Tuna exports to China grow vigorously in the first half of September (Photo: haiquanonline.com.vn)

The country’s tuna exports to China during the initial eight months of the year surged by 63% to hit USD3.6 million compared to last year’s corresponding period.

VASEP says the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has since the middle of the year slowed down Vietnamese tuna exports to various foreign markets, including China.

In addition, Zhanjiang, one of the major transshipment hubs in China, has suspended the import of frozen food from major seafood producers, including Vietnam, since May, making a considerable impact on Vietnam’s tuna exports to the neighbouring market.

However, the General Department of Vietnam Customs reports that China is increasing its imports of frozen tuna fillets and canned tuna products from Vietnam, with the two groups accounting for 66% and 19% of the country’s total export value of the products, respectively.

Nguyen Ha, an expert from the VASEP, reveals that approximately 23 local tuna processing businesses are shipping their products to the Chinese market. If the pandemic is fully brought under control in the Mekong Delta region, Ha says tuna exports to China are anticipated to maintain a high growth momentum in the coming months.

Flooding leaves seven dead and missing in central Vietnam

Heavy rain and flood discharge from hydropower plants have flooded parts of the northern and central regions during the past few days, leaving three dead and four missing, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

Two locals in Nghe An province and one in Hoa Binh province have been washed away by violent floodwaters, while four others have been reported missing in Quang Tri, Quang Binh, and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

Furthermore, a number of key roads throughout the central and Central Highlands regions have been blocked by floods and landslides, with floodwaters across local rivers exceeding the third alert level.

Thousands of households across two regions have been forced to be evacuated from low-lying areas. In Quang Binh province alone approximately 66,000 people have been brought to safe areas in order to avoid floods, while nearly 2,000 people have been urgently forced to leave their homes due to landslides.

Elsewhere, rising floodwaters have submerged 151 houses and roughly 1,000 hectares of crops in Dak Lak province, damaging numerous roads and bridges.

Meanwhile, water discharged from saturated hydropower dams in central provinces such as Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, and Ha Tinh over the past two days has been blamed for escalating the flooding that has left thousands of houses submerged in the localities.

The Huong Dien hydropower plant in Thua Thien-Hue discharged between 2,200 to 2,600 cubic metres a second on October 17, while Dak Mi4, Song Bung 4 and A Vuong hydropower plants in Quang Nam discharged a total of 5,000 cubic metres per second into Vu Gia river, submerging thousands of houses downstream.

Heavy rain is forecast to continue to hit central provinces from Nghe An and Thua Thien-Hue on October 18, with rainfall likely to to reach 100 to 200 mm, even 250 mm in some places, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF).

On October 17 Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh asked the affected cities and provinces to seriously implement instructions issued by the Prime Minister, timely inform local authorities and people about developments of natural disasters, and monitor residential areas vulnerable to flooding and landslides.

Relevant agencies have also been urged to ramp up measures aimed at evacuating locals to shelters and ensure daily necessities for flood-affected residents.

Locally-made COVID-19 vaccine Covivac evaluated in Canada

A haul of 700 samples of Covivac, a Vietnamese produced COVID-19 vaccine, have been sent to Canada to have its effectiveness evaluated, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Dinh Thiem, director of the Center for Clinical Trials under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology told the Voice of Vietnam.

A volunteer receives a Covivac vaccine shot during a clinical trial phase.

Dr. Thiem said the research team had collected a total of 374 blood samples from volunteers receiving the first shot and 371 samples from those receiving the second shot in order to send to Nexelis Laboratories in Canada for evaluation.

Researchers want to know how effective the vaccine is in protecting people from virus infection.

As soon as they receive the results of the evaluation, Dr. Thiem said they will be able to begin launching the third phase of its human clinical trials in November.

Covivac, whish is developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Biologic Medical, is the second locally-made vaccine which has been approved for human testing.

Meanwhile, Nano Covax, a recombinant spike protein vaccine, developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, is Vietnam’s first COVID-19 vaccine entering the third phase of the clinical trials. Nanogen has completed phase 3a of the trial and is gathering data from phase 3b.

Moreover, Vietnam is also testing the ARCT-154 vaccine using Arcturus’ STARR mRNA technology transferred by the United States.

Vietnamese footballer wins AFC’s player of the month title

Vietnamese striker Nguyen Tien Linh has been named as player of October during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s voting in the third round of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers, reported Vietnam News Agency according to the AFC.

Vietnamese striker Nguyen Tien Linh (Photo: VNA)

Linh received a total of 73.38 percent of the votes, followed by Al Buraikan of Saudi Arabia (8.2 percent) and S.Azmuon of Iran (8.08 percent).

Although the Vietnam national team lost the last two matches against China and Oman in Group B of the final qualifying round of the World Cup 2022, Linh scored two out of the three Vietnam goals.

 “Still only 23 years of age, the Becamex Binh Duong striker showed expert positioning and poise beyond his years to find the back of the next in Doha and Muscat, taking his individual tally to an excellent seven goals on the Road to Qatar 2022,” the afc.com wrote.

Linh also defeated Zhang Yuning of China to win the AFC’s recent vote for NEOM’s Future Stars of matchday three of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Linh has scored seven goals since the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. With these seven goals, Linh equals the record of seven goals scored by striker Le Cong Vinh in the World Cup qualifiers. He still has opportunities to break the record held by Vinh in the six remaining matches of the third qualifying round.

CAAV plans to resume regular flights locally after October 20

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has devised a plan aimed at resuming domestic flights from October 21 after reopening several domestic air routes on a trial basis from October 10, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

CAAV plans to resume regular flights locally after October 20

The plan will see six round-trip flights per day run from October 21 to November 30 on three air routes of Hanoi-Danang, Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang-Ho Chi Minh City.

Of the flights, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air will be permitted to launch two per day each, while Bamboo Airways and Pacific Airlines will operate one flight per day each.

Airlines are to be allowed to resume their air routes with a flight frequency not exceeding 10% of the average seen in the first week of April, the period before the fourth COVID-19 wave hit the nation.

Other air routes will not be allowed to exceed one round-trip flight per day for each airline.

Further adjustments are set to be made after 15 days of resumption.

Providing that the COVID-19 pandemic is competently-controlled across the country, then airlines will be able to resume operations as normal.

Passengers on domestic flights departing from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City must test negative for COVID-19 72 hours before departure.

For other flights departing from other localities, passengers are required to meet one of three conditions:  having a COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, papers to prove they recovered from COVID-19 up to six months prior to the flight, or a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours before flying.

Compiled by BTA