April 13-19: PM chairs online Special ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Summits on COVID-19

Monday, 2020-04-20 11:33:38
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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre) chairs the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit on COVID-19 Response. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – Nhan Dan Online reviews the notable events that made headlines over the past week.

PM chairs online Special ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Summits on COVID-19

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, chaired the online Special ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Summits on April 14 to discuss ways to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The events drew the participation of leaders of ASEAN member states and its partners, namely China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

At the end of the conferences, delegates adopted a joint statement of the Special ASEAN Summit and a declaration of the Special ASEAN+3 Summit, affirming strong commitment and determination of the aforementioned countries to protect their citizens from the negative impacts of the pandemic.

Vietnam plans to hold general elections in May 2021

Vietnam is planning to hold the elections for the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels on May 23, 2021, according to the National Assembly Office.

The National Electoral Council is expected to be established in May 2020 and will be tasked with preparing for the elections.

The 15th National Assembly for the 2021-2026 term will have no more than 500 members, of which 200 are expected to be full-time members. Vietnam is aiming for at least 35% of the candidates for the national law-making body to be women and at least 18% to hail from ethnic minority communities.

Vietnam reports no new COVID-19 cases for three consecutive days

A medical worker takes a sample from a local in Dong Cuu hamlet, Dung Tien commune, Thuong Tin district, Hanoi. (Photo: NDO)

Vietnam reported no new cases of COVID-19 infection on the morning of April 19, keeping the total number at 268 for three consecutive days. Of the total, 201 patients have recovered, accounting for 75%.

The country has a total of 62,998 people currently under medical quarantine, including 279 people in hospitals, 11,338 people at concentrated isolation facilities, and 51,318 people at home. According to the sub-committee for disease treatment, 14 out of 67 COVID-19 cases have tested negative for the virus once, with six having tested negative for the virus a second time.

Vietnam-Cuba trade agreement officially takes effect

A new trade deal between Vietnam and Cuba officially came into force earlier this month and is expected to help bring bilateral economic, trade and investment ties on par with their sound political relationship.

The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement was signed in Hanoi on November 9, 2018. It features 14 chapters which include regulations on trade in goods, rules of origin, customs management and trade facilitation, technical standards, food safety, and animal and plant quarantine.

Under the pact, the two sides have pledged to eliminate or reduce tariffs on nearly all commodities currently traded between them over the next five years.

Da Nang’s Golden Bridge listed amongst world’s most stunning bridges

The Golden Bridge in Da Nang city.

The Golden Bridge in the central coastal city of Da Nang has been ranked amongst the 28 most stunning bridges around the world by the US-based news website Business Insider.

Located at more than 1,400m above sea level, the bridge has an incredibly impressive design, with an enchanting 150-metre-long walkway. The walkway connects a replica of a French village and the Le Jardin D’Amour flower garden in Ba Na Hills Resort. It is held by two giant stone hands, boasting grand views of mountains and forests.

Photo of Vietnamese children wins Agora app contest

The photo 'A Simple Game Played by Children all over the World' captured by Tran Tuan Viet.

A photo featuring Vietnamese children has been crowned the overall winner of the World’s Best Photo of Fun contest, #Fun2020, which was launched by the photo app Agora.

The photo, A Simple Game Played by Children all over the World, was captured by Tran Tuan Viet. It portrays a group of children laughing as they play with old motorcycle tyres on a sand dune in the coastal fishing town of Mui Ne, a famous travel destination in Vietnam.

The image earned the most votes on the Agora app, winning the “Hero” title and a 1,000 USD prize. Viet said he plans to donate his prize money to support Vietnam’s efforts in fighting COVID-19.

Remote health check-up platform, COVID-19 prevention app launched

A remote medical examination and treatment platform and Bluezone app to help the community in COVID-19 prevention and control were launched on April 18 in the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The remote medical examination and treatment platform allows doctors from central hospitals to offer online check-ups and consultations for patients in local hospitals through an app on their mobile phones, in which they can see each other.

Regarding Bluezone, when smartphones are installed with the app, they can detect others within 2 metres and memorise them. If the app user is positive for the SARS-CoV-2 (known as F0), then, through the saved data, health authorities can identify the F1s in close contact with the F0 and the system will alert the F1 users about the risk of infection. They will be also provided with instructions to contact the competent health authorities for assistance.

‘Rice ATMs’ support disadvantaged people amid COVID-19 outbreaks

An elderly person takes rice from the ‘rice ATM’ in Hanoi.

‘Rice ATMs’ have been put into operation in a number of cities and provinces nationwide over the past few days to support the disadvantaged amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

People can press on a sensor button to receive 2-3kg of rice each. They are required to wear face masks, queue up in order, and clean their hands with waterless sanitisers.

Recognising the humanitarian significance of the ‘rice ATMs’, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh has sent a letter of commendation to Hoang Tuan Anh from Ho Chi Minh City, in which she greatly appreciated and hailed Anh’s idea as well as the philanthropic and brave deeds of all people during the fight against the pandemic, in the spirit of "leaving no one left behind”.

Hanoi FC’s Hung Dung joins AFC’s media campaign on COVID-19

Hanoi FC midfielder Do Hung Dung has joined international players in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s #BreakTheChain campaign to spread positive messages amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the #BreakTheChain clip, Dung, who was part of the Vietnamese side that won the gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games in 2019, expressed his willingness to contribute to the AFC’s efforts to raise awareness of the disease. He called on people to fully acknowledge the pandemic, uphold a sense of responsibility for themselves and the community, and have faith in the measures deployed by authorities.

Do Hung Dung is the latest and third Vietnamese player to participate in the campaign, behind two other stars of the Vietnam national team, midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai (Hanoi FC) and Nguyen Cong Phuong (Ho Chi Minh City FC).

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