Photos of people who died of COVID-19 posted on social media in Việt Nam are images of Indonesians and are not Vietnamese people, according to the Việt Nam Anti-Fake News Centre (VAFC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.

Some social media accounts are using images of COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia to spread fake news that the bodies are patients in HCM City.

The fake news has confused the public and has had an adverse impact on pandemic prevention and control activities.

VAFC encourages people and netizens not to share and spread the fake news. The news centre will transfer the case to relevant authorities for investigation and handling in strict accordance with the law. 

Tropical low depression bring heavy rain to northern Vietnam

A tropical low depression has formed in the northern part of the East Sea and is anticipated to cause heavy rain in northern provinces of Vietnam in the coming days.

At around 01.00am on July 19, the tropical low depression was swirling around the waters off Hong Kong, with winds gusting more than 50kph, according to the National Centre of Meteorological Forecasting.  

In the next 24 hours, the tropical depression is forecast to move north and north-west at a speed of 5kph and is likely to increase its strength.

Although it moves slowly, the depression will cause rough seas and heavy rain on the way it travels.

Meanwhile, a low pressure trough, which is moving across northern provinces, will connect with the tropical low depression, to dump lashing rain on the region, with rainfall expected to hit 200mm or above.

Meteorologists warned against a possibility of thunderstorms, whirlwinds, lightning, as well as a risk of flash floods and landslides in mountainous provinces.

Ministers reach out to provinces to ensure essential services

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Lê Minh Hoan, and Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Nguyễn Hồng Diên have co-chaired an online meeting to discuss the supply of essential goods and services in the 19 southern provinces and cities currently under social distancing orders.

Minister Diên said that the two ministries needed to work together to carry out a number of essential tasks to reduce supply shortages. This comes after reports that supermarket shelves have been emptied in many places in Southern Việt Nam in a spate of panic buying.

Diên said they first needed to accurately assess the discrepancies in supply and demand. They would then work to proactively connect suppliers and buyers coordinating with authorities in the transport and health sectors to improve the circulation of goods, and broken links between farmers and consumers would be fixed.

Market management organisations in the provinces need to take the lead and coordinate with local authorities to promptly handle profiteering and trading in low quality fake goods.

Diên also stressed that localities must prioritise keeping the public informed with clear and accurate information.

For his part, Hoan said that a statistics department could be established to send information to the MARD and the MoIT daily.

Transport

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) also held a virtual meeting Saturday with 22 southern provinces and cities. Minister of Transport, Nguyễn Văn Thể, told provinces to be ready to adjust and deploy appropriate transport options that comply with social distancing orders.

A number of localities in the central region have said they are willing to receive citizens from pandemic hit areas. Thể said localities were welcome to make agreements with each other, and to report to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control for specific regulations and instructions if necessary.

Health

In an interview with the Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health and Life) newspaper on Saturday, Minister of Health, Nguyễn Thanh Long, said that the health sector has given directions and laid plans for the implementation of pandemic prevention measures when applying social distancing. He emphasized the importance of early detection.

The Ministry of Health has also established a warehouse in HCM City to assist with the coordination of 2,000 high-function ventilators and other conventional ventilators for the city.

“I believe that we will ensure adequate equipment for pandemic prevention in the city and in other localities across the country,” he said. 

Charter flights to be arranged to send people in southern localities to hometown

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has asked airlines and airports to support the transport of people from Ho Chi Minh City and southern cities and provinces, which are being hit by the worst-ever COVID-19 crisis, to their hometown.

The move came following instructions of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport to create all possible conditions for workers and people in HCM City and southern localities to return to their hometowns while ensuring the strict observance of COVID-19 preventive rules, according to an official document newly issued by CAAV Director Dinh Viet Thang.

Airlines must immediately take necessary steps to start the transport while localities and authorized organisations are required to promptly devise plans for the arrangement of charter flights for the returnees.

All passengers must present a valid negative PCR coronavirus test result conducted no more than three days before departure or undergo rapid testing at airports before boarding the flights.

The CAAV also required airports in southern regions to offer rapid testing services.

Vietnam records 2,015 new COVID-19 cases last night

A total 2,015 new COVID-19 cases were reported during the period from 7:30pm July 18 to 6am July 17, including one imported case and 2,014 local cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

The local cases are in HCM City (1,535), Binh Duong (215), Dong Nai (74), Vinh Long (41), Ben Tre (30), Phu Yen (25), Soc Trang (19), Ba Ria - Vung Tau (17), Quang Ngai (14), Hanoi (12), An Giang (8), Dong Thap (6), Tra Vinh (5), Bac Ninh (3), Hau Giang (2), Quang Nam (2), Vinh Phuc (2), Lao Cai (2), Thai Binh (1), Gia Lai (1). Of these, 1,688 are in quarantined or locked down areas.

By 6am on July 19, Vietnam logged 53,785 domestic infections and 2,060 imported ones. The number of infections reported since the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks hit Vietnam late April amounted to 52,215.

A total of 10,667 patients have been given the all-clear so far.

Among the active patients, 267 have tested negative for the coronavirus once, 116 twice and 118 thrice.

As many as 22,654 people were inoculated against COVID-19 vaccine on July 18, raising the number of vaccinated persons to 4,283,906, including 306,475 having received full two shots./.

Free COVID tests for truckers to ease supply shortage hinh anh 1

Free COVID tests for truckers to ease supply shortage

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Transport have reached an agreement on the testing protocol for truckers, a move that will likely solve the shortage of essential goods in Ho Chi Minh City.

Truckers must provide health officials with negative test results to COVID-19 done using quick tests or RT-PCR tests, which take longer to produce a result but are usually more accurate. Test results will be valid and usable for 72 hours.

The MoH has pledged to set up additional testing sites along major routes to speed up the process and tests for truckers will be supplied free of charge.

These measures were agreed upon during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on July 17.

As for the other 19 provinces in the Mekong Delta, truckers may still travel without a negative test result. However, they have been asked to regularly disinfect their vehicles and limit contact with others. Local governments have also been told to set rest stops for truckers, away from local communities. The Ministry of Health has said it will set up 25 mobile COVID-19 test units with capacity to perform over 2000 tests per day to meet a rising demand for COVID tests. The units will be sent to high-risk localities.

The ministry said it has started talks with suppliers to secure more medical resources including test kits, ventilators, PPE suits and dialysers.

The Ministry of Health has also set up a 1000-bed hospital under the ministry's direct management in HCM City but has left the door open to take further action if necessary.

"The ministry will provide HCM City with the best doctors and resources. We are determined to win this fight," Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has said.

Also at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam asked health officials to prioritise testing in COVID-19 hotspots such as HCM City and start preparing for a worst-case scenario./.

Phu Quoc moves closer to trialing vaccine passports

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to trial a six-month vaccine passport program in Phu Quoc Island from October, and hopes to receive 40,000 foreign tourists during the period.  

According to the ministry 2,000-3,000 foreigners would come to Phu Quoc every month by charter flights during the first three months of the trial, and only be allowed to stay in sequestered resorts and tourist areas approved by it.

Some of Vietnam's major tourism markets with high Covid-19 vaccine coverage the ministry is eyeing include China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the U.S., Germany, Russia, the U.K. and France.

To enter Phu Quoc, foreign tourists need to furnish a vaccination certificate showing they have got two shots of a Covid vaccine approved by Vietnam.

Those who had Covid and have recovered must furnish a certificate from the country of treatment. The discharge date must have been within the previous 12 months./.

My Dinh stadium to apply VAR technology

The My Dinh national stadium in Hanoi will install a system to assist video assistant referees (VAR) as it will host the national team’s upcoming matches during the final round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regulates that all matches in the third and final round of World Cup qualifiers in Asia will apply the VAR technology.

The installation of the system at My Dinh stadium will be supported by the AFC’s partners.

This is the first time Vietnam have ever played in such round of World Cup qualifiers. They will play in Group B along with Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China and Oman for a spot at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has received in-principle approval from health authorities to host the matches at home./.

Flights to several southern localities to be suspended

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) recently sent a dispatch asking domestic airlines to suspend flights to and from airports in several southern cities and provinces that are under social distancing measures from July 19.

Specifically, all flights to and from Con Dao in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Ca Mau, Rach Gia in Kien Giang province will be halted from 0am on July 19.

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will still run a daily flight linking Phu Quoc and Hanoi and another on Can Tho-Hanoi route.

Bamboo Airways will operate Phu Quoc-Hanoi and Can Tho – Hanoi flights only on July 19, each one trip per day, in place of Vietnam Airlines.

Airlines are running Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi flights with a daily capacity of 1,700 seats per trip.

Accordingly, Vietnam Airlines will supply no more than 700 seats per trip each day, Vietjet and Bamboo Airways each 400 seats, and Pacific Airlines 200 seats.

Each carrier could offer 1-2 daily flights on Ho Chi Minh City – Da Nang/Quy Nhon/Cam Ranh/Buon Ma Thuot routes.

There will be no limitation in the number of flights carrying cargo.

The suspension of flights is due to last till August 1.

All passengers must show documents certifying they test negative for SARS-CoV-2 as requested by the Health Ministry./.

Indigenous language used to popularize information on COVID-19

National and indigenous languages have been used in parallel to raise awareness about COVID-19 pandemic among local people in Luc Ngan district in northern mountainous Bac Giang province. The initiative has proven effective, especially among ethnic minority people. 

Over the last two months, the latest information on COVID-19 has been provided in the Nung language to local ethnic minority people in Cong Lau hamlet in Phong Van commune, Luc Ngan district, Bac Giang province.

The news has helped allay their anxiety about the pandemic.

As well as regularly announcing the latest directives, the working group in Cong Lau hamlet also visits every household to encourage people to strictly follow instructions on health declarations and prevention measures.

The working group has also strengthened the broadcasting of information on internet platforms such as Zalo and Facebook to raise awareness about COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.

Distributing leaflets and putting up banners and posters are creative ways for the locality to raise awareness and encourage initiatives among local people, especially ethnic minority people, in the fight against the pandemic./.

Vietnam reports 29 new COVID-19 deaths from July 4-17

The Treatment Subcommittee of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on July 18 announced 29 more COVID-19 deaths.

They died between July 4 and 17, with details only just released.

Among the deaths, 20 were recorded in HCM City, the country’s current largest COVID-19 hotspot.

Two deaths were in Binh Duong province; three in Long An province; one in Bac Giang province; one in Da Nang city; one in Hanoi; and one in Dong Thap province./.

Major transport projects to get underway this year, others to be completed

The Ministry of Transport plans to begin work on nine major infrastructure projects in the south this year to reduce traffic congestion and improve connectivity.

In the third quarter, it will begin work on two sub-projects in the eastern section of the North-South Expressway, between Nha Trang and Cam Lam in Khanh Hoa province and between Cam Lam and Vinh Hao in Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

Construction of the 8.7km Tan Van-Nhon Trach section in Dong Nai province, part of Ring Road No 3, will begin this quarter. It will run between Provincial Highway 25B and the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway.

Work on terminal T3 at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City and a bypass around Long Xuyen City on National Highway No 91 in the Mekong province of An Giang will begin in October.

Construction of a bypass around Ca Mau City on National Highway No 1A, the second phase of upgrades to the Hau River in the Mekong Delta and the Cho Gao Canal in Tien Giang province and upgrade of a section of National Highway No 1A between Nga Bay town in Hau Giang province and Chau Thanh district in Soc Trang povince will begin in the final months of the year.

The ministry also wants to complete a number of ongoing major transport projects this year, such as two sections of the North-South Expressway between Cao Bo and Mai Son in Ninh Binh province and between Cam Lo in Quang Tri province and La Son in Thua Thien-Hue province.

It has also called for the completion of the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway in the south, upgrades to runways at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City, construction of the Mai Dich-Nam Thang Long Overpass in Hanoi, and an upgrade to the north-south railway./.

11 locations in Hà Nội locked down after 18 new infections

Authorities in Hà Nội have locked down several locations related to positive cases of COVID-19.

On Sunday morning, Hà Nội recorded 18 new infections, of which 16 are close contacts of cases detected on July 16 and 17. Two others have been quarantined.

Ten cases are part of the Sunshine Palace cluster, on Lĩnh Nam Street in Hoàng Mai District. Five cases are related to an earlier positive case 132 Bùi Thị Xuân Street Building, Hai Bà Trưng District. Two are related to a cluster that returned from HCM City and one is related to the outbreak in Tân Mai Ward, Hoàng Mai District.

As a result, the city has issued lockdown orders for these locations:

The 180/84 Alley on Nguyễn Lương Bằng Street, Đống Đa District

Alley 36/93 Văn Hương in Hàng Bột Ward, Đống Đa District.

F3 Area, Alley 171 Thái Hà Street

Alley 422, Trương Định Street, Tân Mai Ward, Hoàng Mai District

A section in N07C residentital area

34 households living in Đỗ Xuân Hợp Street, Mỹ Đình 1 Ward, Nam Từ Liêm District

Westa Building, 102 Trần Phú Street, Hà Đông District

Ministry of Trade and Industry’s office on 25 Ngô Quyền Street, Hoàn Kiếm District

Three buildings next to a Vietlott branch in 58 Lĩnh Nam Street

Viettinbank Building, 25 Lý Thường Kiệt Street, Hoàn Kiếm District

93 Lò Đúc Street, Hai Bà Trưng District

There are also several cases linked to the Hà Nội Transportation Company. The Centre for Diseases Control of Hà Nội has recommended testing all drivers and ticket staff on buses.

Hà Nội has decided to stop public transport traveling to 37 provinces and cities which have been hit by COVID-19. The decision was made on Saturday evening after the Prime Minister decided to impose social distancing on 19 southern cities and provinces.

Buses, taxis, contract cars, and tourism cars to and from these 37 provinces and cities will stop operating

Public transportation to and from all the localities can only resume after a locality has not recorded any COVID-19 case for 14 consecutive days or until further notice.

Phu Quoc to welcome foreign visitors with vaccine passports by October

Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang province expects to welcome international visitors with vaccine passports beginning in October.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has proposed opening Phu Quoc Island to international visitors with vaccine passports after receiving consultations from the Ministries of Health, Public Security, Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Transport, and Information and Communications.

During the first phase of the pilot programme, which will last three months, Phu Quoc will welcome 2,000 to 3,000 visitors per month via charter flights in a limited number of locations.

The second phase, also lasting for three months, will host 5,000 to 10,000 visitors per month. Passengers will be picked up via commercial flights and experience Phu Quoc on a larger scale.

The purpose of this programme is to gradually restore the international tourism market and the tourism industry while promoting Vietnam as a safe and attractive destination with effective pandemic prevention and control measures.

International visitors who want to visit Phu Quoc must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by Vietnamese authorities. The second dose must be injected at least 14 days and not more than 12 months from the entry time.

Visitors with a certificate showing COVID-19 recovery and who have been discharged for not more than 12 months are also allowed to enter Phu Quoc.

All tourists before entering Vietnam must be tested negative for COVID-19 via the PCR method.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Kien Giang provincial People’s Committee will select appropriate service providers to host foreign visitors.

Vietnam is expected to welcome visitors from markets with high tourism potential and epidemic safety across regions such as Northeast Asia, Europe, the US and the Middle East.

Visitors must enter Phu Quoc by air only. They will be taken to designated accommodations and entertainment sites.

To ensure safety during the pilot period, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposes vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population and workers in Phu Quoc city between July and September this year.

At the end of June, the Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Kien Giang province to develop a tourism pilot programme to welcome international visitors to designated areas in the province./.

Nearly 4,500 medical staff help HCM City fight COVID-19

Over 20 delegations with nearly 4,500 medical staff nationwide have arrived in Ho Chi Minh City to help with the fight against COVID-19, said the municipal Health Department.

In compliance with the Prime Minister’s directions, the Health Ministry urged units throughout the nation to send medical staff to Ho Chi Minh City to cope with the pandemic.

As of 6am on July 18, Vietnam recorded 51,002 infection cases, including 48,964 domestic and 2,038 imported ones.

Up to 47,394 new cases have been recorded since the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks hit the country on April 27, 7,538 of them were given all-clear from the virus./.

Disaster training opened for localities

The training aims to improve the localities' preparedness and response to the possible dual crisis of natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic this year.

An online training course for Vietnam’s localities to make plans for natural disaster prevention, response and mitigation was held on July 15.

The event was jointly organized by the General Department of Disaster Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Vietnam.

Last year, Vietnam was hit by 14 storms, a depression, 120 flash floods and landslides, 90 earthquakes, and other natural disasters, according to Deputy Director of the General Department of Disaster Prevention and Control Nguyen Van Tien.

Natural disasters resulted in 357 fatalities and economic losses of US$1.73 billion, Tien said, adding that it is forecast flash floods will occur earlier than normal. Furthermore, the stormy season this year will see approximately 12 to 14 storms and tropical depressions, five or seven of which may impact the mainland.

In order to ensure a methodical and effective response, Tien proposed that authorities at all levels and standing offices of committees for natural disaster prevention, search, and rescue in 63 provinces and cities keep taking proactive measures.

“The Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control will also continue to provide support and advise on technical solutions for localities in disaster prevention, response, and mitigation to the possible dual crisis of natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic this year,” Tien said.

Talking at the training session, UNICEF Vietnam's expert on disaster risk reduction, Ly Phat Viet Linh, stressed that natural disasters and the impact of climate change have become a double burden, exacerbating the impact of Covid-19 on households, especially households with children in vulnerable groups.

“According to experts in disaster risk reduction from UNICEF Vietnam, it is necessary to pay attention to disaster risk reduction and careful preparation to deal with natural disasters,” Linh said.

The stormy season following the Covid-19 pandemic would create numerous difficulties in supporting people to reach safe places in cases of natural disasters; therefore, drills for management of natural disasters and proactive responses are important, Linh noted.

Cambodia assists Vietnam in COVID-19 fight

The Cambodian Government on July 17 announced it would present gifts to Vietnam to deal with COVID-19 as the pandemic is ravaging Ho Chi Minh City.

The gifts include 1 million masks, 100,000 N95 masks, 100 oxygen generators and 200,000 USD.

The Cambodian national news agency AKP hailed the deed as a symbol of solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two neighbouring countries, especially amid difficulties caused by the epidemic.

On the occasion, the Cambodian Red Cross Society announced that it will hand over 100,000 USD to the Vietnam Red Cross Society. Meanwhile, the Cambodia – Vietnam Friendship Association will also grant 50,000 USD to help the Vietnamese people fight the pandemic./. 

Central region prepares to receive HCM City returnees

Several provinces in the central region have prepared for the return of residents who were working and studying in virus-hit areas in Ho Chi Minh City.

Quang Nam People's Committee Chairman Le Tri Thanh said Quang Nam residents who are working in HCM City can register to return home. Allowing people to return home is being proposed as a way to help people struggling to get by in HCM City, and would lessen the burden on HCM City authorities. People from disadvantaged backgrounds will be given priority.

Thanh said. "The first plan is to prepare buses and medical staff in Quang Nam to go to HCM City to receive the returnees. The second plan is to prepare everything in HCM City then bring the returnees to Quang Nam. We asked the Military Command and Department of Transport to draft the most suitable plans to bring people home as soon as possible, in order to limit cases in which people run away from quarantine centres."

He went on to say that Quang Nam residents who were working in Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai would also be given support to return home.

Binh Dinh Province has received thousands of returnees after HCM City applied social distancing rules, most of them are students and workers. All of the returnees were given a quick test as they arrived in Binh Dinh.

Le Quang Hung, director of the Department of Health said the number of returnees had decreased. However, they would still prepare plans to receive more returnees in case there was a request from HCM City authorities. Binh Dinh would set up more quarantine centres at Quy Nhon University and Quang Trung University.

Nguyen Tuan Thanh, vice chairman of Binh Dinh People's Committee said, "We have sent more people to the checkpoints and buy more quick test kits. We have worked closely with locality authorities to monitor people who are self-isolated at homes or quarantined at centres."

Khanh Hoa authorities also reported thousands of its residents working and studying in HCM City. Khanh Hoa People's Committee Chairman Nguyen Tan Tuan said returnees from HCM City would be tested and home-isolated for at least seven days.

However, since the situation in Khanh Hoa is also complicated, Tuan encouraged people to stay in HCM City. Nha Trang City has already applied strict social distancing rules. Cam Ranh City, Cam Lam District and Dien Khanh District have also applied social distancing.

HCM City builds 3,500-bed field hospital for Covid-19 treatment

HCM City is deploying a 3,500-bed field hospital for Covid-19 treatment in Binh Chanh District amid the city’s on-going Covid-19 spread.

Site clearance is being implemented on a 5-hectare swamp in Binh Hung Commune for the Binh Chanh Field Hospital.

Over the past week, hundreds of trucks transported construction materials to the site.

Dao Van Chi, director of the hospital, said that around 200 workers divided into three working shifts would work round the clock to hasten site clearance.

The first phase of the work is slated to be put into operation on August 30, with the second work finished by September 30.

 

Each room will have five sick beds. Heat insulation materials will be used for the roofs.

The project management board arranged workers to clean soil and stones on some sections of Nguyen Van Linh Road scattering from trucks.

Community initiatives to help Ho Chi Minh City people overcome pandemic

Many community indicatives have been launched to support disadvantaged people in Ho Chi Minh City, which is suffering a major COVID-19 outbreak.

A ‘Zero VND minimarket’ was recently launched in ward 9, Phu Nhan district providing local households with free essential commodities during the city’s social distancing period. Nearly 170 tickets have been delivered to needy families in three residential areas in the ward, with residents in each area coming to shop in a specific timeframe in order to ensure safe distance and avoid large public gatherings.

Vu Thi Ky, a local resident, said that the minimarket is loaded with all the necessary items from vegetables, fruits to milk, eggs, rice, and essential items. Each needy household is also presented with VND200,000 in cash.

“As COVID-19 has made me become jobless, the minimarket and support from the local authorities have helped to relieve my concerns over the pandemic,” Ky said.

The ‘Zero VND minimarket’ and ‘Rice ATM machine’ models have become popular in many wards and townships in Ho Chi Minh City, providing timely support for people whose livelihoods are being affected by the pandemic.

Many other effective models have been launched to help underprivileged people. For instance, the Youth Union of district 1 created a network of 'shopping assistants' to help the elderly and disadvantaged people get groceries during the pandemic.

The network was launched in 2020 when Ho Chi Minh City imposed its social distancing policy for the first time, during which senior citizens aged 65 and above were advised not to go outside.

Now the network has once again restarted as the city has witnessed an even more complicated development of COVID-19. During this year’s implementation, needy people can register for support through Gobus-go away Covid application, Fanpage of the district’s youth union, or via the hotline at 028 3825 1861.

Tran Ngoc Tri, one of the 30 youth volunteers participating in the network, shared that every time he saw the smiling eyes and heard the appreciative words of the people, he felt happiness in his heart because he has done something useful for the community in these difficult days.

Another successful charity voluntary project is the launch of a community refrigerator in Binh Thanh district. Community refrigerators have been set up in many countries around the world. Accordingly, old fridges are placed on the sidewalks by cafeterias, restaurants or places with electricity supply and good security. Anyone can put food in and take food out. The model is seen as a mini food bank run by the community.

When the project came to Vietnam, it was launched at No. 100 Ung Van Khiem Street, Binh Thanh District by non-profit organisation Foodbank Vietnam, C.P Vietnam Charitable Assistance Fund, and Food Share Social Enterprise Joint Stock Company. The fridge has provided tonnes of fresh vegetables and fruit to needy people from both inside and outside the district.

Since COVID-19 broke out in Vietnam, Foodbank Vietnam has coordinated with food providers and restaurants to provide thousands of free lunches every day for disadvantaged workers in Ho Chi Minh City. The organisation has also provided food and medical equipment to units working on the front line against the pandemic.

These days, thousands of volunteer doctors, nurses and medical workers have gone to Ho Chi Minh city to help the southern hub overcome the pandemic. The COVID-19 fight has also attracted the enthusiastic participation from veterans and retired “white blouse” soldiers, including doctor Nguyen Thi Kim Tung.

One year after her retirement at the Division of Artificial Kidney of Cho Ray hospital, Tung volunteered to return to work, following her heart to join hands with her colleagues to save people’s lives during this difficult period of time. Her decision was approved with appreciation from the hospital’s leaders.

In addition to providing health check-ups for patients, Tung also provides guidance for patients to protect themselves against the risks of COVID-19 infection while helping them remain optimistic and think positive to overcome their situation.

Young artists join online programme to raise funds for COVID-19 fight

Young Vietnamese artists will join an online programme entitled ‘Sing for life, Sing for love – Singing for Sharing’ to raise funds for the country’s fight against COVID-19.

Initiated by the Vietnam Youth Federation, the programme will be held every second and fourth Thursday of the month on online platforms including Facebook, YouTube and TikTok.

During the program, the artists will participate in interesting challenges which call on people to protect themselves from the Coronavirus while generating a positive attitude among viewers amidst the pandemic.

The money raised during the programme will be sent to disadvantaged workers who are directly affected by the COVID-19.

The first episode will be livestreamed at 8PM on July 18 under the theme ‘Phia Truoc La Bau Troi’ (Ahead is the Sky), featuring three young musical talents: Hoang Dung, Hong Nhung and Bao Tram.

The episode aims to raise funds to purchase necessities for people in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbouring localities.

Logo design contest launched for Vietnamese lacquer art's recognition

A contest to design the logo, recognition mark and identity set for Vietnamese lacquer art was launched by the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on July 16.

The contest aims to implement a project on building and promoting the national brand for Vietnamese lacquer art in the 2020-2030 period, with the winning entries to be used in propaganda activities to promote the development of the art, contributing to developing the cultural market, revitalising and affirming the value of Vietnamese lacquer on the domestic and international markets, and advertising the national brand through the introduction of local lacquer products.

It also looks towards encouraging businesses, craft villages, and artisans to produce lacquer works as commodities for both domestic and overseas consumption.

The contest is open to individuals and organisations from both inside and outside the country.

Entries must have their own character and creativity, and be in line with the goal of promoting the fine arts sector’s national brand on the international market. In addition, they must not be a duplicate of any other product, and must feature no more than four colours suitable for both printing and carving.

Applicants can send a maximum of five entries in A4 to the organising committee either directly or by post to the fine arts division at the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition, at No. 38 Cao Ba Quat Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, until September 30, 2021.

The results of the contest will be published on the website http://ape.gov.vn and via various mass media, as well as communicated to the relevant departments of cities and provinces.

A closing and awards ceremony is scheduled for November 2021. The organising committee plans to present a first prize worth VND30 million, a second prize worth VND10 million, a third prize worth VND5 million, and three consolation prizes worth VND2 million each.

Beautiful impressions of Vietnam in La Plagne high mountains of France

The second Vietnam Festival took place in the centre of La Plagne town in the Alps from July 16-18, becoming a colourful highlight of the week of culture and sports at the famous French ski resort.

The Vietnam Festival, also known as the Vietnam Culture Festival, is an event organised by the Asia New Generation - Vietnam Association and held for the first time in July, 2019 in Lyon, France.

The festival aims to promote the most unique cultural features of Vietnam. The opening ceremony was solemnly held in the central square of La Plagne town with the attendance of the Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang; Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Vietnam to UNESCO Le Thi Hong Van; and President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group Stephanie Do.

During the three days, people in La Plagne and visitors participate in activities imbued with Vietnamese national identity such as: a lion dance, an Ao Dai (the Vietnamese traditional long dress) performance, a water puppet show, an exhibition on handicrafts, traditional martial arts and ethnic musical instruments performances.

The food space, an indispensable part of the festival, always attracts a large number of guests.

Also within the framework of the festival, an arts programme took place on the evening of July 17 with the participation of many singers and artists from European countries, creating an interesting cultural night covering all three regions of Vietnam.

Previously, on the afternoon of July 16 at the Tourist Information Centre of La Plagne Tarentaise town, Mayor Jean-Luc Boch hosted a reception for the delegation from the Vietnamese Embassy and representative agencies of Vietnam in France led by Vietnamese Ambassador Dinh Toan Thang, during which the two sides discussed the prospects of local cooperation, especially in the field of tourism.

Contest encourages design of creative spaces in Hanoi

A total of 25 designs have been selected to enter the voting round of the Hanoi creative space design contest, which seeks initiatives to inspire new and unique ideas in designing and exploiting Hanoi’s spaces.

The designs stood out from the 93 entries sent to the contest, launched in October 2020 by the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports and Architecture Magazine in collaboration with the Hanoi’s People Committee and the Vietnam Association of Architects.

Contestants could self-suggest locations or spaces to design or choose one of three topics, including promoting infrastructure like community living spaces in residential areas, parks or hospitals, malls or walking streets; among others.

The total value of prizes for the professional and semi-professional sectors in all categories is up to VND 330 million (US$14,200).

One of the 25 is a project entitled ‘Connecting to the Future through Rails' Past’ by Le Quoc Tri, which suggests solutions to convert Gia Lam train factory into a complex of public cultural, trading, services and logistic spaces.

Accordingly, the new railway station will house a museum, a metro station, a creative art performance area, a commercial service centre, a food centre, and a green park.

With the spotlight on green spaces and the walking street which will connect the project with the train factory’s surrounding areas, the designer focused on developing public space for the project, including flower gardens, parks, square, and lakeside walking space.

Another outstanding project featured is the project to renovate the Thang Long Tobacco Factory into an innovative company by duo Pham Kien and Pham Khanh. The creative company is designed to include a creative village, a creative workspace, a co-working space, an exhibition hall, a cultural house, an entertainment space, and a food space.

The success of any reuse or transformation project depends largely on the current state of the building itself, which can be evaluated through not only its economic efficiency but also its historical and architectural value as well as its spiritual value in local people’s memories and interactions.

All of the 25 excellent projects of the contest seek to "replace" old factories in Hanoi with creative public spaces, contributing to awakening society’s potential and form a network of rich and attractive creative spaces for the capital city.

Guesthouses, hotels might be used as Covid-19 treatment centers

The Ministry of Health has written to the prime minister proposing requisitioning guesthouses, hotels, military barracks and schools as Covid-19 treatment centers.

The proposal was made as the number of Covid-19 infections has been surging these days, especially in HCMC and other southern provinces. Besides, the number of active Covid-19 patients has surpassed 32,000.

These treatment centers will admit Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or very mild to help ease the overload facing hospitals so that these hospitals can focus on treating ill patients.

The Covid-19 patients with no symptoms or mild ones accounted for 80% of the total, according to the statistics from the ministry.

The requisitioning has been piloted successfully in Bac Giang, the ministry said, adding that HCMC is applying the model.

In addition, the ministry said that at the requisitioned treatment centers, medical workers would monitor the health condition of the positive cases and quickly transfer them to hospitals eligible for treatment when their health worsens.

The treatment facilities will also feature a subclinical area, a medical center, an administrative area, dining rooms and a waste treatment area.

HCMC anticipates extension of social distancing

The HCMC steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control is striving to put the Covid-19 pandemic in the city under control. However, if the pandemic continues raging, the city has prepared for the extension of the social distancing period, said deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Phan Van Mai.

At a press briefing on July 16, Mai said the city must get prepared for all possible scenarios, the local media reported.

The city has been employing drastic and comprehensive solutions to effectively control the pandemic. It has also mapped out three scenarios for the fight against Covid-19 after the 15-day social distancing order.

In the first scenario, after the stay-at-home period, if the city brings the Covid-19 pandemic under control, it will ease social distancing and restriction measures.

In the second scenario, if the fight against Covid-19 in the city has yet to pay off, the city will continue applying social distancing under Directive 16 or even tighten Covid-19 measures in some parts.

Under the worst-case scenario, when the number of infections surges and the city cannot control the pandemic, HCMC will adopt lockdown measures and harsher solutions.

The city has prepared for each scenario, focusing on the testing work and the treatment of critical patients to minimize Covid-19 deaths. The city has also established a Covid-19 intensive care center with 1,000 beds and prepared plans for 1,500-2,000 critical patients.

As for asymptomatic patients, the city will work out a process to allow them to stay at home and use technology to monitor them. If their condition worsens, they will be immediately sent to medical centers.

The city will also establish a center monitoring the Covid-19 treatment.

Thousands of people from southern provinces rush home in Central Highlands

Tens of thousands of people from Dong Nai, Binh Duong and HCMC have been rushing home in the Central Highlands region over the past three days, Dao Kim Nghiep, deputy director of the Dak RLap District Healthcare Center, said today, July 18.

The Cai Chanh coronavirus checkpoint in Dak Nong Province’s Dak RLap District has seen a sudden spike in people traveling in their private vehicles and file health declarations to pass through it.

On July 16, more than 6,700 people crossed the checkpoint to travel to the Central Highlands provinces. Meanwhile, the total number of people flocking to the region was up to 10,000 on July 17.

Due to the huge crowds of people, the province has dispatched officers to the checkpoint, Tuoi Tre Online reported. Only those who produce proof of negative Covid test result are allowed to pass.

This morning, police officers, soldiers and medical workers were tasked with giving guidelines and regulating traffic but the checkpoint was still crowded with people waiting to pass.

Dang Van Gin, a worker of a company in HCMC’s outlying district of Cu Chi, said that he was returning home in Daklak Province as food prices are soaring in the city while his company's monthly allowance is a mere VND2 million, much lower than his salary.

Virtual book groups spread love for books in Vietnam

In addition to libraries or on-site reading community projects, reading promotion is also resonated by many associations and groups on social networks. These active associations and groups have presently helped to spread the love of books to a large number of readers.

Established in August 2016, the group of book lovers has 108,000 members at present with its administrators living and working in many different places such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, the Central City of Da Nang, and the Northern Province Thai Nguyen. The group was created to connect book lovers across the country, so they can share their favorite books.

"There are many other groups such as the group that loves detective stories, the group that loves classic literature, meanwhile members of the group can love all kinds of books," said Thien Tu, one of the book lover group admins.

Just being established more than one year, the group of classical literary book lovers has gathered more than 25,000 members. According to the group administrator Nguyen Hoai Cuu Duc in the Central Province of Thua Thien - Hue, the group was established simply to create a place for people who love literature to exchange and discuss issues relating to literature; thereby, spreading passion and love of literature to everyone, especially young people.

In addition to its fan page and some platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Tiktok, Nha Nam Publishing, and Communications Company established the group Nha Nam Reading Club with nearly 100,000 members. Although it is a group established by Nha Nam, readers can still exchange and recommend books published by other publishing houses.

Deputy head of the Nha Nam Communication Department Dao Phuong Thu revealed that a few years ago, Nha Nam intended to build several platforms to connect with readers in addition to the main fan page.

In addition to the above groups, readers or book lovers can easily join other reading communities including the group of literary book lovers with more than 8,000 members, the elite reading community with 72,000 members, the group of detective story lovers with nearly 33,000 members. According to Ms. Thu, the birth of many reading groups has shown a good sign that readers have space to share knowledge and exchange interesting things. The spread of book groups has certainly contributed to reading promotion.

Except for the group of Nha Nam and Alphabook publishing houses, most groups are created by readers themselves; they are non-profit groups. These groups have been organizing practical activities for readers. For instance, member Huy Truong of the group book lover updates new books which are compiled from book publishing or business units for readers' reference every month.

Huy Truong said he has initially just compiled new book news to share with other book lovers, so I didn't put too much emphasis on the content. But later, this general news item has unexpectedly become a special attraction of the group. Currently, there is a diversity of book genres to meet the needs and common tastes of the group members,".

The positive impact on reading culture as well as on publishers from online reading communities is inevitable. Ms. Thu said, "Nha Nam Reading Club" is currently considered as Nha Nam’s baby. Accordingly, members’ feedbacks including copyright purchase to feedback on editing or delivery errors are recognized by Nha Nam.

Their feedbacks will be corrected immediately, especially comments on Nha Nam’s book covers.

Vietnam reports 7,500 victims of human trafficking in 2010-2021

Vietnam has made great efforts in combating human trafficking in the past two years despite the impact of Covid-19.

Vietnam uncovered nearly 3,500 human trafficking cases from 2010 to June 2021, arresting roughly 5,000 traffickers and rescuing nearly 7,500 victims.

The crimes were found in all 63 cities and provinces nationwide, involving women, children, men, infants, fetuses, organs, and surrogacy.

Among reasons, being located in the Asia-Pacific and the Greater Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) is largely attributed to Vietnam’s high number of human trafficking cases, local media reported.

Vietnam has taken many drastic measures to prevent this situation, the Vietnam News Agency cited Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the past two years, the country has placed importance on the prevention and combat of human trafficking. The Government has increased law enforcement and victim assistance budgets, referred victims to protection services, and carried out large-scale awareness campaigns in communities vulnerable to trafficking.

From 2019 to date, more than 100,000 community media events have been held for over five million attendees. Along with that, more than 1,000 integrated training courses were also organized for officials and members of the 138 local committees. Nearly 1,100 clubs maintained operations to help women reduce poverty.

Hang made the statement following the US State Department’s reports on Vietnam’s poor profile on human trafficking. In its 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, Vietnam was ranked in Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year. It accused Vietnam of not implementing victim identification procedures systematically, and officials did not proactively identify trafficking victims among some vulnerable groups.

In the report, Vietnam appeared to be the country that did not demonstrate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity.

Hang said that the US, though acknowledged Vietnam has made significant efforts in the elimination of trafficking but it has incomplete assessments about the situation in Vietnam.

Vietnam is working on the Program on Combating Human Trafficking in the 2021-2015 period with an aim to reduce the crimes and promote support to the victims.

Hang said Vietnam has attached great importance to anti-human trafficking but there remain lots of work to do amid the rising global crimes.

Vietnam needs international support and cross-border cooperation in combating human trafficking, she added.

HCMC piloting software to monitor F1 cases staying at home

Ho Chi Minh City is piloting the software VHD (VietNam Health Declaration) to supervise F1 cases who are allowed to stay quarantined at home from July 17-31.

VHD is co-developed by the HCMC Information & Communications Department, the HCMC Health Department, the Authority of Information Technology Application (Ministry of Information and Communications), and Viettel Groups.

In the piloting time, VHD is used specially to observe close contacts (F1) of Covid-19 infected people when they are allowed to be quarantined at their accommodation. The software ensures that these F1s follow all regulations as laid down by the Health Ministry, while closely monitoring their health status for a detailed report to functional agencies.

The software can unexpectedly check the location of F1s via its navigation and face detection functions, which have required monitored people to scan their face, input their specific home location and telephone number via a smartphone.

Each day, these F1s have to declare their health status thrice and report any abnormal situations like coughing, high fever, or breathing difficulty to the medical staff in charge for timely first aid.

VHD is piloting in at least one ward in each district and Thu Duc City. After this piloting period, the HCMC Health Department and the HCMC Information & Communications Department will work with HCMC People’s Committee to apply it widely in HCMC.

To help the medical staff to run the software smoothly, four online training sessions will be held, with the participation of people at 250 locations throughout the city. There will also be 22 supporting centers sited at all districts and Thu Duc City. Operators of the hotline 1022 are also trained to deliver necessary information to the public when asked.

Vietnam strives for half of craft villages participating in tourism supply chain

Vietnam has been striving that half of craft villages can participate in the country’s supply chain in tourism.

Nguyen Minh Tien, deputy director of the Economic Co-operation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the statement at a meeting about orientation and solution for rural tourism attached with the government’s new rural development plan for the 2021-2025 period organized by the Ministry.

The country currently has 365 rural tourist sites mainly community-based tourism models in which local residents invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation.

Along with community-based tourism, according to Mr. Tien, agricultural tourism, eco-tourism, and village tourism are existing in rural areas. During the period of 2016-2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has implemented the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program and more than 4,900 OCOP products are now available in the country; in which 37 products are in the supply chain in tourism.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam and Deputy Director of the General Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, in order to promote rural tourism development, a coherent policy for tourism is needed. Currently, policy-makers have not had an overall policy on rural tourism at the national level.

To implement the Strategy for Vietnam's Tourism Development to 2030 and the National Target Program on New Rural Development in the 2021-2025 period, it is necessary to plan rural tourism development in sync with the government’s new rural plan focusing the attention on the differences in culture, ecological landscape to create new products and diversify products to attract holiday-makers who will spend more in Vietnam.

The rural tourism development project in association with new rural development in the 2021-2025 period developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism aims to complete the tourist destination network by 2025 in rural areas with at least 200 community-based tourism services and rural tourist attractions which are recognized to meet three-star OCOP standards. Furthermore, according to the rural tourism development project’s goal, at least 50 percent of traditional craft villages participate in the rural tourism value chain.

Vietnam takes action for healthier food systems towards SDGs 2030

International support enables Vietnam to get closer to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a food systems approach.

Vietnam is on its way to get to healthier and more sustainable food systems that help the country address better interventions in food security and global interconnectedness.

This is part of the country’s efforts in contributing to the UN Food Systems Summit, which works to accelerate the implementation of all 17 categories of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking at a national dialogue on Vietnam food systems held in Hanoi on July 16, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said these efforts will help Vietnam carry out better interventions in poverty reduction, food security, and nutrition in rural areas, bringing real benefits for vulnerable groups, ethnic minorities, women, girls, and children.

"It is also an opportunity to connect and develop the value chain of Vietnam's key agricultural products in the direction of transparency, responsibility, and sustainability," Minh said.

To help Vietnam transform its food system, more than 200 participants from different UN bodies, development partners, embassies, the private sector, NGOs, and Vietnamese agencies gathered at the dialogue.

Addressing the National Dialogue, the second of its kind, themed “Vietnam Food System: Transparency – Responsibility – Sustainability”, the representatives discussed opportunities, challenges, and gaps affecting Vietnam’s national food systems, and propose action areas for the country to develop responsible, sustainable, and transparent food systems by 2030.

The event, which was held both online and offline on July 16 by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in collaboration with the World Bank, the United Nations in Vietnam, and other partners, called for collaborative action to transform Vietnam’s food system to a more sustainable status.

Chaired by Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh in a hybrid type, the event marked the in-person attendance of MARD Minister Le Minh Hoan, the UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra, and the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Carolyn Turk.

The conference focused on five goals that include ensuring access to safe and nutritionally balanced food for all, changing consumption trends towards healthy and sustainability, promoting environmentally friendly production, promoting equality in value sharing and livelihoods, and building resilience to injury and shock.

The national food dialogue came in preparation for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, which is convened by the UN Secretary General to take place in New York later this year.

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day in 2019 as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on Agenda 2030. The aim of the summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty, and inequality.

How helpful is the national dialogue?

Speaking at the dialogue, Deputy PM Minh emphasized that the Vietnamese Government is deeply aware of the need for close coordination between countries and actors in the food sector in order to bring about sweeping changes to the whole system.

According to the UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra, food nutrition security remains a dilemma mainly due to unhealthy diets and food safety. Environmental degradation due to overexploitation of resources and use of chemicals is becoming more and more alarming. Also, the inequality in distribution, the inability to attract young workers, the lack of market connectivity as well as the weak ability to manage production, processing, and circulation of goods reduce the competitiveness of enterprises, agriculture, and the whole food industry.

“The United Nations in Vietnam and our agencies such as IFAD, UNICEF, UNIDO, and other relevant bodies will accompany the government of Vietnam, along with development partners to transform the food system, contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals,” said Mr. Kamal Malhotra.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed extreme inequities and inefficiencies in the food system, which depend on thousands of food producers and processors, many of whom are living with very low incomes. The pandemic came at a time when food systems were already under strain from natural disasters such as floods and prolonged periods of drought, climate change, and other shocks.

Dr Francisco Pichon, Country Director, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for Vietnam and Mekong Region commented that “Pursuing a holistic and participatory approach to climate resilience from planning to implementation at provincial, commune and district levels - with the local government’s institutions always in the driver seat” has been instrumental in IFAD approach while stressing that rural women, youth and private sector can be empowered to support climate-resilient rural livelihoods that generate decent employment within selected value chains.

“IFAD’s strategy in Vietnam over the past 20 years – via 16 different projects and with an overall investment of US$500 million – has been characterized by thematic consistency, with a focus on supporting government’s and key development objective to ‘invest in rural people’ and facilitate their transition from subsistence farming to climate-resilient and market-oriented rural productive activities,” he said.

Vietnam's agriculture plays a particularly important role in ensuring food security, social stability, and livelihoods for over 60% of the population living in rural areas and contributes 14.85% of the country's GDP in 2020.

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change and natural disasters, Vietnam's agriculture still maintained a positive growth rate at 2.68% in 2020, statistics by the MARD showed.

In addition to firmly ensuring food security, food for nearly 100 million people, Vietnamese agriculture also plays an important role in the global food system. In 2020, the export turnover of Vietnam's agricultural, forestry and fishery products reached $41.53 billion. In the first half of 2021, Vietnam reaped approximately $24.23 billion from exporting agricultural, forestry, and fishery products.

However, Vietnam's food system is still diverse and facing many challenges. Global climate change forecasts and reality in recent years show that Vietnam is one of the countries most heavily affected by climate change, according to MARD Minister Le Minh Hoan.

For that reason, functional sectors need to support farmers' organizations at the grassroots level as the core for linking agricultural value chains to ensure the balance of interests of farmers and other relevant stakeholders. In addition, it needs to develop various forms of public-private partnership (PPP) to attract private investment, promote responsible, transparent, and sustainable agricultural value chain linkages, he noted.

Special working groups to be set up to help southern localities fight COVID-19

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has tasked seven ministries to set up their own special working groups to help Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces in the fight against COVID-19.

They are the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Information and Communications, and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Each of the working groups will be headed by a Deputy Minister.

These working groups will be responsible for assisting the southern localities in addressing emerging issues in the COVID-19 fight.

They shall have to report to their ministers and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control the issues that are beyond their vested competence.

As of 8:00 pm on July 18, Viet Nam confirmed 53,830 COVID-19 cases, including 10,667 recoveries and 254 deaths.

The national caseload includes 50,201 community infection cases recorded in 58 cities and provinces since April 27 when the fourth wave of COVID-19 resurgence hit the Southeast Asian country./.

Quarantine period for fully vaccinated entrants may be shortened

A pilot project to shorten quarantine period for fully vaccinated entrants is now under way in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

Under the project, fully vaccinated arrivals will be quarantined for seven days instead of 14 days as currently regulated, according to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

The plan launched by the Ministry of Health could be expanded to cover arrivals who are half-vacinated.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam suspended entry of foreign arrivals from March 22, 2020 but this measure is not applicable to diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts, and skilled workers.

On July 14, the ministry decided to cut the mandatory quarantine period for foreign arrivals and those who come in close contact with COVID-19 patients from 21 days to 14 days.

Viet Nam began to impose 21-day quarantine policy for both foreign arrivals and F1 individuals from May 5, 2021 after several individuals contracted COVID-19 though they had completed 14-day quarantine and tested negative for the virus twice or thrice./.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 18

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JULY 18

HCM City tightens management in quarantine areas to limit cross-infection of COVID-19