The 13th National Party Congress is scheduled to take place in Hanoi from January 25 to February 2. To prepare for this key event, the entire political system in the city has been actively and comprehensively taking part in preparations.
 
Flags, colourful flowers, and banners for the 13th National Party Congress are a common sight on Hanoi’s streets these days, creating a vibrant and joyful atmosphere for residents.

Local authorities have taken measures to ensure the best logistics services are available as well as environmental sanitation and social order and security.

Under the direction of city leaders, from January 20 to February 2 the entire city must prepare for the 13th National Party Congress. Environmental sanitation is hugely important, especially in central and inner districts.

Along with urgent tasks assigned by the local government, special attention is being paid to the task of ensuring social security and order as well as traffic order.

All logistical preparations have now been basically completed. Everyone is happy and excited about the upcoming 13th National Party Congress./.

Health Ministry readies medical plans for National Party Congress

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Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long inspects medical preparations for the 13th National Party Congress


Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on January 23 inspected medical preparations for the 13th National Party Congress at the Party Central Committee's Office and four accommodation facilities for delegates.

The minister checked the second collection of samples for COVID-19 testing from staff serving the Congress, body temperature screening and disinfectant spraying at entry and exit areas, medicines and equipment at medical and quarantine rooms, and kitchens.

According to the Ministry of Health, over 10,000 samples of delegates and staff from units concerned tested negative once.

Long said the ministry established three units gathering top medical experts and professors at the My Dinh National Convention Centre.

There are medical rooms at hotels serving delegates with enough medicines. They were required to promptly offer medicines to delegates when requested.

Competent agencies have also partnered with the Hanoi Sub-Department of Food Hygiene and Safety to check all stages of food, from farming, processing to cooking.

The ministry also worked with the municipal authorities, the Ministry of National Defence, Ministry of Public Security and other units to readily respond to other medical contingencies.

About 500 medical staff were deployed to serve the 13th National Party Congress, around 300 of them will stay on duty at meeting venues and lodging facilities.

Earlier, Long and leaders of the Health Ministry chaired meetings with ministries and agencies to ensure health care services for the event./.

Finland provides 100 mln USD for public sector investment in Vietnam

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The signing of the bilateral Framework Agreement on the use of Public Sector Investment Facility (PIF) between Vietnam and Finland takes place on January 21. (Photo: Embassy of Finland in Hanoi)


Finland will provide more than 100 million USD for public investment projects in Vietnam, starting from 2021, under a bilateral Framework Agreement on the use of Public Sector Investment Facility (PIF) backed and guaranteed by the Finnish Government.

The signing took place on January 21 after several rounds of negotiations between the governments. The signatory from the Vietnamese side was Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha and from the Finnish side was Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto.

The PIF supports the public sector investments in developing countries in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and utilise Finnish expertise and technology. It supports investment projects in social services provision, such as water supply, environmental sanitation, environment protection, climate change response, energy, and clean technology.

In a pre-recorded remark, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari said he expects with the PIF, Vietnam will have additional public funding while companies from Finland with years of experience, expertise, and suitable technology solutions can gain broader access to the Vietnamese market.

The implementation of the agreement will play a vital part in nurturing the long-term and effective partnership between Finland and Vietnam, the minister said.

Vietnam and Finland has established diplomatic ties more than five decades ago. Two-way trade has increased four times over the last 10 years. Thousands Vietnamese students are pursuing education in Finland./.

Necessary conditions ready for 13th National Party Congress

All necessary conditions are ready for successfully organising the 13th National Party Congress which will place in Hanoi from January 25 to February 2, Nguyen Dac Vinh, Deputy Chief of the Office of the Party Central Committee, told Vietnam News Agency on January 22.

The Party Central Committee and its Politburo and Secretariat have paid special attention to the preparation work for the 13th National Party Congress, he said, adding that the Party Central Committee set up five sub-committees for the work since October 2018. To date, all preparations are basically complete.

Vinh said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the preparation and organisation of local Party congresses towards the 13th National Party Congress. Some Party congresses at grass-root levels were postponed to focus efforts on COVID-19 response.

Despite such challenge, all 67 centrally-run Party organisations successfully organised congresses as of October 29 last year, two days ahead the schedule, he added.

He went on to say that though Vietnam has put the COVID-19 under control, there are risks of imported cases, threatening to cause community infections. This sets high requirements for the delivery of healthcare services for all delegates to as well as those serving the congress, he said.

The organising sub-committee has devised plans with specific preventive measures to ensure the highest safety for the delegates to the congress.

All deputies and concerned people are tested for the novel coronavirus twice before the congress takes place while specific regulations and guidelines on on pandemic prevention and control have been issued, he continued.

The organising sub-committee has also conducted a drill on COVID-19 emergency, he noted, adding that the medical team has closely coordinated with relevant agencies to exercise over the past several days and is ready to provide the best they can to contribute to the success of the congress./.

13th National Party Congress press centre opens

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Delegates cut ribbon to inaugurate press centre serving 13th National Party Congress


The Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education opened a press centre serving the upcoming 13th National Party Congress at a ceremony in Hanoi on January 22.

The centre is within the National Convention Centre.

Le Manh Hung, Vice Chairman of the commission and director of the press centre, said it offers the best conditions possible for the work of nearly 500 reporters and technicians from 191 domestic news agencies as well as more than 160 reporters from 110 foreign media outlets, of whom close to 100 will cover the event online.

The centre arranges venues and provides technical assistance for participating press agencies, including key agencies such as Vietnam Television, Voice of Vietnam, the Vietnam News Agency, the Nhan dan (People) Newspaper, and the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper.

Meanwhile, the standing board of the centre together with a health sub-committee serving the congress have conducted COVID-19 tests for Vietnamese and foreign reporters and technicians, as well as staff serving the congress. Regulations on interviews of delegates and news coverage have already been issued.

A corner showcasing publications serving the 13th National Party Congress was also opened.

Covering 300 sq m, on showcase are 2,000 publications from major press agencies and 30 publishing houses and units.

A highlight of the exhibition is an area zoned off for e-books, with a total of 152 titles.

An area for delegates to buy publications is connected to the exhibition, which features a map of Vietnam assembled from 406 books on President Ho Chi Minh, with the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos assembled from books on seas and islands.

A stamp set marking the Congress was also released.

Designed by artist To Minh Trang, it is available at the public postal network from January 22 to December 31, 2022.

The 13th National Party Congress is scheduled to take place in the capital from January 25 to February 2./.

Universities offer free online courses for everyone

Many universities in Việt Nam are developing free massive open online courses (MOOCs) in an aim to contribute to a learning society available to everyone in the community.

HCM City Open University, for instance, last weekend launched Việt Nam’s massive open online courses platform, called VMOOC, with more than 40 free courses in fields such as business administration, finance-banking, law, foreign languages and others.

The university is co-operating with Hà Nội Open University to develop further VMOOCs.

Dr Phan Thị Ngọc Thanh, director of the ELearning Center at HCMC Open University, said that courses last for four to six weeks and are open to anyone.

Course participants only need a computer with an internet connection, or a smartphone or other mobile devices, to take part in these courses anywhere and at any time.

Integrated lessons between theory and practice are offered. The courses are based on standards from the US Quality Matters, a leading global organisation promoting quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments.

Prof Nguyễn Minh Hà, rector of HCM City Open University, said: “E-learning is being strongly developed in the country. This development is the inevitable trend of the 4.0 technology revolution era.”

“Online training is gradually asserting the importance of meeting people’s learning needs anywhere and at any time,” Hà added.

“VMOOCs will provide free online courses to spread knowledge to the community,” he said.

VMOOC is a digital platform that meets goals of the country’s project "Developing Digitalized Vietnamese Knowledge Systems" which has been carried out since 2018.

The aim is to build a data foundation and disseminate knowledge in socio-economic fields and science and technology to create conditions for the community to contribute, share and exploit, he added.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Văn Phúc said: “The development of MOOCs around the world is the premise and the driving force for Vietnam to move towards. Việt Nam's educational development now and in future cannot be separated from the application of technology in the implementation process.

Besides traditionally training programs, the ministry welcomes massive open online training models like VMOOCs because they contribute to realising the Party and State’s policy to reform the open education system, creating learning conditions for everyone in the country,” Phúc added.

He asked other universities in the country to develop VMOOCs to diversify content and programmes so that all people have an opportunity to access higher education.

Vũ Thị Tú Anh, deputy director-general of the Continuing Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training, said: “We have to improve people's knowledge and ensure educational opportunities for everyone.”

Universities should have the responsibility to develop open materials to help everyone have access to higher education as other countries do, Anh said.

“Studying is not only done to obtain a degree, but improve knowledge and skills for working. It is a daily living need. Each Vietnamese person should take advantage of this open material source,” she added.

VMOOCs help ensure that no one is left behind in the country, she added.

Anh said the ministry was setting up a legal framework to recognise lifelong learning.

Trương Tiến Tùng, rector of Hà Nội Open University, said: “We will continue to co-operate with other universities toward the goal of developing an open educational ecosystem contributing to Việt Nam’s learning society.”

In Southeast Asia, Singapore and Malaysia developed an open education system very early. As a result, Malaysia increased the number of people with access to higher education from 10 per cent in 2010 to 33 per cent in 2018. Malaysia's goal is to increase the rate to 50 per cent by 2030. 

Metropole hotel to host magic show

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French illusionist Stefan Leyshon performs at Metropole Hanoi on every Friday until February 5.

Metropole Hanoi is hosting a series of magic shows with acclaimed French illusionist Stefan Leyshon.

Performing on stage as a magician since the age of 11, Stefan has since appeared in more than 300 TV performances and designed contemporary magic creations for several luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Citroen.

Designed to bring all emotions together, during the show, the audience will also be served gourmet bites and glasses of champagne.

The event takes place at L'Orangerie on every Friday until February 5. For more information and reservations, please contact at 0243 826 6919 (ext. 8200) or email h1555-fb3@sofitel.com. 

Flood-affected people receive support from donors

More than 1,500 poor people, of which 1,000 were children, in flood-affected Nam Trà My district of Quảng Nam Province received free examinations and medicine in a joint-health care charity programme by the Đà Nẵng-Hoàn Mỹ Hospital and VinaCapital Foundation.

The programme was one of a series of charity activities by Vinacapital and donors in providing post-disaster relief for local people in the most damaged communes due to floods, storms and landslides in the province between September and November.

Following the programme, 10 grassroots health centres were repaired, while water filter systems and medical equipment were donated to the flood-damaged areas.

Medical staff were also trained on first aid and quick treatments.

According to doctors from Hoàn Mỹ Đà Nẵng hospital, more than 20,000 children in central Việt Nam were provided with free examinations for congenital heart disease in 12 charity health care programmes by the hospital in 2020.

At least 200 children who suffered congenital heart disease received free surgeries at the hospital from the programmes.

Doctors from the hospital also offered free training sessions for 1,000 nursery teachers at kindergartens in Đà Nẵng on first aid for kids in 2020.

Meanwhile, VNĐ500 million ($22,000), which was raised from a musical performance organised by the Trưng Vương Theatre in Đà Nẵng and ‘Green Dream’ charity club, has been sent to help disaster-affected poor people in mountainous areas of Quảng Nam Province before Tết (lunar New Year). 

Proposal to broaden Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway

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Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway - the southern gateway to Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo 
HÀ NỘI — Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ BOT (build-operate-transfer) Joint Stock Company has sent a proposal to the National Assembly’s Economic Committee to broaden the Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway from the current six lanes to eight or 10 lanes.

The project will be constructed under the BOT form.

Phạm Văn Khôi, General Director of the firm, said that according to the design, the six-lane road can handle a maximum flow of about 92,000 cars per day.

However, the actual traffic volume in 2020 reached more than 100,000 cars per day.

“If the road is not widened, traffic congestion on the expressway will continue to occur, especially during Tết holidays,” Khôi said.

However, he said, according to the current regulations for BOT-invested road projects, broadening the road was not consistent with Resolution 437/2017 of the National Assembly Standing Committee.

“Therefore, Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ BOT Joint Stock Company sends a proposal to the National Assembly's Economic Committee, that will report to the National Assembly Standing Committee for the adjustment and supplementation of the Resolution 437 to expand the scale of the expressway,” Khôi said.

If the proposal is approved, the company will implement the project over there to five years, according to Khôi.

"According to the initial calculation, the total investment for the expansion is about VNĐ5 trillion (US$216.55 million), including compensation for site clearance," said Khôi.

The VNĐ6.7 trillion-invested Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway is the southern gateway to Hà Nội and has a total length of about 29 kilometres.

HCM City allocates land for physical training and sports facilities

HCM City will give priority to land in areas such as Thủ Đức City, Cần Giờ and Bình Chánh districts to develop physical facilities, according to the city’s People Committee

Võ Văn Hoan, vice chairman of the city’s People Committee, has directed the city’s Department of Culture and Sports to coordinate with relevant departments to allocate land for sports facilities.

The city’s Department of Planning and Architecture will be responsible for adding sports facility projects to the urban development master plan.

For large residential projects, the Planning and Investment Department requires contractors to arrange land to build physical training and sports facilities.

The department will also call for investment for new sport centres in the city.

The department will work with the city’s Department of Culture and Sports to advise the People's Committee on annual sport activities, sport competitions at the high school level, and improvement of the activities of the sport federation.

Meanwhile, the Department of Culture and Sports will be responsible for implementing a number of projects under the project "Development of the city sport industry until 2035".

The department will focus on investing in and upgrading facilities for the sport industry.

In the mid-2000s, HCM City was the leading province in the country in sport facilities.

At that time, each district set a target to have at least one indoor sport centre, swimming pool, and outdoor stadium to meet the training needs of its residents.

In recent years, the population density in city has increased, and sport facilities no longer meet the needs of local residents. 

ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 adopted

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VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 24

The first ASEAN Digital Ministers’ Meeting (ADGMIN1) wrapped up on January 22 after two days of sitting and adopted the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 (ADM 2025).

The document looks to digital cooperation among the regional nations during the 2021-2025 period to turn ASEAN into a leading digitally connected community and economic bloc powered by digital transformation services, modern technology, ecological system and cyber security guarantee.

It comprises eight key desired outcomes, including speeding up ASEAN recovery from COVID-19, increase in the quality and coverage of fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure, delivery of trusted digital services and prevention of consumer harm, a sustainable competitive market for the supply of digital services, increase in the quality and use of e-government services, digital services to connect businesses and facilitate cross-border trade, increased capacity of businesses and people to participate in the digital economy, and a digitally inclusive society in ASEAN.

The meeting adopted the Putrajaya Declaration “ASEAN: A digitally connected community”  and agreed to hold the second meeting and a meeting with dialogue partners and the International Telecommunication Union in Myanmar later this year./.

Argentine expert attributes Vietnam’s successes to Party's sound leadership

Chairwoman of the Argentina-Vietnam Culture Institute (ICAV) Poldi Sosa Schmidt has attributed Vietnam’s successes to the sound and ingenious leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and consensus of the whole nation.

In an interview recently granted to the Vietnam News Agency's reporter in Buenos Aires, Poldi Sosa said throughout its revolutionary history, the CPV has always played a vanguard role and gathered people from walks of life under its fighting flag to make Vietnam an independent and sovereign nation. Following national reunification later, the CPV continued affirming its leadership role and mapped out development orientations, riding Vietnam through challenges to gradually prosper economically. In recent years, Vietnam’s position and voice have been increasingly respected on the international arena.

Poldi Sosa said that she has taken ICAV delegations to Vietnam nearly 20 times since 1998. The country’s changes happen every day and take her from surprise to surprise. The Vietnamese people’s lives have improved significantly over time and the nation has become a destination that many international friends always expect.

She described the upcoming 13th National Congress of the CPV as a significant event to review successes and shortcomings in the past five years, and outline orientations for Vietnam in the next period amid complicated and uncertain developments in the region and the world.

 

With solidarity and high consensus in the Party, she believed that the 13th National Party Congress will be a success, opening up a new period of development and success for Vietnam.

The ICAV Chairwoman regularly studies Vietnam’s issues via books published in Spanish language and magazines with stories about its history and people. When Vietnam is preparing for the 13th National Party Congress, she frequently checks information about this important political event on the Internet to share with her friends as well as at events organised by the ICAV to popularise Vietnam.

In her young age, Poldi Sosa also joined movements protesting the war in Vietnam. She founded ICAV and served as its Chairwoman so far, creating a bridge to foster friendship and solidarity with the Vietnamese people, as well as stepping up activities to popularise Vietnam’s culture and people to Argentine friends./.

Russian Communist Party's leader sends greetings to 13th National Party Congress

The official website of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) on January 22 published the full letter of congratulations of its leader Gennady Ziuganov to the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

On behalf of the KPRF Central Committee, Ziuganov sent his greetings to delegates, Party members and the entire Vietnamese people on the occasion of the 13th National Party Congress – an important political event in the lives of the Vietnamese Party and State.

He described the Congress as an important milestone on the way to reform, and to review previous tasks and outline new measures for the future.

According to him, the CPV was a pioneer of the Vietnamese people and an example of sacrifice in the struggle for freedom and future of socialism during years of fighting invading imperialists. Following the teachings of its founder President Ho Chi Minh, the CPV continued raising the fighting flag for socialism, maintaining its leadership role and socialism orientations, showing the world the fairness of Lenin's thought and supremacy of socialism ideology.

Under the CPV's leadership, Vietnam has been steadfast on the path of development with marked successes in industry, agriculture, national defence, science, culture, education, health care and improving people’s lives, turning itself into one of the most vibrant economies with high prestige in the world, Ziuganov wrote .

The Congress will devise strategic goals till 2030 when the CPV will celebrate its 100th founding anniversary, as well as set out socio-economic development orientations till 2045 when Vietnam will mark its 100th anniversary.

Ziuganov affirmed that the KPRF and CPV have shared decades-long fraternal friendship and fight for the common goals and for socialism, adding that the KPRF is willing to cooperate with the CPV.

He wished that the 13th National Congress of the CPV will be a success and issue important policies for happiness of the people and prosperity of the country./.

Photo exhibition celebrates National Party Congress

A photo exhibition was opened on January 22 at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in celebration of the 13th National Party Congress. 

On display are 100 big-sized black & white and colour photos selected from tens of thousands of images in Vietnam News Agency’s archives.

They provide a comprehensive view of the country’s major successes and achievements during the glorious struggle against foreign invaders and national construction and safeguarding under the Communist Party of Vietnam’s leadership over the last 91 years, since the Party was founded on February 3, 1930.

The exhibition will last through February 2, 2021./.

National flags, President Ho Chi Minh's portraits handed over to fishermen

Border guards in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on January 23 handed over 300 national flags, 100 portraits of late President Ho Chi Minh and 60 life jackets to fishermen in Tran De border district.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Political Commissar of the provincial Border Guard Command Col. Le Van Anh said the activity is part of the programme “For the sea and island sovereignty of the Fatherland” to encourage residents in border areas and fishermen to firmly safeguard border sovereignty and security, make achievements in celebration of the 13th National Party Congress.

On the occasion, local youth unions and border guards launched the programme “Let’s clean up the sea” to collect garbage in Cho hamlet in Trung Binh commune and Tran De town in Tran De district./.

Flood-affected people in Quang Nam receive support from donors

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A doctor examines a child in Nam Tra My district of Quang Nam province. (Photo courtesy of Da Nang-Hoan My Hospital)


More than 1,500 poor people, of which 1,000 were children, in flood-affected Nam Tra My district of central Quang Nam province received free examinations and medicine in a joint-health care charity programme by the Da Nang-Hoan My Hospital and VinaCapital Foundation.

The programme was one of a series of charity activities by Vinacapital and donors in providing post-disaster relief for local people in the most damaged communes due to floods, storms and landslides in the province between September and November 2020.

Following the programme, 10 grassroots health centres were repaired, while water filter systems and medical equipment were donated to the flood-damaged areas.

Medical staff were also trained on first aid and quick treatment.

According to doctors from Da Nang Hoan My Hospital, more than 20,000 children in central Vietnam were provided with free examinations for congenital heart disease in 12 charity health care programmes by the hospital in 2020.

At least 200 children who suffered congenital heart disease received free surgeries at the hospital from the programmes.

Doctors from the hospital also offered free training sessions for 1,000 nursery teachers at kindergartens in Da Nang on first aid for kids in 2020.

Meanwhile, 500 million VND (22,000 USD), which was raised from a musical performance organised by the Trung Vuong Theatre in Da Nang and ‘Green Dream’ charity club, has been sent to help disaster-affected poor people in mountainous areas of Quang Nam province before Tet (lunar New Year)./.

Vietnamese expats in Cambodia look forward to 13th National Party Congress

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Vietnamese expats in Cambodia at the Tet festival held by the Vietnamese General Consulate


Vietnamese expatriates in Cambodia pin high hopes on the upcoming 13th National Party Congress, expecting for more effective policies and guidelines to support Vietnamese nationals who have always turned their hearts to the homeland.

Tran Van Bao, Chairman of the Khmer-Vietnamese Association in Battambang province, expressed his pride when recalling Vietnam’s good control of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year, holding that under the sound leadership of the Party and State, the country overcame a gloomy time when it was battered by both the outbreak and serious flooding in the central region.

Bao said the Vietnamese expats are expecting that more practical support policies will be adopted at the 13th National Party Congress to help them gain a legal status in Cambodia so as to ensure stable lives for their children as well as further contributions to the homeland.

Besides, they wished for the better citizen protection work, as well as more assistance in preserving Vietnamese traditional culture in foreign countries, he added.

Meanwhile, Le Thi Thuy Linh, a teacher in Siem Reap province, hoped that the 13th National Party Congress will outline rational policies to promote solidarity among expatriates, while expecting for more programmes to support education for younger generations so that they can integrate easily into the world.

According to Vietnamese Consul General in Battambang Le Tuan Khanh, at the conference held at the end of 2020 to collect opinions of Vietnamese citizens in Battambang, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat and Pailin provinces on draft documents to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress, they expressed their delight at the country’s achievements across various sectors after 35 years of Doi Moi (Renewal), with high economic growth, well-developed infrastructure, improved living conditions of people, and the country’s increasing position and role on the international arena.

They have kept a close watch on the country’s development, and supported the nation’s fight against corruption as well as policies to popularise the country’s image and encourage patriotism among its citizens.

They do hope that the Party will have more practical and effective policies to create favourable conditions for them to work and live in the host nation, ensuring the Vietnamese expats are always an indispensable part of the great national solidarity bloc, the diplomat added./.

Vice President pays pre-Tet visit to poor workers in Binh Duong

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh on January 22 led a delegation visiting poor employees at the Vietnam Dairy Factory at the My Phuoc II Industrial Park in the southern province of Binh Duong on the threshold of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Thinh praised the efforts of the company as well as other enterprises in Binh Duong to ensure stable livelihoods for workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delegation presented Tet gifts and 1 million VND (43 USD) in cash each to 80 workers in difficult circumstances and their children.

According to the provincial Labour Confederation, despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, most companies and enterprises in the locality gave Tet bonuses to their employees.

Free bus tickets were presented to 4,000 workers who could not afford the fare back to their hometown for Tet.

Local authorities and trade unions also presented 13,000 Tet gifts to local workers and 4,000 gift packages to those severely affected by COVID-19.

Also the same day, Thinh paid pre-Tet visits to former leaders of the Party and State, veteran revolutionaries and retired officials in Ho Chi Minh City./.

COVID-19 continues developing complicatedly in Southeast Asian nations

Indonesia’s Health Ministry announced 13,632 COVID-19 cases on January 22, bringing the total to 965,283, with the death toll adding by 250 to 27,453.

According to the ministry, 8,357 more people were discharged from hospitals on the day, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 781,147.

The Indonesian government, therefore, decided to extend the current period of public activity restrictions (PPKM) for another two weeks in Java and Bali, from January 26 to February 8, as the country’s ever-increasing COVID-19 infection rate is expected to exceed the 1 million-mark in the coming days.

The country’s Health Ministry has also asked hospitals nationwide to convert 40 percent of their health service capacity for COVID-19 treatment.

It also asked all hospitals to convert 25 percent of ICU room capacity to provide ICU services to COVID-19 inpatients.

On January 22, the Philippine Department of Health reported 2,178 new cases, raising the tally to 509,887. Meanwhile, the number of fatalities increased by 20 to 10,136, and additional 250 patients were given the all-clear, bringing the total number of recoveries to 467,720.

Thailand recorded additional 308 new cases, including 12 imported cases, on the same day.

The total number of infections reached 13,104, including 71 fatalities.

Meanwhile, two more infections were recorded in Laos on the day, raising the tally to 43. The country has to date reported no deaths related to the pandemic.

On the same day, Myanmar received 1.5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine supplied by India to inoculate 750,000 people, the first vaccine batch delivered to the Southeast Asian country as it fights one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the region.

After containing the number of COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the pandemic, Myanmar is now struggling with a second wave, recording more than 136,000 cases and 3,000 deaths./.

Quang Ninh sets up more cameras along border to prevent COVID-19

More cameras have been set up in the border city of Mong Cai in northern Quang Ninh province to step up efforts in tackling COVID-19 by preventing illegal entry and smuggling, according to the Mong Cai People’s Committee.

Thirty-seven additional cameras have been installed in key locations along the border, concentrated quarantine sites, and the inspection post at Dan Tien Port, bringing the total in Mong Cai to 126.

Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) cameras with night vision, which allow for processing data and information on illegal entries, have been set up at hotspots in Ka Long ward and Bac Son commune.

In addition to Mong Cai, two other border localities - Hai Ha and Binh Lieu districts - are also working to pinpoint suitable locations for cameras.

More than 100 illegal entries are discovered in Vietnam every day on average and as many as 500 on some days, while relevant agencies and police in border localities have been urged to take stronger action to identify and strictly deal with cases./.

Fatherland Front moves to prepare for general election

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee held a national teleconference on January 22 to provide instructions on handling affairs relating to the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly (NA) and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure.

Addressing more than 8,500 delegates nationwide via videoconference, President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man said the election, slated for May 23, is a way to demonstrate the people’s will, aspirations, and right to mastery in the building of the State, including the NA and all-level People’s Councils - the people’s representative bodies and organs of State power from the central to local levels.

It is an important political event in the country, following the 13th National Party Congress and associated with personnel work, he went on, adding that it will be an occasion for voters to exercise their rights and obligations to elect outstanding and deserving persons to the organs of State power.

Vice President of the VFF Central Committee Truong Thi Ngoc Anh said the Party, State, and the VFF have issued 17 direction documents relating to the general election, based on which central and provincial VFF committees have built detailed plans to handle election-related affairs, especially negotiations to select and nominate candidates for the election.

The selection and nomination of candidates must be placed under the Party’s comprehensive leadership, ensure democracy, and bring into play the role of religious dignitaries and exemplars and leaders of communities, Anh said.

Man stressed that preparing for the election is currently the most important task of the VFF from the central to local levels, asking VFF committees at all levels to promote communications and supervision during this peak period.

In addition, they also need to press on with performing other tasks, including coordinating with VFF member organisations in the COVID-19 fight and caring for disadvantaged families as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches, the official noted./.

Photo exhibition spotlights President Ho Chi Minh with Communist Party of Vietnam

An exhibition is underway in Hanoi introducing more than 100 photos of President Ho Chi Minh - the founder, leader, and mentor of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

The exhibition is being organised to mark the 91st anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3), the 13th National Party Congress, and the 131st birthday of President Ho Chi Minh.

It gives visitors an insight into the formation of the Party, a significant event and an important milestone in the history of the Vietnamese revolution, as well as the contributions of Ho Chi Minh as founder, leader and mentor of the party.

Through displayed photos and documents, the exhibition also highlights the country’s path during the past 90 years and more under the leadership of the Party and President Ho Chi Minh, rising from a colonial and semi-feudal nation to an independent state, as well as the achievements of the “Doi Moi” (renewal) process.

The exhibition is open until February 4./.

Illegal exit, entry must be tackled: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on January 22 called upon border guards to increase efforts to effectively prevent illegal exit and entry, helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a meeting with border guards ahead of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, the PM said the border force must raise its readiness for combatting illegal crossings and responding to natural disasters.

Communications work also needs to be stepped up so that fishermen will not violate fishing regulations, he said, stressing the significance of external affairs in border areas.

The PM lauded the efforts of border guards and local people in national defence, saying the border force has effectively fought crime and safeguarded political security and social order and safety.

They have served as the core force in the fight against natural disasters and disease and conducted rescue operations, most notably during the COVID-19 battle, according to the leader.

The force has also maintained close ties with all-level Party committees and authorities and ethnic minority groups, helping them with socio-economic development.

It was reported at the meeting that up to 1,608 posts with more than 10,000 border guards and other forces have been set up to fight COVID-19. Border guards have detected 31,774 cases of illegal entry./.

Australia Day marked in Ho Chi Minh City

With a firm foundation from sound bilateral relations and the determination of senior leaders of both sides, Vietnam and Australia will enjoy a stronger partnership in the future, according to Ngo Thi Phuong Thien, Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City.

Addressing a ceremony on January 22 in the city to mark Australia Day (January 26), Thien noted that Vietnam and Australia set up a comprehensive partnership in September 2009 that was elevated to a strategic partnership in March 2018.

She said bilateral ties have been expanded in all fields, including politics, economy, trade, investment, security-defence, culture, education, and tourism.

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association in HCM City hope to continue to receive cooperation from the Australian Consulate General in the city as well as Australian businesses and organisations to enhance people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in culture, sports, and tourism between the two countries, and foster the solidarity and friendship between the people of HCM City and Australia, she said.

For her part, Julianne Cowley, Australian Consul General in HCM City, said Vietnam and Australia have shared a long-lasting and close friendship and growing partnership in areas such as education, development assistance, trade, and investment.

She said that Australia is proud to be the top choice of Vietnamese students, along with thousands studying Australian programmes in Vietnam.

More than 80,000 Vietnamese who studied in Australia have become a force of connection between the two countries, she noted, with many holding important positions in the city.

She pledged to continue working closely with HCM City departments and sectors, including VUFO, in development cooperation programmes, thus further bolstering the partnership./.

Tet gifts presented to disadvantaged people

Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh on January 22 visited and presented gifts to social policy beneficiaries, workers, and disadvantaged students in Duc Hoa district in the Mekong Delta’s Long An province.

Extending New Year wishes to local residents, Thinh lauded Long An for its socio-economic achievements over recent years, most notably in budget collection.

She suggested it continue with socio-economic development solutions and enhance social welfare work.

On the same day, a delegation from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs led by Minister Dao Ngoc Dung paid pre-Tet visits to poor households, national contributors, and armed forces in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai.

They presented 120 gift packages, each comprising daily necessaries and 1 million VND (43.50 USD) in cash, to beneficiaries in Trinh Tuong commune, Bat Xat district.

The delegation also allocated another 30 gift packages for the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to present to those in Bao Yen and Bao Thang districts and Lao Cai city who rendered great service to the nation.

The ministry also contributed 100 million VND to the provincial fund for natural disaster prevention and control.

The officials also visited the Trinh Tuong border guard station in the locality./.

Da Nang pins hopes on MICE tours

Da Nang on January 22 welcomed a group of more than 700 visitors taking a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tour, one of the largest groups on such a tour to the central city this year.

This is a good start for the city’s smoke-free industry in 2021, according to Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Nguyen Xuan Binh.

Binh welcomed the group, who are employees of the Hanoi-based R&B JSC, with flowers at Da Nang International Airport, which he expects will make a good impression.

The city has been taking proactive steps to stimulate tourism demand and create the necessary momentum for future development.

CEO of the R&B JSC Trac Thanh Cong said the company selected Da Nang as the host city for its year-end party because of its beautiful nature, friendly people, and great weather.

He also said that he and his employees will spend three days visiting a number of popular destinations in Da Nang, such as Ba Na Hills, Ngu Hanh Son, Linh Ung Pagoda, and Son Tra Peninsula, as well as nearby Hoi An ancient town.

Da Nang has been making multiple efforts to promote MICE tourism, one of which is improving and developing support policies to help MICE tours attract more visitors.

The city also welcomed a group of over 1,000 holidaymakers on a MICE tour on January 7-8.

It is offering free admission to Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains), a national special relic, the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum, the Da Nang Museum, and the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture throughout the year to boost tourism./.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/SGGP/VOV/NDO/Dtinews/SGT/VIR