Death toll in Cua Dai boat accident rises to 15, two still missing
The number of passengers who died in a boat accident on Cửa Đại Beach, Quảng Nam Province on Saturday has risen to 15, with two others still missing.
An overnight search was conducted by the Ministry of Public Security’s Traffic Police Department and local water police to find the victims. At least 30 officers joined the search.
The two missing passengers are Nguyễn Minh Quang and Nguyễn Mai Anh, both 23 years old, according to reports from local authorities on Sunday.
The boat had been brought to the shore and is being examined.
The rescue process is continuing. The weather in the area has improved and there are no longer big waves that were hindering the search.
Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh proposes solutions to realise universal COVID-19 vaccination
Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh made important proposals for the international community to achieve the goal of universal COVID-19 vaccination in his pre-recorded speech sent to the High-level thematic debate entitled “Galvanizing momentum for universal vaccination” of the UN General Assembly on February 25 (US time).
The Vietnamese Deputy PM emphasised the need to promote global-scale solutions, uphold international solidarity and cooperation; increase vaccine supply and help developing countries improve capacity of grassroots and preventive medicine systems; and strengthen cooperation in vaccine production and transfer of vaccine production technology to developing countries.
He welcomed the recent announcement of the World Health Organisation (WHO), that a number of developing countries, including Vietnam, were selected to receive mRNA vaccine technology transfer, saying that Vietnam will take advantage of this cooperation opportunity to contribute to international efforts to promoting universal vaccination.
Deputy PM Minh highlighted the significance of vaccination in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that with the motto of putting the health of the people first, Vietnam has conducted the largest vaccination campaign in history.
COVID-19: 77,982 cases recorded on February 26
A total 77,982 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the past 24 hours from 4pm February 25 to 4pm February 26, including 12 imported cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
Hanoi continued to record the highest number of infections with 10,783 cases, followed by Nghe An with 3,985 and Vinh Phuc with 2,995.
Besides, the northern province of Thai Nguyen supplemented 20,894 cases after verifying information.
The national tally reached 3,219,177, including 205 infections of Omicron.
There are 2,979 patients in critical conditions, while an additional 88 deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the total fatalities to 40,050.
Vietnam – trustworthy partner of UN: Secretary General Guterres
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has affirmed that Vietnam is a trustworthy partner of the UN, and described the country as a typical successful example of a developing nation given its achievements so far.
Guterres made the remarks when receiving Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, the newly-appointed Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, who came to present his credentials on February 25.
The UN leader hailed Vietnam’s capacity while performing important roles at UN agencies, including a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure, and engaging in UN peacekeeping operations.
He expressed his hope that during the office tenure of Ambassador Giang, Vietnam will continue making effective contributions to UN forums and activities in New York, thus helping promote multilateralism on the basis of the UN Charter and deepen the growing partnership between the UN and Vietnam.
For his part, Ambassador Giang conveyed the regards of Vietnamese leaders to the UN Secretary General, affirming that Vietnam is always a trustworthy and responsible partner of the UN.
Vietnam Urban Arts exhibition comes to Da Nang
Eight large paintings by Vietnamese street artists are on display at the Vietnam Urban Arts exhibition in the central city of Da Nang.
According to Director of the Culture Cinematography Centre of Da Nang Ngo Van Bay, the paintings feature UN sustainable development goals (SGDs), reflecting the artists’ belief on a better world.
The event aims to honour Vietnamese street art, which occurred in Vietnam 20 years ago, he said.
Bay expressed his hope that the exhibition will bring interesting experience to visitors, inspiring them to make contributions to the sustainable growth of the globle, while helping promote the street art in Vietnam and Da Nang in particular.
Before Da Nang, the paintings were exibited in many big cities across the country. The exibition runs until March 17.
Vietnam intensifies fight against law violations, crimes in internet environment
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has issued a plan to enhance the capacity of relevant agencies in supervision, inspection, handling of administrative violations and the prevention and combat of law violations and cyber crimes in the internet environment in Vietnam.
This is part of efforts to effectively implement a directive issued by the Politburo on strengthening the Party’s leadership of crime prevention and control in the new situation, and the national strategy on crime prevention and control for the 2016 – 2025 period, with a vision to 2030.
The plan also aims to raise awareness and responsibility of agencies, organisations and individuals participating in activities on the internet and social networks, for preventing and combating law violations and cybercrimes.
Accordingly, the MIC’s Authority of Information Security (AIS) will be in charge of coordinating activities to respond to cyber security incidents nationwide and ensure information security. The agency is also tasked with coordinating the fight against spams.
Northern provinces strengthen ties with Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Representatives from northern border provinces of Cao Bang, Lang Son, Quang Ninh and Ha Giang and China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on February 25 signed a memorandum of understanding on their friendship cooperation for 2022-2026.
The document was inked within the framework of an online get-together between leaders of the four Vietnamese provinces and the Chinese region, and the 13th meeting of the Joint Working Committee.
Standing Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu stressed that developing comprehensive strategic partnership with China is always a strategic choice and a top priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy.
He proposed that Vietnam’s border provinces and China’s region maintain exchanges and contacts at all levels in flexible forms, and share experience in socio-economic development planning, especially in building policies and comprehensive solutions during the rapid recovery and sustainable development process.
The parties should strictly implement reached cooperation documents and agreements, effectively implement existing cooperation mechanisms and agreements, he said, asking them to find a fundamental and appropriate solution to completely solve the congestion of goods at border gates.
HCM City accelerates delivery of online public administrative services
To provide individuals and organisations with the fastest access to public administrative services in the most convenient way, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has been strengthening delivery of level-3 and -4 online public services.
Online public administrative services are regarded as one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, said Dang Quoc Toan, Chief of Office at HCM City People’s Committee. Online services help cut travel costs and time for individuals and organisations; prevent bureaucracy and corruption; and improve the transparency of services delivery, he said.
According to Toan, the city now provides more than 1,700 public administrative services. Last year, it handled over 17 million inquiries with some 99.8 percent of them having results returned on time.
A total of 805 services have been made available on the Internet, 317 of which are level-3 and -4 that require applications lodged online. The number of applications for online services of these levels exceeded 3 million last year.
The city plans to further simplify procedures and required papers while soon putting its portal for public administrative services into use. It is also encouraging people and raise their awareness of the online services and how they benefit every individual and business.
Medlatec becomes first Vietnamese unit winning US testing accreditation
The analysis centre of Medlatec General Hospital has received CAP (College of American Pathologists) Laboratory Accreditation, becoming the first in Vietnam to win the US standard on testing.
At present, over 8,000 facilities of 53 nations have won the CAP accreditation.
Built on more than a half-century of experience, the CAP’s Laboratory Accreditation Programme has been the champion of laboratory excellence. It is recognised as the global leader in improving the quality of services using established performance standards. It accredits the entire spectrum of laboratory test disciplines with the most scientifically rigorous customised checklist requirements.
Mekong Delta most vulnerable to flooding because of sea level rise
An 80-cm rise in the sea level could leave 31.94 percent of the Mekong Delta permanently flooded, according to the 2020 version of the climate change scenario report recently released by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).
The risk of flooding caused by sea level rise will be likely to increase on account of a combination of different factors, from geological uplift, subsidence, to tides and storm surges.
Land subsidence has been adversely affecting the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City which have the lowest elevation in the country.
Data from the MoNRE shows that the Mekong Delta is subsiding by an average 1cm per year, even up to 5.7cm per year in some locations, while the sea level rises around 3 – 5cm a year, said Assoc. Prof, Dr Le Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change at the Can Tho University.
Vietnam pursues green, inclusive recovery: Deputy PM
As one of the countries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam is determined to pursue green and inclusive recovery, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said at the International Conference “Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience” in Hanoi on February 25.
According to the Deputy PM, Vietnam has issued a programme on socio-economic recovery and development to further support businesses and people, and speed up socio-economic recovery.
The programme sets out major solutions such as economic reopening in combination with investment in health care, ensuring social welfare, support to enterprises, cooperatives and household businesses in recovery, infrastructure development and administrative reform.
Along with the programme, the country has updated and rolled out many socio-economic development strategies, programmes and plans, notably the 2021-2030 socio-economic development strategy and another on green growth for the period.
The Vietnamese government has also actively implemented major orientations on green, circular economy, while making efforts to fulfill its commitments to climate change response, especially the target of net-zero emissions by 2050 presented by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) last year.
Mekong Delta steering committee for agriculture, rural development established
A steering committee for agriculture and rural development in the Mekong Delta has been established under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) for the 2020-2025 period.
Under the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development’s decision, the committee will provide consultancy for the MARD minister regarding mechanisms and policies in the fields under the management of the MARD in order to meet development requirements of the Mekong Delta.
It will also propose solutions to raise the efficiency of coordination in regional development in accordance with the Government’s Resolution No. 120/NQ-CP on climate-resilient and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta.
Programmes and projects relating to policies on agriculture and rural development as well as their impacts on the Mekong Delta’s development would also be proposed by the committee.
The committee will assist the MARD minister in addressing coordination issues in the region, and make annual and half-year reports to the MARD minister and the office of the Mekong Delta Coordinating Council.
It is headed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam.
Vietnam issues coffee aroma postage stamps
A special postage stamp collection, named ‘Cay ca phe’ (the coffee plant), with the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, has been issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications and Vietnam Post in a bid to popularise the image of Vietnamese coffee.
Using scented print technology, the collection features four 43 x 32 mm stamps designed by To Minh Trang. The stamps demonstrate different growth stages of the coffee tree from a seed to a sapling, then a mature tree that flowers and bears fruits. They also depict coffee beans and a hot cup of coffee.
Each stamp costs 4,000 VND (0.18 USD), with the collection on sale until December 31, 2023.
Local designer launches Ao Dai collection to honour frontline forces
Local designer Cao Minh Tien has launched a fresh collection featuring traditional long dress (Ao Dai) titled “Hope” to mark Vietnamese Doctors’ Day on February 27.
The primary aim of the special collection is to pay tribute to frontline medical workers who are considered as “white blouse” soldiers in the country’s ongoing COVID-19 fight.
The collection draws inspiration from moving stories about doctors and nurses who sacrificed their health and safety all day and night in order to take care of COVID-19 patients, Tien said.
The highlight of the collection is the unique graphic images of “white blouse” soldiers and slogans which appear on the long dress.
Classical music night Impressionisme opens in Hanoi
A classical concert known as “Impressionisme” is expected to debut at 8 p.m. at the French Institute L’Espace on February 25, with the event involving the participation of both local and Taiwanese artists.
The four talented Vietnamese artists involved in the concert include Nguyen My Huong, Tran Ha Mi, and Phan Do Phuc, along with international pianist Hsin-Chiao.
The talented artists are expected to put on a string of impressive performances through the masterpieces of famous French composers such as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Camille Saint – Saëns.
Hoi An aims to develop green tourism model
The ancient town of Hoi An has become one of Vietnam’s first localities to pilot the implementation of waste classification and to say no to plastic bags, with the ultimate aim of becoming a green destination in the future.
A number of travel firms based in the central city have viewed the development of green tourism model as a way of reviving the local tourism industry after the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hoi An currently has five green tourism models which have been successfully piloted. In addition, over 60 businesses have already committed to saying no to plastic waste with up to 100 units receiving the green tourism certification by 2025.
These moves are anticipated to lay solid foundations in which Hoi An can be recognised as a “green tourism” destination in the near future.
Vietnamese reformed opera doyen dies in the US
Meritorious Artist Ngọc Đáng who graced the cải lương (reformed opera) theatre for more than five decades, died of cancer on Thursday in California. She was 71.
Đáng, born to a traditional family in Sài Gòn (now HCM City), began her career at an early age in the 1920s after learning cải lương from her parents, actor Tư Minh and actress Ngọc Xứng – lead performers of the Phụng Hảo Troupe.
Đáng had a 55-year-old career in cải lương, a traditional theatre genre of the southern region which began in the 1920s.
Her voice, singing, looks and performances helped the artist become one of the brightest stars in the cải lương firmament.
Đáng won several top prizes at theatre festivals and contests, including two gold medals for the Best Actress at the National Professional Theatre Festival in 1982 and 1990.
National Music Festival 2022 to start in March
The National Music Festival 2022 will start next month in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk, the Việt Nam Musicians’ Association (VMA) has announced.
Music composers, artists, producers and music-lovers from 19 provinces and cities nationwide will compete in the festival, slated for March 10-12 in Buôn Ma Thuột City, Đắk Lắk Province.
The event is organised by the VMA in collaboration with the People’s Committee of Đăk Lắk Province, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Association of Literature and Arts and the VMA branch in Đắk Lắk.
Raising remuneration for medical staff a top priority in 2022: Health ministry
The Ministry of Health plans to reform and renovate the sector’s finance structuring, especially remuneration for medical workers, making it the top priority this year, deputy health minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên has said.
This is an urgent job that helps secure and strengthen the contingent of health workers, especially grassroots health workers, in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic where they are at the frontline, he said.
He stressed that the ministry would soon finalise the draft document and submit it to the Government for approval.
In reply to data from the Vietnam Young Physicians Association, which showed more than 62 per cent of health workers had not received any payment, Deputy Minister Tuyên said the figure was from a survey between September and November 2021.
Hanoi tightens inspection of Covid-19 test kits, medicines
Districts and towns in Hanoi have been asked to set up interdisciplinary inspection teams for Covid-19 prevention and treatment products and equipment.
On Friday, the Hanoi Steering Board for Anti-smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud (Hanoi Steering Board 389) issued instructions on tightening control over the business of medical products to serve the Covid-19 fight in the city.
The move followed the rocketing price hikes of many medical products, including quick test kits, masks and Covid-19 treatment medicines, amid the city’s increasing Covid-19 infections.
The Hanoi Steering Board for Anti-smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud has urged local districts and towns to establish interdisciplinary inspection teams to help detect speculation, illegal price hikes and the selling of products of unknown origin.
Vietnam sets targets for workforce development for digital transformation
Vietnamese prime minister has signed a decision approving the scheme on improving awareness and developing human resources for national digital transformation by 2025, with a vision towards 2030.
The scheme aims to improve awareness among leaders and officials of state agencies, organisations, and businesses to accelerate digital transformation; universalise digital skills for all stakeholders; and improve the quality and efficiency of workforce training for digital transformation in each sector, area, and locality.
By 2030, the country aims to provide 90 per cent of people in the working age access to online public and other necessary digital services in healthcare, education, transport, tourism, and banking; enable them to master using these; and complete and universalise a digital tertiary education model for at least 50 per cent of public universities nationwide.
The scheme also targets to train 20,000 engineers and bachelor students in digital tech majors at universities and colleges, while having 80 per cent of training establishments from the primary to secondary level organise training courses about STEM subjects and digital skills.
Assets of 10 Khanh Hoa CDC officials frozen
The assets of Huynh Van Dong, director of Khanh Hoa Province’s Center for Disease Control (CDC), and nine other officials have been frozen over alleged violations in the procurement of Covid-19 test kits.
The provincial investigators said today, February 26, that they have requested the provincial Department of Justice to direct all notary services providers in the province to abstain from trading, transferring, presenting, or mortgaging assets associated with Dong, aged 55, and the nine officials.
The move came after investigators discovered alleged violations in the procurement of Covid test kits from Viet A Company by Khanh Hoa CDC.
The provincial Justice Department has updated the suspension of transactions linked to persons suspected of being involved in the irregularities on the notary system.
First HBSO’s concert presented after pandemic
A new concert marking the beginning of the Spring will be presented to music lovers by the HCMC Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) at the municipal Opera House on March 5.
It marks the first time a new music show of the theater to be performed on the stage after taking a temporary halt for about 10 months due to the pandemic.
The event will include musical works, including Pomp and Circumstance composed by Sir Edward Elgar, Orpheus – Quadrille and Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka by Johann Strauss.
The concert will be performed by HBSO’s artists, namely Pham Khanh Ngoc, Pham Duyen Huyen, Pham Trang, Dao Mac, Vo Nguyen Thanh Tam, Nguyen Thu Huong, Phan Huu Trung Kiet and conductor Tran Nhat Minh.
Google statistics show increase in international search volume for Vietnam tourism
Vietnam ranks first in the top destination countries that is most searched by international tourists.
The recent analytical data from Google Destination Insights dedicates that the number of international searches about Vietnam tourism is on an upward trend. The country is the fastest-growing destination globally among the list of “Top Growth by Destination Country” with a growth rate of over 75%.
It is considered a positive sign for the Vietnam tourism industry, especially as it is striving for regaining the industry growth momentum.
Accordingly, since December 2021, the number of searches about Vietnam tourism has increased by more than 75%. This is the highest increase globally. Following Vietnam is Chile with an increase of 50-75%. New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, and Croatia have growth rates of 25-50%. Overall search demand for global travel also increased by 56% year on year.
The main driver of this rise is the rapid increase in international search volume for aviation to Vietnam with growth in December 2021 of 19%, it increased to 133% by the beginning of February 2022 and 557% by February 8.
Search volume for accommodation in Vietnam also increased rapidly, reaching 228% on February 1 and peaking at 426% on February 3. These figures are all compared with the same period in 2021.
In addition, HCMC ranks first in the “Top city in demand domestically” category, followed by Hanoi, Dalat, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Phan Thiet, Danang, Vinh, and Hue.
Samsung Vietnam, Google bolster digital transformation in education