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Traffic at the An Sương roundabout in District 12 has improved thanks to upgraded transport infrastructure. Photo: sggp.org.vn

The HCM City authority is carrying out solutions to eliminate so-called black spots where traffic accidents occur regularly in the city.

The city’s Department of Transport cited seven black spots, including Nguyễn Duy Trinh Street and Mỹ Thủy intersection in District 2, Nguyễn Tri Phương overpass in District 5, Sài Gòn Bridge No 2 in Bình Thạnh District, An Sương roundabout in District 12, an area at 235 Nguyễn Văn Cừ Street, and Võ Văn Kiệt Street in District 1

The city’s department said two black spots in District 2 had the highest number of collisions between motorcycles and container trucks. Although many signs in the area prohibit overloaded trucks at these two spots, there are still many container trucks travelling at high speed, even though the roads are narrow and are near markets and schools.

According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, traffic accidents caused by tractors and container trucks account for a high proportion of road accidents in the country.

The main causes of accidents at the black spots are deteriorating traffic infrastructure and drivers' violations of traffic safety laws.

The city’s department is working with the police department and People's Committee of districts and related units to develop a detailed plan for each spot.

Recently, the city Transport Department said it would try to eliminate a black spot at Bình Lợi 1 bridge in Thủ Đức District.

The department is focusing on the maintenance of road infrastructure, expansion of road size, and installation of more traffic signs, traffic lights, median strips, and surveillance cameras.

The department has also told city units to strictly handle traffic violations. Inspections and sanctioning of violators has also increased.

No COVID-19 infections in community for 51 days

With no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of 6 a.m on October 23 morning, Vietnam has not seen any new infections in the community for the past 51 days, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The country has documented 1,148 SARS-CoV-2 infections so far.

Of the total, 691 were infected with the virus domestically, including 551 linked with Da Nang city since the latest coronavirus wave began there on July 25.

As many as 1,049 patients have recovered while 35 have died from complications related to the disease. Most of the fatalities were the elderly with serious underlying health conditions.

Among the patients still under treatment, seven have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, five twice and one thrice. Currently, there is no patient in critical conditions.

There are 13,652 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present, including 149 in hospitals, 12,421 in concentrated quarantine sites, and 1,082 at home or accommodation facilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic may last until the end of 2021 as no vaccine has been ready so far, according to the World Health Organisation./.

PM sends letter to army officers, soldiers

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a letter to all officers and soldiers of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) on October 22, encouraging them to remain steadfast.

The PM noted in the letter, sent after the death of 33 military personnel while tackling natural disasters in the central region, that under the leadership of the Party and the State, VPA officers and soldiers have always been united, proactive, and creative in facing difficulties and challenges.

They have also made various impressive achievements, including assisting people in socio-economic development and poverty reduction, addressing the consequences of natural disasters and epidemics, and conducting search and rescue efforts, the leader stressed.

In particular, he said, when immersed in the havoc wreaked by the recent floods in the central region, VPA officers and soldiers braved hardships and made their way to the most dangerous of places to conduct search and rescue missions.

Eleven officers and soldiers, along with two officials from Thua Thien-Hue province, lost their lives in a landslide on October 13 while on their way to reach the Rao Trang 3 hydro power plant to locate landslide victims.

On October 18, 22 others from Economic - Defence Army 337 under Military Region 4 died while tackling the aftermath in Huong Phung, a disadvantaged border commune in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province.

PM Phuc wrote that the Party, State, and people nationwide grieve for the sacrifice by the officers and soldiers but are also proud of the heroic VPA - an army that came into being from the people, fight for the people, and enjoy blood-and-flesh ties with the people. It is also an army absolutely faithful, trustworthy and ready to sacrifice themselves to protect the Party, the State, and the people.

He expressed his hope that VPA officers and soldiers will continue to overcome the difficulties and challenges to successfully fulfil their duties.

As the flooding is forecast to linger on and remain a complex matter in the time to come, they should enhance coordination with ministries, sectors, and local authorities to continue implementing anti-disaster measures and search and rescue efforts, thereby deserving the Party, State and people’s trust, according to the Government leader./.

US sends condolences to Linfa storm victims

The US Government extended its deepest condolences to the Vietnamese Government and people as they mourn those who perished due to significant flooding in the central region caused by recent Tropical Storm Linfa.

The US Department of State said in its press release on October 22 that the US Government stands ready to assist Vietnam in easing the damage caused by the floods, and expressed its deepest sympathies to all affected by this tragedy, including the many thousands who were displaced.

Earlier, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) affirmed immediate assistance worth 200,000 USD to support efforts to respond to severe flooding in Vietnam and Cambodia.

USAID is working with the Vietnam Red Cross Society to provide emergency assistance to people affected by the flooding.

In addition, it provides long-term funding for programmes that reduce the risk and impact of disasters throughout Southeast Asia. Through these investments, USAID’s partners have remained on the front lines in responding to the impact of severe weather in Vietnam and Cambodia during this year’s active typhoon season./.

More support sent to flood-affected people in central region

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has urged the central province of Quang Tri, which has been hardest hit by recent floods and storms, to focus all resources to protect the lives and assets of locals and help them soon stabilise their life.

Meeting with provincial leaders on October 22, Binh requested the province to continue keeping a close watch on weather forecasts and taking measures to address flooding consequences in a more proactive manner, amid continued complicated developments of flooding and the approach of Storm Saudel – the eighth to enter the East Sea this year.

The locality was also asked to strictly follow the Government and Prime Minister’s instructions on disaster prevention and control, operate hydropower reservoirs safely, and actively carry out search and rescue missions and ensure safety for search and rescue forces.

The Deputy PM informed that the Government has decided to provide each flood-hit province with 1,000 tonnes of rice along with medicines and disinfectants, as well as 100 billion VND for search and rescue work.

On this occasion, he presented 100 million VND (4,321 USD) each to study encouragement funds of Huong Hoa and Dakrong districts, and granted gifts to several households affected by flooding in Hai Dinh commune of Hai Long district.

According to Quang Tri’s report, since October 7, floods have submerged 98 out of 124 communes, wards and towns of the province, killing 50 people, leaving four missing, and injuring 25 others.

Also on October 22, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong visited and presented gifts to flood-affected people in Phong Dien and Quang Dien districts of Thua Thien-Hue province.

The districts are the two localities affected most by floods and landslides, with over 16,000 houses in Quang Dien and 13,000 others in Phong Dien inundated.

Phong granted 400 million VND for affected locals in the two districts. Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh also sent 100 million VND to the study encouragement fund of Phong Dien.

The central province of Thanh Hoa announced on the day that the provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front committee had received nearly 6 billion VND from local offices, organisations and enterprises in support of people in the central region.

Meanwhile, the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises and its 19 member units raised more than 60 billion VND, of which the Vietnam Electricity Group contributed over 21 billion USD, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group 9.9 billion VND and the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group 5.8 billion VND.

Vietnamese abroad support flood victims in homeland

Fund-raising programmes to support flood victims in the central region were launched by the Vietnamese embassies in Russia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Germany.

Speaking at the launching ceremony on October 20, Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh highlighted the significance of the activity.

He called on the embassy’s staff and Vietnamese living and working in the country to support the programme, contributing to helping residents hit by floods in the central region overcome consequences of natural disasters and soon stabilise their lives.

Before the fund-raising programme was launched in Russia, many volunteer groups were formed across the country to call for assistance for flood victims, raising a total of over 456 million VND (over 19,650 USD).

The campaigns to raise funds for flood-hit people in Vietnam have been expanded in Russia.

Meanwhile, the Vietnam Embassy in Singapore has established units to directly receive donations from organisations and individuals in the country, as well as provide addresses in Vietnam so that donors can send their donations to.

Similar activities have been organised in the RoK and Germany, demonstrating the sentiments of overseas Vietnamese towards flood victims at home.

Foreign leaders extend sympathy over severe floods in central region

The Premier of the State Council of China, Li Keqiang on October 22 sent a message of sympathy to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc over the serious flooding in some provinces in central Vietnam that caused heavy losses on human lives and assets.

The same day, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also extended their sympathy to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, flooding that began on October 6 had killed 111 people and left 22 missing nationwide as of 7am on October 21. Some 371 ha of rice paddies have been submerged, 7,126 ha of crops damaged, and over 700,000 heads of cattle and poultry killed or swept away.

The floods also inflicted substantial damage upon local agriculture, irrigation, and transport infrastructure.

HCMC, Hanoi asked to make wearing face masks in public mandatory

The prime minister has instructed localities to continue adopting Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures and ordered Hanoi and HCMC authorities to make wearing face masks in public mandatory.

In an announcement released by the Government Office on the conclusions of the prime minister on Covid-19 infection and control at a regular meeting on October 19, the prime minister said that provinces and cities must make wearing face masks in public and on public transport vehicles compulsory. HCMC and Hanoi City have to be the first to do it.

Apart from this, the authorities, agencies and organizations, especially schools, hospitals and residential areas, should not be inattentive and negligent in the fight against the coronavirus, according to the prime minister.

In addition, the authorities and competent forces should continue to closely monitor imported cases to Vietnam to avoid community transmission of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Aside from wearing face masks in public, residents should continue washing their hands regularly and keeping their distance from others in public places, while competent forces should impose harsh sanctions on those caught violating Covid-19 infection prevention regulations.

Border guards have been ordered to continue tightening control over immigration at border gates to prevent illegal entry. Besides, those who enter Vietnam for short stays should restrict the use of karaoke, bar and nightclub services, the local media reported.

Also, the prime minister asked localities from the provincial to commune levels to prepare for response scenarios to effectively prevent the spread of Covid-19 if any case is detected.

Further, the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Transport should continue their close collaboration to reach a consensus over the resumption of commercial international flights and report the conclusions and plans to deputy prime ministers Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam for consideration.

Vietnam has not yet determined when to open its doors to international tourists, the prime minister said.

People cooking glutinous rice cakes for those in flood-hit areas

Large numbers of people in central and Central Highlands provinces have been busy cooking thousands of traditional glutinous rice cakes to help those struggling amid the historic flooding in the middle of the country.

Many parts of central Vietnam have been hit by heavy flooding following torrential rain that struck at the beginning of the month.

As news of the flooding spread, people in Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces decided to send food to those in need.

So they started cooking “banh chung” (a square glutinous rice cake) for those doing it tough.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people in Gia Lai province cooked tens of thousands of “banh tet”, which has similar ingredients to “banh chung” but comes in a cylindrical shape, to send to flood-hit victims.

As of 7 am on October 21, flooding that began on October 6 had killed 111 people and left 22 missing in the central region. Some 370 ha of rice paddies and over 7,100 ha of crops have been submerged, and a large number of cattle and poultry killed or swept away, according to the Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control./.

Helicopter to provide flood-hit areas in Quang Binh

Authorities in the central province of Quang Binh have proposed using a helicopter to help people in local flood-hit areas.

The province held an urgent meeting on Wednesday on flood victim rescue.  

At the event, local authorities instructed to mobilise all local military and security force rescue boats from Dong Hoi City and the districts of Bo Trach, Ba Don and Quang Trach to assist people affected by the flooding in Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts.

Quang Binh has asked the neighbouring province of Quang Tri to use three rescue boats for support. The province is also seeking the Ministry of Defence to provide medicines and food for people in Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts.

Quang Binh has recommended the supply of around 7,000 boxes of instant noodles, six tonnes of food ration and drinking water for Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts.

On October 21, many vehicles transporting necessities were sent to the two districts. However, according to Mai Van Minh, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the rescue force has not yet got access to people in severely-flooded areas.

Quang Binh Party Secretary Vu Dai Thang for Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts.

Prime Minister welcomes UN officials in Vietnam

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received UN Resident Coordinator Kamal Malhotra and chief representatives of UN organisations in Vietnam on October 21.

Offering congratulations on the UN’s founding anniversary (October 24), PM Phuc affirmed Vietnam always considers the UN as one of the priorities in its foreign policy and a leading important partner, noting that development and specialised organisations of the UN are “precious friends” who have greatly assisted the country since the post-war period full of hardships.

Vietnam has managed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic early and been making efforts to boost socio-economic development, he said, adding that this year, it may record a growth rate of 2-3 percent to become the only nation to post positive economic growth in ASEAN and the fourth largest economy in the region.

For his part, Resident Coordinator Malhotra extended condolences to the Vietnamese Government and people on the heavy losses of life and property caused by floods and landslides in the central region.

He said the UN is sending its staff to join damage assessment teams in affected localities so as to provide aid.

The UN official thanked Vietnam for its strong support for and valuable contributions to the UN and multilateralism, especially amid a number of challenges around the globe at present.

Appreciating the country’s contributions to climate change response efforts, Malhotra said as ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam has been playing an important leadership role, including in coping with COVID-19.

The official also congratulated Vietnam on its successful control of the COVID-19 outbreak and noted that the UN is a close partner of the country in responding to health issues, especially via the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Resident Coordinator Office, and other UN agencies.

On this occasion, he presented PM Phuc with two recent UN reports: the UN Secretary-General’s global COVID-19 situation report and a report assessing the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts on Vietnam.

He also expressed his hope for the early signing of the new UN sustainable development cooperation framework for 2022-2026 with the country.

PM Phuc congratulated the UN World Food Programme on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, adding that Vietnam attaches great importance to agriculture as well as food production and export, which are a firm support helping to stabilise people’s lives, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seventy-five years since its establishment, the UN is facing the need to boost the reform of its development system so as to build a new generation of UN organisations at national, regional and global levels, and Vietnam always supports and is ready to contribute to these efforts of the UN, he said.

The PM asked UN organisations to provide more policy consultancy to help with the Vietnamese Government’s socio-economic governance.

The Government of Vietnam will continue promoting cooperation activities with the UN and create favourable conditions for UN development organisations in the country to effectively carry out joint programmes and projects, along with the reform of the UN development system, the leader affirmed./.

Son La province’s culture and tourism promoted in Hanoi

A wide variety of attractive activities will be held at the Ly Thai To flower park, the pedestrian space around Hoan Kiem Lake and its surroundings in the capital city of Hanoi from October 23-25, promoting the culture and tourism of the north-western mountainous province of Son La.

The event aims to enhance cooperation between Hanoi and the north-western provinces in the field of tourism.

The highlight of the event will be the opening ceremony, themed “The colour of Son La tourism” on the evening of October 23 at the Ly Thai To flower park. Audiences will have the chance to enjoy art performances imbued with the cultural identities of the north-western province.

In addition, the organising board will install around 30 pavilions introducing specialities and cultural and tourism products from Son La province as well as displaying 50 beautiful photos to promote the tourism potential and cultural activities of the locality.

In addition, a Son La tourism promotion conference will be held on October 23 with the participation of hundreds of travel agencies and enterprises from Hanoi and Son La.

On the occasion, Hanoi municipal Tourism Department and Son La provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will sign an agreement and commitment to participate in a tourism promotion programme between the two localities for 2020-2021 period.

Special publication marks 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Soviet Union spaceflight

A special publication marking the 40th anniversary of the spaceflight by the Soviet Union’s cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko and Vietnamese pilot Pham Tuan made debut at an online event on October 21.

This book was compiled as part of the plan on joint activities for 2019-2022 between the Federal Archival Agency of Russia and the State Records and Archives Department of Vietnam.

Recalling the historic flight 40 years ago, Deputy Director of the Federal Archival Agency of Russia Andrei Viktorovich Yurasov said the Soyuz-37 spacecraft carried the two into space from the Baikonur cosmodrome on July 23, 1980, and they made an eight-day journey in outer space before returning to the earth.

Yurasov affirmed the special significance of the flight, describing this as a milestone in the friendship between Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the past and Russia at present.

With the release of this special publication, Russian and Vietnamese readers will be provided with much interesting information about this flight, including many details unveiled for the first time.

Also speaking at the event in Moscow, Vietnamese Minister Counsellor Nguyen Quynh Mai said the success of the historic flight is a symbol of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the Soviet Union, and now Russia.

The mutual assistance in the trip organisation formed the foundation for the research and application of space technology in Vietnam, she said, voicing her belief that bilateral space cooperation for peaceful purposes will continue developing to contribute to the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Speaking online from Hanoi, Director of the State Records and Archives Department of Vietnam Dang Thanh Tung expressed his delight at the publication amid the 70th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties, adding that his side will popularise this book so that Vietnamese readers can access important information about this historic flight.

Vietnam took part in the Interkosmos programme in 1979. The same year, after an astronaut candidate selection programme, Vietnamese pilots Tuan and Bui Thanh Liem were chosen and sent to the Yuri Gagarin cosmonaut training centre.

After finishing the training course, Tuan was selected for the main crew while Liem served as a backup. Tuan and Viktor Gorbatko flew into space and stayed at the International Space Station to do some research./.

Newspaper photographer to display works at US-based exhibition

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The picture“Noi am anh” (Obsession) by photographer Viet Van (Photo: laodong.vn)

Viet Van Tran, a photographer from the Lao Dong newspaper, has been selected to join others of a free-to-enter online Salon of Photography, entitled “The Connected World: 2020” capturing moments of time in the US and around the world this year.

The event, a joint project between the Los Angeles Centre of Photography (LACP) and the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego to acknowledge the importance of photography and art in capturing historic world events, is scheduled to run from October 24 to December 31.

Its 7-member jury selected 68 entries from 58 photographers for the exhibition out of those from 300 candidates around the globe. Van was the only Vietnamese at the event.

His picture to be exhibited, titled “Noi am anh” (Obsession), captures the 6-year-old girl Khanh Han standing in front of a painting on the COVID-19 theme by her farther – painter Nguyen Tan Phat. The work was ranked among the top 20 best photos at the Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year 2020’s Emotive Portrait Category./.

More citizens flown home from Europe, America, Africa

Close to 340 Vietnamese citizens were flown home from more than 30 countries across Europe, America and Africa on October 20-21 as part of joint efforts by relevant Vietnamese agencies and local authorities.

Passengers on the repatriation flight, operated by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, included children under 18, the elderly, the ill, workers whose visas and contracts had expired, students without accommodations, and others in difficult circumstances.

Vietnamese missions in the foreign countries had coordinated with local authorities to facilitate these expats’ travel to a Paris airport before they undertook all pre-departure procedures and boarded the flight home from there with the help of staff from the Embassy of Vietnam in France.

In-flight safety and preventive measures against the COVID-19 were rigorously enforced to protect passengers’ health and prevent the spread of diseases.

All passengers and crew members received medical checkups and sent to quarantine in line with regulations upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in the country./.

Hà Nội FC win to keep pressure on Viettel

Defending champions Hà Nội FC beat Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh 1-0 on Tuesday to rise to second place in the V.League 1 table.

Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm said that the championship race would be exciting to the last match and three points against Hà Tĩnh was a key victory for his team.

“This is a key win for Hà Nội. When Hà Nội had a goal, Hà Tĩnh fought back strongly, making it difficult for us to play. We then missed a chance to raise the score to 2-0,” said Nghiêm.

“At this time, Hà Nội don’t have the best players because our players haven’t recovered from injuries, so it was difficult to win.

"This season will go to the final match to know which team will be crowned, only one win will change the situation," Nghiêm added.

At Hàng Đẫy Stadium, Hà Nội needed a win to keep the pressure on Viettel, while Hà Tĩnh are in eighth place and have little left to play for.

In the first half, the hosts Hà Nội controlled the game but it took till five minutes before the break for them to make the breakthrough.

In the 40th minute, Hà Nội's Đỗ Hùng Dũng robbed midfielder Janclesio Almeida Santos' of the ball and squared for Rimario Gordon in front of goal. The Jamaican forward was dispossessed, but captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết was on hand to sweep the ball into the net.

In the second half, Hà Nội dominated the game but were unable to make the game safe.

After 16 matches, Hà Nội have 29 points, overcoming Sài Gòn FC to rank second in the standings and only behind leaders Viettel by two points.

In other matches on Tuesday, Quảng Nam beat Nam Định 2-0 but they are still at the bottom of the table.

Elsewhere, Hải Phòng defeated Thanh Hóa 2-0, SHB Đà Nẵng bested Sông Lam Nghệ An 2-0 and Quảng Ninh Coal defeated Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 3-1.

Charity run raises funds for disadvantaged children

The fourth edition of the Island Run that aims to contribute to the School on the Boat project and empower disadvantaged children will take place on Sunday, November 15.

The sporting event is organised by School on the Boat, an initiative offering help to families from underprivileged areas in Hà Nội.

There will be three different races, all starting at the Spot, located on Lane 238, Âu Cơ Street, Tây Hồ District – the three-kilometre race that starts at 11.30am, 5km at 10.30am and 10km at 10am.

Registration for the charity run is now open. Participants can sign up for the race in three ways: Fill in the google form at https://forms.gle/EriuMuaT9VEKitjD6 then pay at one of the payment points; register and pay at the payment point or register and pay on the day of the race.

Runners can also fund their race by asking friends and family to sponsor the run and contribute.

For more info on School on the Boat, visit https://en.schoolontheboat.fr/ or follow School on the Boat on Facebook.

Halloween Party at Fine Arts University

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Rock band District 105 will peform at a Halloween party called “Tập Thể Dục” (Doing Exercises) at the HCM City Fine Arts University on October 31. File photo from the artist’s Facebook page

A Halloween party called Tập Thể Dục (Doing Exercises) will be held at the HCM City Fine Arts University on October 31.

The event will feature music, graffiti and costumes from local rock bands and students at the university.

The bands will include District 105, I'm Not Sure, Knife Sticking Head, and Cờ lê.

Artists CRESK and Đặng Huy will present live graffiti performances.

The event will begin at 5pm at 3 Phan Đăng Lưu Street in Bình Thạnh District. Pre-sale tickets priced at VNĐ150,000 can be purchased at Midway Cafe in Bình Thạnh District and Kệ Pub in Phú Nhuận District.

Central Laos suffers most serious flooding in 42 years

Prolonged rainfalls have recently left eight districts in the Lao central province of Savannakhet inundated.

It was the worst flooding in the past 42 years in the locality bordering Vietnam’s Quang Tri province.

The Lao media quoted Vongsavan Viengmany, Chairman of the Sepon district – the hardest-hit in Savannakhet - as saying that since October 16, continual rainfalls have raised the water level of Sekong, Xe Banghieng and Sepon rivers, submerging thousands of ha of rice and vegetables.

The level on Selanong hydropower lake in Meuang Phin and Meuang Nong districts also reached alarm level.

According to the Lao Meteorological Centre, downpours could prolong till the next 1-2 days in many localities./.

WWF helps Mekong Delta with sustainable sand exploitation

A project on climate change impact mitigation and disaster prevention via the public-private participation in sustainable sand exploitation in the Mekong Delta was discussed during a working session in Can Tho on October 21.

A representative from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said the project is underway from July 2019 to June 2023 to maintain important ecological functions and mitigate socio-economic risks caused by climate change in the region.

Representatives from the WWF and municipal departments and agencies talked about planning on sand exploitation in the city and studies on materials in replacement of sand in construction.

Trinh Thi Long, manager of the WWF project in Vietnam, said it will promote participation and dialogue among stakeholders in Vietnam’s construction sector, provide information on risks related to sand and gravel, and seek sustainable supply of materials in replacement of sand and gravel in the Mekong Delta and Can Tho in particular.

In the near future, a communications campaign on unsustainable sand and gravel exploitation in the Mekong Delta will be launched by the WWF to promote urgent actions to deal with the issue./.

Workshop talks social security for pandemic-hit vulnerable

A workshop was held in Hanoi on October 21 to discuss international experience in social security for the vulnerable affected by COVID-19 pandemic. 

The event was co-organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the International WeLoveU Foundation.

Speaking at the event, head of the MoLISA’s Department of International Cooperation Nguyen Manh Cuong said though two COVID-19 outbreaks in March and August were under control, their impact on local lives, especially workers, the elderly, the poor and vulnerable, are not small.

The Vietnamese Government issued Resolution No.42/NQ-CP on measures to support those hit by the pandemic and Decision No.15/QD-TTg on the implementation of support policy for them, including the unprecedented social welfare package worth over 62 trillion VND (2.69 million USD) benefiting about 20 million people.

Chairwoman of the foundation Zahng Gil Jah wished that both sides will make further dedication and contributions to a better life of humans.

 

Following the workshop, the MoLISA and the foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the 2020-2023 period via a video conference to reach poverty reduction and fair education goals, under which the two sides will improve housing environment and offer support to those with meritorious service to the nation, the elderly and heroic Vietnamese mothers.

They will also offer livelihood and infrastructure support as well as enhance education quality for disadvantaged and vulnerable families. The foundation will also launch blood donation and environment protection campaigns.

As a non-governmental organisation approved for association with the United Nations, WeLoveU Foundation partners with the UN and countries to fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals and social goals of the world.

It has been working in various areas such as emergency relief, blood donation, clean water and sanitation, health and well-being./.

Singapore to enter third phase of reopening

Singapore could enter the third phase of its reopening by the end of this year, provided that community cases remain low as the country steps up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

As part of the third phase, the permitted size of gatherings outside homes could be increased from five people to eight, said the multi-ministry task force handling the pandemic on October 20.

Similarly, households could be allowed to have up to eight visitors at a time, enabling larger families to congregate.

On top of that, capacity limits in venues such as museums and places of worship and for wedding receptions may be increased, with multiple zones of 50 people permitted.

Singaporean Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, said to enter the third phase, Singapore will have to keep its guard up and meet several key conditions.

COVID-19 testing will be carried out on a larger scale to allow more activities to resume.

The same day, Singaporean Ministry of Health's Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak said the country is most likely to make plans to vaccinate different segments of the population against COVID-19 from next year.

Those who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus and those at higher risk of getting infected, such as healthcare professionals and others in front-line roles, may get priority for vaccination./.

Seminar emphasises role of traditional dress ‘ao dai’

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Dr Nguyen Duc Tri, an expert from the HCM City University of Economics, is highlighting the value of ao dai at a seminar held last week at the Ao Dai Museum in HCM City (Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn)

Cultural experts have hailed ‘ao dai’, traditional Vietnamese dress, for the extent to which it honours the intangible values of humanity.

Of the 13 UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritages in Vietnam, seven were closely related to the garment, the experts told a seminar titled “Ao Dai and Cultural Heritage” held recently at the Ao Dai Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.

Huynh Ngoc Van, director of the museum, said numerous ao dai models had been collected and showcased at many exhibitions and seminars since 2018.

They had helped underline the garment’s role as a significant intangible cultural heritage and gradually garner public interest, she said.

“Feedback from these exhibitions and seminars are beneficial to the conservation and promotion of the ao dai.”

Artist Xuan Hoa, who heads the Quan Ho Kinh Bac Club, said ao dai was the main costume used in folk arts all over the country.

"It is essential for authorities to recognise the art of tailoring ao dai as a national intangible cultural heritage in future," he added.

Dr Nguyen Duc Tri, director of the HCM City University of Economics’ Institute of Tourism, said referring to the garment, “These are invaluable treasures that cannot be forgotten.”

Tourism should not only be about exploiting traditional cultures but finding ways to revive and make it meaningful to locals’ lives, he added.

Authorities need to collate all information about intangible cultural heritages and create interesting tourism products to educate Vietnamese about their traditional values, he added.

The experts have been for many years seeking the recognition of ao dai as a national intangible cultural heritage.

They said the traditional dress offers a comprehensive evaluation of history. Through its function and the habit of using, ao dai features the social and cultural value, art and cultural identity of the Vietnamese tradition./.

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Measures needed to raise insurance participation

Many businesses have scaled down production and reduced their workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a decrease in the number of those participating in social and health insurance, as well as an increase in unpaid social security debts, experts have said.

As a result, the Government’s targets on sustainable development of participants in social insurance will be difficult to achieve if no drastic measures are taken.

Pham Xuan Toan, director of southern Binh Thuan province’s Social Security, said the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on many businesses in the province, proven by the adjustment of participants in social security and health insurance.

Figures from March 1 to the end of June showed that more than 740 enterprises in the province, accounting for 47.5 percent of the total, have stopped participating in health insurance for more than 12,240 workers. These workers either quit their jobs or requested unpaid leave.

More than 7,000 employees have suspended social insurance contributions.

Toan said these businesses were mainly in the fields of tourism, restaurants and hotels, shoe production, and garment and textile.

The reduction of social insurance and health insurance participants had affected the sector’s targets, he said, adding that the unit had urged businesses to pay debts to ensure the interests of employees.

Binh Thuan is not the only province affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports from Vietnam Social Security showed that many enterprises across the country scaled down their production or temporarily suspended operations.

People's incomes decreased, so many people are not continuing their participation in voluntary social insurance or household health insurance. This led to a decrease in the number of participants in social and health insurance schemes.

The unpaid debts for social and health insurance have increased due to enterprises’ financial difficulties.

By the end of August, more than 15.3 million people participated in social security scheme, accounting for 31.2 percent of the workforce; 12.8 million people participated in unemployment insurance, accounting for 26 percent of the workforce; and 86.4 million people participated in health insurance, covering 89.2 percent of the population.

Although the number of people participating in voluntary social insurance and health insurance increased compared to last year, the number of those participating in compulsory social insurance and unemployment insurance has decreased sharply.

The social insurance revenue has been lower than the same period last year, and the debts have reached 21.4 trillion VND (925 million USD), an increase of 0.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

The Vietnam Social Security estimates that the sector need to attract more than 1.8 million people to join social insurance, 1.4 million people to join unemployment insurance, and 1.6 million people to join health insurance by the end of this year to achieve the Government’s targets.

Vietnam Social Security and local social security have made efforts to promote the reform of administrative procedures and the application of information technology in payments.

In the past eight months, the country has paid 151 trillion VND (6.5 billion USD) in social insurance and 1.7 trillion VND (73.5 million USD) in unemployment insurance for beneficiaries.

Compared to the same period in 2019, the number of people entitled to the sickness and maternity benefits has decreased, but the number of people eligible for monthly social insurance, lump-sum social insurance and unemployment insurance has increased.

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Social Security Dao Viet Anh has asked the units to review and reassess the targets.

Addressing the challenges on the development of compulsory social insurance targets in this year, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Social Security Tran Dinh Lieu said it was possible to ensure the revenues this year.

Local social insurance agencies needed to implement measures to reduce debts of social insurance and health insurance for hard-hit businesses and strengthen inspections on businesses delaying debt payments./.

Italian works on Ho Chi Minh introduced in Hanoi

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VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 23


Dang Khanh Thoai (L), Vice President of the Vietnam-Italy Friendship Association, presents the comic series “Ho Chi Minh, un uomo e un popolo” to Vu Manh Ha, head of the Ho Chi Minh Museum (Photo: Ho Chi Minh Museum)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam - Italy Friendship Association (VIFA) and the Italian Embassy in Vietnam introduced two Italian publications about late President Ho Chi Minh and presented them to the Ho Chi Minh Museum at an event in Hanoi on October 20.

One is a 12-volume comic series entitled “Ho Chi Minh, un uomo e un popolo” (Ho Chi Minh, a man and a people), published in 1968, while the other is an Italian-language edition of “Duong Kach Menh” (The Revolutionary Path) - a book of lectures by Nguyen Ai Quoc (a pseudonym of Ho Chi Minh) for the training of staff at the Vietnamese Revolutionary Youth League between 1925 and 1927 in Guangzhou, China.

Both came from the Italy - Vietnam Friendship Association in Veneto, with the former collected by members and the latter published by the association.

Speaking at the event, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Antonio Alessandro said the Italian people hold a special affection for the late Vietnamese President.

The comic series represented a link between the two peoples in the 1960s, when the anti-war movement was in full swing in Italy, he said, adding that the stories on Ho Chi Minh found within their pages helped boost understanding about Vietnam’s leader, the country, and its revolution.

According to VIFA, it plans to work with the Kim Dong Publishing House to translate the comic series into Vietnamese, for release in 2021./.

Vietnam backs facilitation of dialogue, cooperation in Persian Gulf: Official

Given its friendly relations and cooperation with all countries in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, Vietnam is willing to contribute to the formation of an environment that facilitates dialogue and cooperation for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Minh Khoi has said.

He made the remarks at a UN Security Council (UNSC) ministerial-level debate entitled “Comprehensive review of the situation in the Persian Gulf region”, held online on October 20.

Khoi said that if not properly addressed, recent instabilities in the Gulf could lead to unpredictable consequences involving conflict and humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, and Lebanon.

He emphasised that all parties involved hold important roles and responsibilities in ensuring regional peace and stability, adding that there is a need for concerted efforts to push for respect of international law, the UN Charter, UNSC-related resolutions, and international commitments.

It is also necessary for parties to refrain from actions or announcements that could further complicate the situation, and to make efforts to boost dialogue and negotiations aimed at tackling differences, Khoi noted.

It is a suitable time, he went on, to consider and adopt specific actions in order to bring the notion of having a collective security mechanism in the Gulf into reality. Such a mechanism should match regional conditions and be based on principles in the UN Charter and international law, particularly those on sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-violence, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Dialogues on common benefits relating to regional security, such as the resolution of the Israel - Palestine issue and anti-terrorism, could pave the way for an easing of tensions and the building of trust, he emphasised.

He said a comprehensive security approach ought to include the role of regional organisations, hence the importance of encouraging cooperation between such organisations in the Middle East and the UN and the UNSC in conflict prevention, mediation, and preventive diplomacy in line with the UN Charter./.

Top leader presents appointment decisions to new ambassadors

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accredited ambassadors at the ceremony in Hanoi on October 21 (Photo: VNA)

Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong handed over appointment decisions to nine ambassadors for 2020-2023 at a ceremony in Hanoi on October 21.

They are representing Vietnam in Russia, Belgium, Singapore, France, Austria, Hungary, Chile, Sri Lanka, and Greece.

Following the ceremony, Trong met with the newly-accredited ambassadors as well as heads of Vietnamese representative offices overseas.

Analysing the regional and global situation as well as the opportunities and challenges facing Vietnam, he asked them to uphold the tradition of solidarity and utilise the support of international friends to perform their tasks.

The diplomats need to thoroughly grasp and consistently implement the country’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of international relations, and being a trustable friend and partner and responsible member of the international community, he said.

They were also asked to focus on research and analysis of the local and wider situation to propose solutions and strategies to the Party and the State, contributing to building the foreign policy and drafting documents for the 13th National Party Congress./.

National junior chess championship attracts 300 players

The SHB Cup, the national junior chess championship, kicked off in the northern province of Quang Ninh on October 21, with 300 competitors participating in the annual event. 

The tournament consists of men’s and women’s singles along with team events in the standard, rapid, and blitz categories.

Held annually, the championship provides a great opportunity in which the national youth team can scout outstanding players who can make the step up in the future, while also preparing competitors for upcoming regional and world competitions.

The championship is scheduled to last until November 1.

VOV holds fund-raising art programme for flood victims

A charitable art programme titled “Love towards the central region”, is scheduled to be held at VOV Theater at 20:00 p.m. on October 30 in an effort to raise money for flood victims in the country’s central region.

The event will feature a total of 20 art performances from renowned Vietnamese artists, including Hong Ngat, Duc Long, Dang Duong, Mai Ha, Viet Hoan, Hoang Tung, Minh Thu, and Dieu Huong.

As part of the occasion, a special auction will be held for those in attendance to participate in.

In order to support victims of flooding in the central region, all proceeds of the event will be presented to directly to residents of affected areas.

The show will be broadcasted live on VOVTV, VTC1, VTC8, VOV.VN, and VTC News channels, in addition to online applications such as VOV, VTCNOW, and VOVMEDIA, and on radio channels of VOV1 and VOV3.

Those wishing to attend the event can purchase tickets via the hotline on 0988209698 and 0969154708. There will be four types of ticket prices available, including VND500,000, VND1 million, and VND1.5 million.

Furthermore, all donation for flood victims in the central region can be sent to VOV’s Vietinbank account at 125000080781.

Hanoi still at high risk of dengue fever spread despite decline in cases

The capital has witnessed a drop in terms of its number of dengue fever cases, with approximately 3,704 cases recorded as of mid-October, a sharp decline compared to the 6,853 cases recorded during the period last year. 

According to information released by the Hanoi Department of Health, dengue fever cases have been detected in all 30 districts and 434 out of 579 wards and communes throughout the capital. 

Localities to record the highest number of new cases over the past week include Ha Dong, Nam Tu Liem, Hoai Duc, Dong Da, Thanh Oai, Hoang Mai, Hai Ba Trung, and Thuong Tin.

Despite witnessing a sharp decline in overall case numbers, dengue fever in the capital will continue to spread in the coming weeks due to the peak of the epidemic normally occurring in November.

At present, there is no specific treatment for the disease, whilst vaccination options also remain limited. Due to this, the health department has therefore requested that the Hanoi Center for Disease Control closely monitors the epidemic, whilst also launching campaigns aimed at cleaning up the environment and spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes and larva.

Simultaneously, health staff have been sent to dengue fever hotspots in an effort to carry out prevention and control activities.

Local residents have therefore been advised to consume carefully cooked food, and thoroughly sanitise their local environment.

COVID-19: 340 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from 30 countries globally

Approximately 340 Vietnamese citizens were successfully repatriated on October 20 and October 21 from more than 30 countries in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. 

Each of the flights were specially arranged by Vietnamese authorities, Vietnamese embassies abroad, and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines in co-ordination with competent agencies in the various host nations.

The passengers on board the flights were minors under 18, the elderly, those suffering from underlying health issues, guest workers with expired contracts, students who have completed their studies, and other people facing extremely difficult circumstances.

Ahead of the flights, the Vietnamese embassies in the host nations sent staff to airports to assist citizens with boarding procedures ahead of their departure.

Security and disease prevention measures were strictly carried out during the flights in an effort to prevent the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

All the crew members and passengers underwent compulsory medical checkups and were subsequently placed into quarantine in line with regulations regarding COVID-19 prevention and control upon arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Additional repatriation flights are set to be conducted in order to bring home Vietnamese citizens stranded overseas due to COVID-19, depending on their demand and local quarantine capacity.

Floods kill 36 people in Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed on October 22 morning that severe flooding has claimed 36 lives, with Banteay Meanchey province being hardest hit with 19 fatalities.

The PM visited local people affected by the disaster in Banteay Meanchey, where he announced that the Government will grant 10 million riel (2,500 USD) for each family of the deceased.

The PM’s working delegation also distributed relief goods to around 10,000 affected families in this province.

According to the Cambodian National Disaster Management Committee, since the beginning of October, heavy rains and tropical storms have caused floods in 19 out of 25 provinces and cities of Cambodia, affecting 312,224 people, submerging 73,720 houses and over 293,000 hectares of rice and other crops./.

Hanoi hosts ASEAN Smart Cities Network High-Level Forum 2020

The ASEAN Smart Cities Network High-Level Forum 2020 kicked off in Hanoi on October 22 with the aim of promoting the sharing of initiatives, experiences, and co-operation between Vietnamese cities and their urban counterparts throughout ASEAN. 

The forum themed “Smart cities towards community identity and sustainable development for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN” attracted the participation of 1,500 delegates from relevant ministries, along with domestic and international businesses. In addition, more than 60 speakers who are leading industry experts in urban development and over 35 of the world’s leading solution providers are also on hand.

The event aims to review the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the Politburo’s resolution No 52 regarding smart urban development and policies that go alongside Industry 4.0, in addition to Vietnam’s activities in its role as ASEAN Chair 2020.

Participating delegates stated after approximately 35 years of Doi Moi (Renewal), the country’s urbanisation process and urban development have achieved a number of positive results, helping to accelerate GDP growth and contribute to shifting economic restructuring and renovating the growth model.

Yet, Vietnam’s urban system still lacks synchronisation and connectivity between its urban and rural areas, with several social problems such as environmental pollution and traffic congestion in dire need of being addressed.

In an effort to overcome these inadequacies, experts proposed promoting the application of science and technology in urban management and development in the near future. This can be done by taking full advantage of the achievements and benefits of Industry 4.0.

It is therefore hoped that smart urban development in a sustainable manner will be an inevitable trend moving forward and become part of the swift urbanisation process and urban development in the country, according to speakers.

Most notably, a series of seminars are also being held during the forum, with their primary focus on smart urban planning, digital infrastructure for smart cities, smart services within cities as part of the digital transformation process, and smart transportation.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is scheduled to attend and deliver a speech at the plenary session of the forum.

57 hospitalizations due to food poisoning reported in Quang Nam Province

The General Hospital in the Central Province of Quang Nam yesterday confirmed it has admitted 57 residents who have suffered food poisoning. 

According to the hospital, from October 16 to yesterday, it has received 57 residents who suffered vomiting, fever, and belly pain. Physicians have provided examination and treatment.

Nineteen of them have been discharged from the infirmary while the rest are being under treatment.

As per the initial information, 35 people developed poisoning symptoms, which started within hours of eating contaminated banh mi of Truong Tho shop in Tam Nghia Commune while others suffered poisoning symptoms after eating fried seafood rice at a local eatery.

The hospital reported the incident to the medical center in Nui Thanh District and the province Food Safety Department which will take food samples for testing.

HCMC opens 34th satellite medical emergency center

The General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu Nhuan District yesterday launched its new satellite medical 115 emergency center which is the 34th facility of its kind in HCMC and the third one in the district. 

To improve medical examination and treatment quality and hospital-based emergency medical service and emergency care systems, the hospital’s doctors and nurses have been taking part in training courses provided by big hospitals, Dr. Vo Van Minh, Director of Phu Nhuan District Hospital said.

Additionally, doctors of big hospitals were invited to train the hospital’s medical staffs, and invest in medical facilities to meet the people’s demands.

According to Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health Associate Professor Dr. Tang Chi Thuong, out-of-hospital emergency service plays a crucial role in medical examination and treatment in the city.

Specifically, the city health sector will raise grassroot medical clinics’ capacity and encourage big infirmaries to apply hi-tech techniques in treatment as well as focus on family physicians and emergency medical service.

VND500-billion relief aid proposed for flood-hit central Vietnam

The Ministry of Finance has proposed the prime minister temporarily add VND500 billion from the backup State budget for 2020 to the relief aid for the five central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Ha Tinh, which are being ravaged by heavy floods.

In a report sent to the prime minister on October 21, the ministry said that the temporary relief aid is aimed at helping the localities address the consequences of the floods. If the proposal is approved, the five provinces will receive VND100 billion each.

The governments of the five provinces have been told to appropriately use the relief aid, the local budget and other financial sources to help locals hit by the flooding, Phap Luat Online reported.

When the flooding ends, the governments must review and check the consequences and damages caused by the floods and report the expense accounts to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control so that it can submit the report to the prime minister for consideration and a decision on official relief aid.

From October 6 to 20, as many as 111 people were killed and 22 others went missing due to flooding and landslides in Central Vietnam, according to the committee.

Besides, 371 hectares of rice and over 7,120 hectares of other crops were flooded and damaged, while the severe floods killed over 691,100 cattle and poultry.

Top legislator hosts Ambassadors, heads of representative offices abroad

Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hosted a reception for Ambassadors and heads of Vietnamese representative missions abroad on October 22.

Several ambassadors took the occasion to praise the importance and efficiency of parliamentary diplomacy, as it has helped promote the country’s integration and development, increase relations between the representative offices with the host countries, and build the image of a Vietnam of integration and development.

Ambassadors to the EU said they are well aware of their responsibility for bringing into full play opportunities brought about by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement.

Speaking at the meeting, Ngan appreciated the closer and smoother coordination between the Foreign Ministry with the NA’s external activities, thus contributing to promoting the legislative body’s leading role in major multilateral diplomatic events, with the NA’s successful term as Chair of the 41st General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) an outstanding example.

She affirmed that the NA and its offices pay attention to and support external work in general and external activities of the Foreign Ministry and the Vietnamese representative offices abroad in particular.

She asked the diplomats to uphold their responsibility and follow the guidelines and policies of the Party and State to better external work, and at the same time coordinate closely with NA offices in charge of external affairs to intensify parliamentary diplomacy.

As the representatives of the Vietnamese State in foreign countries, the diplomats should truly become bridges connecting Vietnam with their host countries to boost bilateral relations and increase the nation’s position and prestige in the eyes of international friends, Ngan said./.

Three new imported cases of COVID-19 detected on October 22

Three new cases of COVID-19 were detected on October 22 among citizens staying in quarantine after returning abroad, raising the total tally to 1,148, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The three newly-detected patients returned from Angola on flight VN8 on October 20.

Three patients were given the all-clear on October 22, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,049. The fatalities remain at 35.

Among the active patients, seven have tested negative for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 once, five twice, and 11 thrice. There are no patients in critical conditions.

More than 13,650 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or came from pandemic-hit areas are now being quarantined nationwide

The Health Ministry said the risk of COVID-19 entering the country remains high with more flights bringing Vietnamese citizens and foreign experts home. It urged continued strict implementation of epidemic prevention measures.

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Deputy PM orders MARD to send sausages, ham to people in flood-hit provinces

Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to immediately dispatch sausages, ham and other necessary foods to people in flood-hit provinces in the central region.

Dũng also told the Ministry of National Defence to strengthen rescue forces and vehicles, including using helicopters to transport food and emergency aid to people in the flood-hit provinces, especially those in flooded and isolated areas.

He asked local authorities in the flood-hit provinces along with ministries to continue to remedy the consequences of floods to help residents get back on their feet.

Currently, the priority was to provide food and emergency aid for people in the flooded areas, he added.

Organisations and individuals providing food and emergency aid needed to co-ordinate with local authorities to avoid concentrating assistance in some places while many people in remote areas did not receive enough attention and support, he said.

Floodwaters quickly recede

According to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Quảng Bình Province, as of yesterday morning, the weather in many localities in the province was dry, without rain, and the floodwaters receded rapidly. Many roads have been re-opened, aiding relief activities.

It is estimated that about 16,000 households who were evacuated during the floods have returned home after the floodwaters receded yesterday morning.

The floodwaters had receded about 50cm compared to Wednesday, but many rural roads were not able to re-open because some locations were still flooded in Hàm Ninh, Xuân Ninh and Tân Ninh communes in Quảng Ninh District.  The situation was the same in Lệ Thủy District.

Preparations for Typhoon Saudel

In another development, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình yesterday told Quảng Trị Province and localities in the central region to monitor the developments of Typhoon Saudel, the eighth typhoon to hit the East Sea this year, to prepare for its impacts.

Bình made the statement at a meeting with Quảng Trị authorities.

“The province must not be neglectful,” he said, adding that authorities should make plans to cope with the typhoon to ensure the safety of local people and their property.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting yesterday warned that by 1pm yesterday, the typhoon was 360km east of the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Archipelago with wind speeds of up to 100-135km per hour.

The typhoon, which was moving west-northwest at 5-10km per hour, was predicted to gain more strength in the next 24 hours.

The centre said the typhoon would become very strong as it neared Hoàng Sa.

However, the typhoon is expected to weaken when it makes landfall on central provinces on Sunday, according to the centre.

Ninh Binh rushes to evacuate villagers ahead of new landslide

Authorities in Ninh Binh Province have evacuated dozens of households as a landslide threatens their houses.

The landslide was discovered at Vuon Gia Mountain in Dong Village, Truong Yen Commune. According to the local people, they heard loud noises on the mountain since October 16 and saw trees suddenly fell down. The villagers quickly moved away and reported the situation to the local authorities. Fatal landslides had occurred in this area before.

Two days later, the authorities evacuated 10 more households to their relatives or the village common houses. 14 households living in adjacent areas were also relocated in case of emergency.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, vice chairman of Hoa Lu District People's Committee said after detecting new landslide signs, they had surveyed the fields and estimated that thousands of cubic metres of limestone will fall down.

Pham Quang Ngoc, vice head of Ninh Binh Province People's Committee, worked with localities authorities to direct the case. He ordered related agencies to draft and submit a plan to deal with the landslide by October 23.

As of October 22, the crack detected in the mountain grew bigger. The authorities are still monitoring the mountain and have invited consultants to work on the case.

Source: VNS/VNA/VOV/SGT/ND/Dtinews