Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Earth Hour campaign launched in Hanoi

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) officially launched the 2013 Earth Hour campaign in Hanoi on February 25.

MoIT Deputy Minister Le Duong Quang explained Earth Hour is a social event that earned widespread international support.

It
aims to raise awareness about the importance of energy conservation by
urging people to switch off lights and unnecessary electric appliances
for one hour and join in various activities promoting environmental
consciousness and climate change amelioration.

In past years,
the campaign has significantly deepened the Vietnamese public’s
understandings of the causes of climate change and its potentially dire
repercussions. Inefficient energy use is considered one of the issue’s
major contributing factors.

Quang said the 2012 Earth Hour helped save 546,000 kWh, worth an equivalent VND700 million.

The
MoIT is encouraging individuals, families, and enterprises to unite in
the fight against climate change, practically demonstrating their
support by turning off lights and electric devices from 20h30–21h30 on
Earth Hour Day (March 23).

20 people injured in bus rollover

Twenty
passengers were hospitalised yesterday afternoon, Feb 25, after a bus
overturned in southern Binh Phuoc Province’s Dong Phu District.

Eight victims were still being treated this morning, police said.

The
29-seat bus, driven by Do Van Hung, 33, of central Quang Nam Province,
was headed to HCM City from the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong.

Witnesses
said the bus was being driven at high speed just before the accident,
causing concern among the passengers, police reported.

The bus had overturned after the driver allegedly braked sharply, police report.

The case is still under investigation.

Sai Gon Bridge closed for loading test

All
vehicles will be banned from running on Sai Gon Bridge from midnight
until 5am for five days starting this Friday so that the bridge’s weight
capacity can be checked, according to the HCMC Department of Transport.

The
987-metre-long bridge, built 50 years ago, includes four car lanes and
two motorbike lanes that serve more than 40,000 travellers a day. More
than VND60 billion was spent on repairing and upgrading the bridge in
2011.

While travel on the bridge is prohibited, vehicles
coming in and out of the city will be directed to the District 2 route,
under the Sai Gon Bridge, or Binh Trieu Bridge.

Warm weather in the north to make way for cold spell

The
northern region is likely to see another cold spell, starting this
Saturday night, according to the National Centre for
Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The cold spell will be accompanied by cloudy weather and light rains until the middle of next week.

However,
from now until Saturday, warm weather is forecast across the north.
Daily temperatures will range from 18-24 degree Celsius in Ha Noi.

Fatal pig disease vaccine remains elusive as 2 die

While
the number of people infected by streptococcus increases, there is
still no vaccine to prevent the disease, which is transmitted through
pigs.

The statement was made by Dam Xuan Thanh, Deputy Director of the Animal Health Department.

According
to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, this year 16 people
have been hospitalised with the disease and two have died.

Deputy
head of the hospital’s emergency department Nguyen Trung Cap said that
those who died came from northern Nam Dinh Province, where they
frequently consumed blood pudding.

The doctor warned people not to consume this traditional dish, which frequently causes illness.
A
patient from central Thanh Hoa Province currently undergoing treatment
at the hospital reported getting a high fever and diarrhea after eating
blood pudding.

And another patient from Nam Dinh Province was
hospitalised with a fever, septis, rash and encephalitis one day after
eating the dish.

Streptococcus disease has a high risk of
fatality and results in severe complications for those who survive.
About 40 per cent of patients suffer from reduced hearing capability.

Humans can get the disease by eating infected pork that has not been thoroughly cooked or through contact with infected pigs.

Cap warned people not to slaughter sick pigs or eat undercooked pork, blood pudding or pigs’ internal organs.

Deputy
head of the animal health department Thanh said that pigs carrying the
streptococcus bacteria showed no signs of infection. Only testing could
reveal whether a pig was ill.

The department tested blood samples of pigs infected with blue ear disease, he said, but they tested negative for streptococcus.

Last year the nation recorded 34 cases of streptococcus, including two deaths.

Railway fare discount up to 20 percent

The
Sai Gon Railway Company will offer a promotional programme from March 4
through May 15 for passengers travelling on inter-provincial trains in
central and southern regions.

Passengers travelling between Sai
Gon and Long Khanh or from central Quang Ngai province to Hue can get up
to 20 percent off on hard seats in non-air-conditioned cars, said
station director Thai Van Truyen. The promotion cannot be applied to
group purchases.

In addition, passengers travelling from HCM
City to central Quy Nhon or Nha Trang will receive a 5 percent discount
from Saturday to Wednesday, while passengers traveling in the reverse
direction will receive the same discount from Monday to Friday.

Danlait confirmed as product of France

After
6,000 cans of Danlait were temporarily confiscated last Thursday for
being labeled with inaccurate nutritional information, the resulting
outcropping of public concern prompted an investigation into the
product’s origin.

Labelled as milk for babies, the product is
manufactured by Union Laitiere Venise Verte in France under European
quality standards, said Frederic Dureppet, director of the union.

Tran
Quang Trung, head of the Viet Nam Food Administration, said that his
administration only certified the product as a supplementary food.
However, Manh Cam, the company responsible for importing the milk,
labelled it as goat milk.

In Viet Nam, milk for babies is
required to be at least 34 per cent protein, according to Kieu Dinh Canh
from Ha Noi’s Market Management Team. Danlait is only 13 – 14 per cent
protein, so the mislabeling could affect babies’ health.

Herve Lanoe, president of FIT, said that Danlait goat milk contains nutrients, minerals and vitamins near to mother’s milk.

The labels on the 6,000 cans of Danlait products will be re-translated before a final decision is made on the case.

Vietnam, Cambodia localities intensify malaria prevention

The
healthcare sectors of Vietnam’s Central Highland province of Dak Lak
and Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province are cooperating in preventing malaria
in the 2012-2013 dry season.

Health workers have sprayed
anti-mosquito chemicals in border districts, including Dak Lak’s Ea Sup
and Buon Don districts and Mondulkiri’s Koah Nheak and Pechanda
districts. They also taught local people to use mosquito nets every day
and soak mosquito nets in insecticide, while providing treatment for
malaria patients.

Nearly 100,000 people in border districts of
Dak Lak and Mondulkiri provinces are at high risk of malaria due to
their mountainous location and people’s limited knowledge on malaria
prevention.

Thanks to joint intensified prevention efforts, the
disease had been controlled, and the number of malaria cases had seen a
sharp decline in the provinces.

This year, Dak Lak’s health care
sector targets further decrease in the patient number, no death from
malaria and no malaria epidemic break out in the locality.

Dak Lak projects suspended over row

Dozens
of projects on a total of 17,000ha of forest land in the Central
Highlands province of Dak Lak are being suspended as investors have been
using the land for wrong purposes.

Y Rit Buon Ya, deputy
director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development, said the projects have been contributing to the annual
decrease of more than 1,700ha of forest area in the province over the
past five years.

According to the province’s people’s
committee, 73 projects had received licences to use more than 70,000ha
of forest land to grow rubber or fruit trees. However, 22 of them had
failed to live up to their commitments.

Some investors had
even sold their forest land or illegally transferred the projects to
others for financial gain. For instance, Huu Bich Company had reportedly
used only 40ha of its total 113ha of forest land grow rubber trees. It
was reported to have sold 30ha for a gain of VND300 million (US$14,285).

The province’s Land Management Department said progress on
other projects was too slow. After four years, these projects had
planted 7,200ha of rubber and nearly 7,700ha of timber forests.

Relevant
authorities were also urged to remove all barriers in administrative
procedures and settling disputes to facilitate projects.

All
the province’s projects were under observation to ensure they were using
the land for the right purposes. Projects growing rubber trees would
benefit from research into the right trees to suit the local topography
and weather.

Meanwhile, Dinh Van Khiet, deputy chairman of the
province’s People’s Committee, said most hydro-electric projects had
failed to implement reforestation as regulated.

Under
Government decree No 23 on Forest Protection and Development,
hydro-electric projects which used forest land must plant trees on their
land.

However, just two out of 34 hydro-electric projects had met their reafforestation obligations.

Statistics showed 1,900ha of forest land had been used for hydro-electricity projects since 2007.

The
province has asked investors of the projects to plant trees. In some
localities where there was no land for reforestation, the investors had
paid fees to the Fund of Forest Protection and Development.

The decrease of forest land had also occurred in other Central Highlands provinces.

The
latest statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
show that the forest area in the Central Highlands had decreased by
25,737ha per year since 2007.

Hygiene inspectors spot fishing boats, docks

The
regulatory scheme and performance of Vietnamese agencies in charge of
ensuring the quality and safety of seafood at all administrative levels
nationwide are in compliance with European Commission standards.

It
was said by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance
Department (NAFIQAD), which cited the findings of a group of EU
inspectors who visited the Vietnamese agencies last year.

The
department, however, admitted that the European inspectors found
shortcomings related to hygienic conditions at pre-processing
facilities, including finding boats, ports and fisheries.

NAFIQAD
has asked provincial department of agriculture and rural development to
continue working to improve awareness of food safety regulations among
the owners of fishing fleets, the managers of fishing ports, the
operators of fish-breeding facilities, and purchasing agents.

Agricultural
quality assurance branches need to intensify their inspections of
hygienic conditions at these pre-processing facilities, the department
said.

It also called on seafood processors and exporters to
use materials verified by municipal and provincial agricultural quality
assurance branches.

VNN/VOV/VNS

By vivian