Red Spring Festival expects to collect over 4,000 blood units
|Young people donate their blood|
In his opening remarks, Director of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) Bach Quoc Khanh, who is head of the festival's organizing board, said that the festival has been held annually since 2008 to address blood shortages after the lunar New Year holiday, and gradually changed public awareness of blood donation.
After 13 editions, the festival has collected over 85,000 blood units and become the annual biggest blood donation event.
Khanh took the occasion to express his gratitude for donators nationwide.
The 14th edition is taking place from March 1-7 at the NIHBT headquarters, and three fixed places – 26 Luong Ngoc Quyen in Hoan Kiem district, 132 Quan Nhan in Thanh Xuan district, and Valley 122 of Lang Street in Dong Da district.
The organizing board expects to receive over 4,000 blood units during this year's festival, which then will be allocated to nearly 180 hospitals and medical establishments of 28 provinces and cities in the northern region.
It has also made thorough preparations to welcome donors so as to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control as recommended by the World Health Organisation and the Health Ministry./.
Fatal coach crash kills three, injures 4 in Dong Thap
A serious traffic accident caused by a passenger coach took place on National Highway 54 in Tan Thanh Commune of Dong Thap Province's Lai Vung District this morning, March 1, killing three and injuring four people.
The passenger coach with plate number 51B-17273 driven by Tran Van Nam, aged 41, was heading from Vam Cong Bridge to Vinh Long Province when it plowed into a group of 10 bike riders and killed a rider, identified as Tran Van An, aged 59.
The passenger coach continued slamming into two electric poles and a tree on the pavement, damaging the front of the coach. Local residents immediately took some injured passengers onboard the coach to hospitals.
However, two passengers, identified as Nguyen Ngoc Son, aged 38, and Nguyen Huu Ly, aged 46, were reported dead on the way to the hospital. Besides, the driver, the conductor and two other passengers suffered severe injuries.
The police of Dong Thap Province are investigating the deadly accident, the local media reported.
Students in HCM City back in school
Students in HCM City returned to school on Monday after an extended Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in late January.
Schools had to take preventive measures including classroom and hand sterilisation, body temperature checks and health declarations.
Phùng Thị Ngọc Hiền, principal of Tuổi Thơ Kindergarten in District 8, said 90 per cent of surveyed parents wanted their children to return to school.
"The school has sterilised classrooms, equipment and toys and communicated with parents to together help children take preventive measures at home and at school," she said.
At a young age, parents and teachers have to actively help children take preventive measures. The school, which offers day boarding services, pays attention to food safety and hygiene and has desks in front of the school gate for parents to make health declarations, she told the Vietnam News Agency.
Sương Nguyệt Anh Secondary School in District 8 had 29 absent students on the first day back as parents let them stay at home for further monitoring due to sickness.
According to Nguyễn Hoàng Dũng, the school's vice-principal, the school followed the curriculum for the new week as planned and reviewed the knowledge of the previous week.
During the holiday, about 900 out of more than 1,200 students of the school attended live online learning sessions. Others who couldn't attend studied through videos uploaded on the school's website or other channels.
Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Primary School in District 1 opened its gates to welcome but did not hold an outdoor morning session at the school yard to ensure safety.
Lê Hồng Sơn, director of HCM City Department of Education and Training, said schools in the city had made preparations to welcome students back. Thanks to experience from previous COVID-19 resurgences, they planned to respond to any scenario with teachers more active in pandemic prevention and control work.
In Ia Pa District, a COVID-19 cluster in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, more than 11,000 students of 31 schools returned to school on Monday.
All of the schools were sterilised and strictly followed COVID-19 prevention protocols and 83 teachers are currently quarantined at home.
Students living in locked-down areas near the house of Patient No 1696 in Ayun Pa Town who tested positive again will continue to stay home.
Schools in Ia Pa District have prepared one extra room each for quarantining students who have high body temperatures and show symptoms.
Sixty out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide have re-opened schools after the new year holiday.
Hà Nội's students will return to school on Tuesday. Local authorities said the capital city re-opened schools later than other localities as March 2 will be the 14th day the city has not recorded any new community cases of the virus.
Hải Phòng City has decided to let their students return to school on March 8. Other activities like festivals, religious events, sports, weddings and funerals, entertaining activities, karaoke, massage, bars and theatres are still suspended.
Hải Dương City authorities said they would keep schools shut until March 14.
Vietnam tightens control over illegal immigration
One third of provinces bordering with Cambodia have tightened entry procedures on people coming from this country.
Vietnam has toughened up control over unlawful immigration in the region bordering with Cambodia after people returning from the neighboring country found infected with Covid-19.
A number of southern provinces bordering with Cambodia like Dong Thap, An Giang, and Kien Giang have asked its border guards to keep vigilance on the movements in boundary areas after Dong Thap detected two cases between February 26 and 28.
The southern provinces are under threat of local transmission as Vietnamese nationals attempt to return their home country after the pandemic has broken out in Cambodia since February 20, according to Doan Tan Buu, deputy chairman of the Dong Thap People's Committee.
It means that the region is in danger of imported coronavirus infections, leaving the localities under high alert and requiring them to closely follow the 5K (in Vietnamese) measures namely masking, disinfection, distance, no gathering, and health declaration.
Following the community transmission, local governments require all returnees from Cambodia to go to concentrated quarantine centers, make health declaration, and be available for testing.
After the local authorities confirmed two people who are Vietnamese nationals returning from Cambodia, Dong Thap has suspended entertainment activities and festivals and closed schools in some districts.
Meanwhile, An Giang has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level, setting up 176 checkpoints and 11 mobile teams against Covid-19 and intensifying border patrols.
The Military Command in Kien Giang has toughened management in quarantine centers that accommodate Vietnamese people coming from Cambodia.
Given threat of imported Covid infection, different localities across Vietnam have laid a close eye on illegal immigrants. As a result, police in Nghe An, Danang, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Soc Trang, and Tra Vinh have arrested dozens of Chinese outlawed immigrants.
Vietnam’s biggest coronavirus hotpot to end social distancing from March 3
The northern province of Hai Duong, the nation’s biggest coronavirus hotspot, is set to bring social distancing measures to an end on March 3, with efforts being made to return to a "new normal".
During a virtual conference held on March 1, Pham Xuan Thang, secretary of the Hai Duong provincial Party Committee, said the locality would continue striving to eliminate the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic whilst tackling difficulties in boosting socio-economic development.
Thang noted that the local administration is ready to actively control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining approximately 11,000 community-based anti-coronavirus groups.
Various COVID-19 preventive measures will be in place, especially in high-risl areas, in order to keep the virus at bay in the community, Thang added.
He also outlined that the local administration would move to cushion the impact of the fresh outbreak on business production and people’s life.
Hai Duong has recorded 665 community infections since the virus recurred in late January 2021. Of the total, 297 patients have been discharged from hospital after making a full recovery from the virus.
Mekong Delta province quickly tracks down contacts of Covid-19 imported case
The Mekong Delta Province of Dong Thap authority and related agencies have been working to track down close contacts with a woman who illegally entered Vietnam and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Chairman of the People's Committee in Dong Thap Province Pham Thien Nghia yesterday presided an urgent meeting with responsible agencies upon detection of a positive Covid-19 case who was quarantined in a centralized ward.
The Department of Health in Dong Thap yesterday said 11 people had come into contact with the female patient 2,424 who illegally entered Vietnam. Of 11 close contacts, nine tested negative for the first time.
Responsible forces will continue tracking two other close contacts F1 including a driver meanwhile 52 contacts F2 were asked to self-isolate at homes.
Director of the provincial Center for Disease Control Tran Van Hai said that the patient 2,424 had experienced clinical symptoms of Covid-19; hence, it is highly possible that she had been infected with the coronavirus before entering the Southeast Asian country illicitly; subsequently, community transmission is very high. As a result, the health sector is determined to track down all close contacts to quarantine.
Another case is a 37-year-old sailor hailing from the Mekong Delta Province of Hau Giang who returned to Vietnam from Cambodia with a friend on February 25. In the next day, they completed formalities in Thuong Phuoc international border to enter Vietnam and then they were brought to a collective quarantine facility in Hong Ngu District.
Chairman Nghia said that the province temporarily stopped all festivals and entertainment events in districts Hong Ngu, Tan Hong and Hong Ngu Town for the fight against Covid-19.
The Department of Education and Training also allowed all students from preschools to continuous education facilities in border districts Hong Ngu, Tan Hong and Hong Ngu Town to stay at home till March 6.
Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute yesterday announced test results of a suspected Covid-19 man in Vinh Chau town in Soc Trang Province have shown he was negative for SARS-CoV-2. Before, the man was tested positive when applying for a job in Bac Lieu Town.
The Center for Disease Control in Kien Giang Province said that Covid-19 development in Cambodia has been very complicated after Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year) with more community transmission infections; therefore, more Vietnamese people decided to return to Vietnam through international border gate Ha Tien in these last days.
Statistically, from February 24 to 26, over 150 immigrants completed formalities into Vietnam. All were brought to centralized quarantine facilities undergoing tests.
Science ministry strengthens research to tackle COVID-19 pandemic
The Ministry of Science and Technology will continue strengthening research to serve COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control this year, especially researching and producing vaccines.
The ministry has worked with agencies to provide scientific information relating to the pandemic developments.
The ministry said from the very first days when the virus arrived in Việt Nam, the ministry worked with experts and scientists to research the epidemiology, virology and treatment regimen, including biological products for testing.
Soon, many sets of biological products were mass manufactured to serve pandemic prevention and control, the ministry said.
Next, the real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) kit, used to detect the SAR-CoV-2 virus, was made by Việt Nam Military Medical University in March 2020 and then put into mass production.
Lieutenant-General Đỗ Quyết, director of the university, said the RT-PCR kit was created thanks to efforts and the innovative spirit of both university's scientists and Việt Á Technology Joint Stock Company.
Following the success, the university linked up with the Pasteur Institute in HCM City to shorten the time spent researching its Nano Covax vaccine. With the support of the institute, the research time was cut from six to three months, he added.
The first phase of the vaccination trial was conducted on December 17, 2020. The results of the first-phase trial of the Nano Covax vaccine showed the vaccine was safe and 90 per cent effective.
Quyết said the first trial vaccination injection of the second phase would be conducted on Friday, with the second trial vaccination injection at the end of March. The results of the second-phase trial would be revealed at the end of April.
The number of volunteers who registered to be given Nano Covax in the second phase of the trial has reached nearly 1,000 so far.
If the results met requirements on safety and immunogenicity, the third phase of the vaccination trial would start in early May, he said.
The vaccine's third-phase trial needs 10,000-15,000 volunteers and the selection of participants would be expanded to ensure a broad-spectrum target for vaccination, he said.
Tien Giang irrigation projects protect crops in dry season
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang has invested in 70 in-field irrigation projects on 27,000ha of farming land in the coastal districts of Gò Công Đông and Gò Công Tây during the 2020 – 21 dry season.
The projects, which cost a total of VNĐ15 billion (US$650,000), include building or upgrading in-field irrigation canals and ditches that ensure water and help to prevent saltwater intrusion in the dry season.
The projects have protected more than 18,000ha of rice, 6,000ha of vegetables and 3,000ha of other crops from water shortage and saltwater intrusion in the winter – spring crop.
They have also helped to secure daily-use water for 38,000 households in coastal areas.
In Gò Công Đông, besides investing in in-field irrigation canals and ditches, local authorities have built four new sluices for taking irrigation water since the beginning of the dry season.
The district has organised the collection of rubbish and water hyacinths on in-field irrigation canals and ditches so that irrigation water can flow easily into each field.
The district has taken measures to restructure agricultural production to suit each area, according to local authorities.
In the winter – spring crop, farmers in Gò Công Đông have expanded cultivation of vegetables and other crops on 1,500ha.
Gò Công Đông and Gò Công Tây districts normally face severe saltwater intrusion in the dry season and face shortage of irrigation water at the end of the winter – spring crop.
The two districts have also expanded advocacy activities about the impact of saltwater intrusion to the public.
Local authorities in the two districts have encouraged farmers to dredge irrigation ditches in orchards to preserve fresh water for irrigation.
Ngô Văn Dũng, head of the Gò Công Tây Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the district has invested in irrigation projects and taken measures to cope with saltwater intrusion and drought.
Besides investing in in-field irrigation canals and ditches, the district has built 124 temporary dams to preserve irrigation water for the dry season, he said.
In the ongoing winter – spring crop, the two districts have solved the shortage of irrigation water for growing rice and other crops as more irrigation projects have been built and the winter – spring crop rice was planted earlier than normal.
Farmers are having a bumper harvest of winter – spring rice, getting a yield of 6.5 tonnes per hectares, up 1.2 tonnes against the last winter – spring crop, according to local authorities.
Profits from growing vegetables are two to three times higher than from rice, said local authorities.
HCM City to clean more of its polluted canals, relocate poor people living along them
HCM City plans to clean up more of its canals in 2021-25 and relocate people living in utter poverty along them.
It has set a target of moving out 10,000 families from near canals in Bình Thạnh, Bình Tân, 4, 7, and 8 districts.
Its plans include cleaning the Xuyên Tâm Canal passing through Bình Thạnh and Gò Vấp districts and building an underground drainage system in the Tham Lương and Bến Cát areas.
The works will be funded by both public and private resources.
The canals' banks will be widened by 20 per cent to attract investment and offer to investors to set up malls and other commercial establishments.
According to the president of the HCM Real Estate Association (HoREA), Lê Hoàng Châu, the investment could be used to develop the banks.
Relocation of the families living along the canals is one of five projects to improve people's quality of living that the city had drawn up for 2016-20.
It had hoped to move all 21,851 households by 2020 at a cost of VNĐ44 trillion (US$1.9 billion) but only managed to resettle 2,479 of them.
The biggest hurdle was the lack of funds to pay compensation and build resettlement housing.
Lê Trần Kiên, deputy head of the Department of Construction's urban development department, said the task had required VNĐ10 trillion but only VNĐ2.1 trillion was available.
The canals targeted for a clean-up are minor and so failed to attract investors.
The city has a solid record in cleaning up canals as evidenced by its successful revival of the Nhiêu Lộc – Thị Nghè and Tân Hóa – Lò Gốm canals.
Trần Vĩnh Nam, an architect, is all praise for the present living conditions along the Tân Hóa – Lò Gốm Canal: "This place used to be too polluted and foul-smelling for any creature to live.
"Now [after its clean-up], property prices along it are rising thanks to a complete transformation."
The city has also completed various sanitation projects such as improving its drainage system, dredging 81.2km of canals, and cleaning up 60km of canals to improve the environment and people's quality of life.
In the next few years it plans to clean more canals to prevent floods and improve the environment.
Revenues from forest environmental services could reach $121m in 2021
The Việt Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) aims to collect VNĐ2.8 trillion (US$121.7 million) from forest environmental services this year.
Under this policy, forest service users like tourism businesses or hydropower plants will have to pay according to their use of forest resources to forest owners, who are local individuals, households, organisations or communities.
According to VNFOREST Deputy Director Phạm Văn Điển, forest carbon sequestration and emission reduction services, a new feature of 2021, will add between VNĐ300 to 500 billion to the sector's annual income from environmental services.
Last year, the revenue from those services stood at VNĐ2.56 trillion, meeting 91 per cent of the yearly target.
The number fell short of expectations due largely to severe water shortages at large hydropower reservoirs in the north like Hoà Bình, Sơn La, and Lai Châu between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020, said the Việt Nam Forest Protection and Development Fund (VNFF). The shortage affected the performance of hydropower companies.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the production and operations of businesses employing these services.
The fund said revenues from forest environment services supported 226 forest management boards and 138,000 forest owners, while creating incomes for 81 forestry companies and livelihoods for more than 172,000 families in mountainous areas, helping lift their living standards.
Revenues from forest environmental services have become a sustainable source of finance that helps to increase the value of the forestry sector as well as contributes to GDP growth, according to the fund.
Điển said the revenues come from exploiting the forests so the collection of the revenues should be re-invested into the protection and development of forestlands. Some of the revenues are used in efforts to improve forest management, preserve biodiversity, create jobs, sustainable livelihoods and raise public awareness.
He said the current amount still does not reflect the true benefits the forests have brought about.
According to Điển, forest environmental services income is now mainly sourced from hydropower plants and firms producing clean water.
Experts recommended collecting environment service fees from other sources like ecotourism businesses, industrial production establishments, and aquaculture facilities.
Vietnamese prioritise health, finance following pandemic: survey
A year on since the Covid-19 pandemic first began Vietnamese are taking more control of their health and finance, driving greater interest in fitness and well-being along with insurance and retirement planning, as Asia looks to the longer-term impact of the disease, according to new research from Manulife.
The latest version of the 'Manulife Asia Care Survey' takes a closer look into customers' concerns, priorities and aspirations, polling 4,000 people across the region who either own insurance or intend to buy it in the next six months, including around 520 in Việt Nam.
Nearly all (95 per cent) of those who worry most about Covid have made an effort on a personal level to improve their overall health, mostly through more regular exercise (58 per cent) and improved diet (54 per cent).
In Việt Nam, all the respondents said they had taken action to help them manage Covid, with 72 per cent saying this included doing more regular exercise. More people in Hà Nội (85 per cent) do more regular exercise than in HCM City (73 per cent).
Almost everyone is self-monitoring health, and Vietnamese pay the most attention to the number of steps walked (44 per cent) among the four emerging markets covered in the survey, against a regional average of 38 per cent.
Three out of five (60 per cent) of Vietnamese also own fitness wearables, well above the regional average of 46 per cent.
A large majority of Vietnamese (79 per cent) also said retirement planning has become more important since Covid-19 started, below the Philippines (90 per cent), Indonesia (88 per cent) and Malaysia (83 per cent) but higher than all the developed markets.
The regional average is 73 per cent.
This high level of interest in retirement ties in with their concerns about personal wealth.
In Việt Nam, more than half (52 per cent) thought their personal wealth would decline as a result of Covid-19. The rate was only higher in Hong Kong (58 per cent) and Singapore (55 per cent).
Aligned with taking better control of health and finance is an interest to buy new insurance.
In Việt Nam, a remarkable nine out of ten (91 per cent) said they intend to buy new insurance in the next six months, higher than anywhere else in the region. The regional average is 71 per cent.
The Vietnamese respondents were most interested in life, hospitalisation, accident and critical illness cover.
Three quarters (75 per cent) of Vietnamese respondents, again more than anywhere else in the region, said they prefer to manage their policies through digital means such as mobile apps, including for claims and payment.
The survey found that 71 per cent of them had spoken to an agent about purchasing insurance, well above the regional average of 64 per cent, with only Hong Kong (77 per cent) and mainland China (76 per cent) scoring higher.
"Vietnamese insurance customers are seeking more digital touchpoints that are safe, simple and convenient," Sang Lee, CEO of Manulife Vietnam, said.
"While those digital habits are here for the long term, a good many still like to speak to their agents. This underscores the importance of our omnichannel approach, one that fully integrates digital, while maximising our human qualities of empathy, trust and a holistic understanding of our customers' needs."
Đồng Tháp adds 14 new community-based tourism areas
The People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp has approved 14 new community-based tourism areas.
The province has around 100 community-based tourism areas, mostly situated in Cao Lãnh and Sa Đéc cities, and Lai Vung, Tam Nông and Tháp Mười districts.
"The province's approval aims to turn Đồng Tháp into a popular and attractive destination for tourists and even tourism agencies," Ngô Quang Tuyên, deputy director of the province's Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, said.
Tuyên said community-based tourism has been booming in the Mekong Delta. It has helped to promote the value of agricultural products, create more jobs in rural areas, and bring stable sources of income for local households.
Only five households at the Tháp Mười Lotus Tourism Area in Tháp Mười District initially offered tourism services. But now the number has reached dozens of households. They offer different kinds of services like boating on lotus ponds, catching fish, and enjoying local authentic dishes.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism area served an average of 10,000 visitors per month, and even 1,000 visitors a day on national holidays and Tết (Lunar New Year).
The Tam Nông District, where the Tràm Chim National Park is located, established a tourism association to promote local specialties, tourism products and service quality.
The association now has 30 members, offering services such as food and beverages, homestays, tour guides, and community activities.
The tourism areas in the district welcome about 100,000 local and foreign tourists every year.
Tuyên said agriculture was also a strong advantage for Đồng Tháp to develop community-based tourism. It has diverse products such as flowers, fruits and seafood.
Each agritourism spot in the province has an area of 5,000 square metres to over one hectare, attracting 500-1,000 visitors each day, mostly on weekends.
The most-visited spots are the date palm garden in Sa Đéc City, the Tân Thuận strawberry garden in Cao Lãnh City, and Ba Tuấn grape garden in Hồng Ngự District, where tourists can enjoy fresh and clean fruit and take photos.
Võ Minh Tiến, the manager of the date palm garden, said the harvest season of dates in April of the Lunar New Year attracted 300-400 visitors a day.
One of the most-visited tourism destinations in Đồng Tháp is the Sa Đéc Flower Village on an area of 313ha planted with more than 2,000 types of flowers, bonsai trees, and ornamental trees from different regions of Việt Nam.
The village now has dozens of households offering tourism services and homestays like Happy Land Hùng Thy, Bamboo House Homestay, and Ngọc Lan flower observatory tower.
Tuyên said: "Community-based tourism is helping farmers in Đồng Tháp to improve their income."
Total revenue from community-based tourism areas between 2016 and 2020 was more than VNĐ43 billion (US$1.86 billion).
Community-based tourism also helped Đồng Tháp rank number three in the number of tourists in the Mekong Delta region, Tuyên added.
New rom-com highlights Vietnamese women
The award-winning film producer and director Nhất Trung has announced a new project called 1990 that highlights the career and life of successful Vietnamese women.
1990 is a rom-com work revolving around a group of three close friends with different personalities. When all three women turn 30, they must face challenges in life, marriage, love and career. They learn to help each other to overcome problems.
Trung, who is also the film's scriptwriter, told local media: "Most Vietnamese films' leading characters are male, featuring topics about love. Not many films highlight female characters."
The film stars famous actresses Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc, Nhã Phương and Diễm My 9x, who were born in 1990 and turned 30 during the filming last year.
Trung said all three actresses were best friends in real life. Their lives were the inspiration for making 1990.
"In recent years, my studio has changed to develop topics which have been rarely mentioned in Vietnamese cinema," Trung said, adding that his future projects may be less attractive to audiences.
Director Trung become known for his rom-com Cua Lại Vợ Bầu (Win My Baby Back) which was released in late January 2019, during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
The film raked in more than VNĐ191.8 billion (US$8.33 million) in ticket sales, one of the highest-grossing Vietnamese movies of all time. Nearly 2.7 million tickets were sold within two months.
The work features love themes using comedy and exciting action, starring Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc, winner of the Golden Kite award for Best Actress in 2010 and 2015, and famous comic actor Trấn Thành.
The film won the Silver Lotus Award for best movie at the 21st Việt Nam National Film Festival in Bà Ria-Vũng Tàu in late November 2019.
It also brought Trung the prize for best scriptwriter, and Trấn Thành the prize for best leading actor.
Trung's new movie 1990 is in post-production, and is expected to be released in cinemas on April 30.
Hip hop competition in HCM City
A competition called "Ayyo Hiphop 2021" with professional and amateur dancers from HCM City and neighbouring provinces will be held at the HCM City Labour Cultural House on March 6.
There will be separate sections for men and women. Dancers will have 45 minutes to show their style.
The judges will include top dancers like Snoop Gee from La Difference dance crew, Shunen from XClown Crew, and Libra from Street Ladies, who will also offer a dance workshop at the event.
The event will feature DJ Rufu of XClown Crew and MC Son Clown of Destiny Family.
It will take place from 4-6pm at 55B Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Street in District 1. Entrance fee is VNĐ100,000.
Hip Hop has become mainstream and well-loved by the youths of HCM City in recent years. To please the savvy clientele, some giants of the nightlife industry have organised weekly Hip Hop night events in the city where every Hip Hop events are guided by resident DJs.
Hip Hop music has also evolved and claimed its dominant position in the most envied nightclubs in the city. The Hip Hop community does not only include break-dance and grafitti lovers, but also branches out to those who have fallen in love with the pumping beats.
Vietnamese tourism clip passes one million views on YouTube
A clip that introduces Vietnamese culture and cuisine has reached 1.1 million views on YouTube after being uploaded on February 11.
The one-minute clip was released as part of a tourism promotion campaign entitled "Vietnam: Di de yeu!", "Discover Vietnam" in English", with the purpose of making the country more popular among travelers via the digital-media platform.
Created by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) after receiving support from both Google and VinPearl, the campaign is part of a wider programme launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to promote the country as a safe and attractive destination.
The campaign features various clips from famous YouTube creators such as Khoai Lang Thang, Chan La Ca, Fly Around Vietnam, and H'Hen Nie, Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, all of whom enjoy a great influence among young demographics and also boast a large number of subscribers.
The scheme is expected to help stimulate domestic travel demand whilst also providing useful information for tourists.
Ha Giang tourism earns VND12 billion over festive period
The northern province of Ha Giang welcomed 12,000 tourists, including 105 foreigners, during the Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet, raking in an estimated VND12 billion in tourism revenue, according to the Ha Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Although several potential visitors canceled their tours to Ha Giang due to the complicated nature of developments relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), these achievements can be viewed as positive compared to the general situation of the domestic tourism sector.
The majority of tourists designed independent trips while the number of visitors booking accommodation makes up roughly 30% of the total.
Most visitors came to the province to meet their relatives, travel for spiritual tourism, or check-in at tourist sites in the locality such as Vi Xuyen district and four districts in the Dong Van Plateau Geopark.
The People’s Committees at municipal and district levels, tourism associations, and travel firms strictly followed epidemic prevention regulations while welcoming guests to the province.
In addition, visitors had a heightened sense of awareness about the necessity to take preventive measures, such as wearing facemasks, washing hands with antiseptic, filling in medical declarations, and maintaining a safe distance in public places.
During Tet, a number of localities in Ha Giang province organised a wide range of cultural and sporting activities, along with traditional festivals, as a means of allowing guests to discover and experience the cultural values of the ethnic people who inhabit the local area.
Moreover, the Tourism Association also implemented a scheme aimed at stimulating tourism by offering discounts of between 10% and 20% on the costs of tourism service to mark the occasion.
Northern regions brace for cold spell from March 2
The country's northern provinces are set to endure a cold snap with foggy and drizzly conditions on March 2, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
The cold front is poised to directly impact both northern mountainous localities and north-central provinces.
In line with this forecast, local temperatures will fall to around 16 degrees Celsius to 19 degrees Celsius, with some mountainous areas even seeing temperatures drop to as low as 14 degrees Celsius.
Hanoi is set to see the cold spell cause temperatures to remain at 18 degrees Celsius on March 2, with the chilly period lasting for several days. During the weekend hot weather is set to return to the capital, with temperatures rising to 25 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius.
Despite these drops in temperature, the cold spell will have little impact on the northwestern region. Provinces such as Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces will likely only see local people feel the cold at night and early in the morning.
Haiphong reopens cafes and restaurants
The northern city of Haiphong has reopened local cafes and restaurants from today, March 1.Under the municipal people's committee's decision issued on February 28, from today, all local cafes and restaurants in the city are allowed to be reopened. The other services, including hairdressers, casinos, golf courses and bus stops are also permitted to be resumed.
Events such as festivals and religious ceremonies, sports tournaments, wedding parties and gatherings with more than 20 people are not allowed to be reopened.
Non-essential services such as karaoke parlours, bars, cinemas and dental clinics will remain suspended until further notice.
Only 70% of cars of the city's taxi firms are permitted to operate again, and only serve no more than 50% of customers.
Schools in Haiphong will be reopened from March 8.
Labourers who come to Haiphong from Covid-19-affected areas have to take.
Covid-19 tests and only those with negative results can enter Haiphong to work. Those from Hai Duong must test negative for the virus before coming to Haiphong. They will be also quarantined for 14 days in Haiphong before being permitted to work.
The "connection” between traditional and modern music
In recent years, Vietnamese music lovers have witnessed the birth of many works combining traditional and modern music.
The video "Xam Hanoi", which shows young singer Nguyen Thi Ngoc Ha (Ha Myo)'s love for the capital city through Xam (ballads sung by wandering blind musicians), was one outstanding example.
This is the first time the traditional Xam art of song was perfectly combined with rap and electronic music and modern choreography, creating a new music product bearing the charm and beauty of folk culture while featuring the freshness of the modern arts.
The video "Xam Hanoi" has rapidly received a warm response from a large number of young music listeners after arrived in the digital environment. This is on example highlighting the "connection" between modern and traditional music.
Young artist Ngo Hong Quang is also a remarkable face possessesing many works that exploit the rich traditions of music from around the country. He has finished an album entitled "Tinh dan" featuring many indigenous music styles of Vietnam.
Earlier, singers such as Hoang Thuy Linh and Bich Phuong also made their marks with pop songs imbued with folk music or inspired by traditional culture.
It can be seen that this feature of traditional music in composition has become a trend for many young artists over recent years, contributing to a new wind affecting contemporary musical life.
This composition trend is considered a rope connecting modern music lovers with traditional music. It has not only brought about a new style but also highlighted Vietnamese identities in contemporary music.
On the contrary, many traditional art works now feature modern musical elements to conquer young audiences. One highlight is the Cai Luong (reformed opera) and circus play entitled "Cay gay than" (Magic stick) by the Vietnam Cai Luong Theatre and Vietnam Circus Federation.
The play was an audacious experience as the familiar Cai Luong ancient songs were added to a background of jazz music and featured the appearance of rap music in some scenes. All have created an interesting "opening" for Cai Luong that is not only admired young people but has also surprised veteran artists.
The newly released play "Son Hau – Beyond The Mountain" by young directors Nguyen Quoc Hoang Anh and Ha Nguyen Long has also rejuvenated the ancient art of Tuong (classical drama) through attractive performances of hip hop dance on a background of electronic sounds.
This exploitation of modern music is a way to bring traditional arts and music closer to young audiences as well as preserving and promoting traditional music values that are at risk of degradation over times.
Obviously, the reciprocal combination of modern and traditional elements in music has not only made both art forms newer and more impressive but also opened potential trends for the future, towards a new world of contemporary arts imbued with national identities. This is also a way for Vietnamese music to define itself among international friends.
This mission belongs to both traditional and modern artists. However, it is not an easy "path" for artists who have a great passion for the arts and who also dare to deviate. Because, in fact, not any old combination creates the right “fit”. An inappropriate mix of modern and traditional elements can make art works rude and objectionable.
The unreasonable exploitation of ancient materials can also easily cause distortions of tradition. Creators must thus have a deep understanding of each art form so that they will not blur one another. The successes of various art works using this combination in recent years was in part due to the participation of experts having strengths in each form.
With an in-depth understanding of each field, they support and adjust together, helping the works avoid crossing the delicate line between creativity and objection. Thereby, they will enhance the value of the country's music in particular and the arts in general.
Ca Mau seeks approval for airport expansion
The government of the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau has written to the Ministry of Transport proposing expanding the capacity of Ca Mau Airport to two million passengers per year for the 2021-2030 period.
Accordingly, the airport will meet the 4C standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization and Vietnam's level-two standards for military airports.
In the 2030-2050 period, the airport will remain at level 4C, but its capacity will be expanded to three million passengers per year.
The province's proposal is aimed at meeting the rising demand from passengers for travel from/to Hanoi, Danang and Con Dao, contributing to the province's socioeconomic development, the local media reported.
In 2019, Ca Mau Province welcomed some two million tourists, while the province had only one daily flight. As such, the airport's expansion is necessary, according to the provincial government.
Ca Mau Airport has one runway which is 1.5 kilometers long and meets the 3C standards and the level-two standards for military airports. It can handle small aircraft such as ATR-72, AN-2 and MIA-17.
If the airport is upgraded to meet the 4C standards, it will accommodate larger planes such as the A320, the A321 or others.
The province's proposal will be considered by the ministry to add it to the national general airport development plan in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision toward 2050.
Nearly 19,000 hectares of public land encroached on
Of the total area of public land that the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG), the Vietnam Forestry Corporation (Vinafor) and the Vietnam National Tea Corporation (Vinatea) were assigned to manage, 18,500 hectares was encroached upon.
Of this, 10,700 hectares of VRG's land was encorached on, nearly 7,400 hectares of Vinafor's land and 500 hectares of Vinatea's land, according to the Government Inspectorate's conclusion on an inspection into the compliance with Vietnam's regulations on the management and use of land at the three units between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2017.
Also, these units allegedly committed wrongdoings in changing the purpose of agricultural land-use and offered parts of the headquarters for lease, reported Tuoi Tre Online.
More than 10,700 hectares of VRG's encroached land was mainly in the southeastern region and the Central Highlands. Over 1,700 hectares of land also overlapped with that of the local residents.
In addition, VRG was tasked with managing and using 759 land and housing facilities meant for restructuring programs under the prime minister's decision. However, by the end of 2017, it submitted a list of 43 facilities to the authorities for approving the handling and restructuring, while the remainder just had their conditions checked. VRG also leased part of its office space, which was not in compliance with the Land Law.
As for Vinafor, the Government Inspectorate said that the corporation had yet to reclaim over 7,300 hectares of encroached land, accounting for some 15% of the land area it was assigned or rented to manage and use. The encroachment mainly happened from 2005.
Vinafor was also allocated 83 land and housing facilities for management and use. To date, seven facilities were handled and restructured in line with prevailing regulations.
As for Vinatea, it has yet to address the encroachment facing its over 497 hectares of land in the northern province of Phu Tho.
Vinatea alone used 12 plots of land to contribute to the establishment of joint ventures and leased land to businesses without following prevailing regulations and carried out divesment without bidding.
Le Thanh Hung, deputy general director of VRG, told the paper that the firm has adopted measures to cope with the land encroachment for years, but faced many obstacles due to historical issues.
Airlines make it difficult for lockdown refund cases
According to carriers' ticket agents, many passengers who wanted to travel to Hai Duong Province bought tickets for routes from HCMC to Hanoi and Hai Phong City because the province has no airport. They planned to take coaches to Hai Duong after arriving. Hai Duong then was locked down, their trips could not be carried out thought flights were operated. Passengers can not ask airlines to refund air fares because it is not easy to meet the carriers' requirements on explaining the reason and purpose of traveling to Hai Duong.
Passengers have accepted vouchers for cancellations. Airlines should not make it difficult and cause more loss for customers by asking complicated procedures and responding late, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Mai, a ticket agent in Hanoi.
Carriers, including Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways said that passengers must display the necessary paperworks, such as confrimations of their workplaces and local authority of the affected areas where they come or return, tickets purchased before the lockdown and having a validity.
According to economic expert Vu Dinh Anh and other specialists, State's functional agencies and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) should launch ways of solving problems to ensure the rights of the two sides.
Vietnam Airlines plans to resume flights between Van Don, HCMC
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has announced that it will resume routes connecting Van Don in Quang Ninh Province and HCMC that were previously suspended amid coronavirus outbreak, starting March 3.
Accordingly, the carrier will operate one daily flight on Wednesday from March 3-17; and three weekly flights on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from March 18-December 31. The flight will depart from Ho Chi Minh City at 13:00 and Van Don at 15:45.
On this occasion, VNA will offer tickets at VND33, 000 (US$1.4) each one-way for the first three flights. The promotional program will be apllied for passengers who buy tickets with the mobile app, on the website www.vietnamairlines.com, and at the box offices and official agents of VNA from now until March 17 on flights departing from March 3-17.
Ha Tinh to upgrade Dong Loc T- Junction historical site
SGGPSunday, February 28, 2021 07:12
The grave area of 10 female martyrs
The project which aims to pay tribute to martyrs who laid down their lives for the fatherland’s independence and freedom is expected to complete this year.
Vietnam targets 70% of statistical products and services be provided on time by 2025
By 2030, Vietnam's statistics sector is expected to reach the level of development of regional most advanced countries and by 2045 to become among the modern statistics systems globally.
Vietnam targets 70% of statistical products and services be provided on time for users by 2025, the rate would raise to 100% by 2030.
The goal is part of the draft strategy for the development of Vietnam's statistics sector in the 2021-30 period, with vision to 2045.
Meanwhile, the sector would enhance its capabilities in providing micro data per request for users, aiming to triple the amount of data provided by 2025 compared to that of 2020 and 10 times by 2030.
The satisfaction rate of users using statistics data, as a result, would reach 60% by 2025 and 75% by 2030.
By 2030, Vietnam's statistics sector is expected to reach the development level of advanced regional countries and by 2045 to become among modern statistics systems globally.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), which is in charge of drafting the strategy, stressed the necessity to provide statistics data in a transparent, accurate, timely and easily accessible manner.
"Such data would help government leaders to map out socio-economic development plans, while meeting demand for information from organizations and individuals according to local legislation and international practices," added the ministry.
"The immediate task at the moment is to assess the realization of Vietnam's 10-year socio-economic plan [2021-30], and the development strategy for each sector, provinces and cities in 2021-30," stated the MPI.
The strategy would propose specific measures to standardize Vietnam's statistics procedures based on international practices; modernizing data collection and analyzing; enhancing capabilities in analyzing and forecasting; adopting digital transformation on statistics works.
Statistical products are, generally, information dissemination products that are published or otherwise made available for public use that describe, estimate, forecast, or analyse the characteristics of groups, customarily without identifying the persons, organizations, or individual data observations that comprise such groups.
Main products and services of Vietnam’s General Statistics Office include monthly socio-economic report, “Today Price’s Index”, “Statistical Information” pamphlet, statistical handbook and year book, among others.
"In Progress" to bridge art and education
The "In Progress" aims to contribute to enriching the cultural life of Vietnamese people by bringing diverse art and cultural events to the public.
"In Progress", a pastime program, is slated to take place in Hanoi from March to May, will introduce a series of art and cultural events to local people.
Cutting across multiple disciplines, the "In Progress" will introduce 12 interesting events ranging from exhibition, multisensory puppet show, film screenings to a workshop bridging art and education, new engagement with an old art form, and many more.
In the context that Covid-19 is still complicated, there is likely a change in time and organization for each event. During the time of the program, the organizers will take necessary measures as well as cooperate with the municipal government to put in place the anti-pandemic protocols.
With an aim of contributing to the enrichment of the cultural life of Vietnamese people by bringing diverse art and cultural events to the public, 12 event proposals have been selected to to be included the "In Progress".
One of the challenges that "In Progress" posed to all participating artists was to reach out to the hard to reach groups, and to thrive to create tangible values for those who might not have previously been benefiting from independent artistic and cultural practices.
"In Progress is truly an unprecedented opportunity for creative hubs and cultural practitioners to connect with artists across the country and thereby stepping out of their areas to reach new groups of audiences," said Vu Thi Thanh Binh, a manager of "A week of culture and creativity" project.
The 12 wonderful art and cultural projects are expected to help audiences discover the "In Progress" as an opportunity for the young generation of Vietnamese artists to demonstrate how the arts and culture can make a positive change to the society and the world today.
Poor people prioritized in Vietnam's Covid-19 vaccination plan
The country has approximately nine million of people or around 9% population living in poverty.
Poor people are listed among priority groups in Vietnam's vaccination against Covid-19, which is planned to take place in March.
According to the United Nations, around 9% of Vietnam's population or roughly nine million people living in poverty in 2019, a drastic reduction from 57% in 1990.
Factors that characterized the poor include large size of household, low education and skills, dependency on agriculture, remoteness in rural mountainous areas, lack of supporting infrastructure. The poor nowadays is also specifically associated with ethnic minorities in mountainous area rather than urban migrants.
Under the government's resolution dated February 26, the poor and social beneficiaries belong to nine groups of people prioritized for the inoculation in the country of nearly 100 million population.
Groups in the priority list include:
– Health workers and frontline forces (members of the steering committee for Covid prevention at all levels, people working in quarantine centers, contact tracers, volunteers, reporters, among others); army officers; policemen.
– Vietnamese diplomats abroad; customs and state officials working in immigration service.
– Essential providers in aviation, transportation, tourism, clean water, electricity, among others.
– Teachers and employees in education sector; people working in administration agencies having frequent contact with others.
– People with underlying diseases and those above 65 years of age.
– People in the pandemic-hit areas.
– The poor and social beneficiaries.
– People in overseas mission.
– And other people decided by the Ministry of Health basing on the requirements of the pandemic control.
People, who are subject to the first shots (the first phase) of the 117,000 doses, are health workers and frontline forces.
The first batch of vaccine arrived in Vietnam on February 24 from British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Vietnam is under the fresh Covid-19 outbreak that resurged in late January, recording more than 800 locally-transmitted infections so far.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
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