Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to temporarily allocate 500 billion VND (over 23 million USD) from the central budget’s reserves of 2020 to support five central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien – Hue, Quang Nam, and Ha Tinh in carrying out rescue tasks, social security work and overcoming consequences of floods.

The PM asked the localities’ authorities to base on the real situation to responsibly use the central budget, their local budgets and other legal financial sources to promptly perform the tasks in line with relevant legal regulations.

The People’s Committees of the five central provinces have been asked to examine and count the losses caused by natural disasters and the spending on overcoming consequences of natural disasters in accordance with regulations.

They have also been required to report on the funding needs for rescue works and policies on social security, and send to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control for submission to the PM to consider and decide the level of official support from the central budget to the coffers of each locality.

Twelve more imported cases of COVID-19 reported in Việt Nam

Twelve more imported cases of COVID-19 were reported in Việt Nam on Saturday evening, all Vietnamese citizens, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The total number of COVID-19 patients in Việt Nam now stands at 1,160.

Patients 1149-1150 returned to Việt Nam from France via Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport onboard flight VN5010 on October 21. They were put into quarantine in southern Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province and tested positive for the virus on October 24.

Patients 1151-1153 returned to Việt Nam from Russia via Vân Đồn Airport in northern Quảng Ninh Province on October 16 onboard flight VN5062. They were put into quarantine in northern Ninh Bình Province upon arrival and tested positive for the virus on October 23.

Patients 1154-1156 arrived in Việt Nam from Germany via Vân Đồn Airport on October 23 and were put into quarantine in northern Thái Bình Province. They tested positive for the virus on October 24.

Patients 1157-1160 returned to Việt Nam from Angola via Vân Đồn Airport on October 20 onboard flight VN8 and were put into quarantine in northern Bắc Giang Province. They tested positive for the virus on October 23.

The committee also announced two more COVID-19 patients were given the all-clear the same day. 

PM inspects post-flood recovery in central region

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on October 24 underlined the urgent need to ensure normal lives and livelihoods for people in flood-hit areas in the central region, and to help them soon stabilise their lives.

During his working trip to Quang Binh province, the worst flooded area in the central region, PM Phuc asked for attention to measures to support people affected by natural disasters to quickly overcome the consequences of the floods.

The Government has sent many missions to the central region to coordinate with regional localities to promptly overcome consequences of floods, and provide timely essential goods and medicines to residents, and necessary equipment for rescue, he said

He praised rescue forces and authorities for taking timely actions in their work and ensuring traffic in the locality.

The PM sent his kind regards and profound sharing from leaders of the Party and State to the people and soldiers in the region, expressing his wish that the authorities and people of central localities will soon overcome consequences of the natural disaster and stabilise people's lives.
PM inspects post-flood recovery in central region hinh anh 2
The PM sent his kind regards and profound sharing from leaders of the Party and State to the people and soldiers in the region (Photo: VNA)

The Government leader asked ministries, sectors and agencies to strengthen coordination with and support for the central provinces in responding to natural disasters.

He underlined the need to increase the awareness and understanding of local authorities, people and businesses about natural disasters, especially issues related to climate change impact.

It is urgently necessary to strengthen disaster forecasting capacity, especially expanding the application of forecasting technology, and international cooperation in this work, he noted.

He asked ministries and central sectors to define specific responsibilities to support flooded localities in the fields of production, agriculture and health and education.

The PM also mentioned the requirement for developing hydropower plants, saying that the work must be implemented in line with the plannings to ensure safety, and limit the development of new facilities.

Affirming that the Government will add more resources to the central provinces to overcome the consequences of natural disasters, PM Phuc assigned the Ministry of Finance to revise decrees concerning humanitarian aid and donation, towards facilitating funding activities.

He directed all sectors and localities to create favourable conditions for donors to go directly to flood-hit areas for their relief work.

The leader also reminded relevant sectors and localities to focus on measures to deal with upcoming storms.

According to statistics from central localities, recent heavy rains and floods claimed 119 lives, and left 21 others missing.

Meanwhile, over 37,500 houses, 1,325 ha of rice and 12,479 ha of crops were damaged. Over 20km of embankment, 116km of canals, 43km of river and sea banks, more than 163 km of national roads and nearly 162 km of local roads are eroded and damaged./.

Legislators debate draft revised Law on Environmental Protection

NA deputies on October 24 said that there should be clearer and more detailed regulations on responsibilities and obligations of organisations, production and business establishments, and individuals in paying fees and taxes on environmental protection.

Giving their comments on the draft Law on Environmental Protection (revised) during the fifth day of the 14th National Assembly (NA)’s 10th sitting held virtually, lawmakers said the amount of money collected to invest in environmental protection is very little.

They attributed the situation to the absence of an appropriate mechanism to mobilise the participation and contribution of organisations and individuals to the protection of the environment, and regulations on the responsibility and obligations of fee payers for environmental protection.

The mechanism for infrastructure investment is mainly based on the voluntary spirit and support of businesses, and there are no specific regulations and legally binding mechanisms, said Vice Chairman of Hai Ha district People’s Committee Tran Viet Dung.

The NA should immediately issue guidance after the law takes effect so as to avoid overlapping tasks, other NA deputies said.

The law should also pay attention to the use of renewable energy sources, resolutely deal low-capacity hydropower plants thatw affect the forest environment, result in floods, and  worsen climate change, they stressed, adding that projects at risk of causing harm to the environment should be carefully examined and verified.

Tan Son Nhat Airport road proposed to ease congestion

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The traffic congestion on Truong Son Road near Tan Son Nhat International Airport

HCM City authorities are seeking Ministry of Defence consideration for the allocation of land for a road project in order to help mitigate traffic jams for Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Under the proposal, the site of 11,000 square metres will be used for the construction of a 4.4-kilometre road linking Tran Quoc Hoan and Cong Hoa streets. The road with six lanes will have a total investment of VND4.8 trillion (USD208.69 million).  

It is expected to reduce traffic congestion for Truong Son Road leading to Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The road project was approved by the municipal Department of Transport in 2016.

Meanwhile, Airports Corporation of Vietnam is speeding up procedures to implement the Terminal 3 project which is slated for being completed in June 2023.

Minister directs coping with storm, flooding in central region

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has asked ministries, agencies and localities to seriously follow directions of the Secretariat, Prime Minister and head of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control on response to the eighth storm and overcoming consequences of flooding in the central region. 


During a meeting in Hanoi on October 23, Cuong also asked the Border Guard High Command to work closely with the Directorate of Fisheries, fisheries surveillance forces and localities to ensure the absolute safety at sea.

Fishing vessels in danger zones were also urged to move to safe areas while localities must ensure the safety of households in areas at high risk of flash floods and landslides, especially in districts in Quang Binh.

He also noted that units concerned should work with localities to keep a close watch on the developments of storms and tropical low pressure, and monitor the safety of Ke Go lake in Ha Tinh and Ta Trach lake in Thua Thien-Hue province to mitigate loss.

Director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Mai Van Khiem said the eighth storm is forecast to weaken into tropical low-pressure when moving near the mainland. It will result in rainfalls from Thanh Hoa to Thu Thien-Hue from October 24-25.

According to the Office of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control, as of 11am on October 23, flooding left 117 dead and 21 missing, damaged over 37,500 houses, inundated 533ha of rice and more than 3,800ha of vegetables, and washed away over 6,100 cattle and 740,000 heads of poultry./.

ASEAN+3 ministers agree to strengthen cultural, arts exchanges

Culture ministers of the ASEAN Plus Three countries, including 10 ASEAN member states and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, have agreed to strengthen multilateral cultural and arts exchanges despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement was reached during the ninth biennial ASEAN Plus Three Culture Ministers' Meeting which took place virtually on October 22.

The biennial meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, early this year but has been eventually held online due to the spread of COVID-19.

All 13 culture ministers shared the view that international exchanges and cooperation should be sustained in the cultural and arts sectors regardless of the coronavirus outbreak.

The fourth ASEAN-RoK Culture Ministers' Meeting was also held online on the sidelines of the event.

At the ASEAN-RoK meeting, RoK Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo proposed establishing bilateral cooperation organisations on visual arts and cultural heritage between the two sides. In response, ASEAN agreed to hold follow-up discussions on the creation of the two new cooperation bodies.

More Vietnamese citizens from abroad return home

Over 240 Vietnamese citizens from the Philippines were flown home safely on October 23.

The flight was arranged by the Vietnamese authorities, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.

Passengers include children aged below 18, the elderly, pregnant women, labourers with expired contracts, students without residence due to dormitory shutdown and other especially disadvantaged cases.

After landing in Can Tho, they were put under quarantine in line with regulations.

Also from October 22-23, more than 360 Vietnamese citizens from the US and the Republic of Korea also returned home.

They were also quarantined after arriving at Da Nang international airport.

In the near future, similar flights will be conducted to take more citizens in disadvantaged situation home, considering domestic pandemic situation and quarantine capacity./.

Developing smart cities one of key tasks in national digital transformation: PM

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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the plenary session of the Summit

As an active member of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), Vietnam has built policies and made efforts to develop smart cities, considering this one of three key tasks in the national digital transformation process, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has stated.

Addressing the plenary session of the ASEAN Smart Cities Summit and Expo 2020 in Hanoi on October 22, the PM said as the Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam virtually hosted the ASCN’s 3rd conference in July, which discussed action plans to realise the building of smart cities and strengthen cooperation with partners in the spirit of an cohesive and responsive ASEAN.

Smart urban development is really "a big game" that needs to be joined by many "players" with vision and resources, towards realising the goal of happiness, comprehensive human development, environmental protection and sustainable development of urban ecosystems, the Vietnamese government leader affirmed.

Vietnam defines smart and sustainable urban development as a breakthrough direction to contribute to improving the national competitiveness, he went on.

He underlined that smart city development must be closely linked with strong information infrastructure and e-government development, towards an digital government.

It also needs to focus on promoting the added value brought about by new technologies and techniques, as well as the distinctive cultural identities of ASEAN member nations, he noted.

Besides, it is necessary to attract the strong participation of the private sector in boosting innovation and creativity, he emphasised.

The PM asked for continued promotion of scientific strategic and high-quality human resources development programmes, as well as harmoniously linking innovation and digital transformation programmes with sustainable smart city rban development orientations.

Meanwhile, head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh said developing smart cities is an important way to effectively tap opportunities brought by the fourth Industrial Revolution, towards sustainable development for each country.

The ASCN, which groups 26 member cities, is a collaborative forum among cities of the 10 ASEAN member states towards achieving common goals of smart and sustainable urban development, Binh said.

Participants to the ASEAN Smart Cities Summit and Expo 2020 focused on sharing of initiatives and experience in developing smart cities in the region, and measures to further promote regional cooperation in this field.

In the framework of the event, a number of symposiums were organised, focusing on smart urban planning and management in urbanisation and urban development strategy, development of digital infrastructure and fundamental digital technology for smart cities, development of smart services in cities serving national digital transformation process, smart energy and transportation in urbanisation and urban development./.

Smart cities need smart planning: Experts

Smart planning plays a key role in developing smart cities, experts told a workshop held in Hanoi on October 22 within the framework of the ASEAN Smart Cities Summit and Expo 2020.

According to Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tuong Van, experience gained from other countries reveals that a city cannot “go smarter” without smart planning and effective tools to manage the development of urban areas based on such planning.

The construction ministry’s draft strategy on urban area development to 2030 and vision to 2050 highlights that the building of smart cities is important in turning Vietnam into a modern and industrialised nation with high incomes by 2045, he said.

Despite its damaging impact, COVID-19 has opened up opportunities to raise awareness among urban authorities about the significance of technology in day-to-day life, Van said, and this creates the premise for the development of smart cities in Vietnam and ASEAN as a whole.

Meanwhile, President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners Alfonso Vegara stressed that regional planning should be taken into account while developing planning for Hanoi’s smart urban areas.

He went on to explain that design for smart cities must include sound regional connectivity as well as digitalised infrastructure connectivity, to boost future comprehensive growth.

President of the Association of Cities in Vietnam Vo Hong Anh said planning for the development of smart urban areas should be integrated into long-term urbanisation strategies.

Planning for smart cities must be seen as a solid foundation for socio-economic development, and the planning process needs the engagement of ministries, scientists, and private enterprises, she added.

On a regional scale, smart city networks should be shaped to create better lives for local people, the official said, adding that only with smart planning can local authorities optimise the management of urban development, improve livelihoods, and create development opportunities to ensure that no one is left behind.

HCMC announces list of paid quarantine accommodation facilities

The Department of Tourism of HCMC has announced the list of hotels that have signed up to become quarantine areas for suspected Covid-19 patients. 

As of present, around 23 hotels offering more than 1,700 rooms have been approved by the municipal People’s Committee as paid isolation zones.

Hotels that have been already to receive people under coronavirus quarantine include Eastin Grand and Park Royal for aircrew; and Holiday Inn, IBIS Saigon Airport, De Nhat, Norfolk,  IBIS Saigon South, Alagon City, Riverside, AEM Signature, Bat Dat, Huong Sen 3, Sunshine Boutique, AEM, Sky Gem Central, Sen Viet Boutique, Kim Cuong Xanh (Blue Diamond) on Thu Khoa Huan Street, Kim Cuong Xanh (Blue Diamond) on Thai Van Lung Street, Cititel Parkview SaiGon, Sai Gon - Hanoi, Sabina, Can Gio-Tan Thai Duong, Can Gio- Mangrove for arrivals.

Departments of Tourism and Health have also considered request for becoming coronavirus isolation facilities of 26 accommodation units providing over 1,300 in the city, including 2 five-star cruise ships, 17 three-star hotels, two 2-star hotels and one five-star hotel.

These hotels have been checked for the safety and isolation requirements by the HCMC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health.

Vietnamese and foreign people can choose selected paid quarantine accommodation facilities for their mandatory two-week quarantine period and potential COVID-19 testing.

In Notification No.238/TB-VPCP dated on July 12, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to provide the list of accommodation units which have resisted to become coronavirus isolation facilities with service charges to the ministries of Defense and Health.

On July 20, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism sent a dispatch to People's Committees of provinces and cities nationwide, suggesting localities to use tourist accommodations as isolated areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

City’s departments of Tourism and Health have cooperated together to research and assess hotels’ service and facilities, and submit the list of selected units to seek approval of the municipal People’s Committee.

Hanoi takes numerous measures to tackle air pollution

Hanoi has always paid attention to managing by-products and waste from agricultural activities, handling plastic waste and managing garbage circulation.

With a view to improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in recent years, Hanoi has implemented numerous programs and solutions which have been supported by the municipal authorities and people, Kinh Te & Do Thi reported.

According to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi has carried out three updates for the project "Ambitious city commitments" with the target of reducing emission and adapting to climate change in each stage.

Hanoi has identified five priority groups for the project, including air quality management, waste management, energy, urban planning, green lifestyle and sustainable consumption.

Besides, the city has implemented an array of environmental protection solutions, checked development plans which include climate change adaptation factors, prioritized eco-friendly projects and focused on implementing sustainable environmental protection solutions towards a building a low carbon city.

So far, Hanoi has installed 50 indoor sensor stations at schools and some offices to provide people with timely air quality indicators. This helps policy-makers come up with appropriate regulations in improving air quality.

In the time ahead, Hanoi will continue to coordinate with the German Development Agency GIZ to install another 20 sensor stations in Hoan Kiem district, contributing to gradually completing the air monitoring network.

Regarding waste management, the city has always paid attention to managing by-products and waste from agricultural activities, handling plastic waste and managing garbage circulation.

Hanoi has also conducted surveys and offered appropriate solutions for localities to develop action plans for developing renewable energy, evaluating effective pilot models and replicating the models in different localities.

Among those solutions, encouraging the local residents to use solar panels has been a priority and household will be given VND1 million (US$43.2) for installing solar roof.

Especially, Hanoi will implement two pilot projects by late 2020 for curbing emissions. The first one is recycled playground project and the second is rooftop solar energy system in Cau Giay district.

When the two projects are put into operation, they will not only contribute to improving facilities, creating a useful common living space for people, but also help them experience new environmentally-friendly activities and create the habit of using recycled materials and reading daily air indicators.

Vietnam-Japan Cultural Space holds workshops

The Vietnam Women’s Museum together with Ikebana House recently launched the Vietnam-Japan Cultural Space to promote the beauty of handicrafts from both countries. Let’s take a look!

Part of the workshop enables visitors to learn more about Vietnam’s traditional weaving craft and they will be able to experience the trade first-hand. Even youngsters can take part and have a good time.

Not only do visitors have the chance to experience the beauty of embroidery and the traditional “ao dai” (Vietnam’s traditional costume) showcased at the workshop, they can also watch the creation of a lovely Ikebana flower bouquet and learn about the traditional Japanese craft of flower making. The flower making workshop is held under the tutelage of an Ikebana artist.

The workshops are also a venue for cultural exchanges between Vietnam and Japan and gives visitors the chance to learn more about the culture and people of the “land of rising sun” as well as the delicate and creative beauty of traditional Vietnamese handmade embroidery.

The Vietnam-Japan Cultural Space is located on the 5th floor of the Vietnam Women’s Museum, 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi. It is open on weekdays, with special arts and cultural workshops for women held every weekend./.

United Nations to remain as lighthouse for multilateralism: Deputy PM

The United Nations (UN) will remain as a lighthouse for multilateralism and an incubator of initiatives for global peace and development, said Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at a reception to celebrate the UN’s 75th founding anniversary in Hanoi on October 23.

Minh spoke highly of the UN’s ceaseless efforts for the universal development over the last 75 years, in all aspects of international peace and security maintenance, development cooperation and protection of human rights.

UN organizations have provided continuous assistance to Vietnam’s post-war reconstruction, “Doi Moi” (Renewal) period and today’s industrialization and modernization, he said, adding that these organizations have contributed considerably to empowerment of women, protection of children, job creation, institutional building, expansion of healthcare, agricultural modernization and addressing natural disaster aftermaths in Vietnam.

Competition among world powers, tensions and conflicts, and lack of commitments to multilateralism have been hampering efforts made by the UN, so Vietnam is committed to promoting multilateralism led by the UN, Minh said.

He recalled Vietnam’s contributions to maintaining global peace and security at the UN Security Council and how it has strived to take the lead in reforming the UN’s development system and accelerate the participation in the UN’s peacekeeping missions.

As Chair of ASEAN this year, Vietnam is taking great efforts to step up cooperation between the UN and ASEAN, particularly in coping with impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued.

The Deputy PM expected the UN will continue providing Vietnam with policy consultancy, sharing knowledge and experience and support the country’s capacity building./.

HCMC releases plan to develop remote sensing
 
Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has just introduced a strategic plan for remote sensing development in the city until 2030, with a vision to 2040.

The strategic plan to promote remote sensing in HCMC is supposed to boost state management capability regarding remote sensing activities in accordance with the current laws.

Used correctly, this valuable technology can actively contribute to the socio-economic growth of the city and ensure national defense as well as social security in the whole city.

This plan will mostly focus on developing proper human resources, building suitable IT infrastructure for the convenient use of collected remote sensing data, creating a stable remote sensing database, carrying out scientific research of the field, and encouraging international cooperation.

Connections Through Culture arts mobility grants launched

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The British Council Vietnam has launched the “Connections through Culture UK-Southeast Asia” program. 

Launched in August 2019, the “Connections through Culture UK-Southeast Asia” is a bilateral grants program designed to seed exciting cultural exchanges between artists, arts professionals and arts organizations, and nurture cooperation and long-lasting relationships between the UK and six Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Artists, arts professionals, and art group representatives from the six Southeast Asia countries and the UK are eligible to apply for the mobility grants valued from GBP2, 500 - GBP 5,000. Artists from Southeast Asia and the UK may use the grants for self-directed travels to meet with specialists, peers in the field and potential collaborators in the UK and in Southeast Asia. Through the program, the British Council helps participants to break new ground, support creativity and innovation, and connect the most exciting established and emerging counterparts in East Asia to the best of UK creativity.
Projects will be needed to be completed between January to June 2021. The primary objective is to support exchanges and collaborations between the UK and Southeast Asia. The deadline for applications is November 8.

Applicants can join the information session with the British Council in Vietnam Arts and Creative Industries Team to learn more about the grant at 3 p.m on October 23. The sign up link is http://bit.ly/CtC-info-register.

Catwalk shows to return for Vietnam Int’l Fashion Week in December

The Vietnam International Fashion Week Fall Winter 2020 will be held at Nguyen Du Indoor Stadium in HCMC on December 3-6. 

The four-day fashion show themed “Future is now” will present Vietnamese leading designers’ latest collections to buyers and the fashion media. The event influences trends for the current and upcoming seasons.

The event’s organizer will cast actors, models, and talent to work on the fashion show at Sofitel Saigon Plaza in HCMC’s District 1 on October 23.

The casting panel will include winners of Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2013 and 2015, Mau Thanh Thuy, and Huong Ly; the runner-up of Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2017, Thuy Duong and the runner-up of The Face Vietnam 2018, Quynh Anh.

Ha Tinh Province’s 40-meter sea dyke section breached

A sea dyke section with a length of 40 meters going through Yen Diem Village, Thinh Loc Commune, Loc Ha District in the Central province of Ha Tinh was cracked and breached due to the current tidal period along with rising floodwater from the upstream rivers.  

The information was reported by the People’s Committee of Thinh Loc Commune.

As soon as receiving the information, the local authorities mobilized security police and military forces of Loc Ha District, border guard force and residents to use specialized means, sandbags and a large number of stone to consolidate underside of the embankment.

However, the dyke section could collapsed at any time amid the current tidal wave, big sea waves, a large volume of floodwater from the upstream rivers. 

The dyke section plays an important role in protecting the safety of lives and property for local people.

Additionally, the embankment contributed to prevent from saltwater instruction and big waves, protect land resources, etc.

Physical education for children with disabilities: More than playing games

A sport festival for children with mental retardation, Down syndrome and with autism has released parents’ anxiety while they have been haunting to find a suitable sport for their beloved children. 

Para Hockey festival has just been organized for children with mental retardation, Down syndrome and with autism by the Ho Chi Minh City Hockey Federation and the disabled community in Vietnam under sponsor of the Vietnam Olympic Committee.

Mother Trieu Le Xuan shouted and made a lot of noise cheering on her son with intellectual disability who has taken part in the sport. She recalled that her son is usually frightened by strangers and rarely talks to anyone; she has lately taken him to sport classes with other children who are also disabled ones. Her son’s condition has improved as he talks to his friends.

She added that she was surprised at seeing her son following his coach’s instruction of movement.
According to medical workers, children with mental retardation, Down syndrome and with autism may have difficulty developing language skills and understanding what others say to them or even communicating nonverbally, such as through hand gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions and they tend to keep away from crowd.

According to UNICEF Vietnam, of 68 Vietnamese children, one suffers autism spectrum disorder.
Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Competition and Training Center Ly Dai Nghia said above-mentioned children have high demand for sports which will help them to increase motor development, physical strength and social interaction; however, there is not many stadium for special children to play.
Scientific studies have proved children with mentally retardation benefit from the exercise, energy release, and pure enjoyment of playing sports. The benefits of regular physical activity include better overall fitness, improved social skills, improved motor skills and more self-esteem.

Chairman of the HCMC Hockey Federation Nguyen Ha Truong Hai said that the festival is not only for children with special needs but also their parents. He revealed the festival has seen the participation of more than 30 families with their children.

Competition to be organized for preschool teachers

In order to honor and recognize good teachers in preschools as well as attract public attention towards educating children, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training will organize a competition between good teachers.

With the aim to reassess preschool teachers and improve teaching quality in preschools, preschool teachers citywide are entitled to take part in the competition voluntarily.

Two teachers of each district will be representatives for the district in the competition which is scheduled to take place in March and April, 2021.

Schools organize activities in response to Ao Dai festival

Schoolers in Ho Chi Minh City are encouraged to engage in activities in response to Ao Dai festival in October and November. 

According to a document from the Department of Education and Training in HCMC to school principals, schools should organize extra-activities in response to Ao Dai festival 2020 themed “I love Vietnamese Ao Dai” which has been launched by the Vietnam Women’s Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Following the Department’s appeal, schools will encourage female students to wear Ao Dai more days in a week as well as organize speed competition of Ao Dai history.

Moreover, students will be taken to venue where exhibit Ao Dai in the Ao Dai Museum and the Southern Women's Museum.

Female teachers and students in the traditional costume will take part in the program “ Truyen Cam Hung ve Ao Dai” ( Inspiring people to wear Ao Dai) performed at the War Remnant Museum and the city Post Office.

High schoolers of Ernst Thaimann school performed the program “ Truyen Cam Hung ve Ao Dai” ( Inspiring people to wear Ao Dai) on October 19 and their peers from Marie Curie School will perform on November 2.

There will be different activities at the festival including performance of newest series of Ao Dai and talk shows delivered by ambassadors of Ao Dai.

Ministry provides 4.2 million disinfectants for water treatment

Vietnamese Ministry of Health has decided to supply of disinfectants for water treatment such as Chloramine B and Aquatabs to six central provinces which are hardest hit by natural disasters to curb danger of disease in the aftermath of the flood. 

Acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long signed a decision to supply 700,000 Aquatabs water purification tablets, water purification tools to each central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien – Hue, Quang Nam, and Da Nang.

The Ministry ordered its standing office of disaster prevention and rescue to work with departments of health in cities and provinces to quickly distribute the disinfectants to local administrations which are responsible for households in the localities.

On the same day, the Vietnam Red Cross Society continued providing relief assistance to three hardest-hit flood provinces including Quang Binh, Quang Tr and Ha Tinh with total cash and relief good of nearly VND2.7 billion (US$ 116,236)

The aid for Quang Binh and Quang Tri each includes nearly VND500 million in cash, 700 boxes of essential goods and 300 boxes of water purification chemicals while the aid for Ha Tinh includes VND300 million, 300 boxes for essential good, 700 households items and 200 boxes of water purification chemicals.

Before, the Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC) Society had provided emergency aids to Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Quang Nam and Thua Thien- Hue with a total of nearly VND2 billion.

“A green, clean and safe Vietnam for every child” 2020 program starts in HCMC

In celebration of the World Children’s Day 2020 and implementing the “Child-Friendly City Initiative” Project in 2017-2021, the Young Pioneer Organization Council of Ho Chi Minh City in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City Office kicked off the “A green, clean and safe Vietnam for every child” 2020 program. 

Child Protection Specialist, Tran Cong Binh hands over trees to students at the event. (Photo: SGGP)
The launching ceremony was held at Chi Lang secondary school in HCMC’s District 4 on October 20.

On this occasion, students had a chance to enjoy dramas and photo exhibition on raising the people's awareness of environmental protection; and learn to identify and classify waste, reduce plastic waste, keep the school clean and learn the best way to wash their hands to prevent the spread of virus.
The program will be organized in Children's Cultural Center of Can Gio District on November 1. Additionally, talks on environmental protection, tree planting, and recycling and environmental initiatives will be also held in districts throughout the city from October 20-November 21.

Hanoi completes traffic infrastructure to develop satellite urban areas: Official

Satellite urban areas are the nucleus to promote suburban development, with its own, unique and mixed functions to support Hanoi city’s downtown.

Hanoi needs to focus on completing transport infrastructure to connect five satellite urban areas with downtown and create a strong boost for socio-economic development in these urban areas, Kinh Te & Do Thi quoted Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Transport Vu Ha as saying.

According to the master plan of transport in the capital city to 2030, with a vision to 2050 approved by the prime minister, one of Hanoi’s key tasks is to develop the five satellite urban areas, including Hoa Lac, Son Tay, Xuan Mai, Phu Xuyen, and Soc Son.

The five satellite urban areas are the nucleus to promote suburban development, with its own, unique and mixed functions to support Hanoi city’s downtown.

Over the past years, the city has spent about VND7 trillion (US$302.5 million) per year to build and upgrade roads, with the priority given to suburban traffic infrastructure.

Mr. Vu Ha said that Hanoi's achievements in the development of transport infrastructure in recent years were thanks to the municipal authorities’ guidance and local residents’ support.

“To quickly complete the synchronous transport infrastructure network for the five satellite urban areas, Hanoi needs to be very flexible in the financial mechanism as well as in mobilizing investment capital,” Mr. Vu Ha said.

Sharing the same view, transport expert Phan Truong Thanh said that the city’s budget allocation should focus on the main thoroughfares which can connect numerous localities, the capital region, and urban railway, among others.

 

Besides, Hanoi should pay attention to step by step completing the network of intercity bus stations in the area inside Ring Road 4 since these are important traffic hubs connecting the city’s downtown with the five satellite urban areas and neighboring provinces and cities.

Many experts believe that, along with investment in roads, Hanoi should have an effective mechanism to attract financial resources for its metro lines, especially the ones connecting with satellite urban areas, Mr. Thanh added.

Hanoi to expand public transport network in period 2021-2030  

Hanoi will build more interchanges infrastructure, organize traffic in the direction of giving priority to the public transport and encourage people to use public transport services.
The Hanoi People's Committee has issued a plan for the expansion of the city’s mass transit network in the period 2021-2030, the Governmental Portal reported.

According to the plan, the city’s public transport infrastructure will be expanded by 80% to 90% to ensure the accessibility of the network by 2030, and meets the criteria that people anywhere in the city could hop on a bus in a radius of 500 meters.

In order to improve the quality of mass transportation services, Hanoi will draw up more regulations to create a healthy competitive environment, subsidize interest rates on loans of public transport companies to expand the bus fleet.

In the time ahead, the Hanoi People's Committee will strengthen information technology application in traffic management in order to maximize the capacity of existing transport infrastructure, ensure traffic safety and order, and contribute to limiting traffic accidents.

The city also aims to soon complete two schemes namely "Collecting toll on vehicles in some urban areas at risk of traffic congestion and environmental pollution" and "Zoning to curb motorbikes in accordance with infrastructure and service capacity of public transport system to ban motorbikes in the districts in 2030".

Besides, the city will build more interchange infrastructure, organize traffic in the direction of giving priority to the public transport and encourage people to use public transport services instead of private vehicles.

The municipal authorities will define the mode of mass transit, number of vehicles and the network for each period, ensuring connectivity among highly populated areas.

Hanoi will request the Vietnamese government to prioritize ODA loans for purchasing modern public transport vehicles, with emission levels meeting EURO 5 standards, using clean energy and environmental-friendly engine.

According to a report from the municipal Department of Transport, Hanoi currently has 124 bus routes, covering 30 districts and towns, 453 out of 584 communes, representing a coverage ratio of 78% of the city’s territory.

The report also showed that public passenger transport continues to grow. The city's public transport provided some 948.5 million rides in 2019. Of the number, 510.5 million were transported by bus, meeting about 17.03% of the people’s commuting demand, an increase of 3.2 percentage points compared to 2017.

HSBC joins hands with WWF-Vietnam in mangrove forest restoration project

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 The project will support the country’s pledge of increasing forest cover to 45%.

The project will support the country’s pledge of increasing forest cover to 45%.

HSBC Vietnam has partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Vietnam to implement a mangrove forest restoration project in Mui Ca Mau National Park in the southernmost tip of mainland Vietnam.  

The five-year VND10 billion (US$431,000) project will generate 150 hectares of mangrove forest that will in turn help address serious socio-environmental challenges, such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security, human health and disaster risk management. 

According to HSBC’s recent report “Tackling the next crisis”, for Asia, climate change is defined as the crisis of the century, not the coronavirus pandemic and Vietnam is among the countries that can be most impacted.

Ho Chi Minh City is among many cities in Asia (besides Mumbai, Shanghai, Bangkok and Jakarta) that are being increasingly threatened by rising sea levels. The country is also ranked in the top five for agricultural sector risk scores by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and HSBC, and typhoon-induced damage on agricultural production is set to increase.

On the other hand, Asia is not just on the receiving end of climate change: it has become an integral part of perpetuating the problem. The region has accounted for 87% of global greenhouse gas and 78% of CO2 emissions growth since 1990. Among reasons which could be so preventable, deforestation has become a major emissions contributor in Southeast Asia including Vietnam.

“We intend to actively contribute to Vietnam’s efforts in tackling climate change which is a critical issue facing the country. HSBC provides funding to assist with preserving the environment and helping support activities that also protect and enhance nature so that future generations can live in a cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable world,” said Tim Evans, CEO of HSBC Vietnam. “By investing in this project in Mui Ca Mau National Park, HSBC Vietnam will play an important part in building Vietnam’s resilience against natural disasters and climate change so that families, communities and businesses can thrive in the future”.

Within the scope of the project, HSBC Vietnam works alongside conservationist experts from WWF Vietnam to develop a far-reaching and innovative program that will nurture the vulnerable ecology of Mui Ca Mau National Park, the Mekong Delta and beyond. The project is expected to support Vietnam’s commitment in the Paris Agreement which is a 8%-reduction in emissions by 2030 (compared to business as usual levels) or 25% conditional, upon international support. Specifically, the project will also support the country’s pledge of increasing forest cover to 45%.

150-ha mangrove forest is regenerated by applying newly developed natural mangrove regeneration technology to ensure the highest possibility of tree growth. When reaching maturity, this 150-ha mangrove forest will be able to sequestrate at least 20,000 tons of carbon per year, reducing CO2 levels. The mangrove trees will also form a buffer between the land, sea and rivers, helping maintain this patch of the Mekong Delta and shield it from natural disasters.

In addition, this new forest area will provide ecosystem services for more than 10,000 households to be protected from flooding and to improve their fishery spawning ground by up to 350-390 tons of seafood per year. This project is also poised to explore best management practices and disseminate those to buffer zone communities for alternative livelihood solutions.

Another component of the project will also feature an education program on forest protection and biodiversity conservation for about 3,000 households in the core zone of the national park, raising their awareness about conservation issues.

Mr. Van Ngoc Thinh, Country Director of WWF-Viet Nam said: “The green and just response to the current environmental crisis as a whole at the heart of recovery strategies, investments and decisions and actions through this partnership will contribute to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 to reach sustainable development goals and future proof our country.”

“The contribution of corporates in the community cannot just be limited to conducting business in a sustainable manner, and/or contributing to the overall economic growth of the country but they must also use their resources to try to minimize any negative environmental impact and help improve the living standards of the community”, added Mr. Evans, “With a presence of 150 years in Vietnam and as a leading international bank, we also see part of our mission in the country to help preserve its nature and environment”.

UNICEF grants aid to children in flood-hit central region

UNICEF will provide at least 100,000 USD in emergency relief to the central region which has been devastated by floods and landslides triggered by downpours over the past two weeks.

The UN agency said on October 22 that the natural disasters have put more than 1.5 million local children at the risk of diseases, poor nutrition and delayed develoment. At least 135,000 families have been directly impacted by flood water levels as high as 2 meters in certain communes, and over half a million people unable to access protected water sources.

In addition, 42 clinics have been damaged and many others are isolated by flooding, leaving many mothers and children separated from the basic and preventative health care so important in such times of heightened disease risk. Schools in many localities had to temporarily close and nearly 1.2 million students are currently out of school and learning is disrupted.

UNICEF experts are conducting surveys in most seriously affected provinces to assess the needs of children and women. Based on the surveys, UNICEF will raise and allocate further funds and expertise to support the Government and communities to address the many challenges.

“UNICEF has allocated an initial 100,000 USD for emergency relief in water, sanitation, hygiene, health, nutrition, and education, as well as psychosocial support and child protection,“ said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam.  She added that while urgently addressing health risks, it is a must to also get children back to learning./.

RoK provides 300,000 USD for Vietnamese flood-hit people

The government of the Republic of Korea (RoK) has decided to provide a humanitarian aid package worth 300,000 USD for Vietnam to help it overcome consequences of recent floods in its central region, the RoK's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on October 22.

According to the ministry, heavy rains that have lasted since October 6 claimed more than 100 lives in central Vietnam. Floods also forced over 90,000 people to evacuate and submerged about 130,000 houses. Property losses are extremely great.

The ministry said it hopes the donation will contribute to urgently supporting flood-hit people, helping them soon stabilise their lives.

In the coming time, the RoK government will continue its efforts to support countries and people in difficulty who are not only affected by natural disasters but also by other humanitarian crises, the ministry said./.

RoK legislator affirms Vietnam’s central role in New Southern policy

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Speaker of the National Assembly of Republic of Korea (RoK) Park Byeong-seug (R) receives Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tung in Seoul (Photo: VNA)

Speaker of the National Assembly of Republic of Korea (RoK) Park Byeong-seug affirmed Vietnam is a central cooperation partner in the RoK’s New Southern policy at a reception for Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tung in Seoul on October 22.

The RoK top legislator welcomed the ambassador who took up the post in the RoK at a time when bilateral ties are growing in all aspects, and the two countries are important partners of each other in politics-security and trade-investment. People-to-people exchanges between the two countries are also expanding.

He added that both the RoK and Vietnam are models of success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed his wish to visit Vietnam, the first Asian country he chooses to visit as National Assembly speaker, at an early date.

Ambassador Tung confirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to bolstering the Vietnam-RoK strategic cooperative partnership, especially at a time when Vietnam along with other ASEAN member countries and the RoK are actively implementing the New Southern policy.

He asked the RoK to continue supporting the Vietnamese community in the RoK, and pledged to do his best to promote the relationship between the two countries.

Tra Vinh to grow high-value crops on low-yield rice fields

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh plans to switch to high-value crops on more low-yield rice fields and use advanced farming techniques to improve farmers’ incomes in the next five years.

Of 8,108ha on its radar, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said 4,258ha would see a complete switch to short-term crops, 2,487ha would be used for perennial trees and the remaining 1,363ha would have rice and aquatic species.

Phạm Minh Truyền, director of the department, said to ensure an efficient switch the department in co-operation with localities would step up advocacy for the programme and related incentives.

It encourages farmers to join co-operative groups and co-operatives to improve their efficiency and link up with companies to secure outlets, he said.

The province would focus on research and creating new varieties of crops with high yields and quality that can adapt to climate change and are resistant to diseases, he said.

It would implement the preferential policies of both central and local governments related to switching from rice to other crops and investment in agriculture, he said.

Since 2015 more than 18,300ha have been converted, he said.

Other crops offer 1.3-7.6 times the income rice does, according to the department.     

Farmers in the province now earn an average of VNĐ130 million (US$5,600) per hectare per year, VNĐ6.3 million higher than in 2015 while aquaculture yields VNĐ360 million ($15,600), an increase of VNĐ110 million.   

The province has also encouraged farmers with a total of 9,000ha growing a mix of various other crops to switch to high-value fruits, coconut, vegetables, and timber.

On such lands, farmers should identify which of their crops is suitable for growing, especially drought-resistant, and stick to those, the department said.

Most of these lands are in Cầu Ngang, Trà Cú, Duyên Hải, and Châu Thành districts, have sandy soil, are one to four metres above sea level, and grow various kinds of plants including bamboo and timber, it said.

Truyền said most of these lands yield low incomes, and so their owners are encouraged to switch to mango, longan, milk apple, jackfruit, peanut, water melon, vegetables, and other crops.

To encourage the switch, the province provides subsidies to farmers, co-operatives, co-operative groups, and companies for buying seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides.

They receive VNĐ6-12 million ($260-520) per hectare in the first year and VNĐ 3-5 million ($130-216) in the second for up to 50ha of lands.

Authorities have taken measures to popularise advanced techniques to improve the yield and quality of agricultural products and thus farmers’ incomes.

The province’s Farmers Association has helped nearly 4,000 farmers adopt advanced techniques in recent years.

They include using hydroponics, net houses and poly greenhouse farming, cultivating crops to Vietnamese and global good agricultural practices (VietGAP and GlobalGAP) standards and breeding aquatic species using intensive farming and super-intensive farming methods.      

A model of growing honeydew melon in poly greenhouses in Châu Thành District, for instance, brings farmers an income of VNĐ1.2-1.8 billion ($51,860-77,800) per hectare per year.

Nguyễn Tường Linh, deputy head of the Châu Thành Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the model, with drip irrigation, helps save water, prevent pests, and reduce the use of pesticides.

“It is a sustainable agricultural production model and suitable for use amid climate change.”

The province has nearly 17,000ha of lands using advanced farming techniques, or 4.5 per cent of its total farmlands, according to the department.

It has created brand names for 26 agricultural products and developed agricultural co-operatives and value chains to improve farmers’ incomes.

The province’s rural per capita income area has risen 1.2 times since 2015 to VNĐ32 million ($1,380).

Mushroom farming brings prosperity in Bắc Ninh

After investing VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) to grow mushrooms in a 300 sq.m workshop in 2015, a family in the northern province of Bắc Ninh earned VNĐ150 million a year later.

The profit made Lương Thị Kim Ngọc, born in 1989, and her husband, of Đông Cứu Commune, Gia Bình District, more confident in their start-up choice.

But one winter day, they were astonished to see all of the mushrooms in their workshop had spoiled after a frigid night.

“Mushrooms grow well in hot weather with high humidity. However, at this time, our workshop was wrapped with nets only. Cold winds ruined all the mushroom germs,” Ngọc said.

“We were just so inexperienced,” Ngọc said, adding that they rushed to get money to fix the workshop so that it could meet Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) standards.

Unlike conventional mushroom growing techniques, VietGAP requires farmers to follow strict requirements in every production stages, Ngọc said.

Growers have to use listed substances only, she said, adding that she prefered bioproducts for her mushrooms.

“When I first started growing mushrooms, I mixed straw and sawdust to make mushroom substrates. Then, I used cotton instead of straw,” she said.

“My husband and I were so happy to see our first mushroom batches. We brought the mushroom to offer to all the food stores in the neighbourhood,” Ngọc said, adding that the stores accepted the mushrooms.

“For the first year, we earned a profit of VNĐ150 million,” she said, noting that, since then, they have earned about VNĐ30 million monthly.

Graduating from Biotechnology Department of Thái Nguyên Agriculture and Forestry in 2012, Ngọc said she used to work for companies but returned to her hometown to grow mushrooms which helped her to satisfy her two passions – business and biotechnology.

Growing mushrooms depended much on the weather, so having a standard workshop played a key role in successful farming, Ngọc said.

Ngọc paid much attention to the workshop where she installed an automatic lighting system and a semi-automatic watering system so lights and humidity could be adjusted properly, creating favourable conditions for mushroom growth.

In 2018, Ngọc’s mushroom workshop was recognised as meeting VietGAP standards.

Gia Bình District Women’s Union also helped Ngọc access a loan of VNĐ300 million to develop her start-up.

Ngọc invited seven people in her neighbourhood to form a co-operative. Ngọc taught other co-operative members farming techniques and found a market for their products.

With a stable market, Ngọc’s co-operative sells about a tonne of oyster mushrooms and 700kg of straw mushrooms monthly.

As Ngọc’s business has expanded, she offered regular jobs for three other people and seasonal jobs for two others. Each of them could earn on average VNĐ6 million monthly.

Đào Thị Chắt, a farmer in Đông Cứu Commune, said that thanks to Ngọc’s support, she now also grew mushroom in addition to rice.

“Mushrooms help generate extra income for my family and improve our living conditions,” she said.

Trần Thị Hoa, chairwoman of Gia Bình District Women’s Union, said that the union connected Ngọc and other local farmers who wanted to grow mushrooms.

Ngọc not only shared her experience and farming skills but also helped other mushroom growers sell their products, Hoa said, adding that the union has been supporting Ngọc to develop her own mushroom trademark. 

Pilots continually blinded by laser beams

Laser beams are threatening flight safety at Vietnam's two biggest international airports of Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat.

Since early October, four crew groups have reported being blinded by laser beams while taking off and landing at Noi Bai Aiport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City.

In the most recent case at Noi Bai Airport, the pilot of CV6289 flight of Cargolux Airlines said the laser beam was aimed at the cockpit at 2,000 metres high while they were flying from Bahrain to Hanoi.

Noi Bai Airport Operation Control Centre has reported to the Northern Airports Authority and Hanoi Police Department to investigate the case.

On October 7, the pilot of Vietjet Air also reported about laser beam being aimed at the cockpit as the plane was taking off from HCM City to Hanoi. On October 9, a Vietnam Airlines plane was landing at Tan Son Nhat Airport when the laser beam at nearby golf course aimed at the cockpit.

Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said this is a serious issue that threatens aviation safety and the pilots' health. According to the administration, it's difficult to deal with such cases and violators because mini laser projection equipment is sold everywhere and those who shined the laser only did for a brief moment.

People who caught shining laser beams at moving planes will be fined from VND30m (USD1,300) to VND40m.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam has proposed to tighten the regulations by applying a fine of VND30m to VND100m, three years of non-custodial reform or one to five years of imprisonment to those who shine laser beams at planes and cause injuries or fatalities.

Acting Vietnamese air commander chairs 17th ASEAN Air Chiefs Conference

The 17th ASEAN Air Chiefs Conference (AACC-17) took place online on October 22 under the chair of Major Gen. Vu Van Kha, Acting Commander of the Vietnam Air Defence-Air Force (VAD-AF).

In his address, Kha said the presence of air commanders and delegates from ASEAN member nations’ air forces shows the support for and confidence in the VAD-AF as host and strongly affirms the solidarity and unity of the forces, especially in the context of COVID-19.

Themed “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Air Forces”, AACC-17 firmly demonstrates the will and determination of the ASEAN air forces in building a united ASEAN that actively responds to challenges, and takes advantage of opportunities for mutual development, he said.

He underlined the importance of enhancing cohesion to respond to challenges at present and in the future for the stability and sustainable development of the air forces of ASEAN member countries in particular and the ASEAN Community in general, towards ensuring an environment of peace, stability and development.

According to Kha, the air forces of ASEAN countries have proactively promoted cooperation activities, both bilaterally and multilaterally, but due to differences in resources, organisational structure, operating mechanisms, and weapons and equipment, multilateral cooperation is yet to be commensurate with the growing multilateral cooperation between regional militaries.

In recent years, the VAD-AF has been promoting bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the air forces of other ASEAN member nations, with a focus on exchanging delegations at all levels; sharing experience and expertise in pilot training, aviation engineering, and the maintenance and repair of weapons and equipment; and education and training cooperation.

The Vietnamese officer stressed the need for ASEAN air forces to further tighten their relationship via concrete and practical actions, for the stability, safety, and security of the region.

Delegates compared notes on global and regional issues as well as opportunities and challenges facing the ASEAN air forces.

They also proposed measures to promote friendly relations and cooperation between the regional air forces in the time to come, and evaluated the quality of multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drills to complete regulations on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief of the forces.

In the framework of the conference, Kha handed over the presidency of AACC-18 in 2021 to Thailand’s Royal Air Force./.

Vietjet donates 10,000VND per ticket to people in central region

Vietjet decided to directly give a part of sales revenue to support people in the central region who are suffering heavy losses from consecutive storms and floods.

Accordingly, for each ticket sold from now until November 21, Vietjet will donate 10,000 VND to support people in the region. The donated money will be transferred by Vietjet to authorities and charity funds to buy essentials as well as to support residents in flood-affected areas to restore their lives and overcome the hard time.

Additionally, since October 19, Vietjet has been providing free transportation and priority for relief goods on the earliest flights which departure from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to airports in Chu Lai (Quang Nam), Da Nang (Da Nang), Phu Bai (Thua Thien Hue), Dong Hoi (Quang Binh) and Vinh (Nghe An).

The airline also gives free air tickets to officials of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and People's Committees of provinces and cities who have duties at the central region during this period.

ASEAN meeting promotes inclusive entrepreneurship for people with disabilities

The fourth meeting of the Network of Experts on Inclusive Entrepreneurship in ASEAN (NIEA) was held online on October 22, with the theme “Promotion of Inclusive Entrepreneurship towards a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”.

The meeting was part of the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Social Welfare and Development, chaired by the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in the 2020-2021 period.

Attending were those in charge of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), NIEA members from the ten ASEAN countries, representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, organisations linked to ASEAN, and international partners such as the US, the UN, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Speaking at the event, head of MoLISA’s Department of Social Assistance Nguyen Van Hoi spoke highly of the role Thailand played in founding and coordinating NIEA during 2017-2019.

With nearly 30 members, the network has contributed to promoting enterprises owned by people with disabilities (PWDs), sharing information about PWD-related issues, and increasing the quality of their lives.

To help the network uphold its role, Hoi suggested nations adopt more policies and programmes to enhance PWDs’ engagement and promote their approach to employment and business opportunities.

Delegates exchanged views on institutions and policies to promote inclusive entrepreneurship for PWDs in ASEAN countries, the role of involved parties, difficulties and challenges in this endeavour, links with the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan 2025 on Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the application of information technology and e-commerce to promote start-ups.

The meeting also prepared a document on common recommendations to promote inclusive entrepreneurship for PWDs, which will be sent to senior officials and ministers in charge of social welfare and development to seek their greater focus on PWD-related issues.

Kazakhstan, Palestine send sympathy to Vietnam over flooding

President of Kazakhstan Kassym Tokayev, and President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Mahmoud Abbas sent messages of sympathy to Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong over serious flooding that caused human and material loss in the central region. 

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.

Vietnam reports no new COVID-19 cases on October 23

No new COVID-19 cases were recorded over the past 12 hours, making the tally stay unchanged at 1,148 as of 6pm on October 23, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Among all the cases, 691 are domestically infected cases, including 551 linked with Da Nang city since the latest coronavirus wave began there on July 25.

Vietnam has gone through 51 consecutive days without infections in the community.

As many as 1,049 COVID-19 patients have been given the all-clear.

Among patients under treatment at medical establishments across the country, five tested negative for the virus once, six others twice and 11 thrice.

Currently, there is no COVID-19 patient in critical conditions, while 35 deaths related to the disease have been reported to date.

Currently, there are 13,652 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine.

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./.

Vietnam, India share communication experience amid COVID-19

Experts from Vietnam and India shared experience and initiatives in journalism and communication products amid COVID-19 at a workshop held in Hanoi on October 22.

Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) Duong Trung Y said the event helped to create open and multidimensional perspectives on issues relating to media between Vietnam and India and served as a venue to share experiences and initiatives when participating in implementing communication products in the current period.

He appreciated the role of the media in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Journalists promptly reflect the developments of the pandemic, helping people to understand clearly about it and its tremendous devastation,” he told the workshop held by the HCMA's Centre for Indian Studies.

The Vietnamese press has contributed to spreading the good values of Vietnamese traditions, which include the spirit of mutual love, solidarity and sharing, not with local people but also with international friends through the treatment of foreign patients and shipments of medical equipment such as masks, gloves and medical protective gear to other countries, he said.

Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verma evaluated the seminar as an activity to help scholars, journalists and managers of the two countries share and exchange lessons and experiences in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, thus promoting deep cooperation between the two countries.

Participants said the press of Vietnam and India have different characteristics but they share some similarities amid the COVID-19, such as ensuring provision of information about the pandemic to help fight against it while at the same time suffering negative impacts from the disease which has killed more than 1.1 million people around the world.

Cutting staff and reductions in sales and revenue are challenges facing newsrooms and reporters in both Vietnam and India, not mention the boom of fake news via social media.

Times of India reporter Rudroneel Ghosh said Indian media has never experienced a crisis like this and had to learn about the disease day-by-day.

Vietnam did a good job of managing both COVID-19 and the economy while India has been somewhat overwhelmed by COVID-19 numbers, he said, adding that Vietnam has used an all-of-government approach but India was slow to muster requisite resources.

Professor Ta Ngoc Tan, Vice Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council, said in fact reporters are always “soldiers on the frontline” in the fight against COVID-19.

He suggested the media need to increase the coverage of positive information while proactively criticising fake news to ensure accurate and transparent information reaches people./.

Donations sent to flood-hit victims in central region

A working delegation from the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VCS)’s Hanoi chapter handed over cash and necessities to residents hit by the recent flooding in Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

In Quang Tri, they offered donations to 31 disadvantaged families in Dong Giang ward, Dong Ha city, each including 1 million VND (43 USD) and necessities.

While in Thua Thien-Hue, the delegation granted 150 million VND to the VCS’s provincial chapter and 30 gifts to disadvantaged families in Hue city.

In the first relief, the Hanoi chapter assisted flood-hit victims in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue with total aid worth over 1.1 billion VND, including cash, necessities, food and necessities.

On October 23, the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Vietnam Fatherland Front received cash and donations worth over 18 billion VND from collectives and individuals for the effort.

It also withdrew 8.3 billion VND from its fund to support central provinces, including 3 billion VND for Thua Thien-Hue, 1.5 billion VND for Quang Tri, 1.5 billion VND for Quang Nam, 2 billion VND for Quang Binh, and 300 million VND for Quang Ngai.

In the northern city of Hai Phong, over 120 businesses and organisations donated 90 billion VND and over 200 tonnes of rice on October 23.

Earlier, the Vietnamese Embassy in Brunei and the Vietnamese Consulate General in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk province also held ceremonies to call for donations./.

Vietnam, India boost tourism cooperation post-COVID-19

A webinar discussing post-COVID-19 tourism cooperation between Vietnam and India was held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 23.

Speaking at the event, Indian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Madam Mohan Sethi said the webinar aims to enable State management and travel agencies to discuss bilateral tourism cooperation following the pandemic.

Deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT)’s Tourism Market Department Tran Phong Binh said due to the impacts of COVID-19, tourist arrivals in Vietnam only hit 3.7 million in nine months of this year, down 67.4 percent year-on-year. The total revenue slumped by over 53 percent to nearly 10 billion USD.

Last year, about 33,000 Vietnamese travelled to India and around 170,000 Indians arrived in Vietnam.

Participants at the event also debated tourism stimulus plans once the pandemic is under control./.

Philippines to allow entry of foreign investors

The Philippines’ task force on COVID-19 will approve entry of foreign investors starting November, announced presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a televised address on October 23.

Accordingly, foreigners with investment visas from Philippine agencies would be allowed entry.

The easing of travel restrictions is among a slew of relaxed rules revealed the same day to help the country’s battered economy recover from recession.

The Southeast Asian nation imposed travel curbs in February to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

Total confirmed cases in the Philippines have increased to 365,799, with a death toll of 6,915./.

Death toll from flooding in Cambodia rises to 39

The Cambodian National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) has reported that the ongoing floods have so far killed 39 people, with 22 in Banteay Meanchey province.

From September 1 to October 22, the floods have affected 110 cities and districts in 19 of the 25 provinces and Phnom Penh capital city.

A total of 120,785 families or 483,140 people have been affected, of them 11,554 families or 46,216 people have been evacuated to the safety grounds, it added.

Besides, 111,354 houses, 707 schools, 310,000 hectares of rice and other crops, as well as many roads, bridges and canals have been flooded and damaged, the Khmer Times reported.

Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier this week admitted that flooding has caused more difficulties for Cambodia, which has faced losses from the COVID-19 pandemic./.

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