An additional 1,112 cases of COVID-19, including seven imported ones, were confirmed in the six hours to 12:30 pm July 12, raising the national tally to 31,590, according to the Health Ministry.

Ho Chi Minh City still accounted for the largest number of newly-detected cases with 879, followed by Dong Nai with 82, Tien Giang with 49, Dong Thap with 38, Hanoi 26, Phu Yen 9. Seven each were detected in Bac Giang and Hung Yen, three in Tay Ninh, two in Bac Lieu, and one each in Binh Phuoc, Soc Trang and Vinh Phuc. Of the number, 998 cases were detected in quarantine facilities or areas under lockdown.

As of 12:30 pm, Vietnam counted 29,656 domestically-infected cases and 1,934 imported ones. The number of recoveries was 9,275.

Among active patients, 339 have tested negative for the coronavirus once, 130 twice and 70 thrice.

The death toll rose to 123 with four more deaths related to COVID-19 announced by health authorities on July 12 morning.

The country launched a nationwide vaccination drive, the largest ever immunization campaign, on July 10, with the goal of inoculating more than 70 percent of the population by the end of the first quarter 2022. The MoH said people aged 18 and over can register for COVID-19 vaccinations through the COVID-19 immunization portal./.

Over 1 million people get help during Humanitarian Month hinh anh 1

PM inspects COVID-19 prevention in HCM City

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 11 made a fact-finding trip to field hospital No 3 for COVID-19 treatment in Ho Chi Minh City, which is the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam.

The 3,000 bed hospital has been converted from two blocks of unused apartment in resettlement areas in District 12, and has been put into operation since July 7.

Dr Tang Chi Thuong, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Health briefed the PM on the city’s plan to use uninhabited apartment buildings in the resettlement areas to isolate and treat COID-19 patients.

He said the city has developed the worst case scenario in which up to 50,000 people would be infected with the virus. At present, he said 36,000 beds are available for COID-19 patients.

The PM hailed the HCM City administration’s initiative to convert unused apartment buildings into field hospitals for COVID-19 treatment, and at the same time reminded local authorities to pay more attention to healthcare workers and other frontline forces.

“HCM City must make sure no cross transmission occurs or it would result in failure,” he stressed.

The same day, he dropped into several medical facilities in the city.

The inspection tour comes as HCM City has emerged as the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam. Data from the Ministry of Health shows the city has recoded more than 12,000 cases since the resurgence of the virus on April 27.

Bình Thuận takes measures to ensure household water supply

The south-central province of Bình Thuận is taking measures to ensure there is adequate water supply during the next dry season for households without tap water.

Many places in Hàm Thuận Bắc, Hàm Tân, Tánh Linh, Đức Linh, and Phú Quý districts face a water shortage during the dry season with some households not having access to water supply, according to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

They have to draw water from open wells and borewells, but groundwater has depleted in recent years and they face water shortages, it said.

In Bình Thuận, one of the country’s driest provinces, the dry season normally lasts between November and April.

To address the shortage, the department has asked the People’s Committee for funds to build water supply facilities.

It plans to dig 39 borewells, buy 414 water containers and build one reservoir and repair another in Tánh Linh District at a cost of VNĐ4.9 billion (US$212,000).

It has also sought the People’s Committee green light to upgrade and repair 26 water supply works in the province at a total cost of VNĐ292 billion ($12.7 million).

The People’s Committee has responded by assigning the Departments of Industry and Trade and Agriculture and Rural Development to review and submit to it the list of planned water supply works.

In areas where the population density is low and laying water pipes is not efficient, the People’s Committee has instructed local authorities to encourage households to use water thriftily.

They have also been told to help households get loans on easy terms to build or buy water containers and dig ponds.

It has instructed the province management board of agriculture and rural development projects to speed up work to build water supply works.

The province has 62 such works now in rural areas with a capacity to supply 84,020cu.m of water a day, benefiting 52.8 per cent of the rural population, it added.

Hà Nội blogger imprisoned for subversive propaganda

A 69-year-old man in Hà Nội was sentenced to five years and six months in prison for anti-State propaganda by the municipal People’s Court on Friday.

Phạm Chí Thành, residing in Đồng Tâm Ward of Hai Bà Trưng District, was found guilty of “creating, storing, distributing, or spreading information, documents against the State of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam” under Clause 1 of Article 17 in the 2015 Penal Code.

The indictment by the Hà Nội People’s Procuracy said that in around February 2012, Thành started a blog named “Bà Đầm Xòe” to post his writings. In mid-2014, he opened a Facebook page named “Phạm Thành” and continued posting many articles on different websites.

In July 2019, he gathered the writings earlier posted on the internet in a book and then distributed it.

The 21 articles in this book contained fabricated information distorting and defaming the people’s administration.

Thành also repeatedly gave interviews about his book’s distribution to foreign media outlets and some individuals in the country. Those interviews were posted on the internet and Facebook.

He distributed more than 220 copies of the book, including 194 delivered to others in Việt Nam and abroad via the post. He also sold and presented some to other individuals.

From September 13, 2019 to May 21, 2020, Thành gained more than VNĐ80 million (nearly US$3,500 at the current exchange rate) from the book’s distribution, with most of the money transferred to his bank account. After deducting costs, he earned over VNĐ18 million, according to the indictment.

Movie star Van performs in Netflix hit

Vietnamese movie star Ngo Thanh Van, known as VanVeronica, will be seen in part two of a US superhero film starring Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne and Matthias Schoenaerts.

She will play the role of a warrior named Quynh in the sequel to The Old Guard, a production directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Greg Rucka.

The Old Guard is based on scriptwriter Rucka’s comic book of the same name. It features a team of immortal mercenaries, led by a warrior named Andy, played by Charlize Theron, on a revenge mission.
It was released on July 10, 2020 on Netflix.

Van competed against many Asian candidates for the role of Quynh. Her performance has had good reviews from both critics and audiences.

According to Variety.com, the script has been completed for part two of The Old Guard, and filming is expected to begin next year. Theron confirmed she will be back in the film.

Van began her movie career in 2004 with a leading role in Rouge, a 13-part TV series produced by international channel MTV Asia, after spending years in music and on the catwalk.

In 2006, she played a leading role in Dong Mau Anh Hung (The Rebel), a kung fu film directed by Vietnamese-American Charlie Nguyen. The film won the Grand Jury Award at 2007 Sharing Visions, a biennial international film festival for Vietnamese filmmakers held in Los Angeles.

Movie star, director and producer Van of HCM City has performed in several films and TV shows, including Hollywood films Bright and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend, a sequel to the 2000 Hollywood hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon./.

11 returnees to Hanoi from coronavirus hotspots infected with COVID-19

Ten people returning to Hanoi from Ho Chi Minh City and one from Da Nang have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, said the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control on July 11.

Ten returnees flew together with their families from HCM City to Hanoi on flights VN216 on July 5, QH244 on July 4 and VN266 on July 2.

The remaining case boarded plane VN171 from Da Nang to Hanoi on July 6.

Two of the new cases were born in 2013 and 2015, the Hanoi CDC said.

Earlier the same day, the Hanoi CDC recorded another positive case at SEI company, a coronavirus hotspot in Thang Long industrial park.

Hanoi has confirmed a total of 304 COVID-19 cases following the resurgence of the virus in late April. The municipal administration has asked local residents to limit their travel and gatherings to halt the spread of the virus.

According to the Hanoi CDC, as of July 11 morning, 6,365 people returning from Ho Chi Minh City have reported to local healthcare agencies in 30 districts and towns. Currently, 5,601 samples have been taken and sent to the Hanoi CDC for testing.

Currently HCM City is the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam. The city has registered more than 12,000 cases for the past two months.

Malaysian media affirm ASEAN’s role in settlement of East Sea issues

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a central role to play in the settlement of East Sea issues, with the international norms and behaviours being stated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), wrote a recent article published on the news site Latestmalaysia.com.

The article affirmed the role of the ruling on the waters issued on July 12, 2016 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which is based in The Hague (the Netherlands).

However, the security situation in the region is at risk despite the parties’ efforts to maintain stability through collective measures and activities, it pointed out.

Threats are from maritime terrorism, piracy, unlawful intrusions into territorial waters, and illegal fishing. There is also trafficking of drugs, weapons and human. Illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing activities also threaten marine life as well as heighten tensions between states.

Port infrastructure and commercial shipping are also increasingly vulnerable to regional piracy and maritime terrorism, according to the article.

To tone down from the recent increase in military and occupation activities, there is a need for collective actions from ASEAN, especially the ASEAN unity along with multilateral mechanisms.

Furthermore, not only its members but also outsiders should respect ASEAN-led mechanisms, the article stated.

In the White Defense Paper 2021, for the first time, Brunei has mentioned the convention as an important tool to resolve the disputes in the region. The ASEAN Chair 2021 said efforts must be made to define accepted norms and behaviours under international law, namely UNCLOS.

The writing also indicated that the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in its entirety is necessary, as well as ensuring substantive progress is made in the negotiations towards an early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters./.

Ukrainian expert affirms international law’s role in East Sea issue

Sergey Tolstov, an expert at the Institute of World History, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, has published an article highlighting the role of international law and the significance of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s ruling in settling disputes in the East Sea.

The article was launched on Porady news site on the occasion of the five years since the PCA, based in The Hague (the Netherlands), issued a verdict relevant to the waters on July 12, 2016.

The scholar said that the PCA has delivered a clear ruling on China’s unreasonable claim on a large area in the East Sea, internationally called the South China Sea.

The PCA ruled that China holds no legal evidence to affirm its “historic rights” towards resources on the waters in its self-claimed “nine-dash line”.

It means that China cannot issue its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claim and do not have “historic rights” to declare its sovereignty on the exploitation of natural resources in the region.

Regarding the role of international law on settling disputes in the East Sea, Tolstov underlined the responsibility of all sides in the framework of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He voiced his concern about arbitrary actions which fail to abide by international law and cause security unrest in the region.

The claimants need to voluntarily comply with the UNCLOS and PCA’s ruling, the Ukrainian expert added.

He affirmed that in the current context, they can work towards the signing of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), upholding freedom of navigation./.

Bac Giang striving to foster community-based tourism development

The northern province of Bac Giang will facilitate the development of 18 community-based tourism sites in the 2020-2025 period, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The move aims to conserve and bolster local cultural values and capitalise on the potential of tourism and local landscapes as well as improve people’s education, alleviate poverty and hunger, create jobs, and attract more tourists.

Co-operatives in the field will be established, which will specialise in homestay management, cooking, musical performances, tour guides, environmentally-hygienic and traditional crafts, and more.

The sites include three in Na O village and An Lac commune in Son Dong district, as well as in the Mau residential area in Tay Yen Tu township and Dong Cao village in Phuc Son commune.

Yen The district will receive assistance for three facilities in the villages of Ven, Xoan, and Thuong Dong in Xuan Luong commune, and Viet Yen district in one facility in Van Ha commune’s Tho Ha village.

Also receiving assistance is Khe Nghe village in Luc Son and Da Huc in Binh Son in Luc Nam district.

Nine tourism sites in Luc Ngan district will be developed alongside fruit orchards in the communes of Quy Son, Tru Huu, Thanh Hai, Tan Moc, My An, Son Hai, Tan Sơn, Cam Son, and Ho Dap.

Each community-based tourism site is expected to generate jobs for about 500 local residents, helping raise incomes via tourism activities.

Bac Giang has set a target of community-based tourism sites and orchards being capable of welcoming at least 1 million holidaymakers a year by 2025, including 10,000 foreigners. Tourism revenue is expected to hit 450 billion VND (19.57 million USD) at that time.

To foster the development of community-based tourism and meet tourists’ demand, the province will arrange training courses in communications, reception, cooking, and art performance skills, and fact-finding trips for local people engaged in such work to learn from effective and outstanding models.

Bac Giang has also called upon local agencies to bolster studies, create and connect tours, especially those to community-based tourism sites, with tourism companies in the province and other localities, and attract investment in villages that boast substantial potential.

Furthermore, local authorities have earmarked funding for the tourism sites to improve their infrastructure, build signposts, purchase life buoys, and repair communal houses and latrines, among other things.

The tourism sites will be subject to thorough planning to attract visitors and create typical tourism products.

In a bid to bolster the development of its tourism sector, Bac Giang has carried out a community-based tourism project since 2014. During the 2014 - 2020 period, it worked to set up tourism sites in Son Dong, Yen The, and Luc Ngan districts.

Seven households have taken part in the project in Na O village in An Lac commune, Son Dong district, while a communal house was also built, welcoming about 18,000 tourists annually.

Ven village in Yen The district is now home to the Than Truong co-operative, with 20 member households. A stilt-house favoured by many tourists greets around 50,000 holidaymakers each year.

Orchards in Luc Ngan district also welcome significant numbers of tourists, especially when lychees, oranges, and pomelos are in season, with an annual average of 300,000 people.

Famous for its large area of lychees, the district has set up a number of locations in the communes of Quy Son, Hong Giang, and Thanh Hai that are favourable for agritourism.

Challenges remain relating to a lack of infrastructure investment, most notably in electricity, accommodation, and latrines. Services management and operations are matters of concern for local authorities, while community-based tourism sites are yet to create many attractive tourist products./.

Online writing contest for children launched

The Kim Đồng Publishing House has launched an online writing contest for children aged six to 15 this summer as part of an effort to encourage young readers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants should write a book review about their favourite book. Their challenges, dreams and hopes can also be included.

The writing, which must be no more than 1,000 words, should provide a summary of the book’s content, the value of the book, and why it is recommended for young readers.

Video blogs, or vlogs, should be no more than five minutes long each, featuring a book review. The vlog should be filmed by camera or smartphone with the format set as an MP4. File.

Participants can submit one each to the two categories of writing and video blog.

Their entries should be sent to truyenthong@nxbkimdong.com.vn before July 31.

Famous authors, poets and editors of Kim Đồng Publishing House will be part of the jury.

The first prize will be VNĐ5 million (US$200) in cash and a gift card worth VNĐ3 million ($120) used in Kim Đồng bookstores.

“We hope the contest will give children a chance to improve their reading and writing and make a video clip as well,” said a representative of Kim Đồng Publishing House.

“We believe that many new and good books will be introduced to young readers across the country after the contest’s launch.”

Books featuring Vietnamese culture, customs, history and arts have been issued. They include works by famous authors and poets such as Lê Đức Dương, Mai Ngô and Lưu Quang Vũ.

Peter Pan, a famous picture book about a "boy who would not grow up" by American author Arianna Candell and illustrator Daniel Howard, presented in both Vietnamese and English, was released. The programme is available at the website www.nxbkimdong.com.vn.

"We want to join with society and parents to offer a safe and meaningful summer to children,” said Vũ Quỳnh Liên, editor-in-chief of Kim Đồng.

Island commune expands cage aquaculture

Thổ Châu Island Commune in Kiên Giang Province is expanding breeding of marine fish in floating cages as it has favourable natural conditions for cage aquaculture.

Located 110 km off Phú Quốc City, the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta commune comprises eight large and small islands, and has clean sea water and plenty of trash fish caught from the sea for aquaculture.

Most households in the commune earn a livelihood from catching or breeding fish.

The commune has bred marine fish for nearly 20 years, but the output is not stable because of its isolated location, affecting breeding efficiency.

There is only one boat trip from Phú Quốc to Thổ Châu every five days.

Households in the commune breed cobia, grouper and other marine fish species, with cobia accounting for a majority of the output.

Nguyễn Thái Thông, chairman of the commune Farmers Association, said to secure outlets and stable incomes, the commune has established a co-operative group of five households for breeding marine fish in floating cages.

The commune's People’s Committee and Farmers Association are promoting these co-operatives. Under current regulations, a co-operative group must have at least three members, and a co-operative at least seven members.

The Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies is providing soft loans worth about VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) each for some fish breeding households in the commune.

The commune Farmer Association has petitioned the Phú Quốc City Economy Bureau to create conditions for providing breeding techniques and tending cobia.

Trần Văn Tân, who is one of fish breeding farmers in Thổ Châu, said that prices of bred marine fish were unstable.

“I and other people want to have a co-operative in which farmers can link together to breed marine fish, and thus can increase profits for farmers,” he said.

Of marine bred fish species, cobia is the best for breeding in the commune’s sea water as it has few diseases and grows well. It can reach a market size of 6 – 7 kg after six to seven months of breeding.

Tân breeds about 1,500 cobia in four floating fish crafts with an area of 32 sq.m each. In the last fish harvest, he earned a profit of VNĐ300 million ($13,000).

However, the impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic has affected the sales and price of marine fish, lowering the profit of breeding marine fish.

The commune authorities are working with Phú Quốc City, relevant departments and agencies to zone areas for breeding marine fish.

Fish breeding households have to move their floating fish crafts to suitable sea areas, depending on the month, to avoid strong winds and waves. They normally have to move their floating fish crafts to Bãi Dong sea between lunar May and lunar August, and to Bãi Ngự sea in the remaining lunar months.

Most floating fish crafts are made from wood and cannot withstand strong winds and waves.

The commune has 46 households breeding marine fish in floating crafts, with more than 100 cages on a total surface water area of about 3ha.

It achieved a seafood output of 140 tonnes last year, with one-third of the output from breeding marine fish in floating cages.

National immunisation management platform enables online registration for COVID-19 vaccination

Military-run telecom group Viettel on July 9 said the COVID-19 immunisation management platform, designated to serve the mass inoculation nationwide, is now ready for use.

The platform comprises four systems – an e-health record application, a portal for COVID-19 immunisation information, a system supporting national vaccination, and an MCC centre, with its database to be managed centrally and transparently.

People can register to get COVID-19 vaccine and track the vaccination record via the e-health record application and immunisation information portal.

The platform is expected to help speed up the nationwide vaccination campaign; increase its safety, effectiveness and transparency; and support the management, supervision and study of COVID-19 vaccination in Vietnam.

Before working on the platform, Viettel has operated a national immunisation system connecting about 14,000 vaccination centres across the country for six years.

The nationwide COVID-19 inoculation drive will be implemented in all 63 cities and provinces with 19,500 vaccination centres. The Ministry of Health expects at least half of Vietnamese aged 18 and above will be vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of 2021, and more than 70 percent of the population will receive the vaccine by the end of the first quarter of 2022./.

Ben Tre reports reduction in illegal fishing in foreign waters

The number of fishing vessels of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre committing illegal fishing in foreign waters in the first six months of 2021 fell 52.4 percent year-on-year, according to the provincial steering committee for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing prevention (Steering Committee 689).

The local authorities have punished eight out of 12 owners of fishing vessels violating foreign waters in accordance with Decree 42/2019/ND-CP on stipulating penalties for administrative violations in the fisheries sector with a total fine of 6.6 billion VND (over 286,000 USD).

In the coming time, the province will continue to drastically implement solutions to combat IUU fishing, in order to remove the European Commission (EC)’s yellow card warning.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Minh Canh, who is also head of Steering Committee 689, said special attention will be paid to strengthening supervision over fishing vessels operating offshore through monitoring systems, and resolutely sanctioning fishing boats which violate regulations on fishing boundaries and those with no cruise monitoring devices.

The local authorities will also focus on promoting patrolling activities and closely inspecting ships entering and leaving ports.

Communication campaigns have been promoted in coastal localities to raise public awareness of IUU fishing prevention, he said.

According to Doan Van Danh, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the observance of legal regulations by offshore fishing vessel owners has witnessed positive changes.

The dissemination of laws, especially the Law on Fisheries 2017 and related documents, have been implemented regularly, contributing to raising the awareness of fishing ships’ owners, he said./.

Standing Committee meets to prepare for new NA session

The National Assembly Standing Committee is scheduled to convene its 58th session in Hanoi from July 12 – 14 to make preparations for the first session of the newly elected legislature.

The committee will examine a national socio-economic development plan for 2021-2025, a national financial plan for 2021-2025, a plan for borrowing and repaying public debts in 2021-2025, and a medium-term public investment plan for 2021-2025.

It will also give opinions on investment policies for a national target programme of building new rural areas for 2021-2025 and for a national target programme on poverty reduction and sustainable social security for 2021-2025.

Among other issues, NA deputies will touch upon the organizational structure and numbers of Government members for the 2021-2026 term, personnel work for submission to the first session of the newly-elected National Assembly, and preparations for the first session.

Five hundred deputies were elected to the 15th National Assembly for 2021-2026 tenure on May 23. The first session of the new National Assembly is due to open in Hanoi on July 20.

Over 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Vietnam

As many as 4,040,783 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Vietnam since the fits shot was given on March 3, the Ministry of Health said on July 11.

Only 271,409 people have fully received two shots against the SARS-CoV-2 virus as recommended by epidemiologists.

With a population of approximately 100 million in Vietnam the vaccination rate is rather low compared to other countries, while the number of virus infections continues to rise.

The Ministry of Health on July 10 launched a nine-mont long COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the largest of its kind in history, aiming to inoculate three fourths of the population and achieve herd immunity by early 2022.

Vietnam has so far received about 7.5 million doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Vero Cell through purchase contracts, COVAX Facility, and bilateral donation between governments.

The Ministry of Health has five times distributed the vaccines to provinces and cities, with priority given to high-risk localities.

HCM City hotspot converts apartment buildings into field hospitals

Ho Chi Minh City, the largest coronavirus hotspot in Vietnam, is ready to convert blocks of apartment in resettlement areas into field hospitals as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise in the community.

As many as 32,900 beds have been reserved for receiving and treating COVID-19 patients, said Tran Hoang Quan, director of the HCM City Department of Construction.

“We will earmark an additional 6,000 beds for this purpose in the coming days to meet the increasing demand for COVID-18 treatment,” said Quan.

He also revealed the department has reserved approximately 20,000 beds for F1 cases, i.e. those in first-hand contact with sources of infection.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tang Chi Thuong, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Health, said the city has prepared 36,500 beds for COVID-19 patients, of which 6,500 are available in COVID-19 treatment hospitals and 30,000 in other field hospitals.

“Currently, four field hospitals have been put into operation. In the near future, there will be five more such hospitals located in apartment buildings provided by the Department of Construction,” added Thuong.

Thuong also affirmed that the municipal administration has yet to develop a home quarantine plan for F0 cases though this policy has been introduced in many other countries.

HCM City recorded 1,320 locally transmitted cases on July 10 and 443 new cases on July 11 morning, raising its tally of infections to more than 12,000 since the resurgence of the virus in late April.

Mekong Delta province imposes social distancing as infections rise

The Mekong Delta province of An Giang has kick-started its 15-day social distancing order, starting on July 11, following a sharp increase in coronavirus infection numbers in the locality.

Local residents were required to stay at home and were allowed to go out for food or other necessities. All non-essential services and large outdoor gatherings were also suspended.

In an open letter dated July 10, Nguyen Thanh Binh, head of the provincial administration, shared difficulties local people would experience when social distancing measures are imposed, but stressed the order is an effective way to slow the spread of the virus in the community.

An Giang shares a long border with Cambodia and the number of returnees crossing the border into Vietnam has increased considerably in recent times, posing a high risk of virus infection in the local community.

The province has set up more than 200 control checkpoints on waterways and land routes, with thousands of soldiers on duty around the clock to prevent and control disease transmission in the community.

An Giang has recorded more than 80 cases since the resurgence of the virus in late April 2021.

Online COVID-19 fight photo exhibition launched

 

The Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA) has called on talented amateur and professional photographers nationwide to submit entries for an online photo exhibition which highlights the country’s recent fight against COVID-19.

Entries are to feature vivid images on efforts to combat the spread of the virus in the country by frontline forces, including healthcare workers and soldiers, as well as by ordinary people.

Photos can be in colour or in black and white, along with single or set photos with no limited number.

Entries must have been photographed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam in January 2020.

Contestants can send their entries to the organising board at www.nhungkhoanhkhactutraitim.com until February 15, 2022.

Around 200 photos will then be chosen for a virtual photo exhibition.

The VAPA plans to open the exhibition to mark the 69th anniversary of the Vietnamese photography, which was originally established in March 15, 1953.

Exhibition presents latest work by contemporary lacquer painter

An exhibition featuring the latest lacquer works by Hà Nội-based artist Nguyễn Tuấn Cường will open its door to the public from Friday at Manzi Art Space in Hà Nội.

The exhibition, entitled Ôm Khoanh Trời Cũ or Fragments of Nostalgia, will showcase the artist’s signature series of still life paintings.

According to Manzi, overstepping its own boundaries of the familiar serenity and stillness, Cường has gone further than the subtleties in the technique or the poetry in the representation. Fragments of Nostalgia aims to uncover the interrelationships in space and time and reflects on presences and absences, and shapes and shadows in liminal space.

Commenting on his paintings, the Vietnamese-American artist Oanh Phi Phi, a researcher on lacquer painting, wrote: “In Nguyễn Tuấn Cường’s paintings, we are inside an intimate and dusky interior.

"Forms seem to come into view but stay buried under the penumbra of sơn ta [sap of the Rhus succedanea tree that used to create Vietnamese lacquer].

"The layers of then and cánh gián [black and brown-cockroach colour] lacquer become deep space while small still life objects are merely there to delineate the empty space within them and anchor our gaze.

"These domestic bowls, jars, and lanterns transport us to a time in the past of oral traditions."

Born in 1978 in Hà Nội, Cường graduated from the Hà Nội University of Industrial Fine Arts in 2001 and is known as one of the most admired contemporary lacquer painters in the country today.

His poetic still life lacquer paintings tell viewers of the subtle relationship between the object and its surrounding space, yet also depict an obscure reflection of time flows.

Cường currently works as a lecturer at the Art & Craft College of Việt Nam where he plays an important role in the college’s lacquer training programme.

He has participated in a wide range of exhibitions in Việt Nam and abroad in France, the UK, Taiwan, China and Switzerland.

The free entrance exhibition Fragments of Nostalgia will open to the public for one month until August 9. Manzi Art Space is at 14 Phan Huy Ích Street, Ba Đình District. In light of the current COVID-19 developments, visitors are required to wear a mask when visiting and use the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance.

The exhibition is part of Manzi’s art programme supported by the Goethe Institute.

Virtual discussions to give an insight into Asian film production

A series of virtual discussions that offer an insight into the characteristics and issues film productions in Asia face will be held by the Centre for Young Cinematography Talent Development this July and August.

The discussions, entitled Hương Vị Châu Á (Taste of Asia), will be presented by prestigious Vietnamese film researchers such as director Phan Đăng Di, critic Lê Hồng Lâm and Doctor of Literature Mai Anh Tuấn.

Each session's theme will cover five countries including India, Iran, Korea, Japan and Việt Nam, and take place at 3pm every Saturday and Sunday from July 11 to August 14 via Zoom.

Taste of Asia will kick off with a presentation from director Phan Đăng Di who is well known for his drama Bi, Đừng Sợ! (Bi, Don’t Be Afraid). He will be sharing his thoughts about life and death as portrayed in films by Indian director Satyajit Ray.

Dr Mai Anh Tuấn from Hanoi University of Culture will also talk about Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

Covering East Asia will be Film critic, Lê Hồng Lâm, who will explore the global popularity of the new wave of South Korean cinema and researcher Đỗ Văn Hoàng who will discuss films by Japanese director Hiroshi Shimizu.

Vietnamese works and filmmakers will include critic and screenwriter Vũ Ánh Dương who will deliver a talk about films by directors Síu Phạm and Trương Minh Quý. Artist Nguyễn Quốc Thành will also share his thoughts about Song Lang (The Tap Box) by director Leon Quang Lê.

In order to participate in the events, audiences will need to fill in the online registration form available on the Facebook page of TPD. Information about movies and issues that are discussed will also be updated on TPD Facebook prior to each session.

Opening the series is a screening of Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) by celebrated Indian director Satyajit Ray (1921-1992). The first film in The Apu Trilogy and also Satyajit’s debut work, Pather Panchali depicts the childhood of the protagonist Apu (Subir Banerjee) and his elder sister Durga (Uma Dasgupta) and the harsh village life for their poor family.

The film is considered a turning point of Indian cinema and one of the pioneers of the parallel cinema movement. Influenced by the Italian neo-realist genre, the film won many acclamations worldwide, taking home the best film award in India in 1955 and a Best Human Document award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956.

Tân Sơn Nhất airport provides COVID-19 test services for passengers

A small COVID-19 testing centre was set up at the Domestic Terminal of Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City to provide quick test services for passengers and airline staff from Sunday.

The tests will be done by Tâm Anh General Hospital in HCM City following the approval of the Airports Corporation of Việt Nam (ACV) and the Centre for Disease Control of HCM City.

Earlier, on July 8, the Southern Airport Authority required all passengers on flights to and from HCM City to have valid negative COVID-19 test certificates as part of measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The testing area is located at gate D1, Island A of the Domestic Terminal, separate from other areas of the airport. The entire testing area is set up in line with COVID-19 prevention standards.

Tâm Anh General Hospital was licensed by the Ministry of Health to provide quick test and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for customers. Quick tests will be done at the centre and test results will be delivered after 30 minutes. Samples of RT-PCR tests will be sent to the hospital for testing, which is located 2km from the airport and test results will be delivered after 4-5 hours.

The services will be provided between 7am and 7pm or based on the schedules of flights.

Passengers will have to pay nearly VNĐ1.7 million for the quick tests, while the RT-PCR tests will be pooled into five samples per test, costing a total of nearly VNĐ4 million.

HCM City opens COVID-19 prevention and control command centre

The HCM City People’s Committee has established a 24/7 command centre for COVID-19 prevention and control consisting of 16 members led by the People’s Committee chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong.

The centre is in charge of giving advice and issuing guidelines, plans and measures to prevent and control the pandemic; receiving information on the pandemic to provide forecasts about the situation; and dealing with fake news.

It will conduct research and consider proposals for purchase of equipment for COVID-19 prevention and control, offer training on the use of the equipment, and promote international cooperation on pandemic prevention and control.

The centre will make decisions on necessary measures if the city is being stretched beyond its capacity. For example, it may declare a COVID emergency or implement a curfew.

In emergency situations, the centre can immediately mobilise forces, means and materials to support frontline forces in order to keep the situation stabilised.

Since July 10, hospitals and medical centres in the city have carried out COVID-19 testing and results via the mobile application “Y Tế HCM”.

According to the city’s Department of Health, when people register for COVID test, their information is added to the health agencies’ system. The test results will be returned within three hours via the application.

In addition, health agencies have been told to help people check their results on smartphones and inform them that results confirmed by QR codes are equivalent to test result papers.

HCM City goods supply remains stable at markets, but shipments from provinces slow down as testing rules are enforced

Supply of goods to HCM City’s markets and distributors are stabilising following a rush by locals in the last few days to stock up on goods, but the city is still facing some problems with goods shipments from other provinces.

An abundance of essential goods and produce such as vegetables and meat products are being supplied to markets. On Friday, nearly 2,800 tonnes of goods were supplied to traditional distribution channels, a 32 per cent increase from the day before.

Locals have stopped rushing to stock up on goods in large crowds, unlike the two days before the lockdown started.

Shopping demand at traditional markets dropped by more than half on Friday compared to Thursday, while shopping demand at supermarkets fell by 10 per cent. According to many retailers, shopping demand will continue to fall, then slowly return to normal over the next few days.

Trương Chí Thiện, director of Vĩnh Thành Đạt Foodstuff Joint Stock Company, said that people were rushing to stock up before lockdown so the company had to divert its products away from its online channels to focus on its main distribution channels. But now, demand has fallen, and the market will soon stabilise.

Prices of goods are also returning to normal, after the price hike a few days ago when locals were stocking up.

Businesses are increasing their production of essential goods to make up for their inventory shortage over the last few days.

Provinces have been making efforts to reduce delays for goods transport into or out of HCM City, and many businesses have said that around 80 per cent of their problems have been solved.

However, there are still some obstacles with goods shipments from other provinces that are related to COVID-19 regulations.

A representative of Organic Food told Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper that its vegetable shipments from Long An and Lâm Đồng provinces were arriving late since they were stuck in Đồng Nai, which is carrying out a social distancing order under Directive 16.

The retail chain is working to supply orders that were made two to three days ago, and has had to stop taking orders from several delivery apps such as Grab and Tiki.

Nguyễn Ngọc An, general director of Vissan, said that some provinces were demanding that drivers have their COVID-19 test results done in the last 24 hours, as opposed to the usual 72 hours like other provinces.

Some inspection stalls have even demanded real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results, instead of rapid tests.

This is affecting their delivery schedules.

Trương Chí Thiện said that his business was also facing problems with egg shipments from Tiền Giang (which accounts for half of the daily egg sales), since the province is demanding that drivers from HCM City have to have RT-PCR test results instead of rapid tests.

It can take up to 48 hours to receive RT-PCR test results, which can hamper business inventories in HCM City.

According to the Department of Transport, the HCM City – Long Thành – Dầu Giây Highway is suffering from occasional traffic congestion, partly caused by drivers turning around because they lacked the required papers.

The department is working with authorities to facilitate transport of essential goods, while the city is asking other provinces to co-operate in allowing vehicles transporting essential goods to pass through more easily.

Businesses have been issuing travel permits to their staff and reminding them to always bring their personal identifications and documents.

Chu Tiến Dũng, chairman of HCM City Union of Business Associations, said that all provinces should agree on one effective time frame for COVID-19 test results, and that demanding results of RT-PCR tests was too excessive.

Regions should also notify businesses before they carry out any new regulations, so that companies have the time to prepare and ensure smooth transportation of goods.

As of Friday, nearly two-thirds of HCM City’s traditional markets and all of its three wholesale markets have been closed due to COVID-19, according to the city’s Department of Industry and Trade.

As many as 94 convenience stores have also been closed.

Many markets and supermarkets have been using grocery cards, numbered tickets or shopping tickets that only allow households to shop on either even or odd days to limit the number of customers inside at a time, ensuring social distancing.

Nguyễn Nguyên Phương, deputy director of the department, said that the closing of so many traditional markets was affecting struggling residents who buy food daily and do not stock up on goods.

Districts are expected to work with closed markets to help them adhere to COVID-19 related regulations so they can re-open.

Meanwhile, markets that are soon to be closed have to work with the department and improve their conditions, if possible, to avoid being closed.

The districts have also been instructed to organise goods distribution events. As part of this initiative, suppliers transport their goods to different areas where local organisations and traders from closed markets help sell their goods to locals.

If districts want to close more traditional markets, they must find appropriate areas for suppliers to organise mobile selling trips so that locals can still buy essential goods easily.

HCM City is the number one COVID-19 hotspot in the country, with more than 11,400 cases as of Saturday afternoon. It has been under a social distancing order since May 31, and began a lockdown for 15 days starting on July 9 under Government Directive 16.

HCM City suspends students’ enrollment period due to COVID outbreak

The student school enrollment period in Thủ Đức City and other HCM City districts will be suspended to ensure safety amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools in HCM City will not receive direct enrollment papers during the social distancing period.

“Whether or not to extend the enrollment period through August will depend on the epidemic situation,” Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, deputy director in charge of the HCM City Department of Education and Training, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.

Schools are allowed to do certain things online as long as they ensure distancing requirements and epidemic prevention measures under Directive 16.

Nguyễn Thành Văn, head of District 10 Division of Education and Training, said that students’ enrollment process was being carried out online and parents would continue to register their children following the timeline previously designated by the district People’s Committee.

The school, after receiving parents’ online enrollment registration notices, will confirm and send further announcements to parents via their registered phone number.

However, schools will not announce the official admission period or receive admission documents from parents.

Parents are advised to call the school admission staff if they have any problem with online enrollment, Văn said.

For students that have recently moved to District 10, ward-level People’s Committees will review the list and require them to submit their documents online. The enrollment period might be delayed depending on the epidemic situation.

Trần Trọng Khiêm, deputy head of Tân Phú District Division of Education and Training, said that the district has completely stopped enrolling students in preschools, and grade 1 and grade 6 classes.

“According to the direction of the city Department of Education and Training, parents should not run back and forth to inquire about enrollment status. Tân Phú District has completely suspended all school enrollment processes, including online applications,” Khiêm added.

Đặng Nguyễn Thịnh, head of the District 7 Division of Education and Training, said that the school enrollment process was being continued via online software.

To implement social distancing under Directive 16, all preschools, primary and secondary schools in the district were told to set up an email system and Zalo groups to make it convenient for parents to easily compare their records between what they have submitted online earlier and on Zalo or emails.

Thịnh said that despite the process of comparing records via Zalo and emails, parents need to prepare a hard-copy version of their original documents when schools open again.

Dương Văn Dân, head of the District 8 Division of Education and Training, said that the online enrollment period for preschools, primary and secondary schools in the district would end on July 31.

The department will make further announcements to parents depending on the epidemic situation.

With new students that have just transferred to the district, District 8 may not have sufficient time to update their full list. Thus, their parents can contact schools or the district Division of Education of Training during the social distancing period to ensure a slot for their children in the next academic school year.

Parents can ask for an extension of the enrollment period after July 31.

MoH guides the cost and payment for COVID-19 tests since this month

The Ministry of Health has issued guidelines for payment rates for the cost of conducting COVID-19 tests, which has been applied since this month.

There are three types of coronavirus tests, namely rapid testing, antigen testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

In terms of rapid testing, from July 1, those who own health insurance cards and are eligible to have their medical examination and treatment expenses paid will have their tests paid for by the health insurance fund.

The payment rate will depend on the patients’ health insurance cards and the medical facilities’ bidding results for conducting rapid tests.

For example, if a medical unit wins a bid to conduct rapid tests worth VNĐ135,000 (US$5.4) for each patient. Patients who take the rapid test with health insurance cards that are eligible to have 80 per cent of their medical examination and treatment expenses paid will get a VNĐ108,000 ($4.3) discount.

Previously, all patients with or without health insurance cards had to pay VNĐ238,000 ($9.52) for rapid COVID-19 testing.

Patients who need antigen testing will be eligible for the support but must pay an additional fee of VNĐ100,000 ($4) for the procedure to collect and preserve specimens.

The cost of RT-PCR testing will remain unchanged at VNĐ734,000 ($29.3).

The new prices have been applied since the start of this month.

Previously, the price of rapid COVID-19 testing at public hospitals was between VNĐ238,000-350,000 ($9.52-14) per patient.

Hà Nội’s People’s Council has announced it would support all the cost of coronavirus testing and screening for people who are required to take the test by the city’s authorities and health agencies.

The cost will be paid by the city’s State budget.

HCM City to support households with food difficulties during lockdown

HCM City People’s Committee sent an urgent notice announcing support regarding the provision of food and cooked meals as the city banned takeout services during the ongoing 15-day lockdown starting Friday.

The supermarkets and suppliers (SaiGon Co.op, Satra, MM.Mega Market, Bách Hóa Xanh, VinMart, Family Mart, AEON, Vissan) are asked to increase and diversify the offerings of safe and hygienic prepared meals and food on their shelves, as well as coordinate with online shipping and other direct delivery methods.

Thủ Đức City and districts in HCM City are instructed to support residents under their jurisdiction, especially households that have trouble cooking meals during the lockdown period.

Volunteers from local women's and youth unions could also be mobilised to deliver food and essential items to households in need.

Local authorities must provide free meals to elderly people living alone, sick people, and other social policy beneficiaries under their jurisdiction.

On Thursday, asked about the reasoning behind the takeout ban, a representative from HCM City’s People’s Committee explained shippers usually crowded the restaurants or other food and beverage joints, and proper distancing measures are hard to enforce.

The ban also means that these establishments must be closed, and only supermarkets and convenience stores remain open.

Tô Thị Bích Châu, Chairwoman of the HCM City branch of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front, urged people to trust in the leadership of the Government and Party, and said the citizens can report difficulties or shortcomings regarding authorities' help via the hotlines: (028) 38 223 212 - (028) 38 293 958.

Danang reopens public beaches

The central city of Danang has allowed people to go to beaches and resume outdoor activities as Covid-19 in the city has basically been brought under control.

Under the municipal people’s committee’s decision, people can only visit the beaches between 4:30 am to 8 am and 4:30 pm to 7 pm.

However, people are only permitted to go to certain beaches and banned from gathering there in groups. They also need to ensure they keep a distance of one metre from each other and wear a face mask before and after going into the water.

Early this morning, July 10, many local residents rushed to beaches along Vo Nguyen Giap and Hoang Sa streets in Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son districts. They were given a temperature check before swimming.

"We’re happy to see the beach reopening,” Thao Vy, a local resident said.

ILO highly appreciates Vietnamese government support for Covid-19 victims

Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP takes important steps towards expanding the coverage and effectiveness of Government relief packages in Viet Nam by including new categories of workers to the beneficiaries of government support, and lowering the administrative burden imposed to beneficiaries.

André Gama, Social Protection Programme Manager, ILO Viet Nam said he believed that the Vietnamese Government is moving in the right direction when it comes to its COVID-19 economic support packages.

"In Viet Nam, like in many other countries in the region, the significant share of informal workers in the labour force (71 per cent, including agricultural workers) presents a significant challenge in the design and implementation of COVID-19 support packages," he said. "In particular, as many workers are not registered in any database, programmes targeting specific groups of workers can be become a complex, expensive and time-consuming to implement."

The ILO representative stressed that Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP takes important steps towards expanding the coverage and effectiveness of Government relief packages in Viet Nam by including new categories of workers to the beneficiaries of government support, and lowering the administrative burden imposed to beneficiaries.
"We must now wait for its implementation to assess its success," he said.

The ILO believes that the Government is moving in the right direction when it comes to its COVID-19 economic support packages, and congratulates the Government of Viet Nam in starting the deployment of the package even when the current COVID-19 wave continues to present worrying patterns of evolution.

"It is important we remember that navigating such troubled waters can also present important opportunities," the representative said. "Many governments across the world are currently opening windows of registration for informal workers to join social insurance, providing them with contribution exemptions and access to specific COVID-19 support programmes. Such an initiative in Viet Nam could become an important compliment to the ongoing efforts to reach the social insurance coverage targets set out by Resolution No. 28/NQ-TW in 2018, which focuses on reforming social insurance policy towards the goal of universal social insurance."

Furthermore, in the current policy context, where the Government is debating the revision of the Social Insurance Law, Viet Nam should take this opportunity to reflect on how its social protection system can be strengthened, in order to enable it to better cope with the challenges of tomorrow. In particular, making social protection systems more shock responsive could go a long way in guaranteeing that, in future crisis, the Government does not face some of the challenges it faces today when it comes to providing support to those most affected by those crisis.

It is up to the Government to help steer the country through such stormy times, discussing and deciding where the optimal balance lies between these different dimensions, bearing in mind the positive effects that cash-transfer support to workers can have in the economy in the short-run, as shown over and over again across the world.

The ILO urge the people of Viet Nam to look at economic packages such as that put forth by Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP not as a cost, but as an investment. As a bridge over troubled water, which will help stabilizing the economy, keeping families away from poverty, and helping the country bounce back faster and better from this COVID-19 storm.

Seminar supports parents in educating their children

An online seminar focusing on sharing perspectives and ways for parents and carers to support children to behave appropriately and effectively resolve conflicts in life took place on July 7.

Co-organised by the World Vision Vietnam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD), the seminar is part of the campaign "It takes the World to end violence against children in families and schools" initiated by World Vision Vietnam in 2017.

"Extraordinary, Ordinary People" is an initiative to encourage and promote concrete work by all sectors of society to contribute to creating a safe, positive and loving environment where every child can fully develop.

The event is also an opportunity for parents to be more aware of their role and influence on their children's handling of conflict, thereby adjusting their words, attitudes and actions to contribute to fostering the future of children.

Participating in the seminar, with more than 20 years of experience in listening, receiving and debunking the confidants of children and adolescents, journalist Hoang Anh Tu expressed his view that in any era, whether in the past or today, conflicts in the family are similar.

From the perspective of the management agency, Khuat Van Quy - Deputy Director of the Department of Familial Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism shared that as life develops more and more, conflicts will arise. Family members have equal rights and of course children have equal participation as parents. However, at present, many parents, especially those in remote areas, do not have access to parenting education.

Therefore, the Department of Familial Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has set targets on the number of parents who have access to information and parenting guidance, including documents guiding how to build a relationship with their children and how to talk to children.

In order to assist parents in educating their children and resolving conflicts in the family, the Department of Familial Affairs has implemented programmes such as Family System Education, which including sets of educational materials for children under 6 years of age, sets of criteria for family conduct, and research on children's education. In addition, the department is also cooperating with other agencies to implement child protection and parenting programmes.

About US$343.48 million spent on agricultural food safety in Vietnam

A Food Safety Project with expected capital of around US$343.48 million will be implemented in five provinces and cities in Vietnam from 2022 to 2027.

The project was jointly proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the World Bank, aiming to improve the value of agricultural products, while ensuring food safety and people's health.

Out of the total expected capital, the concessional loan from the WB amounts to US$211.17 million, accounting for 61.6%; and the domestic counterpart and private capital reached US$40.36 million (accounting for 11.8%) and US$85.42 million (accounting for 24.9%), respectively.

The expected non-refundable capital of US$6 million will be managed by MARD, accounting for 1.75% of the total.

The project will be deployed in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, An Giang, Tien Giang and Dong Thap.

The project consists of four stages, including: a pilot investment in a system of modern national agricultural product trading centres; the modernisation of infrastructure the national safe agri-food value chain; the application of technology and completion of a national mechanism on food safety; and the project’s management.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Phung Duc Tien, safe food helps people ensure people’s health and meet many requirements of the new era, towards the traceability of all foods.

Over 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Vietnam

As many as 4,040,783 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Vietnam since the fits shot was given on March 3, the Ministry of Health said on July 11.

Only 271,409 people have fully received two shots against the SARS-CoV-2 virus as recommended by epidemiologists.

With a population of approximately 100 million in Vietnam the vaccination rate is rather low compared to other countries, while the number of virus infections continues to rise.

The Ministry of Health on July 10 launched a nine-mont long COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the largest of its kind in history, aiming to inoculate three fourths of the population and achieve herd immunity by early 2022.

Vietnam has so far received about 7.5 million doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Vero Cell through purchase contracts, COVAX Facility, and bilateral donation between governments.

The Ministry of Health has five times distributed the vaccines to provinces and cities, with priority given to high-risk localities.

OVs in Thailand donate to COVID-19 vaccine fund

The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand held a ceremony on July 11 to receive nearly 1.5 million baht (46,100 USD) donated by the Vietnamese community in the country to Vietnam’s national COVID-19 vaccine fund.

Of the total, 1.469 million baht was contributed by the association of Vietnamese people in Thailand, and 10,000 bath by the Vietnamese students’ association in Thailand.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Phan Chi Thanh expressed his thanks for the contributions by Vietnamese people living in Thailand, although they have also been hit by the pandemic.

He affirmed that the funding will be sent to Vietnam as soon as possible.

On this occasion, the diplomat presented 8,000 USD from the Vietnam COVID-19 prevention and control fund to Vietnamese people in Thailand hit hard by the pandemic./.

Number of air passengers on HCMC-Hanoi route forced down

Airlines have been asked to transport no more than 1,700 passengers per day on each direction of the HCMC-Hanoi route from 0 a.m. on July 9, compared to some 4,000 passengers daily in the last few days, said a leader of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

The requirement was part of the social distancing measures applied in the city from July 9 to 23, the local media reported.

Vietnam Airlines was allowed to offer 700 tickets per day, Pacific Airlines, 200 and Bamboo Airways and Vietjet, 400 each. If they provide more tickets, CAAV will not allow them to continue offering services.

The requirement is aimed at controlling the number of HCMC passengers flying to other localities and ensuring social distancing at airports, the CAAV representative said.

Meanwhile, the frequency of one to two flights between HCMC and the Phu Cat Airport in Binh Dinh, the Buon Ma Thuot Airport in Daklak, the Lien Khuong Airport in Lam Dong, the Cam Ranh Airport in Khanh Hoa and the Danang Airport in the city of the same name has been maintained.

All passengers on flights from/to HCMC must have valid negative Covid-19 test certificates.

There are seven air routes from HCMC to other localities with 23 daily flights in each direction, down 12 routes compared with the pre-pandemic period.

Over the past few days, airlines have operated 13 flights with some 4,000 passengers per day on the HCMC-Hanoi route.

Many northern localities have suspended air routes to HCMC, such as Haiphong and Quang Ninh. The HCMC-Hanoi air route is now the only air route to connect the north and the south.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 10

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 10

HCMC allows grocery stores to stay open during social distancing