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Lao Prime Minister to pay official visit to Vietnam

Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh will lead a high-ranking delegation of the Lao Government to pay an official visit to Vietnam from January 8 to 10 at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh.

The Lao PM will co-chair the 44th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee and launch the Vietnam – Laos, Laos – Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022.

HCM City sees improvements in COVID fight

HCM City has seen positive signs in the fight against the COVID-19, according to its Steering Committee for Pandemic Prevention and Control.

The number of weekly cases decreased from 8,686 in the first week of December to 4,087 in the last week. The number of deaths in the first three days of 2022 was 30, 31, and 26 respectively, while serious cases requiring hospitalisation were around 300 a day.

The city now has 7,500 does of antivirus drugs, and will soon receive 25,000 doses from the Ministry of Health. The local Department of Health has called for 2,295 private pharmacies to be more involved in the city’s fight against COVID-19.

The rate of students in grades 7, 8 and 10 returning to schools on January 4 was more than 85 per cent. For students in grade 11 it was 92 per cent. Students have been reviewing lessons, and will take first term examinations between January 10 and 22.

Hanoi plans to treat 100,000 COVID-19 cases

The capital of Hanoi is working out a plan to treat 100,000 COVID-19 infections as the number of new infections is increasing these days, according to Mayor Chu Ngoc Anh.

To implement the plan, Anh said the city will request support of centrally and sectoral run hospitals, as well as private hospitals to engage in COVID-19 treatment. It has established more than 3,200 community support groups to monitor people infected with COVID-19 at home now standing at more than 17,000.

The city will also mobilize human resources, including young doctors and students of medical schools, and deploy medical oxygen ATMs and medical response readiness coordination activities for home treatment cases.

Hanoi is accelerating its largest ever vaccination campaign to better protect its residents from virus infection. More than 98% of adults have so far received two doses of vaccines. The city is deploying home vaccination for people aged 50 and above with underling health conditions.

Over 46.8 percent workers in HCM City affected by COVID-19 pandemic: survey

Over 46.8 percent workers in HCM City affected by COVID-19 pandemic: survey hinh anh 1

More than 180,800 labourers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for 46.88 percent of the total number of employees in Ho Chi Minh City, according to the Centre of Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labour Market Information Ho Chi Minh City (FALMI).

This is the result of a survey on the labour demand conducted on about 15,600 enterprises with over 385,700 workers in the locality.

The survey found that more than 110,500 employees have been put on furlough since the outbreak of the pandemic, accounting 61.15 percent of the total number of affected persons while 42,300 people have lost jobs or 23.4 percent.

The number of labourers who have taken unpaid leave and have their labour contracts temporarily terminated was 11,000 and 10,800 which is equal to 6.06 and 5.97 percent, respectively.

National Super Cup 2021 cancelled

Football fans will have no chance to watch a much-awaited match between V – League and National Cup winners this year as the Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF) recently announced the cancellation of the National Super Cup 2021.

The 2020-2021 football season saw no V-League and National Cup winners named as it was cancelled due to the complicated nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, meaning there will be no National Super Cup match, the VPF said in its announcement.

The VPF also unveiled that the first round of Division 1 fixtures in the V-League 2022 season will start on February 19, and Division 2 fixtures next week. Division 1 will see 13 teams play each other both home and away.

RoK, Japan localities donate medical supplies to Can Tho in COVID-19 fight

Jeollanamdo province of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan’s Okayama city on January 4 presented medical supplies to Can Tho to aid the Mekong Delta city in the COVID-19 combat.

The gifts, comprising 60,000 face shields and masks worth about 470 million VND (20,655 USD), will be transported to the municipal health department and the Vietnam Fatherland Front in Can Tho to serve the work.

According to Can Tho’s Department of Foreign Affairs, since the fourth wave of COVID-19 broke out last April, the city has received medical supplies from many countries and territories with a total value of around 1.7 billion VND.

Ho Chi Minh City: trade unions to spend over 700 billion VND to help labourers celebrate Tet

The Labour Federation of Ho Chi Minh City will spend over 700 billion VND (30.76 million USD) to organise activities and present gifts to labourers in the city on the occasion of the upcoming lunar New Year (Tet), the federation said at a press conference on January 4.

A prominent event is the “Tet sum vay” (Tet reunion) programme, expected to gather 10,000 worker families to welcome the Year of the Tiger. Another programme will organise trips to the Dam Sen entertainment park for 10,000 families of trade union members during the Tet holiday.

Trade unions will also continue to implement a programme to help poor workers to return to their home villages for Tet, with 35,000 coach, train and air tickets to be presented.

National Park launches program to preserve endangered animals

Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh province has launched the “Revival Journey” program with the aim of preserving endangered animals such as the grey langur, the brown-shanked douc langur, and the Ha Tinh langur.

In phase 1 of the program, organisers will pilot operations to rescue endangered primates. In phase 2, they have added conservation activities for the Cuc Phuong Turtle and Pangolin.

According to the Organising Committee, there are four packages for visitors to take part in, which are “Companion”, “Heart connection”, “Going home”, and “Special”.

The “Going home” package, which was kicked off recently, has proven popular, with the active participation of visitors who have become more aware of the risk of extinction facing rare species.

Vietnam adopts implementation plan for ILO convention on forced labour abolition

Vietnam has sketched out specific tasks and roadmaps to implement the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (C105) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), under a plan approved recently.

The MoLISA will issue guidelines on the implementation of the document from 2021 to 2023, and build a database in support of the work, along with mechanisms of inspection and supervision, and the handling of violations during the implementation from 2021 to 2025.

It will also boost cooperation with countries, international and non-governmental organisations during the implementation, which will be reviewed in 2025.

Mu Cang Chai terraces receive special national heritage certificate

The Mu Cang Chai terraced fields in the northern province of Yen Bai have been classified as a special national heritage site.

Mu Cang Chai district is home to 500 hectares of rice terraces in La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phinh communes, cultivated by the H’mong people for centuries.

Yen Bai province said it will continue to conduct conservation activities and promote the value of relics and heritage in the area.

Besides, the province will also promote tourism development. From now until 2025, Mu Cang Chai District will become a tourist district and Nghia Lo town will become a cultural – tourist town.

HCM City’s schools welcome back over 680,000 students

More than 680,000 students in Ho Chi Minh City came back to school on January 4 after almost seven months of studying online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are students of the 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th grades. Previously, nearly 160,000 9th and 12th graders in the southern largest hub returned to school on December 13, 2021.

Each school has devised online and in-person classes in accordance with their conditions.

Other educational facilities, such as foreign language, informatics and life skills centres, will be allowed to resume in-person classes if their COVID-19 prevention and control plans have been approved by district-level authorities.

Vietnamese expats in Europe long for resumption of international flights

Vietnamese expats living in Europe hope authorities from both sides to work together so as to soon resume international flights, allowing them to visit family back home, according to Hoang Dinh Thang, Chairman of the Union of Vietnamese People Associations in Europe.

The resumption will also help boost trade, tourism and investment between Vietnam and European countries, revive the economy and bring life back to normal, Thang said in an interview to the Vietnam News Agency following a recent pilot plan to this effect.

It is very important to do so after two years of closure because of COVID-19, he said, adding that overseas Vietnamese communities long to fly home on the occasion of the traditional New Year, the most important festival in Vietnam, for family reunion.

Numerous activities to celebrate Vietnam – India diplomatic ties

A chain of diplomatic, economic, cultural and people-to-people exchange events will be jointly held by the Indian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, the municipal authorities and other southern localities in 2022 to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam – India diplomatic ties (1972-2022).

The Indian Consulate General planned to host 125 trade and investment promotion programmes, and exchange events among students and doctors of the two nations.

Film screening programmes, exhibitions, workshops on Vietnam – India relationship, seminars, and other cultural events will be also included.

Tourism promotion activities will also be arranged to attract Indian tourists to Vietnam’s Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Phu Quoc.

National squad to gather on January 13 for World Cup qualifiers

The Vietnamese men’s national football team will reunite on January 13 to prepare for two upcoming matches against Australia and China in the third Asian qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The team, led by head coach Park Hang-seo, will gather on January 13 to take part in a one-week training camp in Hanoi.

After taking on Australia in an away trip on January 27, the national team will then return to the country for a fixture against China which will be played at the My Dinh National Stadium on February 1.

Eight international air routes now in operation

Vietnam Airlines kick-started the plan by flying from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) on January 1. It is scheduled to operate the second international flight between Vietnam and Japan on January 5.

The national flag carrier has offered ticket sales to passengers on the Hanoi – Seoul route from January 6, Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore from January 12, Ho Chi Minh City – Bangkok (Thailand) from January 8, Hanoi – Vientiane (Laos) from January 9, Hanoi – Taipei (Taiwan – China) from January 11, and Vietnam – USA from January 9.

Meanwhile, Vietjet Air is scheduled to operate a number of routes such as Hanoi – Tokyo on January 6, Taipei – Hanoi on January 8, and Taipei – Ho Chi Minh City on January 12.

Another domestic airline, Bamboo Airways, is due to operate the Hanoi – Taipei route on January 5. The budget airline has announced it will conduct one flight per week, with the next departures on January 12, January 19 and January 26.

Music producer Đức Trí to host concert in HCM City

Famed Vietnamese composer and music producer Đức Trí will host a music show in HCM City on January 15.

The event ‘Nỗi Yêu Bé Dại’ (Innocent Love) will feature songs for Trí’s vinyl record of the same name.

The album, released in December, includes nine songs, including Hoa Nắng Tôi (My Sunshine) and Lặng Lẽ Yêu (Silent Love), featuring singer Thùy Chi who will perform at the concert.

The show will feature singers Hoàng Yến Chibi; Lê Hiếu, known as the ‘Vietnamese Prince of Love Songs’; and Uyên Linh, winner of Vietnam Idol 2010.

They will perform famous hits written by Trí such as Anh Biết (I Know), Khi Giấc Mơ Về (When The Dream Comes Back), and Nụ Hôn Đánh Rơi (Missing Kiss), and the soundtrack from Tháng Năm Rực Rỡ (Go-Go Sister), a remake of South Korean hit Sunny.

Festival held to promote spring among ethnic groups

The spring atmosphere will overwhelm the Việt Nam Ethnic Village of Culture and Tourism throughout January with various festivals of ethnic minority groups throughout the nation.

Around 100 people from 13 ethnic minorities including Nùng, Tày, Mông, Dao, Mường, Thái, Khơ Mú, Tà Ôi, and Ba Na will join the funfairs.

Folk games, handicraft performances, and traditional cuisine will be featured during weekdays and weekends.

Groups from Thái Nguyên, Hà Nội, Gia Lai, Đăk Lắk and Sóc Trăng will show off daily routines together with around 20 people from the Thái team from the northern province of Sơn La between January 22 and 23.

The village locates in Đồng Mô District, some 45km to the west of Hà Nội’s centre.

HCM City to earmark $24.9 billion for housing development by 2025

HCM City will allocate nearly VNĐ567 trillion (US$24.9 billion) and 974 hectares of land for housing in the next four years to increase the per capita housing space to at least 23.5 square metres.

It has approved a programme to develop commercial housing, especially low-priced, social housing and renovate or rebuild degraded apartment buildings until 2025.

It seeks to increase housing space per person to at least 23.5sq.m from the current 20.65sq.m, and 25.6sq.m in the city centre.

The city will allocate nearly 800.9ha of land for commercial housing development and 173.5ha for social housing, and spend VNĐ239.7 trillion on commercial housing, VNĐ37.7 trillion on social housing and VNĐ289.5 trillion on private housing.

At least 610,000 Hanoi residents have received third COVID-19 vaccine doses

Hanoi has administered over 610,000 third COVID-19 vaccine doses to residents aged 18 years and above so far, according to the city’s health department.

Trần Thị Nhị Hà, head of the department, said 172,000 are additional doses (defined by WHO as the third dose for target population where immune response rate following standard series is deemed insufficient, especially in immunocompromised people and older adults) and 441,000 booster shots.

100,000 people above 50 years old in the city have received the third vaccine doses.

Hà Nội’s administration has ordered the completion of additional doses before January 31, 2022, and wanted all concerned authorities to “persistently raise awareness and encourage people to get vaccinations” to obtain 100 per cent vaccine coverage in the population 50 years old and above.

Former vice secretary of HCMC Party Committee facing 12-14 years in prison

Tất Thành Cang, former vice secretary of HCM City’s Party Committee, is facing a potential jail term of 12 to 14 years for “violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness”, should he be found guilty.

The procuracy also submitted to sentence Tề Trí Dũng, former general director of IPC, to 20-22 years in prison for “embezzlement of property” and “violations of regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” under the 2015 Penal Code.

It was also suggested that Hồ Thị Thanh Phúc, former general director of SADECO, is given 19-21 years in prison for “embezzlement of property” and “violations of regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” under the 2015 Penal Code.

Phạm Văn Thông, former deputy chief of the Office of the HCMC City’s Party Committee, is facing 6-7 years in prison for “violations of regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” under the 2015 Penal Code.

The trial, which begins on December 27, is set to be wrapped up on January 10.

Vietnam donates US$100,000 to US to overcome tornado consequences

Vietnam on January 5 handed over US$100,000 from the Vietnamese Government and people to support bereaved families of tornadoes that struck the US State of Kentucky last December.

Addressing the handover ceremony, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung shared deep sympathy over the great loss American people suffered and believed that the US government and people would soon overcome the consequences of the disaster in Kentucky.

He emphasized the spirit of friendship, cooperation and mutual support to surmount difficulties between the Governments and people of the two countries, especially in the context of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Daily caseload surpasses 17,000 mark again in Vietnam

After having gradually fallen to more than 14,000 cases over the past few days, the daily number of new infections surprisingly hit the 17,000 mark again on January 5, rising to 17,017, the Ministry of Health said in its coronavirus update.

Of the new infections, more than two thirds (12,299) were detected in the community and 20 cases tested positive upon returning to Vietnam from overseas. The remaining cases were diagnosed in quarantine and lockdown areas.

The capital city of Hanoi registered most cases compared to other localities, at 2,505. The city is deploying a plan to treat 100,000 cases at healthcare facilities and at home by mobilizing State and private hospitals to engage in COVID-19 treatment.

Besides Hanoi, other northern provinces also recorded high numbers of new infections during the day, including Hai Phong (792), Bac Ninh (365), Hung Yen (345), Quang Ninh (337), Thai Nguyen (239), Hai Duong (229) and Ha Giang (227).

Vietnam, Laos break ground on friendship school in Khammouane

A ground-breaking ceremony for the Vietnam – Laos Friendship Vocational School was held in Nong Bok district of Khammouane province on January 5.

The school will be built on an area of 3.7 hectares with a total cost of US$5 million as a special gift from the Party, State and people of Vietnam to their Lao counterparts.

The project was unveiled during the August 2021 visit to Laos by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The project is expected to be completed and handed over to Laos in December 2022. It will initially provide vocational training for high school students, those who do not have a job, those who need to change jobs, and overseas workers who lost their jobs and returned home due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam attends SOM to gear up for ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat

A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung attended a virtual senior official meeting (SOM) on January 5 to scrutinize preparations for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMMR) set to take place from January 18-19 in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

During the event, the head of the Cambodia ASEAN SOM reviewed the major outcomes recoded by ASEAN in 2021, especially in the implementation of action lines of the master plan on building the ASEAN Community, and promoting external relations and ASEAN’s central role, among others.

With the theme given to the ASEAN Chair 2022 ‘Addressing Challenges Together’, Cambodia introduced orientations and key focus in cooperation of ASEAN this year, underlining the combined efforts of member countries in dealing with emerging challenges, thereby contributing to peace, security, stability and sustainable development in the region.

Can Tho, US university foster cooperation in high-quality human resource training

Officials of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on January 5 had a working session with representatives of the northern branch of the American University in Vietnam (AUV).

The university presented 41 scholarships to high school students of the city during the event. They include a full-time scholarship worth US$60,000, 10 half scholarships and 30 others of US$18,000 each.

The scholarships offered by the northern branch of the AUV will help the city successfully carry out a resolution on its development to 2030 with a vision to 2045, focusing on health care and education, he added.

Contest launched to promote Vietnam’s traditional Lunar New Year

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has launched a contest themed “Yeu tet que nha – Yeu ban sac Viet” to popularise inspirational stories as the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival is approaching.

The contest offers a chance for Vietnamese people to share memorable moments, cultural identities and traditional customs of localities across the country during the Tet festival.

It is expected to contribute to introducing and disseminating Vietnam’s traditional Lunar New Year to the domestic and international communities.

The contest is open to all Vietnamese citizens aged 18 and above. The organising board will present three first prizes worth VND10 million (US$439) each, five second prizes worth VND5 million each, 10 third prizes worth VND2 million each and 15 consolation prizes worth VND1 million each.

HCMC set to inspect trade of Covid test kits

The HCMC government has told the HCMC Inspectorate to set up inter-disciplinary inspection teams to look into the trade, production and import of Covid-19 test kits citywide.

The decision came after the country was stunned by a test kit price gouging and kickback scandal involving Viet A Technology Corporation and a number of provincial centers for disease control.

The HCMC move is aimed at detecting any violations in the process of trading and importing tests, according to a dispatch signed by HCMC Vice Chairman Duong Anh Duc today, January 5.

The inspection teams will inspect entities that have participated in the trading and import of rapid test and RT-PCR test kits.

Web drama on traditional Vietnamese family values released

The first episode of a web drama series about family life, starring People’s Artist and comic actress Hồng Vân, was released on YouTube on New Year’s Eve, attracting more than 138,000 views.

The show Tết Nữa U Là Trời (Tết Comes Home) focuses on traditional family values in Việt Nam, and has 12 episodes. The series features a poor mother trying to make things rights with her only daughter. The show looks at the trials and tribulations between mother and daughter.

The work also highlights cultural activities and family traditions celebrated during Tết (Lunar New Year) Festival. This year, Tết begins on Feburary 1.

First baby born with help of Vietnamese peacekeeping doctors in South Sudan

Doctors of Việt Nam’s Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 3 in Bentiu, South Sudan, and their counterparts in the host country, have successfully conducted surgery on a pregnant woman suffering from Pott’s disease.

With the help of the doctors, a baby boy weighing 4 kg was born safely on January 3.

His mother is a 22-year-old woman from South Sudan who had spinal deformity due to the disease. She had been pregnant for 35 weeks and had signs of fetal distress.

On January 3, the field hospital received a call from the Director of Mision Support, UNMISS Chief Medical Officer, and Head Field of Office for helping Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders-MSF) with the special case.

This is the first time Việt Nam’s hospital has been asked to send a team to support another medical unit.

Railway opens ticket sales for Tet holiday

The Vietnam Railways Corporation, on January 5, informed that the railway industry started selling train tickets from Hanoi and Saigon train stations to serve people during the 2022 Lunar New Year.

Accordingly, on the Hanoi – Vinh route, the pair of NA1/2 trains will run from January 27 to February 6. On the Ho Chi Minh City – Phan Thiet route, the pair of SPT1/SPT2 trains will run from January 28 to February 6.

On the HCMC – Nha Trang route, the pair of SNT1/SNT2 trains will run from January 20 to February 13. On the HCMC – Quy Nhon route, the pair of SQN1/SQN2 trains will run from January 24 to February 6. On the HCMC – Quang Ngai route, the pair of SE25/SE26 trains will run from January 26 to February 6.

German medical professor honoured

German medical professor Horst Klinkmann has been decorated with an Order of Friendship in recognition of his remarkable contributions to Vietnam’s healthcare sector and the bilateral relations.

On behalf of the President of Vietnam, Ambassador Nguyen Minh Vu presented the country’s highest award for foreigners to the 87-year-old in a ceremony held in Berlin on January 5.

A student and then a lecturer at the University of Rostock, one of the oldest universities in Germany, Prof. Dr. Horst Klinkmann provided active support for the first Vietnamese medical students in the university after the restoration of peace in Vietnam in 1954.

Klinkmann has helped promote the Vietnam-Germany links in education and medicine, reflected by the establishment of the Viet-Duc Friendship Hospital and Nghe An’s Vinh General Hospital, and deliver much-needed medical supplies to Vietnam when the country was in difficulty because of blockade in the past.

Free oxygen ATM programme launched in Hanoi

A free oxygen ATM programme along with oxygen coordination activities to support COVID-19 patient treatment at home was kicked off on January 5 by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCMCYU)’s chapter in Hanoi, the Hanoi Youth Union (HYU) in collaboration with the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association (VYEA) and the Hanoi Young Business Association.

Accordingly, the transportation of oxygen cylinders and medical equipment will be undertaken by a rapid response team from the HYU’s Pickup Vietnam Club.

Lam Dong tackles 250kg wartime bomb

The Military High Command in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong’s Da Huoai district is working with competent agencies to transport a wartime bomb recently unearthed by residents for safe detonation.

The explosive device was detected on January 5 when an excavator was used at its location.

Left over by the US during the war, the bomb, whose detonator remains intact, is over 1.6m long, has a diameter of 30cm, and weights more than 250kg.

Vietnam’s women team beat Spanish club in friendly match

Vietnam’s national women football squad scored a 3-0 win over Cordoba Club in a friendly match on January 4, as part of a training tour in Spain in preparation for the Asian cup.

Vietnam got off to a good start and Nguyen Thi Van scored the opener in the 27th minute, with the second goal made by Thanh Nha in the 44th minute.

Vietnamese players continued to dominate the second half of the match and increased the goal difference to three in the 60th minute when Pham Hai Yen defeated the goalkeeper of Cordoba with an assist from Huynh Nhu.

The team are scheduled to have another friendly and final match against Huelva Club on January 5.


Vietnam secures over 195 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19

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