Two military officials detained for involvement in Viet A case
Investigators under the Ministry of National Defense have filed charges against two officials of the Hanoi-based Military Medical Academy for their alleged involvement in Viet A Technology Corporation’s price gouging of Covid-19 test kits.
Colonel Ho Anh Son, deputy director of the academy’s Institute of Biomedicine and Pharmacy, was prosecuted and arrested for alleged embezzlement and abuse of power while on duty. Meanwhile, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Hieu, head of the academy’s Materials and Equipment Supplies Department, faced the same charges for allegedly violating bidding regulations and causing serious consequences.
Son was head of a project to research and produce Covid test kits in collaboration with medical tech firm Viet A Company.
Last week, the Central Inspection Committee said in a statement that the academy’s Standing Party Committee had violated the principle of democratic centralism and working regulations; had been irresponsible and shown laxity in leadership and supervision to allow officials at the academy to violate regulations when proposing and implementing national-level scientific and technological tasks, including the research and production of Covid test kits and purchase of test kits from Viet A.
In late December last year, a few days after Phan Quoc Viet, chairman and general director of Viet A, was arrested, Colonel Son told news site VnExpress that Viet A had participated in the Covid test kit research team since the early days given the urgent demand for serving the country’s Covid fight.
As for the Viet A case, investigators have pressed charges against 21 people and seized assets worth VND1.6 trillion in total.
9th Da Lat Flower Festival to be held by year-end
The 9th Da Lat Flower Festival is scheduled for the end of this year under a proposal of Lam Dong province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The biennial national and international cultural-tourism event, organised by the provincial People’s Committee of Lam Dong, aims to honour the flower industry in Da Lat, promote tourism and trade, and call for domestic and international cooperation and investment in the province.
Last year, the locality decided to skip it due to the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic. All funding for the event was used to provide computers and telecommunication services for students with difficult circumstances in the locality.
Another flight now on way to repatriate Vietnamese in Ukraine
A Bamboo Airways flight is en route from Hanoi to Warsaw to bring home nearly 300 Vietnamese people fleeing war-ravaged Ukraine.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner departed from Noi Bai International Airport at 1:55am on March 9 and is scheduled to land at Warsaw Chopin Airport at 9:00am (local time), or 15:00pm (Hanoi time), the same day.
It will stay there for about 3 hours for passengers for boarding, technical inspection and refuelling.
The flight is expected to arrive back in Hanoi at around 5:15am the next day, three hours later than the initial schedule.
First Vietnamese-Czech honoured for service to Czech Republic
Trinh Tan, a Vietnamese-Czech engineer, was among 38 citizens honoured in 2020 for his contributions to the Czech Republic’s national service.
A ceremony to present the award to those who made important contributions to the European country in the past two years as announced by President Milos Zeman was held in Prague on March 7 (local time).
Tan, born in northern Thai Binh province of Vietnam, graduated from the University of Mining in Ostrava. He is currently president of the Vietnamese association in the Moravian-Silesian Region and member of the region’s Ethnic Minority Council.
The engineer was honoured for his contributions to strengthening the Czech Republic-Vietnam relations. When COVID-19 broke out, he launched a campaign calling on the Vietnamese community to make and present tens of thousands of masks, protective gloves and financial assistance to hospitals, nursing homes and social welfare institutions in the European nation.
The Vietnamese community of more than 7,000 is the third largest group in Moravia. Its members actively engage in annual cultural activities of the locality and support nursing homes, orphans and people with disabilities.
Vietnamese delegation attends gender equality-relating meetings
The Vietnamese mission to the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation, and other international organisations in Geneva attended gender equality-related meetings held on March 8 to mark the International Women’s Day.
Held under this year’s theme of “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, the event aims to recognise the contributions by women and girls who are leading the way in climate change adaptation and response and building a sustainable future for all as advancing gender equality and tackling climate change are the greatest challenges to humanity in the 21st century.
The mission took part in webinars entitled “Empowering women in green trade” and “Sharing experiences relating to gender mainstreaming in national policy”, and attended an exhibition on the contributions of female leaders to multilateralism and progress in the areas of peace and security, human rights and development.
Hanoi aims to attract more tourists to cultural relic sites
Hanoi authorities are working to attract more tourists to the capital city’s cultural relic sites, especially when the country completely reopens the tourism sector from March 15.
Due to impacts of COVID-19, the number of tourists to popular destinations in the city has remained modest although municipal authorities allowed the opening of the sites in February, .
Huong Pagoda, which used to receive about 5,000 visitors each day, is seeing only about 1,000 tourists on a daily basis. So far, the popular spiritual tourist destination has welcomed 60,000 visitors, equivalent to that in only one day in peak season in previous years.
Similar situation has been seen in many other relic sites such as Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, and Hoa Lo prision.
To adapt to the new situation and draw more visitors, cultural relic sites in the city have flexibly applied measures to improve their image and provide more attractive products for visitors, including a gift presenting programme in Thang Long Imperial Citadel and special night tours of Hoa Lo prision.
Hanoi aims to welcome 9-10 million visitors, including 1.2-2 million foreigners, this year and 12-14 million tourists, including 2.5-3.5 million foreigners, next year.
Vietnamese from Ukraine receive continuous support in Czech Republic, Slovakia
A committee has been established by the Embassy of Vietnam and the association of the Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic to help evacuate Vietnamese fleeing war zones in Ukraine.
It has raised nearly 600,000 CZK (25,700 USD) in cash for the evacuees and received 20,000 EUR (21,830 USD) from the association of the Vietnamese people in Czech which will be spent on food, medicine and other necessities for those fleeing to Poland and Romania.
Additionally, it has collected donations of food, drinking water, blanket, clothes and medicine from local people for the needy from Ukraine. Many expats have voluntarily driven the Vietnamese from the border with Ukraine to temporary shelters in Czech while others have given accommodation and food for them.
As of March 8 morning, close to 200 Vietnamese people had been evacuated from Ukraine to Czech.
In Slovakia, the Vietnamese Embassy estimated to have evacuated over 100 Vietnamese nationals from Ukraine to the country, most of whom chose to go to other European countries.
Vietnamese expats in Slovakia have been busy arranging accommodations and travel from border for their fellows from Ukraine and providing them with food and other necessities. Vietnamese associations in Kosice near the border with Ukraine have sent rescue teams to the border gates day and night to offer help to them.
Over 10,000 EUR in cash and a large volume of food and necessities have been raised for those in need.
New law promotes awareness of environmental protection
The 2020 Law on Environmental Protection, which took effect at the beginning of 2022, has timely institutionalized many new policies of the Party and State related to environmental protection.
The law is also gradually harmonised with international laws with amendments related to environmental quality management towards protecting people’s health.
For the first time, the law defines a residential community as a subject of environmental protection, which promotes the role of residential communities in environmental protection activities.
It also comprises new regulations on strict control for projects with high risk of adverse environmental impacts; post-inspection for projects using advanced and environmentally friendly technologies; and cuts many administrative procedures.
In particular, the new law also adds solutions to protect environmental components, promote waste separation at source, and manage and deal with waste.
About 270 Vietnamese nationals to be repatriated from Poland on March 10
Around 270 Vietnamese nationals fleeing the conflict in Ukraine are expected to return to Vietnam on March 10 on a flight conducted by Bamboo Airlines from Warsaw, Poland.
The flight is scheduled to depart from Warsaw, Poland on March 9 and arrive at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi on March 10 morning.
Over the past few days, the Party and State have directed ministries and agencies to urgently carry out citizen protection work for Vietnamese people living in war-ravaged areas in Ukraine.
On March 8, a Vietnam Airlines flight carrying 287 Vietnamese people leaving Ukraine arrived at Noi Bai. The passengers included 71 children aged under 12.
Nearly 55,000 people in HCM City find jobs in two months
Nearly 55,000 people in Ho Chi Minh City have found jobs in the first two months this year, including 28,000 in February, according to the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
In February alone, more than 12,000 new jobs were created, mainly in catering services, retail, wholesale, food and other sectors, raising the number of new jobs created since the beginning of this year to around 25,000, equal to 17.85 percent of its yearly plans, which aim to create 140,000 new jobs this year.
The department also plans to provide vocational training for 371,000 labourers in 2022.
Safe reopening creates opportunities for Vietnam’s tourism recovery
The Government has agreed with a proposal of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and other public agencies on safely reopening tourism activities by air, road and sea in a new normal condition starting March 15.
The ministry is now completing its related plan for submission to the Government and the Prime Minister as soon as possible, creating favourable conditions for both tourists and local services providers.
Regarding “vaccine passport”, not many countries have so far recognised Vietnam’s vaccination certificate, making it difficult to bring Vietnamese tourists abroad and causing imbalance in international air transport. Therefore, more negotiations are needed for the industry to access more abundant and better sources of tourists.
To ensure the recovery of Vietnam’s tourism, it is necessary to improve the quality of products, facilities, and human resources. The VNAT will propose training and re-training programmes for tourism workers as well as the extension of support policies, particularly in terms of finance and credit, for businesses and employees in the industry.
The VNAT unveiled that it will continue to vigorously implement the “Live fully in Vietnam” communication campaign, especially on digital platforms; participate in major international tourism fairs in key markets; and work with Vietnamese representative agencies abroad to spread information on Vietnam’s tourism.
Text message campaign raises fund for women in border areas
A text-to-donate campaign to support women in border areas has been jointly launched by the Vietnam Red Cross Society Central Committee, the Vietnam Women’s Union, and the National Humanitarian Portal 1400.
Mobile service subscribers can join the programme by texting ‘BC’ to 1406. Each text message will contribute 20,000 VND (0.88 USD) to the fund.
The two-month campaign, running until April 28, aims to ease difficulties and improve livelihood of poor women in those areas.
After the first two days, it received more than 5,400 text messages.
Vietnam Airlines ready to conduct other repatriation flight
Vietnam Airlines will conduct its second flight to Romania to repatriate Vietnamese people moving out of war zones in Ukraine which is set to arrive in Hanoi at March 11 noon.
The first flight from Bucharest arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at 11:30am on March 8.
A representative of the national flag carrier told the Vietnam News Agency that it has been ready to operate the second flight, noting that it is the airline’s honour to join the Government’s efforts to bring Vietnamese citizens from Ukraine home in a timely and safe manner.
With experience from the first flight, the prepared flight plan and the personnel currently present in Romania, Vietnam Airlines is ready to operate its second one at the request of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it added.
This will also be the third repatriation flight of the country.
Project looks to support 2,600 persons with heavy disabilities
The ‘Hold My Hands II’ project to improve the quality of those with heavy disabilities has been launched at the budget of 2 million USD sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
It will be carried out in the three provinces of Binh Dinh, Quang Nam and Kon Tum in Vietnam’s central region in the 2022-24 period, aiming to develop a network of caregivers and volunteers providing home care for about 2,600 people with disabilities in the localities, including 2,330 in Binh Dinh and 150 in Quang Nam.
In addition, about 200 persons with disabilities will receive assistive tools and home repairs to improve the quality of the care and promote independent living.
To develop a sustainable system offering care for those persons, the project will collaborate with the Vietnam Nurses Association to standardise the training programme for caregivers, and with public and private care centres on a pilot model on providing the services.
Exhibition introduces traditional musical instruments of Vietnam’s ethnic groups
An exhibition displaying traditional musical instruments of Vietnam’s ethnic groups is scheduled to take place at the museum of Can Tho city in the Mekong Delta from April 7 to 11.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, visitors can also attend the event virtually on the websites of the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts and the Can Tho Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The exhibition will showcase traditional musical instruments of ethnic groups across the nation from North to South as well as the images of artisans performing them. It will also feature real performances of these instruments.
Most of Vietnamese in Ukraine safely evacuated: official
The majority of the Vietnamese people in Ukraine have been safely evacuated from war zones, and authorities will continue working to have appropriate plans, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu.
Hieu, who is also Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, was among the officials present at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 8 noon to welcome 287 Vietnamese people who were evacuated from Ukraine and on board the first repatriation flight in Romania.
Talking to the press at Noi Bai airport, he said since the fighting broke out, one of the top priorities of the Party, State, Government, and Vietnam Fatherland Front is to guarantee the safety of overseas Vietnamese citizens and businesses.
The Government demanded a special working group be set up to move the citizens out of war zones and assist those who wish to return to the homeland. As the coordinating body, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been working closely with relevant ministries and sectors to order Vietnam’s representative agencies in Ukraine and neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, in cooperation with Vietnamese associations, to immediately evacuate those in the worst war zones, the official noted.
National Tourism Year 2022 logo released
The Quang Nam provincial People’s Committee debuted a logo for the National Tourism Year 2022 ahead of its opening ceremony on March 25.
Images of Chua Cau, also known as Bridge Pagoda, and the My Son relic site are featured, with the aim of introducing local cultural heritage sites to international tourists.
The logo also consists of four foremost tones, including green representing green tourism, blue for the ocean, orange yellow for cultural heritage, and red for Vietnamese culinary.
The opening ceremony of the national tourism programme is scheduled to take place at Ky Uc island in Hoi An Ancient Town of Quang Nam province on March 25.
The closing ceremony is slated for late December at the VinWonders Nam Hoi An amusement park in Thanh Binh district.
Approximately 200 cultural and tourism events of national and international levels will be held throughout the tourism year.
One-man opera to regale HCM City in non-classical settings
A one-man-opera, “The Recital: Thế Huy, tenor,” will kickstart a classical music performance this Friday.
Held at the Toong Cộng Hoà co-working space, the event holds the promise of opening up new possibilities for classical music to be enjoyed in non-classical contexts, and by larger groups of mass audiences, organisers said.
As the first public solo performances of classical singer Thế Huy and professor – researcher Trần Như Vĩnh Lạc, ‘The Recital’ draws its main materials from famous love stories familiar to Vietnamese people including the unsent love letters of Beethoven.
The performances are part of ‘Blossom’, a cultural initiative by GocCreation that seeks to “foster meaningful cultural experiences in the wake of a devastating global pandemic.”
“The Recital” comprises two performances: “Roméo et Juliette” which was done last week; and “Absent heart, present love – Beethoven and the love letters that remain” which will take place this Friday.
Singer Thế Huy (lirico tenor) will sing in the original French and German texts, with piano accompaniment by professor Trần Như Vĩnh Lạc.
Fire-prevention set for Hội An’s old houses
A fire-prevention and warning system project has been reviewed for ancient houses in the ancient town of Hội An after a two-storey brick and timber house in the Old Quarter was damaged by fire on Monday.
In just two hours, a 100-year-old house on Nguyễn Thái Học street, used as a coffee shop, was completely damaged in the blaze. Local police said a short circuit caused the night-time fire.
Director of Hội An City’s Centre for Cultural heritage management and preservation, Phạm Phú Ngọc, said the VNĐ200 billion (US$8.7 million) fire-prevention project was in the final stage for approval by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports.
Ngọc said the project would include a series of early-warning sensors and firefighters at old houses in the town later this year, but awareness of fire risks needed to be raised among owners of old homes.
He said the Old Quarter, covering 300,000 sq.m, preserved 1,200 relic sites and around 1,000 old houses, but 60 per cent of old houses were rented out, often for tourism services. Business people at the rental houses often shut down shops, and nobody stayed at night.
If a fire occurs inside the houses at night, firefighters are not alerted quickly because of a lack of fire alarms.
Perfect event for literary lovers nationwide
Activities within the framework of Việt Nam Book and Reading Culture Day 2022 will take place from March 15 to April 30, and is expected to attract thousands of literary lovers from across the country.
Highlights include the launch ceremony for 2022 Reading Culture Ambassador Contest and a virtual book introduction competition as well as many seminars on books and reading culture.
Many new titles will be introduced and readers will have the chance to exchange and talk with best-selling authors.
The building of databases, sharing electronic documents and establishing book and reading clubs will also be on the agenda.
Việt Nam Book and Reading Culture Day 2022 (April 21) is an annual festival that always been well received by the community. This year’s theme is “Chấn hưng văn hóa và phát triển văn hóa đọc” (Cultural revival and development of reading culture).
Quang Binh Discovery Marathon to kick-start tourism season
Quang Binh Discovery Marathon-2022 will take place on March 12 and 13, kicking off the central province’s tourism season this year.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the race will be organised at 900 sq.km Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, which UNESCO labeled as a global heritage site in 2003. The park is home to over 300 caves and grottoes that date back 400 million years.
Racers are expected to compete in the distances of 42.19km; 21.09km; 10km; and 6km.
Can Tho to host National ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’ Festival in April
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho will host the third National ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’ (traditional musical art form of the south) Festival in April, according to a plan announced by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Themed ‘Southern ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’ – Preservation and Development’, the festival will take place from April 5 to 10 at Binh Thuy district’s square, Can Tho city.
The event will feature an opening ceremony entitled ‘Essence of Vietnamese folklore arts’, performances of ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’ by art troupes from 21 cities and provinces of the southern region, and an exhibition of traditional musical instruments from Vietnamese ethnic groups.
Cao Bang breaks up two Covid test kit trafficking rings
The law enforcement of the northern province of Cao Bang has busted two major Covid-19 test kit trafficking rings, seizing over 15,000 test kits.
At 12.00 p.m. on March 7, the police stopped a vehicle with plate number 11C-05616 running on National Highway 3 in Hung Dao Commune in Cao Bang City for a check after noting suspicious signs.
After examining the vehicle, the police discovered it was transporting 10,800 Covid test kits without clear origin.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Le Van Quan, aged 19, who lives in Trung Khanh District in Cao Bang Province, admitting that a Chinese man hired him to transport nine bags from Tra Linh Town to Hanoi City, for VND2 million.
On February 28, the provincial traffic police stopped a vehicle traveling on National Highway 3 in Hoa An District for a check at 5.00 a.m., after discovering several suspicious bags of pineapples. Some 5,000 Covid test kits were contained inside the bags. The police are expanding an investigation into the rings, the local media reported.
HCMC pilots health checkups, treatment with chip-based ID cards
Director of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Social Security Agency Phan Van Men informed that the hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City had piloted the chip-based ID card usage in replace of health insurance cards.
Accordingly, residents can use chip-based ID cards synchronized information with health insurance cards to replace health insurance cards.
If the chip-based ID cards show information related to social insurance and health insurance participation, patients will be received health checkups and treatment as per current regulations.
If the people’s information is not appropriate, patients will have to use health insurance cards along with identification cards.
The first electric bus route in Ho Chi Minh City will be put into operation starting March 9.