination and campaigning, and distrusting that the community will vote for people with disabilities.

Jan Wilhelm Grythe, Chargé d'affaires at the Norwegian Embassy, said the Norwegian Government is willing to share information on the political participation process of Tove Linnea Brandvik, a physically disabled Norwegian who served as deputy to the parliament for two terms from 2005 to 2013.

Norway is also willing to organise conversations to inspire Vietnamese people with disabilities, said the diplomat./.

State President hosts outgoing Russian Ambassador

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 15 received Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov who came to bid his farewell at the end of his tenure in Vietnam.

At the reception, Phuc congratulated the diplomat on the successful completion of his mission in Vietnam and his being awarded the Vietnamese State’s Friendship Order for his contributions to the Vietnam – Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Expressing his delight at robust growth of the partnership between the two countries, the President stated that Vietnam always attaches importance to its traditional friendship with Russia. He said he welcomes the maintenance of regular bilateral exchanges at all levels, particularly at the high level.

He also praised the outcomes of the recent phone talk between Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying they have contributed significantly to boosting the countries’ comprehensive cooperation.

Affirming Russia's important role to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in the world, Phuc said Vietnam wants to increase its collaboration and mutual understanding with Russia at international forums and organisations, including the UN and ASEAN.

For his part, Vnukov underscored his gratitude toward the assistance he and the Russian embassy received from Vietnam’s Party, State, ministries and competent agencies during his tenure.

He pledged that in any position, he will make all-out efforts to promote the fruitful friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Russia.

Experts discuss post-COVID-19 global major trends, recommendations for Vietnam

The Foreign Ministry and the United Nations in Vietnam jointly held an international talk in Hanoi on April 15 to discuss major global trends in the post-COVID-19 era, international experience and policy implications for Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son noted that after 35 years of renewal, Vietnam now has a great ambition of becoming a developed country with high income in 2045.

The official asked participants to identify global trends that may generate opportunities for Vietnam to make development breakthroughs, while sharing international experience and lessons in optimising post-pandemic trends for economic recovery, and proposing suitable policies for Vietnam.

UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra mentioned rising concern about the three major crises to the globe which are climate change, loss of biodiversity, and pollution, which threaten the achievements and development prospects in the future.

The US-China geo-political tensions and the inequality in COVID-19 vaccine distribution may also harm multilateral cooperation, he said, expressing his impression at the fast movement in world to catch up with new and pioneering technologies, thus supporting the maintenance of essential services and economic activities.

According to Malhotra, the increasing inequality inside each country and among countries has become a big and worrying trend. Therefore, the reduction of inequality and the pursuing of green and resilient recovery policies are the highest targets of the UN.

He said he hopes the talk will help seek new ideas for the recovery process.

In the framework of the event, three discussion sessions were held on digital transformation, the transition of growth model towards inclusive, self-reliant and sustainable and green recovery orientations.

They also gave a number of policy recommendations to help Vietnam tap opportunities from major global trends, thus combining outside resources with internal strengths to make breakthroughs towards realising the goals set at the 13th National Party Congress./.

More congratulations come in from abroad

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has sent a congratulatory message Nguyen Xuan Phuc on his election as the State President of Vietnam.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received a message of congratulations from his Mongolian counterpart Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue received congratulations from Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Radek Vondrácek; Speaker of Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) of Malaysia Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun; Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore Tan Chuan-jin; Secretary General of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Nguyen Tuong Van; Speaker of the Lok Sabh (lower house) of the Indian Parliament Om Birla; President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Casellati; Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Dmytro Razmkov; Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan Sahiba Gafarova; Speaker of the Mazhilis (House of Representatives) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nigmatulin; Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar; Speaker of the Palestine National Council Saleem Al - Za'anoon; Speaker of the House of Representatives of Morocco Habib El Malki; President of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina Sergio T.Massa; and President of Germany’s Hessen State Parliament Boris Rhein./.

Workshop talks ways to promote participation of disabled persons in political life

A workshop on opportunities, challenges and solutions to promote the participation of people with disabilities in politics was held in Hanoi on April 15.

Co-organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam and the Centre for Education Promotion and Empowerment of Women (CEPEW), the event aimed at enhancing the right to political engagement of people with disabilities in Vietnam where is home to more than 6 million disabled persons.

Speaking at the workshop, Diana Torres, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Vietnam, said there will be a political gap between non-disabled and disabled people unless the community joins hands to promote equality and empower people with disabilities on political platforms.

Without their voices in agencies under the National Assembly and People’s Councils, the people with disabilities will find it difficult to really integrate into society, she added.

Le Ngoc Hoan, a member of the Blind Association of Lang Son province, who is a self-nominated candidate for the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly, said people with disabilities need representative voices in the law-making body so that their legitimate aspirations and needs will be heard.

According to a quick assessment of the group’s readiness for political involvement as candidates in the elections of deputies to the National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils, 92 percent of people surveyed hoped to have disabled deputies and 63 percent said they are ready for self-nomination to the elections in the next five years.

The assessment, jointly conducted by the UNDP Vietnam and the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam, was released as part of the workshop.

It showed three challenges facing the group in elections – feeling unconfident in the possibility of success, lacking knowledge on self-nomination and campaigning, and distrusting that the community will vote for people with disabilities.

Jan Wilhelm Grythe, Chargé d'affaires at the Norwegian Embassy, said the Norwegian Government is willing to share information on the political participation process of Tove Linnea Brandvik, a physically disabled Norwegian who served as deputy to the parliament for two terms from 2005 to 2013.

Norway is also willing to organise conversations to inspire Vietnamese people with disabilities, said the diplomat./.

Ensuring fairness among all candidates: VFF official

Besides meetings with voters, campaigning on the mass media is an important way to ensuring fairness among all candidates, said Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Ngo Sach Thuc.

Talking to the press ahead of the third consultation conference at the central level to be held by the VFF Central Committee’s Presidium on April 16, Thuc said so far, preparations for the upcoming general elections have been implemented effectively, with the third round of consultation conferences to be held to choose the most eligible candidates.

Thuc said that after conducting inspections of election preparations in 16 cities and provinces, working groups of the VFF have identified certain problems and proposed solutions to address them.

Through the inspections, a lot of information and opinions were gathered to serve the next round of consultation conferences, he said, adding that opinions on the initial list of nominees have been carefully considered, so as to select the most outstanding candidates for the election.

The results of the first and second rounds of consultation conferences reflected the democracy in the introduction of candidates and self-nominated candidates, he said.

Regarding scenarios on organising the elections in the case of another outbreak of COVID-19, Thuc said that plans to respond to unexpected situations have been prepared to give guidance to localities, including the holding of elections in quarantine facilities and the use of mobile polling boxes, thus creating the best conditions for voters to cast their votes.

In the second phase of inspections, the VFF will focus on the publishing of lists of candidates and lists of voters in an open manner so that people from all walks of life can access them, ensuring the observation of citizens’ rights.

Thuc underlined the need to strict implement cybersecurity regulations to prevent the spread of wrongful information on candidates, while strengthening training for election workers to make sure election proceedings are implemented in line with the regulations.

Underlining that voting is the right and duty of each citizen, the VFF Vice President stressed the need for stronger communication campaigns so that voters are aware of their rights and duties and actively join the elections, thus turning the election day into a real festival of the whole nation.

NA Vice Chairman examines election preparations in Yen Bai

Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Duc Hai held a working session on April 15 with authorities in the northern province of Yen Bai concerning local preparations for the upcoming elections of deputies to the 15th legislature and members of all-level People’s Councils for 2021-2026.

Hai, who is also Chairman of the NA’s Finance and Budget Committee and a member of the National Election Council (NEC), asked the province to continue its communications efforts, particularly in remote and ethnic minority-inhabited areas.

Priority should be given to increasing IT application and training personnel for the task, intensifying inspections, and encouraging people to vote, he added.

Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Huy Tuan said that as of April 12, Yen Bai had organised a total of 1,306 conferences to collect feedback from constituents on candidates for the elections in their constituencies.

Also head of the provincial election committee, Tuan said Yen Bai has nearly 600,000 constituents.

The province has held its third political consultative conference, agreeing on a list of eight and 97 candidates for election as deputies to the 15th NA and members of all-level People’s Councils for 2021-2026, respectively./.

Five provinces, cities told to strictly follow anti-Covid-19 measures

The national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control has written to the governments of Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Tay Ninh, Hanoi and HCMC asking them to enhance Covid-19 safety protocols.

Due to the ongoing global health crisis, the provinces and cities should continue to direct competent agencies to strictly adopt anti-Covid-19 measures and call on residents not to be negligent about the disease, according to the national steering committee.

The competent agencies were told to regularly assess anti-Covid-19 activities, while the leaders of the localities should proactively decide appropriate Covid-19 safety measures and assume responsibility for Covid-19 prevention and control.

Besides, the localities were told not to practice social distancing on a large scale and carefully consider safety measures to avoid affecting the socioeconomic development and residents’ daily activities.

Apart from this, the competent agencies were also asked to impose harsh sanctions on those who violate Covid-19 infection prevention and control regulations, VietnamPlus news site reported.

It is necessary to prepare well to reopen international air routes to promote trade with foreign partners and ensure safety amid the pandemic in line with the prime minister’s directive.

In addition, the localities were also told to improve their Covid-19 testing capacity at healthcare facilities, prepare sufficient medical equipment and offer training courses on quarantine, testing and monitoring work to medical workers.

The Ministry of Health also warned the localities to be on the lookout for illegal entry and asked them to adopt drastic measures to prevent the potential spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Vietnam enters tough race as Covid-19 vaccines outpacing world's supplies

With demand for Covid-19 vaccines outpacing the world's supplies, Vietnam has been entering a tough race against the clock to have Covid-19 vaccine soon. 

The National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control on  April 14 convened a meeting about the purchase plan of Covid-19 vaccine and trial progress of home-made Covid-19 vaccines chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

A representative of the Ministry of Health affirmed vaccine AstraZeneca is still safe; therefore, the country will speed up immunization for priority groups according to the government’s decree 21/NQ-CP on the usage of the vaccine.

Noticeably, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long announced that demand for Covid-19 vaccines in 2021 will far exceed supply; thus, Vietnam are racing against the clock to have the vaccine as soon as possible while there has been simultaneously new barriers in negotiations with vaccine manufacturers even risks.

In regard to clinical trial of locally-made Covid-19 vaccine, Lieutenant-General Do Quyet, Director of the Ministry of Defense’s Military Medical University, said the human trial’s second phase of Nano Covax vaccine developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Company will end on April 15 at the Military Medical Academy and in a medical facility in the Mekong Delta province of Long An’s Ben Luc District with the participation of Pasteur Institute.

Mr. Quyet said that 554 volunteers exhibited symptoms such as pain at the injection point, light fever, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue, but did not require medical intervention. They are in stable condition.

Highly appreciating the vaccine’s clinical trial, the steering board announced to accelerate clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine as well as create favorable conditions for domestic functional units during the process. Moreover, the country has planned to pour investment in manufacturing the vaccine once the test is successful.

The steering board requested all ministries, sectors and local administrations to direct medical facilities, schools, factories, supermarkets, traditional markets, and bus stations to raise their awareness of the disease and adopt preventative measures.

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