By Bich Quyen – Translated by Kim Khanh
By Bich Quyen – Translated by Kim Khanh
HÀ NỘI — One million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Japanese Government arrived at Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội late Wednesday night.
Vietnamese health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long, Vietnamese deputy foreign minister Nguyễn Minh Vũ, and Japanese ambassador to Việt Nam Yamada Takio were at the airport to meet the delivery.
Health minister Long said: “We are happy to receive the vaccine shipment as donation by the Japanese Government ,” adding that this gift is an example of the flourishing relations between Japan and Việt Nam, especially amid complicated developments of the pandemic and critical shortages of vaccines on a global scale.
Việt Nam is committed to effectively use of the vaccine as soon as possible, Long said, adding that 800,000 doses would be sent to HCM City on Thursday morning to inoculate the people and workers in the southern city – which is currently battling its most serious COVID-19 outbreaks ever with more than 1,000 cases recorded since late May. Meanwhile, 200,000 doses would go to two hot spots in the north, Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh provinces.
Japanese ambassador Yamada Takio said the donation is a testament of the “profound friendship” between Japan and Việt Nam, as well as Japan’s wish to connect with the international community, especially with Việt Nam, to overcome the pandemic.
The Air Japan flight departed from Narita International Airport in Tokyo at 6:45pm Wednesday, carrying temperature-controlled shipping containers to maintain 2-8 degrees Celsius, the ideal storage condition for AstraZeneca vaccines.
During the meeting with the Japanese ambassador on Tuesday, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính thanked the Japanese Government for the donation following his phone call with Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide.
Việt Nam is experiencing a serious surge of new infections, while vaccine supplies remains limited with deliveries from secured agreements and orders concentrated to arrive in the later quarter of the year. Other than the newly arrived 1 million doses, the country has received only 2.5 million doses from COVAX initiative (out of the 38.9 million doses commitment) and more than 400,000 doses out of 30 million dose deal with AstraZeneca itself. — VNS
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted localities nationwide, while many agricultural products are in the harvest season such as lychee, longan and dragon fruit, putting pressure on the circulation of farm produce.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is developing a standard agricultural products consumption system for the sector. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan spoke to local media about this issue.
What plans does the ministry have to ensure domestic consumption of farming products and promote exports amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Whether there is the COVID-19 pandemic or not, the domestic agricultural market still has an oversupply of farming products in the harvest season.
In June, the MARD will work with the Viet Nam Women’s Union Central Committee and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union to build regular consumption models for the agricultural products of farmers in pandemic-hit areas to meet the demand for consuming farm produce. Such solutions will help farmers sell their products to ensure both the quality of products and pandemic prevention. The co-operation will form a consumption system from the central level to localities.
In addition, the ministry will work with the Vietnam Retailers Association to develop programmes to connect supply and demand.
There is a lack of connection between production and consumption in the domestic market, creating redundancy in some places. For example, Vinh Chau purple onions cost from VND5,000-6,000 per kilo in Soc Trang Province which grows this farming product, while that price surges to VND45,000 per kilo in Dak Lak Province due to low supply.
Therefore, the ministry will work with agencies to select a few areas in Ha Noi, HCM City and some other localities to launch standardised consumption models for agricultural products during the pandemic.
Based on those models, the ministry will develop a distribution system to support the consumption of agricultural products and protect the farmers from the pandemic.
Along with that, the ministry also proposes the Government support businesses and individuals transporting agricultural products because if the transport of agricultural products is slow, they will be damaged.
In the long term, we need to establish a two-way information channel. Of which, 15-20 days before harvesting a kind of farm produce, the departments of agriculture and rural development in localities must inform the ministry of the time of starting to harvest this product. Then, the ministry will work with distribution systems to have suitable plans for consumption. This will avoid the situation when after harvesting, the farmers face difficulties in selling their products due to oversupply. This is not sustainable development of agriculture.
In the context of the pandemic, many localities have built scenarios for consuming agricultural products. For example, there is a scenario that 90 per cent of the lychee output will be consumed on the domestic market. Are these scenarios possible?
Nobody knows how the pandemic will develop next week and beyond. The work that needs to be done now is to open the market.
This week, some deputy ministers of agriculture and rural development will go to the northern border gates to work with the commercial agencies of China.
The ministry also holds meetings with distribution systems to have solutions on consuming lychees to reduce risks.
Now, Bac Giang Province is just at the beginning of the harvest season, so it needs to estimate lychee output and export volume shipped to China and other markets. The ministry will work with distributors to consume lychees in the domestic market.
The current urgent situation requires the ministry to have a long-term and sustainable consumption solution, but not waiting for oversupply and implementing consumption solutions.
What solutions will the ministry use to promote the consumption of agricultural products?
Departments of agriculture and rural development in localities must identify their responsibility not only to help farmers produce agricultural products but also to consume those commodities. That is a change from agricultural production thinking to agricultural economic thinking.
There must be a connection between production and the market to promote efficiency in the consumption of agricultural products.
The ministry also has many solutions from promoting digital transformation to connecting market information between co-operatives and distributors.
The ministry will develop a regularly updated database for the distribution system with information about farm produce to be harvested in provinces and their output. Then, the distribution systems will prepare plans for warehouses, transportation and consumption of the products.
In addition, it will develop a method of transportation from the farms to the distribution system based on the post office system. This will limit the risk of COVID-19 infection and have faster consumption. VNS
According to Ly Hai, director of the movie, taking his brainchild to international audiences has been a long term plan.
Previously, “Lat Mat 5: 48h” earned VND120 billion ($5.23 million) within 10 days after its domestic release in April. It is set in the Mekong Delta region where a family tries to escape from a gang that is chasing them.
A still from “Lat Mat 5: 48h”. Photo by Le Tuan.
The movie has earned kudos from Vietnamese cinema goers thanks to its flight scenes. Ly Hai takes advantage of all types of terrain in the film to set up fights between characters. He even used explosives to sink a ship on set.
“Lat Mat 5: 48h” is the fifth movie in the “Lat Mat” series, including “Lat Mat” (Face Off) in 2015, “Lat Mat 2: Phim Truong” (Face Off 2: Film Studio) in 2016, and “Lat Mat 3: Ba Chang Khuyet” (Face Off 3: Three Disabled Men) in 2018.
The fourth sequel of Hai’s series was a horror comedy, screened at 11 cinemas in the States, home to a large Vietnamese community.
Many Vietnamese movies have recently been introduced to international audiences . “Bo Gia” (Dad, I’m Sorry), a drama directed by Vu Ngoc Dang and Ly Hai, became the first Vietnamese film to collect $1 million in the U.S. two weeks after its release.
The work to widen and upgrade the highways, two of which link HCMC with the Mekong Delta, will begin soon and be completed by 2025.
The widening of a seven-kilometer section of National Highway 50 that runs through HCMC’s 253-square-kilometer Binh Chanh District will cost nearly VND1.5 trillion, with VND687 billion provided by the government and the rest by the city.
It will be widened to 34 meters with six lanes.
Running 88 km (55 miles) from District 8 through Can Giuoc District in Long An Province and up to Tien Giang Province, it is a key link between HCMC and the delta.
The section in the city is narrow and frequently gridlocked, and so the upgrade will make it more convenient for transportation, especially of garbage to Da Phuoc, the city’s biggest landfill, and mitigate pressure on the city’s southern gateway.
To cost over VND3.35 trillion, renovation of a 2.5-km section of Highway No.1 in Binh Chanh will see it widened to 120 meters with 10 lanes.
The HCMC Department of Transport has described this work as “necessary and urgent” since the road is narrow but packed with all kinds of vehicles.
Since it is at the western gateway of the city and links it with the delta, it is gridlocked especially during major holidays like the Lunar New Year when migrant workers visit home and return to work in the city.
A 4.5-km section of National Highway 13 between Binh Trieu Bridge, which links Binh Thanh District and Thu Duc City, and the Binh Phuoc Intersection in Thu Duc will be widened from 53 meters to 60 meters at a cost of nearly VND10 trillion.
A one-kilometer section of the highway from Thu Duc City to the Binh Duong Province border will be widened to 53 meters at a cost of VND2.2 trillion. When completed, the two sections will help reduce congestion and develop urban areas in the east of HCMC.
Upgrading and widening a 5.4-km section of National Highway 22 in the city’s western districts of 12 and Hoc Mon will cost VND935 billion. It will have four to eight lanes and two new overpasses.
The highway connects the city and neighboring Tay Ninh Province on the Cambodian border. It usually has a high density of vehicles and congestion during rush hour.