UNICEF welcomes Vietnam’s approval of programme on child protection online
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has welcomed the approval of a programme to protect and support children to interact in cyber environment in a healthy and creative manner in the 2021-2025 period by Vietnamese Government.
This is the first national-level programme on child protection in the cyber environment.
UNICEF Representative in Vietnam Rana Flowers said that the Internet brings many opportunities, but also many risks. The new programme approved by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has taken into account the need to strike a balance between addressing the threats to children and the promising changes that the digital environment might deliver to them.
It is about connecting children with innovative learning methods, problem solving, and enhancing the understanding and skills they need to succeed in the digital world, she said.
According to Rana Flowers, solving the problem of child abuse on the Internet requires the commitment of the Government and the self-regulation of online platforms as well as management agencies.
However, the prevention of abuse in the cyber environment will only be successful when there is the active and full participation of parents and children themselves equipped with information about risks as well as preventive measures and report online abuse.
She said the UNICEF expressed its concern about children’s safety in the cyber environment in five key areas. That is adults unintentionally provide too much information for child abusers to commit crimes; children spend too much time playing violent games online; children are persuaded by friends or bad people to share their sensitive images; children are vulnerable to online fraud, bullying, and abuse by pedophiles who pretend to be of their same age.
When abuse occurs on a cyber environment, parents are often unaware of the risks and do not know what their children are going through online. For children, they will feel lonely and sad. When bullying happens at school, everyone can see it, but when it happens online, cruelty and abuse can have a significant impact on children’s mental health and self-esteem, making them feel isolated and lonely, Flowers said.
Parents should spend time talking with their children, identifying protection strategies and encouraging children to stand up for each other, promote kindness and protect each other from abuse, she added.
The UNICEF representative also called on people to act together to make the internet a safe environment for children to learn, communicate and express themselves.
According to a recent UNICEF survey, many young people in Vietnam are victims of cyberbullying but three-quarters of them don't know where they can seek support. More and more cases of sex crimes and child trafficking are being reported. However, few measures have been taken to protect them from the dangers of abuse by the digital world or access to health content on the Internet in a safe way.
With the programme to protect children in the cyber environment, the UNICEF expected the Government of Vietnam to work with the information and communication technology industry to keep up with the pace of change and protect children from dangers, harmful effects as well as ensuring that the internet is always safe for children, she said.
The private sector and civil society should be encouraged to offer different solutions and opportunities to protect children online, she added.
Under Decision No 830 signed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, the national programme on child protection online aims to protect the privacy of children and prevent and handle acts of abuse. Specifically, the programme focuses on supplying children with age-appropriate knowledge and skills so that children can self-identify and be able to protect themselves when online.
The programme includes initiatives in deploying new technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data to automatically collect and analyse early warnings on the content not suitable for children.
Websites with the national ".vn" domain and those with IP addresses in Vietnam will be required to self-categorise content suitable for children’s ages. Those who provide online services and applications for children have to self-deploy solutions to protect children and assist parents or caregivers in managing children’s use of applications and services.
Network operators and digital platform providers such as Google, Facebook, and Zalo will apply artificial intelligence technology and big data analysis to filter videos and clips with malicious content./.
More than 93,000 students in Hanoi take high school entrance exams
More than 93,000 students in Hanoi began their high school entrance exams on June 12.
On the morning of the first day, they took a 90-minute Vietnamese literature test and a 45-minute foreign language test. On the morning of June 13, they will do mathematics and history tests with a duration of 90 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively.
The candidates have a 30-minute break between the two consecutive tests.
The city's Department of Education and Training has established 184 testing sites, including 3,988 testing rooms, and mobilised more than 14,500 education officials, teachers and staff teachers to serve the exams across the city. Backup exam rooms and medical staff were also set up at every exam venue.
This year's exams took place amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, the city's authorities making thorough preparations to ensure the safety of students as well as the security of the exams.
Accordingly, all students were asked to complete health declaration forms online before June 11 and strictly follow the Ministry of Health's 5K message – khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration). Social distancing protocols were set up and drills conducted to ensure students are properly distanced during the exams./.
HCM City vows to speed up COVID vaccination
Ho Chi Minh City will speed up COVID-19 vaccination, Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of its People's Committee, told an online meeting on June 11.
A team led by People's Committee vice chairman Duong Anh Duc and health experts will be set up to carry out procedures related to negotiations for vaccine supplies, consultations and organisation of inoculations, he said.
The city aims to vaccinate two thirds of its population this year, has a roadmap with a priority list of people because of limited supply yet, but would also ensure a sufficient number of people get vaccinated, he said.
District 12 authorities sought permission from the People's Committee to continue district-wide social distancing under the Government's Directive No. 15 after 15 days of social distancing under the more stringent Directive No. 16 in its Thanh Loc ưard.
Le Truong Hai Hieu, its chairman, said Thanh Loc has not recorded more new COVID-19 cases since social distancing began.
Tan Thoi Nhat ward has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the district, 51, he said.
The district has set up a quarantine with 100 beds at the Tran Phu Secondary School.
Nguyen Tri Dung, chairman of the Go Vap People's Committee, said the district has had 106 COVID patients, including five whose status would be announced by the Ministry of Health.
According to the city Department of Health, the city's largest cluster, which began in Go Vap on May 26, has seen 441 cases.
They include one each from four industrial parks. But thanks to early detection, there has been no spread from them to other workers, it said.
The city has so far controlled Go Vap cluster well, it said.
Dung said 15 days of social distancing is enough for the district.
He said locals have complied strictly with regulations on social distancing under the Directive No.16. Non-essential services enterprises have closed.
The district has seven markets, seven supermarkets, and 200 convenience stores open to keep prices steady he said.
The district also identified facilities for use as quarantine.
The Tan Binh District People's Committee sought permission from the city for social distancing under the Directive No. 15 for one more week.
Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Tan Binh said many small COVID clusters have been found this week in the city, but due to social distancing, the risk has been low.
In the clusters found in a warehouse in Hoc Mon district, Ehome apartment building in Binh Tan district and a family in Thu Duc city, only people in the infected people's family were found infected, he said.
The city is monitoring the clusters, he said.
Binh said the city would continue to tighten preventive measures, especially at industrial parks and export processing zones, to detect, localise and stamping out outbreaks in a timely manner.
Duong Hong Thang, chairman of the Hoc Mon People's Committee, said manual workers and street vendors should be tested since they make up 70 per cent of the district's patients so far./.
Asian media impressed with Vietnam's victory over Malaysia
Defeating Malaysia 2-1 in a match early on June 12, the Vietnamese football team continue to receive applause from Asian media for maintaining their impressive unbeaten streak in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
The hard-fought win helps the team consolidate their top spot in Group G with 17 points after seven matches, while maintaining their impressive unbeaten streak with five wins and two draws in the Asian qualifiers. Vietnam are still two points ahead of the second-placed United Arab Emirates (UAE), who won 5-0 over Indonesia in the other match the same day.
In their match report, world football governing body FIFA emphasised: "Vietnam remain unbeaten in the group thanks to Que Ngoc Hai’s late penalty that saw them edge Malaysia 2-1 in Dubai".
In the last match, Vietnam will have a decisive game to decide the top spot in the group against the UAE, and FIFA said that this will be one of the most exciting and eagerly awaited encounters on the final match day of the 2nd qualifying round.
Meanwhile, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in its post-match commentary, affirmed the Vietnamese team continued to consolidate their pole position in Group G after the victory over Malaysia. "The two teams came into this game on the back of entirely opposing fortunes: Malaysia had lost their last match 4-0 against the United Arab Emirates, while Vietnam had beaten Indonesia 4-0 and cemented their strong position with a win, also having avoided any losses since the Qualifiers began,” the AFC said.
Witnessing their home team once again beaten by Vietnam, the Malaysian media could not help but be disappointed. In its article published early this morning, the Malaysian national news agency (Bernama) admitted their World Cup dreams had been dashed: “One dream is over… Malaysia's fourth defeat in five outings against Vietnam since Park Hang-seo took over as coach in 2017 means the Harimau Malaya can forget about finishing in the top two positions in Group G of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup second-round qualifiers". Malaysia still have the goal of winning tickets to the 2023 Asian Cup finals, but according to Bernama, this journey will also be very difficult for them.
Sharing the same opinion, the New Straits Times acknowledged that Malaysia’s World Cup campaign had ended early this morning after the country’s football team suffered a 2-1 defeat to Vietnam. This is their fourth defeat in the last five encounters between both.
"The sad story for Malaysia is that the Vietnamese, who must be the best in Southeast Asia, always do just enough to beat us", the New Straits Times wrote, adding that although Malaysia have several naturalised players from Brazil, Kosovar or Gambia, it is still not enough for them to beat Vietnam. "The Golden Dragons again did just enough. One goal extra for three points,” the long-standing newspaper in Malaysia wrote.
In Thailand, the country’s press also praised Park Hang Seo’s side. SiamSport wrote: "The Golden Stars continue their unbeaten record as they won 2-1 against Malaysia. Currently, Vietnam have 17 points, firmly at the top of the table with a ticket to play in the 3rd qualifying round almost certainly in their hands."
Indonesia’s IndoSport also praised the Vietnamese team after their dramatic victory over Malaysia: "The UAE won 5-0 against Indonesia, aiming to take the top spot from Vietnam. Unfortunately, that victory was still not enough to bring Bert van Marwijk’s team to the top, because at the same time, Vietnam excelled against Malaysia in a fierce and dramatic match."
The Korean press also congratulated Park Hang Seo’s side on their latest victory, expressing their belief that the Vietnamese team will make history if they reach the final qualifying round for the first time ever. In the Korean version of Goal, Park Byeong-gyu wrote: “The Vietnam national football team, led by coach Park Hang-seo, are about to advance to the World Cup Asian final qualifiers. It will be their first time in history if Vietnam, who lead Group G, can advance to the final qualifying round".
On Yonhap, reporter Ahn Hong-seok also believed in the ability of the Vietnamese team to continue: “If Vietnam win or draw in their final match with the UAE on the June 15, they will advance to the final qualifiers, topping the group. Even if Vietnam lose to the UAE, there is a possibility they will advance to the final qualifier as the group's runners-up".
In an article published on OSEN on early June 12, the author said Park’s talent was once again confirmed, helping Vietnamese football prepare to turn a new page in its history.
To hold in their own hands the keys to an historic berth in the final stages, Park’s side need at least one point in the last match against hosts UAE. However, according to Park, Vietnam will continue to confidently aim for victory, although that goal will be more difficult against an in-form UAE.
The final match of the Vietnamese team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Asia against the UAE will take place at 23:45 (Hanoi time) on June 15 at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai./.
More vaccines via COVAX Facility to arrive in Vietnam in July: UNICEF
More vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility, the global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme, are scheduled to be delivered in Vietnam in July, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam Rana Flowers has told Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long.
Flowers and Long met in Hanoi to expedite the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam amid the fourth coronavirus wave.
Long said Vietnam is battling the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus and several decisive measures have been put in place to control the situation, including more talks with foreign manufacturers and partners for more COVID-19 vaccines and facilitating local development of home-grown vaccines.
One of Vietnam's priorities now is to soon have enough COVID-19 vaccines for mass inoculation, he said, reiterating the request for UNICEF to work with COVAX to speed up delivery of vaccines to Vietnam in the third quarter, and the country's commitment to using the vaccines in a fair and effective manner.
Flowers, for her part, cited a survey conducted by UNICEF and its partners found that about 67 percent of Vietnamese respondents said they are ready to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which is quite high.
She shared concerns over the complicated developments of the current fourth wave in the country. She said that 1,910 high-capacity cold chain fridges to store vaccines – supported by Australia's aid to Vietnam – will be delivered to Vietnam by UNICEF in late July.
UNICEF has also ordered five refrigerated trucks for transportation of vaccines and the shipment will arrive in August and September, along with some 5 million syringes via air routes.
Regarding expediting COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Vietnam via the COVAX Facility, the UNICEF official remarked that the following batch would be delivered as soon as it is approved by the World Health Organisation, scheduled for July.
UNICEF has delivered some 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Vietnam from COVAX out of the commitment of nearly 39 million doses./.
Vietnam e-sports white book debuts
The 2021 Vietnam e-sports white book was released on June 10 by the Vietnam Recreational E-sport Association (VIRESA) and the Appota E-sports creative platform developer and provider.
This is the first-ever annual publication providing key information on e-sports for individuals, organisations, and businesses in the field, fostering its development in Vietnam.
It will also provide updates on the operations of Vietnam's e-sports industry and analysis, as well as touch on e-sports growth amid digital transformation, the e-sports economy, and 5G and the future of the sport, among other topics, according to VIRESA.
The publication is hoped to support investors and businesses engaging in the sport and identify a suitable path forward for Vietnam's e-sports industry, VIRESA President Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.
The global e-sports market was posting annual growth of 10-15 percent prior to COVID-19. Notably, it surpassed the 1-trillion-VND revenue milestone in 2019.
In Vietnam, the number of players surged to nearly 18 million last year as more people reached out to e-sports during the social distancing period.
The sport is listed among the official events at the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games./.
Air-conditioned COVID-19 testing chamber put into use
A mobile air-conditioned COVID-19 testing chamber has been put into use in pandemic hotspot Bac Giang province, helping medical workers deal with the impact of hot summer weather. The chamber was built in Hanoi by Nam Viet Design, PAM Air, and Signify over the course of four days.
Unlike previous days, when medical staff in Bac Giang had to race against time to take samples for testing in extremely hot weather conditions while wearing tight medical clothing, nurse Chu Thi Thanh and her colleagues feel that collecting samples is now much easier as they work in a cool space.
The chamber weighs around 270 kg and has six wheels to make it more mobile.
Communication from the inside to the outside of the chamber and vice-versa is done through a walkie-talkie and a system controlled by smartphones. The developers of the chamber are now waiting for feedback from medical staff to make any improvements. It is hoped that more mobile chambers like this will be developed to support frontline workers in Bac Giang./.
Hanoi targets raising ratio of trained workers to 80 percent by 2030
Hanoi targets increasing the proportion of trained workers in the city to 75-80 percent by 2030 under a strategy on labour market development built by the municipal People's Committee.
The strategy aims to provide a strong premise for developing a stable labour market, effectively mobilising and utilising human resources to boost socio-economic growth.
It is to have 80 percent of its workforce possess IT skills by 2025 and 90 percent by 2030, while reducing the overall unemployment rate to below 2.5 percent.
The number of workers engaged in the agriculture sector is to fall to below 30 percent by 2025 and 20 percent by 2030.
Hanoi expects to have a modernised labour market information system under the strategy. Its data will be linked to other regions in the country and ASEAN countries, especially main labour markets in Vietnam.
To this end, the city’s authorities will review legal documents relating to labour supply and demand, bringing them in line with labour market regulations, international conventions, and standards ratified by Vietnam and ensuring they are consistent with the legitimate interests of employees and employers.
It will develop a specific mechanism and carry out projects to support job creation for specific labour groups, such as people with disabilities, ethnic minority workers, and new graduates from universities and vocational education institutions.
Attention will be paid to training programmes to improve the skills of new graduates and existing employees to meet job requirements.
Hanoi’s authorities will also support the development of a labour market information system, introducing solutions to digitise and update employee data and sharing the database on population, business registration, and social insurance./.
Kien Giang does not let COVID affect socio–economic development
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has managed outstanding socio-economic development in the first five months of this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its People's Committee.
Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Lam Minh Thanh attributed it to authorities at all levels proactively implementing development measures. Most sectors have achieved excellent growth so far, he said.
Industrial production grew by 10.6 percent year-on-year to more than 20.4 trillion VND (870 million USD).
Its retail sales and services grew by 10 percent to 49.8 trillion VND (2.16 billion USD).
Exports were up nearly 16 percent at 317 million USD, with rice accounting for 111 million USD and seafood for 94 million USD.
Farmers in the province reaped a bumper harvest and got high prices for the 2020-2021 winter – spring rice crop to earn an average of 40 million VND (1,740 USD) per hectare, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Aquaculture output was up 9.1 percent at more than 62,000 tonnes.
The province targets total exports of 750 million USD this year, and to step up promotion of agricultural products to expand export markets and boost the output of key items rice and seafood.
Kien Giang has been the country's largest rice producer for long, and more than 50 percent of its workforce is in the agricultural sector.
The province has implemented various measures to develop agriculture, especially rice and seafood production, in recent years.
They include developing efficient faming models adapted to climate change and sustainable development.
The province is developing the large-scale rice field model in which farmers pool their fields, grow the same rice varieties, use the same farming techniques and have the same crop schedule under contracts that guarantee purchase of the entire harvest.
It is also developing aquaculture, especially the models of breeding shrimp under advanced farming techniques and other environmental friendly models like rice – shrimp farming model in coastal areas.
Under the rice-shrimp farming model, farmers rotate between rice in the rainy season and shrimp in the dry season on the same field to adapt to saltwater intrusion in coastal areas.
The model also produces clean rice and shrimp as farmers use few chemicals.
They harvest about 4 – 4.5 tonnes of rice and 450 – 500 kg of shrimp per hectare annually, earning 100 – 130 million VND (4,300 – 5,600 USD), according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
With a coastline of more than 200 kilometres, the province plans to turn more mono-rice fields in coastal areas into rice-shrimp farming fields to adapt to climate change.
Hon Dat district, which has the largest area under rice in the province, is zoned for 16,000ha of rice-shrimp fields in coastal areas by 2030, according to its Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.
"Farmers in the district are actively turning monoculture rice fields into rice-shrimp fields," Le Van Giau, head of the bureau, said.
"The district plans to have 2,500ha of rice-shrimp fields this year."
In 2017-2020 the province switched to other crops and aquaculture on more than 32,800ha of unproductive rice fields, helping increase production efficiency and farmers' incomes.
The income from these fields has been increased by 35 percent, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Quang Trong Thao, deputy director of the department, said the province has restructured its crops to suit conditions in each area and achieved high efficiency.
Besides, it has boosted the use of advanced farming techniques and machinery to improve yield and quality and reduce costs, he said.
Kien Giang had more 725,800ha under paddy and harvested 4.5 million tonnes last year, 5 percent more than the target.
It also had 100 large-scale rice fields with a combined area of 30,672ha last year.
To sustainably develop agriculture, it has strengthened investment in infrastructure, especially irrigation, to prevent saltwater intrusion and secure water for cultivation, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
It has built hundreds of temporary dams to prevent saltwater intrusion and store freshwater, properly regulated the operation of sluices and electric pumping stations to supply water to the Long Xuyen Quadrangle, the western part of the Hau River delta and the U Minh Thuong region.
In the ongoing summer – autumn rice crop, the province plans to grow 280,000ha of rice and harvest an estimated 5 – 60 tonnes per hectare.
The province's rice output will be 4.2 million tonnes this year, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The province plans to breed brackish water shrimp on 136,000ha this year using industrial, semi-industrial, advanced extensive and rice – shrimp farming models.
It has developed concentrated farming areas and value chains for key products like rice, vegetables, mango, pineapple, and pepper on a total area of more than 100,000ha.
Its average annual agricultural output per hectare last year was worth 100 million VND (4,300 USD), up nearly 22 million VND since 2015, according to the department./.
Artists help sell agricultural products
Tonnes of agricultural products like lychee, plum and wax gourd were sold out within an hour by actor Nguyễn Xuân Bắc via a programme livestreamed on the Beatvn Facebook page on Tuesday.
The programme, entitled ‘Connecting Agricultural Products – Sharing Love – Joining Hands to Overcome the Pandemic’, was initiated by the Central Committee of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union in co-ordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Việt Nam Women’s Union and the Việt Nam Farmers’ Union.
Speaking at its opening ceremony, Ngô Văn Cương, Secretary of the Central Youth Union, said the programme aimed to support farmers that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also expected to familiarise the farmers with new methods of online sales to adapt to the new context of the pandemic, in addition to creating a network of agents to connect and consume agricultural products nationwide.
The programme kicked off on Tuesday, featuring Nguyễn Xuân Bắc, the director of the Việt Nam Drama Theatre and an actor familiar to Vietnamese audience for starring in many comedies and films like Gặp Nhau Cuối Năm (Year-End Meet).
In plain blue clothes and wearing a sun helmet and a face shield, Bắc looked similar to a Vietnamese farmer and started to share the story about lychee, the fruit that is associated with his childhood and "crystallisation of the farmers' working spirit".
His livestreamed stories attracted up to 279,000 viewers and ended up with 5,000 orders for 85 tonnes of agricultural products, mostly for lychees from the pandemic hotspot Bắc Giang Province.
“This is a very meaningful programme. It is not a rescuing effort but to cherish and support the consumption of Việt Nam's agricultural products,” the actor said.
Bắc added that he volunteered for the programme when it was launched by the Central Committee of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union and has called for the participation of communities, especially youth union members, in assisting the farmers.
"Please cherish the value of Vietnamese agricultural products because they are the fruits of the farmers' sweat and efforts," he said.
Besides the kick-off programme, three other programmes were livestreamed at 8pm on June 8, 9 and 10 on the Beatvn Facebook page. Further details could be provided by contacting the sales support via hotline 1900 299216 or on the website nongsanviet.online.
The same night, actress Hà Thị Thu Hương, who starred in Phía Trước Là Bầu Trời (Ahead Is the Sky), also livestreamed to help sell Bắc Giang lychees, Bắc Kạn wax gourd and Bắc Hà plums. She secured more than 200 orders, some for hundreds of kilos.
Recently, singer Thái Thùy Linh also supported farmers in pandemic hotspot Bắc Giang Province by selling melons on her social media pages. About 500 kilos were sold within hours.
Hospitals to add beds if COVID-19 cases increase
The HCM City Department of Health has instructed the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and Củ Chi District Hospital to make plans to admit COVID-19 patients if the number of cases in the city increases significantly.
The department is preparing 2,000 beds for treatment and 200 ones for resuscitation. In the worst-case scenario, the number of beds for treatment would increase to 5,000.
The department will change the function of Củ Chi District Hospital to serve COVID-19 treatment, with 500 beds including 20 for emergency and resuscitation. It will inform patients to visit other health facilities such as Củ Chi Regional General Hospital in Củ Chi District.
The Department of Health has instructed the Hospital for Tropical Diseases to use 400 beds for COVID-19 treatment and 46 for resuscitation.
The hospital will transfer its inpatients with contagious diseases, except tetanus, to hospitals with departments of infectious diseases in the city. Other hospitals should create favourable conditions to admit inpatients from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
The Hospital for Tropical Diseases will divide its health officials into two separate groups working in two areas, including one treating COVID-19 patients and the other treating tetanus patients.
Earlier, the health department told Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital, which specialises in treatment of tuberculosis and lung-related diseases, to divide its facility space. This was adapted from a successful case in South Korea.
The hospital has separated one half of its facility, and is using only one entrance and exit door. It has buildings with negative pressure rooms, 700 beds, and equipment for diagnosis, testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Lê Văn Thịnh Hospital has set up a separate department for admitting, screening and treating patients with symptoms of COVID.
According to the department, hospitals are faced with a challenge during this fourth wave of COVID. If they do not carry out proper screening, they could become a transmission source leading to unexpected consequences.
As of June 7, COVID-19 patients had visited 22 hospitals. Among these, 13 hospitals have detected positive cases through screening and rapid tests. They were then isolated and transferred in time to designated hospitals.
Gia Định People's Hospital, for instance, found three patients who tested positive for coronavirus in one day and reported the cases to the preventive health system. They were then able to trace and discover the Gò Vấp District cluster.
To reduce the number of hospitals under lockdown, the Department of Health has instructed all public and private health facilities to test patients with symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat or loss of taste or smell, even if they have not gone to COVID-19 hit areas.
Patients in Gò Vấp District and District 12's Thạnh Lộc Ward, the worst-hit areas in the city, should be tested for COVID-19 if they visit health facilities.
More than 500 COVID-19 patients are being treated in the city.
Workers in Bắc Giang, Bắc Ninh happy to be back in factories
Nguyễn Hồng Mến packed her bags and left home on an important mission. She waved goodbye to her two children knowing it could be weeks before she saw them again.
Mến is one of many factory workers who volunteered to give up their home lives to help kickstart the country's economy.
She works in Bắc Ninh, a province hit hard by the fourth wave of COVID-19.
Although there's light at the end of the tunnel with the number of cases dropping, there is still much hard work to be done.
Mến has swapped her family home for a dormitory she shares with 11 people.
But she feels this is just a small sacrifice to get back to work.
"My colleagues and I volunteered to move in to help the company fight the pandemic and maintain production,” said the 34-year-old who works at Samsung Display Việt Nam.
"It's not compulsory. For now, we are staying until June 16.”
"The dormitory is only a 5-minute walk from the factory. We have clean bunk beds and air-conditioners. Twelve people stay in one room, but given the struggles we face due to the pandemic, that's good enough for us," she added.
"There’s downtime for every company. During this critical time, I'm happy with what my company has done for us. A lot of other companies can't do the same."
The two northern provinces of Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh have been the most affected since the latest wave of infections hit the country at the end of April.
By the middle of May, social distancing was applied in areas of both provinces, and four industrial parks in Bắc Giang where thousands of workers work were shut down.
But as their operations are crucial to the economy, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said it is in the Government's interest to maintain production activities at the industrial parks, while doing everything they can to control the pandemic.
The Bắc Giang People's Committee has allowed some companies in the four previously closed industrial parks to resume working, under the condition that they meet safety requirements set by the province's health department.
By Monday, 42 companies in the Vân Trung, Quang Châu, Đình Trám and Song Khê-Nội Hoàng industrial parks had been allowed to resume operations.
Starting from June 2, hundreds of companies in Bắc Ninh opened up their dormitories for factory and office workers to move in.
Young mum Trần Thị Thu Hằng misses her two-year-old son deeply but is determined to get back to work to provide for her family.
Even though there are still risks of infection, she feels her company is doing all it can to keep staff secure.
Hằng, 26, who works at Seojin System Vina Company Ltd in Tiên Sơn Industrial Park, said: "The pandemic does affect us financially. My parents are no longer working, so I have to work to make money.
"I feel safe staying at the company because the prevention measures are being applied well.
"Staying here I don't have time for anything else, and I miss my home and my son. But it also wouldn't work if everyone wants to stay at home and stop working, because that will badly affect the economy and our own incomes. So I think moving in to stay and work at the company is a way to protect ourselves and the community."
Trương Văn Vụ works at a factory under the Foxconn Technology Group in Quang Châu Industrial Park in Bắc Giang.
The 23-year-old moved into a quarantine area on Monday, where he will be staying to get tested for COVID-19 before moving into a dormitory.
"The area I've just moved into is divided into different zones. My zone has 60 tents, which are placed two metres away from each other. It's inside the factory so we do have air-conditioners," he said.
"I have to stay here for a few days, then get the vaccine, then take a couple of tests. If my results are all negative then I can move into the dormitory in Đình Trám Industrial Park, then go to work."
Vụ said his company encouraged him to move into the dormitory.
"The process of selecting which workers can move in was quite tough because you have to be from the areas that don't have F0s (COVID-19 patients)," he said.
"It's a difficult process, but I decided to go because if I have the virus and stay at home, it will get transmitted to my family, my village and commune.
"Besides, I also need to make money to take care of my wife and children. I'm doing this for my family. They also agreed for me to go."
Over 42,000 workers in HCMC lose jobs in Jan-May
Over 42,000 workers lost their jobs or were suspended from work and some 9,300 businesses in HCMC left the market from January to May 2021, said city chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong at a meeting with leaders of businesses affected by Covid-19 on June 10.
According to the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, 2,274 businesses in the city completed procedures for disbandment in the first five months of the year. Besides, 1,365 businesses reported they were facing difficulties due to the pandemic and 410 wanted to borrow money to pay the salaries of their employees.
Phong said prior to the fourth Covid-19 wave, the city's economy had recovered and achieved some positive results. The total retail sales of goods and services in the first five months of 2021 rose 8.9% year-on-year to over VND456 trillion (US$19.8 billion). The city's exports reached US$19.63 billion and budget revenue was estimated at more than VND174 trillion, increasing 15.1% and 22.8% compared with the same period last year, respectively.
"However, during the fourth Covid-19 wave that began on April 27, the city reported some Covid-19 clusters, with the biggest one being the cluster related to the Revival Ekklesia Mission. The city had to impose social distancing on Go Vap District and Thanh Loc Ward, District 12, from May 31," the city's leader said.
The city has brought the latest outbreak under control. However, complicated developments of the pandemic are still negatively affecting the city's economy and businesses.
"The prosperity of the city and the growth of businesses are connected. Therefore, the city cannot be an outsider when businesses face challenges and difficulties," Phong said.
Addressing the meeting, Nguyen Dang Hien, vice chairman of the HCMC Food Association, said the biggest challenge that businesses in the city are facing is the transportation of goods to other provinces.
"When passing through the Mekong Delta provinces, drivers transporting goods must present their health declarations and Covid-19 test results. However, these papers are valid for just 24 hours in An Giang and 72 hours in Bac Lieu," he explained.
The HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has submitted a proposal to the HCMC People's Committee to release a Covid-19 rescue package worth VND1,075 billion, expected to benefit over 500,000 laborers and thousands of businesses that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the city's second Covid-19 rescue package, after the first one was released last year.
Some businesses suggested that the city cut tolls on the Hanoi Highway by half and suspend the plan to collect fees from businesses for using infrastructure facilities and public services at seaport terminals.
Thirty-two legal documents need to be amended, supplemented, and promulgated
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has just signed Decision 889/QD-TTg promulgating a list of 32 legal documents that need to be amended, supplemented and promulgated.
Of which, there are 16 to be promulgated by the National Assembly (NA), 12 to be issued by the Government and four documents to be issued by ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies.
The Deputy PM requested ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies in charge of drafting legal documents closely coordinate with NA agencies to urgently study and propose solutions for the draft legal documents to be submitted to the NA and the NA Standing Committee for consideration and approval.
Ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies shall closely coordinate with the Ministry of Justice to urgently study and propose measures on how to include the legal documents in law and ordinance development programmes in 2022 and subsequent years.
They also shall focus on directing and speeding up the progress of legal documents already included in the working programme of the Government and the Prime Minister in 2021; as well as closely coordinate with the Government Office to include legal documents in the working programme of the Government and the Prime Minister in 2022 and the following years.
Vietnamese people in Czech Republic, UK contribute to COVID-19 fight
The Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic on June 11 granted 500 million VND (21,720 USD), donated by the Vietnamese community in the country, to Vietnam’s national COVID-19 vaccine fund.
President of the association Nguyen Duy Nhien said that through the funding, the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic wants to contribute to the fatherland's fight against the pandemic.
Thanking for the support, Vietnamese Ambassador Thai Xuan Dung asked Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic to continue to unite and support each other and well implement pandemic prevention and control measures.
Assessing Vietnam's COVID-19 combat, head of the Union of Vietnamese Associations in Europe Hoang Dinh Thang expressed his belief that under the drastic leadership of the Government and joint efforts of all people, the pandemic will soon be put back in the country.
Also on the day, the Vietnamese Embassy in Great Britain and North Ireland launched a fundraising campaign in support of Vietnam's COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.
Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long affirmed that mobilising resources at home and abroad is extremely important because the fight against the pandemic is still prolong and arduous for Vietnam.
He called on Vietnamese representative offices in the UK, through their relationship channels, to inform their partners and the Vietnamese community in the UK and abroad about COVID-19 prevention and control in Vietnam, thereby mobilising practical contributions to this work in all forms, including connecting to vaccine sources and promoting the transfer of vaccine production technology./.
Tropical low depression develops into storm
A tropical low-pressure system has developed into a storm, internationally named Koguma, becoming the second hitting the East Sea since the beginning of this year.
At 1pm on June 12, the storm’s eye was at around 18.8 degrees north latitude and 109.0 degrees east longitude. The strongest wind near its eye was 60-75 km per hour, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).
The storm is forecast to move in the west-northwest direction at a speed of 15-20 km per hour.
At 1am on June 13, the storm is off the coasts from Hai Phong to Nghe An, with the strongest wind close to the storm's eye reaching level 8 (60-75km per hour), with gusts at level 10.
In the next 12 hours, the storm is forecast to keep the the west-northwest direction at a speed of 15-20km. It will make landfall and impact the northeastern and north-central localities before weakening into a tropical depression.
Under the influence of storm Koguma, provinces from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue would experience medium to heavy rains between 80-150mm on June 13. Heavier rains, with up to 350mm was also predicted to hit the northen delta region and provinces of Hoa Binh, Son La, Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa-Quang Binh. Heavy rain in the northwest region is likely to last through June 14.
The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has held an urgent meeting on June 12 to direct agencies to prepare for the tropical low-pressure system.
Tran Quang Hoai, deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, asked the Committee's office to collaborate with the Directorate of Fisheries and the Command of the Border Guards, to monitor ships operating in the affected area of the tropical depression, keeping regular communication with the owners of the vessels to handle incidents that might occur.
Vessels are instructed to move to a safe shelter and localities are requested to ban vessels from going out to sea if necessary.
Hoai told relevant agencies to ensure the safety of tourists on the islands; safety at aquaculture floating cages, dike works that are under construction. They are also directed to be ready to protect agricultural production, low-lying areas, urban areas, and industrial parks./.
COVID-19: 104 new cases recorded on June 12 afternoon
The national tally of COVID-19 rose to 10,241 with 104 new cases detected in the past six hours to 6pm on June 12, of which one is imported and 103 are local infections, according to the Health Ministry.
Among the locally-transmitted cases, 44 are in Ho Chi Minh City, 41 in Bac Giang, 16 in Bac Ninh, and two in Ha Tinh.
On June 12, 23 patients were given the all-clear, raising the number of recoveries to 3,827. The death toll was 58.
Among active patients under treatment at hospital, 433 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 112 twice and 73 thrice.
Twenty-one provinces have gone through 14 days without detecting new cases./.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
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