175 COVID-19 patients given all-clear on June 20
The Ministry of Health reported that 94 new COVID-19 cases had been detected in the six hours from 12pm to 6pm June 20, all local infections.
Ho Chi Minh City reported the most cases with 57, while 23 cases were detected in Bac Giang, 9 in Da Nang, three in Bac Ninh, and two in Nghe An.
With the new cases, the total number recorded on June 20 amounted to 311, including 11 imported.
The national tally rose to 13,211 as of 6pm June 20, including 11,513 domestic cases.
175 patients were given the all-clear from the virus on the day while the death toll related to the disease rose to 66.
Among active patients undergoing treatment, 381 have tested negative to coronavirus once, 135 twice and 137 thrice.
Twenty one provinces and cities have gone free of new cases for at least 14 days./.
Vietnam receives 500,000 doses of Vero-Cell vaccine from China
A flight transporting 500,000 doses of Vero-Cell vaccine against COVID-19 produced by Sinopharm, China, arrived in Noi Bai airport in Hanoi on June 20.
The Party Central Committee's Commission for External Relations, the Foreign Ministry and the Health Ministry, in coordination with the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, received the vaccine along with 502,400 disposable 1-ml syringes on June 20 afternoon.
Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long (right) and Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo exchange documents for the handover of the China-donated Vero-Cell vaccine. (Photo: VNA)
The Vero Cell vaccine is planned to be used to vaccinate Chinese citizens working in Vietnam, Vietnamese who want to go to China for study, work or business, and people who have needs for vaccine, particularly those living in areas bordering China.
The Vero-Cell vaccine was approved for emergency use on June 3./.
Vietnamese fans warned about use of FAN ID to travel to Russia
The Consular Department under the Foreign Ministry has advised Vietnamese fans travelling to Russia on FAN IDs to use the document on the right purpose and obey the host country's regulations to avoid legal problems or being stuck at foreign airports amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
A FAN ID is a mandatory document for all the spectators of UEFA EURO 2020 matches in Saint Petersburg (Russia) in 2021.
According to the department, many Vietnamese citizens using Fan IDs have been denied entry to Russia and deported due to they using the document for the wrong purpose or failing to prove that they travel to Russia to watch the tournament.
The department urged Vietnamese fans to thoroughly study Russia's regulations about entry-exit, residence registration and air tickets, as well as banned activities when travelling to the country.
Those who need urgent support can contact the citizen protection hotlines of the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia ( 7-903-182-1617), the Vietnamese General Consulate in Ekaterinburg ( 7-343-253-0284 / 7-965-506-6868), the Vietnamese General Consulate in Vladivostok ( 7-914-708-0939), or Vietnam's citizen protection hotline ( 84-981-848-484)./.
Two more COVID-19-related deaths confirmed
Vietnam on June 19 recorded the 63rd and 64th COVID-19-related deaths, both of them are patients with underlying health conditions, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control’s Treatment Subcommittee.
The 63rd deceased patient was a 90-year-old woman living in northern Bac Giang province who was tested positive to COVID-19 on June 12.
After developing a severe cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at Bac Giang Mental Hospital two days later.
Despite treatment, her condition worsened and she died on June 18. Her cause of death has been recorded as severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2, progressive respiratory failure, septic shock, multi-organ failure in a patient with a history of hypertension, diabetes and gangrene.
Meanwhile, the other patient, a 67-year-old man from Ha Trung district, Thanh Hoa province, also died as a result of COVID-19 complications.
He was being treated at Tan Trieu branch of the K Hospital for lung cancer and tested positive for the coronavirus on May 15.
The patient was transferred to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district but responded poorly to medication and was placed on a mechanical ventilator to help him breathe on May 31.
Despite extensive treatment, the damage to his lungs was too severe and he died in the early morning of June 19.
His cause of death has been recorded as SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, septic shock and invasive candidiasis, in a patient with stage IV left bronchial cancer. The cancer had also spread to his bones./.
Vietnam chairs meeting of UNSC Committee on South Sudan
Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC)’s Committee on South Sudan (Committee 2206) on June 18, which was held again at the UN headquarters for the first time since February 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quy, who is also Chairman of Committee 2206, highly valued positive developments in the transition process in South Sudan so far this year, especially the establishment of the transitional parliament.
The Vietnamese diplomat emphasised that the UN, the African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and neighbouring countries have played an important role in promoting the peace process in South Sudan which is facing many economic difficulties and humanitarian challenges.
He urged the government of South Sudan and relevant parties to further strengthen cooperation in implementing relevant resolutions of the UNSC, including Resolution 2577, towards removing the arms embargo on South Sudan when conditions permit.
Quy also underlined the need to promote dialogue and cooperation between the Panel of Experts on South Sudan (PoE) and South Sudan, and other countries in the region.
Committee 2206, established pursuant to the UNSC's Resolution 2206, is mandated to supervise the implementation of measures of the UNSC to enhance assurance of peace and security in South Sudan. Vietnam assumes the role of chair of the committee in the 2020-2021 tenure./.
Hanoi’s relocation of polluting facilities comes standstill
The capital city’s authorities urged to push the removal of factories, hospitals and schools out of the inner city.
Vu Ngoc Quy, a resident of Hanoi's Dong Da District, said that the current four downtown districts are already densely populated, therefore, it is necessary to relocate universities and factories to the outskirts to reduce traffic pressure.
"Industrial production plants in residential areas in downtown districts are completely inappropriate, the Hanoi's relevant authorities should quickly find solutions to bring them out of the inner city," Quy told The Hanoi Times.
In an environmental impact report attached to the Capital Law, a law covering the development of greater Hanoi, the city has defined a roadmap to relocate 117 establishments in 12 districts out of the inner city by 2020.
The city has put the relocation of schools, hospitals and production facilities in the list of top priorities to ease population density and reduce pressure on the downtown's infrastructure, however, it is almost standing still.
Experts have said that there are many reasons leading to the above-mentioned situation, including changes in relevant guidelines, policies, and laws, which have affected the progress of planning and relocation projects.
Besides, the implementation process, requiring a huge budget, has encountered many difficulties in mobilizing resources and capital as well as in the loose coordination among the relevant agencies.
Even when some public offices have been moved out of the inner-city, the agencies still avoid handing over the vacated buildings to Hanoi. Therefore, Hanoi needs a specific mechanism to be able to take over the vacated properties soon after the public owners moved out.
Deputy Director of the Hanoi Institute of Construction Planning Nguyen Duc Hung said that one of the most important goals of inner-city planning is to relocate the offices of ministries and campuses of universities. It will create a land fund of about 176 hectares to build public works as well as green spaces and move 100,000 people out of the area.
Bac Lieu to expand large-scale agricultural production
The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to expand large-scale production and the use of advanced techniques to improve agricultural yield and quality and raise farmers’ incomes from now to 2025.
The provincial People's Committee targets production of 1.17 million tonnes of paddy, including 190,240 tonnes of organic paddy, a year by 2025.
It plans to expand large-scale rice fields to 100,000ha, or about half of the province's total rice area. Farmers participating in large-scale rice fields will have contracts with rice companies that will ensure stable prices.
It also plans to produce 600,000 tonnes of seafood a year by 2025, with half of that being shrimp. About 20,500 tonnes of organic shrimp will be produced a year by 2025.
It targets breeding more pigs, buffalo, cows and goats, and 3.5 million poultry a year by 2025. The province, which is the delta's largest salt producer, plans to produce 55,000 tonnes of salt a year by 2025, including 7,000 tonnes of high quality white salt.
It also targets having 103 new agricultural products certified under the country's one commune – one product (OCOP) programme by 2025, taking the province total's OCOP products to 171 products.
The second phase of its hi – tech agriculture zone for shrimp breeding is expected to be completed by 2025.
Pham Van Thieu, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said that zoning projects would be cancelled if they are not feasible, and land used in ineffective projects or by investors with insufficient financial capacity would be taken back.
The province will mobilise capital from official development assistance (ODA), foreign direct investment (FDI) and other sources, and develop insurance systems to reduce risks in agricultural production. It will also encourage startup investors in agriculture and rural development.
It will help farmers to access technology and markets, and transfer advanced techniques to farmers who grow rice and breed aquatic species and animals.
The province, which is one of the delta's largest shrimp producers, breeds shrimp under intensive, super – intensive, and rice – shrimp farming models, among others.
The rice – shrimp farming model is used mostly in Phuoc Long and Hong Dan districts and Gia Rai town. It offers farmers a high profit of 40 – 50 million VND (1,700 – 2,200 USD) per hectare a crop, according to the district's Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Farmers have learned how to create shrimp ponds, manage the breeding environment, and use advanced breeding techniques.
The province has encouraged rice farmers to use new varieties like ST 24 and ST 25. These are two of the best rice varieties in the world and are highly resistant to saltwater intrusion, alum affection and disease.
To reach its goals, the province plans to speed up investment in many infrastructure projects, including irrigation and climate-change adaptation.
Luu Hoang Ly, Director of the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "The province will put into use major projects that cope with climate change."
These include new river embankments in Bac Lieu city, erosion-prevention embankments in estuary and coastal areas in Ganh Hao town and Dong Hai district, and erosion-prevention embankments in Bac Lieu city's Nha Mat sea.
A sluice system to prevent tides and flooding in Bac Lieu city and nearby areas will also be built.
The province will also create mud flats and plant mangrove trees to prevent erosion near the Nha Mat sea, and recover protective forests along the province's coast.
It will build fishing ports that also serve as storm shelters for fishing boats. Other natural-disaster prevention projects will be launched, and investment priority will be given to upgrading and building river and sea embankments.
The province will also mobilise investment capital from ODA and public – private partnership (PPP) resources to develop logistics infrastructure, especially the Bac Lieu – Ha Tien expressway and the Ho Chi Minh Road section.
Bac Lieu is co-operating with the neighbouring provinces of Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Kien Giang and Ca Mau to build transport projects that will promote linkages in the delta. It is also speeding up the widening and upgrading of many roads in its commune and rural areas./.
Vietnam supports ending of presence of foreign fighters, mercenaries in Libya
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on June 18 held an Arria-formula meeting via videoconference on foreign fighters and mercenaries’ impact on the Sahel region, which was co-hosted by the "A3 plus one" (Kenya, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).
The event drew the African Union (AU)’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexandre Zouev, and Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya Georgette Gagnon.
Participants welcomed positive developments in Libya recently and called on all relevant parties to continue to speed up the transition process in the country.
They underlined the significance of the full implementation of the UNSC's arms embargo on Libya and the ending of the presence of foreign forces and fighters in the country in line with the UNSC’s Resolution 2570, and not allowing the issue to pose negative impacts on the security situation in the Sahel region.
Addressing the event, Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, stressed the need to maintain and optimise the positive trend of the current political process in Libya, heading to the success of the elections in late 2021 for peace and stability in Libya and the region.
Vietnam supports the ending of the presence of foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, he said, stressing the need to pay special attention to the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration of warriors, as well as their travelling, thus not causing negative impacts on the situation in neighbouring countries and the region.
The Vietnamese diplomat called for enhanced settlement of the root of the problem through building trust and promoting dialogue, conciliation, tolerance and enhancing mutual understanding and boosting socio-economic development for people and the community.
Anh held that it is necessary to improve coordination among UN and regional organisations as well as neighbouring countries and relevant partners, especially between the UN and the AU.
The meeting took place in the context of the ongoing peace process in Libya and recent developments in Chad, where Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno was killed in clashes with rebels invading from Libya on April 19. The ceasefire agreement reached in October 2020 by Libya's 5 5 Joint Military Commission had required the departure of foreign fighters and mercenaries from the country within three months.
But a UN estimate released in December 2020 noted that some 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries remained active in the country. It is a threat to the ongoing peace process and the holding of elections scheduled for December 24. The departure of these foreign elements requires careful management to avoid the spread of conflict, with terrorist fighters and arms crossing "the porous borders of Sahelian countries"./.
Lao province helps Vietnamese localities combat COVID-19
Representatives of the Lao province of Oudomxay on June 18 handed over 260 million LAK (around 27,600 USD) to the Vietnamese Consulate General in Luang Prabang province to support the three Vietnamese provinces of Dien Bien, Son La and Lai Chau in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, a representative of the Oudomsay administration affirmed that the great friendship between Laos and Vietnam, expressing the belief that under the leadership of the provincial Party Committees and authorities, the Vietnamese provinces will soon contain the spread of the pandemic, and recover production and business activities, as well as socio-economic development.
For his part, Vietnamese Consul General Nguyen Dang Hung expressed his appreciation for the value assistance of the Lao locality to the Government and people of Vietnam, and saying that the donation will be sent to the three localities to serve their pandemic prevention and control work./.
COVID-19 pandemic still sees complicated developments in regional nations
Laos has decided to extend a nationwide lockdown order for an additional 15 days in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amid the complicated developments of the pandemic in many localities.
The order, imposed on June 4, is set to expire on June 19 and now it will be prolonged to July 4.
However, the gradual easing of lockdown with certain strict measures to remain in place.
According to the Ministry of Health, the country recorded three new COVID-19 cases, including two domestically-transmitted cases in Vientiane and one imported case, raising the national count to 2,050.
Cambodia's Ministry of Health reported seven cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, first found in India, among travellers by land from neighbouring Thailand.
The numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths have risen sharply in Cambodia since late February to 42,052 and 414, respectively.
The same day, the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported 6,959 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to over 1.35 million. Meanwhile, the DOH also confirmed an additional 153 deaths, pushing the country's death toll to 23,538.
With a population of 110 million, the Philippines has given COVID-19 testing to 13 million people since the pandemic hit the country in January 2020./.
Illegal immigrants dected in Cao Bang, Long An provinces
Police in Trung Khanh district of the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang on June 19 detected seven foreigners who were trying to illegally enter into Vietnam.
The immigrants were discovered in Duc Hong commune when they were hiding in a truck driven by Pham Van Tien, 27, residing in Thai Nguyen province. All of them are Chinese citizens. They failed to show legal immigration documents.
On the same day, My Thanh Tay Border Guard Station in Duc Hue district of the Mekong Delta province of Long An also detected three illegal immigrants.
Accordingly, the illegal immigrants, including a woman and her children, are Vietnamese citizens. They tried to enter into Vietnam from Cambodia by crossing trails.
These cases are under further investigation./.
Pilot on welcoming vaccine passport holders under consideration
The Politburo has recently announced several key tasks to strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control and socio-economic development, including ordering a trial of vaccine passports so that foreigners can visit destinations in Vietnam that have controlled the pandemic. The tourism community is looking forward to the policy and overcoming the severe consequences experienced so far.
Experts have said that the tourism industry needs to work with localities and relevant agencies to develop a plan on piloting the welcoming of foreign tourists.
The plan must indicate clearly which destinations should be piloted, what products will be introduced, what marketing strategies are to be used, and how to control an outbreak should it occur.
Tourism businesses stand ready to work towards gradually restoring tourism post-pandemic.
The international market is key for Vietnam's tourism development. But if the country is slow in applying vaccine passports and re-opening to the international market, it will blunt its competitive edge compared to other regional countries.
Therefore, along with safety measures to restore domestic tourism, a pilot study on welcoming international visitors is being conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with other ministries and agencies.
Relevant agencies will consider vaccine passports trial so that foreigners can visit destinations that have controlled the pandemic, such as Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang province./.
Best conditions created for trial of homegrown vaccines
The Standing Board of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has agreed to create the best possible conditions for the trial of homegrown vaccines.
If the trial goes well, in the context of vaccine scarcity the Ministry of Health will submit to competent agencies for approval of the use of homegrown vaccines in emergency circumstances.
Several companies have invested in plants and are seeking vaccine production technologies both in and outside the country. At least one large-scale COVID-19 vaccine production plant is scheduled to be put in operation in late 2021 or early 2022.
The Ministry of Health has urged the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) to conduct procedures to receive Sputnik V vaccine production technology from Russia in two phases. In the first phase, the company will import materials from Russia for bottling and production is expected to begin in July.
The Ministry of Health will coordinate with ministries and sectors to submit to the Government a proposal on accessing all vaccine supply sources in the world towards the goal of achieving herd immunity by the end of 2021, and create mechanisms to facilitate investors' investment in the production of vaccines in the country to serve not only domestic use but also export./.
COVID-19 vaccine fund raises nearly 251 million USD
Vietnam’s national COVID-19 vaccine fund had received more than 5.77 trillion VND (250.97 million USD) worth of donation from 321,783 organisations and individuals as of 5pm on June 18.
The fund's official website, www.quyvacxincovid19.gov.vn, has also been launched, aiming to facilitate online donations.
The fund is set up to receive, manage, and use voluntary financial and vaccine donations and assistance from domestic and foreign organisations and individuals, along with other legal sources, for the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and import, research and production in the country, and the provision of vaccines for people.
Managed by the Ministry of Finance, the not-for-profit fund will use the mobilised capital resources for right purposes and in line with legal regulations, ensuring publicity, transparency and efficiency. It is subject to the examination, inspection, and auditing by relevant State agencies and to the supervision by the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the community.
Vietnam needs 150 million doses of vaccines to administer about 75 percent of its population this year, with total cost amounting to 25.2 trillion VND (1.09 billion USD)./.
More Japanese people interested in Vietnamese language
The number of participants in the Vietnamese language proficiency exams in Japan has increased over the past years, and those passing the tests have also been on the rise, showing the growing interest of Japanese people in the language.
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Japan College of Foreign Languages (JCFL) held the fourth Vietnamese language proficiency exams in Tokyo on June 20, attracting 561 participants, 182 more than the first tests organised in 2017.
Among them, the eldest is Matsumiya Masaharu, 80, who used to teach the Japanese language in Hanoi. He got up at 4am and travelled hundreds of kilometres from Hyogo prefecture to come to Tokyo for the tests.
Masayoshi Fujino, director for external relations at JCFL and member of the testing council, said despite the complex COVID-19 situation, the exams attracted a large number of participants from across Japan, from the prefectures neighbouring Tokyo like Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa to farther places such as Hyogo and Okinawa.
PhD Dinh Sy Dien, member of the testing council, said the rate of participants passing the exams has been rising over the past years, with the average figure of all levels going from 16.7 percent in 2017 to 29.8 percent in 2018. The passing rates stood at 64.3 percent for exams at Level 6, the lowest level, and 32 percent for Level-2 exams in 2019.
JCFL President Ise Yoji said relations between Vietnam and Japan have been thriving in all aspects such as economy, trade, and investment in recent years, hence the growing demand for learning the Vietnamese language among Japanese people.
In the time ahead, the school will organise Vietnamese language proficiency tests in not only Tokyo but also other big cities like Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kyushu, he added./.
Vietnamese community join multi-ethnic football event in Czech Republic
The FC Sapa Praha team of the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic became the runners-up at a friendly football tournament held by the Czech Republic's Senate in Prague on June 19.
The tournament was attended by 21 teams representing various ethnic minority communities in the European country.
In his opening remarks, First Vice President of the Czech Republic's Senate Jiri Ruzicka said the senate sponsor the annual tournament to strengthen exchange and connection among ethnic minority groups in Czech.
Vietnamese Ambassador Thai Xuan Dung said the tournament can happen because of Czech's success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke highly of the meaning of the tournament and expected all football teams will compete with the spirit of friendship and fair play to make it a successful event.
He added that the Vietnamese community has been participating in the annual event in an attempt to integrate deeper into the local society, enhance friendship among the ethnic minorities in Czech and contribute to nurturing the relations between Vietnam and Czech.
FC Sapa Praha has been viewed as one of the strongest teams in the tournament as it won the third place in 2018 and 2020 and won the title in 2019, according to Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Czech Republic./.
Binh Phuoc unveils complex commemorating Cambodian PM's national salvation journey
A complex of monuments commemorating Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's journey to seek ways to save his country from the Pol Pot genocidal regime was inaugurated in Loc Ninh district, Vietnam's southern border province of Binh Phuoc, on June 20.
The inauguration ceremony saw the presence of Cambodian Deputy PM and Minister of National Defence Tea Banh, Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang, Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Chay Navuth, and Binh Phuoc officials.
On June 20, 1977, after crossing the Cambodia – Vietnam border and arriving in Binh Phuoc, Hun Sen, who was then a lieutenant colonel of Region 21 in eastern Cambodia, and his comrades decided to seek help from Vietnam to overthrow the Pol Pot genocidal regime to regain peace for his homeland.
Thanks to the Vietnamese Party, State, and people's assistance, they took gradual steps to set up the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation and, together with Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, completely defeat the genocidal regime on January 7, 1979, saving millions of Cambodians from the genocidal disaster.
Addressing the ceremony, Chairman of the Binh Phuoc provincial People's Committee Tran Tue Hien said construction of the monument complex started on May 8 this year. The complex features a stone stele, the place for weapon concealment at that time, the site where Hun Sen and his comrades met the Vietnamese militia and people, and an exhibition hall.
The official said the complex is expected to help people, including the young, learn more about the odyssey to save Cambodia from the Pol Pot genocidal regime, as well as the Vietnamese Party, State, and people's support for the mission.
The complex is also hoped to serve as a contribution to the solidarity, friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance between the two countries, including between Binh Phuoc and neighbouring Cambodian provinces./.
Da Nang again closes public beaches due to new COVID-19 outbreaks
The central coastal city of Da Nang has again closed public beaches and temporarily banned indoor dining, while takeaways and deliveries are encouraged, according to a new order.
The move came after the city reported a new COVID-19 outbreak that has spawned 24 infections in a single day.
The order – which asks that restaurants, eateries, cafes, and other eating and drinking venues only serve take-away or online orders – will take effect from 12pm on June 20 until further notice.
Deputy Chairman of Da Nang Le Quang Nam signed the order on late June 19, just over a week after the restrictions on these activities were lifted on June 9 following three weeks of no local COVID-19 cases.
The city has traced a total of 530 people in close contact with COVID-19 patients, said Phan Van Son, deputy head of the Da Nang People's Committee Office. He proposed the city to intensify management of vehicles going through checkpoints and request their drivers to fill out health declaration before entering the city.
The new outbreak is connected with a 59-year-old man who works as a guard in Thanh Khe district and all 23 related infections detected on June 19 are residents in the district.
The man was said to have been in contact with a confirmed infection case from HCM City, which is seeing high daily rises in cases and more restrictions have been introduced to curb the spread.
The 'triangle area' formed by the three streets Le Duan, Hoang Hoa Tham, and Ly Thai To in Thanh Khe district, with about 648 households and 2,400 people in total, has been put under strict lockdown while contact tracing and testing are underway.
Local authorities are asked to frequently conduct inspections to quickly detect COVID-19 rules violations, and ensure enforcement of safety regulations./.
Singapore committed to cooperating closely with Vietnam for post-pandemic recovery
Singapore is committed to cooperating closely with Vietnam so that both countries can emerge stronger post-pandemic, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said ahead of his trip to Vietnam to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) High Level Policy Dialogue from June 20-23.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency's correspondents in Singapore, the minister noted that Singapore and Vietnam have a close Strategic Partnership anchored by strong political and economic relations, warm people-to-people ties, and wide-ranging cooperation. He described the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks in seven locations across Vietnam as icons of the two countries' excellent economic collaboration.
The minister went on to say that the two countries also work closely in many regional and multilateral fora including ASEAN and the UN, and share a common interest in promoting a free, inclusive and rules-based multilateral trading system.
He stressed that despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, trade and investment ties between Singapore and Vietnam remain strong, calling attention to the fact that Singapore was Vietnam's largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in 2020 and also the first quarter of 2021.
"We have supported each other during this difficult time, including by exchanging donations of medical supplies and working together to keep regional supply chains open. Both countries are also fully committed to vaccine multilateralism, as well as the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines. We have also collaborated closely with Vietnam during Vietnam's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council in 2020 and 2021," Balakrishnan said.
According to him, as the two countries prepare to reopen their borders, they can consider how to gradually and safely resume travel between Vietnam and Singapore.
"I believe that this will have a positive impact on our economic recovery. In the longer term, we can jointly explore ways to strengthen supply chain resilience and regional responses to future pandemics. We look forward to further enhance our Strategic Partnership by pursuing new areas of collaboration, such as clean energy, technological innovation, and the digital economy," the minister said.
The Singaporean FM said he is glad to be visiting Vietnam again, and he looks forward to discussing with the new Vietnamese leadership ways to grow the two countries' substantive relations, and exchange views on regional and international developments of mutual concern./.
First outdoor Vietnamese cuisine festival held in Paris
A Vietnamese cuisine festival was hosted by the Association of Vietnamese People in partnership with Foyer Vietnam at La Place Monge in Paris, France on June 19.
It was the first Vietnamese cuisine festival held outdoor in Paris, shortly after local authorities eased COVID-19-induced restrictions.
Featuring some 25 Vietnamese associations and businesses in France, for example, Banh Kit, Ba noi, Bibol, Thanh Binh Jeune, Tra Art, Tram Tram, and France Plumfoot, the event attracted attention of Parisians and Vietnamese expats living in the European country.
Visitors were provided a chance to have a taste of Vietnamese iconic dishes, such as "bun bo tron" (beef noodle salad), "nem cuon" (fresh spring rolls), and "nem ran" (fried spring rolls), and enjoy temporary art performances by Vietnamese artists.
Thanh Binh Jeune also introduced Vietnamese fresh lychees at the event. The lychees are from the first shipment of the fruit from Vietnam to France./.
Gov't buys 30 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from VNVC
The Government on June 19 issued a resolution on the purchase of 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ordered by the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company (VNVC).
Accordingly, the Government agreed to buy 30 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine that the VNVC had bought from AstraZeneca, including the doses that the Ministry of Health already received to carry out vaccination before the signing of the purchase contract with the VNVC.
It accepted the vaccine price set under the not-for-profit principle as reported by the Health Ministry about the result of the purchase negotiation with the VNVC.
Vietnam is stepping up the COVID-19 vaccination campaign as well as efforts to secure 150 million vaccine doses this year with a view to inoculating 70 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity in 2021.
As of June 20 morning, nearly 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the country, with 115,315 people having received full two doses, according to the Ministry of Health./.
Argentina hopes for strategic partnership with Vietnam: ambassador
The new Argentinian Ambassador to Vietnam, Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino, has affirmed his country's willingness to upgrade its relations with Vietnam to a strategic partnership, especially when the two sides are preparing to mark the 50th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2023.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency after presenting his credentials to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Beltramino expressed his honour to be appointed Ambassador of Argentina to Vietnam and pledged all-out efforts to continue promoting the solidarity, friendship, and cooperation between the two countries, which set up their comprehensive partnership in 2010.
Valuing the flourishing extensive cooperation, he highlighted its three pillars of political dialogue, trade, and technical collaboration.
The ambassador noted the political dialogue mechanism has been deployed in the form of all-level mutual visits, especially those at high levels.
Meanwhile, he went on, the two economies are complementary to each other, and Argentina is ready to diversify products to meet Vietnam's demand. On the other hand, the Southeast Asian nation also boasts a number of high-quality products like technology, textile-garment, and footwear, which are all popular in his country.
The seventh meeting of the inter-governmental committee on economic-trade and scientific-technological cooperation will take place in August to discuss trade opening, Beltramino announced.
He applauded the effectiveness of bilateral technical cooperation over the last two decades, noting the implementation of 15 joint projects in various fields, including industry and agriculture, which are the strengths of both Argentina and Vietnam.
The diplomat also talked about bilateral collaboration in forensic anthropology, in which the South American nation has been helping Vietnam to identify war martyrs.
Expressing his delight at the growth of the comprehensive partnership through multiple signed agreements, the ambassador highlighted potential fields for future cooperation, such as high tech and satellite services for peace purposes, for examples, supporting the study of soils, meteorology and agricultural production efficiency, of which Argentina holds competitive advantages.
Beltramino also highly spoke of the two countries' mutual support for each other and exchanges of views in addressing the world's emerging challenges, namely climate change, human assistance, peacekeeping, observation of UN Charter and COVID-19 response. He expected Argentina and Vietnam will strengthen ties to together tackle these challenges for the benefits of the two peoples.
He took the occasion to congratulate Vietnam’s national football team on advancing to the third round of World Cup qualification for the first time. He proposed the two countries to cooperate in training players, saying promoting relations between their football federations and football clubs is a good idea, which will not only boost the development of the sport in Vietnam but also contribute to tightening the bilateral ties.
Argentina, on the other hand, is very interested in developing badminton, a very popular sport in Vietnam, he said.
Argentina was one of three Latin American countries, together with Cuba and Chile, to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam before 1975. The bilateral diplomatic ties were set up on October 25, 1973.
Argentina is now Vietnam's third largest trade partner in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico, with two-way trade reaching 3.95 billion USD in 2020, an increase of 4.3 percent from the previous year.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the bilateral trade totalled 440 million USD in the first two months of this year, of which Vietnam's exports to Argentina hit 174 million USD, up 164.52 percent year-on-year./.
Two more die of COVID-19-related complications
The treatment section under the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on June 20 announced two new deaths from COVID-19-related complications, raising the pandemic death toll in the country to 66.
The latest fatalities are men aged 53 and 80. Both of them were being treated for a number of underlying health conditions.
The 53-year-old, from the northern province of Vinh Phuc, was being treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma since September 2020 and had undergone nine chemotherapy sessions at the Tan Trieu facility of the National Cancer Hospital in Hanoi.
He tested positive for COVID-19 while at the hospital and was transferred to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi where his conditions worsened resulted in his death in the early morning of June 19.
His cause of death is recorded as septic shock, pneumonia, COVID-19 in patients with treatment-resistant non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, hypertension, and renal failure.
The second patient, from the northern city of Bac Ninh, also died on the same day. He had a history of hypertension, kidney failure and asthma.
The 80-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 on May 25 and was moved from Bac Ninh Provincial General Hospital to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
The condition of his lungs rapidly deteriorated and due to his advanced age and weak health, he did not respond to treatment.
His cause of death has been noted as multi-organ failure, pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 in patients with renal failure, hypertension, heart failure and bronchial asthma.
The two new deaths brought the COVID-19 casualties in the fourth wave of infections (since late April) to 31./.
HCM City sets tighter rules as daily COVID-19 cases reach three-digit
HCM City has imposed stricter social distancing measures against COVID-19 by banning gatherings of more than three people and requesting people to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metre in public places, according to an urgent directive issued by the municipal People's Committee on June 19.
The directive orders the suspension of all non-essential businesses and services as well as street markets, and requests local residents to refrain from going outside, except for food, medicine, emergency care, or working at factories.
It bans the gatherings of more than three people, instead of five in the previous order, in public places and outside offices, schools and hospitals while people must strictly observe the Ministry of Health's 5K rules – "Khau trang" (face masks), "Khu khuan" (disinfection), "Khoang cach" (distancing), "Khong tu tap" (no gatherings), and "Khai bao y te" (health declarations). It also demands tougher actions from authorities on violators.
Both governmental organisations and private enterprises are asked to cancel unimportant meetings, minimise interaction among employees and allow them to work from home. If in-person meetings and events are required, they should gather no more than 10 people.
Additionally, the directive orders the municipal Department of Transport to halt public transportation; and the local Department of Health to conduct mass coronavirus testing at high-risk areas, such as export processing zones, industrial and hi-tech parks. The city targets to collect about 500,000 samples for testing per day.
HCM City has put six more areas – three streets in An Lac commune (Binh Tan district) and three hamlets in Tan Hiep commune (Hoc Mon district) – under lockdown to stamp out new outbreaks there.
The city has detected a total of 1,346 coronavirus infections since April 27, making it the country's current third largest COVID-19 hotspot. Its daily count of new cases has increased to three digits over the last several days.
The Ministry of Health announced that cases in HCM City were infected with the highly contagious Indian B.1617.2 variant, also known as the Delta variant. More local infections are expected in the city in the coming days./.
PM wants diplomatic sector to be more proactive, sharp, innovative
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said he wants the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be proactive, sharp and creative in order to ensure national interests at a working session with the ministry’s officials in Hanoi on June 19 to roll out the foreign policy under the 13th National Party Congress's resolution.
At the session, Minister Bui Thanh Son reported on diplomatic achievements and proposed measures to perform his ministry's tasks in the time ahead.
PM Chinh applauded the diplomatic sector's efforts to uphold its glorious traditions, successfully carry out the Party's foreign policy, and put national interests above all amid a very complex and unpredictable diplomatic context over the past years, thereby substantially contributing to national construction and defence.
Pointing out certain shortcomings in diplomatic activities, he asked the sector to devise solutions and stay proactive, sharp, and creative for the sake of the country and the people.
As the external situation in the coming years will keep changing fast, complicatedly, and unpredictably, which will generate intertwined challenges and opportunities, the sector needs to strongly build on its achievements and successfully carry out the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, and multilateralisation and diversification of foreign relations as stated in the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, thus guaranteeing national interests at the highest level, according to the Government leader.
In the new context, he went on, the Foreign Ministry should strongly promote the sector's pioneering role in creating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment and mobilising resources for development, helping to raise the country's stature and prestige.
The PM requested the ministry to keep a close watch on the situation, provide timely advice to the Party and State about diplomatic guidelines and policy, while pressing on with and improving the effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, economic and cultural diplomacy, external information service, and settlement of overseas Vietnamese affairs./.
Additional 139 COVID-19 cases announced at noon June 20
The Ministry of Health reported that 139 new COVID-19 cases had been detected in the six hours from 6am to 12pm June 20, including 130 local infections and 9 imported.
Among the domestic cases, 53 were detected in Bac Giang, 34 in Ho Chi Minh City, 18 in Da Nang, 13 in Binh Duong, nine in Bac Ninh, and one each in Ha Tinh and Quang Nam, with 127 cases found in areas under quarantine or lockdown.
The national tally rose to 13,117 as of 12pm June 20, including 11,419 domestic cases.
Among active patients undergoing treatment, 395 have tested negative to coronavirus once, 127 twice and 131 thrice.
A total of 5,054 patients were given the all-clear from the virus while the death toll related to the disease amounted to 64.
Twenty one provinces and cities have gone free of new cases for at least 14 days.
Meanwhile, donations to the national COVID-19 vaccine fund had totaled 5.775 trillion VND as of 5pm June 19. The money came from 323,178 organisations and individuals.
Vietnam will need around 25 trillion VND to buy 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in order to inoculate 70 percent of its population for herd immunity./.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
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