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Traffic congestion on Cong Hoa road

The Ho Chi Minh City management board for traffic works construction and investment has urged early completion of paperwork for construction on a road linking Tran Quoc Hoan and Cong Hoa roads to begin in December.

Costing more than 4.84 trillion VND (211.2 million USD), the project is slated to complete in July 2023, in conjunction with the completion of the Tan Son Nhat international airport’s Terminal 3

The project, approved in December 2019, includes the building of a six-lane 4km road, an intersection tunnel, and a 1,200m overpass in front of the Terminal 3.

Apart from the project, the city also conducting procedures to implement the expansion of Hoang Hoa Tham road and upgrading of Cong Hoa road around the Tan Son Nhat airport. The construction of both projects was initially set to begin in 2020 but it was delayed due to problems in site clearance./.

No COVID-19 infections logged on March 4 morning

Vietnam documented no COVID-19 cases in the past 12 hours to 6:00 am on March 4, keeping the national tally unchanged at 2,482 patients with 1,566 domestically-transmitted cases, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The country has 51,572 people who came in close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas under quarantine nationwide, including 533 at hospitals, 13,776 at other quarantine sites, and 37,263 at home.

Among the patients under treatment, 66 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 37 twice, and 113 thrice.

The Treatment Sub-committee said that 1,898 patients have been declared clear of the coronavirus so far.

In a bid to live safely with the pandemic, people should 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)./.

Vietnam Airlines resumes HCM City – Van Don flights

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines resumed flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh on March 3, the same day the airport was allowed to reopen after local COVID-19 outbreaks were put under control.

Flights from HCM City take off at 1:00pm and those from Van Don 3:45pm. All are operated on Airbus A321 with four-star services.

From March 3 to 17, one weekly flight will ply the route between the two destinations, on Wednesdays. Flight numbers will be increased to three a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, from March 18 until the end of the year.

The resumption of the HCM City – Van Don flights is expected to help boost tourism in Quang Ninh and neighbouring provinces, said a representative from Vietnam Airlines, adding that the airline will cooperate with Quang Ninh to adopt measures to stimulate travel demand and revive local economy.

Vietnam Airlines launched the HCM City – Van Don air route in December 2018.

Van Don International Airport was temporarily shut down on January 29 after an airport security staff was confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus./.

Vietnam attending 52nd session of UN Statistical Commission

A report on national accounts was among the items presented by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) at the ongoing 52nd session of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC), GSO Director General Nguyen Thi Huong said.

According to Huong, the GSO has initially applied the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA), which is the latest version of the SNA adopted by the commission. This year, the office will implement a series of activities on national accounts, including the issuance of a guidebook on the classification of institutional sectors applicable to Vietnam’s statistics sector.

At the session, the GSO is also set to deliver a presentation concerning a report on the UN Committee of Experts on Business and Trade Statistics.

Huong said Vietnam supports orientations for changes to the manual on international merchandise trade statistics. The country requests the UN soon send its detailed plan for such changes to member nations and develop a related questionnaire to collect feedback.

Besides, the the GSO is also set to have a presentation to the high-level group for partnership, coordination and capacity-building regarding statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Founded in 1947, the Statistical Commission consists of 24 UN member countries elected by the UN Economic and Social Council on the basis of equitable geographical distribution.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this 52nd session is being held in a scaled-down virtual format, consisting of four two-hour informal meetings from March 1 to 3 and on March 5./.

Vietnam’s youngest heart transplant patient discharged from hospital

Seven-year-old L.X.H, the youngest-ever heart transplant recipient in Vietnam, has been discharged from hospital, the Hanoi-based Viet Duc Hospital said on March 3.

Before the surgery, the child, weighing only 16 kg, suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy and end-stage heart failure.

The patient received the heart from a 19-year-old brain-dead donor, with the surgery conducted on February 1.

The child’s mother thanked the family of the donor who, she said, has given her child a new life, and the dedication of doctors and nurses of the hospital.

This is the fifth heart transplant performed on a child at the hospital.

Viet Duc has performed five lung, 36 heart, 92 liver, and nearly 1,100 kidney transplants in total so far.

It is the leading centre nationwide for collecting and transplanting organs. All patients are healthy and have returned to daily living.

In March 2017, a 10-year-old boy in Hanoi became the smallest heart transplant patient at that time. After getting the heart from a brain-dead donor, he is now in a stable condition./.

HCMC metro’s driving instructor to receive salary of over VND500 million

Foreign experts providing training to drive the trains of HCMC’s first metro line, which connects the landmark Ben Thanh Market in downtown HCMC and the Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9, would be paid a salary of over VND500 million each.

The salary was among the outcomes of the negotiation between the Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCMC (MAUR), which is the project’s investor, and NJPT, which is the project's consulting unit, on signing the annex of Contract No.19 for the metro line.

MAUR suggested that the head expert receive 2.5 million Japanese yen per month, equal to some VND542 million, and other experts be paid 2.35 million Japanese yen, or VND509 million.

According to the investor, these are the lowest salary levels earmarked for foreign experts under an original contract that it signed with NJPT in 2007. Also, the salary amounts are equivalent to those of a project in Indonesia’s Jakarta and approved by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is the project’s sponsor.

For local experts who will teach the driving, the investor suggested the deployment of a lump sum contract. Besides this, the costs to organize driving tests for 58 metro drivers who are joining a training course to drive the trains will be worked out before the tests take place.

Aside from salaries for driving instructors, MAUR suggested the foreign experts of NJPT each receive an allowance of 11,500 Japanese yen per day, or some VND2.5 million. This amount is lower than NJPT’s previously suggested figure of 12,000 Japanese yen.

Seven new COVID-19 cases found on March 3 afternoon

Vietnam reported seven new COVID-19 cases in the past 12 hours to 6pm of March 3, including two imported ones in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang and five found in the northern province of Hai Duong.

According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the imported cases were sent to quarantine immediately on February 28 after entering Kien Giang through the Ha Tien border gate. They are being treated at a medical centre in Ha Tien city.

Meanwhile, the five patients in Hai Duong were diagnosed positive for SARS-CoV-2 while undertaking quarantine at concentrated sites.

So far, the national count of COVID-19 cases has reached 2,482, including 1,566 domestically-transmitted cases.

The committee’s treatment sub-committee said a total of 1,898 patients have recovered so far.

Among active patients, 66 have tested for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, 37 twice and 113 thrice.

Meanwhile, 59,081 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or came from pandemic-hit areas are under quarantine nationwide, with 540 in hospitals, 13,424 in State-designated quarantine establishments, and 45,117 at home./.

Foreign arrivals decline by 99.1% over two months

Vietnam just welcomed a total of 28,700 foreign arrivals over the first two months of the year, representing a huge drop of 99.1% in comparison to the same period from 2020, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The number of foreign arrivals reached 11,000 in February alone, down by 38.3% from January’s figures.

The GSO attributed the sharp fall to the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the resurgence of the virus in January, on the tourism industry. 

The majority of foreign arrivals in the reviewed period were experts, technical workers, and drivers who transported goods on roads through border gates, according to the GSO.

In a recent report produced by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), this year is likely to prove extremely challenging for the local tourism industry. Vietnam has yet to reopen its borders to international tourists due to COVID-19, therefore the number of foreign arrivals will remain low in the coming months.

Though Vietnam represents one of the bright spots for effectively controlling the spread of COVID-19, the local tourism industry has been greatly impacted by the pandemic.

Relic sites, sightseeing spots, and entertainment areas nationwide have been forced to shut down several times, with many travel agencies finding it difficult to do business amid COVID-19 fears.

The VNAT has recently carried out domestic travel stimulus schemes aimed at boosting online tourism advertisement through social networks, including YouTube, with the aim of helping the local tourism industry to recover in the post-COVID-19 period.

Southeast region speeds up major transport projects to relieve congestion

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The HCM City - Long Thành - Dầu Giây Expressway is expected to be widened to 10-12 lanes. The Ministry of Transport has urged localities in the southeast region to improve transport infrastructure over the next five years. — Photo courtesy of Đồng Nai Department of Transport 

The Ministry of Transport has urged localities in the southeast region to speed up major transport projects by diversifying the sources of capital over the next five years. 

Speaking at a recent online meeting, Nguyễn Văn Thể, Minister of Transport, said: "A lack of regional connectivity and overloaded roads at major gateways remains an issue in the region."

Thể has urged localities in the region to speed up implementation of major projects in the region in the 2021-2025 period, with priority given to the expansion of HCM City - Long Thành - Dầu Giây expressway, and construction of Bến Lức - Long Thành expressway, Biên Hòa - Vũng Tàu expressway, HCM City - Mộc Bài, and Ring Roads 2 and 3. 

Other projects include construction of the Long Thành - Thủ Thiêm light railway connecting HCM City to the new Long Thành airport, and the expansion of Provincial Road 25C from HCM City to Đồng Nai Province. 

Recently, PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc approved the Ministry of Transport’s proposal to give HCM City the authority to approve investment decisions for the HCM City-Mộc Bài Expressway.

The 53.5km-long expressway will link Ring Road No 3 in HCM City’s Hóc Môn District with Mộc Bài International Border Gate between Việt Nam and Cambodia in Tây Ninh Province.

The expressway project will be divided into two investment phases. Its total capital is estimated at nearly VNĐ13.6 trillion (US$586.8 million), including cost for site clearance sourced from the State budget.

The first stage will cost VNĐ10.7 trillion (($461.7 million) under a Public-Private Partnership investment. 

Construction is expected to be completed by 2025 with at least four lanes, and will be expanded to six or eight lanes by 2045.

The HCM City Department of Transport has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate VNĐ3.281 trillion in the 2021-2025 period to widen the HCM City - Long Thành - Dầu Giây Expressway and its surrounding roads.

Trần Văn Thi, director of the Mỹ Thuận Project Management Board, said that expansion of the expressway was urgently needed to ease overloading, especially when the Long Thành international airport opens at the end of 2025.

He said that a 24km section of the expressway, connecting HCM City with Long Thành international airport, should be implemented first. 

He also asked the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate medium-term capital sources for the 2021-2025 period with priority given to the use of state budget or from official development assistance (ODA).

The southeast region, which accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s total budget revenue and 38 per cent GDP, is the focal economic region in Việt Nam, according to Thể.

It includes HCM City and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Đồng Nai, and Tây Ninh provinces. However, the region’s transport structure is far below the needs of its economic and social growth potential.

There are only two expressways in the region: the HCM City-Long Thành-Dầu Giây and HCM City-Trung Lương.

Road transport plays a key role in the region, serving about 80 per cent of all freight transport from the provinces in the region to HCM City, causing serious congestion on HCM City-Trung Lương Expressway and National Road 51.

The National Road 22 from HCM City to Tây Ninh Province has also become congested with the number of vehicles increasing by 8 per cent annually, according to the Ministry of Transport. 

The Cái Mép - Thị Vải deep-water port in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province is the international gateway to the region. The port is one of more than 20 ports in the world that can be accessed by container ships of over 200,000 tonnes. 

When the first phase of Long Thành international airport in Đồng Nai Province opens slated for 2025, a new hub of the aviation industry will be formed in the region.

Experts said the region should focus on investment in traffic infrastructure to enhance linkages between the port, the international airport and industrial parks in the region to boost socio-economic development.

Mekong Delta provinces step up COVID preventive measures as 2 test positive in Dong Thap

Mekong Delta provinces are tightening preventive measures against COVID-19, especially along land borders and coastal entry points, after Đồng Tháp Province reported two new cases.

On February 28 a 37-year-old man in Hậu Giang Province who worked aboard a barge bringing cargo from Cambodia’s Phnom Penh tested positive and was quarantined immediately.   

He had arrived along with another man at the Thường Phước International Sea Port in Đồng Tháp’s Hồng Ngự District on February 26.

Authorities have identified three people who came into close contact with the patient.

Earlier, on February 23, the province’s COVID-19 task force quarantined a Vietnamese woman who had entered illegally from Cambodia with the disease.

Authorities traced 11 people who had been in contact with her.  

The chairman of the province People’s Committee, Phạm Thiện Nghĩa, has instructed relevant agencies to tighten control over border and coastal entry points.

They should exchange information with their counterparts in neighbouring countries to make plans to preclude the spread of the disease, he said.

Border guards should set up a hotline for locals to report people coming from COVID-hit areas, he added.

Đoàn Tấn Bửu, People’s Committee vice chairman, said everyone entering from Cambodia have to be quarantined and tested.

The People’s Committee has approved the suspension of festivals and other events and closure of amusement places in Hồng Ngự and Tân Hồng districts and Hồng Ngự city.  

Educational establishments will be closed from March 1 to 6.

At the border in the provinces of Long An, An Giang and Kiên Giang, soldiers are on duty on 24 hours a day at temporary checkpoints.

Nguyễn Văn Út, chairman of the Long An Province People’s Committee, has instructed border guards to tighten control, warning that a single person could spread the disease if not quarantined in time.

The province is seeking the private sector’s assistance to provide border guards with all the daily necessities they need, he added.

Lâm Minh Thành, chairman of the Kiên Giang Province People’s Committee, said relevant agencies have been instructed to ensure border guards get good mental and physical care to reassure them.

The province has received 80 soldiers from Đà Nẵng City and Bình Định Province for COVID prevention duty at coastal entry points.

It has 80 checkpoints at land and sea, and 11 boats patrol its coast to prevent COVID-19, smuggling and illegal entrants.  

Between February 24 and 26 more than 150 people entered the province through the Hà Tiên City land border, and all were quarantined ad tested.

Border guards and other authorities disinfect goods brought in from Cambodia and transfer them to local vehicles for onward transport.

An Giang Province is doing the same thing.

Its People’s Committee plans to set up several task force teams to patrol the border.

Trần Hồng Quân, vice chairman of the Cà Mau Province People’s Committee, said though the province does not share land borders with other countries, its coastal waters are bordered by other countries, a cause for worry, and has instructed relevant agencies to be on high alert.  

On March 1 health officials began to test employees of enterprises who are from other provinces.

All businesses with such employees would be tested, Quân added.

Thu Duc City asked to complete rearrangement of administrative units before mid-March

HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong has told Thu Duc City and some districts to complete the rearrangement of agencies, units and organizations in the political system before March 16.

Speaking at a meet to deploy the National Assembly Standing Committee’s resolution on establishing Thu Duc City under the jurisdiction of HCMC and rearranging administrative units at the district and commune levels of the city, Phong told the leadership of Thu Duc City to promptly complete half-done tasks so that the city’s apparatus can operate smoothly.

Thu Duc City was also tasked with conducting a general review, mapping out plans for arranging the headquarters of its units and agencies in line with the prevailing regulations and reporting the results to the HCMC government for consideration, Tuoi Tre Online reported.

In addition, Thu Duc City was told to work with the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment and other relevant agencies to draft special development mechanisms for Thu Duc City and submit them for consideration.

The municipal Department of Information and Communications was also assigned to collaborate with the Thu Duc City government to review the information technology (IT) system and propose the construction of IT infrastructure to serve the administrative management for the entire political system.

The work will contribute to fulfilling the target of building a smart city in the coming years.

Incumbent, former directors of Can Tho Health Department prosecuted

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Bui Thi Le Phi (L) and Cao Minh Chu – PHOTO: MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY



Ministry of Public Security investigators have initiated legal proceedings against Cao Minh Chu, incumbent director of the Department of Health of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and his predecessor, Bui Thi Le Phi, for allegedly violating bidding regulations, and thus causing serious consequences.

Charges were also filed against nine leaders of companies appraising the prices of medical equipment, the local media reported.

Chu and four others‑‑ Ho Phuong Quynh, ex-member of the Can Tho Department of Health’s project management board; Nguyen Duy Hung and Nguyen Quoc Viet, ex-employees of BTC Valuation Joint Stock Company and Ta Thuong Xuan, ex-employee of Mediconsult Vietnam Joint Venture Co., Ltd‑‑are under house arrest.

Meanwhile, Phi; Hoang Thi Thuy Nga, former chairwoman of the establishment council of Neo Success Journey Group (NSJ Group); Le Huy Binh, former general director of NSJ Group; Luong Tan Thanh, ex-member of the Can Tho Department of Health’s project management board; Doan Thi No, former head of the project department at LTQ High Technology Co., Ltd and Le Thanh Hung, a salesman of NSJ Group, are in police custody.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, they were allegedly involved in two projects to tender medical equipment at the Can Tho Cardiovascular Hospital and the Can Tho Children's Hospital. They were found to be allegedly violating regulations on ensuring fairness and transparency in purchasing medical equipment, causing huge losses for the State.

HCM City told to get creative to enhance gender equality

The HCM City Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality needs to take creative and effective approaches to ensure gender equality in every aspect, a city leader has said.

Võ Văn Hoan, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, said efforts towards the advancement of women and gender equality need to be promoted with the involvement of all genders and agencies at all levels.

A hotline should be set up for victims of domestic violence and gender inequality, Hoan, who is also head of the HCM City Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality, said at a meeting to held to review implementation of the 2011–20 National Strategy on Gender Equality last Friday (Feb 26).

Trần Ngọc Sơn, deputy director of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the city has seven goals for gender equality and the advancement of women in various areas, including economic, employment, education and training, healthcare, political participation, and the fight against human trafficking.

Over the last decade it has issued many policies and allocated funds to implement programmes to fulfil these goals, he said.

It also strived for international co-operation for women’s progress and gender equality with a series of programmes, he said.

But integrating gender concerns in the labour market and economic empowerment continue to face challenges due to a lack of concerted efforts by various agencies and inadequate data from social insurance agencies, he admitted.

 

Lê Thị Ngọc Dung of the city Department of Home Affairs said gender equality needs to be a highlight of the national human resources development strategy.

State agencies and businesses need to comply with regulations on the ratio of women staff and empower women’s leadership at the workplace, she said.

Women account for more than 51 per cent of the city’s nearly nine million population. 

Charity house provides books, clothes for ethnic minorities in Nghệ An

Mong Văn Thành, a seventh-grader of Bắc Lý semi-boarding school for ethnic minorities, browses second-hand books and warm clothes at the charity house in Huồi Tráng 1 Village, Bắc Lý Commune, the central province of Nghệ An.

Thành said he arrived at the charity house in the early morning. He said he did not have enough books to study, so he hoped he could find some that he needed and more warm clothes to wear during the cold days.

Hundreds of other people from the two communes of Bắc Lý and Mỹ Lý also came to the charity house in recent days to search for necessities. Bắc Lý and Mỹ Lý are poor communes of the province’s Kỳ Sơn District where many ethnic minority people live.

The charity house opened on January 10 thanks to the efforts of soldiers of Mỹ Lý Border Guard Station under the provincial Border Guard Command to share difficulties with local poor residents.

Major Hoàng Thế Tài, of the border guard station, said the idea to open the charity house came after the station learned that more than 90 per cent of the local population were on the list of poor households.

Tài said local people mainly earned a living by farming.

The charity house, with the spirit of 'Whoever needs, come to get it; whoever has enough, come to share it' opens between Friday and Sunday every week. A person can take two items for free each time.  The items include books, clothes, rice, noodles, eggs and vegetables, he said.

The charity house, covering an area of 100 sq.m, was built by the soldiers over two months, he said.

Cụt Văn May, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee of Bắc Lý Commune, said the commune authorities welcomed the meaningful work of the border guard station and supported the soldier's efforts.

Major Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, of Mỹ Lý Border Guard Station, who is in charge of running the charity house, said the charity house was very meaningful and a place to spread the spirit of sharing and kindness.

Books and clothes were sent by charity groups from across the country, rice and noodles were donated by soldiers of the station and vegetables were donated by some local residents, he said.

The soldiers of the station often donated instant noodles and rice, he said.

Besides, many kind-hearted people throughout the country have donated to the charity house. For example, Chu Thị Đức, chairwoman of Thiên Minh Đức Group in Vinh City, had donated many goods for the charity house, contributing to improving the lives of ethnic minorities in the two poor communes, he said.

The charity house not only helps local people overcome difficulties in their lives but also serves as a place the soldiers can meet the local people and explain the policies and laws of the Party and the State, he said.

The station plans to organise programmes for local residents to learn, exchange experiences in farming, help each other earn a living, take care of children, family planning and disease prevention, he said.

“All of these things aim to eradicate poverty and improve people’s knowledge in the two communes,” he said.

Đà Nẵng aims to become tourism hub of Viet Nam

Đà Nẵng plans to become a tourism and sea-based economic hub of Việt Nam by 2030 following its adjusted master plan with a vision to 2045.

Under the plan, the central city is projected to become a part of the global supply chain network and a gateway to the East-West Economic Corridor, leaders of Đà Nẵng reported at a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in Hà Nội on Monday.

The city also hopes to become a special urban area in its long-term vision of becoming an international city. Its population by 2030 is expected to reach 1.79 million and the urban construction area will be about 31,800ha, accounting for more than 32 per cent of its mainland area.

PM Phúc applauded Đà Nẵng authorities’ efforts to work closely with ministries, agencies and to collect public opinions into making the master plan.

The city should aim to become a special city of Việt Nam to bring Đà Nẵng to a higher level in terms of both quality and development scale, the PM said.

The Government leader approved the plan to develop Đà Nẵng into a spearhead tourism city, a sea-based economic centre of Việt Nam, a gateway to the East-West Economic Corridor and a worth-living and safe city.

Regarding waste treatment, PM Phúc said this was an important issue for Đà Nẵng – a city with one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. The city should also have measures to deal with climate change.

He also asked for measures to prevent corruption in adjusting and implementing the master plan and have a proper supervision mechanism.

HCM City invests in six major environmental sanitation projects

The HCM City Urban Environment Company Limited (CITENCO) and HCM City Finance and Investment State-owned Company (HFIC) last week signed a strategic co-operation agreement to implement projects related to urban environmental sanitation during the 2021-2025 period.

Six projects with combined capital of VNĐ6 trillion (US$260.2 million) will be implemented under the agreement.

These include a 20-ha landfill site project at the Phước Hiệp waste treatment complex in Củ Chi District, a project to move a hazardous waste plant from Đông Thạnh commune in Hóc Môn District to Phước Hiệp waste treatment complex, and the second phase of the Đa Phước cemetery project in Bình Chánh District.

A project to build a plant for recycling and treatment of solid waste separated at source, and investments in equipment and vehicles for waste collecting, transportation and treatment services will also be carried out.

Around 9,500 tonnes of domestic solid waste are generated daily in the city, not including industrial waste, according to the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The volume of domestic waste has risen by 10 per cent a year.

Only 2,000 tonnes are recycled, while the remaining 75 per cent of the waste is buried, resulting in environmental pollution and lower quality of life for city residents, said Huỳnh Minh Nhựt, director of CITENCO.

As a public utility enterprise under the management of the HCM City People’s Committee, CITENCO is one of the key units to perform tasks in the field of environmental sanitation, Nhựt said at the signing ceremony.

The six projects will be a focus of the company in the coming years to address the city’s sustainable development goals, Nhựt said.

Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, chairman of HFIC’s Members’ Council, said investment in environmental projects for green growth and sustainable development is a feature of the company’s development orientation.

The cooperation between the two companies for investment in state-of-the-art vehicles, facilities and technology is vital to improve urban environmental sanitation, Hòa said. 

Hanoi leader inspects works for SEA Games 31, ASEAN Para Games 11

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Secretary of the Hanoi municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue


Secretary of the Hanoi municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue has requested ensuring the progress of repairing and upgrading work on facilities for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) and the 11th Southeast Asian Para Games (ASEAN Para Games 11).

He made the request while inspecting the city's training of athletes and preparations for the competitions, as Hanoi will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, and the competition of 25 out of 40 sport events in SEA Games 31 and all activities during ASEAN Para Games 11.

Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports Tran Thi Van Anh said almost all departments, agencies and authorities of Hanoi’s districts and communes have built their own plans on repairing and upgrading existing sport facilities at a total cost of over 597 billion VND (25.9 million USD), which is funded by the city’s budget. The work is expected to be completed before September 30 this year. 

Secretary of the Hanoi municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue greets athletes on training (Photo: VNA)
The city set the goal of earning 38-40 golds, or over 30 percent of gold medals targeted by the Vietnamese team, 30-32 silvers and 28-30 bronzes.

Hue also asked for studying mechanisms and policies to recruit foreign coaches and talented athletes./.

First national forum held on engaging men in promoting gender equality

A national forum on “Engaging Men and Boys in the Promotion of Gender Equality and the Elimination of Gender-based Violence” was held for the first time in Hanoi with 200 delegates participating both online and in person.

The forum was jointly held by UN Women in Vietnam, the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), and the Network for the Prevention of and Response to Gender Violence (GBVNet), with financial support from the Australian Government.

It offered an opportunity for organisations, groups, and men’s clubs in Vietnam to introduce and share lessons, experiences, and challenges in mobilising the participation of men in promoting gender equality as well as preventing and responding to violence against women and children, especially during COVID-19.

Delegates at the forum agreed to establish a network of men and boys participating in the promotion of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence in Vietnam.

In his address, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra expressed his appreciation of the initiative, stressing that “with the active participation of men and women, I believe the process of achieving the gender equality goals in the Sustainable Development Agenda to 2030 will be accelerated in Vietnam. Because everyone has to promote gender equality, for everyone’s benefit.”

ISDS Deputy Director Tran Kien said that many Vietnamese men have realised that to avoid being left behind in the new era they must participate more in promoting gender equality and sharing opportunities with women.

This lies behind the establishment of a network of men and boys participating in the promotion of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence, Kien added.

Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, spoke highly of the success of men’s clubs in Da Nang and HCM City and welcomed the initiative to set up the network.

She expressed a belief that the network will spread positive attitudes about masculinity, change rigid gender norms, and help men ease the pressure caused by these norms and engage them in activities to promote gender equality and combat gender-based violence in Vietnam./.

Charity house provides books, clothes for ethnic minorities in Nghe An

Mong Van Thanh, a seventh-grader of Bac Ly semi-boarding school for ethnic minorities, browses second-hand books and warm clothes at the charity house in Huoi Trang 1 Village, Bac Ly Commune, the central province of Nghe An.

Thanh said he arrived at the charity house in the early morning. He said he did not have enough books to study, so he hoped he could find some that he needed and more warm clothes to wear during the cold days.

Hundreds of other people from the two communes of Bac Ly and My Ly also came to the charity house in recent days to search for necessities. Bac Ly and My Ly are poor communes of the province’s Ky Son District where many ethnic minority people live.

The charity house opened on January 10 thanks to the efforts of soldiers of the My Ly Border Guard Station under the provincial Border Guard Command to share difficulties with local poor residents.

Major Hoang The Tai, of the border guard station, said the idea to open the charity house came after the station learned that more than 90 percent of the local population were on the list of poor households. Local people mainly earned a living by farming.

The charity house, with the spirit of 'Whoever needs, come to get it; whoever has enough, come to share it' opens between Friday and Sunday every week. A person can take two items for free each time. The items include books, clothes, rice, noodles, eggs and vegetables, he said.

The charity house, covering an area of 100 sq.m, was built by the soldiers over two months, he said.

Cut Van May, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Bac Ly Commune, said the commune authorities welcomed the meaningful work of the border guard station and supported the soldier's efforts.

Major Nguyen Xuan Son, of the My Ly Border Guard Station, who is in charge of running the charity house, said the charity house was very meaningful and a place to spread the spirit of sharing and kindness.

Books and clothes were sent by charity groups from across the country, rice and noodles were donated by soldiers of the station and vegetables were donated by some local residents, he said.

The soldiers of the station often donated instant noodles and rice, he said.

Besides, many kind-hearted people throughout the country have donated to the charity house. For example, Chu Thi Duc, Chairwoman of Thien Minh Duc Group in Vinh City, had donated many goods for the charity house, contributing to improving the lives of ethnic minorities in the two poor communes, he said.

The charity house not only helps local people overcome difficulties in their lives but also serves as a place the soldiers can meet the local people and explain the policies and laws of the Party and the State, he said.

The station plans to organise programmes for local residents to learn, exchange experiences in farming, help each other earn a living, take care of children, family planning and disease prevention, he said.

“All of these things aim to eradicate poverty and improve people’s knowledge in the two communes,” he said./.

HCM City told to get creative to enhance gender equality

The Ho Chi Minh City Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality needs to take creative and effective approaches to ensure gender equality in every aspect, a city leader has said.

Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said efforts towards the advancement of women and gender equality need to be promoted with the involvement of all genders and agencies at all levels.

A hotline should be set up for victims of domestic violence and gender inequality, Hoan, who is also head of the HCM City Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality, said at a meeting held to review implementation of the 2011–20 National Strategy on Gender Equality on February 26.

Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the city has seven goals for gender equality and the advancement of women in various areas, including economic, employment, education and training, healthcare, political participation, and the fight against human trafficking.

Over the last decade it has issued many policies and allocated funds to implement programmes to fulfill these goals, he said.

It also strived for international cooperation for women’s progress and gender equality with a series of programmes, he said.

But integrating gender concerns in the labour market and economic empowerment continue to face challenges due to a lack of concerted efforts by various agencies and inadequate data from social insurance agencies, he admitted.

Le Thi Ngoc Dung of the city Department of Home Affairs said gender equality needs to be a highlight of the national human resources development strategy.

State agencies and businesses need to comply with regulations on the ratio of women staff and empower women’s leadership at the workplace, she said.

Women account for more than 51 percent of the city’s nearly nine million population./.

Progress seen in settlement of wildlife crimes: insider

The detection and settlement of wildlife crimes in Vietnam have recoded strides over the last five years, according to Deputy Director of the Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) Bui Thi Ha.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the World Wildlife Day (March 3), Ha highly valued many organisations’ assistance for authorities in monitoring violations.

However, she noted, there remain a number of challenges to the fight against wildlife crimes.

The discovery of infringements and seizure of prohibited goods are initial successes, but they are only useful when helping with the investigation into trafficking rings and ringleaders, she said.

Ha pointed out that although the legal system on the conservation and sustainable development of wild animals has been gradually completed, wildlife-related violations remain complex in some localities, posing higher extinction risks to many wild species in the nature and negatively affecting ecological balance, human health, and Vietnam’s prestige in the world.

In 2020, ENV recorded 2,907 wildlife-related violation cases, almost doubling the figure in 2019. Among them, there were 1,956 advertising cases, 863 caging cases, and 98 transportation ones.

Monkeys, bears, tigers, elephants, and pangolins are among the species involved in violations, ENV found.

Between 2015 and 2020, the number of uncovered and handled criminal cases related to wildlife rose 44 percent, showing an improvement in the settlement of wildlife crimes since the 2015 Penal Code, revised and supplemented in 2017, took effect on January 1, 2018, Ha said.

She added that since 2005, ENV has operated a free hotline for wild animal protection to receive people’s information about illegal wildlife trafficking, hunting, transport, and storage.

In the time ahead, the organisation will maintain this hotline and boost communications to raise public awareness of the issue and thus, reduce demand for wildlife products. It will also continue working with relevant agencies to help with the perfection of policies and laws related to wildlife, Ha added./.

HCM City accelerates digital transformation in governmental organisations

Ho Chi Minh City plans to accelerate digital transformation in governmental organisations and promote e-government to heighten the efficiency and quality of public service delivery.

This is among the tasks for the city in conducting a plan on enhancing the application of information technology in governmental organisations, promoting e-government and ensuring cybersecurity between 2021 and 2025.

To this end, the southern economic hub will focus on developing digital infrastructure serving governmental offices; creating open databases with easy and friendly access to increase transparency, towards e-government, a digital economy, and a digital society; and ensuring information safety and cybersecurity.

HCM City accelerates digital transformation in governmental organisations hinh anh 2
A customer service centre of the Electricity Vietnam (EVN). (Photo: VNA)
The city targets being among the top 5 performers in developing e-government and the top 3 in the ICT Development Index (IDI) and Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI).

It will provide more public utility services for people and businesses and improve interaction between them and authorities. It will also encourage innovative ideas and the use of technology in resolving public issues and increasing public satisfaction in public service delivery./.

Phuong Anh named among hot picks of Miss International 2021 by Missosology

Vietnam news,Vietnam breaking news,Vietnam latest news

As the world’s leading publication on beauty contests, Missosology has named Vietnamese representative Phuong Anh among its second hot picks for the upcoming Miss International 2021 pageant.

Phuong Anh features in second place in the overall list, followed by beauties from Kenya, the Czech Republic, and Mexico.

Valeria Estefanía Franceschi of Panama leads the way in Missology’s second hot picks.

The other contestants making up the Top 10 include the representatives from New Zealand, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and the United States.

Phuong Anh was named as the first runner-up of the Miss Vietnam 2020 pageant. Hailing from Ho Chi Minh City, the 23-year-old beauty stands at 1.77 metres tall with measurements of 87-61-93.

Saigon FC to play group stage of 2021 AFC Cup in Singapore

As one of the nation’s representatives in the 2021 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, Saigon FC will play their fixtures in the group stage of the competition in Singapore between June 22 and June 28.

The team have been drawn in Group H alongside Lion City Sailors FC of Singapore, Kedah Darul Aman FC of Malaysia, and the winners of an upcoming play-off match.

In addition to hosting games in Group H, Singapore will also host fixtures in Group I, with matches featuring Geylang International FC of Singapore, Terengganu FC of Malaysia, and Kaya–Iloilo of the Philippines.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Hanoi FC are due to play in Group G, although a host country for this group has yet to be identified.

In choosing a host for games in the group stage, the AFC expect that the host country only enforces a four-day isolation period for arrivals. This therefore ruled out Vietnam as a potential host for games due to the country implementing a 14-day quarantine period for arrivals.

Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the AFC Cup group stage will see each group played on a single round-robin basis at centralised venues, as opposed to games being played across two legs at home and away as in previous years.

Hanoi culls 4,979 poultry in an effort to stem bird flu outbreak

Up to 4,979 poultry have been slaughtered across six districts of Hanoi following the detection of a bird flu infection spreading among local chickens.

This comes after Hanoi’s Veterinary Department had reported that all of the chickens had been infected with the influenza A virus subtype H5N6 (A/H5N6).

The outbreaks were initially discovered in February at six households in five districts of the capital, including Gia Lam, Phu Xuyen, Dan Phuong, Phuc Tho, and Ba Vi.

Following this, the Hanoi People’s Committee immediately called on localities to ramp up preventive measures to prevent further bird flu cases. At present, the cause of the outbreaks has largely been put down to changing weather patterns.

Particularly the H5N6 virus is capable of poultry-to-human transmission and is potentially fatal to those who catch it. It spreads through contact with faeces or other bodily fluids from infected poultry.

Since first appearing in Vietnam in 2003, bird flu has killed at least 65 people, giving the country one of the highest fatality rates in the world for the virus. No human deaths have been reported over the last two years, although occasional outbreaks have led to thousands of birds being killed.

Child abuse remains a problem in Vietnam

The Department of Child Affairs will increase awareness-raising around child abuse.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, more than 2,200 children were abused in 2020, a decrease of 209 cases compared to 2019. Of which 1,576 cases involved sexual abuse. In the latest case, a 12-year-old child in Ha Dong District was abused by her own mother and the mother's boyfriend.

Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa, head of the Department of Child Affairs, said, "Even though the number went down a bit, the situation is still very complicated and even more severe. The violators are of all ages with varied educational backgrounds. Many of them have a close relationship with the children's family."

Child abuse is often found in families that lack a parent or do not have time to take care of their children. In some cases, the children were abused in their own home, classroom or by someone close to them. It's very hard to detect such cases.

"Many victims and other people who know about the abuse didn't dare to denounce the abusers. Many cases are not noticed by the neighbours," Hoa said.

According to Hoa, there is a lack of awareness about the law on children. The number of both children and parents who know about children's rights and abuse are still low. Despite the completed legal corridor, there have been implementation difficulties. In order to deal with the issue, the Department of Child Affairs has increased promotions of the law on children, held training courses, develop a local network on children protection, and persuade families to stop using violence to teach their children.

More inspections will be held and the head of an agency will be punished if they show neglect or violate the law on the prevention and fight against child abuse.

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