VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MARCH 20

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Francophonie Secretary General to visit Vietnam next week

Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) Louise Mushikiwabo will pay an official visit to Vietnam from March 21-26.

The visit has been made at the invitation of Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its press release.

Louise Mushikiwabo will be accompanied by a delegation of OIF businesses to promote economic and trade cooperation with Vietnam. 

Vietnamese runners win big at Da Nang Int’l Marathon

Runners at the marathon.

Vietnamese runners won major prizes at the 2022 Manulife Da Nang International Marathon, which took place in the central city of Da Nang on March 20.

More than 5,000 participants, of which about 65 percent are athletes from other provinces and cities, joined in the event.

Bui Van Da triumphed at the men’s 42km, clocking 2:57:09, followed by Nguyen Huu Manh and Truong Ngoc Anh.

In the women’s 42km, Tran Thi Hoa clinched first place with a time of 3:32:42. Hoang Lan Anh and Nguyen Ngot finished second and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the 21km, Deichmann Florian from Germany came first at the men’s category and Pham Nga of Vietnam won the women’s one.

Tran Dang An and Nguyen Thi Duong from Vietnam secured the first spots in the men’s and women’s 10km, respectively.

On March 19, a 1.5km race Ronny Dash was held for more than 200 children and their parents, as part of the marathon.

The marathon is among the largest marathons in Vietnam with running tracks certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).

According to the review of Rad Season Magazine (US), the Manulife Danang International Marathon was ranked 3rd among the 6 must-try marathons in Asia.

COVID-19: Additional 141,151 cases confirmed on March 20

There were 141,151 new COVID-19 infections, including two imported cases, recorded across Vietnam on March 20, according to the Ministry of Health.

The capital city of Hanoi continued registering the highest daily number of infections with 19,065, followed by Nghe An with 9,333 cases, and Phu Tho with 5,747 cases.

Besides, northern Vinh Phuc province registered additional 25,056 cases after verifying information.

Vietnam’s total caseload now reaches 7,958,048.

A total of 63 COVID-related deaths were also recorded, taking the total number of fatalities to 41,880, accounting for 0.5 percent of the total infections.

There were a further 111,635 recoveries, bringing the total number of people given the all-clear to 4,103,028.

Get-together held for overseas Vietnamese in Switzerland

Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva on March 19 held a get-together for the Vietnamese community in Switzerland and raised funds for people in Truong Sa island district, Khanh Hoa province.

The country, with a stable macroeconomy, was among few countries posting GDP growth in the past two years. Registered foreign direct investment in Vietnam surged 123.8 percent in the first two months of this year, reflecting investment demand and expectations of foreign investors on the country’s economic recovery and development, said Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai.

The country has successfully carried out the COVID-19 vaccine strategy, becoming one of the six countries reporting the highest vaccine coverage, she added.

She informed participants that the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs will arrange a trip for OVs to attend the death anniversary of Hung Kings next month.

She expressed her hope that OVs will support Vietnam’s post-pandemic recovery and a fund which helps fishermen in Truong Sa build vessels to continue clinging to the sea and protecting the country’s sovereignty.

OVs can make donations until April 25, ahead of a programme to visit to Truong Sa.

Russia holds first Vietnamese language interpretation contest

The Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised the first ever Vietnamese language interpretation contest on March 19.

Olga Alechsandrovna Maslovets from the MGIMO said the competition aimed to improve interpretation skills for students who will further strengthen the Russia-Vietnam diplomatic ties and traditional friendship, as well as bolster dialogues and help ensure peace and stability in the region and the world.

Fifteen contestants competed in the university category while three others in the postgraduate one.

A roundtable was held after the contest, during which experts in Vietnamese studies and Russian diplomats shared their experience and methods to improve interpretation skills.

PM orders research on COVID-19 inoculation for children aged 3-5

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged the Ministry of Health to study the vaccination against COVID-19 for children aged between three and five.

The Government leader’s request was detailed in a dispatch issued on March 19 by the Government Office regarding the purchase and infection of vaccines and the promotion of domestic vaccine production.

The Prime Minister also asked the Health Ministry to direct the study of giving the fourth shot to adults and the third for children aged 12-18, and have a plan to purchase more vaccines and step up domestic vaccine production so as to ensure science, safety and efficiency.

Sierra Leone President wraps up Vietnam official visit

President Julius Maada Bio, his wife and a high-raking delegation of Sierra Leone left Ho Chi Minh City on March 20, concluding a week-long official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

During his stay, President Julius Maada Bio and President Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks on March 15 and witnessed the signing of three bilateral cooperation documents in sectors in diplomacy, agriculture and fisheries between ministries and sectors.

President Julius Maada Bio also met with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

At meetings, both sides, the leaders expressed their pleasure at the sound development of bilateral ties in various fields. They discussed and reached high consensus on orientations to promote bilateral cooperation in the future, considering economy a key area of cooperation. They affirmed to make agriculture into a pillar in bilateral cooperation, and increase agricultural cooperation within bilateral and tripartite cooperation frameworks with the participation of international development organisations and industrialised countries, as well as the private sector.

Besides, the leaders focused their discussion on measures to expand cooperation in such fields as high technology, telecommunications, digital transformation, innovation, education and training.

President Julius Maada Bio and his entourage paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum, and laid flowers at the Heroic Martyrs’ Monument in Hanoi.

He toured FPT University, witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement on promoting national digital transformation and training digital human resources for Sierra Leone between the Sierra Leone Presidential Office and the FPT Group, attended a Vietnam-Sierra Leone business forum and made a tour of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS).

He and his entourage also made a working visit to southern An Giang province, the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City.

Bru Van Kieu ethnics worship the souls of the living

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Worshiping the souls of the living is one of the unique rituals preserved by the Bru Van Kieu ethnic people in Le Thuy district, in the central province of Quang Binh. Local people believe that worshipping the living helps them have good health and good fortune.

A soul worshipping ceremony is held many times throughout the life of every Bru Van Kieu person, when they are born, become sick, or grow old. It is among many ancient customs and traditions that have been preserved by the ethnic group, who live along the Truong Son Mountain Range.

ASEAN sports delegation lauds Quang Ninh’s readiness to host SEA Games 31

A sports delegation of ASEAN countries toured some competition venues for the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) in the northern province of Quang Ninh on March 19.

Quang Ninh will host seven out of 40 sports in the Games, including volleyball and women’s football.

Deputy Secretary General for Administration of the Philippine Olympic Committee Carl Sambrano highly valued the province’s preparations, particularly at the 5,000-seat gymnasium which will host indoor volleyball matches.

Chong Fui Kim from the Singapore National Olympic Council said although the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a heavy blow to Vietnam’s preparation for SEA Games 31, most of the competition venues in Quang Ninh stand ready to host the regional event.

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture and Sports Nguyen Thanh Tung informed that the training area for Southeast Asian athletes has been about 80 percent completed and all tasks are projected to finish next month.

Quang Ninh also plans to work together with telecom companies to ensure an information technology system serving the SEA Games 31.

Most parents of young school children say yes to COVID vaccine

Asked if their children should be given COVID-19 vaccine shots, 60.49 per cent of parents of kindergarteners and 81.19 per cent of parents of primary school students said yes, according to the HCM City Department of Education and Training.

Trịnh Duy Trọng of the department told a conference last Thursday that preparations for vaccination are complete, and the People’s Committee’s green light is awaited.

Educational institutions are working with medical centres to examine children, especially those suffering from malnutrition or obesity or having underlying health issues, to ensure the safety of the vaccination.

The department and the health department have provided training to staff at 5,626 educational institutes in vaccination safety for children aged five to 11.

HCM City plans to vaccinate 970,000 children against COVID in the first phase.

Children’s hospitals increase beds for COVID treatment

The HCM City Department of Health has instructed paediatric hospitals to set up 300 more beds, 50 in intensive care units, to treat child COVID-19 patients amid a spike in infections at schools.

The Municipal Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Nos 1 and 2 have been told to step up training and assistance to help district-level hospitals.

District and general hospitals have been instructed to admit child COVID patients with moderate to mild symptoms if they fail to meet requirements for home isolation and treatment.

They have been asked to set aside 30-50 per cent of beds meant for COVID patients for children.

VFF and VPF cooperate with Bundesliga to develop Vietnamese football

The Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) and Việt Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF) have signed a memorandum of understanding with the DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga) – the organiser of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 to support Vietnamese football development.

This event was connected through Next Media – the company that owns the Bundesliga broadcasting rights in Việt Nam.

Representatives from the respective organisations met at the DFL’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

The MoU focuses on three main areas: improving technical expertise and sports in Việt Nam; improving the structure of the VFF and the clubs as well as developing the background and culture of football fans in Việt Nam.

SEA Games representatives discuss tournament organisation

Participating countries’ representatives agreed on various activities for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the second chief-de-mission meeting on March 18 in Hà Nội.

Delegates who took part online and offline were updated on the latest information about Việt Nam’s preparation for the 31st Games, such as competition programmes, venues, logistics, transportation, import-export procedure, security, health and anti-doping issues.

They also discussed and agreed on professional and technical matters and suggested ideas that the hosts noted, and promised feedback as soon as possible.

One of the significant concerns was about football tournaments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delegates asked organisers to increase the number of players who can be registered to more than usual at the May competition.

Initially, each team can make a list of 20 players, including three over-23 years old.

If players are affected by COVID-19, teams will still have enough players to continue at the tournament.

Artists install The Room at Goethe Institute

An art project conceived during social distancing will open on Sunday at Hà Nội’s Goethe Institute.

Entitled Mirrors of Confinement – Ignite Creativity Grant 2020, was created by artist and designer Nguyễn Linh Chi featuring an art installation, dance and visual lighting.

During the last social distancing period in Hà Nội, Chi saw the dance Cafe Muller by choreographer Pina Bausch. She was inspired by the dance which was based on Pina’s childhood memories of watching her father work in his café during and immediately following World War II.

Young musician K-ICM says it with flowers

Award winning young singer, song writer and composer K-ICM, has launched a music project in HCM City called Hoa (Flowers).

The project includes a series of music videos (MV) featuring pop idols such as Văn Mai Hương, Trung Quân and Bùi Anh Tuấn. K-ICM is working as a composer, producer and art director on the project.

K-ICM, whose real name is Nguyễn Bảo Khánh, began his career in HCM City in 2017 and achieved quick renown for his indie music.

He won the Favourite Artist and Best Music Video at MTV Fan Choice titles in 2021.

He has co-performed with young songwriter and singer Jack of HCM City to produce hits like Hồng Nhan (Beauty), Sóng Gió (Upheavals), Bạc Phận (Misfortune) and Việt Nam Tôi (My Việt Nam).

K-ICM and Jack were honored by the Mnet Asian Music Awards as Best New Asian Artists Vietnam in 2019. The duo broke up early last year, and are building solo careers. He has so far released two albums and 50 MVs.

He represented Việt Nam at the MTV Europe Music Awards (MTV EMA) 2021, where his MV, Chim Quý Trong Lồng (Caged Bird), competed for the Best Southeast Asia Act title. K-ICM composed and wrote the lyrics for the contemporary folk song in the video.

The MV was ranked No 5 on YouTube trending in Việt Nam five days after its release in July, with 3.6 million views. It was also nominated for the e Best Music Video title at the Asian Television Awards (ATA) this year.

New musical takes on brief yet brilliant life of Xuan Quynh

Xuân Quỳnh, the much-loved poetess of the 1980s, has been brought to life in a highly-anticipated musical by Tuổi Trẻ (Youth Theatre) in Hà Nội.

Xuân Quỳnh’s life echoed her name ‘Moon Cactus’ or Queen of the Night flower, which is known to briefly bloom before fading and dying a few hours later — a perfect metaphor for the poetess who died too young.

Sóng the musical was directed with Vũ Minh Ly, stage directed by Duy Anh with Triều Dương as musical director, Chí Trung as theatrical advisor, and Minh Thùy as scriptwriter.

Thu Thảo stars as Xuân Quỳnh and Lê Việt Anh as her poetic soul-mate and husband Đăng Dương (inspired by the poet Lưu Quang Vũ).

Sóng will premiere at Hà Nội Opera on March 18, with another showing the next day.

Many COVID patients don’t need antibiotics: expert

Many people have been sharing prescription medicines that helped them recover from COVID-19 without consultation from professional medical workers, posing a danger to public health.

Doctors have raised concern over the issue, emphasising that no prescriptions work for all, while many antibiotics are not needed despite being widely promoted online.

Dr Nguyễn Huy Hoàng, Việt Nam-Russia Hyperbaric Oxygen Centre, said that almost every prescription spread online for COVID-19 cases contained antibiotics and that patients without bacterial infections did not need them.

About 95 per cent of COVID-19 infections in Việt Nam are currently treated at home, so it is crucial to provide precise official information on treatment.

HCM City firms set up factories in neighbouring provinces for easier recruitment

Many businesses in HCM City have expanded their production facilities to neighbouring provinces, making it easier to recruit workers at a time recruitment has become difficult.

After the pandemic-inflicted lockdowns, production has recovered at the Nhà Bè Garment Corporation in District 7, with orders to be fulfilled until the third quarter of 2022.

In order to attract newcomers, the company has raised the monthly income to VNĐ10 – 15 million along with perks like 13th-month salary, productivity bonus, vocational training, scholarships for workers’ children and home repair assistance.

Bringing factories closer to the labour source helps businesses increase production capacity; and as labour costs in neighbouring provinces are lower, the company is able to create a competitive pricing advantage for itself.

Nguyễn Thị Thuỷ, deputy chairwoman of the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Union, said most of the group members were planning to expand operations to neighbouring provinces.

It would help solve the labour shortage problem in big cities, especially HCM City, she said.

Like others, Thủy also added that businesses can reduce labour costs in terms of wages and social insurance while local workers no longer have to leave their hometown to earn a living.

Tan Son Nhat airport closes runway for repair

Airlines have advised customers to follow updates on flight schedules after Tân Sơn Nhất airport in HCM City closed a runway until April 30.

The runway is closed for repairs and could lead to changes in flights arrival and departure times, especially during peak hours.

Passengers are advised to keep track of their phones or emails in case of flight schedule updates.

Earlier in February, to accommodate repair operations, the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam modified the number of take-offs and landings at Tân Sơn Nhất airport to 30 flights per hour; several domestic departures to 24 flights per hour; and several domestic arrivals to 20 flights per hour.

Tien Giang reopens free water supply sites as peak dry season begins

Tien Giang has begun to reopen 100 free water supply sites in coastal areas as the dry season intensifies.

These areas face a shortage of freshwater for household use and irrigation.

The sites are in Gò Công Đông, Gò Công Tây and Tân Phú Đông districts and Gò Công Town.

Gò Công Đông and Tân Phú Đông, which face the severest shortages, have provided a 1,100cu.m of water so far.

Gò Công Đông plans to have 62 water supply sites for 4,000 households.

The sites will provide water until the end of May when the rains begin.

Higher tickets for HCM City metro line proposed

The HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has proposed higher tickets for the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro route.

Under the recommendation sent to local authorities, passengers using the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line would have to pay between VND9,000-23,000 (USD0.39-1) for a one-way ticket, compared to the previously-proposed level of between VND7,000-21,000.

The agency has suggested one-day and three-day passes of VND46,000 and VND104,000 respectively without limiting the number of trips.

A monthly pass is sold at VND320,000 for normal passengers, while the price is just VND160,000 for students.

Children under six, the elderly and the disabled will be offered free travel on the line.

Vietnam considers licensing locally made Nanocovax COVID-19 vaccine

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has requested the Ministry of Health to consider issuing a registration certificate for domestic circulation of homegrown Nanocovax vaccine against COVID-19.

Locally-made Nanocovax vaccine against COVID-19 to be licensed soon in Vietnam.

Nanocovax has been developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Joint Stock Company since May 2020 based on the recombinant protein technology.

Scientists have conducted human clinical trials of the vaccine with three phases in December 2020, February 2021 and June 2021.

Approximately 13,000 volunteers have gone through phase III of the trial to evaluate the protective efficacy of the vaccine on the community. The phase was carried out in a number of localities across the country.

U23 Vietnam leave for Dubai Cup 2022 in UAE

The U23 Vietnam team comprising 28 players left Hanoi on March 19 evening for Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, for an international friendly tournament in late March.

The team will be coached by Lee Young Jin of the Republic of Korea who tested negative on March 19 after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus several days ago.

Lee will be assisted by Ngo Tuan Vinh, a member of the coaching board, goalkeeper Nguyen Duc Canh and fitness coach Cedric Roger.

Korean expert Gong Oh Kyun and doctor Choi Ju Young will fly directly from the Republic of Korea to Dubai top support the team. Gong is likely to coach the U23 team after SEA Games 31 ends.

The Dubai Cup 2022 will take place from March 23 to March 29 with the participation of 10 teams, namely Iraq, Croatia, Uzbekistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Qatar, Thailand, Vietnam and hosts UAE.

The ten teams will compete in the play-off pairing format in Round 1 and Round 2. Based on the results of the two rounds, the teams will continue to be paired to compete in Round 3 to determine the winners.

Vietnam are scheduled to take on Iraq on March 23 in Round 1 and Croatia three days later in Round 2.

Italian culinary culture introduced in Hanoi

In order to introduce typical and high-class Italian cuisine to tourists and Hanoi residents, Sheraton Hanoi Hotel in coordination with several Italian partners in Vietnam organised a series of Italian culinary events in 2022 with the participation of Chef Nguyen Cong Chung, the first Vietnamese to win the title of “Asia’s Chef Hotelier of the Year”.

The Italian culinary experiential event at Sheraton Hanoi will officially start on April 8, with the opening of Truffle Club, offering diners special dishes made from truffles – an agricultural product that is rare and rich in nutrients that only a few European countries possess, including Italy.

In addition to food, the event also features concerts inspired by classic movies of world cinema, performed by local and foreign artists, such as the multi-award-winning pianist Silvia Belfiore from Italy and two violinists Sviatlana Halubouskaya and Roman Vorobyov from the Sun Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Also, according to the programme, an Italian pizza-themed festival will take place in mid-October, 2022 with many activities to experience food culture and music, with the presence of several restaurants and businesses, providing products and services in the culinary and tourism industries of both Vietnam and Italy.

Traditional boat race opens in Hue

The Hue traditional boat race in 2022 was held by the People’s Committee of Hue city in the Central province of Thua Thien Hue on March 19.

The athletes compete in 12 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams.

The tournament brought together nearly 500 athletes from 12 wards and communes in Hue city. They competed in 12 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams.

The tournament attracted the participation of the newly merged wards and communes in Hue city, such as Thuy Bang, Huong Vinh, Huong Phong, Phu Duong, Phu Mau, Phu Thuong, Thuan An and Hai Duong.

The first prizes in the men’s and women’s events went to An Dong and Huong Vinh, respectively.

Source: VNA/Nhan Dan/VNS/VOV/VIR

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MARCH 19

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MARCH 19

Seven days off in total for national holidays in April  

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