People interested in taking cruise through Saigon by river bus
Waterbus has become a new trend in the development of public transport in Ho Chi Minh City. During summer and weekends, many young people and tourists are interested in taking a cruise through Saigon by river bus.
Although it is a weekday, at 8:30 a.m., passengers including domestic tourists to foreigners gathered at the waiting hall at Bach Dang wharf in District 1 to take the river bus route No. 1. They were excited to travel by waterbus.
The journey of a river bus departed from Bach Dang wharf on the Saigon River in District 1 through Thanh Da canal to Saigon River in Binh Thanh District and to Linh Dong wharf in Thu Duc City. Sitting in the boat compartment, the surrounding scenery is worth experiencing compared to taking other public transport on the road.
On the far shore is the city’s expanded commercial area, then the Thu Thiem 2 bridge across the Saigon River – a new symbol of Ho Chi Minh City chosen by many young people as a check-in point every weekend and Landmark 81 skyscraper – the tallest building in Vietnam. When the massive riverside mansions are out of sight, the route will cut through the Thanh Da canal and the trip ends at the final stop at Linh Dong wharf. The 10.8km trip takes about 45 minutes.
In an effort to get people to shift from private to public transport, river buses are clearly a good solution. City administrations not only try to encourage city dwellers to use the new public transportation but they expect to attract local travelers and international tourists to the river bus.
According to recent statistics, on average, each month in Ho Chi Minh City, there are 30,000 newly registered vehicles, which means 1,000 new vehicles are registered every day. Therefore, a river bus is an option to help reduce traffic congestion and reduce environmental pollution, but in reality, it still does not meet the travel needs of city residents.
Police probe massive leakage of personal data
The Ministry of Public Security is investigating a case involving the personal data of 30 million people offered for sale online and suggested measures to handle the leakage.
At a Q&A session of the National Assembly on August 10, Minister of Public Security To Lam provided information about the case of personal data of 30 million people believed to be leaked from the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Health.
The ministry plans to hold a press conference to publicize the results once the investigation is completed.
According to Minister To Lam, the illegal trade of personal data has been rampant throughout the country in recent years and sold online through websites, accounts, social network groups and cyber hacking forums.
From 2019 to 2020, the Ministry of Public Security discovered hundreds of individuals and organizations involved in personal data trading and data appropriation.
Data disclosure in cyberspace has been caused by many factors, including users’ low awareness of protecting their personal data, data leaks while posting publicly or in the process of transferring and storing it for business purposes, as well as a shortage of adequate safeguards to prevent data appropriation.
A legal system for personal information protection is badly needed. Hence, the ministry has sought permission from the National Assembly Standing Committee for the promulgation of the Decree on Personal Data Protection.
The draft Law on Protection of Personal Information will be presented to the National Assembly in 2024.
Moreover, it is necessary to raise awareness among officials, civil servants and employees on the confidentiality of personal information. They should know the consequences of publicizing their personal data for the convenience of technology, according to To Lam.
Ben Tre CDC director disciplined over test kit procurement irregularities
Nguyen Huu Dinh, director of the Ben Tre Province Center for Disease Control (CDC), got a disciplinary warning for his shortcomings in procuring Covid test kits, causing losses of nearly VND3.5 billion to the State budget.
The Inspection Commission of the provincial Party Committee also issued disciplinary warnings against four other officials at Ben Tre CDC.
They comprise Ben Tre CDC deputy director Pham Hong Thai; Nguyen Ai Kien, deputy head of the Administration Office; Tran Hung Nam, head of the division of infectious diseases prevention and control; and Tran Thi Dan, head of the pharmacy and medical supplies division.
During the fourth coronavirus wave last year, Ben Tre CDC purchased medical supplies from the 3T Medical Equipment and Supplies Company.
However, the provincial Inspectorate later concluded that Ben Tre CDC opted to procure medical supplies from a company that was ineligible to trade in medical equipment and supplies.
As a result, Ben Tre CDC’s selection of the contractor for the medical supplies procurement caused losses of nearly VND3.5 billion to the State budget.
Earlier, Ngo Van Tan, director of the provincial Department of Health, said that he had asked the Ben Tre CDC director to work with those involved in the shortcomings in the procurement of anti-Covid medical supplies.
The CDC director had also turned in nearly VND3.5 billion to the authority.
HCMC Pasteur Institute faces vaccine shortages
The Pasteur Institute in HCMC has been facing a shortage of vaccines for almost two months due to bidding and procurement problems.
People have been unable to get vaccination service at the Pasteur Institue over the last two months due to the severe shortage of vaccines.
In June 2022, Associate Professor Dr. Cao Huu Nghia, head of the Biomedical, and Health Service Department at the Pasteur Institute, said they had run out of many types of vaccines, including Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, Japanese B encephalitis, Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Varicella and MMR.
Problems with medical supply bidding and procurement are to blame.
As of August 11, vaccine shortages had remained as acute as ever at the HCMC Pasteur Institute.
HCMC to phase out manual toll collection
The number of vehicles using electronic toll collection (ETC) service has surged since early August, so HCMC plans to phase out toll collection by cash.
The HCMC Department of Transport said during the first week of ETC being made mandatory throughout the country, 849,631 vehicles passed through three toll stations in HCMC, namely An Suong-An Lac, the Hanoi Highway and the Phu My Bridge. Over 75% of them used the ETC lanes.
The ETC toll collection rate has grown sharply, reaching 73.6% at the An Suong-An Lac station, 85.7% at the Hanoi Highway station, and 73.6% at the Phu My Bridge station.
According to the Department of Transport, the Hanoi Highway and Phu My Bridge toll stations have been operating smoothly since the first day of ETC toll collection.
Bryde whales spotted off south-central Vietnamese coast
Locals and photographers from across the country were thrilled by the appearance of Bryde whales in Đề Gi sea, Phú Cát District, Bình Định Province in recent days.
On August 4, between 5 and 7 am, the whales, which weigh an average of 1–2 tons for young individuals and up to 20 tons for large individuals, were seen swimming.
Many locals believe that the appearance of Bryde whales is a sign of good luck. Photo courtesy of Hoàng Đức Ngọc
Đỗ Thanh Toàn, a tourist, said that the blue whales appeared to be hunting near the shore.
The sighting comes after two blue whales were seen in the waters off Hòn Trâu Island on July 26, an area 45 minutes by canoe from Đề Gi beach.
Sightings of Bryde whales near Đề Gi beach have become increasingly common in recent years; the local fishing community sees them as omens of prosperity.
Dengue incidence starts to fall in HCM City
The HCM City Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 3,066 cases in the first week of August, 6.4 per cent fewer than a month earlier.
The number of new dengue cases in HCM City is decreasing gradually this month though it is still fairly high, according to the HCM City Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The HCDC said there were 3,066 cases in the first week of August, 6.4 per cent fewer than a month earlier.
One person died of dengue hemorrhagic fever in Thủ Đức City, the 17th death due to the disease this year.
While there is a decline compared to last month, the caseload has increased by 378.8 per cent compared to a year ago to around 39,500.
Experts discuss solutions to drug shortage
Experts at a seminar on drug and medicine supplies have called on ministries to submit proposals to the government that will remove bottlenecks causing the current shortage seen across the sector.
Nguyễn Huy Quang, former director of the Department of Legislation under the Ministry of Health (MoH), said that the shortage of drugs and medical equipment was serious.
Quang believes the COVID-19 pandemic is partly to blame, driving up consumption while disrupting supply chains.
Furthermore, agencies are hesitant in bidding.
Associate professor Đào Xuân Cơ, director of Bạch Mai Hospital, said prices posted on the MoH’s portal were declared by businesses, and ministries were not responsible for them.
This was a concern for hospital directors when evaluating drug and medical equipment prices.
He said legal documents should be useful and convenient tools for hospitals and medical stations in bidding for drugs and medical supplies.
Quang suggested combining immediate and long-term solutions to solve the shortage of drugs and medical supplies.
Ministries should urgently complete and submit to the government documents on the draft resolution to ensure the supply of drugs and medical equipment.
Bùi Thị An, a former member of the National Assembly, suggested the Government check policies and if there are any problems, they should be reviewed and revised.
HCM City to build key traffic interchanges to reduce congestion
The HCM City Department of Transport is speeding up the deployment of construction investment in 16 key intersections to reduce traffic jams in the inner city.
The department has proposed that the municipal People’s Committee approve investment policies of these projects to complete them in the 2022-25 period.
Among them, the VNĐ480 billion (US$20.4 million) project of building an intersection between National Highway No. 1A section and Nguyễn Văn Quá Street in District 12 has completed investment procedures.
The department has urged the Department of Planning and Investment to review procedures for supplementing public investment capital to soon start construction of this project.
Five intersections have been approved for public investment, including Linh Xuân and Nguyễn Thị Định – Nguyễn Duy Trinh intersections in Thủ Đức City, Ngọc Hầu – Hương lộ 2 – Lê Văn Quới intersection in Bình Tân and Tân Phú districts, and Điện Biên Phủ – Ngô Gia Tự – Lý Thái Tổ – Lê Hồng Phong and Nguyễn Tri Phương – Ngô Gia Tự – Nguyễn Chí Thanh intersections in District 10.
For the remaining 10 projects, which have not yet been approved, the department has proposed to include them in the city’s medium-term public investment plan by 2025 and this year’s public investment plan.
Vietnam wins runner-up title at AFF U16 Youth Championship
The Vietnamese men’s U16 football team finished as runners-up at the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U16 Youth Championship which concluded in Indonesia on August 12.
Vietnam’s U16 team went into the final against hosts Indonesia with confidence and calmness.
The 30-member team led by head coach Nguyen Quoc Tuan will gather on September 9 to prepare for their training camp in Japan from September 14 to September 26.
Vietnam will be the host country of Group F in qualification for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U17 Asian Cup. They will face Thailand, Chinese Taipei, and Nepal in the group stage.
10 first-place teams and five second-place teams will win a spot to compete in the 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup’s finals.
Hanoi hosts ASEAN Family Day 2022
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the ASEAN Women’s Circle of Hanoi (AWCH) held the ASEAN Family Day 2022 on August 13 on the occasion of the 55th founding anniversary of the bloc and 27 years of Vietnam’s membership in the group.
The ASEAN Family Day 2022, held face-to-face after a two year hiatus because of the COVID-19 crisis, demonstrates joint efforts to respond to the pandemic, as well as strong support and commitment to ASEAN.
Honorary President of AWCH Vu Thi Bich Ngoc affirmed that the event offers a chance for families and friends from ASEAN member countries and partners to meet, thus cultivating their friendship, solidarity and cooperation.
Right after the opening ceremony, a large number of delegates participated in a friendship cycling programme, and cultural and sports exchange activities.
Vietnam beefs up ties with Germany’s Saxony state
There remains great potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Germany’s Saxony state, especially in vocational training, recruitment of Vietnamese skilled workers, green and renewable energy development, climate change response and tourism, Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Vu Quang Minh told Saxony Premier Michael Kretschmer.
During a meeting with the German official on August 11, Ambassador Minh highlighted the fruitful development of the friendship between Vietnam and Saxony state in recent years, expressing the gratitude to the government of Saxony state for promoting the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Germany in general and Saxony in particular.
The diplomat suggested the state government considers promoting the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the state’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, thus creating a favourable framework for recruiting more Vietnamese skilled workers for German enterprises.
For his part, Kretschmer said the collaboration between Saxony and Vietnam has been developing positively in recent years, adding that the Vietnamese community here has made important contributions to the cultural diversity of the state.
During his visit to Saxony, Ambassador Minh also met with representatives of the Vietnamese association, veterans association, and Vietnam Buddhist cultural centre in Dresden.
UN ready to support Vietnam in responding to new challenges: Coordinator
Through the Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development Cooperation (CF) between the Government of Vietnam and all UN resident and non-resident agencies in Vietnam, the UN hopes to show that it is ready and poised to serve the ever changing needs of the Vietnamese Government, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis told Vietnam News Agency.
The CF for the 2022-2026 period was signed by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, as assigned by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Tamesis in Hanoi on August 11.
According to Tamesis, there are four priority development outcomes that the two sides have identified – social services; economic transformation; climate change, resilience and sustainability; governance and access to justice.
The purpose of the cooperation framework is for the UN to be ready to support all of the changing development needs and challenges of Vietnam, she stressed.
The signing of the deal means the government of Vietnam and the UN are committed to strengthening their partnership together, she said, adding that this is just a starting point.
Mentioning the expected outcomes of the CF in the future, Tamesis said that what she wants to see is a highly empowered community of stakeholders that are not only committed but have already delivered actions to ensure that no vulnerable group, no marginalised communities are left behind in the prosperity that Vietnam is is wanting to achieve.
Commenting on the commitment and efforts of the Vietnamese government in promoting sustainable development and improving the quality of life, the UN representative said that the first measure of governments’ commitment is always in the policies that they enact. If the policies are people-centered and if the policies are really to protect and ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind, this is already the sure sign of commitment.
The second is in how these policies are translated into investments in budget of the government to make these policies real and concrete.
Vietnamese blue-beret doctors support South Sudan people amid flooding
Doctors of the Level-2 Field Hospital No. 4 of Vietnam in South Sudan have provided free health checkups to locals and supported the Bentiu General Hospital in overcoming consequences of flooding.
Recently, heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in South Sudan, forcing many people to evacuate and causing the outbreaks of many diseases.
In that context, the Vietnamese blue-beret doctors, led by Major Le Viet Anh, presented medicines, cleaning chemicals and medical equipment to the Bentiu General Hospital. They also offered free medical examination and treatment as well as medicines to more than 200 people hardest hit by floods, focusing on women and the elderly.
The Director of Bentiu General Hospital thanked the delegation and Vietnamese people for their helpful support.
Along with the charity activities, Vietnamese doctors have shown strong professional performance. Recently, they have successfully treated a Mongolian patient who suffered acute pancreatitis.
Before arriving at the Level-2 Field Hospital No. 4 of Vietnam, the patient took treatment at a level-1 hospital of Mongolia, but his condition did not improve.
After 10 days of treatment, the patient recovered and was discharged from the hospital.
Da Nang art exhibition spreads love for the homeland
The 27th South-Central and Central Highlands Fine Art Exhibition kicked off in Da Nang city on August 12 as part of activities to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2).
This is a major annual cultural activity of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association (VFAA) and visual artists from provinces and cities in the regions.
On display are 167 fine art works spotlighting the love for the homeland, the daily life, festivals, customs and natural landscapes across the country.
These are new works created from August 2021 to the present by 156 authors who are members of the VFAA and members and collaborators of the literature and arts associations of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Da Nang. The exhibition will last until September 5.
Venezuela-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group debuts
The Venezuela-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group was set up in Venezuela on August 12.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Vice President of Venezuela’s National Assembly Iris Varela Rangel expressed her delight at the growing partnership between the two countries.
She underlined that the establishment of the group is significant to the strengthening of partnership between the two NAs, contributing to promoting the friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as mutual understanding between their people.
President of the Venezuela-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group Saul Ortega Campos affirmed that the group aims to expand and deepen the two nations’ traditional solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation and foster the collaboration between the two legislatures and parliamentarians of both countries.
He pledged to actively organise activities to strengthen the friendship with Vietnam, especially those to celebrate the 33th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Venezuela and the 15th anniversary of bilateral comprehensive partnership.
Central province preserving Pho Khanh pottery craft
Located 49 kilometres south of Quang Ngai city, Pho Khanh commune in Duc Pho town has been renowned for its pottery for hundreds of years. Despite various ups and downs, the craft village has developed its reputation far and wide thanks to the preservation efforts of local people.
The skilled hands of its artisans have secured a place for Pho Khanh pottery products in the hearts of customers. The sharp focus and meticulousness of the artisans are prerequisites for creating fine rustic pottery products.
There was a time when the pottery of Pho Khanh commune seemed on the verge of disappearing. Customers had begun to prefer luxurious and modern pottery products rather than rustic items, which had a critical impact on prices and the market. Some artisans decided to find other jobs to earn a living.
When Pho Khanh pottery was flourishing, the village had 300 pottery-making households, but the figure has now fallen to just 10. Though Pho Khanh was recognised as a traditional pottery craft village, its products have no brand name.
Local authorities are urged to find stable markets for the pottery and introduce appropriate policies to develop human resources and support preservation efforts. It is also necessary for Pho Khanh to diversify its product offerings while retaining the unique features of its pottery.
President asks police officers to try their best to fullfill UN peacekeeping tasks
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked police officers assigned to United Nations peacekeeping missions to bring into full play their talents, strengths and creativity to fulfill their assigned tasks.
He made the statement during a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in Hanoi on August 12 to present the President’s decision on sending officers to the UN peacekeeping missions and the Minister of Public Security’s decision on the establishment of the MPS Office for Peacekeeping Operations.
The deployment of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations aims to deliver the State’s commitment to protecting global peace, in line with the “The Vietnamese people’s public security force participates in the UN peacekeeping operations for the 2014-2020 period and following years” project, he said.
Sympathy offered to France over serious forest fire
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on August 13 sent messages of sympathy to their respective French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Borne over the huge losses in assets, natural resources and the environment caused by recent forest fires in France.
The same day, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son also extended his sympathy to French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna.
Wildfire has ravaged the southwestern region of France and forced the evacuation of thousands of people, as the country, like the rest of Europe, has been struggling this summer with successive heatwaves and its worst drought on record.
People interested in taking cruise through Saigon by river bus