A seminar on the technical design of the In-Pile Thermal Desorption technology, agreed to be used to decontaminate the Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin still present at Da Nang airport, was held in the central city of Da Nang on Aug. 2.
The event was part of the project to deal with the dioxin-contaminated environment at the airport, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence.
The project includes two missions, with mine clearance having already been completed in late 2011. The second is to gather the dioxin-contaminated soil for treatment starting on Aug. 9, witnessed by representatives of both the US and Vietnamese governments.
A board of assessors will be set up to appraise the technology and progress made in October 2012.
Hanoi’s five-star hotel on fire
A big fire on Thursday afternoon erupted at the lobby of the five-star hotel JW Marriott under construction, sending hundreds of workers rushing outside in panic.
Thick plumes of black smoke could be seen meters away from the building that was completely engulfed in flames.
There were no reports of human casualties, a source said.
“The area that was affected by the fire contains inflammable material, so when the fire broke out, the entrance was quickly engulfed in black smoke,” a worker recalled. “Upon seeing the black smoke, hundreds of workers rushed outside in a panic.”
According to some workers, the construction of the hotel was started in 2008 and is entering the final phase.
“At first, some workers managed to put out the fire using fire-extinguishers but the flames continued to spread,” another worker said.
“It was not until five fire engines were deployed to the scene that the fire was under control,” he added.
As of 3:30pm the same day, the fire was completely extinguished and workers have been back to the site from 4pm.
The cause of the fire has been attributed to a spark from a welder on an area connecting the 4th and the 5th floors, the workers said.
The hotel is supposed to have 9 floors with 450 rooms and is due to be completed in 2012.
Bitexco Corp. has invested around US$200 million into the construction project.
Ha Noi invests $4.8m in prenatal screening
An initiative to provide more prenatal screenings to pregnant women by 2015 has been submitted to the Ha Noi People's Committee. The project will cost the local government VND100 billion (US$4.8 million).
If women receive prenatal screenings, doctors can discover early on whether they are at risk for a particular birth defect, said Hoang Dieu Hien, deputy head of the Ha Noi Department of Population and Family Planning.
This will help reduce birth defects and improve the city's population quality, she said.
According to Hien, about VND70 billion ($3.3 million) will go into building a centre for prenatal and newborn screening at the Ha Noi's Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The rest of the funds will be used to train medical officials and staff and purchase equipment for prenatal screening, she said.
All local hospitals and health centres at district and commune levels now provide ultrasound-screening services for pregnant women.
The city aims to provide 90 per cent of pregnant women with prenatal screening by 2015.
Over the past year, 29 districts and 23 local hospitals have started prenatal screening programs under the National Target Programme.
More than 105,000 women received prenatal screenings, resulting in the detection of over 1,200 cases of birth defect.
New centre aims to improve railway safety
The Viet Nam Railway Rescue and Natural Disaster Response Centre officially opened in the capital city on Wednesday.
The centre will handle any problems related to rail transport and work on preventing railway accidents, said deputy minister of Transport Le Manh Hung.
Hung said the new centre would also be in charge of co-ordinating responses to storms and floods across the nation.
He said that Viet Nam was especially prone to the impacts of climate change, including increased flooding, so the centre's establishment was necessary and appropriate.
Hung added that the centre would closely co-operate with other offices, especially with the national rescue centre, to deal with any issues related to railways.
The centre is under the control of the Vietnam Railways and is also expected to help lower the number of railway accidents across the nation.
According to the Ministry of Transport, there were 228 railway accidents in Viet Nam this year, resulting in 116 deaths, while 153 others were injured.
Outbreak of dengue fever in Dong Nai, Ben Tre Provinces
The Preventive Medicine Center in the southern province of Dong Nai has reported an outbreak of dengue fever in all Communes and Wards of the Province, with a recorded 3,000 cases and five fatalities already.
In July alone, four deaths were reported in Dong Nai Province. So far, Bien Hoa City has recorded 800 cases of dengue fever, Trang Bom District has 500 infectious cases and Xuan Loc District has more than 400 cases.
Meanwhile, the Mekong delta province of Ben Tre is also currently reeling under an outbreak of dengue fever, with 1,069 recorded dengue fever cases including 105 that are in critical condition. Districts in the province reporting the most number of cases are Ba Tri with 216 cases, Binh Dai with 158 cases and Giong Trom with 142 cases.
Nguyen Van Thang, deputy director of the Department of Health in Ben Tre Province, has warned that the disease will devastate the province in the future if local authorities do not adopt prevention measures urgently.
On his part, he said that the health sector will do its best to stamp out this plague.
Probe ongoing into construction site deaths
Police in the southern province of Binh Duong have been looking into the construction quality of a 10,000sq.m workshop owned by the Chyang Sheng Company after a wall collapsed and killed four workers on the site on Tuesday.
Inspectors from the provincial Construction Department are also looking to verify the project's construction permit, bidding process and building practices.
Work at the site has been suspended pending further investigation.
Local authorities have refused to identify the incident as an occupational accident.
Project launched to boost social protection
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ) yesterday, Aug 2, launched a $2.4 million project to develop a social protection system in Viet Nam.
The 2.5 year project is expected to provide advice for strengthening social protection activities and facilitate the reform of the social assistance policy and delivery system which Vietnamese people, especially the poor, would directly benefit from, according to GIZ.
VND86 trillion road to link Ha Noi with neighbouring cities
By 2020, a belt line road will link Ha Noi to nearby cities and towns within a radius of 40-60km.
The Transport Engineering Design Incorporation (TEDI) unveiled a detailed plan for the road yesterday in the capital city.
The road will traverse 340km through eight cities and provinces in the northern main economic region including Ha Noi, Hoa Binh, Ha Nam, Thai Binh, Hai Duong, Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc.
The VND86 trillion (US$4.1 billion) project will be built in four sections surrounding the capital city: Son Tay – Phu Ly, Phu Ly-Bac Giang, Bac Giang – Thai Nguyen and Thai Nguyen – Son Tay.
Beginning soon, local authorities will install signs delineating these sections.
The road will be constructed from a combination of existing national highways and new 2-4 lane-roads.
From 2020-30, all the roads in the belt will be upgraded to have at least four lanes.
This is the fifth belt line road constructed in the capital.