Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

Bird flu H5N1 virus causes new death

A four-year-old boy has been reported to have died of the bird flu strain H5N1 in the southern province of Dong Thap, a local department of health confirmed this morning.

The victim, from Cao Lanh District’s Tan Hoi Trung Commune, was infected with the deadly H5N1 virus but the source of infection has not been revealed, according to the HCM City-based Pasteur hospital.

Local authorities have analysed blood samples of the boy’s relatives in a bid to detect any additional infections and carried out preventative measures to halt any outbreaks within the community.

The victim is suspected to have contracted the virus from a chicken, which was bought by his grandmother at the beginning of the month. The boy was allegedly unwell at the time, was said to have been watching his grandmother whilst she slaughtered the fowl.

Among the 123 infected cases confirmed between December 2003 and February 2012, the H5N1 bird flu virus has claimed 61 lives in Vietnam, according to World Health Organisation. This is the first reported death of the virus in the province this year.

Although, the northern province of Quang Ninh’s Dong Trieu District reported a new outbreak of bird flu among chickens was detected on April 5th, it had been successfully contained.

The latest report from the Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Health Department on Sunday indicated that the country had no new recorded bird flu outbreaks.

Toll fees to double at My Loc Station in Nam Dinh Province

Toll fees are set to double at the My Loc Toll Station in the northern province of Nam Dinh, according to announcement issued by the Finance Ministry.

H5N1 virus, My Loc Station, HCM City, Lao Cai-Ha Noi trains 

Toll fees are set to double at the My Loc Toll Station in the northern province of Nam Dinh, according to announcement issued by the Finance Ministry.—Illustrative Photo 

The tolls, to be implemented in June, will see the fees for trucks with loads of 18 tonnes or more and 40-feet containers increase to VND160,000 (US$7.6). Cars with less than 12 seats, public transportation and vehicles with loads under 2 tonnes will pay a minimum of VND20,000 (nearly $1)

A proportion of the increased fees will cover operation costs and taxes whilst the remaining revenue will be utilised in an investment return as per the Build-Operation-Transfer contract.

The current fees at the station have been instated since March, 2010.

HCM City to reclaim wrongly used land

The municipal administration will revoke 29 State-owned and other properties in the city that are being wrongly used, the HCM City People’s Committee has announced.

The revoking of these properties is an action being taken under a prime ministerial decision, it said.

The 29 State-owned properties, covering a total area of 139,078sq.m, will be revoked from now to the third quarter of this year. They were allocated to 12 central Government organisations and State-owned companies, and have been either unused, badly degraded or leased out for profit.

The city plans to use nearly 60,000sq.m of the revoked properties to build schools and public interest projects.

Around 5,300sq.m of land located in districts 1 and Thu Duc will be transferred to the HCM City Centre of Land Fund Development to be auctioned, and the sales proceeds given to the State Budget.

The centre will auction 26,111sq.m of land and houses in the second quarter of this year, and aims to sell more than 2.1 million square metres in total this year.

HCM City is the first locality to implement the Prime Minister’s decision, restructuring land use at 1,262 State-run enterprises and commercial banks covering nearly 7 million square metres.

Bridges shelter illegal businesses

No one knows whether the parking lots and stores under Long Bien Bridge are operating legally, according to Luong Minh Duong, who lives in Tay Ho District.

But it is clear to Duong that no one has taken responsibility for managing the loud, polluting enterprises.

Most of the space under Ha Noi’s major bridges has been illegally encroached upon and used for the wrong purposes, according to Nguyen Van Huyen, the Transport Ministry’s chief inspector.

In a recent inspection prompted by complaints from citizens like Duong, the ministry and the city People’s Committee examined the areas under Thang Long, Long Bien, Vinh Tuy, Chuong Duong and Thanh Tri bridges, where they found many illegal operations.

Underneath Thang Long Bridge, Ha Thai Railway Management Company has opened a parking lot next to temporary shops owned by houses nearby.

Fruit vendors sell their wares under Long Bien Bridge, while Vinh Tuy and Thanh Tri bridges house more parking lots.

The Transport Ministry’s Circular 2009 states that trading and parking services and residential areas are not allowed in the areas underneath bridges and imposes fines of VND5-10 million (US$238-476) for violators.

These areas should be reserved for planting grass and trees, said Huyen.

He also suggested that relevant agencies take responsibility for ensuring traffic safety and order in the spaces underneath the bridges.

US offers scholarships to disadvantaged students

As many as 115 disadvantaged students will benefit from the 2012-2014 English-language Access Scholarship programme funded by the US Department of State, announced the US Embassy in Vietnam on April 8.

Under the programme, the selected junior and secondary and high school students from less developed districts of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hung Yen and Nghe An provinces will be sponsored to take after-school English classes at local English language centres for two years with a total of 360 hours of instruction.

The English Access Micro-scholarship Programme, a global exchange programme of the US State Department, has been implemented in Vietnam since 2009 with a total funding of more than US$350,000.

Until now, 136 Vietnamese students have graduated from courses under this programme.

Lao Cai-Ha Noi trains get back on track

Trains to and from northern Lao Cai Province resumed work yesterday morning, April 8, after a night-long delay caused by the derailment of a freight train on Sunday evening.

The train, travelling from Lao Cai to Ha Noi derailed near Cau Nho Station, about 60 kilometres to the south of Lao Cai City, disrupting the popular route for tourists travelling to the province’s Sa Pa resort district.

Lao Cao Railway Station manager Hoang Dinh Tu stated that eight passenger trains were delayed until the track was cleared yesterday morning.

Although a carriage turned over, there was no human loss in the incident.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the derailment.

French group helps train hi-tech engineers in Vietnam

France’s Dasault Systèmes Group, the French Education Ministry and the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH) signed a cooperation agreement in HCM City on April 8 to help train hi-tech engineers in Vietnam.

Under the agreement, Dasault Systèmes, a world leader in three-dimensional (3D) design and product lifecycle management (PLM), will establish a PLM competency centre in USTH to help its students learn lessons using 3D technology.

It will introduce PLM, 3D software and applications to Vietnamese teachers and students, and provide staff with advanced teaching methods using technology.

Phillippe Forestier, the group’s Executive Vice President of Global Affairs and Communities, pledged to help USTH create a high-tech learning environment.

Next week, it will recruit French professors to travel to Vietnam and lecture at the university in the 2013-2014 academic year, he added.

Power cuts hit Southern city

Despite Electricity of Viet Nam’s recent promise to mobilise power from thermal plants to ensure stable supply in the dry season, many parts of HCM City have been suffering power outages in recent weeks.

Residents in the communes of Vinh Loc A and Vinh Loc B in Binh Chanh District have suffered frequent cuts.

Phan Cong Vinh, Deputy Director of the Binh Chanh Power Co, said: “All cooling appliances like fans and air-conditioners were put into use, causing a spike in power consumption and sudden outages.” Besides, as soon as people return home from work in the evening, they switch on electric water pumps, causing power consumption to skyrocket, he said, explaining that the pump engines consume four times as much power as air-conditioners.

In the last two weeks, power consumption in Binh Chanh District was up by 14 per cent from early March.

In the same period it has risen 15 per cent in Districts 4 and 7, and calls from residents to electricity companies to complain about power failures increased by nearly 80 per cent.

Do Duy Quang, director of the Tan Phu Power Co, said consumption of electricity in Tan Phu District increased by 17 per cent and complaint calls by 100 per cent.

According to the HCM City Power Co (EVNHCMC), despite the sharp increase in power consumption to 58.5 million kWh on April 3, the city power grid has not been affected.

However, EVNHCMC has forecast demand to rise even further due to the prolonged hot weather in the next few weeks.

The company has urged users to save power, warning otherwise outages are “unavoidable.” At the office of the Binh Chanh Power Company, air-conditioners begin to operate at 9.00am and must be switched off at 3.30pm, and are always set at 26 degrees Celsius.

EVN said that its subsidiary, the National Power Transmission Corp, has begun operation of eight power projects in the first quarter to increase supply during the dry season.

In April, EVN will connect the first turbine of the Nghi Son Thermal Power Plant No 1 with the national grid and install a second turbine at the Ban Chat Hydro-power Plant so that it can be connected to the grid by May.

Vietnam supports education in Laos

The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training on April 8 handed over the facilities it built as a gift to the National University of Laos’ Faculty of Vietnamese Studies.

The US$1.9 million facilities consist of 1,538 sq.m of classrooms and a 1,692 sq.m library equipped with teaching and learning tools for some 200 students.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Education and Training Pham Manh Hung expressed his hopes that the faculty will help train many excellent students who will further contribute to the Vietnam-Laos special relationship.

Lao Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Kongsi Sengmany highly appreciated the support of the Vietnamese Party, State, Government and Ministry of Education and Training for Laos’ education sector over the past decades.

He said the inauguration of the faculty is a vivid evidence of the comprehensive education cooperation between the two countries.

VNN/VOV/VNS/VNA

By vivian