Vietnam News Today (September 17): Hanoi Offers Covid Vaccination for Foreigners at Two Select Venues

Vietnam News Today (September 17): Vietnam, RoK agree to boost defense ties; HCMC on first day of Covid restriction ease; Hanoi offers Covid vaccination for foreigners at two select venues; Vietnam declares reopening of Phu Quoc island at Global Tourism Forum.
September 16, 2021 | 23:24

Vietnam News Today (September 17) notable headlines

Vietnam, RoK agree to boost defense ties

HCMC on first day of Covid restriction ease

Hanoi offers Covid vaccination for foreigners at two select venues

Vietnam declares reopening of Phu Quoc island at Global Tourism Forum

HCMC coastal district to open special tour for frontline Covid workers

Hanoi shopping streets await reopening as Covid-19 outbreak wanes

Experts believe new Covid-19 strategy necessary to live safely with virus

Over 6,000 Covid-19 patients discharged from HCM City field hospital

Khanh Hoa to receive int’l travelers with vaccine passport on September 18

Vietnam’s Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang (right) receives Korea Vice Minister of National Defence Park Jae-min on September 16. Photo: VNA
Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense Gen. Phan Van Giang (right) receives Korea Vice Minister of National Defense Park Jae-min on September 16. Photo: VNA

Vietnam, RoK agree to boost defense ties

Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense Gen. Phan Van Giang on September 16 received Korean Vice Minister of National Defense Park Jae-min who arrived in Vietnam the same day to attend the 9th Vietnam-Republic of Korea Defense Policy Dialogue at the invitation of Deputy Minister of National Defense Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien.

Giang highly appreciated the results of the dialogue and the outcomes of cooperation between the two defense ministries.

He expressed his hope that the two sides would continue to further strengthen the friendship, and effective and practical cooperation in many fields in the coming time.

The minister thanked the Korean Government for supporting Vietnam with aid packages to help Vietnam in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, cited VNA.

Giang said he expected to welcome the Korean Minister of National Defense to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Earlier on the same day, Deputy Minister of National Defense Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien and Korean Vice Minister of National Defense Park Jae-min co-chaired the 9th defense policy dialogue.

At the event, the two sides exchanged views on the global and regional security situation and international issues of common concern.

The deputy ministers highly evaluated the outcomes of cooperation in a number of fields and agreed to promote the achieved results.

They also pledged to strengthen cooperation in defense industry, settlement of war consequences, maritime security, and activities related to UN peacekeeping, Covid-19 prevention and control, and coordination activities at forums within the multilateral framework, especially cooperation mechanisms led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

HCMC on first day of Covid restriction ease

Delivery workers are now allowed to make inter-district deliveries, while some businesses can reopen and people in certain districts can go grocery shopping once a week.

Sept. 16 is the first day Ho Chi Minh City eased some of its stringent social distancing rules that had been in place for weeks. Inter-district delivery services will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Businesses can again use their own delivery staff and no longer have to exclusively use shipping companies.

According to staff, the shop resumed business two days ago, after the city allowed businesses in the district, deemed a low-risk area, to make deliveries for online orders as long as employees are fully vaccinated, stay and work on-site and strictly adopt social distancing rules.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

Hoang Tuan’s com tamrestaurant on Le Van Luong Street has made deliveries for two days. According to Tuan, he used to sell more than 1,000 meals before the pandemic, but now the number is only 200, according to VnExpress.

"I had halted business for more than 90 days and still have to pay VND16 million (US$670) for monthly rental. Even though the number of sold meals is not high now, I feel relieved that I can resume business," he commented.

The city has also allowed a number of other businesses to resume, though only between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., including postal and telecommunications services, offices, informatics and schooling equipment sellers. Also given the green light are those that support agricultural production, food production, processing and trading; veterinary facilities; maintenance and repair works; transport machinery and equipment maintenance and repair services; and those that sell vehicle parts.

The city has also allowed people in District 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio to go grocery shopping once a week at both supermarkets and traditional markets starting Thursday. But many markets in District 7 like Tan My, Tan Quy and Phu Thuan remain closed.

HCMC will mandate its social distancing under Directive 16 until Sept. 30. Previously, the city required many services to shut down, including takeaways. On Sept.7, food and beverage sellers were allowed to reopen but only for takeaway and delivery and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Hanoi offers Covid vaccination for foreigners at two select venues

Hanoi is organizing a Covid-19 vaccination drive for foreigners residing in the city, according to an announcement from the municipal Department of Foreign Affairs.

The vaccination drive, for both first and second vaccine doses, started at 2pm on September 15 at two locations – My Dinh Stadium (Hall B) in Nam Tu Liem district, and Saint Paul Hospital at No.12 Chu Van An street, Ba Dinh district.

A pregnant staff member at the Malaysian embassy receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hanoi. Photo: VNA
A pregnant staff member at the Malaysian embassy receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot at the National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Hanoi. Photo: VNA

The points of contact are listed as Nguyen Thu Trang, head of Nam Tu Liem district’s medical centre (Phone number: 0983651270), and Nguyen Duc Long, Director of Saint Paul Hospital (Phone number: 0983555555).

Saint Paul Hospital told Vietnam News the vaccines being offered are Oxford/AstraZeneca, and that the hospital is open for vaccination at all hours as per the city's order, but foreign citizens should come during standard office hours (8am-5pm) for best services, reported VNA.

There are English speaking staff at the hospital, it said.

Many embassies of foreign countries, including the UK, the US, and Denmark, have already circulated the notice to their citizens.

Foreign citizens are supposed to bring their IDs or passports, as well as vaccine certificates (for the first dose, if they have received it).

Vietnam declares reopening of Phu Quoc island at Global Tourism Forum

Vietnam is making great efforts to pilot a vaccine passport scheme to welcome back international visitors to Phu Quoc island, a top tourist resort in the south, in October.

Addressing the forum held in Indonesia on September 15 - 16, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet made the announcement at the Global Tourism Forum 2021 held in Indonesia on September 15-16.

Viet emphasized that after a hiatus of the Covid-19 fight, the tourism industries of many ASEAN countries are now prepared for reopening and hope to stimulate international tourism demand in the near future.

He said the Vietnamese Government recently approved a pilot scheme aimed at welcoming international visitors back to Phu Quoc island in the southern province of Kien Giang, cited VOV.

At present, relevant ministries and agencies are putting the finishing touches to the scheme, toward reopening Vietnam’s international tourism markets, Viet said.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet addresses the event. Photo: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet addresses the event. Photo: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

To ensure safety for vaccinated visitors, he said Kien Giang is speeding up vaccination for all residents and workers in the tourism industry on Phu Quoc islands before carrying out the pilot scheme in the coming days.

At the forum, representatives from various ASEAN member countries shared their beliefs about the resilience and recovery of the tourism industry of each country, along with the wider region in the post-pandemic period.

ASEAN member states will come together to share their experience in the related field to jointly revive the tourism industry in the region, said Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno. Indeed, countries within the bloc will not compete with each other but work together to create a common model to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

To achieve this goal, Minister Uno emphasized that ASEAN needs to strengthen intra-ASEAN co-operation, promote initiatives, and reactivate the local tourism industry.

He underlined the necessity of ensuring safety measures to minimize the spread of Covid-19, update information relating to the pandemic, vaccine programs, and readiness levels of various destinations.

He noted that Indonesia will promote discussions on the ASEAN Tourism Corridor Framework Agreement (ATCAF), in the immediate future as a means of facilitating diplomatic purposes.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Viet suggested that ASEAN member states work closely to develop and deploy recovery plans, as well as standards and procedures for safety in ASEAN tourism in the post-pandemic period.

He also stressed the need to implement online promotional schemes for the ASEAN common destination.

The Deputy Minister pointed out that countries need to share their experiences, strategies, and plans to restore the tourism industry in an open manner, while simultaneously strengthening the application of digital technology and innovation utilized by the tourism industry.

HCMC coastal district to open special tour for frontline Covid workers

The first tour to explore HCMC's coastal district Can Gio amid the pandemic is scheduled to open this Sunday and would only be designated for frontline Covid-19 workers.

Over 100 healthcare staff and frontline workers would be invited to join the tour organized by leading tour operator Saigontourist in gratitude for their months of service in the pandemic fight, Le Minh Dung, Party secretary of Can Gio District, told Thanh Nien newspaper.

The pilot tour would take them to four famous destinations in Can Gio: Vam Sat eco-tourist sites, Rung Sac Revolutionary Base, Dan Xay tourist area and Phuong Nam Pearl Resort.

Thanh An Island in Can Gio District, HCMC, April 2021. Photo: VnExpress
Thanh An Island in Can Gio District, HCMC, April 2021. Photo: VnExpress

Dung said Can Gio has basically brought the pandemic under control and the coastal district has several eco-tourist sites located in the middle of forests and separate from residential areas that create favorable conditions to organize short tours with pandemic restrictions to boost tourism.

After the first tour designated for frontline Covid workers, the district would continue its phased tourism reopening plan that allows fully vaccinated travelers back to the district.

Tourism businesses selected for participating in the pilot program and workers at tourist resorts must ensure compliance with pandemic prevention measures.

Can Gio, famous for fresh seafood and eco-tourist sites, is home to Can Gio Mangrove Forest, a biological reserve recognized by UNESCO. The district with an area of over 71,300 hectares boasts many traditional craft villages.

Ho Chi Minh City is the epicenter of the fourth Covid-19 wave to hit the country, recording more than 315,000 cases and 12,476 deaths since late April. Can Gio is one of the three localities in HCMC to have brought the outbreak under control besides Districts 7 and Cu Chi that started easing Covid restrictions from Sept. 16.

Since June, the city suspended all tourism activities to contain the spread of the virus.

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