Most popular news in the week: Prime Minister sends encouragement letter to doctors, medical staffs and relevant people in Covid-19 combat ; Responding to drought and saltwater intrusion in Mekong Delta; Commercial banks support enterprises hit by Covid-19
Prime Minister sends encouragement letter to doctors, medical staffs and relevant people in Covid-19 combat
The PM said that images of the medical staff and armed forces coming to each household to promptly discover cases with high risk of infection, providing care for quarantined people and patients, or collecting samples and tirelessly studying the virus and vaccine have left a profound impression in the public.
Facing the complicated and unpredictable developments of the pandemic that may last long, Vietnam is now in the period of exerting utmost efforts to prevent the spread of the virus to the community and staying vigilant. The Government leader called on all doctors and medical staff across the country to continue to stay determined and show a higher sense of responsibility, working together with other forces and people, to stamp out the pandemic.
On behalf of the Party and State, PM Phuc also called on people nationwide to continue encouraging and joining hands to support the “soldiers in white blouse” in the tough and dangerous fight against the Covid-19. He wished the medical staff good health, deserving public trust and accomplishing the task of caring for and protecting health of the people.
2. Prime Minister visits and checks Covid-19 prevention and control at Ministry of Defense
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid a working visit to the headquarter of Military Medical Department while attending a teleconference of the army on Covid-19 prevention and control conducted by Ministry of Defense. Also participated in the conference were General Ngo Xuan Lich, Minister of Defense and representatives of relevant authorities.
Speaking at the conference, the PM has commended the entire army for its efforts to overcome a wide range of difficulties and challenges to fulfill all assigned tasks in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. He also highlighted the appreciation of the people staying at the concentrated quarantine areas to the Party, State and Army at this occasion.
PM Phuc affirmed that the Vietnam People’s Army is always a pillar of the nation and its role is further promoted when the country is in danger. The Army has been in the front line of the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, he said, adding that thousands of officers and soldiers have been mobilized to directly participate in the combat.
PM Phuc also praised the army’s science and technology units for their successful development and production of SARS-CoV-2 new coronavirus test kit which has greatly contributed to Covid-19 check-up and treatment.
In that spirit, the Government leader asked all the military officers and soldiers to protect themselves from Covid-19 and prevent the spread of the disease in military units in the time to come. The whole army needs to make greater endeavors to well manage concentrated quarantine areas, he added.
The PM requested Ministry of Defense to mobilize the military medical staffs to make training to medical centers at localities to implement the test safety and properly, especially at quarantine areas under control of the Army. He strongly believed that with the consolidate and determination, the Army of Vietnam with military medical forces to successfully complete the assignments given by the Party and State to win in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
3. Responding to drought and saltwater intrusion in Mekong Delta
As forecasted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the saltwater intrusion will decrease from March 26 to April 6 and this is the good time for taking fresh water from the river mouths.
Accordingly, saltwater intrusion at the river mouths at Mekong River has been reducing but still at high level; those at Vam Co and Cai Lon rivers keep on increasing while at Ham Luong, Cua Tieu, Cua Dai river mouths are at even higher level. But this is the lowest saline intrusion time at the river mouths of Mekong river since January 2020, so taking fresh water at this moment of time is most appropriate.
From April 8 to 15, saltwater intrusion will increase in accordance with high tides in the middle of the Lunar’s third month, with the salt concentration of 4 grams per litter at the river mouths. From the half-end of April 2020, the saline intrusion at areas in the Mekong river mouths is likely reduce sharply while that of the Vam Co and Cai Lon rivers will start decreasing from early May 2020.
To minimize the impacts caused by saltwater intrusion in the rest of the dry season 2020, MARD requested the People’s Committees of provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta to continue implementing Directive No. 04/CT-TTg issued on January 22, 2020 by Prime Minister on the prompt actions responding to the drought, freshwater shortage, saltwater intrusion at dry season; and PM’s instruction at working session with provincial leaders of Mekong Delta on March 8, 2020 in Ben Tre province.
The works include measuring, supervising salt concentration level at the fresh water sluices to take proper water. Take advantage of the reducing saline intrusion time to provide fresh water to fruit trees planting areas, which are facing risk of water shortage and clean water to the people.
4. Commercial banks support enterprises hit by Covid-19
Right after Covid-19 epidemic appeared in Vietnam, the central bank has instructed commercial banks to delay, extend, and reschedule debt payments as well as reduce interest rates and fees for businesses, while providing new loans to help them overcome difficulties.
In response, a number of commercial banks in Vietnam have started introducing preferential policies to support enterprise coping with the situation. Specifically, Vietinbank has upgraded the credit package of 30 trillion VND at the market’s lowest interest rate. The bank has also offered free international payment fee and commercial support at the maximum of 100% to enterprises operating in fields of pharmacy, medical equipment supplying or clients having trading transactions with China and South Korea markets.
Earlier, Vietcombank has implemented a credit package facilitating clients being impacted by Covid-19 since February 11. As estimation, the initial outstanding scale is about 78 trillion VND but may increase up to 120 billion VND if the pandemic develops complicatedly or spread out. The bank also cut 1-1.5% of lending interest rate for the preferential credit package.
In the transaction processing, Vietcombank has authorized for its transaction branches to support interest rate flexibly for their clients. Enterprises and individuals doing business in transportation, tourism, restaurant, hotel, food ex-import being hit by Covid-19 can enjoy different interest rate preferential policies of the bank.
At the same time, OCB has introduced the 500 billion VND credit package with low interest rate for import & export enterprises. The bank also implemented online lending channel for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help customers manage their financial sources and accounts via online tools without going directly to the bank for transactions.
Another commercial bank, VPBank, has provided a number of financial solutions for SMEs, which easy to be touched for capital limit. The bank has reviewed and offered debt payment delay, extend, restructure debts and interest rate cut for its enterprises to avoid double-impact of the pandamic on the businesses.
While Techcombank has cooperated with enterprises which are facing liquidity difficulties to find suitable solutions, such as restructuring loan, delaying payment debt. The bank has offered credit package with supportive interest rate, free online banking account transfer fee for domestic enterprises, as well.