Vietnam News Today (September 24): Tropical Depression Turns into Storm Dianmu

Vietnam News Today (September 24): Vietnam responds to China sending transport aircraft to Truong Sa; Localities ease restrictions as Covid spread slows; Tropical depression turns into Storm Dianmu; Bamboo Airways conducts first direct Vietnam-US flight.
September 23, 2021 | 23:41

Vietnam News Today (September 24) notable headlines

Vietnam responds to China sending transport aircraft to Truong Sa

Localities ease restrictions as Covid spread slows

Tropical depression turns into Storm Dianmu

Bamboo Airways conducts first direct Vietnam-US flight

Vietnam's homegrown Nanocovax Covid-19 vaccine candidate to be assessed by Indian institute

Hanoi prioritizes cooperation with Russian localities

Covid-19: national caseload up by 9,472 on September 23

Social welfare packages benefits over 2.91 million people in Hanoi

Tourism sector expects to revive operations soon: Minister

Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: VOV
Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: VOV

Vietnam responds to China sending transport aircraft to Truong Sa

The nation requests China to respect its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, immediately stop and not to repeat similar violations.

Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement at the Foreign Ministry’s press briefing on September 23 while responding to reporters’ question about Vietnam's reaction to China sending cargo planes to China’s illegally reclaimed entities in the Spratly islands of Vietnam.

“Vietnamese competent agencies always closely follow all developments in the East Sea. As constantly reiterated, Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal grounds to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes in accordance with international law," Hang stressed.

China’s move has violated Vietnam's sovereignty over Truong Sa, international law, and run counter to the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues between Vietnam and China. This has increased militarization, which goes against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the Bien Dong Sea (DOC), as well as the efforts of countries in negotiating the current Code of Conduct in the Bien Dong Sea (COC), she said.

Vietnam asks China to respect international law and the common perceptions of both nations’ leaders on maritime issues, thereby making practical, active and responsible contributions to the development of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and China, as well as the maintenance of a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment in the East Sea, the spokesperson added, cited VOV.

Also at the press briefing, Hang also affirmed Vietnam's readiness to share information and experience with China in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in reply to reporters’ question about Vietnam's reaction to China's bid to join the deal.

The CPTPP is an open free trade agreement, with comprehensive commitments aiming to boost economy-trade amongst members, the official said.

That the CPTPP captures attention from other economies which desire to become signatories of the trade pact demonstrates its increasing role in promoting regional and international cooperation and economic-trade connections.

In accordance with regulations on relevant procedures, economies seeking CPTPP membership need to meet criteria of the agreement as well as comply with process and procedures for new members.

Regarding the application of Taiwan (China) to join the pact, Hang reaffirmed that the CPTPP is an open free trade agreement and Vietnam will closely consult other signatories on membership requirements.

Localities ease restrictions as Covid spread slows

Several provinces home to major production and tourism hubs have decided to tone down social distancing measures after containing Covid-19.

Among those localities are Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Long An, two neighboring provinces of Ho Chi Minh City.

Starting Thursday, all eight towns and districts of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, including the beach town of Vung Tau, imposed Directive 15, apart from areas still under lockdown.

Meanwhile, in Long An, Directive 15 also took effect in all 15 towns and districts from Wednesday.

Directive 15 requires suspension of social events, bans gatherings of 20 people or more in one place and of 10 people or more outside workplaces, schools and hospitals. A minimum distance of two meters between people in public should be ensured, reported VnExpress.

People hit the road in Vung Tau as the southern beach town has eased Covid-19 restrictions, September 23, 2021. Photo: VnExpress
People hit the road in Vung Tau as the southern beach town has eased Covid-19 restrictions, September 23, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

In both provinces, restaurants and eateries are allowed to resume operation but must only serve takeaways.

Previously, the two provinces had imposed Directive 16, the most stringent social distancing rule in Vietnam that bans all from leaving their houses except for "essential purposes."

From Thursday, Dong Thap Province in the Mekong Delta will also switch from Directive 16 to 15.

In the delta's Tien Giang Province, Chau Thanh is the only district left imposing Directive 16, with the entire province placed under Directive 15 since Monday.

Central Khanh Hoa Province, home to Nha Trang beach town, will reopen grocery stores, hair salons, and vehicle washing services from Friday after nearly three months of suspension.

People are also allowed to go out to exercise in parks, on tennis courts and the beach, as long as they ensure a safe distance and not gather in crowds.

Tropical depression turns into Storm Dianmu

A tropical depression in the Bien Dong Sea strengthened into Storm Dianmu on September 23, thereby becoming the sixth typhoon to hit the country this year, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).

Tran Quang Nang, head of Weather Forecasting Department, said strong winds and rough seas had been recorded in Ly Son island in the south central province of Quang Ngai, approximately 200km away from the storm’s eye.

Due to the impact of the storm, there has been a barrage of torrential rain in localities from Quang Tri to Binh Dinh, with rainfall being measured at between 50mm and 130mm.

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Over the course of the coming 24 hours, the storm is anticipated to head towards the country’s central provinces before further expanding to the north, bringing with it heavy rains to northern localities.

The storm is also forecast to impact the mainland in the coastal provinces of Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai this evening, VOV reported.

Nang added that the storm will continue to cause heavy downpours from now until September 24, particularly in provinces from Ha Tinh to Binh Dinh, as well as in the central highland provinces of Kon Tum and Gia Lai, with rainfall being measured at between 150mm and 300mm.

He also warned about the high risk of flash floods and landslides hitting mountainous areas, as well as severe flooding impacting low-lying areas and river mouths.

Localities have also been asked to devise evacuation plans in order to ensure safety for people living in vulnerable areas.

Bamboo Airways conducts first direct Vietnam-US flight

Bamboo Airways conducted its first direct flight from Vietnam to the U.S. Thursday night, bringing with it pilots, flight attendants and technicians.

The QH9149 flight, using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, took off at around 7:55 p.m. at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport for San Francisco. The flight, the first of 12 direct flights between Vietnam and the U.S. that Bamboo Airways gained approval from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is expected to span over 14 hours.

On board are four pilots, 14 flight attendants and several technicians and ground controllers to perform necessary missions at the San Francisco Airport.

Nguyen Manh Quan, vice general director of Bamboo Airways, said the flight is of historic proportions, not just for Bamboo Airways but also for Vietnam's aviation industry.

Bamboo Airways pilots and flight attendants prepare to get aboard the airline's first direct Vietnam-U.S. flight, Hanoi, September 23, 2021. Photo: VnExpress
Bamboo Airways pilots and flight attendants prepare to get aboard the airline's first direct Vietnam-U.S. flight, Hanoi, September 23, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

"We will affirm the capabilities for operation, safety, security and infrastructures for Vietnamese airlines and the entire Vietnamese aviation industry in general," he said at a ceremony held in the airline's headquarters in Hanoi the same day.

Nguyen Ngoc Trong, another vice general director of Bamboo Airways, said the flight's goals were to serve tourists in both Vietnam and the U.S., to conduct commercial, diplomatic and cultural exchanges, and to affirm Bamboo Airways's position, considering how a direct flight to the U.S. is among the hardest flight paths to achieve, according to VnExpress.

"In the last two years, we've managed to see opportunities in developing flights not just within Vietnam, but also in Southeast Asian and Northeast Asian regions like Japan, Taiwan, and even reaching towards Europe, Australia. And now, to the U.S.," he said.

"By introducing direct flights to the U.S. at this moment in time, we're ready to perform commercial flights once the pandemic dies down to meet customers' demands in both countries."

Bamboo Airways said it plans to organize three direct flights to the U.S. each week, gradually increasing the frequency to 5-7 flights a week, and finally daily flights.

Vietnam Airlines has conducted several direct U.S. flights for Covid-19 repatriation purpose. The national carrier said this week it is set to receive its final permit from U.S. authorities soon to conduct regular direct flights to the U.S. after nearly two decades of preparation.

Vietnam's homegrown Nanocovax Covid-19 vaccine candidate to be assessed by Indian institute

The Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI) will evaluate immunogenicity of the Made-in-Vietnam Nanocovax Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology of Vietnam.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed at a ceremony held in Faridabad city of India’s Haryana state on September 23.

Vaccine NanoCovax. Photo Nanogen
Vaccine NanoCovax. Photo Nanogen

Under the agreement, Nanogen will send cell samples of volunteers participating in the third trial phase of Nanocovax to the THSTI for assessment, cited VNA.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau affirmed that the collaboration with the THSTI holds significant meaning for Nanogen in the research and development of the vaccine candidate.

The Indian institute’s objective evaluation will help confirm the quality of Nanocovax and serve as a foundation for Nanogen to produce the homegrown Covid-19 vaccine for domestic use as well as for export.

THSTI is an institute of the Department of Biotechnology at the Ministry of Science and Technology of India. It has taken part in various vaccine development, assessment and trials in the country.

Nanogen is working with relevant Vietnamese agencies to step up trials of the vaccine candidate so that it will soon receive approval for emergency use in Vietnam.

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