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Vietnam Airlines recently converted one of its Boeing 787-9 aircraft to transport 40 tonnes of lychee from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
Before the pandemic its Dreamliners had a busy schedule, flying to Europe, Australia and the ultra busy Hanoi-HCMC sector, and few thought lychees will replace passengers on the modern airplane with a capacity up to 270.
The carrier has also deployed other planes to transport lychee.
Budget airline Vietjet has also been offering freight services to compete with leading logistic providers as demand balloons by the day. It has set up an online freight service , Swift247, in which it owns a 67 percent stake.
In the first three months of 2021, Vietjet transported over 18,000 tonnes of cargo, with its cargo subsidiary contributing nearly 50 percent of total revenues.
Since May, Bamboo Airways has been offer charter flights.
To compete in the summer, the high season for air travel, carriers have offered big discounts on fares and promotions like free check-in baggage to attract customers back.
Bamboo Airways reduced fares by 35 percent when booking five seats or more.
Vietjet offered free insurance to all domestic passengers, including VND1 million compensation per day for loss of income in case of forced quarantine or Covid-19 infection as a result of traveling with it.
Newcomer Vietravel Airlines, which has a fleet of three airplanes, is pricing tickets at below breakeven level, according to Nguyen Quoc Ky, its chairman.
Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet have joined the effort to trial a vaccine passport.
Next month, Vietnam Airlines will implement the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass initiative that allows people to store verified Covid-19 test and vaccination certificates on a smartphone app.
This is seen as one of the keys to convincing countries to reopen borders to international travelers.
According to Planespotters, an online database on commercial aviation based in Berlin, Germany, over half of all aircraft in Vietnam are idling in near-empty airports.
Vietnam Airlines is currently operating only 47 of its over 100 planes, including 15 of its 29 wide-body airplanes (A350 and B787).
In the case of Vietjet Air, over 50 out of its 74 airplanes are not flying.
In the first quarter, Vietnam Airlines suffered losses of nearly VND5 trillion ($218,4 million). To generate sufficient cash flows, it is now selling 11 of its A321 CEO planes.
Bamboo Airways has the least number of idle aircraft, nine out of 27.
Russia looks towards boosting friendly relations with all countries on the basis of mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests. One of Russia’s traditional and preferred partners in the Asia-Pacific region is Vietnam, according to the ambassador.
He recalled the traditional friendship between the two sides since the Soviet Union’s establishment of its diplomatic ties with Vietnam in 1950. The Soviet Union helped Vietnamese people during their years of struggle for independence and freedom as well as in the peace-building period.
A tradition of friendship and cooperation for mutual benefit has been built by previous generations through difficult years and is currently being promoted on the basis of bilateral relations. Twenty years ago, Russia and Vietnam signed a Joint Statement on a strategic partnership, and since 2012 the bilateral relationship has been upgraded to the comprehensive strategic partnership.
The diplomat stressed that the bilateral cooperative relationship is currently developing dynamically in a wide range of fields. Political dialogue is maintained regularly at all levels. Telephone talks have also taken place between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Medvedev Dmitry and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, and between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son.
Trade-economic cooperation has expanded continuously. Thanks to the active efforts of the parties in implementing the Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Vietnam, signed on May 29, 2015, trade revenue between the two countries has increased, with two-way trade in 2020 rising by 15 percent year-on-year to 5.7 billion USD.
The ambassador also said that Vietnam and Russia have also made efforts to promote cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic. The two countries’ relevant ministries, sectors and agencies have exchanged experience in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this pandemic. Negotiations are also underway on the supply and construction of a Russian Sputnik V vaccine production facility in Vietnam.
Russia is very grateful to its Vietnamese friends for donating several batches of medical masks to Russia. For its part, Russia has transferred to Vietnam a batch of Sputnik V vaccine, medicines, testing systems and reagents for research, he added.
Russia highly appreciates the activities of the Joint Russian-Vietnamese Tropical Research and Technological Center which is one of the most important scientific and technical cooperation projects of the two countries. On this basis, over the past 30 years, many unique studies have been conducted in the areas of environmental safety, biology and chemistry, as well as in epidemiology and medicine in tropical conditions.
Education and training remains a traditional area in bilateral cooperation. In the 2020-2021 school year, the Russian Government granted a quota of 965 for Vietnamese students who wish to study at leading Russian universities. In the next academic year, 1,000 Vietnamese students will be allowed to study in Russia. Despite the decrease in cultural exchange activities due to the pandemic, the two countries still organised a Russian film week in Hanoi and a Vietnamese film week in Moscow in 2020.
Within the framework of the recent visit to Vietnam by Secretary of the Security Council of Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev, an inauguration ceremony of the monument of poet Alexander Pushkin was held in the capital city of Hanoi.
When life returns to normal after the pandemic, Russia and Vietnam could quickly restore the number of tourists moving between the two countries. Before the pandemic, Vietnam was one of the most popular destinations for Russian tourists. As many as 680,000 Russian citizens traveled to Vietnam for tourism in 2019. In addition, Vietnamese people’s interest in tourist attractions in Russia is also increasing.
One of the most important cooperation directions between the two countries is coordination in the international arena. The two countries have similar stances on many international and regional issues, advocating the formation of a just and multi-polar world order based on the standards of international law, respect for sovereignty and the interests of all parties. Russia and Vietnam have cooperated effectively at the United Nations Security Council. Vietnam was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term. The Russian Federation attaches great importance to the development of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership.
The multifaceted cooperation between Russia and Vietnam benefits both countries and is continuously growing in accordance with the agreements at the highest and high levels in a spirit of comprehensive strategic partnership. The foundation of this relationship is the solid tradition of friendship, solidarity and mutual understanding without dependence on temporary political situations. This allows the two countries to be optimistic and look to the future, the ambassador affirmed.
The two countries and peoples are facing important tasks to promote bilateral relations in both established fields as well as new areas, for the stable development and prosperity of Russia and Vietnam, and for peace and stability in the region and the world, he said.
By Abigail Marie Laurie
Did you know that children under the age of five need three hours of exercise each day?
A lot of parents are surprised when they hear this. Exercise for children supports a healthy heart, healthy weight, muscular fitness, bone health, mental health and supports cognition and academic attainment. We know that children exposed to healthy behaviours from the very beginning of life are more likely to sustain healthier lifestyles into adulthood (World Health Organization, 2020).
Three hours of exercise may seem overwhelming, however children can be active through play, games and leisure. From birth, babies require 30 minutes of tummy time a day, starting just for a few seconds at a time and building up to a few minutes several times throughout the day (NHS & WHO). Floor time and additional activities can then be introduced as the child becomes more mobile; learning to roll, sit, cruise and eventually walk.
After one year of age children require three hours per day of moderate to vigorous activity until they are five years old — as stipulated by the World Health Organization (2019).
An additional point for parents to think about is the use of ‘containers’ such as slings, prams, highchairs and other baby equipment. It is recommended that children do not spend longer than one hour in one ‘container’ (WHO, 2019) and should be frequently rotated into different positions to ensure symmetrical development and reduce the risk of plagiocephaly (flat head).
Some types of ‘containers’ such as jump walkers and bumbo seat type products are not recommended due to the negative effects they can have on development (NHS, 2020). Therefore it is best to discuss containers and suitable equipment with a medical professional.
One example in detail is the baby walkers that allow a child to be positioned in a suspended seat with their tip toes touching the floor and wheels to facilitate them to move around. These are marketed to children under one when not independently walking and many parents may think they will support a child’s development. However the motion of walking and bouncing in these containers places a lot of pressure on the joints, bones and ligaments of the under-developed leg and increases the risk of injury and can promote toe walking in children. It can also delay developmental milestone achievement as children are not given as much opportunity for floor time and the promotion of independent walking. Therefore these are not recommended for physical exercise in children who cannot walk (American Academy of Pediatrics 2021).
So how could you encourage more physical activity for your little ones? This is more specific advice for children under five years old.
1. Reduce screen time
Under three years old zero hours of screen time is recommended. Over three years old a maximum of one hour per day is recommended under the supervision and support of a caregiver (WHO, 2019).
2. Move away from using baby equipment and allow your child to explore independently to develop new skills and remain active.
3. Get outside! Take your child to outdoor spaces and play everyday. When your child is walking, a shoe that is fitted correctly will support the foot. Aim to have around 1cm between the toes and end of the shoe to ensure they are not too tight which could affect growth and cause pain. The shoe should be firm around the heel but flexible around the sole. Slip on shoes are not recommended due to inadequate support to the foot.
4. Download apps or follow accounts from registered professionals/sites that provide information on physical development and activities for small babies to toddlers.
– Tots on target
– Born to Move NHS app
– Developmental Tracker CDC
– Milestones and motherhood
5. Depending on the age ensure that you provide age appropriate toys/games and opportunities to develop gross motor skills, i.e. a baby gym in the first few months has various lights, noises and toys positioned around it to encourage your little one to raise their head and see what is going on around them. Similarly when children are learning to roll, placing toys out of reach and lying with them on the floor encourages them to have confidence to roll.
6. Attend play centres and encourage child led play. Children are often keen to copy other children and through modelling and exploring together children master new skills. Children also enjoy physical play together and will exhaust themselves running around!
7. Model a physically active lifestyle for your children. The new guidelines for adults from the World Health Organization in 2020 state that any exercise is better than none but the previous recommendation of 150 minutes a week has changed to “all adults should undertake 150–300 min of moderate-intensity, or 75–150 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity. Therefore think about walking to locations throughout the day and naturally incorporating more activity throughout your day so children naturally grow up in an active environment; promoting a healthy life. Family Medical Practice
Family Medical Practice was the first foreign-owned primary healthcare provider in Việt Nam, and has consistently remained at the forefront of international-standard medicine since 1995. It offers extensive healthcare and emergency medical services nationwide to Vietnamese, expatriate and corporate customers.
For more advice on any medical topics, visit www.vietnammedicalpractice.com; or visit our clinics:
Family Medical Practice Hanoi on 298 I Kim Mã Street, Ba Đình District or call (024) 3843 0748. Email: [email protected] or
FMP’s downtown HCM City location is at Diamond Plaza, 34 Lê Duẩn Street, District 1; Other facilities are at: 95 Thảo Điền Street, District 2. Tel: (028) 38227848. E: [email protected] .
FMP Danang is located at 96-98 Nguyễn Văn Linh Street, Hải Châu District, Đà Nẵng. Tel: (0236) 3582 699. E: [email protected] .
The move followed the infections related to a Japanese man who tested positive for Covid-19 after he had died at a local hotel.
The city has also closed all local historical relics from 0:00 on February 16, said Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee and head of the municipal Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control Chu Xuan Dung.
The 54-year-old Japanese patient, an expert of Mitsui Vietnam Co., Ltd, entered Vietnam on January 17 via Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. After two tests which showed negative results, on February 1, he flew to Hanoi and stayed at the Somerset Westpoint Hotel.
Around 7pm on February 13, he was found dead in his hotel room. His sample tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on February 14. The cause of his death is under investigation.
Two people who had come into close contact with him have also tested positive for the virus. One is a Japanese 43-year-old man and the other is a woman in Hanoi.
Dung cited the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control as saying that the city is facing the high risk of Covid-19 infection related to the 54-year-old Japanese patient.
Concerned agencies in Hanoi are working urgently and drastically to screen F1 and F2 cases of him, he said.
Nguyen Khac Hien, director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said many people still do not wear a face mask in public places. Meanwhile, people gather in crowds. He urged for stricter punishment for those violating guidance.
A smaller version of the world’s biggest annual party, Oktoberfest, will be held in Hanoi from October 17-19.
|Festival-goers enjoy the boozy party during the GBA Oktoberfest Vietnam 2018 at the JW Mariott Hanoi Hotel. The Oktoberfest 2019 will take place from October 17 to 19 in Hanoi. — Photo vietnamoktoberfest.com|
The smaller version of the festival held yearly in Munich, Germany will take place at the JW Mariott Hanoi Hotel’s lakeside area where the spacious green area is an ideal venue to host thousands of revellers.
As in Germany, a large tent, the Festzelt, one of the main items creating an authentic Bavarian party experience, will be set up to accommodate large groups of up to 1,600 guests every night.
“Our hotel has teamed up with the German Business Association (GBA) to organise the Oktoberfest since 2014. From only two nights during the 5th Oktoberfest in 2014, we increased it to three nights in 2015 and thereafter,” said Dunn, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.
He also revealed that tickets for October 18 had sold out.
To enhance the atmosphere of the traditional Oktoberfest, along with several kinds of German beer, festival-goers will be introduced to the original Paulaner beer to be served in the Paulaner tent at the original Oktoberfest in Munich.
Besides enjoying free flow of beer in their own Oktoberfest beer mugs, guests will have a chance to enjoy a sumptuous buffet of German cuisine. Authentic music and entertaining acts by the popular Munich-based Anton Show Band will be presented.
Oktoberfest is also taking place in HCM City from September 26 to 28 at Hotel Nikko Saigon.
The event is co-organised by the German Business Association (GBA), the delegates of the German Industry and Commerce in Vietnam (GIC/AHK Vietnam), JW Marriott Hanoi Hotel, and Hotel Nikko Saigon.
|Chairman of the GBA Thomas Debelic (left) and Chief Representative of the GIC/AHK Vietnam, Marko Walde at a press conference introducing the GBA Oktoberfest Vietnam 2019 in Hanoi on September 24. — Photo courtesy of GBA|
“We have continously worked on improving the setting in order to create an authentic atmosphere in both Hanoi and HCM City,” he said.
Marko Walde, chief representative of the GIC/AHK Vietnam, said: “The GBA Oktoberfest Vietnam 2019 is one of the most expecting social events in Vietnam, which will promote business and culture exchange between Việt Nam and Germany, and where German, Vietnamese and international business communities celebrate with their colleagues, partners and friends.”
Oktoberfest was introduced to Vietnam in 1992 by the German business community. Since then, the festival has become one of the most awaited celebrations of the year, welcoming more than 9,000 expats and locals in both HCM City and Hanoi.