VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 16

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PM orders solutions to reduce critical Covid cases, deaths

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long to organize a conference with experts and scientists this month to develop solutions to reduce the number of critical Covid-19 cases and fatalities.

According to a document issued by the Government Office, the requirement is aimed at continuing to deploy the Government’s Resolution 128 on safely and flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling Covid-19. Recently, the number of new Covid-19 cases, those getting worse and deaths have been rising again, the local media reported.

In addition, the Government leader requested the Ministry of Health to work out solutions to accelerate the Covid-19 vaccination, report the vaccine volume that will arrive in Vietnam this month, add Covid-19 drugs to the list of products subject to the price stabilization and report the results to the prime minister on December 15.

Animals Asia continues supporting Dak Lak elephant conservation

Animal Asia Foundation has provided USD231,000 for elephant conservation in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak under an agreement signed with local authorities on Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the funding will help improve Dak Lak’s capacity in preserving its elephant population in the 2022-2026 period. The funding is intended to gradually convert its elephant tourism service into an elephant-friendly model. Elephants will also not be used in parades or cultural festivals in Dak Lak.

Animal Asia previously provided USD110,000 for Dak Lak elephant conservation between 2016 and 2021.

Vietnam assumes president of SEA Publishing Association

Vietnam will take the helm of the Southeast Asian Publishing Association for the 2022 – 2023 term, announced Thipsuda Sinchawarnwat, president of the association for 2020-2021 at a ceremony virtually held on December 15.

The Southeast Asian Publishing Association was established on August 31, 2005 by Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. It has so far welcomed Brunei, Laos, and Cambodia as its new members.

HCM City public schools continue tuition exemption for second semester

The HCM City People’s Council has agreed to continue the tuition fee exemption for students at public schools and the tuition fee subsidy for students at private international schools for the second semester of the 2021-2022 academic year.

The city government will use its budget to compensate for the exemption, which is allowed under the authority of the National Assembly.

The academic year has two semesters with breaks for holidays. The first semester usually begins in September and ends in January and the second semester will end in May. Students in the city have been studying online during the first semester of the 2021-22 academic year amid school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a related matter, a resolution has been passed by the municipal People’s Council calling for preferential policies for developing preschool education in export processing zones (EPZs) and industrial parks (IPs) in the city.

Smog to blame for Hanoi’s recent bad air quality

Many northern localities registered bad Air Quality Index (AQI) scores on Wednesday, according to data from various air monitoring systems.

Air quality in the north is in the most polluted time of the year, said experts. This is due to the dry weather and the inversion phenomena, which causes pollutants to increase. PM 2.5 numbers are usually higher around midnight and early morning.

In these areas, normal people’s health will be affected, while sensitive groups might have more serious complications. These areas are mostly in Bac Ninh, Hanoi, Thai Nguyen, Cao Bang and Lang Son.

Five purple alert areas – “all people affected” – were located in Hà Nội. The capital was the fourth most polluted globally today of all 95 cities monitored by AirVisual.

HCM City prepares measures against spread of new variant

HCM City People’s Committee has announced emergency plans to cope with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 now found in dozens of countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Omicron is an enormously worrying variant because of its rapid transmission reported in South Africa.

It is not yet clear whether it is more transmissible than other variants like Delta, but the likelihood of potential further spread of this new COVID-19 variant at the global level is high.

The city Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has announced eight measures to cope with the new strain.

SMS campaign to support poor people, AO/dioxin victims launched hinh anh 1

SMS campaign to support poor people, AO/dioxin victims launched

A text message campaign to support poor people and Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims has been launched.

The campaign, running from December 15 to February 12, 2022, aims to ease difficulties facing the poor, AO/dioxin victims and pandemic-hit people ahead of the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival.

Mobile service subscribers can join the programme by texting ‘TET’ to 1409. Each text message will contribute 20,000 VND (0.87 USD) to the fund.

The campaign has set a target to present at least 1.8 million gift baskets to beneficiaries, especially during a peak time from January 17 to 30 next year (from the 15th to 28th day of the last lunar month).

Seven-day quarantine for mild COVID-19 cases

The Ministry of Health has given permission to the HCM City Department of Health to trial a reduction in quarantine from 14 days to seven for COVID-19-infected people with mild or no symptoms who have received two doses of a vaccine and test negative on the seventh day.

The patients need to continue monitoring their health status at home and strictly follow pandemic prevention instructions after the quarantine period.

The city’s move is aimed at reducing overcrowding at quarantine facilities amid a rise in new cases despite the high vaccination rates in the country’s COVID epicentre.

Vietnam suggests early finalisation of code of conduct on seabed mining

Chargé d’Affaires of Vietnam to the United Nations Ambassador Pham Hai Anh suggested the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Assembly prioritise early finalising a code of conduct on seabed mining while attending the 26th session of the ISA Assembly held both online and offline in Jamaica from November 13-15.

In his speech from New York, Anh said the code of conduct must be in line with the principle of considering seabed and its mineral resources as a common heritage of the humankind, ensure fair and equal sharing of benefits, comply with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)’s terms regarding environmental protection, and pay attention to interests and demands of developing nations.

The Vietnamese representative proposed the ISA soon resume activities to support developing countries, improve their capacity and share technologies with them.

HCM City: 10 collectives, individuals win innovation and start-up awards

Ten outstanding collectives and individuals were honoured as winners of the 2021 Ho Chi Minh City Innovation and Startup Awards (I-Star 2021) on December 14.

Star Global 3D was honoured as the best innovative start-up for its 3D/360 smart interactive web/app licensed by the US.

The website “Go shopping for people”, 4.0 vocation orientation app JobWay and community-based traffic congestion warning system UTraffic received the best innovative solution awards.

Meanwhile, press works on innovation and start-ups by Vietnam Television, the newswire of Radio the Voice of Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam Investment Review also won the awards.

Nguyen Tat Thanh University Innovation Incubator Centre, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City’s Institute of Innovation and Zone Start-ups Vietnam venture fund were honoured for their active contributions to innovation and start-ups in Vietnam.

COVID-19: New infections, deaths both rise over 24 hours in Vietnam

Vietnam has confirmed 15,527 new coronavirus infections and 283 deaths during the past 24 hours, up 319 and 31 cases respectively compared to the previous day, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported in its coronavirus update on December 15.

The majority of the newly detected cases were in the south, with Ho Chi Minh City recording the highest number, at 1,270. Other southern localities saw hundreds of new cases diagnosed during the day were Ca Mau, Ben Tre, Tay Ninh, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Dong Nai and Tien Giang.

The capital city of Hanoi surpassed the 1,000 case mark again, registering 1,024 new infections, according to the MoH’s official data. However, the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control put the city’s daily caseload at 1,357, a record high figure, with 611 cases detected in the community.

Vietnam fulfils role as Chair of Veterans Confederation of ASEAN Countries

The 20th General Assembly of the Veterans Confederation of ASEAN Countries (VECONAC-20) took place via videoconference on December 15 under the chair of Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Van Duoc, Chairman of the Veterans’ Association of Vietnam (VAVN).

On behalf of the VAVN – a member of the confederation since 1997, he handed over the VECONAC Chairmanship for 2022 to Gen. Santasana Nantibhakhirund, Director-General of the War Veterans Organisation of Thailand.

Sen. Lt. Gen. Duoc affirmed that it was the VAVN’s honour to serve as the VECONAC Chair since January 1, 2020, and it has fulfilled the assigned duties, including successfully organising the VECONAC Working Committee meeting on October 20 last year, along with the VECONAC 33rd Executive Board Meeting and the VECONAC-20 on December 15, 2021.

Vietnam, RoK press ahead with cooperation toward carbon neutrality

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha has had a working session with Minister of Environment Han Jeoung-ae of the Republic of Korea (RoK) on joint work toward the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 as the heads of the two governments stated earlier.

At their meeting taking place on December 14 as part of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s official visit to the RoK, the two sides signed a plan on climate change cooperation toward the 2050 goal as the basis for implementing specific activities in the coming time.

Also on December 14, Minister Ha visited the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA)’s headquarters, where head of the agency Park Kwang-suk stated the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is an important partner of the KMA, with ample room for their bilateral cooperation.

Vietnamese parliament joins APPF Executive Committee

The National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam was selected to join the Executive Committee of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) in the next four-year term at the final plenum of the forum’s 29th annual meeting (APPF-29) on December 15 afternoon.

Le Thu Ha, standing member of the NA’s Committee for External Relations, said the parliament of Vietnam, a country highly vulnerable to climate change, has approved many legal documents creating the legal basis for efforts against this global phenomenon, enhanced ties with other legislatures, and coordinated with international organisations.

NA Vice Chairman sends Xmas, New Year greetings to HCM City, Tien Giang

Politburo member and Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man on December 15 extended his Christmas and New Year greetings to Catholics in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang’s My Tho city.

In the morning, he led a delegation to visit Joseph Nguyen Nang, Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City’s Archdiocese, and Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, former Archbishop of the HCM City Archdiocese.

In the afternoon, the NA official visited Pierre Nguyen Van Kham, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of My Tho and Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam.

UNFPA presents more medical supplies to Vietnam

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam on December 15 handed over medical supplies and personal protective equipment worth 450,000 USD to 21 Vietnamese localities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to aid them in the COVID-19 combat.

The beneficiaries include health workers, volunteers and other forces in the fight, who are working to protect pregnant women, the elderly and girls against domestic violence.

Tech contest fosters technological innovation among youth

More than 250 high school students in Vietnam have joined the TechGenius competition to pitch their ideas to solve real-world problems and positively impact society with technology.

The top 10 teams in both the Information Technology (IT) and Engineering categories recently presented their solutions to a panel of industry experts at the virtual Grand Final. They explored the application of technology to tackle today’s issues in environmental protection, healthcare and online learning and teaching.

The two first prizes in the IT category were presented to the HDK team from Nguyen Tat Thanh High School for The Gifted in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum and the Anonymous team from the High School for Gifted Students, Hanoi University of Science, and Vietnam National University.

Australian-funded reading room opens at Vietnam Diplomatic Academy

Australia has sponsored a new reading room at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

The naming of the “Canberra-Ngunnawal Room” acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land where Australia’s capital city, Canberra, is located.

The room also features a beautiful array of Australian artworks, showcasing the breadth and depth of artistic talent in Australia, as well as reflecting the country’s nature, landscape and culture.

Some of the works were created by indigenous artists, including Bradley Kickett, who collaborated with the Australian Embassy on the mural wall in Dong Thap as part of the Cao Lanh Bridge opening, and a Vietnamese artist now living in Australia, Phuong Ly.

Vietnamese community abroad donates over VND3 billion to COVID-19 fight

The Vietnamese community abroad has donated more than 3 billion VND (130,264 USD) to the National COVID-19 Vaccine Fund and pandemic prevention and control activities at home.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu, Chairman of the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, along with the ambassadors to Canada, the Netherlands, Thailand and Consul Generals in Fukuoka (Japan) and San Francisco (the US) on behalf of the community handed over the aid to President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Do Van Chien during a ceremony on December 15.

Exhibition spotlights cultural heritage, landscapes, handicrafts of Vietnam

An exhibition on cultural heritage, scenic landscapes, and traditional handicrafts of Vietnam will take place in the northern province of Ninh Binh this December.

It will be held at the province’s gymnasium from December 17 to 24 and available online, at http://trienlamvhnt.vn and http://vhtt.ninhbinh.gov.vn, from December 20 this year to February 28, 2022, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Vietnam-RoK reinforce co-operation in culture, sports and tourism

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