In a letter sent to all 63 cities and provinces Monday, the ministry stated the pandemic situation has grown more complex in many countries, especially with the appearance of the mutated strain Omicron, or B.1.1.529 Covid variant, first sequenced in South Africa and designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a top Variant of Concern (VOC). The WHO stated last week the variant had been detected in at least 38 countries and territories. Though it is not yet confirmed if Omicron would cause more severe Covid-19 conditions, it has been said the strain is more transmissible compared to Delta and previous strains as it carries many mutations, said Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center under the ministry. Therefore, it is necessary to stay alert because the highly contagious strain could overload the nation's healthcare system, he said. The ministry requested localities to keep strengthening Covid-19 prevention and control measures, … [Read more...] about Omicron risk ‘very high’: Health Ministry
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Asia was the first to experience the virus, the first to exit lockdown, and now has new spikes. Asia was the first place to experience the coronavirus, impose lockdowns and then emerge from them. It was also the first to experience new groups of infections, with clusters from nightclubs in Seoul, the Russia-China border, and elsewhere. Although it is early for conclusions, can lessons be learned? 1. Wave, spike or cluster - it's unavoidable Terms such as second wave, spikes or clusters of cases are bandied around, but what do they mean? Medically, a second wave refers to the resurgence of infection in a different part of a population after an initial decrease. The WHO says past pandemics have been characterised by "waves of activity spread over months". In Asia, we have been seeing isolated clusters and regional spikes in infection numbers. and it is hard to predict how they will develop. But for Jennifer Rohn, a cell biologist at University College, London, a second … [Read more...] about Coronavirus ‘second wave’: What lessons can we learn from Asia?
Rescuers inspect a house covered by volcanic ash from the Mount Semeru eruption (Photo: https://www.thenationalnews.com/) Jakarta (VNA) – Semeru volcano in Indonesia was active again on December 6 after two days a powerful eruption killed at least 22 people and left 27 missing, forcing rescue rs to suspend their search and rescue activities. Aerial images show streets covered with volcanic ash and mud. Rescuers have still tried to dig through layers of mud to find survivors and bodies but their work became more and more difficult when mud layers began to cool and dry. Local officials advised locals not to travel within 5km of the volcano’s crater, as the nearby air is highly polluted and could affect vulnerable groups. Ash from Semeru travelled up to 4km away after the eruption on December 4, Indonesia’s geological agency reported. The Indonesian Red Cross has mobilised ambulances, medical crews and other emergency services to affected areas. Semeru, more … [Read more...] about Indonesia: Semeru volcano erupts again, hindering rescue work
A group of soldiers in the DR Congo conducts a patrol in Manzalaho village near Beni city (Photo: AFP/VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has called for more humanitarian aid for the Democratic Republic of Congo ( DR Congo ) during the United Nations Security Council’s meeting on the country’s unrest and activities of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) on December 6. Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Charge d'affaires of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), voiced his concern over prolonged instability in the DR Congo where civilians have become the main target of armed groups. He also expressed his concern over the humanitarian situation and called for further support for the UN's humanitarian fund in the DR Congo. The diplomat emphasised the necessity to look for solutions to underlying causes of instability and violence through new and advanced strategies that will ensure the protection of civilians, restore State authority, natural resources … [Read more...] about Vietnam calls for more humanitarian aid for DR Congo
Aung San Suu Kyi (L) and former President of Myanmar Win Myint (R) at a trial in Naypyidaw on May 24, 2021 (Photo: AFP/VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Chairman of the State Administration Council (SAC) and army chief of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing reduced the prison sentence of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi to two years on December 6, reported AFP. Earlier, she was sentenced to four years in prison for incitement against the military and breaching COVID-19 rules. Both Aung San Suu Kyi and former Myanmar President Win Myint have their sentences halved to "two years’ imprisonment". Myanmar has been in a political deadlock since February 1, when the military detained government leaders, regional and state governors, and senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party over the charge of electoral fraud. After seizing power, the military junta declared a one-year state of emergency and pledged to hold elections and hand over power. VNA … [Read more...] about Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi jail term halved
There is a high chance that the bilateral trade turnover could surpass the US$100-billion mark for the first time right this year. The shortage of goods due to the disruption of the global supply chains and growing demands from major economies on recovery, especially the US, is offering opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to further penetrate the world’s largest market. Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai. Photos: Hai Yen Counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US Bui Huy Son shared the view at the Vietnam-US Trade Forum 2021 held today [December 7]. “As Vietnam makes up only 3.6% of US total imports, there remains huge potential in economic cooperation for both countries,” Son noted. Sharing the view, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the US remains one of Vietnam’s key partners in all spheres, noting cooperation in trade and economy between the two is the pillar in the bilateral comprehensive partnership. … [Read more...] about US economic recovery offers opportunities for Vietnam businesses