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HCM City remains Vietnamese travellers’ favourite destination for New Year celebration

HCM City remains Vietnamese travellers’ favourite destination for New Year celebration hinh anh 1

Ho Chi Minh City remains a top favourite destination of Vietnamese tourists during the New Year holiday for the second consecutive year, according to data from digital travel platform Agoda.

Agoda said that travellers are looking for new experiences to celebrate the start of 2022. Famous cities remain hot destinations but the travel trend to ‘escape’ to more off-beat nature or beach destinations dominates this year’s New Year’s Eve plans.

Tourists in Vietnam are choosing 4-5 star venues to welcome the New Year, as they opt for ‘staycation’ due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel platform added.

Sa Pa in the northern province of Lao Cai leapt to the second place this year from the seventh in the 2020’s ranking. Da Lat in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong was down one spot to the third place this year, followed by the capital city of Hanoi.

Phu Quoc island of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang occupied the fifth place thanks to its pilot programme to welcome foreign visitors back, followed by Nha Trang beach city in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa.

The northern province of Ninh Binh, home to various tourist attractions like Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and Trang An landscape complex, was named in the list for the first time this year, ranking 10th.

Vietnam National Day held at EXPO 2020 Dubai

The Vietnam National Day at World Expo 2020 Dubai officially opened on December 30 with a flag-raising ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza.

On the occasion, senior officials of Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, and another MoU on cooperation between the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and ITL World on promoting Vietnam’s culture and tourism in the Middle East.

The same day, a business exchange themed “Vietnam: The Land of Opportunity” was organised with the participation of leaders of various sectors of Vietnam, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as Vietnamese and foreign businesses.

Within the framework of the Vietnam National Day, “The Eternal Flow” programme was held, featuring about 150 Vietnamese and foreign artists, along with a Vietnamese Film Week introducing seven award-winning movies, as well a painting exhibition featuring works by child prodigy Xeo Chu, and a Vietnamese coffee week.

The Expo 2020 Dubai will last until March 31, 2022, attracting more than 190 countries and international organisations. It is expected to welcome 25 million visitors.

Vietnam’s biotechnology invention receives patent in US

The University of Science under the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM) has received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its new invention in bio-technology.

The invention “Mixture of cell extract and method for site-directed cloning” relates generally to the field of DNA cloning. It specifically relates to reagents and DNA cloning method based on homologous recombination for a site directed cloning of a DNA fragment into a vector.

Since the first success in 1972, DNA cloning has been widely used and rapidly become the basic and critical technique in biology and biotechnology. Due to its importance, a great number of methods has been developed by a multitude of laboratories to improve efficiency and to reduce the cost of cloning.

The invention has a great potential for the development of an easy, cost-effective, accurate and site-directed DNA cloning kit in Vietnam to replace imported products.

Vietnam Journalists’ Association elects 52-strong Executive Committee

The 11th National Congress of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA) elected a 52-strong Executive Committee and an Inspection Committee with 15 members at its working session in Hanoi on December 30.

An examination report by Head of the VJA’s Inspection Committee Phan Huu Minh showed that among a total of 550 official delegates, 139 are women, accounting for 25.28 percent and 411 are men, or 74.72 percent. The oldest delegate is 80 years old and the youngest is 32 years old.

About educational qualifications, five are professors and associate professors (0.9 percent), 23 hold doctorate degrees (4.18 percent), 111 hold master degrees (20.18 percent), 411 have bachelor degrees (74.74 percent), and 538 are Party members (97.82 percent).

Son La’s five disadvataged hamlets connected to national grid

Five disadvantaged hamlets in Chieng Kheo commune in the northern mountainous province of Son La’s Mai Son district were connected to the national grid on December 30.

The move benefited 256 local households, pushing the rate of families in Chieng Kheo having electricity access to 100 percent.

In August, 100 households of the Mong ethnic minority group in two other hamlets in Chieng Sung commune of Mai Son district were also provided with electricity. An additional 904 ethnic households in the district are expected to get access to the national grid in the near future./.

HCM City suggests support for COVID-19-hit lonely old persons, orphans

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said on December 30 that it has submitted a proposal on providing support for lonely senior citizens and orphans hit by the COVID-19 pandemic to the municipal People’s Committee.

Accordingly, the total cost is estimated at nearly 16.8 billion VND (730,000 USD) each year, benefiting over 380 lonely old persons and over 2,200 orphans.

Specifically, the city will issue free health insurance cards and offer an allowance of 480,000 VND for those aged above 60 each month, and 700,000 VND for those aged above 70. Orphans will receive free education till high school level, vocational training and free health insurance cards.

Orphans under four years old will obtain 1 million each per month and those aged above four will receive 700,000 VND.

National action plan on overcoming consequences of toxic chemicals/dioxin issued

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed Decision No. 2215/QD-TTg promulgating the national action plan on overcoming the post-war consequences of toxic chemicals/dioxin in Vietnam for the 2021-2030 period.

The plan aims to deal with all hotspots and areas contaminated with toxic chemicals/dioxin left from the war in the country, specifically at A So airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and Phu Cat airport in the central province of Binh Dinh by 2025, and at Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai and newly-discovered areas by 2030.

By 2025, over 85 percent of the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals/dioxin from contaminated areas will be controlled. The rate will reach 100 percent by 2030.

By 2030, the country will complete a list of victims eligible for the State’s support to improve their lives. All pregnant women in highly contaminated areas will receive reproductive counselling to reduce disease risks.

Vietnam reports 17,000 new COVID-19 cases on Dec. 30

Vietnam registered 17,000 new COVID-19 cases on December 30, the highest number the country has ever posted in a single daily update.

The total number of infections since the start of the pandemic stands at 1,714,742.

Twenty of the new infections were imported and the remaining domestic. New transmissions were reported in 61 provinces and cities across the country.

A total of 11,404 infections were detected in the community.

The capital city of Hanoi continued to be the leading locality on the list, with 1,866 cases.

Up to 34,102 patients were declared recovered from the disease, with 1,336,644 people across the country having been given the all-clear so far.

A further 240 fatalities related to COVID-19 were confirmed on the day.

Health Ministry receives 100,000 doses of Russian-donated Sputnik Light vaccine

Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan received 100,000 doses of the Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine donated for Vietnam by the Russian Government at a ceremony held in Hanoi on December 29.

Attending the ceremony, Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Gennady Stepanovich Bezdetko stressed that the two sides should continue working together in response to the pandemic via specific medical engagements.

Russia will accompany Vietnam in this challenging fight, the diplomat affirmed.

Vietnamese, Israeli firms sign deal on oral COVID-19 vaccine

Vietnam’s Tan Thanh Holdings and 10 Pharma JSC will be distributors of COVID-19 vaccine Oravax throughout Southeast Asian nations.

Oravax Medical of Israel’s Oramed Pharmaceuticals and the Vietnamese firms signed the cooperation agreement of oral COVID-19 vaccine Oravax at a ceremony held online on December 29.

The deal, worth hundreds of millions of US dollars for Oravax, includes pre-order of oral vaccine.

It is expected to help the Israeli business to bring the oral vaccine to Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries that have a combined population of over 660 million.

Ministry targets 20 percent rise in planted trees in 2022

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has asked localities to launch a tree planting festival on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) and encourage people from all walks of life to plant trees, aiming for at least 20 percent rise in the number of newly-planted trees compared to the figure of 2021.

In its directive issued on December 30, the ministry advised localities to strengthen communications right from the beginning of 2022 to raise public awareness of forest and environmental protection, helping to mitigate impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

Localities should focus on expanding special-use, protective and production forest areas, and planting more trees in urban and rural areas.

The MARD asked localities nationwide to design their own tree planting plans in association with the implementation of their forestry development tasks in the 2021-2025 period and the “One billion trees” project in the period.

In 2021, localities across the nation planted 260,00 hectares of concentrated forest and 100 million scattered trees.

National park launches programme inspiring love for nature

The Cuc Phuong National Park kicked off an education programme on December 30 with a view to inspiring the love for nature in the community by helping them take part in the care, treatment, and health recovery for animals, especially the ones at risk of extinction.

The long-term programme, titled “Hanh trinh hoi sinh” (The journey of coming back to life), is carried out in tandem with wildlife rescue and conservation programmes in the park, most of which is located in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

In the first phase, it will enable organisations, families, and individuals to participate in the endangered primate rescue programme. It will be expanded to the turtle, meat-eating mammal, and pangolin conservation programmes in the second phase.

Established in 1962, Cuc Phuong is the first national park in Vietnam, covering the three provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa. Spanning over 22,000 hectares, the park is a typical tropical rainforest that is home to a rich system of flora and fauna, including critically endangered species.

Scholarships given to southern children affected by COVID-19

Some 130 scholarships have been presented to children affected by COVID-19 in southern Vietnam as part of a joint programme by Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and “For beloved Hoang Sa and Truong Sa” club.

The scholarships, worth 6 million VND (263.1 USD) each, were given to children who lost a parent to COVID-19 and whose families in difficult situation because of the pandemic during an event held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 30. Forty-eight of them were handed to those from HCM City, the hardest hit by COVID-19.

Founded in 1999, Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund has so far awarded over 90,000 scholarships to ethnic minority students. Launched seven years ago, the “For beloved Hoang Sa and Truong Sa” club has presented nearly 20,000 scholarships to students whose parents are disadvantaged fishermen and naval soldiers and border guards.

Defence ministry honoured with Cambodia’s Royal Order

The Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam has been honoured with Cambodia’s Royal Order of Sahametrei-Mahasena (Grand Officer) during a recent inaugural ceremony of the new headquarters of Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defence.

The construction of the building began in 2018, funded by the Vietnamese National Defence Ministry.

A delegation of Vietnamese Defence Ministry led by Deputy Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vo Minh Luong paid a visit to Cambodia on December 28-30 at the invitation of the Cambodian Defence Ministry.

Postage stamp contest on Vietnam’s seas, islands launched for children

A postage stamp contest featuring Vietnam’s seas and islands for children aged 8-15 was launched on December 30.

Jointly organised by the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneer Organisation Central Council, the Vietnam Post and the Vietnam Philatelic Association, the event will run until April 29, 2022.

It is to bolster patriotism among children and raise their awareness of the country’s seas and islands and sovereignty.

Contestants are required to collect stamps, answer relevant questions and compile an essay in accordance with the theme.

Entries can be sent to the Vietnam Children Support & Development Centre at 7th floor, 64 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi.

Details of the contest and questions are published at websites of the Vietnam Post and .

Phong Nha – Ke Bang listed among places to visit in 2022

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh has been listed among the 39 best destinations to visit in 2022 by the US’s AFAR Magazine.

According to AFAR, it’s easier than ever to dive deep into the gigantic caves of this UNESCO World Heritage site. The Phong Nha–Ke Bang National Park, a geologically notable site in central Vietnam, has tempted daredevils since 2013, when Son Doong, the biggest cave on the planet (large enough to hold a Boeing 747), opened for multi-day tours.

The magazine highlighted that on the new Hang Ba tour (still in development), the guides will lead spelunkers through upwards of five caves with gigantic limestone chambers and dangling stalactites. When cavers aren’t crawling, swimming, or paddleboarding, they’ll be camping and trekking through jungles.

In addition to Phong Nha – Ke Bang, AFAR introduced many other attractive destinations, including Russian River Valley (California), Chicago (Illinois), Métis Crossing (Alberta, Canada), Arica and Parinacota (Chile), Bermuda, and Mérida (Yucatan, Mexico).

Vietnam-Azerbaijan Friendship Association has new chief

Deputy Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Vietnam Dang The Vinh was elected President of the Vietnam-Azerbaijan Friendship Association (VAFA) for the 2021-2026 tenure during the association’s second national conference in Hanoi on December 30.

A report summarising the 2015-2021 tenure’s performance showed that the association basically completed all set tasks, helping to promote economic, political and cultural ties and tighten the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Azerbaijan.

In the next five years, the association will continue consolidating the association’s apparatus, coordinating with the Azerbaijani Embassy in Vietnam to hold the two countries’ major events such as Vietnam’s National Day (September 2), Azerbaijan’s Independence Day (May 28), and the 30th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties (September 1992-2022).

Students in HCM City likely to return to school in early 2022

The HCM City Department of Education and Training has sought approval from the city’s People’s Committee to allow an additional 680,000 students to return to secondary and high schools following the New Year holiday.

The proposal has called for 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th graders to resume in-person classes starting January 3.

The city’s People Committee held a meeting this week with local authorities on school reopening plans, and most districts agreed to reopen secondary and high schools starting January 3.

The proposal was made as students in these grades have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the local media reported.

Many schools have said they are ready to reopen classes starting January 3, as they have prepared safety responses and more students have returned to classes than surveys expected.

Virtual countdown lights 2022 to be held on New Year’s Eve

Virtual countdown light 2022 party will be organised on the last day of the year with the participation of many famous celebrities.

Starting from 8:30pm, the party will be broadcast on YouTube, Facebook Billboard Vietnam, and VieON application and is expected to bring new performances for everyone to enjoy and celebrate the start of a new year in the new normal life.

An iconic event that gathers thousands of people across Nguyễn Huệ Street year on year in pre-covid conditions, the show has always been crafted to match international standards and is broadcast on television. It has remained as one of the most anticipated events in HCM City. The last offline event gathered 70,000 people and was broadcast on TV and online to millions of households.

Organiser Capital Studio Media City and its partners decided to enhance the previous year’s virtual setting to something bigger than before. Hence, the virtual countdown lights 2022 was born, conceived under chaos and with a strong message to unite audiences.

Ninh Thuan promotes sustainable development in Núi Chúa national park marine protected area

Authorities of south central Ninh Thuận Province have strengthened measures to conserve endangered and rare species of marine fauna and flora, and sustainably restore and develop the ecosystem of the Núi Chúa National Park Marine Protected Area.

The provincial People’s Committee issued a plan on the management of the Núi Chúa National Park Marine Protected Area in the 2021-2025 period with a budget of over VNĐ3.3 billion (nearly US$145,000), which will focus on activities to preserve the value of natural resources and cultural – historical relics, and rationally exploit and promote the value of the marine protected area.

The management of the marine protected area will be carried out on an area of 7,352ha.

Hanoi relaunches doctor network to support Covid-19 patients during home treatment

Hanoi has just resumed a doctor network with 28 hotlines from which doctors will offer Covid-19 diagnoses and support online for coronavirus cases and their closest contacts at home.

The network, which was launched by the Ministry of Health, aims at reducing overloading for local hospitals when the number of infections is rising sharply in the area. Doctors can support Covid-19 patients and their close contacts who are either self-isolated or unable to visit medical facilities through the network. Patients can call the hotline 024 1022 line 3 to share their health condition and get guidance from doctors during their treatment.

Doctors would then assess each case via the 024 1022 phone number every day during the first 10 days to closely monitor their health. The mild cases could be monitored and guided through the phone, while the severe would warrant emergency alerts to local medical centres so patients could be taken to hospital.

The network was first launched in August and had served 1,300 patients during August and September.

National Tourism Year 2022 expected to give a boost to Quang Nam tourism

As the host of the National Tourism Year 2022, the central province of Quang Nam is expected to grasp the opportunity to rejuvenate its tourism sector and promote the image of Quang Nam and Vietnam in general to visitors at home and abroad.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Tan, the National Tourism Year 2022, will be held under the theme ‘Quang Nam – A green tourism destination’ with assorted activities and events, introducing the culture and tourism potentials of the central province.

The programme will officially open on March 25, 2022, at the Hoi An Impression Theme Park in Hoi An city.

Hanoi: No concentrated isolation for arrivals from overseas

The Hanoi administration has decided to abandon its concentrated quarantine requirements for people coming from countries where the Omicron variant is spreading.

The decision was made following a meeting held on December 30 between representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and the Hanoi municipal administration.

The CAAV said Hanoi’s December 27 document to request concentrated quarantine for people coming from overseas regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination or recovery would cause difficulty in implementing a pilot scheme to resume international commercial flights, starting on January 1, 2022.

The policy contradicted regulations formulated by the Ministry of Health that says passengers are permitted to self-isolate at home or other places of residence for three days if they have already received full doses of vaccines and have a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before departure.

Health Ministry urges completion of full doses of COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 12 and above

The Ministry of Health has urged the Health Departments of provinces and cities to continue to accelerate the progress of vaccinations against COVID-19, to ensure that the basic dose is given to all people aged 12 and above.

The MoH required that units can arrange more mobile vaccination points or vaccinations at home (in case the vaccinated subject cannot travel) in accordance with the actual local situation and regulations.

The National Expanded Programme on Immunisation and the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology should base, on the proposals of the units, to properly distribute the COVID-19 vaccines.

National action plan on overcoming consequences of toxic chemicals/dioxin issued

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed Decision No. 2215/QD-TTg promulgating the national action plan on overcoming the post-war consequences of toxic chemicals/dioxin in Vietnam for the 2021-2030 period.

The plan aims to deal with all hotspots and areas contaminated with toxic chemicals/dioxin left from the war in the country, specifically at A So airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and Phu Cat airport in the central province of Binh Dinh by 2025, and at Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai and newly-discovered areas by 2030.

By 2025, over 85 percent of the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals/dioxin from contaminated areas will be controlled. The rate will reach 100 percent by 2030.

By 2030, the country will complete a list of victims eligible for the State’s support to improve their lives. All pregnant women in highly contaminated areas will receive reproductive counselling to reduce disease risks.

Some 60,000 tourists expected to travel to Dalat for New Year celebrations

Dalat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is expected to attract nearly 60,000 revelers for the upcoming New Year holiday.

Hostels in the city will see room occupancy rates reach some 60% during the New Year holiday, while room occupancy rates at two-star hotels and villas for rent are expected to range from 85% to 90%. Three- to five-star hotels might be over 90% full.

This year has seen Dalat City receiving an estimated 1.97 million tourists, dipping by 45% year-on-year, including over 1.95 million domestic visitors and 17,000 international travelers, the local media reported.

Key projects to ease overload in areas surrounding Tan Son Nhat airport

Next year, HCMC will implement ten projects including those to reduce overloading in the areas surrounding Tan Son Nhat Airport with a capital of over VND5,000 billion (US$220 million), and the disbursement rate will reach over 95 percent of the assigned capital plan.

Among the ten projects are three projects of a road connecting Tran Quoc Hoan Street with Cong Hoa Street, expanding Hoang Hoa Tham Street, renovating Cong Hoa Street which need to be carried out promptly, contributing to ease the overload and traffic congestion in Tan Son Nhat Airport’s surrounding areas.

It is expected that the Transportation Works Construction Investment Project Management Authority of Ho Chi Minh City will submit 38 projects for approval, start works on 16 bidding packages, projects and complete 26 projects and bidding packages in 2022.

80 percent of parents agree to send children to schools for in-person learning

The survey of parents’ consensus on sending their children of grades 7, 8, 10, 11 back to schools directly from the districts has shown that 60 percent-80 percent of parents agree to send their children to schools for in-person learning, Trinh Duy Trong, Head of the Ideological Politics Division under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training.

As planned, grades 3,4,5 will be tested online for the assessment of the first semester while first and second graders will be tested in person when they go to educational facilities.

Regarding the proposal for grades 7, 8, 10, and 11 to receive direct teaching in schools, the authorities will base on the results of two pilot weeks of direct teaching for grades 9 and 12. In the past two weeks, schools have taken preventative measures to ensure students’ safety when they go back to schools.

Government asks harsh punishment for child offenders

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has delegated the Ministry of Public Security and the People’s Committee of HCMC to ask the functional departments to promptly investigate individuals directly involved in the recently fatal child maltreatment.

According to the document released by the Government Office on December 30, the Deputy Prime Minister asked the Ministries of Public Security; Culture, Sports and Tourism; Education and Training; Information and Communications, the People’s Committees of provinces and cities across the country strengthen propaganda on child abuse and domestic violence prevention, child protection to safeguard children and their families as well as impose strict penalties on those convicted of family violence.

On December 28, the Investigation Agency of the Binh Thanh District’s Police Department in HCMC approved a decision on prosecution and detention of Vo Nguyen Quynh Trang, 26, for child maltreatment that led to the death of an eight-year-old girl who is her lover’s daughter.

Netherlands finances US$19.5 million for climate adaptation project in Vinh Long

Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha and Dutch Ambassador to Viet Nam Elsbeth Akkerman signed an agreement for Development Related Investment Infrastructure Vehicle (DRIVE) funded by the Netherlands Invest International, to support the Vinh Long Climate Resilience Project.

Under the agreement, the Netherlands grants US$19.5 million (EUR 16.5 million) to the aforesaid project totaling US$202.2 million (EUR 170 million) in Vinh Long City to make the city more climate resilient and to protect its people against flood risks, she said.

The rest of the amount is covered by the World Bank and by Vinh Long Province. The significant amount of Dutch grant, played a crucial role to make the project possible, added Akkerman.

The Dutch grant will be provided to build a water treatment plant in Vinh Long City in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long.

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

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