Forest areas in central region grow 374,000ha
Forested areas in central Việt Nam increased by 373,887ha in the 2015-2019 period, according to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The provinces that saw the highest forest area increases were Quảng Nam, with about 30,070ha, Bình Định 51,095ha, Phú Yên 42,305ha, and Quảng Bình 21,739ha.
The central region is home to more than 5.55 million hectares of forests, or 38.01 per cent of Việt Nam’s total, data from the forestry administration shows.
Of the figure, natural forests cover more than 3.79 million ha while planted forests span over 1.76 million ha.
The region’s forest coverage reached 55 per cent, following only the northeast, with 56.28 per cent.
MARD and the World Bank (WB) – the trustee agency of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) – signed an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) in October.
Under the terms, the FCPF will pay Việt Nam US$51.5 million if it fully implements its commitments, under which the north-central and central provinces of Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, and Thừa Thiên-Huế are to reduce CO2 emissions by 10.3 million tonnes in 2018-2024.
The region, however, has lost more than 3,100ha of forests in recent times to deforestation and fires.
Forest coverage nationwide rose to 41.89 per cent last year from 40.84 per cent in 2015 and is projected to hit the targeted 42 per cent this year.
As of the end of 2019, Việt Nam had close to 14.61 million ha of forests, of which 10.29 million ha were natural forests.
Hospital’s free IVF programme to accept applications on November 18
The Mỹ Đức Hospital’s charity 2020-2021 Ươm Mầm Hạnh Phúc (Nurturing Happiness) programme in HCM City will begin to accept applications for free IVF treatment on November 18.
The programme will provide free IVF treatment to couples who are too poor to pay for it.
The application deadline is November 23.
The programme’s 60 chosen couples will start treatment on December 14 at the IVF Mỹ Đức health facilities.
The programme’s information, registration forms, and criteria for being chosen to get the free IVF treatment are available on the IVF Mỹ Đức website and Facebook page
In the 2019-2020 programme carried out in November 2019, 20 of 60 chosen couples became pregnant. Four have not yet been treated, while the rest have returned to the IVF Mỹ Đức health facilities to receive embryos.
Total capital spent has been more than VNĐ5.4 billion (US$232,962).
Gia Lai tackling aftermath of storms
With the support of soldiers, areas at risk from landslides were identified and damaged houses repaired, ensuring that local people had safe shelter.
Efforts during these difficult times have tightened the ties between the Vietnamese army and local people./.
Integrating resources for reduction of ocean waste in Bình Thuận
A project funded by Norwey to clean up the oceans has been officially launched in the southern province of Bình Thuận.
The Integrating Resources for the Reduction of Ocean Waste project, worth VNĐ1.4 billion (US$60,000), aims to enhance awareness and change behaviour regarding sorting waste at source among communities, social organisations and marine businesses in the districts of Tuy Phong and Phú Quý, and Phan Thiết City.
Consumption of single-use plastics and non-biodegradable plastic bags will be cut (towards an end goal of no plastic bags or single-use plastic products) through the implementation of policies and activities reducing waste flows from both land and sea operations.
The two-year project is part of a US$1 million programme funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs entitled Scaling Up a Socialised Model of Domestic Waste and Plastic Management in Five Cities.
The five locations chosen for the project are Quảng Ninh in the north, Đà Nẵng and Bình Định in the central region, Bình Thuận, and Bình Dương in the south.
At the launch ceremony on Tuesday, co-organsied by the provincial Women’s Union and UNDP, Lê Tuấn Phong, vice chairman of the Bình Thuận Provincial People’s Committee, said in parallel with its socio-economic development, the province was facing environmental problems, especially the discharge of plastic waste.
“Disposal of trash into the environment has generated a large amount of waste which is affecting the environment and causing damage to marine ecosystems,” he said.
Sitara Syed, UNDP’s deputy resident representative in Việt Nam, said: “The implementation of this project is very important for accelerating local action for the National Action Plan on Marine Litter Management.”
“The project will empower the important role of the informal waste sector and promote strong collaboration and partnership between the informal and formal sector in waste management.”
The project will implement seven models.
Three models in Tuy Phong District will include classification of waste from fishing boats and tourist ships, collecting and segregating domestic waste and reducing marine plastic waste in the residential area of Bình Thạnh Commune, and developing a district-level integrated domestic waste management and zero ocean plastic waste plan.
Phan Thiết City will focus on segregating domestic waste at source and preventing marine plastic waste along Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Road.
In Phú Quý District, recyclable plastic collection groups based on waste sorting at source will improve local people’s livelihoods, while domestic waste segregation at Ngô Quyền High School and domestic waste collections and sorting at source for composting will be implemented in the residential area of Tam Thanh Commune.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis enrollment surges
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation has undergone innovation and transformation to offer new and diversified access options to people at risk of HIV, according to the Việt Nam Authority for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) under the Ministry of Health.
VAAC’s analysis of the PrEP programme’s progress shows an increase in new and continued PrEP enrollment despite the impact of COVID-19.
Việt Nam, now in its second year of scale-up of the PrEP programme across 27 provinces, has adapted to continue to meet the needs of key population groups, said Dr. Phan Thi Thu Hương, deputy director of the VAAC.
“This year, because of COVID-19, we had to rapidly adapt services to ensure key communities could continue to access essential health and HIV-related services,” she said at the PrEP program 2018-2020 review meeting held yesterday (November 3) in HCM City.
“We still saw high numbers of new PrEP enrollment, clearly highlighting the need for the services,” she said. “We need to integrate learnings from COVID-19 lockdowns, related to the use of telemedicine and home lab sample collection and delivery of medicines, into routine service delivery moving forward.”
The programme’s success to date has relied on intense demand generation campaigns and diversified offerings, such as the newly introduced event-driven PrEP (ED PrEP) option for men who have sex with men (MSM) and PrEP availability at a range of clinics – public, private and key population-led and owned community clinics.
ED PrEP is an effective PrEP dosage approach that offers additional choice, flexibility and convenience to MSM.
ED PrEP was approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in July 2019 and is now included in Việt Nam’s revised PrEP guidelines.
It offers an option to MSM to take PrEP only when they are at risk of HIV, rather than taking it every day.
“We are committed to supporting VAAC, and our implementing partners have introduced new prevention strategies backed by evidence to ensure that PrEP clients get the support they need to stay on PrEP,” said Dr. Lopa Basu, USAID senior HIV/AIDS technical advisor. “VAAC has demonstrated outstanding leadership in accelerating epidemic control and we look forward to continuing our partnership to support this important work.”
“PrEP is one of the most powerful HIV prevention tools, and key population groups affected are starting to become more interested in PrEP,” said Nguyễn Minh Thuận, director of the Alocare Clinic in HCM City.
The clinic has worked closely with the USAID/Healthy Markets team to offer high quality services, Thuận said.
“PrEP will be key to controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Việt Nam,” he said.
PrEP is a game-changing preventive medication that can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 92 percent if taken daily as part of a combination HIV prevention strategy.
PrEP was introduced in Việt Nam in early 2017 through Prepped for PrEP, a pilot project jointly led by VAAC and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/PATH Healthy Markets.
The pilot showed that key populations were interested and increasingly enrolled in PrEP and there was a high retention of those continuing to take PrEP.
Since PrEP’s initiation in 2017, more than 12,000 people have enrolled.
Bình Phước Province anti-poverty measures yield excellent results
The south-eastern province of Bình Phước expects to exceed its target for poverty reduction among ethnic groups this year as localities step up implementation of alleviation measures, according to its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
It expects to drag an estimated 1,250 poor households above the poverty line against an annual target of 1,000 under a programme it launched last year.
Trần Văn Xuân, deputy director of the department, said this achievement would reduce the poverty rate by 1 percentage point to 1.56 per cent.
To implement the programme, the province has spent more than VNĐ75 billion (US$3.24 million) this year to help poor households repair and build houses, get access to electricity and water supply, build toilets, learn vocational skills, and get jobs.
The province has 40 ethnic minorities with a total of nearly 200,000 people, accounting for 20 per cent of its population.
Its poverty reduction policies have helped nearly 8,000 poor households escape poverty in 2015-20.
Điểu Thị Liệt, an ethnic S’Tiêng woman in Bù Gia Mập District’s Phước Minh Commune, used to be poor and was given a soft loan of VNĐ30 million ($1,300) to grow pepper two years ago.
The farm has developed well, and she has been able to pay back the loan. Then she was provided another loan of VNĐ50 million ($2,160) to open a grocery store in her house.
“The store now provides a steady income for my family, and my three children can go to school,” she said.
Phước Minh Commune has nearly 2,300 households, more than 30 per cent of them ethnic.
It seeks to reduce its poverty rate from 14.9 per cent in 2018 to 7.9 per cent this year, according to its People’s Committee.
Bùi Ngọc Thủy, its chairman, said thanks to the loans, poverty among ethnic people has reduced by half in just the last three years.
This year the province’s Fund for the Poor plans to build 719 ‘great solidarity’ houses for poor people, including 451 under the programme to reduce poverty by 1,000 households a year.
Chu Văn Vệ, a poor ethnic minority person living in Bù Đốp District’s Phước Thiện Commune, said his family has been given assistance to build a ‘great solidarity’ house.
Besides, he received under the anti-poverty programme two goat kids last year and now he raises 20 goats, he said.
He also got two cows and seedlings and was taught farming techniques to escape poverty, he said.
“I have registered with local authorities to move my family out of the poverty list this year.”
Many localities in the province encourage poor households to keep abreast of poverty norms, and give cash prizes and gifts to those that ask to be taken off the poverty list.
Lộc Ninh District, for instance, gave VNĐ2 million ($86) to each such household.
Lê Trường Sơn, secretary of the Lộc Ninh Party Committee and chairman of the Lộc Ninh People’s Committee, said the number of poor households in the district has reduced from 6.78 per cent in 2016 to 1.68 per cent this year.
Lộc Ninh Town and Lộc Thạnh have no poor households any longer, he added.
Youth Union leader devoted to community activities
Phan Thị Thảo Sương, Secretary of the Youth Union of Tân Phú Đông District, Tiền Giang Province, is known as a dynamic leader of youth union who has made practical contributions to the community.
Sương, 30, is admired by local people and is an outstanding example for young people to learn from.
She was awarded the ‘Beautiful Youth’ honour by the Central Committee of the Việt Nam Youth Union on October 15, on the occasion of the Việt Nam Youth Union’s Traditional Day.
She was elected to Tân Phú Đông District Party Committee delegation to attend the XI Congress of the Tiền Giang Province Party Committee (2020 – 2025 period).
Sương was born and raised in Phú Tân Commune, the poorest area in Tân Phú Đông District, which has become seriously salinised in the early dry season this year.
The district has fallen into serious water shortages and both agricultural production and people’s lives have been impacted.
Facing the situation, the local Youth Union, under the leadership of Sương, has worked with the local authorities to supply free freshwater tanks and donate money to poor households.
In the last dry season, she mobilised VNĐ414 million from donors to buy 2,000 water tanks for poor families.
She also mobilised the young union members to transport 1,034 cu.m of freshwater to serve 1,710 households in six island communes.
Early this year, programmes launched by the district’s Youth Union mobilised 1,262 gifts worth VNĐ386 million to support underprivileged families and poor but talented students.
Local young people have also helped with house repairs.
Sương said over the last three years, the local youth union has co-ordinated with the health sector to implement examination and treatment for more than 2,000 poor people and run blood donation drives.
She was assigned to work with the Bank for Social Policies to help provide loans to 1,032 youth union members.
This was one of the important channels to assist young people in the island district to have investment capital to develop production and businesses and establish their career.
Sương said it was young people’s responsibility to help poor people and share difficulties with the community.
Chairman of the district People’s Committee Bùi Thái Sơn said that climate change and natural disasters that regularly occurred in the district were also one of the reasons for poverty.
“Rural poverty reduction must also be associated with climate change response, natural disaster prevention and social security,” he said.
“It is necessary to have the co-operation of all sectors, especially the Youth Union,” he added.
He praised Sương, saying she contributed to connecting the Youth Union and local community activities.
The local Youth Union members have so far planted 5,000 casuarina trees at beaches to break waves, prevent landslides and protect the coast.
“Community-oriented activities create the best and most favourable environment for young people to work, thereby educating and training young people to live a beautiful life,” Sương said.
Sương practices what she preaches, said Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Nương, chairman of Tiền Giang Province’s Youth Union.
“Sương has brought the young people with many practical, rich and diversified activities for the community,” he said.
Netherlands to help Việt Nam with US$2.34 million flood aid package
The Dutch Government will provide an aid package worth 2 million euros (US$2.34 million) for Vietnamese flood victims, Dutch Ambassador to Việt Nam Elsbeth Akkerman said late Wednesday.
The fund will be channelled through the Dutch Relief Alliance that groups 15 non-governmental organisations.
The aid will help address urgent needs of the flood-hit residents, especially clean water, hygiene, food, necessities and cash, and enable them to start sustainable and flexible livelihoods.
Ambassador Akkerman extended her sympathies to the Vietnamese Government and people over the human and property losses caused by the natural disasters.
The Dutch Government and people will stand side by side with Việt Nam during such difficult times, and continue to cooperate with the country in climate change response and water management, she pledged, stressing that humanitarian aid activities should be rolled out promptly.
Since late September, 235 people in the central region have been listed as dead or missing from storms and floods, which have also caused estimated economic losses of about VNĐ17 trillion, according to a Government report to the National Assembly on Monday.
Việt Nam response plan calls for US$40m for central region
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and the Country Director of Save the Children on behalf of the Disaster Management Group have issued the 2020 Việt Nam flood response plan to raise US$40 million to provide assistance for 177,000 of the most vulnerable flood-affected people in the central region.
The plan covers six months to address immediate humanitarian needs and carry out several recovery activities.
UN Resident Coordinator Kamal Malhotra said the UN, humanitarian assistance partners and the Red Cross are meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people in flood-affected areas. Conducted by the Government, UN agencies and foreign non-governmental organisations, a joint assessment in the five most affected provinces, namely Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi, identified the need to provide multi-sectoral assistance for 177,000 of the most vulnerable people in affected areas.
An estimated 153,000 children are also at risk of discontinued learning due to damaged schools and in need for emergency education supplies, including hygiene supplies and learning equipment. Humanitarian support is also required in evacuation sites that currently do not have enough supplies to meet basic needs, including access to clean water and sanitation facilities, putting people at risk of sickness and disease.
According to the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control, floods have so far left 119 dead, 21 missing and hundreds of others injured, including 36 officers and soldiers who lost their lives while supporting people hit by flooding in Thừa Thiên-Huế and Quảng Trị.
Hanoi cracks down on COVID-19 regulation violators
Hanoi capital launched an operation, starting November 5, to crack down on those who violate regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control amid apathy among the residents.
Wearing face masks in public places such as wet markets, supermarkets, bus stations, walking streets and others is compulsory, said Ngo Van Quy, vice mayor of Hanoi at a meeting on November 4.
He pointed out that many people are showing apathy towards COVID-19, posing a high risk of virus infection and spreading in the community.
“All our significant gains we have made so far will become meaningless if only a single case is detected in the community,” he stressed.
As many people do not wear face masks in the Old Quarter and pedestrian zone on weekends, Qui recommended selling masks there to serve visitors.
Hanoi tightened preventive measures after an Israeli expert was diagnosed with the virus in the capital city on November 4. The expert returned to Hanoi from Oman and was quarantined at Muong Thanh hotel in the city centre.
However, two hotel staff had contact with the Israeli patient without taking any preventive measures. They were later quarantined and tested for COVID-19.
The capital city has not detected any community cases since August 17, according to the Hanoi Department of Health.
Ministry demands explanation over patient’s death at Hanoi French Hospital
The CEO of the Hanoi French Hospital denied rumours that they ignored patient’s haemorrhage and explained about the death of a patient after giving birth at the hospital.
On November 4, several Facebook pages posted the story of a medical accident in which a 24-year-old woman died from blood loss at the Hanoi French Hospital. The patient bought a complete maternity and delivery package at the hospital. She gave birth naturally at 11 am on November 2. However, she suffered a haemorrhage and multi-organ failure and died of blood loss two days later.
Jozef Alfons Peeter, CEO of the Hanoi French Hospital Jozef Alfons Peeter denied the accusation online that the hospital had ignored the patient’s haemorrhage for five hours. According to Peeter, the hospital discovered the situation immediately and had suitable treatment.
“We’ll report to the Ministry of Health about this case,” he said. “This was a difficult case. The patient had been given all tests. However, giving birth naturally always has risks.”
He went on to say that the patient’s child was in good health and was being taken care of.
On November 5, the Department of Children-Mother Health under the Ministry of Health sent an official document to ask the Hanoi French Hospital to explain the death of the patient and submit the report back by November 19.
The department also ordered the hospital to set up a committee to review the reception, monitoring process and treatment of the deceased patient. Any violators and irresponsible employees must be strictly punished. The results will be published.
Work on Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant project requested to be suspended
Authorities of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue have requested the suspension of all construction activities at Rao Trang 3 Hydropower project following the recent tragic landslide.
Under the document signed by Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Thien Dinh, Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant Joint Stock Company would halt work on the project to focus on the search for missing people in the landslide.
To date, 12 workers of the company have remained missing following the landslide which occurred on October 12.
On October 30, local authorities sent a taskforce to inspect the entire project. According to the inspection group, the project area is facing high risk of being affected by floods.
The province has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to assess the safety level of Rao Trang 3 Hydropower Plant project in the rainy and storm season to avoid risks.
According to Rao Trang Hydropower 3 Plant JS Company, the firm had offered financial support of VND100 million (USD4,347) for each victim’s family. Meanwhile, families with children under 18 years old have been provided VND1.5 million assistance per month until the children are 18 years old. Victims’ parents who are aged from 60 have been given a lifelong month payment of VND1.5 million.
Noi Bai airport taxiway resumes operation after upgrade
Noi Bai International Airport’s new taxiway has been put into service today, November 6, after being upgraded.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), S2 taxiway is part of a project to upgrade Noi Bai International Airport.
The taxiway’s safety check was conducted by the CAAV on Thursday.
The Noi Bai International Airport upgrade project cost VND2.03 trillion (USD86.95 million), focusing on the repair and upgrade of runways 1A and 1B, taxiways as well as other supporting facilities.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be finished before December 31, meanwhile the second is slated for completion a year later.
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh recently inspected progress of the upgrading projects at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat international airports.
Deputy Prime Minister Le Anh Tuan said that the project’s pace was ensured, but he asked the government to allocate an additional VND230 billion (USD10 million) for the project at Noi Bai International Airport. Tan Son Nhat International Airport would also receive an additional VND300 billion (USD13 million) for its upgrades.
Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro route to go on trial run in December
The Railway Project Management Board under the Ministry of Transport announced that Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line will be put on a 20-day trial run for a final inspection.
The metro line is 13.1km long with elevated sections, 12 stops and 13 trains. Each train has four carriages that can carry 960 passengers. The total investment cost is USD886m.
After the trial period, the contractors and investor must deal with any part that has failed to meet requirements. In order to put the metro line into use, it must be given safety certification by the Vietnam Register, governmental certificate for completion, and then transfer the project to Hanoi authorities.
During the regular government meeting about the progress of Cat Linh-Ha Dong route, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The promised to put the route into use in the first quarter of 2021. They are filling in the positions to run the metro line. The experts of the Chinese general contractor, Engineering-Procurement and Construction and the French experts of the consultancy service are reviewing the system’s safety.
According to the ministry, due to Covid-19, the general contractor couldn’t send all of the personnel to Vietnam to work on the safety assessment process.
Quang Ngai hospitalisations on the rise after flood
Hospitalisations in the central province of Quang Ngai keep rising after the flood due to various diseases.
On November 3, the delegation team of the Ministry of Health led by Nguyen Hung Long, vice head of the Vietnam Food Administration worked with the health department in Quang Ngai about environment pollution, malnutrition and diseases problems after the recent floods.
Huynh Gioi, director of Quang Ngai General Hospital said they only had 14 cases during the Storm Molave but the number of patients rose sharply after the storm and floods. From October 29 to November 2, they received 300 cases. The patients were injured while repairing their roof or because the houses were crushed by trees. Many people have high fevers. The Faculty of Infectious Diseases only has 45 beds but some days, they received up to 90 patients.
“We used to have 120-140 cases a day. After the storms, these figures double from 185-280 cases,” Gioi said.
Moreover, the number of dengue fever patients is also rising. The hospital is receiving between 30-40 dengue fever cases a day. The environment pollution must be dealt with quickly to prevent an outbreak.
Quang Ngai Maternity Hospital also is also seeing an influx of patients after the flood. The hospital director, Nguyen Dinh Tuyen, said the most common cases are otitis media and unknown high fever in children. The respiratory faculty has 65 beds but the number of patients was over 160. Diphtheria outbreak in seven communes in Ba To District has been under control. Public immunisation programmes are affected and postponed because of the flood.
The hospital also said that they had difficulties in dealing with environmental pollution because of too many fallen trees, dead animals and rubbish. Power outage and lack of clean water are also major problems that needed to be dealt with.
Pham Minh Duc, deputy director of Quang Ngai Department of Health said the estimated damage to medical facilities was over VND29bn. The estimated damage to medicines, chemical substances and equipment was over VND3.5bn. The department has asked the Ministry of Health to provide medicines, 150 life jackets and five tonnes of chloramine B to 100 facilities.
Nguyen Hung Long, deputy head of Vietnam Food Administration, praised the prevention works and urged the local authorities to deal with the pollution after floods as quick as possible.
“Many diseases are developing. The signs will be clearer in the next one or two weeks if we don’t deal with the pollution quickly,” he said.
Police probe HCMC Eye Hospital
|Motorcyclists ride past the HCMC Eye Hospital. The Investigative Police Agency under the Ministry of Public Security conducted a search at the HCMC Eye Hospital as part of its investigation into violations on bidding regulations – PHOTO: PLO|
On November 4, the agency searched the hospital under the supervision of representatives of the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, the local media reported.
During the search, the police worked with Nguyen Minh Khai, director of the HCMC Eye Hospital, and other relevant individuals, seizing multiple documents and paperwork. Khai was also taken out of the hospital.
In late 2018, the HCMC government asked the hospital to submit over VND395 billion to the HCMC State Treasury for the gap between collection and spending at its hi-tech department. This amount was a part of the State’s assets, but the hospital failed to add it to its financial statement.
The municipal Department of Health clarified the responsibilities of and disciplined five individuals—Tran Anh Tuan, former director of the HCMC Eye Hospital, and four officers of the HCMC Department of Health.
The four officers comprise Dinh Thi Lieu, head of the finance and planning division; Dinh Thi Hoai Thanh, former deputy head of the finance and planning division; Le Hoai Cam, former deputy head of the personnel and organization division, and Tran Minh Thai, deputy head of the personnel and organization division.
Besides, the municipal department also took disciplinary action against Vo Thanh Hung, former head of the accounting division.
HCMC residents hand over 70% of land for second metro line
Residents have handed over more than 70% of land for HCMC’s second metro line project—linking Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Tham Luong Depot in District 12—to the investor to date, according to the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) of HCMC.
Military-run telecom giant Viettel Group has handed over part of a house at 285 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Ward 12 of District 10 to the Compensation and Site Clearance Board of District 10. This location will be used for the construction of the S3 Dan Chu Station of the city’s second metro line, Phap Luat Online reported, citing MAUR.
After Viettel’s handover of the site, the Ward 12 government will temporarily manage the recalled site and maintain the status quo so the group can continue its operations.
Before work on the project begins, the Compensation and Site Clearance Board of District 10 will inform Viettel of the construction one month ahead so that it can prepare to dismantle and hand over the site as committed.
MAUR noted that the districts through which the metro line will pass, have basically completed all procedures of the compensation decision issuance for 598 of the 603 cases, reaching 99.2%, with districts 1, Tan Binh and Tan Phu meeting 100%.
From now until the end of the year, MAUR will start to receive cleared sites from the districts and deploy some packages relocating certain infrastructure systems to prepare for the construction of the project next year.
The second metro line, which will be 11.3 kilometers long, with two kilometers of elevated railway and 9.3 kilometers of underground section, will pass through districts 1, 3, 10, 12, Tan Binh and Tan Phu. Once in operation, the metro line will have 10 three-carriage trains and will be capable of carrying up to 170,000 passengers per day.
Employment demand falls in last months of 2020
Employers in Ho Chi Minh City this year have “hit the pause button” on job hiring with labor market decline of 34 percent compared to the same period.
Though labor market in the end of 2020 has changed positively, demand for new workers still dropped by 21 percent compared to the same period last year due to impact of coronavirus pandemic.
A 37-year-old man in Binh Tan District has been seeking a stable job. He has 10 -year experience in warehouse. This year, he got unemployed because of Covid-19 impact. He lived on unemployment payment.
The man is one of the 158,500 jobless people who have registered to receive unemployment payment in first nine months of the year.
Director of the Employment Service Center Le Thi Kieu Phuong said that the proportion of out-of-work laborers registering unemployment benefit in the first nine months of 2020 increased by 24 percent compared to the same period.
The center , she added, has received most unemployment registration amongst 63 cities and provinces across the country accounting for 1/5 of the whole country’s unemployment insurance documents.
According to the city Human Resources Forecast and Labour Market Information (Falmi) Center, of nearly 16,800 firms, 70 percent of them bumped into difficulty in production because of impacts of Covid-19.
Falmi Deputy Direictor Do Thanh Van said that enterprises have been facing financial difficulties so they have to let employees take turn in work shifts or end labor contracts. Workforce demand in four major industries including mechanics, electronics and IT, food and foodstuff processing, chemical-rubber declined by 9.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Concerning high and medium-level labor market, Navigos Group’s statistics pointed out recruitment demand has dropped 23.5 percent compared to the same period last year especially in textile and garment sector.
Thanh Nguyen, Anphabe Chief Opportunity Connector, said that when the coronavirus pandemic hit Vietnam, 40 percent of local firms admitted that salary is the biggest financial burden. Companies cut its workforce dramatically inthe first six months of the year without precedent. In the last months of the year, enterprises have still laid off employees to cut spending.
Accordingly, Director of the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Minh Tan said the department has organized some activities to support laid-off workers to overcome difficulties including opening employment fairs to help them in the way to find new job.
In other side, some enterprises started its plan for recruitment of new workers for the year-end orders. The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs strived to maintain employment by supporting enterprises that keep its workers. Moreover, city authorities listened to enterprises’ opinions to find out the way to help them.
Falmi Deputy Direictor Do Thanh Van said that labor market in year-end months will change positively in official and non-official sectors. The labor market has shown recovery, yet employment demand still decreased. In the fourth quarter of 2020, HCMC needs 62,000 – 65,000 employment, down by 21 percent compared to the same period last year.
Work to start on 4 large-scale ODA traffic infrastructure projects
The Ministry of Transport has announced that paperwork of four large-scale official development assitance (ODA) traffic infrastructure projects is near completion and construction will start in last months of 2020 and early 2021.
The four large-scale ODA traffic infrastructure projects include the project connecting Day-Ninh Co canal in the Northern Province of Nam Dinh worth over VND2.500 billion. The World Bank-loaned project is scheduled to start in November , 2020 and finish in 2022.
The VND3,654 billion (US$157.3 million) project to improve traffic connection in the Central Highlands using the WB loans and the country’s reciprocal capital has been approved the technique design. Two tender packages have been chosen for the project so that the work will start in December and finish in 2023.
The project to link up northern mountainous provinces with a total investment of VND5,339 billion is waiting for the Ministry’s approval of technique design. It uses the Asian Development Bank’s loan and the local reciprocal capital.
As per schedule, the project construction will start in the first quarter of 2021 and complete in 2024.
Gay, bisexual, MSM population most affected by HIV in Vietnam
Gay, bisexual, and other men who reported male-to-male sexual contact are the population most affected by HIV in Vietnam lately. This has caused public concern because many of them are young men.
This reality has been taking place widely in South East region in Vietnam.
According to the Faculty for HIV/AIDS Prevention under the Center of Disease Prevention in the Southern Province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, in 2011, gay and bisexual men made up 2.25 percent of the province’s total new HIV diagnosis , much lower than female sex workers ( with 4 percent) and drug addicts ( with 12 percent).
However, from 2015, the rate of Gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (MSM) with HIV/ AIDS jumped to 10 percent, doubling these two remaining groups. Worse, from 2018 till now, the proportion of MSM maintained high.
For instance, by October, 2020, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province has 2,819 HIV-infected people including 156 new HIV infections. Of whom, 182 are MSM and 18 of them under the age of 18 and three of them below 15.
A social worker in Vung Tau City said that lately, the rate of MSM is always high and even it is trending upwards. From the beginning of the year, his group discovered additional 10 teenage MSM who are inclined to cover this; as a result, HIV/AIDS prevention work bumped into difficulty.
Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control in the Southern Province of Binh Duong’s report has shown that 542 new HIV infections have been discovered in 8 months, a year-on-year increase of 18.3 percent. Half of 542 cases are MSM.
By October, 2020, approximately 3,939 HIV-infected people have been reported in Binh Duong Province. Critically, more young men aged from 15 to 25 have been infected wit the dangerous disease.
According to medical experts, lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and information among young people; therefore, they don’t know how to protect themselves. Secondly, experts said, increased susceptibility to crime, abuse, exploitation and discrimination for those living outside of (or with limited) family care and protection. Finally, experts said that pervasive stigma and discrimination against people at higher risk of HIV infection and people living with HIV nearly paralysed the AIDS response.
Assessing the spread of HIV in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Head of the the Faculty for HIV/AIDS Prevention Dr. Nguyen Duy Minh said in the upcoming time, the health sector will increase spreading information of the disease to gradually reduce HIV rate in MSM. He advised people not to discriminate people with HIV.
November cultural activities highlight Great Unity – National Root in Hanoi
The activities aim at attracting visitors to the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.
The activities aim at attracting visitors to the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.
The highlight in November is a thematic week titled “Great National Unity – Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage” which will take place from November 16 to 23 to honor 90 exemplary persons in unity campaigns jointly launched by the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Within the thematic month’s activities, a series of other events will be held, including a photo exhibition titled “90 years of a glorious journey of the Vietnam Fatherland Front” and “Color of cultural heritage;” a tree planting ceremony held for Party and State leaders; a show of Southern amateur music, an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Vietnam and an introduction of folk cuisine of the South.
There will be also a seminar on “Promoting the role of exemplary people in the building of great unity block and preservation of national cultural values”; cultural exchange activities to promote traditional culture, tourism and craft products of some provinces and cities, among others.
The art program “Legend of the flower of stone” by students from the Viet Bac College of Culture and Arts and artists from some ethnic minorities will take place with songs praising the ethnic tradition, the country and the brotherhood in the community of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.
Besides, there are folk dance performances and folk games associated of ethnic minorities, as well as traditional handicrafts elaboration session for tourists to experience.
On this occasion, a photo collection “Pink plateau” about Ha Giang rocky plateau and its buckwheat flower will be held.
Gov’t announces financial support for repairing houses in flood-hit central localities
The Government will provide financial support for families whose houses have been destroyed or damaged by recent natural disasters in 11 central provinces, according to its latest Resolution No. 165/NQ-CP.
Beneficiary localities are Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum.
Under the Resolution, each household whose house was completely flattened or swept way shall receive a maximum of VND 40 million.
A household whose house was severely damaged shall receive a maximum of VND 10 million.
The Government tasked local authorities to proactively mobilize more resources and decide on additional support for the targeted beneficiaries in a transparent and open manner.
Provincial People’s Committees of the aforesaid localities shall be responsible for making lists of households eligible for the Government’s support and report to the Ministry of Finance and the National Steering Committee for National Disaster Prevention and Control prior to November 20, 2020.
An estimated 1.5 million people have been affected by torrential rains, widespread flooding, and landslides triggered by five consecutive storms battering central Viet Nam in the past month.
As of October 28, more than 200 people had been killed or were reported missing, almost 390,000 houses had been flooded, and more than 300,000 families had been evacuated, according to the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA).
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and the Country Director of Save the Children on behalf of the Disaster Management Group issued the 2020 Viet Nam flood response plan to raise US$ 40 million to provide assistance for 177,000 of the most vulnerable flood-affected people hard hit in the central region. The plan covers six months to address immediate humanitarian needs and carry out several early recovery activities./.
COVID-19 response: Gov’t demands expansion of quarantine spaces for entrants
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh urged localities, especially Ha Noi, Can Tho and HCMC to increase paid quarantine capacity to meet growing demand from incoming travellers.
Pay-to-stay quarantine areas are designated hotels and other accommodation facilities for Vietnamese and foreigners from abroad.
Local authorities are requested to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries to manage quarantine work in a safe and effective manner.
Thanks to early and drastic measures, Viet Nam has gone 64 consecutive days without a single community transmission case.
As of early November 5, the nation confirmed 1,207 cases of Covid-19, including 691 local infections.
Among the total, 1,069 have recovered and exited hospitals while 35 others have been reported dead.
As many as 15,137 people are placed under quarantine or medical surveillance across the country, of these 196 at hospitals, 13,959 at concentrated quarantine camps, and 982 at places of residence.
Though the Government allowed the resumption of international commercial flights, borders remain closed for foreign tourists.
Currently, only holders of diplomatic or official passports, experts, managers, skilled workers, and investors, their family members, international students, and family members of Vietnamese citizens are allowed to enter Viet Nam.
Generally, people fly into the country on either humanitarian or commercial flights. The former will be quarantined at military-run centralized facilities for VND120,000 ($5) a day; and the latter have to register specific addresses and bookings in designated hotels before boarding flights to Viet Nam.
As of August 5, 207 hotels in 25 localities were designated as paid quarantine facilities nationwide.
Recently, HCMC allowed another 14 hotels to serve as paid quarantine facilities to meet the growing demand, taking its total count to 24.
Most of pay-to-stay services are 2-5 star hotels, with an average price of VND1.2 to VND5 million ($51 to $215) per room per night, which does not include fees for shuttle services, laundry or other services./.
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