By Quoc Hung – Translated by Kim Khanh
The Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee directed that in the long term, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment would take the responsibility and coordinate with the Director of the HCMC Police Department, the directors of the departments of Culture and Sports, Industry and Trade, and Justice to urgently research and advise the Chairman of the City People’s Committee to both propose and actively implement synchronous groups of solutions.
They include a group of solutions for building and completing law, a group of solutions to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, and a group of solutions for legal propaganda, popularization, education, and mass mobilization, which must be submitted to the Chairman of the People’s Committee of HCMC before March 31. Vice-Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan was assigned to direct and guide the leaders of the above departments to effectively implement this task.
As for imminent measures, heads of units effectively carry out the directions of the People’s Committee of HCMC, synchronously implement many measures to prevent noise violations.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee entrusted the Director of HCMC Police Department to continue to thoroughly grasp and direct the Police Department of Thu Duc City and districts, assigning responsibility to the police chiefs of communes, wards, and towns to directly direct the prevention, timely detect, prevent, and effectively handle noise violations at their management areas. At the same time, they will be responsible for conflicts and related disputes that negatively affect security without timely detection, prevention, and handling. Besides, they must regularly inspect, supervise, and make an annual report on this work.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thu Duc City and Chairman of the People’s Committee of districts are assigned to continue to thoroughly grasp and instruct the People’s Committees of communes, wards, and towns to continue promoting propaganda and popularization of legal provisions on noise to each resident and community. Moreover, they need to increase patrol and inspection at areas that are frequently reported for noise to timely handle when situations arise, continue to thoroughly grasp and assign responsibilities to the heads of the grassroots level, who are the Chairman of the People’s Committee and the Chief of Public Security of communes, wards, and towns, directly instruct this content.
Earlier, at a meeting with the Chairman of the People’s Committee of wards, communes, and towns on February 26, Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong of the HCMC People’s Committee said that he had received much feedback related to the noise created by singing karaoke at home. “After a tiring day at work, the fact that people are tortured by noise from karaoke, instead of resting when going home is unacceptable. Leaders of communes, wards, and towns also need to contribute their part in upholding the living environment for citizens in their areas, and they must feel frustrated with such things,” said Mr. Phong.
By Mai Hoa – Translated by Bao Nghi
By Hanh Nhung – Translated by Anh Quan
Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh presented the title of “People’s Doctor” to Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Huu Binh; Associate Prof. Dr. Doan Quoc Hung; Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quang Tuan; Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Uoc, and Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Kim Viet. They are former and incumbent leaders at important faculties and institutes of different central hospitals.
On the occasion, the title “Meritorious Doctor” was also awarded to 12 other lecturers at the Hanoi Medical University.
The titles “People’s Doctor” and “Meritorious Doctor” aim to honour doctors with outstanding talent and professional ethics.
* As authorised by the State President, Secretary of the Da Nang Party Committee Nguyen Van Quang presented the title “Meritorious Doctor” to 28 individuals and the Prime Minister’s certificates of merit to two exemplary individuals in the city’s health sector on February 26.
In addition, 20 medical workers who have made significant contributions to the health sector and the COVID-19 fight in the city over the past year were also honoured at Friday’s ceremony.
* On the same day, leaders of Hai Duong Province, the country’s current COVID-19 hotbed, held a meeting to pay tribute to experts of the Health Ministry currently working in the province, on the occasion of Vietnam Doctors’ Day.
Local leaders expressed their gratitude for the wholeheartedness and sense of responsibility of experts and doctors from units under the ministry in supporting Hai Duong with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
* On February 26, a working delegation of the Dak Lak provincial authorities visited and presented congratulatory flowers to medical workers at five local hospitals on the occasion of Vietnam Doctors’ Day. Provincial leaders lauded the contributions of the hospitals’ doctors and the local health industry in the cause of caring for and ensuring the health of the local people.
* Leaders from the Hai Phong Municipal People’s Committee and representatives of departments and branches on Friday visited and congratulated officials, doctors and medical workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight at the Viet Tiep Friendship Hospital.
* On February 26, leaders of Dong Thap Province visited and congratulated medical workers at the Dong Thap Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Sa Dec General Hospital and the Sa Dec Medical Centre, on the occasion of Vietnam Doctors’ Day.
* The Voice of Ho Chi Minh City (VOH), the local official radio broadcasting station, together with the municipal Health Department, hosted the first Vietnam medical achievement awards ceremony on February 26 to honour 16 contributions to the community’s wellbeing in 2020 from across the nation, including two in relation to effective COVID-19 prevention and control.
* On the same day, Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Tran Viet Thuong led a delegation of municipal authorities to visit and congratulate doctors and medical workers at a number of key health establishments in the city, as well as some retired meritorious doctors.
* The Ministry of National Defence held a ceremony in Hanoi on Friday to present the title “People’s Doctors” to 20 doctors and the title “Meritorious Doctor” to 75 others in the army, under the chair of Deputy Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Tran Don.
The health sector is confronted with many difficulties, challenges and opportunities for development. With its long-standing traditions, the entire health sector will constantly strive to rise above to serve the country and the people and fulfill all its assigned tasks, thus living up to the trust given it by the Party and people.
In 2020, the world witnessed the rampage of the COVID-19 pandemic with over 105 million cases globally and more than 2.3 million fatalities, affecting all aspects of life. In Vietnam, with the detailed and mindful direction of the Party and the Government; the involvement of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, ministries, departments, branches and localities; and especially the unanimity and active participation of people from all strata of society, the pandemic has ben proactively controlled and contained. In particular, the health sector upheld the tradition of solidarity, creativity and willingness to stand firmly in all hot spots and successfully control the outbreaks, minimise the number of deaths, and curb the spread of the disease. Thanks to this, we have achieved the dual goal of effectively containing the pandemic and maintaining economic development.
In addition to contributing to successes in the fight against the pandemic, with an innovative mindset, the health sector also made many breakthroughs in order to better serve the people. The inception of a remote medical examination and treatment system connecting 1,500 hospitals helps the people access higher-level medical services right at grassroots level, while 97.5 million health records were set up, creating a premise upon which to develop a smart health system. The whole sector actively implemented digital transformation with the introduction of a series of digital health platforms and applications, and the publicisation of drug , medical equipment and service prices, making it more favourable for the people and businesses alike. 2020 also saw innovation in the form of advanced techniques in organ transplantation and conjoined twin separation surgery.
The health sector has determined 2021 as a starting milestone in the process of implementing strong and comprehensive reforms in the sector. This is the first year to implement the Resolution of the 13 th National Party Congress and the health sector has been assigned important tasks on caring for and protecting the people’s health in the new situation. The pandemic continues to evolve in a complicated and unpredictable manner globally, with the potential risk of further spreading in Vietnam. Right from the beginning of 2021, COVID-19 resurged in the provinces of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh and spread to 11 other localities nationwide. The fight against the “COVID-19 enemy” is getting tougher with new strains of SARS-CoV-2 spreading faster. Therefore, the whole sector needs to rapidly and comprehensively reform its activities, while inheriting good traditions and promoting its intelligence and solidarity in order to successfully implement the Resolution of the 13 th National Party Congress and continue ensuring a safe environment for the successful realisation of the Government’s dual goal for a second consecutive year.
One of the most urgent tasks for the heath sector in 2021 is to continue effectively battling the pandemic as its third wave broke out in Hai Duong and a number of cities and provinces. Promoting the COVID-19 fight experience, we once again mobilised the participation of the entire political system, and have basically brought the disease under control in most localities after just over three weeks. Under the direction of the Government and the National Steering Committee, the Ministry of Health has continued to coordinate closely and promptly support localities to quickly take control of the disease, while working to soon bring vaccines to Vietnam to serve the people as well as strongly accelerating the domestic research into and testing of vaccines.
Second, step up preventive medicine and the fight against the pandemic; promote successes and lessons learnt in battling the disease and quelling the outbreaks; establish regional disease control centres; build in-depth research establishments on epidemiology and pathogens; promote community-based programmes on protecting health and preventing infectious and non-communicable diseases; and implement health target programmes as well as the sustainable development goal on health.
Third, improve the quality of medical examination and treatment towards patients’ satisfaction; facilitate people’s access to quality medical services; strengthen administrative reforms in medical examination and treatment; increase investment in medical facilities; speed up the implementation of comprehensive care with patients placed at the centre of services; reduce overloads on central-level hospitals; and enhance the development of traditional medicine.
Fourth, strengthen and strongly reform grassroots healthcare in the new situation towards implementing universal health coverage; improve capacity for grassroots healthcare; implement projects to train medical human resources for remote, mountainous and island areas; implement universal health management; and carry out the community-based healthcare programmes for the elderly..
Fifth, comprehensively reform the development of medical human resources; strengthen the social responsibilities of medical workers; improve welfare policies for health workers, especially those working at grassroots health facilities in remote, mountainous and disadvantaged areas; and promote medical workers’ creativity and working spirit in the cause of caring for and protecting the people’s health.
Sixth, continue to upgrade medical establishments; strengthen management, publicity and transparency in health insurance implementation; and care for policy beneficiaries, the poor, those facing special circumstances, revolutionary contributors and the elderly, ensuring that all people have equal access to health care services.
Seventh, strengthen the management of pharmaceuticals, food and medical equipment; ensuring publicity and transparency in the management, licensing, bidding, and procurement of drugs and medical equipment; publicise the prices of medicines, medical equipment, and medical examination and treatment services; accelerate the domestic production of drugs and medical equipment; promote the development of medicinal materials; tighten food safety management; and strengthen the inspection of medical units’ bidding and procurement implementation and strictly handle all violations.
Eighth, implement the health sector master plan until 2045 to ensure Vietnam’s health system develops on a par with other countries in the world; continue to streamline the medical apparatus to ensure equal development among different regions; develop medical facilities that are capable of competing against others globally; and boost the integration of medical activities with socio-economic development.
Ninth, improve medical ethics among medical officials and workers, especially young doctors; continue to accelerate the study and following of Uncle Ho’s thought, morality and lifestyle; and promptly implement reward policies to encourage medical workers and strictly punish any violations of medical ethics.
Tenth, step up scientific research and international cooperation, including basic science and applied sciences in medicine; strengthen investment in research activities at universities, research institutes and medical examination and treatment establishments; strongly promote the application of Industry 4.0 achievements in medicine; accelerate the research and production of vaccines, medicines and medical equipment; strengthen the role and position of Vietnam’s health sector in the international arena; boost bilateral and multilateral cooperation and attract resources and professional & technical assistance from developed countries; and strongly promote professional cooperation between domestic schools, institutes and hospitals and countries around the world.
Celebrating the 66th anniversary of Vietnam Doctors’ Day amidst the complicated and unpredictable COVID-19 context, more than ever, health workers throughout the country must be more determined to respond to the calls of the Party General Secretary and State President as well as the Prime Minister on successfully implementing the dual goal of fighting the pandemic and promoting economic development.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long
Member of the Party Central Committee and Minister of Health
Great power comes from a small grain of rice
On January 26, Vinaseed’s shipment of 60 tonnes of premium fragrant rice, imported by Longdan in the UK, hit the shelves of the supermarket chain with a retail price of up to £15.5 (VND465,000) per 10 kg. Longdan is the first enterprise to import rice from Vietnam after the UK – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) took effect. In the near future, there will be many enterprises importing Vietnamese rice under the agreement.
Previously, on January 13, the first batch of 1,600 tonnes of rice, opening the 2021 export season of the Trung An Hi-tech Farming Joint Stock Company, was sent to Singapore and Malaysia at a price that could not be better, of up to US$750 per tonne.
Pham Thai Binh, Director General of Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC, said the two types of rice exported in the shipment were Jasmine 85 fragrant rice and Huong Lai fragrant rice; of which, 450 tonnes of Jasmine 85 went to Singapore at US$680 per tonne and 1,150 tonnes of Huong Lai fragrant rice delivered to customers in Malaysia for US$750 a tonne. In addition to the above shipment, Trung An JSC also had an order of more than 2,000 tonnes exported to Germany, continuing to make effective use of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement that took effect last year.
Those are the two shipments that successfully opened the new year for Vietnamese rice, with an expectation of more miracles in 2021 than the previous year. Rice exports in 2020 reached about 6.15 million tonnes, worth US$3.07 billion. Although rice exports decreased by about 3.5% compared to 2019, mainly to ensure national food security, export value increased by 9.3%. The average export price for the whole year is estimated to have been US$499 a tonne, an increase of 13.3% compared to 2019. Vietnamese rice prices have surpassed Thailand, rice has become a prized agricultural commodity with positive growth and is constantly being prioritised in the world market.
Looking at the achievements that “Vietnamese pearls” have achieved in the past year, perhaps many people recall the difficult time in the past just after the successful August Revolution in 1945. At that time, rice also held the most important position in the economy. The new Vietnamese government and the young state had to face many invisible “enemies”, namely hunger, illiteracy and an empty treasury, as well as enemies both inside and outside the country that threatened the survival of the nation.
Immediately after reading the Declaration of Independence, at the first session of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 3, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh raised six urgent issues. According to him, the most important thing was to launch a movement to increase production to fight hunger and immediately open a rice donation campaign to help the poor. “Every ten days, all of our compatriots fast for one meal. The saved rice will be distributed to the poor.” The rice grain at that time was more precious than both pearls and gemstones.
Responding to President Ho Chi Minh’s call, Vietnamese donate rice to fight against “the enemy of hunger”.
From President Ho Chi Minh’s call, the Viet Minh Front and hunger relief organisations mobilised rice donations and organised fasting to set up a “hunger-saving rice jar” model, making it a mass movement. In Thai Binh province, where the famine was its most severe, the hunger relief movement progressed strongly, attracting a large number of teachers, youngsters and civil servants. Every afternoon, they donated rice, firewood and pots, then cooked the rice and handed it to the hungry. The Hunger Relief Fund raised 30 tonnes of paddy, while Imperial Commissioner to Tonkin Phan Ke Toai contributed 100 tonnes. In addition, the Viet Minh also organised many robberies of Japanese barns and paddy boats. The fine tradition of mutual aid in the nation was reinforced.
In addition, the Government also issued policies and measures such as banning the use of rice for wine making, removing all restrictions on rice circulation among regions, prohibiting people from hoarding rice and establishing a government “supreme committee for supplies and relief”. The transportation of rice from provinces in the South and Central Vietnam to the North was quickly carried out in order to bring rice to localities in need of hunger relief. With the spirit of mutual aid, plus the positive measures of the government, the rice grains of gratitude and the power of national unity finally quenched the famine of 1945.
Affirming the Vietnamese brand
76 years have passed since these unforgettable historical days. The small rice grain that went through the country’s ups and downs in the past now accompanies the national journey of strong international integration. In the past five years, Vietnamese rice has increasingly established its brand name on the international market, continuously ranked among the leaders at the World’s Best Rice contests (Thien Long Rice in 2015 and ST 24 in 2017), of which, in 2019, ST 25 rice won the title of World’s Best Rice. This title affirms that Vietnam has passed the period of focusing on volume in rice exports, moving more towards the export of high quality rice. Agricultural experts have expressed their belief that, if the brand is consolidated with a methodical and long-term plan for production and export, Vietnamese rice can set the world rice price.
Agricultural engineer Ho Quang Cua and his world’s best rice – ST25. (Photo: Huu Duc)
Currently, agricultural engineers are continuing to cultivate ST26, the next line of the world’s best rice with its own advantages that promises to bring new achievements.
According to forecasts from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), rice exports in 2021 will still be good because demand for food continues to increase as Vietnam’s main export markets such as the Philippines, Southeast Asian countries and Africa continue to sign rice purchase contracts with Vietnam.
“The Asian rice market has also started to heat up again when a series of potential customers having urgently bought in, of which it is worth mentioning China and Bangladesh. Many other countries also have a great demand for fragrant and sticky rice, an advantageous commodity of Vietnamese enterprises,” VFA Vice President Do Ha Nam said.
Vietnamese rice also has more opportunities to export to some markets where Vietnam has just signed new FTAs. Specifically, within the framework of the Vietnam – Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Free Trade Agreement, countries within this bloc have committed to setting aside 10,000 tonnes of tariff-rate quota Vietnamese rice in 2021. With the conclusion of the UKVFTA negotiations, Vietnamese rice exports to the UK will see zero tax and no quota limits.
From the days of starvation to these days of optimism as the country has deeply integrated into the world, a small grain of rice is writing new historical milestones with the country, worthy of its “golden grain” value.