VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 25

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HCMC has 88 Omicron variant infection cases so far

Nhat Tan peach village blooms ahead of Tet hinh anh 1

Deputy Director of HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) Nguyen Hong Tam reported that the city has recorded 88 cases of Omicron variant, including 5 community ones.

“All 5 community cases are related to one patient coming from the US as informed before. No more new community cases have been detected so far. Among the 88 Omicron cases, 7 have mild symptoms like mild fever, chills, sore throat”, said the Deputy Director.

In addition, the pandemic status of HCMC lately has gradually become more positive, with only 138 new cases and 6 deaths on January 23. This is the third week that HCMC has stayed green – the safest zone.

HCDC warns that all residents in the city strictly observe the 5K rules to protect themselves against all Covid-19 variants, especially when Tet Holiday is coming and people normally move around a lot.

Viet Nam welcomes 8,500 int’l visitors since resuming tourism

As of January 23, over 8,500 foreign tourists have travelled to Viet Nam under the pilot program to normally resume tourism, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST).

The foreign tourists from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the RoK, Singapore, the UK, the U.S., and Canada visited Phu Quoc (Kien Giang), Khanh Hoa, and Quang Nam under the trial tourism program on fully vaccinated travellers.

Specifically, Khanh Hoa received the largest number of visitors with 7,000, followed by Phu Quoc with 1,282, and Quang Nam with 239.

During the first phase, 27 foreign visitors were tested positive for COVID-19 but only one of them had to be admitted to a medical facility in Kien Giang province. The other visitors were asymptomatic, thus having their health monitored at hotels, and received negative tests after three to five days.

The MCST reported that the second phase of trial tourism resumption program will last till April 30. From May 1, tourism market will be completely opened.

So far, the Government has permitted seven localities to receive international visitors on special tour packages namely Quang Nam, Quang Ninh, Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, and Binh Duong.

Hanoi’s hospital to open post-COVID-19 clinic

The Duc Giang general hospital in Hanoi plans to inaugurate a clinic for post-COVID-19 checkups and treatment, according to its director Nguyen Van Thuong.

The facility is set to examine, screen and treat sequelae of the disease, and assess the need for intervention in nutrition, physical therapy and rehabilitation for patients after their recovery from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Da Nang general hospital opened a clinic for post-COVID-19 consultation and treatment on January 24.

Vietnam recorded 14,362 cases of COVID-19, including 55 imported ones, during 24 hours from 4pm January 23 to 4pm January 24, according to the Ministry of Health.

Hanoi continued to record the highest number of infections with 2,801 cases, followed by Da Nang with 958 and Hai Phong with 733.

Ex-minister of industry and trade has jail term reduced by one year

The High-Level People’s Court in Hanoi decided to reduce the prision sentence for ex-minister of industry and trade Vu Huy Hoang by one year to 10 years on charges of “violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness”, during an appeal trial on January 24.

His violations are related to a case that occurred at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Saigon Beer – Alcohol – Beverage JSC (Sabeco) and Ho Chi Minh City.

Former Director of the MoIT’s Department of Light Industry Phan Chi Dung also had his sentence reduced by one year to eight years.

Former Deputy Director of the HCM City’s Department of Planning and Investment Lam Nguyen Khoi was given a jail term of four years, down six months, and former head of the Department of Planning and Investment’s Infrastructure Development Division Le Quang Minh also had his term shortened by six months to three years.

Diverse activities to celebrate Tet in Old Quarter of Hanoi

A wide range of festive and cultural activities are to be held in Hanoi’s Old Quarter in celebration of the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet), and the Communist Party of Vietnam’s 92nd founding anniversary from January 28 to February 15.

Various activities are planned to mark the occasion, including a Tet pole-raising ceremony, cultural exchanges, and a painting exhibition opened by a group of Hanoi artists at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Center.

At Heritage House on No 87 Ma May street, an old Tet space of a Hanoi family will be fully recreated, while traditional music programmes are also scheduled to be held as part of the event.

Meanwhile, Hang Luoc Tet flower market will also be recreated near Phung Hung mural street where artisans and craftsmen introduce traditional handicraft products such as Dong Ho folk paintings, Hang Trong paintings, Kim Hoang paintings, and calligraphic works. The Tet flower market is expected to last until the end of January 31.

At the Hoan Kiem Lake Cultural Information Center, there will be an exhibition held as part of efforts to introduce installation art through works made from recycled materials. The exhibition will run until February 15.

President’s order on newly-adopted laws announced

The President’s Office held a press conference in Hanoi on January 24 to announce President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s order regarding the law amending and supplementing a number of articles of nine laws adopted by the 15th National Assembly during its first extraordinary session.

The laws related to the new law are: the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Public-Private Partnership, the Law on Investment, the Law on Housing, the Bidding Law, the Electricity Law, the Law on Enterprises, the Law on Special Consumption Tax, and the Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgements.

The amendment and supplementation made to a number of articles of these laws are meant to institutionalise the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies on law building and to remove obstacles to production, business and social activities, especially in the context of COVID-19 prevention and control, and socio-economic recovery and development.

The new law comprises 11 articles, including nine amending and supplementing some articles of the nine laws, one on transitional provisions, and another on the enforcement.

It will take effect from March 1, 2022.

HCM City takes the lead in COVID-19 fight: PM

Ho Chi Minh City has made important contributions to COVID-19 prevention and control through changes in mindset and approach along with decisive pilot steps, and has successfully made it a safe city again, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has affirmed.

Visiting the municipal Department of Health on January 24 on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet), the government leader hailed the hard work of the city’s health sector during the city’s fight against the pandemic in the context of the highly contagious Delta variant and a shortage of vaccines and treatment drugs.

He said in such difficult conditions, many “unprecedented” policies to rein in the pandemic and support people have been built, promulgated, and implemented drastically and effectively on an unprecedented scale.

He noted that Ho Chi Minh City was also the first locality to launch the vaccination drive, contributing to turning Vietnam from a country with a very low vaccination rate into one of the six countries with the highest vaccination coverage rate in the world.

To date, the city has confidently reopened its door, and proactively implemented the policy of safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of the pandemic.

Vietnamese community in Tanzania, Morocco celebrate Tet Festival

Vietnamese community in Tanzania have gathered in the “Xuan Que huong” (Homland Spring) programme held at the Vietnamese Embassy in the African country’s Da es Salaam city to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet), the most important festival of Vietnamese people in a year.

Participants enjoyed art performance and traditional dishes of Vietnam during the event.

A similar event was held in Morocco’s capital city of Rabat with the participation of the Vietnamese community in the country and local friends.

In a warm and fancy atmosphere, participants watched the “Xuan Que huong” programme broadcast live from Hanoi, and received New Year wishes from President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Prior to the event, participants offered incense in memory of President Ho Chi Minh.

Digital transformation sees remarkable progress in wake of COVID-19

Digital transformation saw a remarkable progress last year, with awareness of this regard among State agencies, businesses and people significantly improving, according to Deputy Minister of Information and Telecommunications Nguyen Huy Dung.

In Da Nang, people can register for electricity supply and pay power bills with smart phones. Village chiefs in Lang Son become heads of community-based technology groups who teach the villagers how to develop a digital shop on e-commerce platforms, helping raise sales of agricultural products by 174 times. In Quang Ninh, the chairman of the provincial People’s Committee can check progress of public administrative services delivery from his office through a digital system.

At an early stage, the national digital transformation and the journey towards a digital economy and society still have a long way to go. Every people, every business is increasingly aware of how digital technologies are making profound changes in all areas, particularly in the delivery of public administrative and healthcare services, said Nguyen Van Khoa, Chairman of the Vietnam Software Association (VINASA).

The national portal for public administrative services have become operational for over a year, with nearly 3,000 services made available. The remote medical consultation and support network Telehealth connecting around 1,000 clinics nationwide has bridged the gap in service quality among regions and reduced overloads at centralized hospitals. Many hospitals now provide digital health records, remote health services and e-payments.

Bamboo Airways starts selling tickets for flights to Germany, Australia, UK

Bamboo Airways’ tickets for flights in the direct routes between Vietnam and Germany, Australia and the UK have been on sale, the budget carrier announced on January 25.

As scheduled, Bamboo Airways will operate two return flights per week in the Hanoi-London route from March 22, along with two round-trip flights per week in the Ho Chi Minh City-Melbourne route from February 19.

Meanwhile, there will be two flights per week on the Hanoi-Frankfurt route from February 25. The flight frequency will increase depending on the demand, according to the airline.

Bamboo Airways is also taking steps to launch regular flights on the HCM City-Frankfurt route as well as others connecting Vietnam and Munich and Berlin of Germany.

Vietnam’s first ABO-incompatible living-donor kidney transplant done at Cho Ray

Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City has successfully conducted the country’s first ABO-incompatible living-donor kidney transplant.

Tran Thi Hanh, 51, of Ben Tre province volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to her husband, Vi Van Biet, 54, who had end-stage renal disease and has been on dialysis for more than a year.

Her blood type is A and his is B.

The surgery was done on December 29 and the couple are now in stable condition.

To prepare for the transplant, the patient received treatment to lower antibody levels in his blood and reduce the risk of his antibodies rejecting the donor kidney, doctors said.

Assoc Prof Thai Minh Sam, head of the hospital’s department of urology, said around 300 patients register for a kidney transplant at the hospital every year, but only a third of them undergo surgery due to various reasons, including having a living donor with a different blood type.

Vietnam wins silver at Huawei’s Global Tech4Good Competition

The local VNO1 team has won the silver award at Huawei’s first global Tech4Good competition for its outstanding project “Earlie”.

The Vietnamese winners include Nguyen Quoc Hung from Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology, Dang Le Tuong Vy from Da Nang University of Science and Technology, Nguyen Hoang Hai from Swinburne University of Technology, and Nguyen Viet Phuong from The Vietnam National University- University of Engineering and Technology (VNU-UET).

Their project “Earlie” supports deaf people in communicating through a virtual interpreter application. The application makes use of AI technology that allows speech recognition, before converting it into text and then changing that sign language into speech. It also helps people to communicate with deaf people through a virtual interpreter.

The 2021 programme attracted more than 3,500 participants from over 117 countries, thereby bringing the total number of participants over the past 13 years up to 120,000 students representing 139 countries and regions globally.

2022 AFC Women’s Cup: Vietnam 0 – 3 Japan

Vietnamese women team were overwhelmed 3-0 by their Japanese opponents in their second Group C match of the 2022 AFC Women’s Cup taking place in India.

After two Group C matches, Japan and the RoK qualified for the quarterfinals after obtaining six points but the former stayed atop on goal difference.

Meanwhile, Vietnam and Myanmar stood at the bottom after two losing matches. Vietnam now rank above Myanmar on goal difference and just a draw in their last Group C match on January 27 would give them a chance to enter the quarter-finals.

Former director of Bạch Mai Hospital jailed for five years

Nguyễn Quốc Anh, former director of the Bạch Mai Hospital has been jailed for five years for abusing his power and position while performing official duties.

Seven other people were also sentenced on Monday at the Hà Nội People’s Court for their roles in the wrongdoings.

Nguyễn Ngọc Hiền, former deputy director, was jailed for three years six months. Trịnh Thị Thuận, the chief accountant, received three years’ probation and Lý Thị Ngọc Thủy, deputy head of the Finance and Accounting Ward, two years’ probation.

Phạm Đức Tuấn, former chairman of the board of directors and director of the BMS Medical Technology Joint Stock Company (BMS Company), received three years’ probation. Ngô Thị Thu Huyền, former deputy director of the BMS Company, two years and six months probation. Trần Lê Hoàng, a former appraiser from the Hà Nội Valuation and Financial Services JSC (VFS) was sentenced to two years in prison and Phan Minh Dung, former director of the VFS Company, 20 months in jail.

Campaign launched to combat plastic waste

A campaign aiming to tackle plastic waste in Việt Nam was launched on Monday in Hà Nội.

The campaign, organised by UNDP in cooperation with the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, will last six months in both online and offline form in Dương, Bình Định, Bình Thuận, Đà Nẵng and Quảng Ninh provinces.

The organisers will hold conferences on measures to replace or eliminate single-use plastic, develop local tourism in a sustainable way and guidance on the classification of rubbish.

At the launch, the organisers introduced Trash Hunt, a mobile application that enables users to report and monitor indiscriminate dumping sites. Users can take photos and record the information on the map, which can inform local authorities and stakeholders.

HCM City gets serious about improving road safety

HCM City aims to reduce the number of road accidents and deaths and injuries by 5-10 per cent this year, its People’s Committee Chairman, Phan Văn Mãi, told a recent meeting.

“The transport sector plays a big role in the city’s COVID-19-pandemic response and socio-economic recovery plans.”

It developed quick, flexible and effective solutions to ensure smooth circulation of essential goods and transport of people, and pandemic prevention works to preclude the risk of supply-chain disruption, he said.

The city would give priority to transport infrastructure development in 2021-25, he promised.

Several key ongoing projects would be completed soon and work on many others was scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

Programme to recreate spring celebrations of Hanoians in the past

The management board of Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi’s Old Quarter will host a cultural and arts programme from January 28 to February 15 to celebrate Lunar New Year 2022 – the Year of the Tiger.

Various activities will be held within the framework of the programme, including arts performances, an exchange of narcissus growers, making ‘chung’ (square glutinous rice) cakes, a display of pottery products, and lighting performances.

A ceremony to install ‘cay neu’ (a tall bamboo pole with red garment strips), an important ritual to ward off evil spirits and welcome the Lunar New Year, will also be re-enacted on the occasion.

The programme will take place in many venues of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, including the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Centre at 50 Dao Duy Tu Street, the heritage house at 87 Ma May Street, Kim Ngan Communal House at 42 Hang Bac Street, Ho Guom Cultural Information Centre at 2 Le Thai To Street, and the Phung Hung mural street.

The activities will be updated and livestreamed via the ‘Pho Co Ha Noi’ Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/phocohanoi.HN/ and website www.hoankiem360.vn.

Youth campaign to eliminate gender stereotypes launched

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee yesterday launched a communication campaign “Standard youth – Say no to gender stereotypes” in Hanoi.

The campaign has been organized nationwide among all union members and young people, in both face-to-face and online forms from January to November 2022.

The stages of the program are tied to a specific theme. The first phase has the theme “Both males and females do housework chores” while the second phase “Sharing financial responsibility in the family”, the third phase “A career is a choice, regardless of gender” and the fourth phase “Women can also be successful leaders”.

The program aims to gradually change perceptions and behaviors of gender stereotypes, further narrowing the gender gap, especially in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The program is also expected to create opportunities for women and men to participate and enjoy equal benefits in all fields of social life, contributing to the country’s sustainable development.

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

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