President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s attendance at a virtual high-level open debate on cooperation between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), scheduled to take place late on October 28, will show the importance that Vietnam attaches to boosting its multifaceted cooperation with the AU, African countries, and Kenya in particular.

His presence is made at the invitation of his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta who assumes the rotating Presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in October 2021.

Phuc’s attendance and delivery of a speech at the debate is also the affirmation at the highest level to the international community about the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation, diversification, and active international integration of the Vietnamese Party and State.

In addition, Vietnam continues to show high interest in cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations, affirming its role and responsibility in this field, and following the successful results achieved in April when Vietnam was the President of the UNSC.

The debate will take the theme of “Renewing solidarity to successfully deliver peace and security in a changing conflict environment”.

The session aims at analysing the trends and causes of current conflicts in Africa and globally, evaluating existing peace and security cooperation mechanisms, discussing measures to increase effectiveness and promote new commitments in implementing these mechanisms, and assessing the aspects and progress of implementing the “African Solutions to African Problems” goal.

President’s presence at upcoming UN debate manifests Vietnam’s attention to cooperation with Africa hinh anh 2
In December 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks at an online meeting of the United Nations Security Council on UN - AU cooperation. (Photo: VNA)
The African Union is one of regional organisations with the most cooperation activities with the UN in general and the UN Security Council in particular, especially in the field of peace and security. This agency always pays attention to discussing developments in the situation, policies and solutions to help maintain peace, security and stability in Africa.

Over the past years, Vietnam has maintained good friendship with all African nations./.

Strong cold spell hits northern Vietnam

A strong cold spell is covering the northern and northern-central regions of Vietnam from Thursday, bringing down temperatures to between 18-21 degrees Celsius in lowland areas and below 17 degrees Celsius in mountainous areas.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the two regions will see cold weather and heavy rains until October 30.

Strong wind will cause higher ocean waves of between 1.5-3.0 metres in the Gulf of Tonkin during these days.

Hanoi will see heavy rains and cold weather from October 28-30.

Viet Nam promotes international cooperation on vaccine supply

Proactive international cooperation on the sharing of vaccines was emphasised by Việt Nam at a high-level joint discussion held at the 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA on September 22. 

Việt Nam values and supports the United Nations as the global governance system responding to today’s complex challenges. Việt Nam is putting all its efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and appreciates the support of the COVAX programme and UN organisation for supporting vaccines, equipment and medical supplies, as well as policy advice on epidemic prevention and post-pandemic recovery.

From the very beginning, Việt Nam was one of 190 countries participating in the COVAX mechanism and was included on the list of countries during the initial rollout.

The Vietnamese Government has always taken timely and sometimes drastic actions in the fight against COVID-19, particularly in response to the development of dangerous new variants such as Delta, Belta, Alpha, Gamma, etc. The rate of infections and deaths have dramatically increased in many countries worldwide, including Việt Nam. 

Preventive measures have been implemented, such as contact tracing, social distancing and travel restrictions to reduce community spread. On the other hand, the groundwork to live with COVID-19 has been laid out, in line with the most effective solution - a nationwide vaccination campaign. According to the recently updated data on the National Immunization Portal, by October 10th, Việt Nam has vaccinated nearly 55 million doses, of which 15.5 per cent of the population have been injected with two doses and 24 per cent with one dose. That proportion is less than 1 per cent for low-income countries around the world.

From Việt Nam’s perspective, the most urgent task at present is to control the COVID-19 pandemic through international cooperation, especially prioritising the provision of vaccines to people in countries with low vaccination rates and creating conditions for developing countries to produce and participate in the supply chain of vaccines.

Proof of this policy is the supply and transfer of Abdala vaccine production technology between Việt Nam and Cuba. From now until the end of 2021, Cuba will deliver 10 million doses of Abdala vaccine and is willing to send experts to Việt Nam for vaccine production technology transfer. 

Currently, eight approved vaccines are in circulation in Việt Nam. They are; AstraZeneca (U.K), Moderna (USA), Janssen (Belgium), Vero Cell (China), Sputnik V (Russia), Hayat-Vax (UAE) and Abdala (Cuba). This is thanks to the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in international cooperation in vaccine delivery, to help Việt Nam gain herd immunity and leave no one behind.

The profound effects of the pandemic have revealed some drawbacks of the global governance system. The Vietnamese Government believes that only hard endeavour, based on diligence and self-help of each country together with cooperation and coordination among all nations on vaccine production technology, can turn these challenges into opportunities. Areas for development include accelerating the digital transformation and the application of new technologies to improve productivity, competitiveness and resilience of the economy.

Vietnam calls on Sudan, South Sudan to exert stronger efforts in dealing with Abyei issue

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on October 27 held a meeting on the situation of Abyei, a disputed area between the Sudan and South Sudan, and operations of the UN Interim Mission in Abyei (UNISFA).

Addressing the event, Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Charge D'Affaires ad interim of Vietnam to the UN, recognised improvement of bilateral relations between the Sudan and South Sudan, and called on both sides to soon resolve the issue through peaceful means, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.

Expressing concern about challenges facing the UNISFA recently, the ambassador urged all relevant sides, including Sudan and South Sudan to effectively ensure the safety and security of UN personnel and to create favorable conditions for UNISFA to carry out its mandate effectively.

He lauded the efforts of the UN, UNISFA, organisations as well as neighbouring countries and international partners for their engagement with the relevant sides in finding a peaceful solution to the Abyei issue and resolving the ongoing challenges related to UNISFA.

Vietnam supports the renewal of UNISFA's mandate, as recommended by Secretary-General and will engage actively with Council Members in the upcoming discussions, he said.

Participants recognised the improvements in the relations between Sudan and South Sudan over the years as well as efforts to resume dialogues on Abyei. However, they also showed concern about the slow progress of the settlement of the Abyei issue as well as difficulties facing UNISFA. They reaffirmed support for the mission and called on Sudan and South Sudan to promptly seek peaceful solutions to the AByei issue and create favourable conditions for the mission to implement its tasks in a full and effective manner.

During the session, the UNSC adopted a Presidential Statement on South Sudan./.

Bilingual art book features Vietnamese folk arts, festivals

A group of young artists in HCM City will release a new bilingual art book featuring 30 folk music genres and theatrical performing arts, and six traditional festivals of Việt Nam.

Gánh Hát Lưu Diễn Muôn Phương (Touring Theatre) was created by Thảo Hồ and illustrated by Tấn Nguyễn. It was translated into English by Ngô Mỹ Triều Giang.

The 200-page book will introduce music genres from different regions of the country, such as hát xẩm (blind busker's singing) of the North, nhã nhạc cung đình (royal ceremonial music) of Huế, and đờn ca tài tử (tài tử music) of the South.

It will present theatrical performing arts like chèo (traditional Vietnamese opera), and dù kê, a unique style of musical theatre created by the Khmer in southern Việt Nam.

Dù kê originated in Trà Vinh in 1920 from local farmers who loved to sing. The art is a product of the creativity of the Khmer.

The group invited cải lương (reformed opera) artist Bạch Long to give advice on folk arts in the South.

Long began his love affair with cải lương when he was 12 years old. He was trained by his father, the late People's Artist Thành Tôn, and other talented actors like Minh Tơ and Thanh Tòng. He won two gold medals for Best Actor at the National Cải Lương Festival in 1982 and 1987.

The book will feature traditional festivals like Saint Gióng Festival in Phù Đổng Village in Hà Nội's Gia Lâm District, and Ok Om Bok, one of the annual major traditional festivals of Khmer people in southern provinces.

The Saint Gióng festival is a traditional event in north Việt Nam, held annually from the 6th-12th of the fourth lunar month with a series of processions, rituals and performances.

It commemorates the legendary national hero who grew overnight from a three-year-old boy into a giant to help rid the country of foreign invaders.

Ok Om Bok, also called the Festival of Worshiping the Moon, takes place under the full moon in the 10th lunar month annually. The Khmer believe the moon is a god who controls the weather and crops throughout the year.

Thảo, the book’s creator, said she was born in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vĩnh Long, so cải lương and đờn ca tài tử became part of her childhood. When growing up, she travelled across Việt Nam and learned about folk arts and traditional festivals.

“I had an idea of developing an art book to introduce my interesting discoveries about Vietnamese folk arts to readers. In 2019, I met Tấn Nguyễn and we made our dream come true,” Thảo said.

The book is expected to be released in January by Vietnamese comic company Comicola.

It will have two versions, including limited editions numbered 1-500 priced at VNĐ200,000 (US$8.77), and another one at VNĐ129,000.

It is available for pre-order at https://go.comico.la/ganhhat.

Vietnamese jiu-jitsu fighters to head for world championship in UAE

Vietnam will be represented by eight fighters at the upcoming Jiu-Jitsu World Championships, set to take place from November 3 to 11 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Vietnamese contingent is headed by Tran Van Thach, head of the jiu-jitsu department under the Vietnam Sports Administration, together with trainers Bui Dinh Tien and Nguyen Thi Hang.

Among the contestants, Dao Hong Son (men’s 56kg) and Duong Thi Thanh Manh (women’s 52kg) are expected to achieve positive results during the UAE trip.

Vietnam will be among more than 30 countries and territories participating in the 2021 World Championships. This will provide the athletes with a perfect platform to continue sharpening their skills in preparations for future regional and international competitions in 2022.

The tournament is part of several events celebrating the UAE’s 50th anniversary, cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as the capital of jiu-jitsu. It is followed by the 13th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, also known as the World Pro, from November 14-19.

“The two championships in November will bring thousands of athletes under one roof and the jiu-jitsu fanbase around the world will have a chance to see the best of the best compete,” Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice president of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said.

Can Tho reopens interprovincial road, riverway passenger transport services

Can Tho City reopened riverway services via 12 terminals linking with the neighboring provinces of Vinh Long and Dong Thap starting October 27, and also resumed 48 interprovincial passenger transport routes until now.

The municipal Transport Department said the riverway services were resumed after over three months of suspension to cope with the latest Covid outbreak.

The 12 riverway terminals include Can Tho-Binh Minh, Con Khuong-Thanh Loi, Co Bac-Chom Yen and Cai Chom-Xeo La. Meanwhile, the riverway service at the Con Khuong-Binh Tan terminal remains suspended until further notice due to the expiration of a bidding contract to operate the terminal, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The city’s transport authority asked the operators of the terminals and the owners of riverway vehicles to map out Covid response plans before resuming operations.

As for the road passenger transport services, the Mekong Delta city has reopened 48 routes connecting the city with 11 provinces such as Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Lam Dong and other provinces in the delta. Among them, 21 routes were allowed to operate at full capacity.

Defender’s late goal helps Viet Nam seal first win of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualification

Defender Lê Văn Xuân’s late goal in the 82nd minute sealed Việt Nam’s win against Chinese Taipei in the opening match of Group I of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifications on Wednesday.

Việt Nam came to the Dolen Omurzakov stadium hoping for three points against the opponent. However, the match wasn’t as easy as expected for Park Hang-seo’s men as Chinese Taipei’s players defended solidly despite huge pressure from the Golden Star Warriors.

When supporters were thinking of a disappointing draw, a beautiful build-up from the right created space for Xuân to penetrate the box from the left. After receiving Nguyễn Hai Long’s through ball, the 22-year-old Hà Nội FC defender made no mistake and put the ball into the net.

Việt Nam’s determination was shown from the opening whistle.

In the ninth minute, striker Trần Văn Đạt made a good leap for a dangerous header, but Chinese Taipei’s woodwork came to a rescue as the ball hit the post.

A tight game is how best to describe the first half. Việt Nam held most of the ball but couldn’t convert possession into goals.

The first 45 minutes ended goalless.

In the second half, Coach Park made changes to help Việt Nam increase the speed and pressure on Chinese Taipei.

One of the decisive substitutions was made in the 57th minute when Long came on the field to replace Thắng, increasing Việt Nam’s attacking options.

The pressure was rising more and more on Chinese Taipei side and Long saw his effort miss the mark.

Coach Park’s young players’ efforts finally paid off. In the 81st minute, Long launched an assist to put Xuân in a scoring position to grab the only goal of the match.

Losing patience after conceding the late goal, Chinese Taipei players committed a number of fouls, one resulting in a red card to reduce Chinese Taipei to ten men.

The 1-0 score was kept until the end of the match. Chinese Taipei will face Myanmar on October 30 while Việt Nam will meet Myanmar on November 2. 

15th NA enters eighth working day

The 15th National Assembly entered its eighth working day of the ongoing second session in Hanoi on October 27, under the chair of NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Under the direction of NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai in the morning, lawmakers discussed via videoconference four draft Resolutions on several special policies and mechanisms for the development of Hai Phong, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa and Thua Thien-Hue.

A majority of opinions agreed with the need to issue the resolutions as well as contents in the Government’s report.

Several deputies suggested soon amending the Land Law, and piloting its enforcement in localities and regions to ensure regional connectivity.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung also explained issues raised by lawmakers.

In the afternoon session presided by NA Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man, the NA looked into the implementation of social insurance policies and regimes, the use and management of the Social Security Fund in 2020, and the Resolution No.68/2013/QH13 on promoting the implementation of policies and laws on health insurance, towards universal health insurance for 2019-2020.

Almost deputies basically agreed with the Government’s report and spoke highly of the examination report by the NA’s Committee on Social Affairs.

Concluding the discussions, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung and Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long made clear issues of deputies’ concern.

As scheduled, the legislature will debate virtually the draft revised Law on Emulation and Commendation in the morning, and the draft amended Law on Cinematography in the afternoon./. 

Seminar spotlights Vietnamese and Chinese parties' foreign policies

A scientific conference featuring the ideology and foreign policies of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Communist Party of China in the new context took place on October 27 in both in-person and virtual forms.

The event was held by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam and the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS).

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu said that the Vietnam-China friendship, nurtured by Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong as well as generations of leaders of the two countries, has become a precious asset of the two peoples. Since the establishment of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership in 2008, the bilateral relationship has obtained many important achievements in various fields.

As the two countries are in an important stage of development, they have the need to maintain a peaceful and stable regional environment to serve the socialism building and development with their own characteristics, he said.

Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo emphasised that during their recent phone  talks, CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and CPC General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping reached an important common perception on orientations for strengthening trust and cooperation between the two countries in the coming time.

He said that in the context of the rapidly changing international situation, predicting the global trends and accurately analyzing the world situation are urgent issues for the diplomatic sectors of Vietnam and China.

Acting Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam Pham Lan Dung noted that the conference offers an important opportunity for experts and scholars of the two sides to exchange measures to promote the development of each country as well as strengthen their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new situation./.

Vietnam supports Syrian-led and –owned political solution

Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of Vietnam to the United Nations, affirmed his support for a Syrian‑led and Syrian‑owned political solution during a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Syria situation on October 27.

The meeting was briefed by Geir Pedersen, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, and Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

The Ambassador called on the parties concerned to engage constructively in dialogue and promote trust-building measures.

Voicing concerns over the volatile security situation, economic crisis, and the complexity of COVID-19 in Syria, he called for the acceleration of cooperation for maintaining humanitarian response efforts and pushing for post-pandemic recovery in the country./.

Argentinean capital honours President Ho Chi Minh

The Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina held a ceremony on October 27 to inaugurate the work of renovating the Vietnam square and the bronze plate introducing President Ho Chi Minh’s biography at his bust in District 12 of Buenos Aires.

The event, which aimed at celebrating the 48th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (October 25, 1973-2021), was attended by Argentinean Deputy Minister of Culture Valeria Gonzalez and Cuban Ambassador to Argentina Pablo Prada.

Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Quoc Thanh highlighted President Ho Chi Minh’s great contributions to Vietnam’s struggle for national liberation.

He appreciated the support by the Argentinean Government and people for Vietnam in the past struggle and the present economic development cause.

Argentinean Deputy Minister of Culture Valeria Gonzalez affirmed that Argentineans always back Vietnam’s revolutionary cause for national independence and nation building initiated by the late President, and continue making efforts to boost the bilateral friendship in all fields./.

Draft revisions to emulation, cinematography laws discussed on Oct. 28

The 15th National Assembly (NA) continues its second session on October 28 with a focus on the draft revised Law on Emulation and Commendation and the draft revised Law on Cinematography.

In the morning, legislators are looking into the draft revised Law on Emulation and Commendation, which consists of eight chapters with 98 articles.

The Minister of Home Affairs will give more information and explanation on the issues of their concern during the teleconferenced discussion.

Meanwhile, the draft revised Law on Cinematography will be brought into consideration online in the afternoon. It comprises eight chapters with 50 articles.

The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism will clarify relevant issues mentioned by NA deputies./.

Vietnam, Chile seek to beef up partnership

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had a telephone conversation on October 27 with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera on measures to beef up the Vietnam-Chile relations as well as bilateral cooperation in climate change response to make contributions to the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26).

During the talks, conducted at the request of the Chilean side, PM Chinh affirmed Vietnam's determination in responding to climate change, reducing greenhouse emissions, and switching to green and circular economy, showing the country’s responsibility to common efforts in protecting and preserving the environment.

He proposed Chile work to hasten the international community to create more favourable conditions for developing countries to access capital and technologies to improve the capacity to respond to climate changes.

For his part, President Sebastian Piñera thanked Vietnam for the commitments and contributions that the country has made within the framework of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), stressing that Chile hopes to strengthen partnership with Vietnam in this important area.

He said that Chile wishes to cooperate with Vietnam in energy and engage in free trade agreements in which Vietnam and ASEAN are members.

The two leaders spoke highly of the positive growth of the bilateral partnership, especially a surge in bilateral trade of 59 percent year on year in the first nine months of this year to 1.47 billion USD.

Both sides agreed on a number of measures to further beef up the comprehensive partnership between the two countries in the time to come.

They concurred to maintain close coordination and support each other in international organisations and at multilateral forums, contributing to fostering the ties between ASEAN and the Pacific Alliance, as well as to peace, stability, cooperation and development in both regions./.

Top legislator congratulates HCMC University of Economics on founding anniversary

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on October 27 delivered a congratulatory speech in the form of video recording to the University of Economics – Ho Chi Minh City (UEH) on the occasion of its 45th founding anniversary (October 27, 1976-2021).

Praising the university’s achievements so far, Hue affirmed the Party and State always pay special attention to the nation’s cause of education and training in general and the operation of the UEH in particular.

He said continuous efforts have built the university into a high-quality training facility and a place to transfer and apply scientific research results into practice, effectively making contributions to the national construction and economic development.

The top legislator requested the UEH, as a leading training and research centre in Vietnam, to continue implementing effectively policies and orientations of the Party and State on education and training with a focus on the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

He urged it to take the lead in innovation and integration and build a university model following the revised Law on Higher Education 2018.

At the ceremony held to mark the anniversary, the UEH officially launched three member schools in a bid to become a multidisciplinary and sustainable establishment.

The UEH was the first university of economics and management in the South after liberation. It has been ranked among the top 601+ best universities in Asia and among the 1,000 best business schools in the world. The UEH was also ranked 5th among Vietnamese universities with the highest number of international publications./.

Quang Bình offers COVID-19 testing assistance to Khammouane Province, Laos

The central province of Quảng Bình has sent 11 highly-skilled health workers along with medical equipment to help Khammouane Province in Laos with their COVID-19 testing.

Two RT-PCR testing machines, 15,000 testing samples and other modern medical equipment were brought by the medical workers to Laos.

Nguyễn Thanh Xuân, deputy director of Quảng Bình Province Department of Foreign Affairs, head of the Vietnamese working delegation to Laos, said due to a large number of infections detected through testing, Quảng Bình Province sent more biological products worth about VNĐ500 million to assist the region.

The total value of medical equipment donated to Khammouane is VNĐ2.7 billion.

Xuân said the authorities of Khammouane created conditions for the Vietnamese delegation while working in the province.

Between October 11 and 25, the Vietnamese medical workers took more than 6,700 testing samples and detected 738 positive cases.

After 15 days in Laos, the delegation of medical staff completed assigned tasks and returned to Việt Nam.

Before returning home, the working delegation of Quảng Bình Province shared their pandemic fighting experiences which included recommending conducting large-scale quick and RT-PCR testing which will save money.

Bunmi Phimmason, deputy party secretary and chairman of Khammouane People’s Council, presented a certificate of merit from the Governor of Khammouane Province to members of the Quảng Bình delegation.

Bunmi Phimmason thanked the Vietnamese medical staff for the assistance, saying that the support demonstrated the close relationship between local authorities of the two provinces and the two countries.

Enhancing gender equality in response to climate change

Differences in access to resources and social perceptions lead to different responses to disaster and environmental issues in men and women, highlighting the importance of gender equality in the face of climate change, according to studies presented at the international conference “Gender in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction” on October 26.

Hosted by the Vietnam Women’s Academy, the conference presented research findings on four topics: theoretical issues of gender in climate change and disaster risk reduction; climate change and disaster risks – current status and gender issues raised in various fields; international and Vietnamese experiences and practices in ensuring gender equality in the response to climate change and disaster risk reduction; and other gender-related content in climate change and disaster risk reduction.

“Việt Nam is one of the nations most impacted by climate change. According to a study by the World Bank, Việt Nam ranks 91st out of 191 countries facing high disaster risk levels (on the INFORM index), and 16th globally in terms of severe impacts due to climate change related disasters. Việt Nam has seen extreme weather events and natural disasters increasing in terms of both frequency and intensity,” said Trần Quang Tiến, Director of Việt Nam Women’s Academy, at the conference.

According to Trần Thị Hương, Vice-President of the Việt Nam Women’s Union: “Men and women have different roles and strengths in response to climate change, with distinctive needs, interests and abilities. It is impossible to see women as ‘secondary’ or ‘passive’, and we must acknowledge they have significant contributions alongside men in regard to disaster response, risk reduction, and recovery. Therefore, different approaches are required for individuals to flourish based on their potential, interests and aspirations no matter their gender; and to facilitate the participation of women in decision-making, planning and action against climate change at all levels.”

Speaking at the event, Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Vietnam, also said more actions were needed to translate Việt Nam’s commitments into national policies – here lies the important role of researchers and academics in providing information and evidence for policy-making, and raising the discussion of gender in climate change. 

The conference saw participation from both Vietnamese and international experts and representatives from various educational institutions and organisations in Việt Nam.

Starting in the morning with theoretical issues on the matter, the event continued into the afternoon with case studies on several specific topics and locations.

The conference publication includes nearly 40 scientific reports selected from over 70 papers submitted to the symposium.

This scientific conference is part of the EmPower Project “Strengthening Human Rights and Gender Equality through Climate Change Action and Disaster Risk Reduction” funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

The event is hosted by Vietnam Women’s Academy in collaboration with UN Women and the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED).

Viet Nam implements drastic and responsible measures to prevent the pandemic

Authorities at all levels, from central to local, have stepped in to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government has promptly issued directives and policies, directing the Ministry of Health, localities and functional agencies to carry out prevention measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister inspected localities to grasp both the situation and results of epidemic prevention, giving timely and practical directions to combat the epidemic.

Local authorities, especially the key cities such as Hà Nội and Hồ Chí Minh City, declared specific policies suitable to their localities. Local authorities worked closely with the people to organise zoning to isolate the pandemic.

The measures to prevent COVID-19 have been implemented synchronously. They include; regularly reviewing and organising tracing, zoning out epidemics areas; isolating infected cases and those in direct contact with infected people; implementing the 5K message (Masks, Disinfection, Distance, No gathering, Health declaration); the construction of field hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients; the mobilisation of vaccine resources to immunise the people with the goal of achieving community immunity; research and development in vaccines including the transfer of vaccine technology; and disseminating information to help educate people thoroughly on pandemic prevention solutions.

Social security has been recognised by the Vietnamese Government as key to implementing solutions that prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has introduced support packages for disadvantaged people, particularly focused on freelance workers who have lost their jobs and poor households.

In isolated and blocked areas, authorities at all levels have organised essential necessities for people, helping them through isolation periods. The implementation of traffic diversions has ensured the continued transportation of essential goods during social distancing. Many solutions have been implemented to remove difficulties and maintain production. One of them is the “three on-site” solution to maintain operations in industrial parks.

COVID-19 is a pandemic on a global scale. It requires the joint efforts of all countries in the world to deal with it. 

Despite its own difficulties, Việt Nam has provided Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia with medical equipment such as protective clothing, medical masks, and testing tools; provided support to Cuba and Myanmar; donated ventilators, antiseptic clothes and gloves to China; provided Japan, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, the United States and Sweden with masks, anti-droplet antibacterial cloth and Vietnamese produced DuPont protective clothing. On top of all of this, Việt Nam continues to share its own experiences in fighting the epidemic, and vaccine research results, with other countries. 

Female director introduces cải lương with TV shows

Female director Tô Thiên Kiều is making her mark and producing TV shows featuring cải lương (reformed opera), a 100-year-old traditional music genre of the south, to attract people in HCM City and the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta region. 

“I hope my TV shows will help fans, particularly youth, love cải lương, a unique theatre that is the spirit of Vietnamese people in the South," said theatre scriptwriter-director Kiều, who has 20 years of experience in the industry.

Kiều has overcome serious challenges and proven her ability to produce quality cải lương shows featuring Vietnamese culture and history. She believes cải lương and other traditional gernes of theatre should be expanded on social networks, including YouTube. 

Kiều and her staff are working with TV stations and entertainment agencies to produce and release cải lương performances on social media platforms. 

"I love to entertain young audiences and YouTube is a way to meet them,”said the 48-year-old. 

Kiều began her career as a theatre actress for a cải lương theatre in Long An Province. She later was involved in scriptwriting before working as a TV producer. 

She has produced and directed 30 TV and game shows featuring veteran artists and young talents in cải lương. 

Through her productions, cải lương plays have been restaged in new versions meeting the tastes of young people.  

Her productions have been on channels of Hồ Chí Minh Television, Vĩnh Long Radio & Television and Bình Phước Television. They are also on YouTube as Kiều and her crew can attract more fans this way during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Highlighted shows include Tài Tử Tranh Tài (The Battle of Theatre Artists) and Danh Ca Vọng Cổ (Theatre Stars). Both shows introduce a mix of cải lương and bolero, a genre of slow-tempo Latin music. They have attracted young talents from art troupes in the region.  

“Even though our shows are targeted to young audiences, we offer cải lương in a traditional style,” said Kiều, who began her career as a theatre performer. 

Another project by Kiều is Sao Nối Ngôi (Bright Stars), a TV game show offering cải lương and tuồng (classical drama) performances on the Vĩnh Long Television’s THLV channel.

The show targets youth and encourages audiences to learn more about Vietnamese history and culture through theatre. 

Sao Nối Ngôi has attracted millions of people in HCM City and the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta region back to Vietnamese theatre and has offered quality plays staged by veteran and young actors.

“We are working to film, record and write about the events, the plays and artists of cải lương since the art's beginnings in Mỹ Tho in Tiền Giang Province in the early 1920s,” said Kiều.

Many localities close schools again due to Covid-19 infections

Many localities in Vietnam have temporarily closed schools again after local students were confirmed as Covid-19 cases.

In Ha Giang Province, all students from nursery to high schools in Ha Giang City have been allowed to stay at home from today, October 27 after a student in Grade 1 in Ngoc Ha Ward tested positive for Covid-19.

Dinh Quan District in the southern province of Dong Nai has recorded an additional 47 Covid-19 patients. Under local authority instructions, students in Grade 1, 2 and 6 will stay at home from November 1.

Meanwhile, up to hundreds of people in Nam Tra My District have tested positive for Covid-19 with the majority being students. All schools in the district have been temporarily closed for Covid-19 prevention.

Over the past week, several provinces have announced the school closure again following new Covid-29 infections, Nam Dinh, Quang Binh, Bac Ninh, Kon Tum, Quang Ninh and Thanh Hoa.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, by October 25, 23 cities and provinces in Vietnam had allowed their students to return to school.

Erosion threatens people living by Thu Bon River

Many families living by the Thu Bon River in the central province of Quang Nam are worried about losing their houses and land due to the serious river erosion.

For many years, dozens of families in Que Trung Commune, Nong Son District have lived in constant fear when the flooding season arrived.

According to local people, erosion has occurred along the bank of the Thu Bon River for more than ten years and they have tried to protect their gardens and houses by various ways including placing sandbags and planting bamboo.

However, the situation has become more serious in recent years, taking away large areas of land.

A local resident, Nguyen Van Hoa, said that some years ago, his house was still dozens of metres away from the river but now the water has nearly reached the house.

"Cracks have appeared in the walls and I'm afraid that I will lose my house soon to the river," Hoa said. "I hope that local authorities will take urgent measures to deal with the erosion."

Not far away, the house of Huynh Cong Tam has also shown many cracks after the recent floods.

"My house is leaning and about to collapse into the river," Tam said.

Dozens of families in Trung Ha and Trung Phuoc villages are also seeing the same problems with their houses.

Speaking with Dantri/Dtinews, vice chairman of Que Trung Commune People's Committee, Do Truong Thuong confirmed that the erosion at Thu Bon River is affecting some 50 households. They have carefully watched the situation to issue timely warnings or evacuate residents to ensure safety for these families.

"It needs a firm embankment to properly prevent erosion but we’ve not been able to carry out the construction due to limited budget," Thuong said. "We have proposed the project to Nong Son District People's Committee."

Chairman of Nong Son District People's Committee, Nguyen Van Hoa, said that they have calculated a plan to build an embankment using concrete along the Thu Bon River to deal with erosion. However, they will need to wait for funding from the province or the government.

Haiphong approves Cat Bi cargo terminal construction

Authorities of Haiphong City have approved the construction of the VND390 billion (USD16.95 million) Cat Bi International Airport Cargo Terminal.

Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) will invest in the site that would cover 64,150 square metres and have a yearly capacity of 100,000 tonnes of cargo.  

The project includes a two-floor cargo terminal, technical and support facilities, parking areas and green space.

The work is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Haiphong authorities have been asked to support ACV to complete investment procedures as well as supervise the project implementation.

Cat Bi International Airport is located in Hai An District, about eight kilometres to the southeast of central Haiphong.

The city administration wants to build an airport in Tien Lang District to help ease overloading at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport.

French newspaper ranks Vietnam as top destination for winter

Vietnam has been topped the list of leading destinations in the world for winter, which has been announced by the oldest daily newspaper in France, Le Figaro.

According to Le Figaro, Vietnam possesses a treasure of world heritages such as Ha Long Bay with its astonishing landscapes, and Trang An Tourism Complex which is known as Ha Long Bay on land.

Ninh Binh also has wonderful mountains that are covered by a vegetation overlooks rice fields and ancient temples, said Le Figaro. The newspaper also suggested that in order to experience the rich land, the cradle of many long-standing cultural values, visitors should leave their luggage at Maison Que, a resort among rice fields, and then go boating and exploring caves.

Le Figaro noted that travellers should not miss the central region in Vietnam with many unexplored destinations, including Phu Yen Province with its long beaches or the ancient Champa ruins and rituals at sacred temples in Binh Dinh Province.

Tourists will enjoy a wonderful and quiet time relaxing at the world's leading resorts in Phu Yen, along with experiences of coral diving and taking cruises around the peaceful waters.

Following snow leopards in Ladakh (India), windy Seychelles Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, watching the northern lights in Lofoten (Norway), the "tropical paradise" in Thailand, and crossing the equator in Ecuador, were also among the suggestions by Le Figaro for visitors during winter.

Da Dien art exhibition to return in early November

The sixth version of a Da Dien (polyhedral) art exhibition entitled “The Return” will be back in November this year after months of stagnancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Da Dien, a group of emerging Vietnamese contemporary artists, will introduce nearly 60 artworks from November 1 – 7, 2021 at the Exhibition Hall, No. 29 Hang Bai, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

The upcoming exhibition will display artworks by artists Nguyen Cong Hoai, Doan Hoang Lam, Nguyen Manh Hung, Khong Do Duy, Chu Viet Cuong, Nguyen Minh and Tao Linh.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented experience for all people. During the long period of social distancing, people seem to have been looking to art more, and art has indeed become a common ground for both artists and audiences.

Emotions during the pandemic have sometimes become valuable materials to express the creative personality of the artists. The sixty artworks of the exhibition were all created by Da Dien artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the dedication and working spirit of all Da Dien artists.

 

The exhibition will offer free entrance for visitors.

Documentaries contribute to protecting natural environment

Warning of climate change and the devastation of the natural environment, Goethe Institute has officially launched a project on producing documentaries on ecology during the 2021-2022 period.

The project focuses on biodiversity conservation and animal welfare through stories from the activities of the Centre for Nature Conservation and Development (CCDA) and Four Paws Viet Wildlife Conservation Centre.

The Bear Conservation Centre in Ninh Binh Province, under Four Paws Viet, is raising 39 bears recovered from illegal captivity and obtained from the wildlife trade. Each bear has its own characteristics and story.

Nguyen Le Thuy Linh, communications manager of Four Paws Viet said: “In October 2020, we travelled nearly 1,500 km to rescue seven bears from two captivities in Binh Duong Province. The bears had no names and were distinguished only by their chip numbers as they had been locked in cages for about 10 years. We named our seven new friends Lam, La, Sang, Khe, Xoai, Oi and Dua. Most of them had been abused for bile, so they faced serious health and psychological problems. Sang lost an arm, Lam Lam was blind, Khe was severely malnourished, Oi suffered spondylosis, and La was extremely panicky and aggressive. After nearly a year, Khe could step outside the semi-wild area and drop himself in the pool. Oi and Dua have become inseparable close friends. These bears have been once again able to do the “things of bears” as if they had never had to face prison hell over the past ten years.”

Meanwhile, the Xuan Lien Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa Province, which had a very high protection value, is facing the risk of some natural forest in the buffer zone being converted to production forests, mainly for acacia trees. This has caused loss of habitat for all species, ecological imbalance, degradation of water resources and increase in extreme natural disasters. In 2021, CCD has supported the reserve to plant new and additional 45 hectares with native tree species.

The CCD’s Director Nguyen Manh Ha said that communication activities have helped people realise how important the environment is for us and a sustainable living will be. In addition, the CCD has taken advantage of tourism as a propaganda and educational tool. The experiential tourism activities have contributed to raising public awareness of the nature’s values. Therefore, through this documentary project, CCD expects to have films that can spread the message of protecting the environment and nature.

Opening more doors for independent filmmakers

The project's jury will choose two from the participating filmmakers. The deadline for submission will be 11:59 pm on January 24, 2021. Each selected filmmaker will receive a support amount of EUR7,000 (VND185 million) for the production of a documentary with a minimum length of 24 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes, along with at least 15 photos for the purpose of propaganda. The films’ contents should be creative in storytelling, respect the truth and say no with made-up stories.

Director Phan Dang Di, a member of the jury, noted that this topic has been exploited and expressed attractively in the world. However, there have not been many documentaries reflecting this special segment. The filmmakers should have clear scripts to show their ideas and the topic easily.

Another member of the jury, People’s Artist Nguyen Nhu Vu, who was also former acting General Director of Vietnam Central Studio of Documentary Scientific Film, said the project is very attractive because, with supported budget, the films will be introduced widely at a well-known festival on environment that has been held by the Goethe Institute for over 20 years. In addition, they can be submitted to other film festivals. The filmmakers will have the chance to participate in two seminars, along with leading European documentary experts.

Dong Nai eliminates testing requirement for fully-vaccinated workers

Workers in Dong Nai Province who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from the disease within the last six months will no longer be subject to the testing mandate.

The provincial Department of Health today, October 27, issued guidelines on testing at businesses as the province is deploying a plan to adapt safely and flexibly to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those workers who were fully inoculated or recovered from the disease will need to be tested when they arrive from or live in extremely high-risk areas or those under lockdown.

Under the guidelines, enterprises must test workers with symptoms such as cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat and shortness of breath.

Employers are required to regularly get their unvaccinated employees tested while these workers must show a negative Covid test result given within 72 hours before getting to work.

On the same day, the Dong Nai Department of Health issued guidelines on the handling of confirmed Covid cases and direct contacts of positive cases at factories and company offices.

After detecting a positive Covid case, they must isolate it and inform the nearest healthcare center to promptly trace contacts and lock down areas related to the patient.

According to the provincial department, the local authorities will assess the Covid transmission risk at firms where positive cases are found. These firms must suspend their operations if the transmission risk is high or extremely high.

UK to provide medical equipment worth £500,000 to Vietnam

In a call with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on October 26, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said that the UK would donate medical equipment worth £500,000 to support Vietnam to combat Covid-19.

This commitment follows the UK Government’s donation of 415,050 doses of the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Vietnam in August 2021.

The UK is also one of the largest donors to the COVAX Facility, providing over £548 million to supply vaccines globally, including to Vietnam.

Commenting on the equipment donation, Minister for Asia Amanda Milling said, “As a strategic partner, the UK stands with Vietnam in our common effort to combat Covid-19. This is part of the UK’s wider commitment to support Vietnam and our partners in ASEAN as we work together to build back better from the pandemic.”

British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said, “The only way to recover from this pandemic is through cooperation. Thanks to our partnership with UNICEF, the medical equipment funded by the UK will be procured and delivered to help those in need, save lives and accelerate Vietnam’s economic recovery.”

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh welcomed the recent support from the UK on Covid-19 vaccines and medical equipment. During the call, the two Prime Ministers also discussed cooperation in tackling global challenges, including climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. They also committed to deepening the bilateral partnership in trade, investment and security and defense.

The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19, including investing £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Over half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower and middle-income countries.

The UK is also a close partner of Vietnam in tackling global health challenges, including antimicrobial resistance and non-communicable diseases.

Creativity and design festival to explore the creative future of Vietnam

The Vietnam Festival of Creativity and Design (VFCD) will take place from November 6 to 21 this year to create an open, timely and interactive platform for creative individuals and organizations to engage with thousands of people online.

In its third year, VFCD is being organized by RMIT University Vietnam in partnership with the UNESCO, the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies and COLAB Vietnam.

Under the theme, “Creative Future”, this year’s program will include talks, workshops, exhibitions, podcast series, contests and various online activities and discussions about the vision, trends, cultural identity and future opportunities for the creative industries in Vietnam.

“The creative industries are facing new challenges – the post-Covid world won’t be the same and we all need to think about what the ‘new normal’ might be. We need creative thinkers and innovators to find these solutions. Hence, the festival aims to be a forum where some of these challenges can be discussed and possible solutions can be identified,” said Professor Julia Gaimster, Dean of School of Communication and Design at RMIT University.

Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Deputy Director of VICAS, expects this year’s festival to create an even stronger impact on promoting creativity among the youth and micro, small and medium-sized organizations, which are inherently the protagonists of the core values and inspirations that drive creativity.

“During these times, let’s try to find our vitality by igniting and connecting our creative values through activities in the cultural-creative sector,” she said.

Building on last year’s momentum, VFCD 2021 can be experienced almost entirely online via the festival’s social media channels and other digital platforms. Most of the events are available in both Vietnamese and English and do not require entrance fees.

Similar to the previous years, the 2021 program will feature multiple activities led by other partners. This year’s line-up of around 20 collaborators includes “The Big Draw” (an international initiative to promote the value of drawing), the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation research group, Vietcraft, Work Room Four and the Vietnam Design Week, among others.

An activity that will run throughout the festival is the digital collaborative art campaign, “To_morrow”, held in association with Behalf Studio, the creative adviser of VFCD 2021.

This project welcomes the public to submit their photos on Instagram with hashtags and receive a bespoke design generated from the picture. The designs will then be added to a bigger mosaic-style artwork that grows over time on VFCD’s official website.

As the festival’s initiator, RMIT University Vietnam is spearheading around 10 events, including a forum on the art and design archive in Vietnam, an “edit-a-thon” to increase the quality of content on Wikipedia about Vietnamese art and culture, workshops on sustainable fashion and drawing, etc.

COLAB Vietnam founder Thanh Bui highlighted that the future is in the hands of creatives. This is also the inspiration behind the six-part workshop series hosted by COLAB Vietnam during VFCD 2021 titled “CREATIVITY, OPEN & UP!”

“It doesn’t matter what company you work for – whether it’s in finance, education, or logistics – if you are creative and able to ignite ideas, you will be successful and be leaders. So please join us and create this incredible community of Vietnamese creatives, so that we can truly connect with the world and bring our products and culture to the world,” Thanh Bui said.

Two international math exams for high school students

To help Vietnamese students get familiar with the international math competency assessment system and enhance their competitiveness with their peers in the world, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training announced two international math exams including American Mathematics (AMC) and Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge.

The American Mathematics Competitions aiming at strengthening the mathematical capabilities of the next generation of problem-solvers is for students from fourth to twelfth grades.

Fourth to eighth-graders will take an online mock test on November 14 and December 12, 2021, and they will sit the official test on January 23, 2022. Ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders will take the online mock test on October 31, 2021, and the online official test on November 16, 2021.

The Mathematical Association of America provides the test in English and Vietnamese.

With the Bebras Algorithmic Thinking Challenge exam, students from first to twelfth graders will go through two rounds, including an online round from November 22 to November 28, 2021 and an official round on January 9, 2022. The exam is provided by the Bebras International Executive Committee in Vietnamese.

Interprovincial passenger transport activities yet smooth

Although Ho Chi Minh City has piloted the operation of interprovincial fixed-route buses over the past two weeks, there have been a few passengers traveling from HCMC to other cities and provinces and vice versa. For this reason, business owners are waiting for functional forces’ support to make their interprovincial passenger transport activities more conveniently.

On October 26, the Mien Dong (Eastern) Coach Station recorded sparse passengers for the interprovincial fixed route. Representative of Cu Toan business exploiting the Binh Dinh – HCMC route said that only one bus is operated daily. Although the Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station has resumed the operation of interprovincial fixed-route buses to provinces of Vinh Long, Long An, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, only dozens of passenger coaches operate everyday carrying around eight to ten customers each.

Vice Director of the Mien Tay (Western) Coach Station Tran Van Phuong said that some provinces and cities have not united the plan for resuming interprovincial fixed-route to HCMC in addition to the different pandemic control regulations of localities so only a few people have registered for their trips.

Deputy Director of the Department of Transport of Tien Giang Province Nguyen Hong Thanh yesterday said that the Provincial People’s Committee had just allowed resumption of public passenger transport activities following the pandemic prevention and control measures, the effective control of Covid-19 and the classification of pandemic levels for passenger transport activities of roadway and inland waterway.

According to the Ministry of Transport, during the pilot processes of resuming interprovincial public transport activities, many localities have applied strict regulations causing limitations on the number of passengers.

Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Transport Phan Cong Bang informed that after two weeks of reopening, interprovincial fixed-route buses have met the travel demand but the number of passengers is still modest.

New urban areas along first metro line in HCMC

Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line extends between Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc new city. The city authorities are drafting design and construction plans for urban development along the line.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Architecture has just submitted the draft regulation on urban architecture management of the southern largest city to the municipal People's Committee for consideration. In the draft regulation, the Department of Planning and Architecture has divided the Hanoi Highway and metro line No. 1 Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien into 10 areas with rankings from A to L.

According to the department’s draft, about 10 urban development projects will be built along a portion of the line that stretches 14.83 km through 11 wards in Thu Duc City.

Under the draft, new urban areas will be developed with a high concentration plus synchronous social and technical infrastructure, and multi-functional and specialized service centers. Important cultural and historical works will be preserved and promoted. The Hanoi Highway is an important gateway to the East - North of Ho Chi Minh City.

Following the draft, Thao Dien metro station and station square are located in the A section or Thao Dien with an area of 37.74ha and a length of 0.97km along Hanoi highway. Multi-functional high-rise buildings with an architectural work of the main highlight character will be built within a radius of 200m around the station and in the land area adjacent to Quoc Huong Street.

Meanwhile, the An Phu metro station and the Cat Lai intersection are planned to be built in the B section or An Phu with an area of 71.66ha and a length of 1.6km along the Hanoi highway with high traffic volume. Multi-functional high-rise buildings are allowed up to 40 floors.

Additionally, the Rach Chiec metro station, Cat Lai intersection, and public transport will be in the C section or Rach Chiec with an area of 33.43ha and a length of 0.98km along Hanoi highway. Multi-functional high-rise buildings with a maximum of 26 floors will be constructed within a radius of 200m around the station.

Architects proposed preserving the landscape around the area of Phuoc Long peninsula and renovating the existing residential area. Moreover, the location of the Phuoc Long metro station will be in the D section or Phuoc Long with 127.03ha. In the future, multi-functional high-rise architectural complexes with 45 floors will be built here.

The Binh Thai metro station, Binh Thai crossroads with Ring Road 2 are in the 1.8-km E section with an area of 82.43ha along the Hanoi highway while Thu Duc metro station, Vo Van Ngan and Le Van Viet routes, Thu Duc intersection overpass, Thu Duc University Village are in the F section - Thu Duc with the area of 38.43ha.

The G sector is the place where the Thu Duc Water Plant, Thu Duc intersection, Thu Duc overpass, mainly warehouse land and existing residential quarters are located. The H section or the High-tech Park is home to the metro station High-Tech Park, the intersection of Station 2, industrial land, warehouses and yards, existing residential areas, Suoi Cai canal crossing Hanoi highway.

The New Mien Dong bus station is located in the L section with a total area of 37.75ha. Presently, a metro depot combined with Mien Dong Bus Station and an existing residential area are in the section. Along the highway is an area of warehouse land - vacant land.

When the infrastructure is completed, the value of land will significantly increase and the state can later sell or auction it for investors to operate.

HCMC supports migrant workers to mitigate negative Covid-19 impacts

Landlords and local administrations in Ho Chi Minh City have provided support to migrant laborers without jobs and essentials - returning to the southern largest city to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19. 

Landlords were encouraged not to demand rent from poor workers and migrant laborers for one month and give essentials to poor workers, including many landlords in Thu Duc City’s Phuoc Long A Ward where many migrant workers live. The ward is located near industrial parks.

During the social distancing, many enterprises have been facing revenue losses and some of them have further decided to negotiate with employees to reduce working hours resulting in increased unemployment. Many workers have suffered severe financial hardship; therefore, some people decided to return to their hometowns. Sympathizing with migrant workers, many landlords have reduced the rents.

Landlord Le Hung Dung at alley No. 10 at 132 Do Xuan Hop Street in Phuoc Long A ward said most of the tenants are poor laborers. He is willing to reduce 50 percent of the accommodation rent as well as provide them rice, fish sauce, vegetables until they are employed.

Many tenants were grateful of him because they enjoyed a 70 percent decrease in the rent during the outbreak of the fourth wave of the epidemic.

Similarly, landlady Ly Thi Tiep at Street No.26 in Phuoc Long A ward also decided to exempt and reduce all rental fees, electricity and water costs in addition to the provision of necessities for disadvantaged workers. She said she just collected money from tenants who have a job and income while she gave unemployed workers extra support.

Touched by landlady Tiep, worker Tran Thi Nhu Phung from the Central Province of Phu Yen said that she bumped into difficulties during the prolonged social distancing but she and her husband could overcome their hardship thanks to the landlady’s assistance.

To further help migrant workers, landlords and enterprises’ hearts have opened wide to share difficulties with migrant tenants; some landlords are even willing to cut rent till the end of 2021.

Nguyen Minh Tuan, an owner of several rental rooms in Le Trong Tan Street in Tan Phu District, said that most of the tenants are workers. When the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, Mr. Tuan had no choice but cut the rent by 50 percent. He said some unemployed workers have lately returned to their hometown, but when they return to the city for work, he will continue to reduce the rent until the end of the year.

After Ho Chi Minh City has gradually eased the social distance, many workers from all corners have returned to the southern metropolis for work; however, they are quite struggling to find a new place to settle down soon.

Worker Luu Thi Hang at Linh Trung Industrial Park in Thu Duc City who returned to HCMC after spending a month in her hometown moaned because she is staying at a friend's house while looking for a new rental room, but it's really difficult because tenants have to pay a deposit and buy the household appliance.

In the same situation, young man Vo Tin Duc from the Mekong Delta Province of Ben Tre, currently working as a security guard at a printing company in Binh Tan District, said that he had just returned to Ho Chi Minh City from the beginning of October, temporarily staying at a relative’s house while looking for a rental shelter.

Nguyen Tran Hoai Thuong, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Phuoc Long A Ward, informed that the ward administration has recorded the situation of returnees and their accommodation needs. Therefore, the ward Fatherland Front is calling on rent reduction for disadvantaged workers. In addition to a rent reduction, the ward administrators will support milk and necessities for the couples with small children," said Ms. Thuong.

Hiep Phu Ward in Thu Duc City followed suit, said Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in the ward Nguyen Thi Tuyet Phuong. Mr. Nguyen Quang Cuong, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Youth Employment Service Center, affirmed that employees returning to Ho Chi Minh City will be supported free rental shelter and employment if they contact the center.

According to Mr. Cuong, difficult workers will be given gratis accommodation in 21 districts and Thu Duc city for the first month.

Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Lam said that recruitment demand in many companies has risen by day after enterprises are allowed to resume operation while a few laborers return to the city.

Therefore, to attract and support workers, Ho Chi Minh City will give them doses of the vaccines right after employees return to the city for work. At the same time, city authorities have encouraged businesses to support laborers in finding accommodation.

Van Don Airport reopens for commercial flights from/to HCMC

Van Don International Airport has officially reopened to receive commercial flights connecting the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh and HCMC, starting on October 27 to meet domestic flying demand.

The route operated by Bamboo Airways will be offered with three weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The trip will depart from HCMC at 3:05 pm and take off in Van Don at 6:10 pm.

While the service offered by Vietjet Air will be operated with one daily flight, starting on October 31. The aircraft will depart from HCMC at 3:50 pm and from Van Don at 6:45 pm.

Passengers are required to display negative test result for Covid-19 taken no more than 72 hours prior to departing from Tan Son Nhat Aiport; vaccination certificate with the second dose taken around 14 days and not less than 12 months, or certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within six months or negative test result for Covid-19 done no more than 72 hours before the scheduled time of departure from Van Don Airport.

Director of Van Don Airport Pham Ngoc Sau said that the airport has also coordinated with Quang Ninh Province to organize tourism promotional programs and expand more local and international services, bringing Van Don into an important gateway connecting Quang Ninh and the northeastern region, developing provincial and regional socioeconomic development and contributing to economic recovery after pandemic.

Van Don is one the airports that have been selected for receiving repatriation flights during the Covid-19 outbreak. It is also the unique airfield in the country to be allowed to implement a pilot plan welcoming passengers with vaccine passport. The airport has received 249 repatriation flights carrying 50,193 passengers from February, 2020.

At least 55% of Ha Noi's smartphone users download national unified COVID-19 app

At least 55 percent of mobile phone users in Ha Noi have installed PC-Covid, the national unified COVID-19 prevention and control app in Viet Nam. 

As of October 25, over 3.6 million out of 6.6 million smartphone users in the capital city downloaded  the app which was developed to replace Bluezone, the previous contact tracing platform, and is still in Beta phase. 

Hoang Mai, Cau Giay, Ha Dong, Dong Da, and Nam Tu Liem districts reported the highest rates. 

In addition, the municipal authorities are applying QR code scanning via PC-Covid app to manage health registration and information of people entering public places. 

The national unified COVID-19 prevention and control app PC-Covid Viet Nam was made available on iOS’ App Store and Android’s Google Play Store for smartphones in both English and Vietnamese on September 30.

PC-Covid becomes the single app for all COVID-19 prevention and control activities in the country, after Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ordered relevant authorities to consolidate  many separate apps for vaccine certificates, travel permits, health declaration, and contact tracing into one following public complaints of inconvenience.

It has been added with all functions of the previously-launched apps such as VHD, Bluezone and NCOVI.

The PC-Covid provides the “COVID-19 card” to users who have fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from COVID-19, enabling them to travel and join social activities in the new normal period. 

A QR code included in the app will serve as a single personal code used in all apps and platforms related to pandemic prevention and control.

However, the app will not replace the “Sổ sức khoẻ điện tử” (electronic health records) app, which serves long-term overall medical activities of users and not just for COVID-19./.

PM calls on ASEAN Plus Three nations to promote strengths in handling crisis

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on October 27 suggested ASEAN Plus Three (APT) countries should continue promoting their strengths in crisis response, boost multilateral cooperation to effectively control COVID-19, maintain stability and restore sustainable socio-economic development in the region.

Addressing the 24th APT Summit held virtually on the day, Chinh recommended the nations promote a new approach that is flexible, safe, and adaptable to the new normal condition. Accordingly, it is necessary to focus on cooperation in capacity improvement, especially vaccine and treatment drug self-sufficiency.

The PM proposed that the countries study the establishment of a social welfare network in the region.

He emphasised the APT cooperation needs to make further active contributions to sustaining the regional peace, security, and stability, while requesting the Chinese, Japanese, and Republic of Korea partners back ASEAN efforts in building the East Sea into an area of peace, friendship, and cooperation.

Chinh affirmed that ASEAN is willing to take part in and contribute to the process of dialogue and collaboration for sustainable peace, humanitarian issues, and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

At the summit, participating leaders commended progresses made in the APT cooperation over the past time and agreed to effectively implement the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022.

They agreed to prioritise engagements in response to COVID-19, easing its socio-economic impacts, boosting a comprehensive recovery toward sustainable growth, and considering the lifting of travel restrictions among nations in the region when the conditions are safe.

They were also committed to promoting the liberation of trade and regional economic connectivity, as well as early ratifying and implementing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea affirmed their continued support for ASEAN initiatives on COVID-19 prevention and control. They said they will continue to provide vaccines and medical equipment for ASEAN member countries.

The three dialogue partners also affirmed to strengthen assistance for and engagement with ASEAN in such new fields as digital transformation, digital economy, e-commerce, and the implementation of sustainable development goals.

Concluding the summit, APT leaders passed their Statement on Cooperation on Mental Health among Adolescents and Young Children./.

VOV Deputy Director General elected as leader of Vietnam-Indonesia Friendship Association

Deputy Director General of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) Tran Minh Hung has become Chairman of the Vietnam – Indonesia Friendship Association (VIFA) for the 2021-2026 tenure.

He was elected at the VIFA’s fourth National Congress in Hanoi on October 27.

Speaking at the event, VIFA Vice Chairman Nguyen Dang Quang said during the new tenure, VIFA will renew its operations to contribute to bilateral ties and maintain an environment of peace and stability.

It will also work closely with chapters to carry out the 2017-2022 action programme, prepare for possibilities against COVID-19, as well as serve as a bridge to lift two-way trade to 10 billion USD soon. 

At the same time, it will partner with the Indonesian Embassy in Vietnam and partners to hold seminars and exchanges to learn about each other’s potential and jointly celebrate the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2025 and other important events.

In order to safeguard national sovereignty and interests related to the East Sea issue, VAFI continues enhancing information work and making clear Vietnam’s stance and policies.

On the occasion, the Presidium of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) presented the insignia “For peace and friendship among nations” and certificates of merit to VAFI’s outstanding individuals in honour of their contributions./.

PM receives diplomats attending East Asia Summit

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted a reception in Hanoi on October 27 for ambassadors and charges d'affaires attending the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS).

The reception took place before the PM attended the EAS via videoconference.

The PM briefed diplomats about Vietnam’s achievements in the fight against COVID-19, saying that Vietnam has basically overcome difficulties and gradually switched to flexible adaptation for socio-economic development.

He affirmed that Vietnam consistently pursues the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of relations; active and proactive international integration; being a friend, a trustworthy partner and an active and responsible member of international community.

Vietnam always attaches importance to promoting friendship and cooperation with countries, joining hands to maintain an environment of peace and stability for development, stepping up multilateral cooperation and global integration for a green and clean world with sustainable, inclusive and more humanitarian development, he said.

The PM suggested ambassadors and charges d'affaires uphold their active role and help Vietnam meet its goal of becoming a developing country with modern industry and upper-middle income by 2030, and a high-income developed nation by 2045, thus making active contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.

As a representative of Chair of ASEAN and EAS 2021, Ambassador of Brunei to Vietnam Pengiran Sahari Pengiran Salleh affirmed to work with ambassadors and charges d'affaires of EAS member states to partner with Vietnam’s efforts to cope with the pandemic, making practical contributions to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region in line with goal of the EAS./.

President visits elderly-led businesses

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on October 27 visited a number of firms run by old people on the occasion of the 2021 Action Month for the Elderly.

One of his destinations was the leather maker LADODA in the northern province of Hung Yen, whose chairman is 81-year-old Dinh Quang Bao.

Phuc praised Bao for his good management of the company despite his old age and hoped LADODA to continue promoting the application of technological advances in its leather production and boosting labour productivity.

He recommended the firm pay attention to production safety and security and ensure essential conditions for workers.

The State leader also toured the Rang Dong Light Source and Vacuum Flask JSC, which is led by CEO Nguyen Doan Thang, 78.

At the visit, Phuc said the company gathers highly competent scientists, and frequently update products toward automation and digital technology. As a result, its revenue and export value have been constantly increasing, ensuring workers’ interests, he added.

He also suggested Rang Dong and LADODA pay special attention to protecting the living environment for people and strengthen brand building to reach regional and international stature./.

Traffic accidents, fatalities down in past ten months

The number of people killed in traffic accidents nationwide in the past 10 months has dropped by almost 20 per cent.

From December 15, 2010 to October 14 this year, 4,522 people died as a result of road collisions, a fall of 18.5 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

There were 6,218 people injured (down 30.42 per cent) and 8,852 accidents (down 25.52 per cent).

The figures were revealed by Chief of the Office of the National Traffic Safety Committee Trần Hữu Minh.

In the past month, from September 15 to October 15, there were 377 road fatalities, on average 13 deaths each day across the country.

On the railway tracks, there were 57 accidents in the past 10 months that caused the deaths of 46 people and injuring 13. That’s a drop in fatalities of 20.69 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

In boating accidents, 32 people died which marked a drop of 25.58 per cent. 

Coastguard helps fishermen in developing and protecting the sea

Returning home from a long trip at sea, Đinh Văn Lợi, a shipowner, and his seven crew members from Sơn Trà District, Đà Nẵng, were immediately instructed to make medical declarations, fill in logs for their journey and take COVID-19 tests.

This is now the daily routine for guards at Sơn Trà border point since the COVID-19 pandemic appeared in Việt Nam.

They are working hard to ensure the safety of the city’s ports and prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

As one of the busiest seaports in the central region, Thọ Quang port has always faced a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 spreading from ships returning from other provinces.

Lợi said inspections have been strengthened at Thọ Quang fishing port. All fishermen must comply with regulations on pandemic prevention and control. 

Fishermen also feel safer thanks to the regular checks, visits and reminders of the border guards, according to Lợi. 

Lieutenant Colonel Văn Đức Trường said facing the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the border guards have deployed quarantine points at sea, ensuring patrols, checks and control of people and vehicles entering and exiting the port.

Trường told vietnamplus.vn that they must help stabilise fishing and trading activities and successfully implement the 'dual goals' of pandemic prevention and control and economic recovery and development.

The border guards have also transported food and essential items to fishermen when the city implemented social distancing, ensuring that no one was short of food and water.

In early September, border officers and soldiers coordinated with charity organisations to present 100 gifts to fishermen in difficult circumstances.

Border guards at sea also have made contributions to protecting the marine environment protection and helping develop a sea-based economy.

The marine environment is protected in the sea off Cù Lao Chàm Island in Hội An, Quảng Nam Province.

Stationed on the island, border guards have encouraged fishermen to help protect the marine environment by not using plastic bags, applying safe fishing methods to protect seafood resources, coral reefs and releasing sea turtles that get stuck in nets.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Đình Cường, head of the border point on Cồn Cỏ island, said due to work requirements, many soldiers in the unit have not come home for many months and stayed to ensure security and order on the island.

At present, it is the rainy and storm season. To ensure food for the soldiers and residents on the island, the unit also focuses on promoting the production of crops and livestock and arranges forces to ensure patrols. Rescue work has also been strengthened, ​according to Cường. 

Border guards in central coastal provinces and cities have undertaken strong measures to combat illegal fishing and prevent Vietnamese fishing boats from encroaching on foreign waters.

"As a person who lives through fishing, I am aware that the State's regulations are to protect the fishermen and achieve long-term and sustainable profits. I always strictly follow the regulations on fishing," said Trần Văn Bình, a fisherman in Sơn Trà District.

From 2020, all 565 offshore fishing vessels in Đà Nẵng City have installed monitoring devices. 

Fishermen are required to turn the device on during the journey and will be fined if they violate any regulations on fishing. 

According to Colonel Đỗ Văn Đông from Đà Nẵng Border Guard, top priority has been given to educating fishermen and raising their awareness of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and related regulations so as to heighten their sense of responsibility and stop them from illegally entering waters of other countries.

The border guards focus on introducing the basics of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Law of the Sea of ​​Việt Nam and regulations on combating IUU fishing.

Thanks to such efforts, no fishing vessels in Đà Nẵng City have been fined for violating foreign sea areas.

In Quảng Trị Province, the border guard reported four violations, involving six vessels, in the ten months of the year, with a total of VNĐ160 million (US$7,000) paid in administrative fines.

Colonel Phạm Xuân Diệu, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Việt Nam's Border Guard force, said a synchronous and comprehensive solution is needed in order to reduce and stop the situation of Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen violating foreign waters.

He urged for the strong involvement of the Party committees and local authorities as well as the border force in coastal provinces and cities in educating fishermen and raising their awareness of sustainable fishing, protection and development of aquatic resources in association with ensuring national defence and security.

Hanoi regulates COVID-19 testing, monitoring, quarantine for returnees

Hanoi will only require testing for those who come from COVID-19-affected areas at level 4 (very high risk) and quarantine for people from the areas at level 3 (high risk), according to the city's Department of Health.

The Hà Nội Health Department has just issued temporary guidance on the implementation of health control measures for people arriving from other localities.

Those who arrive and/or return to the city will not be required to show SARS-CoV-2 test results.

Testing is not mandatory, except for those coming from pandemic-hit areas at level 4 or medical isolation areas and suspected cases or cases from pandemic areas at level 3.

Those who have been fully vaccinated or completely recovered from COVID-19 within six months by the time they return to Hà Nội from the extremely high-risk or quarantine areas (level 4), will self-monitor their health at home for seven days and get tested once by RT-PCR method on the first day in Hà Nội.

Those who have received just one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will self-quarantine at home for seven days, continue to self-monitor their health at home for the next seven days, follow the 5K measures and take two tests by RT-PCR method on the first and seventh days since arrival in the city.

Those who are not yet vaccinated have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of arrival in Hà Nội, continue to self-monitor their health for the next 14 days, and be tested for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR method three times on the 1st, 7th and 14th days of arrival in Hà Nội.

Fully vaccinated people who return to Hà Nội from level-3 areas have to self-monitor at home for seven days, while for unvaccinated the duration is 14 days.

These returnees are not required to be tested for the virus.

Medical self-quarantine will not be imposed on those returning from pandemic-hit areas at levels 2 and 1.

All people arriving in Hà Nội have to make medical declarations and inform the local authorities.

They have to immediately notify local health authorities if they have symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat, loss or decrease in smell and taste.

In addition, people passing through the city are not required to be tested but must follow the 5K measures and not stop in the city except for force majeure cases.

Australia supports ASEAN’s centrality in Indo-Pacific

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison affirmed his country’s support for ASEAN’s centrality in the Indo-Pacific region while addressing the first ASEAN - Australia Summit, held virtually on October 27.

He viewed the summit as another significant milestone in the bilateral relationship, noting that annual summits will allow ASEAN and Australia, the first dialogue partner of the bloc, to deepen their “already very, very strong ties” and will guide them through an era of profound change in the Indo-Pacific.

“ASEAN is at the centre of the Indo-Pacific. And we back this, both through our words and our actions,” he affirmed.

Morrison announced the Australia for ASEAN Futures Initiative to drive cooperation, support implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and deepen his country’s investment in the region's future.

It will provide 124 million AUD (over 93 million USD) to fund projects, jointly identified by ASEAN and Australia, to address complex and emerging challenges, including COVID-19 recovery, terrorism, transnational crime, energy security and transition to lower emissions technology, the circular economy, and healthy oceans.

At the summit, leaders of ASEAN and Australia agreed to elevate bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

PM Morrison noted the partnership establishment underscores Australia’s commitment to ASEAN’s central role in the Indo-Pacific and positions their partnership for the future, and that a strong, united, and resilient ASEAN is vital to the region’s success and supports Australia’s own security and prosperity.

To mark this new chapter, Australia said it will invest 154 million AUD into its cooperation with ASEAN, and the country supports a peaceful, stable, resilient, and prosperous region, with ASEAN at its heart.

The Australian PM underlined his country’s commitment to provide the Indo-Pacific region with at least 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022. From late 2021 to mid-2022, it will share at least 10 million doses from its domestic supply with ASEAN countries.

Speaking at the event, Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong spoke highly of Australia’s active engagement with ASEAN and welcomed its contribution via the Australia for ASEAN Futures Initiative.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo encouraged ASEAN and Australia to enhance cooperation to promote the building of strategic trust, thus contributing to regional stability and peace.

Meanwhile, Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob highly valued Australia’s strong assistance for ASEAN’s efforts to minimise impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha called on ASEAN and Australia to strengthen ties in public health, economic recovery, and people-to-people connectivity./.

Vietnamese women's role hailed at French-speaking community

Vietnamese women have affirmed their capacity and social position, and received recognition form society, said a Vietnamese representative at a conference on women's economic self-reliance in Brussels on October 26.

At the event, jointly held by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Belgium-Vietnam (CCIBV) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) representative office in the EU, Dr. Vu Thi Minh Huong, Vice Chairperson of UNESCO Memory of the World Committee of Asia-Pacific (MOWCAP), noted that the ratio of female representatives at the National Assembly of Vietnam is 30.26 percent, while that of women leaders is 31 percent.

Huong cited a series of laws applied in Vietnam showing attention to and protection of the rights and interests of women, including those on gender equality, marriage, and labour.

Regarding Vietnamese women’s rights, the Constitution and legal documents of Vietnam clarify two fundamental factors of “equality and priority”, she stated.

As an agricultural country, most of women in Vietnam have worked in the agricultural sector, Huong said, adding that many have explored science-technology to improve productivity.

Andre Flahaut, Minister of State and former President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in Brussels, expressed his admiration to Vietnamese women’s bravery, hardworking, and brainpower shown in the past struggle for national independence as well as their strong engagement in socio-economic activities inside and outside the country today.

Flahaut highlighted the bravery of Tran To Nga, a Vietnamese victim of Agent Orange/dioxin who has been pursuing a lawsuit against US chemical companies to reclaim justice for the victims of the toxic chemicals.

Speaking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Brussels, Madeleine Oka-Balima, head of the OIF Committee for Gender Equality, highly valued the role and contributions of Vietnamese women to the French-speaking community. She said that the IOF has operated many programmes to support women in Vietnam in agricultural sector to help them optimise their capacity.

Meanwhile, CCIBV President Bérengère Ménart said that the chamber has provided waste treatment equipment to plants Vietnamese cities and provinces, of which the majority of workers are women. She said she is impressed by efforts, enthusiasm and optimism of Vietnamese women.

The French-speaking community currently has about 140 million women who are making great contributions to socio-economic development in their countries. Women are the group that is hardest hit by COVID-19, and also a strong force in fighting the pandemic./.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 27

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 27

Vietnam reports 4,411 new COVID-19 cases, over 2,000 recoveries on October 27