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Nguyen Thien Thuat Apartment Building in HCMC’s District 3. The HCMC government has proposed demolishing old and deteriorated apartment buildings if half of the residents agree with the demolition plans – PHOTO: NDO

The HCMC government has proposed that old and deteriorated apartment buildings should be demolished and rebuilt with the agreement of half of the residents of the apartment buildings, instead of all the residents under the current regulations.

The city has submitted its comments and recommendations to the Ministry of Construction for a draft decree amending, supplementing and removing some articles of the Government’s Decree 101/2015 on the renovation and reconstruction of old apartment buildings to accelerate the demolition and reconstruction of aging apartment buildings in the city, Thanh Nien Online newspaper reported.

The city is now home to 474 apartment buildings, which were built before 1975 and only 10 of them have been rebuilt. The others, such as Nguyen Thien Thuat in District 3, Vien Dong in District 5, Ngo Gia Tu and An Quang in District 10 and Thanh Da in Binh Thanh District, have seriously deteriorated, threating the safety of residents and damaging the city’s landscapes.

Under Decree 101/2015, the owners of dangerous and seriously deteriorated apartment buildings will have three and 12 months, respectively, to choose investors for the apartment building demolition projects and decide compensation solutions.

Within the periods, if the apartment building owners fail to choose investors, the State will take responsibility for the demolition of the apartment buildings and the selection of investors.

However, in reality, many apartment building owners and residents have yet to reach a conclusion. In addition, the calculation of the value and the compensation of the apartments is complicated.

To remove these obstacles, the HCMC government proposed two solutions to the Ministry of Construction to renovate and rebuild dangerous and seriously deteriorated apartment buildings in case the State takes the responsibility.

As part of the first solution, residents will receive apartments as compensation. Under the second solution, they can receive either apartments or cash but the State will demolish the apartment buildings if half of the residents agree with the demolition plans.

In addition, the city suggested adding a regulation that the investors of projects to demolish apartment buildings will be chosen with the agreement of 80% of residents

The municipal government also proposed that the State should support the investors during the compensation, site clearance, land reclamation, resettlement and demolition processes.

Ten imported COVID-19 cases raise national count to 1,531

Ten new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the past 24 hours to 6pm on January 14, all among people being quarantined after arriving in the country, raising the national count to 1,531, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among the new patients, three are foreign experts and seven are Vietnamese citizens.

A total 1,369 COVID-19 patients in Vietnam have recovered, while fatalities remain at 35.

Among patients still under treatment, 11 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 13 twice and 11 thrice.

More than 18,290 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined across the country, with 146 at hospitals, 16,642 at designated facilities and 1,507 at home or in their accommodations./.

Short film screening and talk with directors

A collection of three short films by independent Vietnamese documentary filmmakers will be presented at the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam tomorrow.

The screening is the opening event of DOC CICADA 2021: The Southeast Asian Journal (No.2): Short Films Screening and Talk with Varan Vietnam’s Directors.

Varan Vietnam is a group of Vietnamese independent documentary filmmakers following and practising a direct documentary style. Madam Phụng’s Last Journey (director Nguyễn Thị Thắm, 2014) and Finding Phong (director Trần Phương Thảo & Swann Dubus, 2015) are two most notable Varan Vietnam’s films that have been distributed at commercial theatres.

The screening on Friday will feature Kiên (2006, director Đào Thanh Tùng), Bụi (2005, director Nguyễn Thị Thúy Quyên), and The Lion Dance (2005, director Đào Mộng Long).

The programme is in Vietnamese, with English subtitles for the films and interpretation for the talk. The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam is at 27 Quang Trung Street. 

Traditional Japanese doll exhibition opens in HCM City

The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Việt Nam has launched the exhibition “Traditional Japanese Dolls” at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum.

This exhibition features 32 traditional dolls depicting the gracefulness of Japanese women in kimonos, popular characters in Japanese Noh and Kabuki plays, babies, children, and royalty.

Japanese dolls are divided into different types according to the makers' skills and materials, and themes and shapes.

For the Japanese, the doll is not merely a decoration but also a confidant, representing the feelings of its owner.

The exhibition provides Vietnamese audiences a glimpse into a part of traditional Japanese culture as well as the spiritual culture of the Japanese people.

The exhibition is open until January 27. The museum is at 97A Phó Đức Chính Street in District 1. Entrance to the museum is VNĐ30,000. 

More open space needed to promote people’s mastership: Party official

The application of information technology (IT) should be stepped up, thus creating a more open space to promote people’s mastership, Truong Thi Mai, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation, has said.

Addressing a January 13 meeting in Hanoi, Mai, who is also head of the central steering committee for the implementation of grassroots democracy regulations, highlighted the importance the Party attaches to democracy regulations.

Reviewing the country’s achievements in socio-economic development, national defence and security, external affairs, Party building and corruption fight, the official attributed the fruits to the public’s contributions.

The steering committee reported that in 2020, all-level Party committees enhanced their leadership and instructed the implementation of the Party’s guidelines and the State’s laws regarding grassroots democracy regulations in combination with guidelines and resolutions on socio-economic development, notably the fight against COVID-19.

State agencies and authorities at all levels also continued with the institutionalisation and concretisation of the Party’s guidelines into policies and laws, covering areas relating to the life, rights and interests of people.

Public awareness of democracy and the practice of democracy as well as results recorded in the work have improved significantly, especially at all-level Party congresses for the 2020-2025 period.

In 2021, the mass mobilisation work will focus on intensifying the implementation of grassroots democracy regulations through different forms and organisations in the political system, the meeting heard./.

Prime Minister request reviewing COVID-19 prevention measures, scenarios

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered ministries, sectors and localities to thoroughly review COVID-19 prevention and control measures and scenarios ahead of the 13th National Party Congress scheduled to take place from January 25 to February 2.

Amid complicated developments of the pandemic with the appearance of new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, PM Phuc asked Ministers, Chairpersons of local People’s Committees and heads of the steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control to intensify disease prevention measures as directed by the Politburo and Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, the Government, the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

In a dispatch dated January 13, he requested assigning other officials to handle the work in replace of members of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control who will participate in the Congress.

The head and members of the Committee who will attend the Congress have to hand over their tasks related to disease prevention and control to the assigned people, he asked./.

Bone-chilling cold weather leads to higher hospital cases

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More elderly people in Hanoi have been hospitalised as the northern region experiences an extremely cold front.

According to Doctor Nguyen Danh Cuong, deputy head of Emergency Department and Stroke Unit at the National Geriatric Hospital in Hanoi, these days, the ward is receiving around 50-60 patients per day compared to just 30-40 earlier. Most of them are in critical conditions and need to be hospitalised.  

The patient surge is due to the on-going cold wave in the north, Cuong said, adding that people are facing the high risk of strokes in the cold weather, particularly those suffering high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Up to one third of the ward’s patients are facing strokes, while the remainder is those contracting other respiratory and heart diseases.

The ward has only six doctors and 30 nurses who have to work very hard these days because of the rise in the patient numbers.

The northern region of Vietnam is undergoing a very strong cold snap as temperatures in many localities have dropped to below 10 degrees centigrade. Several mountainous areas such as Sapa and Mau Son have even reported frost and snow.

VSIP model a bright spot in Vietnam-Singapore economic ties: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in a meeting with outgoing Singaporean Ambassador to Vietnam Catherine Wong on January 13, highlighted the great success in bilateral trade and investment relations, saying that the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) model is a bright spot in the economic ties.

During the reception for the diplomat, the Vietnamese Government leader noted that although the relationship has recorded fruitful developments, it is not commensurate with the potential.

Vietnam and Singapore need more cooperation models to contribute to promoting economic cooperation and GDP growth, and creating more jobs for labourers.

PM Phuc expressed his hope that more and more Singaporean technology corporations will explore and invest in the Vietnamese market, thus maintaining Singapore's leading investment position in Vietnam.

He also wished that more and more Vietnamese students will pursue their study in Singapore, which boasts good education, hence improving Vietnam's human resources quality.

He took the occasion to congratulate Singapore on its achievements in COVID-19 control, and thanked the country for its recent assistance for flood victims in central Vietnam.

For her part, Ambassador Wong said despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the bilateral cooperation has developed constantly, especially in economy. Singapore has become the leading investor in Vietnam, she noted, adding that this is considered an important achievement in the relationship between the two countries.

Vietnam is an important market for Singapore, and Singaporean investors are now looking for more opportunities to invest in the country, especially in priority areas such as innovation, development of smart cities, and startups.

Vietnam and Singapore are not only partners within ASEAN but also in international and regional forums, she said.

The diplomat congratulated Vietnam on its success as ASEAN 2020 Chair despite difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that Vietnam's initiatives have contributed to further fostering intra-bloc connection and cooperation.

Regarding multilateral trade liberalisation, Ambassador Wong highly valued Vietnam’s role in promoting the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in 2017 and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement in 2020.

She also praised Vietnam’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery efforts, expressing her hope that the two countries will work to soon re-open doors to each other as the pandemic is brought under control./.

Lam Dong authorities apply stricter measures as thousands of hectares of forest destroyed

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Thousands of hectares of forest destroyed in Lam Dong Province.

Lam Dong authorities have recalled several projects as it was discovered that 1,900 ha of forest land have been destroyed by incompetent firms. 

In the past years, Lam Dong authorities allocated 58,000ha of forest land to 489 projects from ecotourism to rubber plantations. However, hundreds of projects were behind schedule, ineffective or had different purposes compared to their original intent. Statistics from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment show that 1,900ha of forest land of 116 projects have been stolen.

Dai Ninh Commercial, Tourist, Resort, Ecological Urban Area Project in Duc Trong District let 258ha of natural forest be destroyed and over 118 hectares of forestry land were encroached upon. According to Duc Trong Forest Protection Unit, in most cases, the investors didn't inspect or prevent the destruction or encroachment at all. There are signs that the investors deliberately ignored the destructive activities.

The investors also failed to detect the case in which 86 pine trees were poisoned or when outsiders illegally planted industrial trees in their area. In 2020, the government inspectorate proposed to recall Dai Ninh Project.

An Phu Company which is responsible for the afforestation and forest management project was also shamed after 15.4 cubic metres of timber was found under three holes in their forest areas. The police launched an investigation into deforestation and Lam Dong People's Committee fined the company VND251m (USD10,800) for illegally building 14 houses and illegally converting 28ha of forest land for other usage.

As of now, Lam Dong authorities have recalled 160 projects and a part of the forest lands of 35 projects. The investors were asked to pay compensation of up to VND311bn. However, they have only paid VND40bn.

Vo Danh Tuyen, deputy director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said they were assigned the task to collect the compensation in August 2020. It's extremely hard to collect compensation money from investors whose projects have been recalled. They also lack detailed legal regulations to deal with stubborn investors.

"If investors try to delay or fail to obey, we'll propose to recall their projects or transfer the case to the police," he said.

Much awaited annual flower show to promote eco-friendly lifestyle

The 2021 Nguyen Hue Flower Street will open to the public from February 9 - February 15 (the 28th day of the last month – 4th day of the first month of the lunar calendar). 

The 18th edition of its kind themed “HCMC: Civilization – Modernity – Humanity” will include two topics, including “The way of convergence of identities” and “The way towards the future”.

According to Vietnamese Horoscope calendar, 2021 is the Year of the Ox which is chosen as the sacred animal of Nguyen Hue Flower Street.

Miniatures featuring 26 buffalos and using traditional environmentally-friendly materials will be arranged along the 415m-long flora street, presenting the unique cultural tradition of the Southern region.

While “The smart city” scenery placed at the end of the street will be designed as a large colorful flower garden, including works of art flower arrangement of 10 foreign consulates in HCMC.

The flower street's design will focus on conveying the green message, eco-friendly lifestyle to create the vivid breath of life.

The annual flower show is one of the events receiving the highest expectations of people during Tet holidays. The event is aimed to highlight Vietnamese Tet culture and has been held for 17 consecutive years, attracting more than one million visitors each year.

The must-see site on Tet holidays is sponsored by the HCMC Government, Saigontourist Holding Company in partnership with other agencies and businesses in the city.

Vietnamese in Laos register to return to Vietnam for Tet

The Vietnamese Embassy in Laos has issued guidance on how to register to return to Vietnam for the Tet Holiday amid the ongoing Covid-19 situation. 

As Laos continues to maintain closed border gates for most immigration activities until the end of January, the Vietnamese Embassy in the country said Vietnamese people that are working and studying in Laos should return to Vietnam via border gates after registering with the embassy and general consulates in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse.

The embassy and general consulates will collect the list and send it to the Lao authorities for review and approval. The list will be uploaded to the website of the embassy and other general consulates.

Over 50,000 Vietnamese have returned to Vietnam from Laos via border gates during the Covid-19 outbreak. In recent days, the number of people wanting to return to Vietnam has sharply increased. Over 1,125 people registered online with the embassy in Vientiane on January 5 alone.

HCMC petitions to pilot launch of electric buses

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The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has petitioned to pilot the launch of electric buses in the city, said the municipal Department of Transport yesterday. 

According to the Department, the city authority has sent its petition to the Prime Minister as the launch of the electric buses is in line with the city's goal to encourage bus services using clean energy.

Alongside, the People’s Committee proposed to collect price of electronic buses equal to that of compressed natural gas buses, an environmentally-friendly buses, running in the city. Fares are expected to be VND3,000 for students and VND5,000-7,000 for others.

The country’s largest private conglomerate Vingroup will manage electric buses for public transport.

The municipal People’s Committee will direct state related agencies to implement the proposed fare at first but later, the city will carry out bidding to adjust the fare as per the regulation. The pilot will be in two years.
After the piloting time, the city authority will review and assess the pilot of electronic buses for preparation of bidding and order of bus fleets from Vingroup.

Hospitals see decline in patients in 2020

The Department of Health yesterday said that there has been a decline of patients in 2020 whereas the number of patients increases continuously in the 2010-2019 period.

The Department explained the drop of patients in hospitals and medical centers in 2020 that because people are afraid of the development of the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the number of outpatients and inpatients in 2020 fell by 20.8 percent to 4.2 million people compared with 2019. Total number of inpatients and outpatients in the whole year decreased by 16.3 percent to 419,000 patients.

According to Associate Professor Tang Chi Thuong, Deputy Director of the Department of Health, the coronavirus pandemic will still develop complicatedly ; therefore, the policies of health insurance linkage at provincial level must take effect to reduce the pressure on big medical facilities in Ho Chi Minh City.

Moreover, the insurance agency has not paid all expenses to hospitals and hospitals must be self-financing in the following years. Public hospitals will face difficulties and challenges.

Accordingly, the health sector in the city petitioned the municipal People’s Committee to consult the government to have special policies to support public hospitals. 

Hanoi imposes hefty fines for mask violators

Stiffer fines will be given to people defying face mask rules in public areas, including hospitals, parking lots, public areas, wet markets, supermarkets and shopping malls.

Hanoi will impose hefty fines for failing to wear face masks in public, according to a document written by Vice Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Chu Xuan Dung.

The public places include hospitals, parking lots, public areas, wet markets, supermarkets and shopping malls.

Mr. Dung asked the functional forces to strictly supervise the compliance of masking rules in public places, especially the five above-mentioned locations.

"Over the past time, people’s compliance of masking regulation at crowded places in Hanoi is good, but still has not met the city's requirements. If people lower their guard in preventing Covid-19, it will likely lead to the spread of the pandemic in the community and neutralize the city's pandemic prevention and control efforts," Mr. Dung said.

Operators of tourist attractions, supermarkets, apartment buildings, bus stations, among other public places must be responsible for inspecting and strictly enforcing the regulation on donning of face masks.

Besides, the municipal government’s document stipulates fines for a number of other violations related to Covid-19 prevention and control.

Hanoi has gone nearly five months without detecting any new cases of Covid-19 in the community since August 17. However, according to experts, the risk of a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic is latent, so staying vigilant is a must, as cold and dry winter conditions favor the transmission of the virus.

As of January 13, Vietnam has recorded 1,520 Covid-19 cases, according to Ministry of Health statistics. Among them, 1,361 have recovered and been discharged from hospital. The death toll remains at 35.

Northern region to face another strong chill this weekend

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The northern region of Vietnam has been forecasted to experience another cold snap this weekend, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Since January 7, bone-chilling cold weather has ravaged the northern region and many central localities, ranging from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue provinces.   

The northern region of Vietnam has been forecasted to experience another cold snap this weekend. 


The lowest temperature in many localities ranged from 4-10 degrees centigrade. Some mountainous areas such as Sapa, Mau Son and Nghe An had temperatures of below zero.

Around 400 schools in the northern mountainous province of Son La allowed their students to stay at home from January 11 because of the chill.

More than 100 cattle have died in some mountainous areas of Lao Cai and Quang Tri provinces due to the cold weather.

The temperature has been predicted to be higher from January 13-16.

However, the northern and northern central localities would witness another chill this weekend with temperatures of between 4-10 degrees centigrade in early morning. Some northern mountainous areas would have temperatures of below zero.

People are advised to keep warm to protect their health in the cold weather, particularly those in mountainous areas.

Localities need to update weather information to decide whether local students should stay at home.

Mien Dong coach station starts selling Tet tickets 

Tet tickets for coach trips will be sold at the Mien Dong Coach Station from January 12, to February 7, said a representative of the operator of the station in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District.

Passengers can buy Tet tickets between 5.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. every day, said the representative.

Coach fares for trips from the station will increase by less than 40% over regular fares for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday from the 16th to 19th of the lunar December.

Meanwhile, from the 20th of the lunar December to the third day of the first lunar month of the Lunar New Year, the fares of trips to Quang Ngai and Thua Thien-Hue provinces will rise by less than 60%.

In addition, trips to Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum and Gia Lai will also see a similar increase during the period, the local media reported.

The fares of trips to other provinces will increase by up to 60% from the 24th of the lunar December to the fourth day of the first lunar month.

As for trips to Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai, the fares will rise by up to 40% from the 26th of the lunar December to the sixth day of the first lunar month.

HCM City authority directs to increase supervision on private educational facilities

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has directed to increase supervision on private educational facilities. 

In its document to the Department of Education and Training and people’s committees in 24 districts, the city authority asked above-mentioned bodies to tighten management and frequently pay visits to privately-owned educational facilities including higher educational institutions, high schools, preschools, foreign language centers to protect learners’ rights.

District administrations must regularly visit and monitor the activities of such licensed facilities to ensure its operation in comply with the regulation. Unlicensed facilities are not allowed to operate. Local administrations must keep an eye on illegally-operated educational facilities which causes security disorders and harms learners’ rights.

The document especially noticed that responsible administrators must enhance supervisions on private daytime nurseries to ensure children’s safety. The Department of Education and Training was asked to work with local authorities to frequently visit non-public schools especially following residents’ complaints which are published on the media.

The Department must update the names of non-public legally-operated schools in its portal Additionally, the Department must re-check the activities of foreign-invested schools which are teaching integrated education program, whether these foreign-invested schools change its activities according to the resolution 86/2018 in the second quarter, 2021.

The municipal People’s Committee will report these schools which have slowly changed as per the resolution to the Ministry of Education and Training to solve it thoroughly.

Lo Te- Rach Soi expressway put into operation

The Lo Te – Rach Soi expressway running from Van Cong Bridge in Can Tho City to Kien Giang Province’s Rach Gia City was officially put into exploitation yesterday.  

Senior leaders and delegates cut the ribbons on the Lo Te – Rach Soi expressway project opening ceremony
Accordingly, the expressway is part of the western section of North-South expressway with its length of over 51 kilometers, a width of 17 meters and four lanes for vehicles with a design speed of 100 kilometers per hour. 

The project had total investment capital of more than VND6,300 billion (US$272 million), including more than VND4,500 billion (US$194 million) from the Korean loan and the rest ones from state counterpart fund.

After coming into the operation, the Lo Te - Rach Soi expressway will contribute to reducing vehicle traffic volume and accidents on the National Highway No.80, and help to shorten travel duration from Can Tho City to Kien Giang Province from over 1 hour 30 minutes to about 50 minutes.

The automobiles are allowed to travel on Lo Te – Rach Soi expressway with maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Meanwhile, motorbikes and rudimentary means of transport will travel in parallel lines on the current National Highway No.80.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Transport Mr. Nguyen Van The stated that this would not only be a very important project, connecting with the economic hubs of the Mekong Delta but also open a new road linking Ho Chi Minh City with the southwestern provinces; thereby playing an important role for the promotion of socio-economic development, ensuring national security and defense of the region. In addition, the project success also demonstrates the friendship between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea.

Hanoi creates 180,500 jobs despite Covid-19

Hanoi has taken a number of measures to tighten the linkage between vocational education and businesses to develop the labor market.

More than 180,500 people got jobs in Hanoi in 2020 despite the negative impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on almost aspects of life, according to a city leader.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Chu Xuan Dung said the figure reached 116% of the plan, in which 2,570 workers were sent to work abroad, some 7,400 workers in rural areas found jobs via vocational training and 13,930 employees were recruited through the job transaction services. 

Mr. Dung said that Hanoi has taken a number of measures to tighten the linkage between vocational education with businesses so as to develop the labor market.

"Hanoi has intensified communication so that businesses can see the benefits of linking with job training centers. The city has also mobilized political and social organizations in ensuring the quality of job training as well as job creation," Mr. Dung said.

Hanoi also applied new technologies to build a system connecting supply and demand for training model with the participation of schools, enterprises and students.

Besides, the city also used the Anti-Unemployment Fund to train employees working in enterprises. This is considered as a preventive solution to combat unemployment and ensure social security.

The city also provided more information on the labor market, supports job seekers to post job resumes, and helps enterprises to post recruitment announcement through website:

Hanoi to test imported food for SARS-CoV-2

The capital is set to test all of the 100 samples of imported food for SARS-CoV-2 in order to ensure safety for local people during the upcoming 13th National Party Congress, according to Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Tuan outlined that inspectors from the Hanoi Department of Food Safety and Hygiene will take a total of 40 samples, while the Hanoi Industry and Trade Department will be taking 30 samples. In addition, a working group from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will be responsible for taking an additional 30 samples.

Tuan added that all of the collected samples will immediately be sent to CDC Hanoi who will conduct testing on them to detect SARS-CoV-2.

This comes after the Ministry of Health sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the People's Committees of various provinces and cites in late November to order to test samples of imported food packaging. This is aimed at checking items brought in from countries with large novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks in an effort to stop any potential exposure to the virus.

Earlier, Hanoi Mayor Chu Ngoc Anh also requested that all local administrations encourage people to strictly follow health recommendations, including wearing face masks and avoiding large gatherings in public spaces.

The municipal leader also underlined the need to closely monitor pandemic developments in the locality, whilst  swiftly responding to any emergency cases in an attempt to keep the virus at bay in the community.

Police forces in the capital have also been directed to actively co-ordinate alongside relevant agencies to control entries, thereby promptly preventing and strictly handling acts of illegal entry, as well as other violations relating to COVID-19 prevention and control regulations.

Hanoi Ornamental Creatures Festival 2021 underway

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Apart from bonsai showcasing and trading activities, there will be also various cultural and artistic performances to entertain visitors as well as celebrating the 13th Party Congress.

An ornamental creatures festival is underway from January 12 to 18, 2021 at My Dinh National Stadium in Nam Tu Liem district in celebration of the 13th National Party Congress and welcoming Vietnamese traditional Tet holiday. 

The festival showcases the beauty of thousands of ornamental works, including ornamental bonsai, feng-shui gemstones, driftwoods and bonsai driftwoods. This is considered an important trade promotion activity to fostering the development of the capital’s agriculture, presenting great opportunity for producers, businesses and consumers in the sector to meet and seek for cooperation in the future.

In addition to the display and sale of these ornamental creatures, there are also many cultural and artistic performances held during the festival to celebrate the 13th National Party Congress.

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Chi, Deputy Chief of the Standing Office of the New Rural Coordination Office in Hanoi, Director of the Rural Development Sub-Department of Hanoi city, ornamental creatures are no longer purely a fancy hobby of the inhabitants of Hanoi today, but have also officially become a sector that contributes to promoting rural economic development. 

The activities of the capital’s Ornamental Creatures Association in recent years have not only contributed directly to the process of restructuring the agricultural sector in the direction of enhancing added value and sustainable development, but also contributed positively in the construction of a new countryside and a civilized city in Hanoi.

Besides the famous traditional flower villages and concentrated flower cultivation areas, Hanoi is also the leading locality in developing tourism at the ornamental creature villages. Some renown names are Hong Van Ornamental Creatures Village in Hong Van commune, Thuong Tin district; Van Phuc flower market in Ha Dong district and Quang Ba flower market in Tay Ho district, among others.

Hanoi tests 100 imported frozen food samples for corona virus

All samples will be sent to the Hanoi CDC for corona virus testing.

Hanoi’ food safety inspection teams will take 100 samples of imported frozen food to test for SARS-CoV-2 virus by January 25, according to the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The move aims to assess the risk of Covid-19 disease transmission.

Specifically, the inspection team of the Hanoi Department of Food Safety and Health will take 40 samples, the team of the Department of Industry and Trade and the one from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development each will take 30 samples.

All samples will be sent to the Hanoi CDC for corona virus testing.

Besides, the municipal government also requires food producers and traders to keep hygiene and periodically disinfect; arrange receptionists for measuring customers’ body temperature; place hand sanitizer solutions in a convenient location for customers and ask customers to obey masking regulations.

Facilities reserve the right to refuse customers who are not wearing a mask. The facilities who do not comply with Covid-19 prevention protocols will be fined or even closed.

Previously, at the end of November 2020, the Ministry of Health asked the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Industry and Trade, Finance and the people's committees of provinces and cities to enforce measures for strictly controlling food imported from countries infected with Covid-19, especially frozen foods.

Vietnam Fatherland Front to uphold consultation role in general election

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) chapters at all levels must well perform their duties in holding consultations to select and nominate candidates for the election of deputies to the National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils in the 2021-2026 tenure, said President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man.

Man, who is also Vice Chairman of the National Election Committee (NEC) and head of the VFF’s steering committee for election affairs, told the steering committee’s first session on January 13 that the general election is an important event with close connection with personnel affairs and the responsibility of all-level authorities and sectors.

In the spirit, he stressed that preparations for the election must be done in a serious and democratic manner in accordance with laws.

He required all-level VFF chapters to participate in the supervision of the election, and coordinate with same-level People’s Committees, People’s Councils to set up organisations for consultation work in candidate nomination, ensuring objectivity, impartiality, and accuracy.

According to the official, the standing board of the VFF’s Central Committee has issued plans and documents regulating and guiding consultation work in candidate nomination.

The board will also receive citizens as well as petitions and denunciations related to the election in line with regulations.

As scheduled, after the NEC holds a national training conference on preparations for the election, the VFF will also organize a national online training conference on the work for organisations in its system.

The first consultation conference on candidate nomination will take place on February 5. The second conference will be held before March 19 and the third before April 18.

The election of deputies to the National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils in the 2021-2026 tenure is slated to be held on May 23, 2021./.

People urged to enhance vigilance against terrorist organisation

People should stay vigilant against the “Trieu Dai Viet” (Viet Dynasty) that has been identified as a terrorist organisation by the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, a police officer has said.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Major General Bui Thanh Ha, deputy head of the ministry’s domestic security department, said people should be aware of plots, operational methods and activities of the organisation and its danger, as well as consequences of terrorist acts.

On January 5, the ministry announced that the Canada-based “Trieu dai Viet” is a terrorist organisation.

Established by former members of a terrorist organisation called “Provisional National Government of Vietnam” in January 2018, the “Trieu Dai Viet” is operating many websites and media channels.

Its leaders are Ngo Van Hoang Hung who has Canadian citizenship, Tran Thanh Dinh with German citizenship, Ngo Manh Cuong with French citizenship and Huynh Thanh Hoang with US citizenship.

The organisation operates in the forms of conducting armed rebellions, providing finance and instructing its units in Vietnam to carry out terrorist and destruction activities; and inciting people to stage demonstrations and engage in riots to overthrow the administration.

It has sent tens of thousands of USD and hundreds of millions of VND to its members in Vietnam to set up “military zones,” recruit supporters, expand activities, purchase weapons, make explosive devices, and put forth attack plans on State agencies, armed force units and public places.

In June 2018, Hung instructed a group of six people to stage an attack using TNT explosive at the police station of ward 12, Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Ha, the organisation also plotted the establishment of armed groups to conduct terrorist attacks, which, however, were swiftly prevented by security forces.

It has made use of the cyber space, particularly Youtube and Facebook, to publish video clips promoting itself and distorting the Party’s policies and guidelines, and the State’s laws, and inciting people to engage in demonstrations and disturbances.

Competent agencies have so far arrested, prosecuted and tried 17 people and put two other members of the organisation on the wanted list on the charge of “terrorism against people’s administration.”

In the announcement, the ministry said anyone who participate in the organisation, lure others to join it, sponsor and receive sponsorship from it, take part in its training courses, and follow its instructions have committed the crime of “terrorism” and “sponsoring terrorism” and will be handled pursuant to Vietnam’s law.

Terrorism is an extremely serious crime that violates the interests of the State, organisations and individuals, Ha said, suggesting the public study legal regulations on anti-terrorism, report terrorist acts and closely coordinate with competent agencies in the fight against terrorism./.

IMF hails Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention efforts

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COVID-19 patients in Da Nang are given the all-clear.

Vietnam has shown that there is indeed an effective way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, even in the absence of a vaccine that can allow an economy to recover, according to Helge Berger, Assistant Director of the Asia & Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a post in The Print, an Indian online newspaper, he described local restrictions and rapid testing and tracing as some of the key measures adopted in Vietnam in response to the outbreak.

He stressed that Vietnam’s experience in prevention can be replicated in low-income countries facing pressure in acquiring sufficient doses of vaccine.

Vaccines are, however, what will be needed to ensure all economies return to normal, he added.

Meanwhile, Radio France Internationale (RFI), a French public radio service, said that Vietnam is one of only a few Asian countries to effectively control the pandemic.

The country has considerable experience in disease prevention, RFI quoted Dr Truong Huu Khanh, head of the infectious and neurological diseases department at the Children’s Hospital No 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, as saying.

Vietnam closed its border to China right after COVID-19 was detected in its northern neighbour. One of the most important factors, according to Khanh, is that the country has maintained strict management over arrivals from overseas.

Tracing the close contacts of COVID-19 patients contributed greatly to its success, with very few cases of community transmission being recorded. Most infections in the country are imported.

As the pandemic was brought under control quickly and social distancing measures were only in place for three months, Vietnam’s economy escaped recession in 2020 and was one of the few to post growth, at 2.9 percent, RFI said./.

COVID-19: Khanh Hoa province told to stay alert as Tet approaches

The central province of Khanh Hoa has been asked to stay vigilant in COVID-19 prevention and control, especially when the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday is just around the corner.

There are currently eight concentrated quarantine sites in Khanh Hoa, able to accommodate 1,250 people. Twenty-eight hotels with more than 5,200 rooms have also been designated as quarantine facilities, Director of the provincial Health Department Bui Xuan Minh told a delegation from the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on January 13.

So far, the province has provided quarantine for over 11,200 Vietnamese returning from abroad and 576 foreigners coming to work in the country. It has recorded 76 cases of COVID-19, 63 of whom have recovered.

Minh said Khanh Hoa has carried out all solutions and seriously complied with regulations on entry management, quarantine, and health monitoring to prevent coronavirus transmission.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dinh Van Thieu said travel demand is predicted to surge in the run up to Tet, but the Khanh Hoa steering board for COVID-19 prevention and control has called on local families recommend their overseas relatives against returning to Vietnam amid complex developments of the pandemic at present.

He noted that local medical supplies now basically meet COVID-19 testing and treatment requirements.

However, as the province houses seaports and an international airport, it still faces a high risk of a new virus outbreak, Thieu admitted, proposing more medical supplies be given to Khanh Hoa to improve its responsiveness.

Speaking highly of the province’s readiness for the COVID-19 combat, Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong requested vigilance be sustained as Tet is approaching.

He also asked the province to promote quarantine capacity, the monitoring of quarantine establishments, testing, communications to raise public awareness, and training for frontline forces.

As of late January 13, the COVID-19 tally in Vietnam stood at 1,521, including 693 domestic infections. Total recoveries reached 1,369 while the number of fatalities is still kept at 35./.

Book features top leader’s articles on preparations for 13th National Party Congress

The Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper and the Truth National Political Publishing House have recently published the book titled “Tam nhin chien luoc va y chi vuon len cua dan toc” (The strategic vision and the nation's will to rise up) to welcome the upcoming 13th National Party Congress which is scheduled to open on January 25.

The 560-page book contains three articles written by Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong on the preparations and organisation of the Party Congresses at all levels and the 13th National Party Congress, as well as profound and wholehearted viewpoints, directions and perspectives of the top leader.

It also includes articles and ideas of researchers, leading officials, managers and readers nationwide, analysing and showing support for the content and ideological values of the top leader's three articles which were published on the Nhan Dan Newspaper and mass media.

The three articles not only are valuable for the preparations and organisation of the Congress, but also show a strategic vision; a scientific, dialectical and historical method of thinking; a new perspective and assessment of each issue of the Party, the country and the daily life before each new stage of development.

They are expected to help reform the Party’s leadership over organisations in the political system as well each sector and each industry, and better the Party building and rectification work in terms of politics, ideology, organisation and personnel, and inspire all potential and resources to create a new driver for rapid and sustainable development.

Vo Van Thuong, Politburo member, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, on January 13 presented the copies of the book to major libraries so as to popularise the Party and State leader’s viewpoints, directions and new, profound and wholehearted perspectives to Party organisations and members, and people from all walks of life./.