Vietnam Day in Switzerland 2021 is set to take place virtually for the first time on October 9 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (October 11).

The programme will be simultaneously held at the Vietnam Television, the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland, and the Vietnamese permanent mission to the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations.

It will include five main parts themed “Hello Switzerland! Hello Europe!” “Original Culture,” “Miracle Vietnam,” “Future Generations,” and “See you in Vietnam.”

Through unique art performances and impressive footage, the audience will be introduced to the friendship between Vietnam and Switzerland over the past 50 years, while gaining insights into the unique culture of both countries.

The programme will also be broadcast via platforms like the “Vietnam Days Abroad” Fanpage and Youtube channel.

Following Vietnam Day in Switzerland, Vietnam Day in the US will be held in November, aiming to contribute to promoting cooperation between the two countries, both bilaterally and multilaterally./.

HCM City gradually removes checkpoints in COVID-free areas

HCM City authorities are gradually removing barriers at pandemic checkpoints that blocked off alleys, residential areas and some roads in green (safe) zones.

Trần Phi Long, chairman of District 1’s People’s Committee, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that some checkpoints managed by the district in wards’ green zones had been removed.

Checkpoints managed by city police would wait for direction from the city government for the next steps after September 30, he said.

Trương Minh Kiều, chairwoman of District 5’s People’s Committee, said district authorities were gradually removing checkpoints in green zones. Checkpoints in the red zones - zones with COVID-19 cases - are still in place.

“The removal is being done step by step" to ensure that locals understand pandemic prevention regulations.

Inner-district checkpoints managed by city districts would be considered for removal, while inter-district checkpoints would have to follow the direction and anti-pandemic measures from the city’s Government after September 30.

Lê Thị Thu Thương, 30, a resident in Thủ Đức city, said the small alley where she lives was blocked by barriers to ensure safety.

“I always follow the rules strictly and only go out for COVID-19 testing or vaccination, but it’s a stifling atmosphere in my home,” she said.

She was excited about the news that the city planned to remove the barriers.

Mai Hữu Hoàng Vương, 24, a ride-hailing driver, said that reducing the number of checkpoints would be a good solution. He fully supports the city's supervision of the movements of citizens through technology like QR codes. This would help reduce the number of frontline forces on duty at checkpoints.

Phạm Công Bằng, deputy director of the city’s Transport Department, said the city was currently drafting pandemic prevention and control plans that would begin after September 30.

The city would allow eligible residents with a COVID-19 green card (partly and fully vaccinated people, or people who have fully recovered from the virus) to travel and work under fewer COVID-19 restrictions.

Inner-city checkpoints managed by the city in green zones were expected to be removed, while checkpoints on main routes and 12 checkpoints at city gateways would continue to be maintained.  

The department has advised the city’s People's Committee to have transportation plans to support workers and students who want to return to the city from their hometowns.

Inter-regional travel between HCM City and other provinces and cities will be discussed further by the Ministry of Transport and relevant ministries and localities. 

Association hailed for helping strengthen Vietnam-France friendship

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang had a meeting on September 27 with a delegation from the France-Vietnam Friendship Association (AAFV) led by its President Gérard Daviot, during which the ambassador hailed the association’s contributions in strengthening friendship and cooperation between people of both countries.

Affirming that the AAFV plays the key role in friendship, solidarity and cooperation associations with Vietnam in France, Ambassador Thang pledged to support activities of the association.

He expressed his hope that members of the association will continue to walk hand in hand in the current tough time as well as in the national construction and development in the future.

For his part, Daviot briefed the Vietnamese Ambassador on major activities of the association recently, noting that it has conducted a number of activities to support the poor, people from ethnic minority groups and Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam.

The association has also supported Tran To Nga’s lawsuit against companies that manufactured and supplied toxic chemicals for the US Military during the war in Vietnam, he said, adding that various friendship and exchange activities between people of Vietnam and Frances as well as activities to promote the image of Vietnam in France have also been held.

The AAFV affirmed that in the time to come, he will continue strengthening activities showing support and solidarity with Vietnam, including those assisting Vietnamese people in fighting COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with climate change and human resources training.

The two sides discussed a number of issues of mutual concern as well as future plans to further lift up bilateral ties between Vietnam and France. On the occasion, the AAFV leader invited Ambassador Thang to attend the congress of the AAFV’s executive committee. The diplomat accepted the invitation.

The AAFV was formed in 1961 with an aim to supporting Vietnamese people in the struggle for national independence. The association has always stood by Vietnamese people in the cause of national construction and development. With a wide network covering all French cities and provinces, diverse activities by the association have helped connect and gather French friends who love Vietnam across the European country./.

Traffic accidents, fatalities drop in nine months

As many as 488 traffic accidents were recorded from August 15 to September 14, claiming 253 lives and injuring 301 people, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

These represented significant reductions of 60.71 percent, 54 percent, and 67.42 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

There were a total of 8,161 traffic accidents over the last nine months from December 15, 2020 to September 14, killing 4,175 people and injuring 5,645 others. The figures dropped 23.64 percent, 16.37 percent and 28.38 percent, respectively, year-on-year.

During the nine months, 8,062 road accidents caused 4,098 deaths and 5,631 injuries, falling by 23.55 percent, 16.09 percent, and 28.34 percent on-year, respectively.

Meanwhile, 54 railway accidents left 43 people dead and 13 injured. Thirty-eight accidents on waterways claimed 25 lives and injured one, while seven maritime accidents left nine dead and missing./.

UNICEF speaks highly of Viet Nam’s help for COVID-19 orphans

Children’s charity UNICEF has praised the Vietnamese government for its compassion in helping children orphaned because of COVID-19.

Head of UNICEF Hà Nội, Rana Flowers, expressed her appreciate to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs for their efforts, and said her organisation will do all it can to support the recently bereaved youngsters.

But she did warn that the best possible options must be found for each child.

More than 1,500 children have been orphaned in HCM City after their parents lost their lives through COVID-19.

“It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of support and the willingness of individuals and businesses to support the children,” she said.

“But, UNICEF cautions that it is absolutely crucial in such stressful and challenging times to ensure that the solutions chosen are in the very best interests of the child, designed to keep children connected to their communities, placed in family environments where they can grow and prosper.”

According to the official, the immediate and long-term damage caused by family separation and placement in institutions on children was well documented, in countries of this region and the world.

Instead of placing children in orphanages, better options are to find suitable families for them, and allow them to remain in their own communities and attend schools with their established network of friends.

Rana added: “In trying to do good, some assume that a cold roof over their head is the only solution. It is not. 

“In fact, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, years of assessing institutionalised children, years of research, and sadly years of lost opportunities and lost development for children make it very clear that institutions and facilities are not the right or even a safe place for children.

“We must work together as quickly as possible to find ‘family’ environments for the children.

“Children in institutions or facilities are regularly isolated from their extended families and local communities.

“Deprived of parental care, they more often endure physical, psychological, emotional and social harm – with consequences that last a lifetime. These children are also more likely to experience violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.”

“To prevent and respond to this crisis for children in the immediate and long-term, it is vital that governments identify where possible extended families who are supported with the emotional, practical and financial support they need. Where this does not prove possible, then families ready to provide the love and support can and must now be found for each of the children, with Government supporting and monitoring the children as they grow.”

“As COVID-19 continues to devastate families and communities, we must protect every child’s right to live and grow up in an environment that supports their physical, psychological, social and emotional development.

Rana said that by placing youngsters in families, and not displacing them from the communities they are used to, then in the long-term, they can lead better lives.

“The call to action to ensure children can thrive in family-based care environments rather than in institutions matters now more than ever as the communities address unprecedented challenges caused by COVID- 19,” she said. 

Having a positive attitude helps fight COVID-19

Keeping a positive mindset and following careful instructions from health providers are the mantra of patients in HCM City, the country’s largest COVID-19 epicentre.

With health services overwhelmed because of thousands of new infections per day, to be able to fight the virus and stay healthy amid the complicated situation is key to making a full recovery.

After beating coronavirus, many patients have shared their experiences on social network sites, offering peace of mind for those stuck in quarantine, with some even volunteering to stay at hospitals to help take care of patients.

Phạm Thái Bình, from the Vietnam Cultural Centre in HCM City’s District 7, said after recovering from COVID-19, keeping a positive attitude helped him and his family get through the tough times.

“In the first place, I was upset when being informed that all of my family members were infected with coronavirus. We were very careful and couldn’t find out the infection source,” he said.

“But then I told myself to calm down and stay positive. This really helped as my wife and children felt better and got ready to fight the virus.”

Bình was the only member of his family to show symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fever. He thought he had flu until the test results came back. The other three members of his family all tested positive not long after.

They were moved to a concentrated quarantine site for treatment but first self-medicated at their home for four days.

Despite a loss of appetite, body aches, and weakness, Bình kept telling his family to strictly follow doctors’ guidelines and keep their spirits high at all times.

“Doctors called us every morning checking our health, giving prescriptions and boosting our spirit, telling us to focus on good diet and regular exercises,” he said.

After a week, his wife couldn’t eat and felt exhausted. She was immediately moved to the central hospital for special treatment where her condition improved.

Bình added: “I was so grateful for everything they did for us, especially when my wife’s health worsened. Their quick decision of transferring my wife to central hospital gave us a chance of being together again.”

On August 2, the RT-PCR results showed that Bình and his two children were free of the virus. They returned home in good health to self-quarantine. Six days later, his wife also came home.

“COVID-19 is actually not that scary if you keep calm," he said.

"The most horrible thing is that we let anxiety and insecurity break us and make the disease attack us faster.”

He believes avoiding skipping meals and ignoring negative information about the disease while maintaining a healthy lifestyle helped beat the virus.

Bình said the initiative to provide home-based care for F0 cases with no symptoms or underlying diseases was correct as it would help patients quickly recover as long as they followed medical instructions. This would also, he added, minimise the infection risks at hospitals and reduce the State’s treatment costs.    

Bình's two daughters wear their protective suits. Staying positive and following instructions from health staff helped his family overcome COVID-19. 

Phan Thanh Long, who recovered from COVID-19 in District 8, said he would never forget the day he tested positive COVID-19, just as he about to have his second vaccine.

“The first thing that I did was to get quick tests for all of my family," he said.

"My father, my wife and my one-year-old son were infected. Luckily my oldest son wasn't. All the adults had underlying health conditions."

Long said although he was mentally prepared for the disease, what they went through was still a nightmare.

All adults had high fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea. They couldn’t walk and only wanted to lie still, but they took turns to check each other's blood oxygen levels to make sure they never dropped below 94 per cent, which was life-threatening.

Long’s father, with high-blood pressure and old age, had difficulty breathing and high fever.  Long had sleepless nights, measuring his father’s oxygen level every 30 minutes and helping him receive oxygen properly.

“I was so scared. I was scared that my father would be in critical condition,” he said, worried when his father's blood levels dropped dangerously low.

The oxygen levels kept jumping up and down and he said he became obsessed with the beeping sound of the oxygen machine would make.  

For him, following the treatment regime, combined with home remedies such as using lemongrass to clear airwaves, drinking orange juice, as well as drinking boiled fresh coconut water with sugar has saved the whole family.

“I admire my father," Long said. "His condition was the most severe, but he always maintained an optimistic and cheerful spirit to encourage and support the whole family.

"He still tried to have some soup and milk to fight the virus. From the 10th day onwards, his health began to quickly recover."

After beating the virus, Bình and Long have shared their experience on social network pages and helped consult with people, encouraging them to stay positive while fighting the disease.

Bình also joined a volunteer group to support home quarantined patients with oxygen machines, blood oxygen measuring machines and help those with financial difficulties during the pandemic.

“I feel that I need to contribute to help people regain their health, help the city in the fight against the pandemic and get back to a new normal life,” he said. 

HCM City says COVID outbreak has peaked, seeks ‘special’ mechanism to reopen economy

The country’s COVID-19 hotspot, HCM City, has seen the pandemic peak and has basically contained it, Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of office at the city Department of Health, said.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday (Sept 26), she said: “The city has reached the peak of the pandemic.

“The city has set up 22 teams to inspect the situation in each district, ward and commune to make plans for the coming time.

“It will also review each of the evaluation criteria with guidance from the Ministry of Health for prevention in future.”

The city has 3,286 intensive-care beds for emergency situations, she noted.

Depending on the situation, the department plans to gradually reduce the number of isolation areas and medical facilities, and allow hospitals hitherto treating only COVID patients to resume normal operations, she said.

In “safe areas”, this would begin at the end of September, she said.

Since September 22 a general hospital each in districts 7, Cần Giờ and Củ Chi, all designated as ‘safe’, have gone back to normal functioning.

The Hospital for Tropical Diseases has resumed outpatient services for HIV patients, the HCM City Children’s Hospital has reopened its surgery and vaccination departments, and the Gò Vấp District Health Centre has resumed immunisation of children.

“The hospitals no longer treat Covid-19 patients, but maintain 10-20 beds for isolation in case of suspected cases, and have an oxygen system to promptly resuscitate critically ill patients,” the department said.

The city plans to maintain field hospitals Nos. 13, 14 and 16, which remain resuscitation centres.

Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, deputy director of the HCM City Centre for Disease Control, said the positive rate in various districts had decreased to 0.2 per cent on Sept 25, down from 0.4 on September 22.

“The decrease in the positive rate is a good sign.”

City authorities have asked the Government for a “special mechanism” exclusively designed for the country’s largest city to enable it to reopen the economy by month-end, according to Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of its People’s Committee.

“The city of 13 million needs a dedicated mechanism for achieving the goal of new normal after September 30.”

It is drafting a plan to gradually reopen its economy based on the pandemic situation and recommendations by health authorities.

It envisages issuing green cards to people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine after at least two weeks or have recovered from COVID.

It has urged the Government to continue to prioritise vaccines for itself and the rest of the southern key economic zone to quickly achieve herd immunity as suggested by the Ministry of Health.

Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long has announced guidelines for a “safe and flexible” response by cities and provinces to prepare for the “new normal” situation.

To reopen the economy, at least 80 per cent of people aged over 50 must be fully vaccinated, 100 per cent of grassroots medical stations should have medical oxygen and every commune must set up mobile medical groups to take care of COVID patients.

Phạm Đức Hải, deputy head of the city Steering Committee for COVID Prevention and Control, said the city is treating 39,208 patients currently, including 3,751 under 16, 1,918 critically ill and on ventilators and 23 patients with ECMO intervention.

It has administered 9.44 million doses of vaccines as of September 25, one shot to 6.8 million people and a second to 1.3 million. They include more than 1.1 million people aged 65 years or above or with underlying medical conditions.

HCM City has had more than 371,000 COVID cases since late April, when the fourth wave began. More than 14,370 have died. 

New resolution eases requirements for work permit applications for foreigners

Thanks to Government’s Resolution No. 105/NQ-CP on support for enterprises, cooperatives, and business households, the criteria for obtaining a Work Permit as a foreigner in Việt Nam has been eased. 

To resolve some of the difficulties facing enterprises and foreign workers, this resolution has been approved by the Prime Minister and was issued on September 9. 

To facilitate foreign workers coming to work in Việt Nam, the Government requested the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to relax some of the regulations and conditions on granting and extending Work Permits, while ensuring pandemic prevention and control measures are not compromised.

Under Point A, Clause 3, Article 3 of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, foreigners must hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, or an equivalent degree, and have at least three years of work experience in the field were trained. That experience and academic qualification must match the job that the Work Permit application is related to.

This rule has now been eased; foreigners must still hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher, or an equivalent degree, and have at least three years of work experience in a field relating to the Work Permit application. 

However, Point A, Clause 6, Article 3 of Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP states that the requirement for “having at least three years of work experience in the specialities that workers were trained in” has now been amended to “having at least three years of work experience that matches the jobs foreigners plan to work in Việt Nam”.

Point B, Clause 4, Article 9 of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP supports this with the term “giấy chứng nhận” (testimonial). This means that previous issued Work Permits can now be used as documentation to prove eligibility for new Work Permit applications, removing the need for all previous experience to have been gained outside of Việt Nam.

It now reads: “The papers proving experts and technical workers under regulations in Clauses 3, 6 in Article 3 of this Decree are: diplomas, degrees, certificates, testimonials; confirmation documents issued by agencies, organisations, and enterprises in other countries about the years of experience of experts and technical workers; or the already granted work permits to prove experience.”

North and central regions hit by more heavy rains and flooding

The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has predicted more flooding and localised landslides in northern and north-central regions due to recent intense rainfall. 

Strong rains continued to affect the region on Monday. Rain and thunderstorms also occurred over the Central Highlands and southern region. 

On Monday morning, heavy rainfall of 50-150mm fell in the northern-central region. 

The meteorological agency also warned of possible flooding and landslides in mountainous and low-lying areas, as well as along rivers. 

Due to the impact of the southwest monsoon, the Central Highlands and southern regions are forecast more showers and thunderstorms on Monday evening.

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said people should be vigilant and evacuate areas where flash flooding may occur.

Localities are requested to inspect unsafe housing in mountainous areas, along rivers and streams and in high-risk areas, and to be ready to move people to safe places.

Localities need to arrange forces to ensure traffic safety. 

Prolonged heavy rains during the past three days have caused serious flooding in many areas of Nghệ An central province, leaving at least one person missing. 

Heavy rain has submerged nearly 700 houses and destroyed more than 747 hectares of rice and 5,390 poultry, reported vietnamplus.vn.

On Sunday morning, some residential areas in Quỳnh Lưu District and Hoàng Mai Town were still flooded with water levels between 50-150mm. 

In Thanh Chương and Con Cuông districts, many roads were flooded and eroded, causing traffic jams.

Localities have mobilised all available forces to evacuate people to safe places, repair houses damaged by the flooding and fix roads and other areas affected by landslides. 

In Hà Tĩnh province, heavy rains and strong winds blew the roofs off 31 houses and other buildings in the past three days. 

The forecast over the next few days may continue to complicate the situation. Local authorities have informed people in locations at risk of landslides and flash floods. 

British Council IELTS Prize granted to Vietnamese students

The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational and cultural opportunities, has announced the winners of the 2021 IELTS Prize. Already in its tenth year, the IELTS Prize has supported more than 300 students in East Asia to date; helping them pursue their dreams of studying abroad. This year, 26 prize winners in East Asia were added to the list, including three outstanding IELTS test takers in Viet Nam who have been recognised with the IELTS Prize local awards.

The British Council received over 600 applications and interviewed over 80 outstanding individuals, who not only excelled in their IELTS test, but explained in detail their intentions to contribute to society locally or abroad after completing their studies.

First Prize winner Nguyen Hoang Vy (IELTS 8.0) shares that IELTS is the key to unlocking so many amazing opportunities in her life, including the IELTS Prize. She says ‘I was definitely over the moon when I heard that I won the IELTS Prize. It is such a great honour and motivation for me to gain more success in the future. In addition to the award which will help me relieve the financial stress of graduate studies, what prompted me to apply for the IELTS Prize was the chance to be an ambassador of British Council IELTS, joining different projects, meeting people from different backgrounds and sharing my story with them.’

For Second Prize winner Phuong Mai (IELTS 8.0), IELTS is not just an ordinary proficiency test but one that prepares leaners for the real world. ‘All four components in the IELTS test have helped me to develop my communication in both an academic context and daily life. The advice I would give to IELTS test takers is to expose yourself to English and seek opportunities to practice your skills in an authentic environment.’ - she shares. Mai chose to pursue her study in the UK because ‘London has always been my dream city to live and study. Amidst the current pandemic situation, I believe that this blended learning approach will minimize the risk of Covid-19 while still allowing me to experience the centrally located campus of my university. The experience of studying there will be sources of inspiration for me as to apply innovative methodology of second language teaching for my home country.’

Impressing the interview panel with an overall score of 8.5 (three out of four skills awarded 9.0), Third Prize winner Khanh Ha shares the following tips to conquer the IELTS test: ‘I know everybody has been reminded of this by now, but practice really makes perfect, so practice, practice, practice. Learn to familiarize yourself with the test format so you can anticipate what is coming next and not be caught off-guard. Try plenty of mock tests, and through this avenue identify where your weaknesses are, and practice those some more. The British Council provides a virtually unparalleled experience for test-takers, especially in terms of accessibility and pre-test support for candidates.’ Sharing about how IELTS has played a role in Ha’s journey, the third prize winner said that ‘IELTS has prompted me to become a curious thinker who constantly forges interdisciplinary connections, especially in the context of the ever-evolving global community.’

Millions of students have had to readjust their study plans due to the continued disruption of the pandemic. IELTS, the world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test, has been a crucial part of students’ entry requirements, especially in East Asia which is one of the largest markets for students wishing to study in the United Kingdom, the US, Canada and Australia.

Trish Thomson, Regional Marketing Director for the British Council in East Asia, said, ‘The IELTS Prize recognises those high performing students who demonstrate the academic excellence and commitment to excel during international study. More importantly, they show the determination to take what they learnt during their time abroad and use it to benefit their communities when they return home. It is our privilege to help these talented individuals make their mark in a world that is rapidly changing. International study is one way they can prepare themselves to thrive in the future.’

The British Council in East Asia also invites all students planning to study abroad and interested in taking IELTS tests to the 2021 IELTS Prize Virtual Award Ceremony which will be live-streamed on British Council IELTS Facebook pages across East Asia on 30 September. This 45-minute online event is open to anyone, and it will be a great opportunity to learn from the IELTS Prize winners’ on how to ace the IELTS test and how their lives have and will change as they embark on their new educational journeys. 

Transport Ministry demands immediate end to traffic congestion at checkpoints

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has requested immediate end to traffic congestion at COVID-19 checkpoints on roads across the country.

According to an official dispatch signed by the minister on September 25, traffic congestion has still occurred on roads in some localities, especially in areas with pandemic checkpoints, which has hampered the transportation and sale of farm produce and raised the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

To put an end to this problem soon, the Ministry of Transport asked directors of the transport departments of provinces and cities to examine the traffic situation on roads, strictly deal with or report to the chairpersons of provincial/municipal People’s Committees to strictly deal with collectives or individuals who failed to comply with the Prime Minister’s directions and caused traffic congestion at checkpoints, and immediately eradicate congestion on roads.

The departments were told to advise provincial/municipal People’s Committees about the revocation of documents that have run counter to the PM’s orders and caused traffic congestion.

They were also demanded to examine transport vehicles in line with the PM and the Government Office’s directions on goods transportation amid the pandemic and the enhancement of anti-COVID-19 measures nationwide.

The Transport Ministry said directors of the transport departments must be held accountable to the PM, the Minister of Transport, and chairpersons of the provincial/municipal People’s Committees if traffic congestion occurs on local roads./. 

HCMC has enough Covid vaccine for inoculation of immigrant laborers

Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the Center for Disease Control of Ho Chi Minh City, said that the city still has about 800,000 doses of vaccine in stock, which can be used to administer laborers back to the southern metropolis for work.

He said at a regular press conference to inform about the epidemic situation in the city on September 26 organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Mr. Tam added that about 7 million residents in the southern metropolis have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 2.6 million people have got their second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

At the press conference, Deputy Head of Ho Chi Minh City's Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control Pham Duc Hai said that the Ministry of Health presented the draft in an online meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control with 63 provinces and cities on September 25, in which, the Ministry of Health provided three mandatory indicators and four high-risk levels.

However, many points in the ministry's draft guidelines were not close to the city’s health care situation such as at least 80 percent of people over 50 years old getting two doses of Covid-19 vaccine; 100 percent of health stations in communes, wards having medical oxygen.

Moreover, the Ministry proposed all wards, communes must plan to set up mobile medical stations and community care teams for people infected with Covid-19.

Therefore, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai on September 26 signed a document to send to the Prime Minister proposing that HCMC will apply its own regulations decided by the Prime Minister to resume economic activities. Ho Chi Minh City will coordinate with relevant authorities to research and report to the Prime Minister.

The municipal People's Committee also expected the Government to prioritize vaccines for the city and the southern key economic region in order to soon improve the vaccination coverage rate.

Regarding the roadmap to remove barriers, organize circulation or the plan to welcome workers back to Ho Chi Minh City after October 1, Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Transport Phan Cong Bang shared the Department has been working on a draft plan for Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee’s approval. The Department has also developed plans to organize internal and inter-regional traffic, including transportation of workers and students who had returned to their hometown before the social distancing.

However, regarding inter-regional travel, it is necessary to have the consensus of localities, even need the opinion of the Central Government, the Department of Transport of Ho Chi Minh City will announce when it is officially approved by the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, said Mr. Bang. 

HCMC using special app to monitor financial support delivery
 
Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labors, War Invalids and Social Affairs Le Minh Tan yesterday informed that the financial support of the third round will be distributed to citizens in cash or via bank transfer from October 1-15, and will be monitored through the app SafeID Delivery.

In order to ensure the transparency of this delivery process, the data are continuously compared, updated and monitored via the app SafeID Delivery, developed by Quang Trung Software City Development Company Limited (QTSC).

The support package this time, worth VND7,347 billion (approx. US$322 million), is planned to be sent to over 7.3 million poor people in HCMC, each receiving VND1 million ($44).

The list of eligible people for this third round will be approved by the People’s Committees of all districts and Thu Duc City. It will then be sent to QTSC to upload the app’s database before 11:00am of September 27.

Chairmen of the People’s Committees of 312 wards in HCMC have to prepare a list of 40 assigned officials each ward to perform this delivery duty and send to QTSC so that their corresponding accounts are created. These people will be instructed on how to install the app and what to do to update information after every package distribution.

Besides being responsible for establishing accounts for officials on duty at 312 wards, QTSC cooperates with the hotline 1022 to provide necessary direction or answer to the localities during the time running this app.

Chairmen of the People’s Committees in all 312 wards have their own administration account to monitor the financial delivery process. Chairmen of the People’s Committees and Head of the Division of Labors, War Invalids and Social Affairs of each district and Thu Duc City are also given their own administration accounts to control the progress of this process, to prepare regular reports to HCMC People’s Committee and the HCMC Labors, War Invalids and Social Affairs Department.

There are 5 specific groups to obtain financial support in the third round, consisting of poor households and people entitled to monthly social assistance; laborers losing their job or income during the social distance period; dependent people of the second group living in the same household; parents, spouse, and children of people receiving pension or support for a loss of working capacity or poor people participating in social insurance and still earning their August income; poor people living in boarding houses during the social distance period. All of them must still be in HCMC at present. 

HCM City receives US$1.1 mln, 135 tons of rice to fight against Covid-19

A ceremony to receive VND25 billion (US$1.1 million) and 135 tons of rice was held by the Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front in Ho Chi Minh City - the Ho Chi Minh City Board for the mobilization, reception and distribution of Covid-19 pandemic prevention fund yesterday.

Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Ho Hai speaks at the ceremony.
At the reception ceremony, Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Ho Hai highly appreciated the support and sentiment of the Ministry of National Defense, especially staff and soldiers of Vietnam People's Navy who had donated funds and essential stuff to the city's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides, the city leader shared that HCMC will concentrate on economic development to continue contributing and supporting the military and naval forces to fulfill the assigned tasks of building and protecting the country.

Attending the ceremony were Mr. Nguyen Ho Hai, Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee; Ms. To Thi Bich Chau, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City; Mr. Le Thanh Liem, Head of the Internal Affairs Committee of HCMC Party Committee; Mr. Ngo Minh Chau, Deputy Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee; Rear Admiral Phan Tuan Hung, Deputy Commander of the Naval Force; Rear Admiral Do Van Yen, Political Commissar of Naval Region 2 Command; Colonel Ngo Minh Thuan, Director General of Saigon Newport Corporation. 

Khanh Hoa plans to reopen to international tourists in early November

Khanh Hoa Province will pilot a plan to open its doors to international tourists with a Covid vaccine passport in early November.

The pilot program will be carried out in two phases until the end of March 2022.

In the first phase from November until the end of the year, the province will serve international visitors arriving on board charter flights at resorts in the Northern Cam Ranh Peninsula Tourist Area.

If the first phase pays off, the second phase of the pilot plan will be conducted in the next three months to March 31, 2022. During this phase, international visitors might travel to more tourist areas on several islands in Nha Trang City such as the Vinpearl Land Nha Trang on Tre Island and Merperle Resort on Tam Island.

At a meeting with the relevant departments and agencies on September 25, Le Huu Hoang, vice chairman of Khanh Hoa Province, assigned the provincial Department of Tourism to flesh out a draft plan to welcome tourists and submit it to the provincial government for approval prior to September 30.

The department was told to soon send the draft plan to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for consideration, and draw up safety criteria for tourism in the new normal stage and submit them to the provincial government before September 30.

In addition, the province is preparing to welcome domestic visitors in October.

 

Poor ethnic minority students in HCMC given tablet computers

The Ho Chi Minh City Fatherland Front Committee in coordination with the Ethnic Minority Association held a handout ceremony to give tablet computers to poor Cham and Khmer students for distance learning.

Former Permanent Deputy Prime Minister cum honorary chairman of the Fund for the Protection of Ethnic Minorities Truong Hoa Binh presented 100 tablet computers and 1 laptop worth VND350 million (US$ 15,378) to disadvantaged students.

Additionally, Duy Loi Company gave 101 gifts worth VND20 million and Vo Van Bay’s family donated 1,000 notebooks worth VND5 million to students from disadvantaged families in the city.

On behalf of city administrators, speaking at the awards ceremony, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Ngo Minh Chau thanked Mr. Binh and philanthropists who have taken heed of children’s learning by giving studying devices to help underprivileged students pursue virtual learning at home.

According to Mr. Chau, the scholarship- award program initiated by former Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh from the 1999-2000 school year has helped Cham students of low-income families in District 8’s wards 1 and 2 continue their pursuit of learning to take high school, bachelor's and master's degrees

Drinking up on Vietnam’s tea culture

A tea server slowly pours tea into cups from a teapot. The pouring is performed beautifully, in a manner known as ‘high mountain-long river', which helps the scent of the tea spread. Gracefully offering guests, she holds a cup with three fingers offering the tea as ‘three dragons flanking a pearl'. That's only a snapshot of the tea drinking culture of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnam, Thailand enhance collaboration in health amidst COVID-19

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister of Thailand Anutin Charnvirakul spoke highly of the close cooperation with Vietnam, especially in health, during his meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador Phan Chi Thanh on September 27.

He told the guest that Thailand has achieved initial success in curbing the pandemic, reflected through decreases in the numbers of infections, patients in critical conditions, and fatalities.

He suggested the two countries continue sharing experience in pandemic prevention and control, and providing each other with medical equipment and supplies.

The Thai Government will expand vaccinations against COVID-19 for foreigners living and working in the country, including those from Vietnam, and at the same time create favourable conditions for AstraZeneca whose factory is located in the country to maximise capacity and hand over vaccine to other countries, including Vietnam.

Ambassador Thanh affirmed the embassy is actively working with the two countries’ authorised agencies to discuss measures to loosen social distancing safely.

He thanked the Thai Government for supporting Vietnam in the fight against the pandemic, vaccinating Vietnamese diplomats and citizens, and creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens stranded in the country to extend visas.

He proposed the two Health Ministries maintain cooperation, exchange the recognition of “vaccine passports”, agree on entry-exit regulations and quarantine period for citizens who get full two shots of vaccine, and soon set up travel corridors between major cities and tourist attractions to boost economic recovery./.

Vietnam need a draw against Tajikistan to secure spot at 2022 Asian Cup finals

The Vietnamese national women’s football team will progress through to the final round of the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup providing they secure a draw against hosts Tajikistan in the final match of Group B on September 29.

Vietnam thrashed Maldives 16-0 in their first match, while Tajikistan trounced Maldives 4-0 in the other fixture in Group B.

The goal difference therefore creates a favourable condition for the women’s nation team led by head coach Mai Duc Chung, with a draw against Tajikistan enough to go through to the finals of the 2022 Asian Cup.

However, the Vietnamese team’s aim is to secure three points, meaning they will compete with high determination in the next match against Tajikistan, Chung said.

The leading 12 teams in the qualifiers of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will then progress to the final round, which is set to take place between January 20 and February 6 in India.

The top five teams will then go on to represent Asia at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Vietnam important partner of Russia in Asia-Pacific: official

Vietnam, the only country that President Vladimir Putin has visited for five times, is an important and close partner of Russia in Asia-Pacific, said Konstantin Kosachev, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia.

Kosachev made the statement at a meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, who is on his official trip to the nation, on September 27.

At the function, both officials expressed their delight at developments in the Vietnam – Russia relations across all sectors and channels, including the parliamentary channel.

Despite COVID-19, the Vietnamese National Assembly and the Russian Federation Council have sustained their ties via online exchanges, most recently the talks between National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Chairperson of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko. The sides have aslo worked closely at regional and international forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).

Kosachev stated the Russian upper house backs the boosting of the Vietnam – Russia comprehensive strategic partnership in all spheres, as well as cooperation in accelerating the ratification and implementation of deals sealed between the nations.

He appreciated Vietnam’s aid of 50,000 face masks for the Federation Council when the pandemic broke out in early 2020 and Russia faced difficulties in producing the masks.

He vowed to do his best to speed up the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine for Vietnam. The official also thanked Vietnam for making the Russian language a subject in high schools from 2022, considering it a good premise for increasing the number of Vietnamese students in Russia in the future.

For his part, Son affirmed the bilateral parliamentary cooperation, particularly between their friendship parliamentarian groups, plays a significant role in deepening the countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

He said the Federal Council has actively supported collaboration between Vietnamese and Russian localities, with relations established and expanded toward practical outcomes. Son asked the council to further such assistance and back the nations’ people-to-people exchange.

On the occasion, the diplomat proposed the council raise its voice so that Russia prioritises vaccine supply and technological transfer for Vietnam and support for Vietnamese expatriates in country in the context of COVID-19.

Also on September 27, Son visited the military attaché agency of Vietnam in Moscow and held a meeting with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Earlier, he laid flowers at the Ho Chi Minh monument in Moscow, visited the monument of unknown martyrs, and met representatives of the Vietnamese community in Russia and staff of the Vietnam Embassy in Russia./.

Association hailed for helping strengthen Vietnam-France friendship

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang had a meeting on September 27 with a delegation from the France-Vietnam Friendship Association (AAFV) led by its President Gérard Daviot, during which the ambassador hailed the association’s contributions in strengthening friendship and cooperation between people of both countries.

Affirming that the AAFV plays the key role in friendship, solidarity and cooperation associations with Vietnam in France, Ambassador Thang pledged to support activities of the association.

He expressed his hope that members of the association will continue to walk hand in hand in the current tough time as well as in the national construction and development in the future.

For his part, Daviot briefed the Vietnamese Ambassador on major activities of the association recently, noting that it has conducted a number of activities to support the poor, people from ethnic minority groups and Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam.

The association has also supported Tran To Nga’s lawsuit against companies that manufactured and supplied toxic chemicals for the US Military during the war in Vietnam, he said, adding that various friendship and exchange activities between people of Vietnam and Frances as well as activities to promote the image of Vietnam in France have also been held.

The AAFV affirmed that in the time to come, he will continue strengthening activities showing support and solidarity with Vietnam, including those assisting Vietnamese people in fighting COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with climate change and human resources training.

The two sides discussed a number of issues of mutual concern as well as future plans to further lift up bilateral ties between Vietnam and France. On the occasion, the AAFV leader invited Ambassador Thang to attend the congress of the AAFV’s executive committee. The diplomat accepted the invitation.

The AAFV was formed in 1961 with an aim to supporting Vietnamese people in the struggle for national independence. The association has always stood by Vietnamese people in the cause of national construction and development. With a wide network covering all French cities and provinces, diverse activities by the association have helped connect and gather French friends who love Vietnam across the European country./.

Various policies designed to support COVID-19-hit businesses, labourers

Various policies issued by the Government, ministries, sectors and localities last week with an aim to supporting businesses and labourers affected by COVID-19.

At an online meeting on September 25 with the Steering Committees for COVID-19 Prevention and Control of 705 districts and 63 cities and provinces nationwide, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said that the committee had adjusted the pandemic response strategy in the direction of safely, flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling COVID-19, implementing pandemic control and socio-economic development at the same time.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh signed Directive 26/CT/TTg on promoting production, transport, selling and exporting of farm produce amid COVID-19, asking the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to direct localities not to allow the disruption of agricultural production chains and ensure the supply of agricultural products for domestic demands and export in all circumstances.

Meanwhile, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The signed Directive 08/CT-BGTVT on strengthening transport activities to assist the selling of farm produce amid the pandemic, creating optimal conditions for the transport of goods and materials serving production among localities across the country.

At the same time, the General Department of State Reserve under the Ministry of Finance signed a contract to buy 75,400 tonnes of rice to support the needy in nine southern cities and provinces including Binh Duong, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, An Giang, Tien Giang, Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City.

The State Bank of Vietnam also sent a document to credit organisations and branches of foreign banks in Vietnam, asking them to apply measures to support their COVID-19-hit customers in line with the regulations.

A virtual workplace platform named VCCI-Workplace was launched by the Business Cooperation Council in Response to COVID-19 under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to help enterprises in the fight against COVID-19 and resume production and business. Registration for the programme can be made at https://covid19.vcci.vn.

Alongside, many localities have also designed their own policies to support businesses and labourers affected by the pandemic./.

Official suggests synchronously rolling out policies towards OVs

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu has suggested consolidating the legal system, streamlining administrative procedures and synchronously implementing policies relating to overseas Vietnamese.

He made the suggestions in an article titled “Improving the efficiency of overseas Vietnamese affairs in the new situation”, which was published after the Politburo issued a conclusion in this regard on August 12.

Conclusion No. 12-KL/TW affirms consistent guidelines and policies of the Party and the State on strengthening the great national unity bloc, with the overseas Vietnamese community an integral part of the nation, said Hieu, who is also head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs.

It has contributed to implementing overseas Vietnamese affairs in the new context in a more comprehensive manner, focusing on supporting them to have a firm legal status, develop stably and integrate into host societies intensively and extensively, and maintain their close ties with the homeland.

According to Hieu, the document aims to demonstrate the Party’s and the State’s sentiments and responsibility for Vietnamese expats, meeting their legitimate aspirations and encouraging them to work towards a better life.

The Politburo has for the first time added the implementation of comprehensive measures to the conclusion to improve the work, helping Vietnamese gain a firm legal status, stabilise their lives, boost economic development, observe laws and integrate into host societies.

The official said the Politburo has paid more heed to teaching the Vietnamese language abroad to contribute to preserving traditional culture.

The conclusion highlights encouraging and creating conditions for overseas Vietnamese to contribute to national construction and defence, Hieu added.

He suggested perfecting the mechanism responding to initiatives and opinion contributions of Vietnamese experts, intellectuals and businesses abroad.

With the engagement of the entire political system and Vietnamese at home and abroad, the work on overseas Vietnamese affairs will be done more pragmatically, Hieu believed./.

HCM City plans to resume some activities from October 1

Ho Chi Minh City plans to gradually reopen some economic activities from October 1 as the pandemic has been basically put under control in the southern economic hub.

Vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoa Binh has sent an urgent document to authorities of local districts and communes to give opinions on a draft Directive adjusting measures safely and flexibly for effective COVID-19 control and socio-economic recovery.

Under the draft Directive, the city will permit the reopening of businesses and production establishments in industrial zones, processing and exporting zones, high tech zones, as well as in districts and Thu Duc city.

Services allowed to reopen include food and drink for delivery, in-door hairdressing salons (allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity), traditional markets, wholesale markets, shopping centres, stores for stationery, textbooks, and other learning equipment, mechanics, electronics, and home appliance and construction works.

Tourism sites will be permitted to operate at 30 percent capacity and all visitors must have had two full doses of COVID-19 vaccines, have made a full recovery from COVID-19 or test negative for the virus.

The city will license businesses and production facilities to resume operations if they meet safety requirements of pandemic prevention and control, and allow people with a COVID-19 green card to take part in production activities.

Non-essential services and businesses (such as beauty salons, karaoke venues, pubs, bars and massage parlours) will remain closed.

Sports events will be allowed to be held with 30 percent capacity and all participants must be injected with two full doses of vaccines or have fully recovered from COVID-19.

Outdoor exercise and cultural activities will be allowed with the participation of no more than 10 people or 50 people if all of them were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Wedding services will be allowed with the participation of up to 50 people with supervision from medical workers.

Public transport will resume but only be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.

The city will keep 12 checkpoints at its gateways and 39 other checkpoints at the entrances to other localities.

The city will propose reopening some domestic and international air routes./.

State leader hosts FIFA President in New York

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc received President of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Gianni Infantino while in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th session.

At the reception, Phuc thanked Infantino for his support for Vietnam and its football.

Both host and guest recalled the FIFA President’s visit to Vietnam to congratulate the country’s U23 team after they won a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship in Changzhou, China.

Agreeing with Infantino that football is among the most effective cultural bridges between countries' people, thus contributing to the world peace, Phuc asked FIFA continue cooperating with and assisting the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) in developing the sport and improving the position of local football teams.

Infantino said Vietnam’s development policy for sports, including football, has resulted in better soccer achievements and turned Vietnamese teams formidable opponents.

The FIFA President vowed to further collaborate closely with and support the VFF and wished to soon visit the nation again./.

French employment support centres open in Hanoi, HCM City

The Association of Francophone Universities (AUF) on September 27 opened two employment support centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with the aim of connecting students with job opportunities, increase their integration into the labour market and encourage their start-up spirit.

One centre – named the Centre d'employabilité francophone (CEF) in French - is based in Hanoi University, while the other is based in the southern branch of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in HCM City.

The two centres will have projects relating to consultation, job-seeking support, soft-skills training, occupational certification and start-ups.

Jean-Marc Lavest, Director of AUF Asia and Pacific, said that in May 2020 the AUF launched a global poll. Feedback was received from more than 15,000 state agencies, university managers, lecturers and students, from over 75 countries.

This feedback helped the AUF and its partners to develop training roadmaps for the francophone university, allowing them to address real-world issues, he said.

The feedback showed that student integration into the labour market was one of the top concerns in Asian countries, he said.

Nguyen Thi Cuc Phuong, vice-principal of Hanoi University, said that the CEF in Hanoi aimed to help secondary school students to select suitable courses to attend in university.

In addition, the centre expected to equip university students with the necessary skills to integrate into the labour market confidently and more easily, she said.

Truong Huy, a student of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, HCM City National University, said that, with the support of the CEF, he hoped that Vietnamese students could access more job opportunities in both Vietnam and francophone countries.

There are eight CEFs in the Asia- Pacific region, including the two newly opened centres in Vietnam; Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, Thailand and Vanuatu each has one.

A total of 69 CEFs across the world are connected with each other through an integrated platform that provides distance learning programmes and shares events and best practices in the field of employment support for students.

This is also a place to share educational resources, creating optimal conditions to connect schools and businesses./.

Vietnam attends meeting of ACC working group on public health emergencies

The seventh online meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group on Public Health Emergencies (ACCWG-PHE) was held on September 27.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the ASEAN SOM Vietnam, led a Vietnamese delegation to the event.

Speaking at the event, Dung hailed the progress of implementing ASEAN initiatives on coping with COVID-19. He suggested the bloc step up vaccine purchase for its member states and encourage the sharing of vaccines on a voluntary basis to help countries in demand.

He also proposed regional states make further contributions to the ASEAN COVID-19 response fund and ASEAN reserve of medical supplies.

Vietnam is completing internal procedures to announce a list of contributions to the regional reserve of medical supplies and working actively with member states to soon put the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) into effective operation, Dung said.

Speaking highly of achievements in the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, he suggested the grouping continue focusing on promoting economic recovery and mitigating the negative impacts of the pandemic on residents in the region.

Participants agreed that ASEAN will evenly distribute about 100,000 – 250,000 doses of vaccine to each nation depending on types of vaccine, striving to deliver the first batch of vaccine in the fourth quarter this year and continue with it in the first quarter of 2022.

They also recommended ASEAN leaders adopt the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework (ATCAF) and continue discussing the possibility of adopting “vaccine passport”./.

Police suggest prosecuting two persons for leaking State secrets

The Ho Chi Minh City Police have completed investigation and suggested the municipal People’s Procuracy launch criminal proceedings against two persons on charge of “intentionally leaking State secrets” in accordance with the Article 337 of the Penal Code 2015 that was revised and supplemented in 2017.

They were Nguyen Hoai Bac, a former public security officer, and Le Thi Phuong Hong.

The police also proposed prosecuting Diep Dung, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives (Saigon Co.op), for “appropriating State secret documents” in line with the Article 337 of the Penal Code 2015 with revisions and supplements in 2017.

In December 2020, Dung was also prosecuted for “abusing power while on duty”./.

Experts highlight consistent goal of protecting people’s health

Socio-economic experts at home and abroad highlighted the consistent goal of protecting people’s physical and mental health while flexibly maintaining socio-economic activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic during a seminar held in Hanoi on September 27.

Co-organised by the National Assembly Office and the NA’s Committee for Economic Affairs, the event was held both online and offline under the chair of NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai.

NA Chairman Hue said the event is one of the first activities within the framework of the economic forum resumed by the NA Standing Committee after its disruption from 2017.

He shared the view that despite high vaccine coverage, many countries remain unsafe and the global economic recovery is uncertain. Therefore, he called for fairer access to vaccines for poorer countries.

Delegates said more and more countries are shifting to safely living with the pandemic, stepping up vaccination and mitigating deaths instead of reducing infections, shutting down borders and imposing social distancing measures.

The top legislator added that activities will be resumed gradually but with control, ensuring that the past achievements must be kept.

According to him, feedback at the event will be collected to lay out orientations for activities of the NA Standing Committee, the NA’s Ethnic Council and other committees as well as the legislature as a whole in the near future, contributing to further strengthening coordination between the NA and the Government.

The economic forum is scheduled for January 2022 with theme on post-pandemic economic recovery./.

Hanoi’s outlying district maintains COVID-19-free zones, supply chain

The outlying Ba Vi district of Hanoi has well-maintained its COVID-19-free zones, or ‘green zones’, along with ensuring business operations to meet demand of local residents and supply for those in downtown.

The district, the largest one in Hanoi in terms of area, has various arterial roads leading to other localities and is viewed as having high risk of spreading COVID-19 to others. However, it has yet to report any infections in the community so far.

Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ba Vi Do Manh Hung said despite its ‘green zone’ status, the district has stayed vigilant and taken the initiative in devising scenarios, solutions and measures as if it were a ‘red zone’, or areas with high-risk of infections.

The district had rolled out guidelines of the Party, Government and Prime Minister when COVID-19 cases were not detected in Hanoi.

Therefore, when many localities of Hanoi reported new outbreaks, Ba Vi quickly kick-started preparatory plans in association with preventive measures by the municipal Party organisation and People’s Committee.

In addition to three checkpoints at the city’s gateways to keep watch on people entering from other localities, Ba Vi set up nine more checkpoints at roads linking with other localities, along with 626 others at crossroads between its villages and communes.

Many inter-sectoral and mobile inspection groups have been established and launched hundreds of examinations.

As the district shuts infection risks from outside and applies movement control measures, it has sped up business operation and harvest in an attempt to deliver products to other localities.

Ba Vi makes a list of some 1,465 small traders offering essential goods at 23 markets to arrange COVID-19 testing, screening and vaccination. Farmers have been asked to maintain their crops and strive for high productivity.

To realise the capital city’s strategy to protect ‘green zones’, which focus on production to provide for consumption markets, Ba Vi has intensified animal husbandry and aquaculture development.

The district to date has had nearly 4,200 buffalos; 36,600 cows, including 11,500 milch cows which produce 23,000 tonnes of milk; 210,000 pigs; and 5.7 million fowls.

In addition to taking preventive measures in agricultural production, Ba Vi has carried out solutions to improve yield and set up groups specialising in commodities delivery to its communes.

As the district has formed links with supermarket chains, wholesale markets and major consumption markets, most of its products are sold at a quick speed and local people do not suffer losses due to abundancy.

It also mobilises all forces and devices to engage in cargo transport when necessary, as well as creates optimal conditions for firms and establishments in the ‘green zone’ in a bid to prevent disruption in the supply chain.

Since the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks hit Vietnam until mid-September, Hanoi recorded nearly 3,900 cases across its localities, including 10 districts in the ‘red zone’.

Hanoi has basically completed mass testing citywide and administered the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine to almost all people in the targeted group.

The city has so far had more than 600 ‘green-zones’ for businesses, which receive approval from local authorities. The firms are sparing no efforts to realise the twin targets of curbing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining operation.

The municipal People’s Committee had permitted 19 district-level localities to resume certain services starting 12:00 noon on September 16, given the progress in the COVID-19 fight.

The hashtag ‘green zone’, or ‘safe zone’, has increased in popularity over recent days and reflects the determination of many localities to control the ongoing fourth wave of COVID-19 around Vietnam. Setting up more such 'green zones' to fight the pandemic is an effective measure to prevent the virus from spreading./.

More medical equipment handed over to HCM City

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City received medical supplies and equipment worth over 37 billion VND (1.6 million USD) from businesses and organisations and abroad on September 27, for the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The supplies include 200,000 FFP2 masks valued at more than 2.3 billion VND from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam, which are to be provided for 21 units and COVID-19 treatment hospitals in the city. Others are ventilators, ambulances, medical beds, electric syringe pumps, and more.

The same day, the committee also received 10 out of 20 tonnes of rice donated by the Navy High Command based in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

Since January, the committee has received more than 957 billion VND, over 310 billion VND of which were for vaccine purchases and over 360 billion VND for necessities.

From July 1 to September 27, it connected with and called on over 187 individuals, organisations and businesses at home and abroad to support medicines and medical equipment worth more than 2.2 trillion VND./.

Tablets presented to help disadvantaged students in HCMC study online

More than 100 ethnic minority or disadvantaged students in Ho Chi Minh City have been presented tablets and laptops to help them study online. The move is being implemented in response to the “Internet connection and computers for children” programme launched by the Prime Minister to provide computers and telecommunications services to students in difficult circumstances.
 
Holding a brand-new tablet, Mohammead Arafat - a 5th grader at Rạch Ông School in District 8 - was happy and excited.

He is one of more than 100 ethnic minority or disadvantaged students in Ho Chi Minh City to benefit from the “Internet connection and computers for children” programme launched by the Prime Minister to support students’ studies amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

100 tablets and laptops and thousands of notebooks and necessities worth nearly 400 million VND have been presented to students in difficult circumstances in the city. The gifts offer timely support to students during this special school year./.

Russian newspaper appreciates Vietnam’s increasing role and position

The Russian Federal News Agency RIA FAN has recently run an article appreciating Vietnam’s increasing role and position, especially its responsible contributions as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.

The article emphasised active and effective activities of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the just-ended 76th UN General Assembly in New York.

In his speech, Phuc focused on the joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He affirmed the world cannot be safe if any single person or country still suffers from this pandemic, and made constructive proposals to soon triumph over the pandemic, including removing barriers on vaccine distribution, with priority given to countries with low vaccination rate, promoting economic - trade cooperation to recover the world economy, accelerating digital transformation, and improving labour productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of the economy.

The article affirmed that all the speeches of the Vietnamese President at the UN General Assembly clearly showed Vietnam’s foreign policy, which is respect for international law. Any complex political “knots” can be solved by peaceful diplomatic means, on the basis of strict adherence to international law.

Vietnam is also one of the most dynamic developing economies in the Asia-Pacific, attracting attention by the world’s leading powers, it wrote.

The article also mentioned to the Vietnamese leader’s remarks at the debates on climate security and food systems.

It noted that Vietnam is one of the ten countries hardest hit by climate change and sea level rise. The country has implemented many complex responses, such as reducing the use of fossil energy, increasing the share of renewables to 25 percent of total primary supplies by 2030, and planting more trees.

Regarding the food topic, the article affirmed that Vietnam itself is a country with a favourable climate, fertile soil and extensive experience in the field of agriculture.

According to the author, all factors are a clear proof of the fulfillment of Vietnam's obligations to the entire progressive world with sustainable development based on three pillars: Economy - Society - Environment. Vietnam's international initiatives can become a subject for research by Russian experts, which will help prepare bilateral relations in the new era./.

Hanoi supports foreigners living and working in the city

The Hanoi Union of Friendship Organisations in collaboration with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Dong Da district presented gifts to foreigners living in Dong Da district who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tran Thi Phuong, Standing Vice Chairwoman of the Hanoi Union of Friendship Organisations, said in the past time, together with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of the city, the organization had presented 270 gifts to foreigners who were in need of urgent support.

“This time, we will present another 392 gifts to foreigners who are experts, unemployed workers, teachers and students who are working and studying in Hanoi,” she said.

Sinhkitsalath Phitsamay, a Lao graduate student at the Faculty of Finance and Banking, the Banking Academy said he was grateful for the help of the Vietnamese people during the crucial time.

Joel Erik Nils Ahlgren, an English teacher, said that even though the COVID-19 epidemic has made his life difficult, thanks to the policies of the capital city as well as the timely support by local authority, he still feels secure to continue living and working in Hanoi./.

First hospital in HCM City to resume normal operation

The Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 Hospital is set to officially resume its normal operation on September 28 after being previously designated to only treat COVID-19 patients.

This comes after the Ho Chi Minh City Disease Control Center (HCDC) conducted several assessments and announced on September 27 that the hospital successfully met all criteria to become “safe areas”, thereby being able to resume normal operation as the pandemic situation has improved.

The hospital was thoroughly disinfected before welcoming the return of patients not infected with COVID-19.

According to Nguyen The Vu, deputy managing director of District 7’s Hospital, all remaining COVID-19 patients have been duly transferred to other field hospital for further treatment.

He added that during the previous outbreak, some people in the southern city delayed medical visits for fear of COVID-19 infection at hospitals.

As a result, the has hospital began to resume operations as normal to meet the needs of local residents and ensure the health of all patients.

Additional 1.3 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses arrive in Vietnam

A batch of 1.3 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in the nation under a contract signed with the Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC).

The arrival of the latest doses is part of a total of 30 million vaccine doses that the VNVC has ordered from AstraZeneca under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Health.

The batch of doses was handed over to the Ministry of Health on September 27 in order to promptly support the country’s ongoing national vaccination programme.

At present, a total of 15 million doses have been delivered through VNVC, of which five million vaccine doses reached Vietnam in September.

According to details given by the Ministry of Health, through the latest delivery the country has now received approximately 50 million doses of vaccines of various different types from numerous different sources.

So far, the nation has inoculated a total of over 38.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, including more than 30.4 million people who have received one shot and nearly 8 million others who have been double jabbed.

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

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 27

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 27

Vietnam Airlines completes longest flight for transporting vaccines