ACI extends Airport Health Accreditation for Noi Bai airport
The Airports Council International (ACI) World has agreed to extend its Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) certificate granted to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, a representative from the airport said on November 16.
The AHA programme enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner.
Noi Bai airport secured the certificate last year. In order to receive the certificate, the airport had to undergo a strict assessment of health safety measures at the airport, including cleaning and disinfection procedures, physical distancing, staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications, and passenger facilities.
Meanwhile, Incheon International Airport Corporation of the Republic of Korea (RoK) has recognised Noi Bai airport as an official member of the Safe Corridor Initiative (SCI).
According to the representative, over the past year, Noi Bai has maintained COVID-19 prevention and control measures to ensure absolute safety for passengers and its staff.
In a letter sent to Noi Bai on November 12, ACI General Director Luis Felipe de Oliveira said the airport has put health and safety of passengers on top priority by implementing measures and observing recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as well as guidelines of the ACI.
The ACI is the only global trade representative of the world's airports. Established in 1991, it represents airports interests with Governments and international organisations such as ICAO, develops standards, policies and recommended practices for airports, and provides information and training opportunities to raise standards around the world./.
Ha Long Bay's ticket sales hard hit by pandemic
Revenue from ticket sales in the northern province of Quang Ninh's Ha Long Bay have been seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Ha Long Bay Management Board, before the pandemic, the annual ticket sales of Ha Long Bay reached around VND1.2 trillion (USD52.17 million), equal to VND5-6 billion per day.
Last year, the bay's ticket sales fell by VND1 trillion on-year to VND230 billon due to the small number of visitors and discounted tickets.
However, since the Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam, the sales have plunged. So far this year, the ticket sales of the bay were estimated at some VND7 billion (USD304,347). The majority of the figure came from the first months of the year.
The salaries for roughly 400 staff of the Ha Long Bay Management Board have been subsidised by the province.
The bay has welcomed visitors again, but it attracts around 100 visitors per day as the pandemic has remained complicated.
Many tourist boats in Ha Long have been left idle for a long time.
Hanoi confirms 12 more hotels to host quarantined people
The People's Committee of Hanoi has allowed an additional 12 local hotels to be utilised as quarantined facilities for people who have had direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
The people, who voluntarily chose to be quarantined at the hotels instead of normal quarantined areas, must cover the expense themselves.
The hotels are Hoa Binh Hotel, Muong Thanh Hanoi Grand Centre, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Silk Path Hanoi, Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi, Hilton Hanoi Opera, Binh An 1 Hotel, Binh An 2 Hotel, Binh An 3 Hotel, Grand Vista Hanoi, Lake Side Hotel and Muong Thanh Grand Xa La Hotel.
The municipal People’s Committee has assigned the People's Committees of Hoan Kiem district, Ha Dong district, Ba Dinh district and Soc Son district to coordinate with the city’s departments of health and culture to manage the people who have chosen to be quarantined at the hotels.
The additional hotels were put forward in a proposal on November 15. The People’s Committee previously assigned 23 local hotels, with a total of 2,640 rooms and 4,253 beds, as quarantine facilities for people who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients in the city.
The 23 hotels have so far hosted about 106,237 people since June 1, 2020./.
Dozens of Binh Dinh households evacuated due to landslides
Dozens of households in the southern central province of Binh Dinh's Phu Cat District have been evacuated because of landslides.
According to Nguyen Duc Chieu, chairman of Cat Thanh Commune in Phu Cat District, from Sunday evening to Monday morning, the landslides happened on Cam Mountain in Cat Thanh Commune, sweeping away around 6,000 cubic metres of soil and stone. Around 40 local households were relocated to ensure safety.
Some 40 households in the village have been taken to a nearby school to stay. Poor families have been supported with drinks and instant noodles.
Speaking with DTiNews, Nguyen Trung Kien, Vice Chairman of Phu Cat District, said that local authorities had zoned the area affected by the landslides and arranged for security to keep the locality safe.
At present, the locality is still facing rain so the consequences of the landslides have not yet been dealt with.
Following the heavy rains over the recent days, many areas in Binh Dinh have been submerged. Some communes in Tuy Phuoc Commune have been left around one metre underwater.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets voters in HCM City
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 16 lauded contributions of voters in Ho Chi Minh City to COVID-19 containment and socio-economic development.
The leader made the praise at a meeting with voters in Districts 1 and 3 and Binh Thanh district, saying individuals and collectives that have greatly contributed to the pandemic fight should be honoured.
HCM City is one of the localities hardest hit by the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, he said, sharing huge losses and difficulties facing the local Party Committee, authorities and residents.
Phuc suggested the city concretise the "dual goal" strategy into phased objectives for effective implementation as the pandemic is still developing complicatedly.
The country's biggest economic centre was also urged to take bold actions to restore investment, consumption and export activities, quickly reboot its supply chain and attract labourers to serve the recovery.
He asked the city to prepare the best possible conditions for school reopening, promote digital transformation to deal with loopholes in management, improve its business environment and review all urban planning schemes.
Earlier the same day, President Phuc and National Assembly deputies met voters in Cu Chi and Hoc Mon districts, where he ordered preparedness for a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.
At the meetings, local voters were informed about results of the second session of the 15th legislature. They also raised opinions on issues regarding security, politics, social order and safety, and socio-economic matters./.
President asks HCM City to prevent possible Covid-19 outbreaks
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with voters in Ho Chi Minh City on November 16.
At the meeting, President Phuc stressed that Ho Chi Minh City must have measures to prevent the 5th possible outbreak of COVID-19. Among others, accelerating vaccination plays an important role, he said.
The voters in Cu Chi and Hoc Mon districts expressed their confidence in the fight against the pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City in particular and the whole country as well.
Many voters expressed their respect and gratitude to leaders of the Party and State, including President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who have tried their best to have vaccines for the people.
The voters suggested that the State pay more attention to those who suffered from the epidemic, including farmers in the two districts who mainly depend on agricultural production.
Bringing students back to school, investing in grassroots health network, especially commune and ward health stations, are also issues that voters want the President and ministries to pay attention to./.
Life jackets presented to poor fishermen in Da Nang city
Former President Truong Tan Sang and leaders of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) Central Committee handed over 30 sets of multi-functional life jackets to poor fishermen in the central city of Da Nang on November 16.
The activity was part of a programme to present 15,000 life jackets to 12 central cities and provinces, which were donated by businesses and philanthropists in response to a joint appeal by former President Truong Tan Sang and the VRC Central Committee.
Sang expressed his hope that the gifts will partly help the fishermen overcome difficulties and safeguard the country's sea and island sovereignty.
As part of the programme, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa provinces will receive 1,000 life jackets each. As many as 1,600 life jackets will be presented to Quang Ngai and Phu Yen provinces each while 1,800 others will be handed over to fishermen in Binh Dinh. Fishermen in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago will also get 1,000 life jackets.
The donation of life jackets to poor fishermen is a practical activity, helping to ensure the safety of fishermen while fishing offshore, developing the economy and participating in the protection of the country’s sovereignty over seas and islands./.
NA leader joins great national solidarity festival in Thai Nguyen
Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue joined residents of northern Thai Nguyen province in the great national solidarity festival on November 16.
Chairman Hue congratulated Trung Luong commune on meeting all the 19 criteria for a new-style rural area. Meanwhile, Dinh Hoa district is also striving to become a new-style rural district in 2022.
He noted despite enormous difficulties and challenges to national development amid the fourth wave of COVID-19, Vietnam has still managed to sustain positive growth in the first nine months of this year.
He attributed the achievement to the strength of the great national solidarity.
The NA leader stressed that the more difficult it is, the more strongly the great national solidarity is brought into play./.
Ho Chi Minh City plans to welcome intn'l visitors next month
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism has just developed a draft scheme to welcome international tourists with vaccine passports from December 2021, one month earlier than previously expected.
According to the scheme, there are three phases in welcoming international visitors to the city.
In the first phase starting from December 2021, or the pilot period, the city will receive foreign tourists under package travel programs designed for selected areas and tourism service establishments.
In the second phase from January 2022, all qualified tour operators will be allowed to serve international tourists.
The third phase will see a full reopening of the tourism market. The beginning of the phase depends on the development of the Covid-19 pandemic and results of the first two phases./.
New Zealand reaffirms commitment to ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific
As a dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), New Zealand reaffirmed its commitment towards the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and realising peace and stability in the region.
New Zealand's Minister of Foreign Ministers Nanaia Mahuta made the statement following the talks with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on November 16.
“Indo-Pacific is a region that is open for trade and investment, an inclusive region, a region with sovereignty that is respected by all countries, big and small, a region that strives for peace and stability. I reaffirm New Zealand’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific and ASEAN as its center, with a region that is based on the law, including UNCLOS,” Mahuta was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.
Aside from bilateral cooperation in health, energy, and economy, the two ministers also discussed regional issues, including the situation in Myanmar and Afghanistan during their talks.
Regarding the COVID-19 combat, they affirmed the significance of ensuring fair access to vaccines for all countries to soon contain the pandemic./.
HCM City university team wins two 2nd prizes in Taiwan's MICE Destination Marketing Contest
Students from Hoa Sen University in HCM City won the second prize in Taiwan's MICE Destination Marketing Contest in the Virtual Exhibition and Booth Design and English Tour Guide categories.
Their winning entry was five booths they created on the iStaging Virtual Exhibition platform to market Hà Nội's unique beauty, incredible peace and culture.
The contest provides an opportunity for young adults across the world to practise and share innovative ideas about the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions) industry.
It also encourages students to integrate MICE marketing concepts with local resources.
Organised by Taiwan's Bureau of Foreign Trade and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, the contest from November 1 to 5 attracted students studying courses in MICE tourism from Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Vietnam logs 9,650 new COVID-19 cases on Nov. 16, highest in nearly two months
The Ministry of Health announced 9,650 new COVID-19 infections in 59 provinces and cities nationwide on November 16, the biggest rise in daily cases since September 26, as the total number of vaccines administered nationwide crossed the 100 million mark.
There were also a further 87 COVID-19 related deaths announced on the day.
As of November 16, 100,862,898 vaccine doses have been administered in Vietnam. Over 36 million people are now fully inoculated, and almost 65 million people have received one dose of vaccine.
Vietnam's total caseload currently stands at 1,045,397, of which 1,040,346 are the result of the fourth wave of infections that have swept the country since late April.
Ho Chi Minh City recorded the highest number of daily infections with 1,183, followed by Tay Ninh province with 683, and Tien Giang with 671.
The capital city of Hanoi reported 158 new cases on November 16.
The other cases were detected in Dong Nai (631), Binh Duong (607), An Giang (482), Binh Thuan (439), Dong Thap (392), Soc Trang (343), Ca Mau (340), Bac Lieu (328), Kien Giang (324), Ba Ria – Vung Tau (300), Vinh Long (291), Binh Phuoc (199), Tra Vinh (194), Ben Tre (185), Can Tho (158), Khanh Hoa (150), Nghe An (145), Ha Giang (122), Thai Binh (106), Long An (100), Hau Giang (96), Dak Lak (88), Lam Dong (84), Bac Ninh (81), Nam Dinh (73), Thua Thien-Hue (70), Quang Nam (61), Bac Giang (60), Thanh Hoa (52), Gia Lai (50), Binh Dinh (48), Dak Nong (44), Ninh Thuan (35), Da Nang (34), Quang Ngai (32), Hai Duong (29), Tuyen Quang (27), Quang Tri (22), Quang Binh (18), Quang Ninh (15), Phu Tho (14), Phu Yen (11), Vinh Phuc (11), Lang Son (9), Hung Yen (9), Dien Bien (8 ), Ha Nam (7), Ha Tinh (7), Cao Bang (4), Kon Tum (3), Lao Cai (2), Hoa Binh (2), Thai Nguyen (2), Son La (1), and Yen Bai (1).
Among the new cases, only nine were imported and the rest were local transmissions. A total of 4,369 new infections were detected in the community.
The deaths were reported in HCM City (35), Binh Duong (7), Long An (6), Bac Lieu (6), Dong Nai (5), Ca Mau (5), Tay Ninh (3), Dong Thap (3), Binh Thuan (3), An Giang (3), Soc Trang (2), Tien Giang (2), Kien Giang (2), Gia Lai (1), Vinh Long (1),Khanh Hoa (1), Ben Tre (1), and Hau Giang (1).
The death toll in Vietnam is now 23,270, or 2.2 percent of the total cases.
Just over 4,100 COVID-19 patients are in a serious condition, according to the Ministry of Health, with 366 requiring invasive ventilation and 11 on life support (ECMO).
A further 6,481 patients were given the all-clear on November 16, taking the total number of recoveries to 870,997./.
Vietnam urges stronger inter-parliamentary cooperation against challenges
Permanent Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tran Thanh Man has stated that more than ever, as the highest representative organ of the people, parliaments need to promote cooperation and uphold their power to cope with challenges more effectively.
He made the statement at the 11th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP-11) hosted by the National Assembly of Cambodia via videoconference on November 16. The event took the theme "Strengthening Parliamentary Partnership for Peace and Sustainable Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond".
In his speech, Man said as a member of regional and global organisations, Vietnam always treasures multilateral, regional and inter-regional parliamentary cooperation, including the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEP.
In order to promote ASEP's involvement in strengthening parliamentary partnership for peace and sustainable development during and after the pandemic in both regions and the world, Man suggested Asian and European parliaments continue maintaining strong political commitments to stepping up multilateral and inter-parliamentary cooperation and building trust, thus making practical contributions to regional and global agendas.
In his opinion, they should support access to vaccines and key medical supplies at reasonable costs in a fair, equitable and timely manner. At the same time, they also should promote the role of cooperation and dialogue mechanisms, sharing of information and experience in parliamentary activities, perfect frameworks to control the pandemic, as well as push forward the early economic recovery and ensure social welfare.
He proposed continuing to strongly reform activities of inter-parliamentary cooperation mechanisms in both contents and methods amid the fourth industrial revolution, accelerating digital transformation and economy, green and circular economy, and innovation.
The Vietnamese official also called for boosting collaboration to ensure an environment of peace and stability based on rules, respect of law in waters and oceans, including maintaining the East Sea as a sea of peace and cooperation, thus ensuring security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom.
Held biannually and alternately between the two continents, the ASEP-11 features two plenary and three thematic sessions, focusing on the world and Asia-Europe situation over the past years, especially cooperation mechanisms in response to COVID-19.
In his opening speech, President of the Cambodian NA Heng Samrin underscored the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in ensuring long-term peace, common prosperity, social fairness, good governance, human rights and value of democracy.
Member parliaments also expressed their strong support for economic recovery in both regions, promotion of free and multilateral trade system, as well as maintenance of stability in the global supply chain, regional and inter-regional economic connectivity and integration./.
Flood resistant houses handed over to residents in central province
Seventy-five flood resistant houses were handed over to residents in Vinh Linh district, the central province of Quang Tri, under a project funded by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRC).
Construction of the houses lasted from May to November 2021 in Vinh Khe, Vinh Ha and Vinh O communes, Vinh Linh district.
The project targets households whose houses were damaged by floods last year, with priority given to poor and near-poor households, and other social policy beneficiaries.
Each of the house was built at a cost of 75 million VND (3,300 USD) that came from the ICRC, the Vietnam Red Cross Society, local authorities and people./.
Vietnam receives 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Austria
Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen, on behalf of the Health Ministry, received 50,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that Austria presented to Vietnam during a ceremony held on November 16.
At the event, Austrian Ambassador to Vietnam Hans-Peter Glanzer spoke highly of Vietnam's major achievements in the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
For his part, Tuyen thanked the Austrian Government, organisations and businesses for their support via projects supplying medical equipment in a bid to improve the quality of health care services in Vietnam.
The assistance is of great importance as Vietnam and Austria will celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, thereby promoting the countries' friendship and cooperation, he affirmed.
Vietnam is exerting efforts to bolster vaccine coverage, including inoculation for children aged between 12 and 17, together with applying other preventive measures, Tuyen said./.
Vice President visits Quang Tri
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan visited several units in the central province of Quang Tri on November 16.
The delegation visited Thanh Co Junior High School – the flagship of the educational sector in Quang Tri town, and awarded 30 gifts to the school’s poor students with good academic performance of the school.
In order to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the coming time, Xuan emphasised the need for the school management board to well innovate the way of teaching and learning to adapt to the complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the occasion of Vietnamese Teachers’ Day (November 20), the Vice President extended congratulations to teachers of the school in particular and Quang Tri province in general.
On the same day, Xuan laid wreaths and offered incense at Party General Secretary Le Duan's monument, visited Heroic Mothers Tran Thi Loan and Tran Thi Niem in Trieu Phong district./.
NA leader joins great national solidarity festival in Thai Nguyen province
Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue joined residents of northern Thai Nguyen province in the great national solidarity festival on November 16.
The event, held in Quyet Tam hamlet of Dinh Hoa district's Trung Luong commune, took place in celebration of the 91st founding anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18, 1930 – 2021).
Quyet Tam hamlet is home to 193 households with 680 residents belonging to six ethnic groups, namely Kinh, Tay, Nung, Dao, San Chi, and Hoa. About 80 percent of the population works in agriculture.
Expressing his delight at local development, Chairman Hue congratulated Trung Luong commune on meeting all the 19 criteria for a new-style rural area. Meanwhile, Dinh Hoa district is also striving to become a new-style rural district in 2022.
He noted despite enormous difficulties and challenges to national development amid the fourth wave of COVID-19, Vietnam has still managed to sustain positive growth in the first nine months of this year, and the economy has begun bouncing back since October.
He attributed the achievement to the regime's superiority and the strength of the great national solidarity, especially efforts by frontline forces and the people's consensus, which have helped Vietnam surmount all difficulties and challenges.
The more difficult it is, the more strongly the great national solidarity is brought into play, he emphasised.
Agencies of the NA and the Government are preparing for an additional parliamentary session in late December or early January 2022, which is an unprecedented move, so as to soon identify overall financial and monetary solutions for supporting socio-economic recovery and social security, according to Chairman Hue.
On this occasion, the NA leader, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee Do Van Chien, and other officials presented 2.5 billion VND (109,600 USD) sourced from the Fund for the Poor to Trung Luong commune to build houses for low-income earners.
The same day, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue paid a working visit to the Thai Nguyen General Hospital./.
120 students to compete in Vietnam Mind Map Championship final in December
One hundred and twenty candidates aged 6-17 years will compete in the 180-minute final round of the first Vietnam Mind Map Championship on December 12.
Mind Map refers to a diagram that represents tasks, words, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept or subject using a non-linear graphical layout that allows the user to build an intuitive framework around a central concept.
Contestants will use colour pens, pencils, paints, and other art materials to make the mind maps.
They will create two, one each on a subject from a textbook chosen by the organisers and a lecture to be delivered during the competition.
The event will be organised by the Vietnam Records Institute along with the Vietnam MindMap Organisation and Tam Tri Luc Company to help students from primary to high school levels develop creative thinking and boost their memory.
The preliminary round from July 15 to November 4 attracted 9,989 candidates who created more than 28,000 mind maps.
The organisers have collaborated with schools across the country to offer students training in creating mind maps.
Mind Maps have been proven to boost productivity, creativity and memory./.
Vietnam wins two ASOCIO Awards for 2021
Two Vietnamese firms were named among 35 winners of the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO) Awards 2021 at a ceremony held in Bangladesh last week within the framework of the ASOCIO Digital Summit 2021.
Accordingly, the telecommunications group Viettel was honoured with the Outstanding ICT Company Award while the Medlatec General Hospital won the HealthTech Award.
The annual ASOCIO Awards are prestigious IT awards honouring individuals, agencies, organisations and enterprises with outstanding achievements and important contributions to the IT sector in 24 ASOCIO member economies.
This year, the awards were presented in four categories including outstanding ICT Company Award, Outstanding User Organisation Award, Digital Government Award, ICT Education Award and HealthTech Award.
Previously, individuals and organisations of Vietnam received ASOCIO Awards include Prime Minister Phan Van Khai (2003), FPT Chairman Truong Gia Binh (2013); FPT Software Co Ltd and Vietinbank (2016); FPT Information System Corporation, Masan Group, Hanoi University of Science and Technology (2017); the Ministry of Finance, the Quang Ninh provincial People's Committee, MISA Joint Stock Company, and FPT University (2018); Vietnam Airlines, the CMC Technology Corporation, and the University of Science under the Vietnam National University – HCM City (2019).
ASOCIO is an ICT federation organised by ICT associations representing 24 economies throughout the Asia Pacific. Established in Tokyo, Japan in 1984, ASOCIO's influence covers more than 10,000 ICT companies and represents approximately 350 billion USD of ICT revenue in the region./.
Vietnam calls for eradication of barriers, discrimination against widows
A diplomat from Vietnam urged the eradication of barriers and discrimination against widows in conflicts while addressing an Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on November 15.
The session, themed "Closing the Protection Gap for Widows in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings", took place under the chair of the African Union ambassador to the UN and the chargé d'affaires of Niger.
Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, said although widows haven't received due attention in conflicts, they have capacity and an important role to play in families, peacebuilding, and community mediation.
She held that to ensure the interests of and better attention to widows, it is necessary to improve the awareness of their role, demand, and legitimate interests.
Countries and relevant parties in conflicts must guarantee security and safety for widows and their children and ensure unimpeded humanitarian access. The inheritance, asset, land, education, and healthcare rights, as well as other equality rights, of widows in conflict and post-conflict settings need due attention. Widows should also be given conditions to equally take part in decision-making and peace processes, according to the diplomat.
Tra recommended countries and international and regional organisations collect statistics and prepare reports on challenges facing widows in conflicts so as to create a basis for building relevant programmes and policies.
She also suggested a section on widowhood reserved in the UN Secretary-General's annual reports on women, peace, and security.
At the meeting, Vietnam reaffirmed consistent efforts and coordination with the international community to ensure all women's full, equal, and meaningful participation in relevant processes.
Representatives of other UNSC members, UN Women, and the Global Fund for Widows pointed out the fact and challenges facing more than 350 million widows around the world.
They underlined the need to eradicate barriers and discrimination against the group and improve the common awareness of widows' role and contributions in conflict and post-conflict settings./.
Tourism sites in Ninh Binh, Ben Tre open door to local visitors
Tourism sites in the northern province of Ninh Binh began welcoming local visitors back on November 15 after a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, as November 15 is Monday – a workday, these tourism sites were quite empty.
Bui Van Manh, Director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said that in order to gradually restore and develop tourism, the opening will be done step by step. Firstly, the tourism sites are only open to local holiday-makers. Then, based on the pandemic situation, the sector will pilot welcoming visitors from other localities who take package tours. After the pilot period, the tourism industry will advise the provincial People’s Committee on whether to continue to open the door to tourists from outside Ninh Binh.
To attract more visitors, the province will step up tourism promotion, and organised online tours to introduce them to the province's tourist attractions and products.
Also on November 15, the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre launched a programme to offer tours to 'green' (safe) zones in the "kingdom of coconut".
To date, 70 out of 162 travel units in the province have registered to resume operations.
According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, from November 15 to the end of 2021, Ben Tre will open its door to local holidaymakers and those from other Vietnamese localities.
From January 2022 to December 31, 2022, it will begin welcoming foreign visitors back, depending on the pandemic situation./.
MoH toughens stance on delay in COVID-19 vaccination
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has once again asked cities and provinces nationwide to speed up COVID-19 vaccination, saying they must report to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology the number of unused vaccine doses which would probably be redistributed.
As of November 13, some 116 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been allocated to localities and establishments involved in vaccination, the MoH said in an urgent notice recently sent to Secretaries of the provincial Party Committees across the country.
The secretaries are asked to require local Health Department to hasten COVID-19 innoculation, so as to cover all citizens aged 18 and older with at least one vaccine shot and accelerate rollout of the second doses, the notice said. Priority must be given to people aged 50 and above and those with underlying medical conditions, it added.
Localities must actively review the use of vaccines, the number of administered vaccine doses and the unused, and report about reasons behind the delay in vaccination.
Provincial and municipal Health Departments are also requested to calculate how many vaccine doses they need to cover all residents aged 12 and above until the end of this year and demand for 2022 and submit written proposals for vaccine supply to the MoH before November 20, according to the notice.
The Health Departments must take responsibility if they fail to make a proposal, leading to a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in their localities, the MoH emphasised.
Data from the MoH shows that as of November 15 afternoon, over 99.7 million COVID-19 vaccine shots had been injected, with close to 35.3 million people fully vaccinated with two jabs. This means more than 15 million doses are yet to be used.
The MoH has repeatedly requested localities to accelerate the pace of COVID-19 vaccination. However, vaccination rates are still lagging behind in some provinces, including Son La (with only 45.5 percent of the population aged 18 and above receiving at least one shot), Thanh Hoa (50.6 percent), Nam Dinh (58.2 percent), Nghe An (60 percent) and Cao Bang (63.2 percent)./.
Vietnam appeals for promoting talks, trust building in Syria
The Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, Nguyen Phuong Tra, has underscored the necessity for promoting negotiation and trust building efforts among relevant parties in Syria, with active assistance from the international community.
She made the remarks at a November 15 meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to look into the situation in Syria and vote on two resolutions related to Abyei, a disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan, and Somalia.
In her speech, Tra affirmed Vietnam's support for a Syrian-led and -owned political process while voicing concern about the worsening humanitarian situation there due to insecurity, economic crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam supports enhanced cooperation to maintain humanitarian aid efforts, with a focus on meeting urgent humanitarian needs in the coming winter and responding to COVD-19, the diplomat said, stressing the importance of implementing post-conflict recovery programmes and increasing livelihood support for Syrian people.
The same day, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2606 on Abyei and Resolution 2607 on the Somalia situation.
Resolution 2606, adopted with 15 votes in favour, extended the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until December 15, 2021. The UNSC agreed on a one-month extension to have more time to discuss this force's tasks in the coming weeks.
Resolution 2607 was approved by a vote of 13 out of 15 in favour, none against, and 2 abstentions (China and Russia). It extends the sanctions imposed on Somalia for one year, with the embargo until November 15, 2022 and the mandate of the Somalia Sanctions Committee's Panel of Experts until December 15, 2022.
The UNISFA is a UN peacekeeping mission established under Resolution 1990 (2011) with the task of protecting civilians in Abyei. Meanwhile, the Somalia sanctions regime was set up under Resolution 751 (1992)./.
CAAV proposes full resumption of domestic flights from December
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed the Ministry of Transport increase domestic flights this month, and resume the normal operations of all domestic routes in December.
In November, the number of two-way flights on Hà Nội – HCM City, Hà Nội – Đà Nẵng and Đà Nẵng – HCM City routes are expected to increase to 19 daily, of which national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and Viejet Air each will operate six flights, Bamboo Airways and Pacific Airlines each three flights, and Vietravel Airlines one.
The agency also proposed adjusting flight frequency on other routes to nine each day, with flights to be performed by the four carriers.
The normal flight frequency is set to be resumed in December.
In addition, CAAV said airlines should be allowed to continue providing in-fight services, especially food, to support service suppliers.
According to the agency, between October 21 and November 3, four domestic airlines, except Vietravel Airlines, had restored domestic flights, with a total of 979 round-trip flights carrying 170,200 passengers on 42 domestic air routes to 22 airports nationwide.
All passengers must be fully vaccinated or recovered, or having a negative test certificate for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours.
However, the current flight plan was only applicable until November 30 this year, so airlines would have difficulty in planning to operate in the winter 2021/2022 flight schedule, especially during the Lunar New Year of of 2022, CAAV said.
They also proposed adjusting regulations on transferring passenger information from the PC-COVID application directly between the Ministry of Information and Communications and localities. Airlines do not need to transfer passenger destination information to the local authorities.
With this proposal, localities can update by themselves passenger information every 30 minutes from the PC-COVID application.
CAAV also sent a document to agencies regarding the launch of international flights, under which regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control must be observed at airports.
Airlines that operate international flights to and from Việt Nam have to co-ordinate with travel businesses to develop plans and organise pilot flights to receive international tourists to and from Việt Nam as per the temporary Guidance No 4122/HD-BVHTTDL of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and send the plans to the CAAV.
Industry 4.0 technologies used to promote Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam's values
A seminar was held by the Van Mieu–Quoc Tu Giam Culture and Science Centre on November 15 to seek ways for better preservation and promotion of values of the relic with Industry 4.0 technologies.
Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature Complex), is one of the most popular relics and tourist destinations in Hanoi and the country at large, attracting millions of visitors every year.
Scholars and IT experts suggested that Industry 4.0 technologies can be used to create AI-based virtual tour assistant system and new exciting 360 virtual reality tour, 3D tour and 3D user interaction, among others, giving visitors new experience of Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam.
Assoc. Prof., Dr. Dang Van Bai, Vice President of the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association, said "education about heritages would be more effective if we know how to use digital technologies," as the technologies help create virtual reality products allowing visitors to explore what they want to know. He urged relevant agencies to actively and creatively develop products using Industry 4.0 industries.
Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports Pham Thi My Hoa, for her part, said technology-based tours are suitable to the current context, meeting demand of cultural explorers since Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam and other relics and museums in Vietnam are still suffering from impacts of the COVID-19.
During the event, the Van Mieu–Quoc Tu Giam Culture and Science Centre conducted a 3D Mapping demonstration at Thai Hoc Courtyard, paving the way for the launch of night tours to the relic.
Built in the 11th century during the Ly Dynasty (1010 – 1225), Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam is among the most important Confucian symbols in the country.
The complex consists of Van Mieu, a temple dedicated to Confucius as Confucianism used to be popular in Vietnam in feudal times, and Quoc Tu Giam, the first national university of the country.
It taught disciples on the Confucian way of life and revered Chu Van An, one of Vietnam's most respected scholars. Between 1076 and 1779, Quoc Tu Giam educated thousands of talented men to serve their country to the best of their abilities./.
Buddhist temples nationwide to ring bell to commemorate COVID-19 dead victims on November 19
Buddhist temples and establishments across the country will ring the bell, lit candles, offer incense and pray for those who died from COVID-19 at 8pm on November 19, in coordination with a national requiem for the dead victims of the coronavirus.
The request was made by the Standing Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s Executive Council.
The standing board also asked VBS chapters in provinces and centrally-run cities to hold requiems for COVID-19 dead victims based on local conditions and in compliance with pandemic prevention rules.
The Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee plans to organise a requiem for those who lost their lives to COVID-19, which will begin at 8pm on November 19.
More than 23,180 people had died from COVID-19 in Vietnam by November 15.
The requiem aims to share the pain and loss suffered by tens of thousands of families who have lost their loved ones to the pandemic, the VFF Central Committee said, adding that this is also an opportunity to promote the tradition of great solidarity and the will of the nation to overcome difficulties, adapt safely and flexibly to and effectively control the COVID-19 pandemic, and restore production and business and socio-economic development.
VFF has sent documents to leaders of religious organisations in the country to join in the holding of activities to commemorate COVID-19 dead victims./.
Vietnamese university bags two second prizes in int'l tourism contest
Vietnam's Hoa Sen University has claimed two second prizes at the 2021 MICE Destination Marketing Contest, intended for students majoring in tourism from around the world.
The contest was organised by the Taiwan (China) External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in both online and offline formats.
It saw the participation of 17 teams from Taiwan, mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam in three rounds, consisting of Marketing and Proposal-Planning requiring proposals written in English in a length of more than 10 A4 pages, Virtual Exhibition and Booth Design, and English Tour Guide presentation.
Vietnam's Hoa Sen Dragons team, a group of four students and a lecturer majoring in tourism service and travel management, came second in the Best Exhibitions & Visual Design and Best Tour Guide categories for their project named Ascending Dragon – Intriguing Nuances, marking the university's highest awards over five years of participating in the contest.
The team impressively introduced Vietnam's cultural and historical values and vivid local life to international friends, in the virtual presentation on the iconic destination of Hanoi.
Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) is a type of tourism service that is planned in advance and designed for large groups of people for particular purposes. Exploiting the MICE market is one of the goals of Vietnam’s tourism development strategy./.
Webinar introduces book review on COVID-19 policies in SEA
The University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Vietnam co-hosted a webinar on November 16 in order to review the book "Times of Uncertainty – National Policies and International Relations under COVID-19 in Southeast-Asia and Beyond".
The event witnessed the participation of a range of Vietnamese and foreign scholars, many of whom shared their viewpoints on the book and various policies pursued by Southeast Asian nations during their respective fights against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon addressing the event, Mr. Florian Feyerabend, Resident Representative of the KAS in Vietnam, emphasised that over the past two years the pandemic has impacted the global economy and almost every corner of the world.
Numerous drastic measures have been introduced, including social distancing, quarantine regulations, contact tracing, closing of borders, and vaccinations to deal with the deadliest pandemic witnessed in human history, he said.
He went on to add that several countries, including Vietnam, have turned away from the "Zero-COVID-19" policy to take up a strategy of living with the pandemic in a "new normal" context.
With regard to the local response to COVID-19, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Xuan Bach, vice head of the Health Economics Department at the Hanoi Medical University, revealed that the country enjoys a number advantages in dealing with the fourth wave of the pandemic including improved preventive medicine system, strong testing capacity, and fast pace of vaccinations.
At present, two-thirds of the local population have now received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, while one-third have been given both doses, Bach said, noting that effective contact tracing and quarantine measures have helped to swiftly detect infections throughout the country.
He also underscored the importance of the Government's social bailout package for people and businesses as they strive to overcome the pandemic.
Moreover, the Government has also implemented policies aimed at protect Vietnamese citizens abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, with repatriation flights being conducted to bring Vietnamese nationals home from 59 countries and territories around the world.
At the event, local and foreign experts agreed to maintain multilateralism, strengthen international integration, as well as rolling out an effective "vaccine diplomacy" strategy to contain the pandemic and accelerate economic recovery moving forward.
HCM City industry-trade department wants alcohol served again at restaurants
The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade has said that with COVID-19 basically well controlled, eateries should be gradually allowed to serve alcohol and beer.
Customers meeting safety criteria like being fully immunised should be served alcoholic beverages and food and beverage establishments should close at 9pm, allow only 50 per cent of covers at a time and set tables at least two metres apart, it said.
All employees must have got at least one shot of a vaccine or recovered from the disease in the last six months, and the establishments need to regularly test them for COVID, it said.
Eateries must have preventive measures based on authorities' guidelines, separate areas for delivery and hand disinfectants and soaps for customers, it said.
Bùi Tá Hoàng Vũ, director of the department, said Thủ Đức City and District 7, where alcohol can be served, have seen no problems, and the city should allow other districts too so that food businesses could recover.
But the Department of Health has said the city should first select a few more districts where the disease is under control to trial the alcohol plan at restaurants, and not do it city-wide.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan
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