As many as 82 additional local cases of the COVID-19 were recorded across four localities over the six hours to June 4 midday, raising the national infection tally to 5,087 after a fresh wave of the virus hit the country over one month ago, according to the Ministry of Health.

The new cases found in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces were mostly detected in isolation and lockdown areas and linked to labourers working at industrial zones. In addition, those detected in Hanoi are associated with previous outbreaks and came into contact with individuals already placed in quarantine.

Most of the new cases in Ho Chi Minh City are tied to the Revival Ekklesia Mission.

The country has so far confirmed 6,657 locally-transmitted cases of the virus and 1,538 imported ones.

The death toll remains at 49, whilst the overall number of recoveries is 3,085.

Cases of COVID-19 have so far been recorded in 37 out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide, with Bac Giang and Bac Ninh recording the highest number of infections.

Moving forward, the Ministry of Health is poised to roll out additional COVID-19 vaccines, with priority being given to some of the worst-hit localities. As such, Bac Ninh and Bac Giang will receive 50,000 doses each, followed by Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and other localities.

According to information given by the Ministry of Health, the forthcoming inoculation drive will prioritise Government agencies, corporations, international organisations, and at-risk individuals who are workers at industrial parks and export processing zones under the direction of the Prime Minister.

Alongside the AstraZeneca vaccine, the nation has negotiated to receive additional doses, include five million from Moderna, 31 million from Pfizer, and 20 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine following the Ministry of Health reaching an agreement to purchase them from Russia.

HN seeks passengers on flight VN220 from HCM City on May 30

The Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control announced last night it was seeking passengers on the flight VN220 on May 30 which went from HCM City to Hà Nội and landed at Nội Bài International Airport at about 10:10 pm.

The centre said they especially wanted to contact passengers sitting in rows from 33 to 37 on the flight.

The centre also ordered that all the passengers on the flight had to self-quarantine at home and immediately contact their local health station or call 0969082115/0949396115 for further guidance.

The move came after the centre confirmed a man positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Hà Đông District on Thursday night. The 39-year-old was a returnee from HCM City on the flight. He resides in apartment No 2103 in Hemisco Xa La Residential Building.

On May 26, he was on the flight from Hà Nội to HCM City and stayed at Harmony Hotel at No 32-34 Bùi Thị Xuân Street, District 1.

During his stay, he visited Cen Group Real Estate Joint Stock Company at 326 Võ Văn Kiệt Street, Cổ Giang Ward, District 1. The company has confirmed three cases of COVID-19, including one case related to the Gò Vấp cluster.

After landing at Nội Bài International Airport, he heard the news, so he called a private driver to take him home, self-quarantined in a private room then contacted his local health station.

On Thursday evening, Hà Nội agencies imposed a temporary lockdown of the Hemisco Xa La Residential Building as well as Park 7, of Times City residential area to track down people related to the man.

Authorised agencies have tracked six cases of close contact with the man, including his five family members.

In a related movement, the Ministry of Transport on Thursday agreed to suspend flights from Hải Phòng City to HCM City and vice versa following the proposal of the People's Committee of Hải Phòng until the COVID-19 outbreak is under control. 

Northern region told to prepare for storm Choiwan

The north region is forecast to experience heavy rain, flash floods and landslides due to a low-pressure system in the East Sea that may grow into a tropical depression.

At 1pm on June 3, the eye of the low-pressure system was positioned at 17.7 degrees north and 118.4 degrees east, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The strongest wind speeds near its eye were 60-75km per hour.

The centre predicted the system would move west at 20km per hour.

At 1am on June 4, the tropical depression system is predicted to be at about 21.5 degrees north and 121.2 degrees east, about 340km from Luzon Island of the Philippines.

The tropical storm, called Choiwan, is predicted to move to the north then turn northeast, then cease to be a tropical depression on the East Sea.

There will be heavy rain in northern areas, with rainfall predicted at 80-50mm. There is a risk of flash floods and landslides in northern areas.

In order to proactively respond to the storm, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has asked coastal provinces and cities from Quang Ninh to Khanh Hoa to closely monitor and notify vehicle owners and ship and boat captains about the evolution of the storm as well as maintain contact to promptly handle emergencies that may occur.

These provinces should be ready in terms of rescue forces when required.

Provinces and cities in the northern region should prepare for heavy rain, thunderstorms, whirlwinds, lightning, hail, strong winds and possible flash floods and landslides.

Vietnam Television, Voice of Vietnam, Vietnam News Agency, Coastal Broadcasting System and mass media agencies from central to local levels have to step up measures to provide updates on the developments of the storm to all-level authorities, owners of vehicles operating at sea and people so that they can proactively respond./.

Fifty-two COVID-19 cases added to national tally

Vietnam recorded additional 52 COVID-19 cases over the past 12 hours to 6am on June 4, mainly in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces.

According to the Health Ministry, among the new infections, 35 were reported in Bac Giang, 14 in Bac Ninh, two in Hanoi and one in Thai Binh.

The national tally now stands at 8,115, including 6,577 domestic and 1,538 imported cases.

Among active patients receiving treatment, 196 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 84 twice and 89 thrice.

People nationwide are advised to strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration).

Those having suspected symptoms, for example, fever, cough and shortness of breath, are recommended to call the ministry’s hotline 1900 9095 for assistance and support./

EU-funded project for Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 response launched

An EU-funded project called “Southeast Asia Health Pandemic Response and Preparedness” was officially launched on June 2 by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell and ASEAN Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

The 20 million EUR project will be implemented by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to enhance regional coordination in COVID-19 response and strengthen the capacity of health systems in South-East Asia, while paying special attention to vulnerable populations.

Team Europe – consisting of the EU, its member states and financial institutions – have so far provided over 800 million EUR to assist ASEAN in its pandemic response. The support is given to health facilities and health workers, provisions of personal protective equipment and sanitizers, as well as technical assistance and institutional support.

Team Europe also contributes to the financing of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, a global initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to everyone including citizens of ASEAN. The initial contribution was doubled on February 19, 2021, making it one of the lead donors to COVAX with over 2.47 billion EUR in funding./.

National Press Awards 2020 to honour 112 works

Up to 112 works will be honoured at the awarding ceremony of the National Press Awards 2020, the judging panel announced on June 3.

There will be nine A prizes, 25 B prizes, 45 C prizes, and 32 consolation prizes.

Of particular note, a special prize will be awarded for the first time ever, according to Thuan Huu, Chairman of the Vietnam Journalists Association (VJA) and Chairman of the National Press Awards Council.

This is also the first edition of the contest to see the participation of all 63 journalist associations around the country.

The 150 submissions reported on multiple issues in politics, socio-economic development, and security and national defence, especially Party congresses at all levels leading up to the 13th National Party Congress, as well as the fight against COVID-19, natural disasters in the central region, and drought in the south, among others.

The 15th National Press Awards ceremony will be held during the upcoming 11th Congress of the VJA in Hanoi./.

Vietnam has COVID-19 vaccine production capacity: Officer

Vietnam can satisfy COVID-19 vaccine production requirements once it obtains vaccine patents, an officer has affirmed.

Domestic vaccine production would be an opportunity for Vietnam to soon reach herd immunity and even cover exports in the future, Major General Nguyen Viet Luong, Political Commissar of the Vietnam Military Medical University, which is participating in COVID-19 vaccine development, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

He suggested that countries temporarily waive vaccine patents to contribute to the fight against the pandemic.

Four vaccines are under development in Vietnam, by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No 1, and Polyvac.

Of these, the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC’s NanoCovax, whose second phase of human trials has been completed, is the most feasible and will soon be approved for emergency use, Luong continued.

The company can produce 2-3 million doses monthly, he said.

Vaccine manufacturing requires standardised technologies and other factors relating to the environment, workforce, and, most notably, materials.

Luong highlighted the Government and Ministry of Health’s sound vaccine import strategy, which together with patent-based production and local research and production would help Vietnam reach herd immunity in late 2021 or mid-2022.

However, he added, domestic vaccine research and production will remain a long-term pillar as Vietnam will need a large quantity of vaccines annually for its population of nearly 100 million./.

Vietnam, New Zealand enhance joint work at multilateral forums

Vietnam and New Zealand have pledged to enhance cooperation within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the WTO and APEC.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor made the pledge during recent phone talks on the sidelines of the 27th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting.

They noted that as Vietnam and New Zealand are active members of new FTAs such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the two need to step up their strategic partnership, which was founded on July 22, 2020, and the bilateral agriculture cooperation agreement signed on February 24, 2021.

Dien hailed New Zealand’s efforts to host APEC meetings via videoconference this year and believes that practical achievements will be made during APEC Year 2021.

He said APEC member states should strive to issue a joint statement at the MRT 27, which should convey a strong political message about strengthening international solidarity and upholding its leading role in regional economic connectivity, maintaining regional cooperation and links.

The statement should also affirm flexibility and adaptability in the new situation, contributing to joint efforts to cope with COVID-19 and gradually recover economies.

The two ministers also touched on important APEC initiatives this year, especially the Plan of Action to realise the APEC Vision 2040, the trade ministers’ statement on facilitating the circulation of necessities, and several new initiatives regarding green, sustainable, and inclusive growth.

O’Connor, for his part, shared his impressions of Vietnam’s economic development over past years and hoped that the country would actively join in discussions at MRT 27 about APEC 2021’s priority initiatives, especially amid the global pandemic.

Concluding the phone talks, both sides agreed to direct relevant units to improve joint work to achieve the goals set in the bilateral economic-trade cooperation strategy./.

Vietnam joins online conference on Army Games preparations

A Vietnamese delegation joined an international online conference on the preparation for the 2021 Army Games on June 3, which saw the participation of representatives from 40 countries and territories.

The delegation was led by Maj. Gen. Thai Van Minh, Director General of the Department of Military Training under the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army (VPA).

At the conference, the third of its kind, Minh informed delegates on preparations made by the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence to host the Games’ competitions in the two categories of Sniper Frontier and Emergency Area.

He affirmed that schedule for the competitions will be in accordance with the Games’ regulations, adding that a host of activities will be held on the sidelines of the event, including an exhibition, musical performance, and sport exchanges.

Vietnam’s participation in and preparations to host the Games further affirm the determination and success of Vietnam in general and the People’s Army in particular in realising the “dual targets” in the face of COVID-19.

According to the Ministry of Defence of Russia, this year’s Army Games will be held from August 22 to September 4. A total of 277 teams from 41 countries and territories will compete in 34 categories.

Teams from the VPA gained outstanding results and surpassed their set targets at the 2020 Army Games./.

Vietnam promptly adopts new testing methods for tracing measure

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control requested the Ministry of Science and Technology to urge groups of technology researchers to carry out new testing methods and equipment because the present collection of samples for tracing is too expensive.

Yesterday afternoon, the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control had an online meeting with the steering committees for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Ho Chi Minh City and the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang.

The steering committee asked Bac Ninh Province to focus on preventing the pandemic spread from industrial clusters to industrial parks. Simultaneously, authorities in Bac Ninh must clarify why the outbreaks in some communes of Thuan Thanh District have lasted for one month as this proves that social distancing regulations are not strictly implemented in isolation and lockdown areas.

Meanwhile, the steering committee lauded authority in Bac Giang Province to do well in the Covid-19 prevention. However, Bac Giang needs to continue screening outside the community to help business establishments re-operate safely.

Professor-Dr. Nguyen Tan Binh, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said that the religious mission initially claimed 22 people arrived at the site in Go Vap District but indeed, up to 55 people were participating in the mission.

Regarding this outbreak, the city health sector has implemented drastic measures by taking all tests for contacts F1, F2 and expanding screening samples of neighbors of them. In addition, Ho Chi Minh City also expanded to take 25,000 samples of employees in industrial zones, export processing zones, Hi-tech parks and then collect 280,000 samples.

According to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tan Binh, 20 out of 22 districts have reported cases of Covid-19 infections. Because of the more highly transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus spread is very high risk. Presently, Ho Chi Minh City has enhanced its capacity to test for Covid-19 suspected cases as well as prepared to receive 5,000 patients.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Head of the Steering Committee, emphasized that being a southern metropolis, HCMC must strengthen its capacity for screening, testing, and screening of high-risk areas. The city must call on Covid-19 suspected people to go to medical facilities or inform local authorities.

Ho Chi Minh City is using an "automatic call center" to provide timely medical assistance to those who suddenly fall ill. The city also promotes the application of information technology to manage workers in industrial parks and export processing zones in preparation for a worse situation. Workers are guided to voluntarily take their samples for testing in case the Covid-19 pandemic occurs in industrial parks and health workers are overloaded with work.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam also noted that city authorities must keep an eye on zones for Covid-19 patients and medical isolation to avoid cross-infection when an outbreak occurs in industrial parks.

Vice Chairman of the city People's Committee Duong Anh Duc affirmed that the southern metropolis will comply with Deputy Prime Minister’s direction by completing the list of workers in industrial zones and export processing zones including phone numbers, temporary residence addresses for future epidemiological data.

A total of 241 cases have been logged in yesterday evening, according to the Steering Board. Of 241 cases, 12 were quarantined upon arrival while 229 were domestically-transmitted cases in the northern provinces of Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The national tally reaches 7,870 patients with 3,085 recoveries and 49 corinavirus-related deaths.

HCMC plans to build 1,000-bed field hospital

HCMC will build a new field hospital with 1,000 beds at Phu Tho Stadium in District 11 if the number of Covid-19 infections reaches over 1,000.

The municipal Department of Health said on June 1 that it was cooperating with several professional units to design the field hospital at the stadium at 221 Ly Thuong Kiet in Ward 9.

The city is struggling with the fast spike of Covid-19 cases, mainly linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission infection cluster in Go Vap District, the local media reported.

The hospital will get off the ground as soon as the number of cases in HCMC exceeds 1,000, according to the municipal department.

Health workers, beds and medical equipment will be mobilized and prepared for setting up the field hospital.

Earlier, the municipal department had issued a Covid-19 response plan for treatment, with three scenarios--fewer than 100 cases, 100-1,000 cases and 1,000-5,000 cases.

The establishment of the field hospital is part of the city’s preparation for the worst-case scenario.

The Health Department will also plan to build other field hospitals at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center in District 7 and culture and sports centers of the city’s districts, with a total capacity of up to 5,000 beds and 1,000 ventilators.

The city has five hospitals for Covid-19 treatment, comprising Cho Ray, Cu Chi Field Hospital, HCMC Children’s Hospital, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Can Gio Covid-19 Treatment Hospital, with a total of over 970 beds and 42 ventilators.

As of this morning, HCMC had reported 227 locally-infected cases during the latest coronavirus wave, with most of them linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission cluster.

Covid-19-related waste volume in HCMC surges

The volume of Covid-19-related waste in HCMC has surged, posing a high risk of pandemic transmission through waste.

Cao Van Tuan, head of the Environmental Technology and Quality Control Department at the HCMC Urban Environment Co., Ltd, said the company had proposed the HCMC government come up with solutions at the earliest to deal with the issue, the local media reported.

Since the city requisitioned the dorm of the Vietnam National University-HCMC as a quarantine center and put many areas under lockdown, waste discharged by residents in these areas has become hazardous waste.

The waste volume in the previous pandemic wave was only six to seven tons per day, but the figure is nearly 40 tons in the current wave, Tuan added.

The capacity of the HCMC Urban Environment Co., Ltd.’s hazardous waste plant is 42 tons per day. If the hazardous waste volume continues to rise, the waste collection and treatment will face difficulties.

Tuan proposed the city call on residents in centralized quarantine facilities and areas under lockdown to segregate medical waste from household waste to reduce the volume of hazardous waste.

At present, medical waste will be disinfected twice before being incinerated at a high temperature. Ash will later be solidified and buried in the area for hazardous waste.

Tuan said some private waste collectors had quit their jobs as they were afraid of being infected with the disease. Therefore, the company has taken charge of the job.

University dorms used as quarantine facilities in HCM City

Seven universities and colleges in HCM City have set up dormitories as concentrated quarantine facilities to house people who have had close contact with COVID-19 patients.

The university dormitories, which include six in Thủ Đức City and one in District 11, have essentialinfrastructure and services to serve quarantine purposes, according to the city’s Department of Health.

A dormitory at Việt Nam National University-HCM City can receive 20,000 quarantined people. The university’s Dormitory Management Centre last week asked all students to return home to make room for people who need to be quarantined. Nearly 35,000 students have left the dormitory due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the city.

There are 30 concentrated quarantine facilities that can house 10,500 quarantined people in the city.

The health sector has prepared dormitories to handle up to 30,000 people who have had close contact with Covid-19 patients.

The Department of Health has prepared three scenarios for COVID-19 community transmissions, with the number of infections ranging from 100 cases or below, 100-1,000 cases, and 1,000-5,000 cases.

The worst scenario of 1,000-5,000 cases of COVID-19 would require more field hospitals.

Five hospitals in the city offer treatment for COVID-19 patients, including Chợ Rẫy Hospital, Củ Chi Field Hospital, Cần Giờ COVID-19 Treatment Hospital, Municipal Children's Hospital, and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Children in quarantined areas get money for meals

Two children in an army concentrated quarantined area in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hùng

Every child aged up to 16 years old in COVID-19 concentrated areas is being given VNĐ80,000 (US$3.5) per day for daily meals during their 21-day quarantine.

The financial support comes from the National Fund for Vietnamese Children and will be given to children quarantined from April 27 onwards. The support is expected to be offered until the end of this year.

According to the Minister of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung,more than 4,000 children are in concentrated quarantined areas across the country, accounting for about 6 per cent of the total number of people in the areas.

The number could increase as more SARS-CoV-2 infections are reported, particularly those in industrial zones, he said.

Since the beginning of this year, Việt Nam has witnessed two waves of COVID-19 pandemic after two in 2020. One hit the northern provinces of Hải Dương and Quảng Ninh early this year, ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday while the ongoing fourth wave is developing in a complex manner.

The increases in COVID-19 cases and their close contacts have harmed the country’s production and socio-economic development.

During the pandemic’s resurgence, labourers have faced many difficulties to access and get jobs in the formal sector, forcing them to accept low-paid and unstable jobs.

The minister said 19.9 per cent of employees in production establishments and 19 per cent of employees in co-operatives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service sector was hit hardest as 20.4 per cent of people working in the sector were impacted.

As many as 7.5 per cent of labourers working in the agriculture, forestry and aquaculture sector and 16.5 per cent of labourers in the industrial and construction sector have been affected.

About 40,000 Vietnamese workers have completed procedures to work overseas but can't leave the country due to the pandemic.

Seeing such negative impacts on the labour market, firms and employees, the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL) has proposed Government spend part of its VNĐ62 trillion (US$2.6 billion) aid package to support workers affected by the pandemic.

The Government passed the $2.6 billion financial support package last year for poor people and businesses affected by the pandemic. It targets six categories of individuals and businesses, including poor and near-poor households, workers who are furloughed or put on leave without pay, and household businesses.

Under the VGCL's proposal, the beneficiaries should be extended to include COVID-19-affected workers, especially those receiving treatment for COVID-19, those staying in concentrated quarantine sites, those under quarantine at home, and those residing in locked-down areas.

The VLCG also recommended Government allow enterprises to add the expense to buy vaccines for employees and donations to the national vaccine fund into their production/operation costs.

The VLCG and Việt Nam Chamber for Commerce and Industry are calling on employers to pursue vaccines for their employees as well as contribute to the national vaccine fund. 

Adjustments to master plan create new vision for Đà Nẵng’s development

Recently approved adjustments to the master plan for central Đà Nẵng City are thought to be about to open the door for it to map out its vision for the future.

Under the adjustments, the city aims to become a major socio-economic centre of Việt Nam and Southeast Asia, a hub for entrepreneurship, innovation, tourism, commerce, finance, logistics, high-technology, IT, and supporting industries, a centre for culture-sports, high-quality education and healthcare, and science and technology, and a destination for regional and international events.

It also hopes to become an international seaport city, acting as a core in the urban chain and a growth pole of the key economic zone in the central and Central Highlands regions, in tandem with promoting its stature as an ecological, modern, smart, and liveable city, which will help it ensure national defence and security and Việt Nam’s sovereignty over its sea and islands.

Đà Nẵng will be divided into 12 sub-areas: the western ecological sub-area, the eastern ecological sub-area, the Hàn riverside and eastern coast sub-area, the Đà Nẵng Bay sub-area, the Liên Chiểu Seaport sub-area, the high-tech sub-area, the green core centre sub-area, the innovation sub-area, the airport sub-area, the hillside urban sub-area, the high-tech agriculture sub-area, and the development reserve sub-area.

It is forecasted that, by 2030, Đà Nẵng’s population will stand at about 1.79 million, up from the current 1.134 million.

The city will adjust its single-centre urban structure (Thanh Khê and Hải Châu districts) into multi-polar development areas.

It will set up two “economic belts”, with the northern part focusing on high-tech industry and seaport-logistics and the southern part on innovation and high-tech agriculture.

There will be four priority job creation clusters: a high-tech industrial cluster, a seaport and logistics cluster, a high-tech agricultural cluster, and an innovation cluster.

According to Ngô Viết Nam Sơn, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Group, this is a new phase for Đà Nẵng in terms of planning.

He said the city will develop areas with special functions, such as a high-tech zone attached to the Liên Chiểu Port urban area and innovative urban areas associated with universities, towards turning Đà Nẵng into a multi-centre city.

Logistics and seaport development will help it become a regional centre with greater potential than it has now, Sơn said.

However, this is only a master plan, he noted, and it is necessary to adopt detailed plans for the city’s future development.

As soon as the adjustments to Đà Nẵng’s master plan were approved in March this year, 11 domestic and foreign investors expressed a desire to set up research and investment projects in many areas of the city.

Chairwoman of BRG Group, one of the 11 investors, Nguyễn Thị Nga said the city is an especially important investment destination for the group. 

It has invested in high-end resorts in the city, she noted, adding that these adjustments will give investors a clear and consistent orientation, creating more favourable conditions for business development and the city’s development overall.

“I believe with the effort and determination of local leaders, people, and businesses, Đà Nẵng will become a major socio-economic centre of the country and the region,” Nga said.

The BRG Group has proposed studying a master plan for the development of the southern area of Hòa Vang District.

According to Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Lê Trung Chinh, with these adjustments, Đà Nẵng will overcome its limitations, effectively utilise its urban areas and offer solutions to environmental and population issues.

It will continue to improve its competitiveness, promote administrative reforms, and remove difficulties facing people and businesses, Chinh said. 

Bắc Ninh workers to stay in factories, ensuring production and disease prevention

The northern province of Bắc Ninh on Wednesday launched a production-residence-combined model in which workers don’t leave their factories after work or stay together at concentrated accommodations like dorms, hotels or schools.

The move is expected to help authorities and employers with COVID-19 prevention and control, particularly to isolate and trace suspected COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, healthy employees will still be at work and companies’ production will not be disrupted.

Companies that apply the model can only have half of their normal workforce on duty at their factories.

Vice-chairman of the province People’s Committee Vương Quốc Tuấn said arranging workers to stay at the factories after work aimed to ensure safety not only for workers but also production activities as well as reduce the risk of spreading infections to the community.

“The model is unpreceded in the province but an effective measure to increase safety during the complex development of COVID-19 pandemic,” Tuấn said.

Workers with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test within the last 72 hours can go to work. They are required to commit to staying at their factory and leave without permission from the province’s Industrial Parks Management Board or agencies.

As many as 504 out of 1,120 enterprises in the province have applied the model.

From Wednesday, Bắc Ninh authorities allowed enterprises that meet disease prevention and control requirements to resume operation.

Once they apply the production-residence-combined model, agencies would help ensure healthcare, electricity/water supply, waste collection and treatment, toilets, camera monitoring systems, ventilation systems and proper supply of food and other necessities.

In Bắc Ninh Province, 1,120 companies with about 450,000 workers operate in 10 industrial parks and 26 industrial clusters.

Since the first COVID-19 case was detected in Thuận Thành Industrial Park on May 9, the province has reported more than 200 cases in 35 companies based in five industrial parks and 20 companies based in industrial clusters.

To curb COVID-19 infections, local authorities have ramped up testing in disease clusters and disinfected areas where workers live.

In the last seven days, more than 10,000 workers out of the total 70,000 in Yên Phong Industrial Park received quick COVID-19 tests. 

More medical staff volunteer in the north to support COVID-19 hit-Bắc Giang

Nearly 90 doctors and nurses from Hải Phòng, Hà Nội, and Vĩnh Phúc on Wednesday left for Bắc Giang to help the northern province deal with a severe COVID-19 outbreak.

Their support will primarily involve contract tracing, treatment and care of critical COVID-19 patients, and COVID-19 vaccination efforts, as the worst-hit province in Việt Nam’s fourth wave is seeing a double-digit daily increase in new infections with clusters surrounding industrial zones.

At the farewell ceremony with departing medical staff of Hải Phòng, the city’s Party Secretary Trần Lưu Quang said their volunteering is “a source of pride for the city’s authorities and people.”

Responding to the call from the health ministry and the city’s authorities, within 24 hours, many doctors, nurses, and technicians specialised in emergency cases and intensive case have signed up and 18 have been selected.


A group of drivers, a mobile X-ray system and an accompanying X-ray technician will also be sent to Bắc Giang Province.

The group’s primary task will be treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients, in addition to other responsibilities assigned by Bắc Giang’s health authorities.

Trần Anh Cường, head of Hải Phòng’s health department, said a council of leading medical experts in the city has also been set up and stands ready to provide consultation and help for the volunteer group via teleconference.

Doctor Đàm Quang Sơn, head of the emergency ward, intensive care and toxicology unit at the Hải Phòng Lung Hospital, and leader of the team to Bắc Giang, has pledged to fulfill the mission. 

Also today, six doctors from the emergency ward, intensive care and toxicology department of the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc’s General Hospital – who have extensive experience in contact tracing and treating COVID-19 patients – left for Bắc Giang.

Lê Duy Thành, Chairman of Vĩnh Phúc People’s Committee, commended the medical staff and health personnel who have helped contain the outbreak in Vĩnh Phúc and would now extend their expertise to struggling friends.

On behalf of Vĩnh Phúc authorities, Thành handed over VNĐ2 billion to Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh provinces as well as medical supplies to help battle COVID-19.

Twenty teams comprising 60 doctors and nurses from 12 public hospitals and 12 private medical establishments in Hà Nội on Wednesday also departed for Bắc Giang to aid vaccination efforts.

Each team will have one doctor, two nurses, and one emergency ambulance, along with sufficient drugs and medical supplies, to deal with post-injection side effects and other emergency situations.

The teams’ deployment is expected to last between 7-10 days, starting today.

Trần Thị Nhị Hà, director of Hà Nội’s health department, at the farewell ceremony, praised the volunteer medical staff.

She asked that the medical staff use their knowledge and expertise to support Bắc Giang, but they need to keep themselves safe and healthy to continue to protect the capital city’s public health in the future.

Previously, on May 16, a team of 20 medical workers from Hà Nội arrived in Bắc Giang to help with contact tracing and identifying outbreak areas. 

HCM City provides employment assistance for young laid-off workers

The temporary closure of non-essential services in HCM City, such as wedding and convention centres, has affected young people’s employment opportunities.

“I am a student and I had a part-time job. Because of the temporary closure of wedding and convention centres, I lost my job,” a 21-year-old worker from Gò Vấp District told Việt Nam News.

Young people who work at massage parlours have also been affected.

“Two years ago, my income from my job was enough, but I now have to use my saved money because the parlour where I worked closed,” said a young woman who declined to be named.

To help workers, the Youth Employment Service Centre of HCM City, which is part of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, on May 20 launched an assistance programme.

The 21-year-old man from Gò Vấp District came to the centre to register his personal information and inquired about a job.

The centre has presented essential necessities and VNĐ500,000 in cash to 60 young workers in financial difficulties in Gò Vấp and Bình Thạnh districts, both of which have a large number of young workers affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak.  

After Tết, the centre co-operated with authorities in Nhà Bè and Hóc Môn districts to help local workers find jobs at enterprises that needed employees.

Hà Linh Chi, in charge of national defence and security in residential areas for Gò Vấp District's Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, said: "My colleagues and I have updated recruitment demands of enterprises in the district and published them on the union's website for young people. They have policies to help young people find jobs."   

Free vocational training

The Youth Employment Service Centre of HCM City has also planned to open training courses for young people. It already signed an agreement with Cao Thắng Technical College to provide free vocational training.

The Cao Thắng Technical College has also collaborated with the city Federation of Labour and enterprises to open more free vocational training courses, especially for women, people with disabilities, and ethnic minority groups who have lost jobs or have had their working hours reduced due to the outbreak since May.

A total of 191 people have registered to participate in those free vocational training courses which offer between 30 and 60 lessons. Study schedules are flexible. Learners can study at nights and at weekends. The training courses are in the fields of computer assembly, advertising design, car care techniques, and others.

After these courses, the college will help the trainees get a job.

Dr Lê Đình Kha, rector of the Cao Thắng Technical College, however, said: "These training courses now are temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. They will continue as the outbreak is controlled well in the city and the schools are allowed to reopen."

According to the Federation of Labour, more than 32 million workers in the country have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak since last year. Most of them are manual workers who have never had training.

The city's trade unions have encouraged landlords to reduce rental fees for workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Many landlords in Gò Vấp District and others began reducing rent in early May.

The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor has approved an emergency allowance for its members and workers affected by the fourth COVID-19 outbreak.

Trade union members and workers at enterprises without a trade union who are COVID-19 patients and have not violated regulations about disease prevention and control will receive a one-time VNĐ3 million ($130) each.  

A VNĐ1.5 million allowance is provided to trade union members who have had contact with COVID-19 patients. Female workers and those with children less than 6 years old as well as others who were forced to stop working because of lockdowns in their areas get an allowance of VNĐ500,000 each.

These allowances started on May 19.

The city's Federation of Labour on Wednesday said it has provided support for more than 1,000 workers being quarantined at export processing and industrial zones as well as other locked-down areas.

The city authorities are working with departments and agencies to survey businesses affected by COVID-19 to offer proper support measures. They have also built plans to support people who are forced to stop working for more than one month due to COVID-19. 

Speaking at a recent meeting, the city People's Committee Chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong instructed relevant agencies to update the list of workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and offer assistance to them.

The Việt Nam Red Cross Society’s HCM City chapter in May organised many zero-đồng markets for workers with financial difficulties amid COVID-19 outbreak in the city's many districts. These workers got essential necessities for their daily life. They were also given cash. 

The city had more than 182,200 freelancers affected by COVID-19 outbreaks as of July last year. They received a total allowance of nearly VNĐ181 billion ($7.9 million), or VNĐ1 million each month last year. Other workers losing jobs in the city last year also received monthly allowances, although all of these allowances eventually ended.

The city Fundraising Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control last year said it allocated nearly VNĐ27 billion for freelancers who lost jobs due to outbreaks at that time. 

Country’s largest coconut growing province manages to control imported pest

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bến Tre has basically controlled the spread of the coconut black – headed caterpillar after local authorities and farmers took intensive measures to destroy it.

In July last year, the country’s largest coconut-growing province reported the appearance of the pest for the first time on a total area of 2.4ha of coconut in Bình Đại District’s Phú Long Commune.

It eats leaves and the husk of immature coconuts, damaging the fruits and reducing yields.

It is endemic in countries like India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Some 393ha of coconut trees have been affected in the province so far, according to its Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-department.

More than 100ha have been treated and many of the trees are recovering well.

The province has used pesticides including bio-pesticides to kill the pest, using drones to spray them on more than 30ha in Phú Long last August.

Huỳnh Quang Đức, deputy director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the pest has been eradicated to a great extent in localities first affected by the pest such as Bình Đại and Châu Thành Districts and Bến Tre City. 

Others are continuing to taking preventive measures, he said.

Trần Văn Cẩn of Châu Thành’s Hữu Định Commune has a 2,000sq.m coconut grove affected by the pest and he has sprayed pesticides.

It has not been damaged too much and has started to have shoots again and fruits, he said.  

Võ Văn Nam, head of the sub-department, said the districts of Mỏ Cày Bắc, Mỏ Cày Nam, Châu Thành, and Bình Đại, and Bến Tre City have completed the first round of pesticide spraying.

The province has also cut down 4,659 severely damaged trees.

The HCM City University of Agriculture and Forestry and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have released 150 pairs of ong kí sinh đùi to (Brachymeria sp), a parasitic wasp, on a 2ha grove in Mỏ Cày Bắc where pesticides have not been sprayed as a biological agent to control the pest.

The sub-department has trained local agriculture officials in breeding earwigs, another creature that preys on the caterpillar.

The province plans to increase the breeding of earwigs and release a total of 28,000 of them in affected groves this year.

The department will step up advocacy activities to encourage farmers to take proper measures to fight the pest.

For instance, in groves in which ong kí sinh đùi to and earwigs have been released, farmers should not spray pesticides.

Bến Tre has more than 72,000ha under coconut, or more than 42 per cent of the country’s total.

Medical workers to be provided with protective clothing with cooling fans

Protective gear equipped with air-cooling fans will soon be delivered to frontline medical workers to help them sustain a healthy body temperature in the hot weather during the fight against Covid-19.

Dr Doan Ngoc Hai, head of the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, under the Ministry of Health, said that the protective clothing was equipped with two fans with the functions of creating an airflow and purifying the air to cool down the body temperature of medical workers.

The fans are designed to run on batteries for 10 hours, helping medical workers to work more comfortably.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health had assigned the relevant agencies to do research and manufacture protective gear, which could create an airflow and keep workers cool, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son.

If successful, these protective suits will be delivered to medical workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as soon as possible, he added.

Experts expect the protective clothing with air-cooling fans to be the best solution for frontline medical workers during the current scorching weather. These protective gears will be brought to Bac Giang Province in the initial period and then be provided to all medical workers.

In related news, the HCMC Center for Disease Control has warned that the risk of Covid-19 transmission in office buildings was high as offices had their windows closed, no ventilation and air-conditioners on.

Using the same elevators, meeting rooms, canteens, rest-rooms, parking lots and lounges might pose a high risk of cross infection. 

To reduce the risk of infection, the municipal center proposed firms open windows and doors and use fans in their offices and meeting rooms to boost ventilation.

Besides, the firms in the office buildings were told to avoid gatherings of over 10 workers in a room and ask them to wear face masks in their rooms.

In addition, firms should allow workers to work in shifts and reschedule work timings and breaks to reduce the number of workers in an area at the same time and hold online meetings rather than offline ones to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Vietnam seeks to build Covid-19 vaccine plant

The Ministry of Health has proposed joining the global Covid-19 vaccine technology transfer and supply process by building a Covid-19 vaccine factory in Vietnam.

At an online meeting with Covax Facility on May 31, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said Vietnam was enhancing the purchase and receipt of Covid-19 vaccine production technologies to take the initiative in providing Covid-19 vaccines to its population.

Vietnam will invest in the factory and wishes to franchise the vaccine production to supply vaccines to Covax, other countries and Vietnam, Long added.

Vietnam highly evaluated the initiative of vaccine alliance GAVI and the World Health Organization for establishing the Covax Facility to supply two billion Covid-19 vaccine doses this year, ensuring equitable and fair vaccine access for all countries and territories.

Long said this was an opportunity for all low-income countries to access Covid-19 vaccines.

Vietnam has received nearly 2.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from Covax Facility among the 38.9 million doses that it had pledged to provide to Vietnam this year.

Vietnam has accelerated the vaccination for its frontline workers.

However, the pandemic is showing more complicated developments with the appearance of more dangerous variants and the number of new cases in industrial parks and in the community has surged.

Therefore, Vietnam expects Covax Facility to speed up the vaccine supply and add more kinds of Covid-19 vaccines and international organizations and other countries worldwide to continue supporting Vietnam in accessing the Covid-19 vaccines.

Vietnam will contribute US$500,000 to Covax, demonstrating its high evaluation of the initiative and its commitment to continue taking part in the program.

Arrivers to Lam Dong from Covid-19 hit areas must go to quarantine wards

From May 31, all people coming to the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong including Da Lat city from Covid-19- hit localities must go to concentrated isolation wards for 21 days and abide by pandemic prevention and control regulations in Directive No. 16/CT-TTg and Directive No. 15/CT-TTg of the Prime Minister, announced the provincial People’s Committee. 

Lam Dong Province also required a temporary suspension of all passenger vehicles and taxi from Covid-19 localities and halt of weddings, engagement ceremonies, birthdays, baby's 1st birthday parties.

All  people coming to Lam Dong Province from Covid-19- hit localities must go to quarantine wards for 21 days. 

Attendees of funeral ceremonies must strictly comply with 5K regulations of the Ministry of Health, including Khau trang (facemask)- disinfection (Khu khuan)- distance (Khoang cach)- no gathering (Khong tu tap)– health declaration (Khai bao y te) in the public places with a maximum of 30 people.
Earlier, Lam Dong Province had decided to halt all passenger vehicles from Ho Chi Minh City to the province from May 29 until further notice. 

HCMC ceases operation of waterway routes due to Covid-19

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport yesterday issued a suspension order of waterway routes carrying passengers to Hoi Son- Phuoc Long Pagoda in Thu Duc City, Mieu Noi (Floating Temple) in Go Vap District and Binh Dong Temple in District 8 to strengthen controlling the Covid-19 pandemic in the city.

As for Binh Khanh and Cat Lai ferry wharves, cross-river passenger docks and inland waterway wharves, it is necessary to strictly comply with the pandemic control and prevention measures.

Ferries serve passengers without exceeding 50 percent of their capacity and all passengers have to wear facial masks during their journey. Besides, hand sanitizer gels for passengers must be equipped on ferries.

It is very important to daily spray disinfection before and after each trip and ensure keeping a safe distance among passengers at the waiting areas according to regulations.

Vietnam slashes power prices for anti-pandemic facilities 

Vietnam will reduce electricity costs for the third time for customers involving in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The support targets facilities that are in charge of quarantining, testing, or treating people affected by Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s proposal submitted to the government.

Under which, the assistance includes exemption of electricity bill for organizations whose premises have been used for centralized quarantine and checkup of suspected and confirmed Covid-19 people; and electricity bill discount for lodgings.

“The MoIT will direct the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) to take a number of solutions together, including saving regular spending and non-urgent expenses in its affiliates, so as not to put pressure on electricity prices in the following years,” Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority, MoIT, told local media.

The two previous power price cuts took place from April to July and between October and December, 2020. The two support packages are said to cost EVN (the sole power distributor) a total of VND12.3 trillion (US$530 million).

Currently, the average electricity price in Vietnam is VND1,864 (8.1 US cent)/kWh.

In comparison with regional countries, the electricity price for household use in Vietnam is 9.67 US cent/kWh compared to 9.34 US cent in Malaysia, 11 US cent in Indonesia, 12.7 US cent in Thailand, 15.6 US cent in the Philippines, and 16.73 US cent in Singapore.

"Children draw Hanoi" paintings on display 

The exhibition entitled ‘Be ve Hanoi’ (Children draw Hanoi) by the group ‘Urban Sketchers Ha Noi’ is on display in an online exhibition from June 1 to 15.

More than 80 artworks by young painters aged from four to 13 years old are on display via Facebook. The topic of the paintings focuses on Hanoi, including streets, the old quarter area, architecture, food, intangible cultural heritages, and the likes.

The Covid-19 pandemic has become a major theme of the painting exhibition.

It seems that the pandemic has affected children negatively, as many paintings feature hospitals, patients and revolve around rather dark topics like death and suffering. Visitors still can deduce from the paintings a general sense of childlike optimism and uplifting creativity.

Specializing in portraying Hanoi has been considered a unique trait of the paintings drawn by the Urban Sketchers Ha Noi art group, also the initiator of the exhibition. The group brings together the painters who are able to express their artistic personalities through the artworks despite their very young age.

They are Dang Long whose painting features big splashes of color, showcasing his adventurous personality, Chi Thanh who loves to place contrasting colors next to each other so as to create vibrance and liveliness in his paintings. In contrast, Tran Le Ca Thy and Khanh An tend towards a more simple and realistic art style.

This is the fifth time the Children draw Hanoi exhibition has been organized in Hanoi, creating opportunities for children to show their artistic talents. The exhibition will end on June 15 and new paintings will also be added regularly to fresh up the display.

Vietnam to build 4,000km expressway via PPP: PM 

The financing mechanism under the private-public partnership (PPP) model would be essential to realize this goal.

The Vietnamese Government has set the timeline for 4,000 kilometers connecting each region with the national expressway network, which will be ready by 2030.

The construction project, under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) performance, is part of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s conclusion on the plan to expand Vietnam’s expressway network, which covered nearly 1,200 kilometers of expressway built in the past 20 years, in the 2021-2025 period, with a vision to 2030.

“This is a political mission and our responsibility before the Party, the State and the People requiring the participation of the entire political system,” stressed Chinh, saying PPP contracts would be the main financing mechanism.

“State budget could only fund a part of the capital demand for such huge works, and in this case, investment from private sectors would be a decisive factor,” he added.

The Prime Minister has called for balanced investment among regions, especially in the Mekong Delta, North West, Central Highlands, South Central, and the key economic zones, while focusing on major projects such as the Eastern North-South Expressway, ring roads in Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, that are in line with national development strategy and ensure investment efficiency.

To realize these ambitious targets, Chinh noted the necessity to change the mindset in state management and push for greater decentralization in making investment-related decisions.

“Provinces and cities that want to have expressway have to actively join the investment process and be responsible for the site clearance works,” Chinh said.

“The government would support a part of investment cost with supporting policies,” he added.

“Accountability is essential throughout the process to prevent corruption and groups of interest, with the interests of the people and the state being put at the foremost,” Chinh continued.

Among specific targets, Chinh urged the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to complete the Eastern North-South Expressway by 2025, taking the total expressway length in Vietnam to 3,000 km. The figure would eventually rise to 5,000 km five years later.

Under the MoT’s draft 10-year plan (2021-2030) development plan, Vietnam would require an investment of VND825 trillion (US$35.75 billion) to fulfill the target of having 5,000 kilometers of the expressway.

Construction Ministry has new Deputy Minister

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh signed on June 1 a Decision on appointing Mr. Bui Hong Minh as the Deputy Minister of Construction. 

Bui, born in 1971, was former Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee of the Central Enterprise Sector and Secretary of the Party Committee cum Chairman of the Members' Council of Viet Nam Cement Corporation.

Vietnam proposes diversifying assistance for gender equality initiatives of Sahel

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, on June 2 called on the international community to join hands in developing and diversifying assistance to ensure sustainable financial sources for gender equality initiatives and relevant projects of the Sahel.

Speaking at an Arria-formula meeting on “Strengthening an Integrated Approach to Peace and Security in the Sahel through a Gendered Lens” of the UN Security Council (UNSC), Quy proposed enhancing the use of global indicators issued by the UNSC in 2009 to monitor the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

The ambassador also reiterated Vietnam’s commitments to ensuring women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in relevant processes.

He pointed to progress seen in women’s engagement in politics and peace process in the Sahel, and stressed the need to remove barriers and take stronger measures to promote their role.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the Sahel is facing a range of challenges, especially gender inequality, early marriage, domestic violence, sexual violence, extreme violence, climate change and poverty.

Highlighting the UN’s efforts in protecting and promoting women’s role, she lauded the establishment of the Group of Friends of Women of the Sahal and wished that the Group will make practical and effective contributions to promoting gender equality in the region.

The participating countries shared the view that promoting women’s role in peace process is of special significance and it is a must to lift barriers to women in all spheres and seriously implement the WPS Agenda at both national and regional levels.

The international community should focus on supporting educational access, building capacity, promoting gender equality, and empowering women in all stages of the process in the Sahel, for peace and sustainable development in the region, they said./.

Vietnam, Barbados seek ways to foster bilateral ties

Vietnamese Ambassador to Venezuela and Barbados Le Viet Duyen had an online meeting with Barbados Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Simone Rudder on June 3, during which they discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Duyen affirmed that since bilateral diplomatic relations were set up 26 years ago, the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Barbados has been continuously consolidated and developed.

The Vietnamese Government and people always attach great importance to promoting their relations with Barbados, especially in fields where the two countries hold potential such as investment, trade, education, technology and telecommunications.

He also informed the Barbados official of the outcomes of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and outstanding political, economic and cultural achievements gained by Vietnam after 35 years of Doi Moi (Renewal).

For her part, Rudder said that the two countries see cooperation potential in agriculture, investment, trade, education and training, and especially the exchange of experiences in cultural heritage conservation and marine resources management for efficient exploitation and sustainable development.

Vietnam is an important gateway in accessing the ASEAN market with more than 650 million people, she stressed.

Rudder affirmed that her ministry will send a number of draft framework agreements on trade and investment cooperation and double taxation avoidance to the Vietnamese Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Industries and Trade, in order to strengthen and promote multifaceted cooperation between the two countries as soon as possible.

The Barbados side will also study the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration between the two countries’ Chambers of Commerce and promote the possibility of establishing the Barbados-Vietnam Friendship Association and the Barbados-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce to contribute to lifting the bilateral relations to a new height, she added./.

Exhibition introduces 131 role models in various fields

An exhibition introducing 131 role models, including 60 collectives and 71 individuals who showed outstanding performance in studying and following President Ho Chi Minh's thoughts, moral example and lifestyle in the 2020-2021 period, was opened on June 3 at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi.

The event is held on the occasion of the 131st birthday of the national leader (May 19, 1890-2021) and the 110 years since he left the country to embark on a journey around the world to seek ways to savage the country (June 5, 1911-2021).

Through more than 200 documents, articles and items, the exhibition highlights stories about normal people with incredible strength to overcome their difficulties to make contributions to the community and the national construction and defence.

The exhibition is divided into two areas. The first part focuses on the movement of studying and following President Ho Chi Minh thoughts, moral example and style and the response of Vietnamese people from all walks of life to the movement, and the other introduces 131 outstanding examples from various sectors such as economy, culture, society, Party and administration building, defence and security.

A representative from the organising board said that the exhibition is an important event aiming to encourage and honour role models who perform good deeds across the country, helping turn the studying and following President Ho Chi Minh thoughts, moral example and style into a regular activity of the whole Party, people and army in the current national construction and defence.

The exhibition will run until the end of September before being held in a number of localities across the country./.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives Japanese Ambassador

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio on June 3, during which the two discussed the extensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

President Phuc expressed his joy at the continued development of the bilateral extensive strategic partnership across the fields along with the high political trust and close bonds between leaders and people of the two countries, which is demonstrated in high-level visits, particularly the trip to Vietnam in October 2020 by Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide right after taking office.

The Vietnamese State leader extended an invitation to visit Vietnam to the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and asked the Japanese Ambassador to continue promoting exchanges at all levels between the two countries.

Phuc also proposed that the two countries cooperate and support each other in COVID-19 prevention and control, while enhancing economic ties and encouraging Japanese businesses to expand their presence in Vietnam.

Ambassador Yamada said bilateral relations had developed strongly during the time Phuc served as Prime Minister of Vietnam. He expressed a hope that President Phuc will make a State-level visit to Japan during his Presidency term.

The Japanese Ambassador affirmed Japan’s consistent policy on attaching importance to relations with Vietnam. He said Japan will continue assisting Vietnam in fighting the pandemic.

He said Vietnam is an attractive destination for Japanese investors who want to diversify their supply chains, adding that Japan will push for cooperation in infrastructure development, digital transformation, and the environment.

The ambassador pledged to work closely with Vietnam in organising celebrations of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2023, and in increasing cultural and people-to-people exchanges to strengthen the foundation of the bilateral relationship.

The two sides also took the occasion to discuss regional and international issues of common concern./. 

Flights between Hai Phong and HCM City temporarily halted

The Ministry of Transport, on June 3, issued a document on suspending flights between the northern port city of Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City.

The move is an approval of the Hai Phong People’s Committee’s proposal submitted to the ministry on June 1.

The suspension of flights will last until the COVID-19 situation is put under control.

An additional 102 COVID-19 cases, including 96 domestically-transmitted infections, were reported in Vietnam over the past six hours to 12pm on June 3, raising the total number of patients to 7,972, said the Ministry of Health.

Of the new cases, 19 were detected in Ho Chi Minh City, which is now under social distancing./.

Vietnam, New Zealand enhance joint work at multilateral forums

Vietnam and New Zealand have pledged to enhance cooperation within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the WTO and APEC.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor made the pledge during recent phone talks on the sidelines of the 27th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting.

They noted that as Vietnam and New Zealand are active members of new FTAs such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the two need to step up their strategic partnership, which was founded on July 22, 2020, and the bilateral agriculture cooperation agreement signed on February 24, 2021.

Dien hailed New Zealand’s efforts to host APEC meetings via videoconference this year and believes that practical achievements will be made during APEC Year 2021.

He said APEC member states should strive to issue a joint statement at the MRT 27, which should convey a strong political message about strengthening international solidarity and upholding its leading role in regional economic connectivity, maintaining regional cooperation and links.

The statement should also affirm flexibility and adaptability in the new situation, contributing to joint efforts to cope with COVID-19 and gradually recover economies.

The two ministers also touched on important APEC initiatives this year, especially the Plan of Action to realise the APEC Vision 2040, the trade ministers’ statement on facilitating the circulation of necessities, and several new initiatives regarding green, sustainable, and inclusive growth.

O’Connor, for his part, shared his impressions of Vietnam’s economic development over past years and hoped that the country would actively join in discussions at MRT 27 about APEC 2021’s priority initiatives, especially amid the global pandemic.

Concluding the phone talks, both sides agreed to direct relevant units to improve joint work to achieve the goals set in the bilateral economic-trade cooperation strategy./.

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



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