Indian scientists helps build capacity for Vietnam on monkeypox control

A isolated Monkeypox treatment ward at a hospital in Ahmedabad in India. (Photo: AFP/VNA)Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune are training experts from Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand to tackle monkeypox amidst escalating concerns over the disease.As part of India’s response to protecting its population from the new threat, NIV scientists are training their counterparts in these countries on testing, clinical symptoms, case definitions, sample collection, and equipment required for testing. NIV Pune has been conducting such training programmes for other countries from time to time, like it did during the COVID-19 pandemic and even before for biosafety and bio-risk mitigation, said Dr Pragya Yadav, a senior scientist at NIV Pune.If these countries develop the capacity to diagnose and detect monkeypox cases, that would enhance the screening of the suspected cases and reduce the travel-related importation of cases to other countries, he said.According to the scientist, some 139 participants from various countries participated in the last capacity-building programme which was launched on August 1.The institute does not only offer the capacity-building programme but also provides testing kits, reagents and probes for other countries upon request, said Prof., Dr Priya Abraham, Director of NIV Pune.Last week, the NIV lab isolated the monkeypox virus strain to help pharmaceutical companies to develop monkeypox vaccine and diagnostic kits. Besides this, the institute has been designated as a referral laboratory for testing suspected cases. In addition, 15 other ICMR-VRDL (Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory) network laboratories have been optimised to undertake diagnostic testing for monkeypox disease.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of July 27, around 18,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox globally from 78 countries and five deaths have been reported./.

August 07, 2022 10:54 UTC

Vietnam’s largest breast milk bank inaugurated in HCM City

breast milk bank , the largest of its kind in Vietnam, is inaugurated at Hung Vuong Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on August 6. (Photo: VNA)A breast milk bank, the largest of its kind in Vietnam, was inaugurated at Hung Vuong Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on August 6.The facility with a total investment capital of 6 billion VND (256,500 USD) is able to pasteurise 62 litres of milk per day.This is the second breast milk bank in the South and one of four breast milk banks operating in Vietnam . Breast milk not only helps children grow up quickly and comprehensively, but also strengthens the immune system, especially in the period when the child’s immune system is not yet complete.Passive antibodies passed from mother to baby in breast milk will help the baby fight many infectious diseases in the living environment.Every year, the Neonatal Department of Hung Vuong Hospital takes care of thousands of premature, low birth weight and pathological babies mostly based on formula milk as there is no donated or stored breast milk. The establishment of the breast milk bank is highly appreciated providing milk to these unfortunate children. So far 17 mothers have donated 235 litres of raw milk to the bank.“We hope that many other mothers will know about the breast milk bank and volunteer to donate milk to help save the lives of other unfortunate children,” said Hoang Thi Diem Tuyet, Director of Hung Vuong Hospital ./.

August 06, 2022 16:40 UTC

Vietnamese exporters updated about UKCA mark

A wood product factory in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)– A webinar was held on August 4 to update Vietnamese exporters on the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark, which is mandatory for most of industrial products circulated and used in the UK from next year.The UKCA was created to replace the CE (Conformité Européene - European Conformity) mark of the European Union after the UK left the bloc in 2020.Though the new mark already took effect on January 1, 2021, the UK still accepts the CE mark during the transition process so that businesses can have time to adapt to new requirements. However, the UKCA will be compulsory for most of industrial products exported to the country from January 1, 2023.Addressing the seminar, Vietnam’s Trade Counsellor in the UK Nguyen Canh Cuong said the timely adaptation to the UKCA marking requirements is highly necessary for Vietnamese firms to not miss business chances in the major import market of industrial products.Vietnam has made up just a small part of the UK’s industrial imports, but thanks to the UK - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) and changes in global supply chains, opportunities for Vietnamese companies to expand their market share are considerable, he noted.The UK is one of Vietnam’s leading partners in Europe. Bilateral trade has been growing strongly in recent years, rising by 10.2% from 2020 to over 6.6 billion USD in 2021.Industrial products, mainly mobile phones and components, computers, machinery, equipment, tools and steel, accounted for 44.2%, 2.54 billion USD, of Vietnam’ exports to this market last year, according to Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the European - American Market Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade.He held that updating enterprises on the UKCA is greatly crucial for capitalising on advantages under the UKVFTA and grasping opportunities generated by the thriving diplomatic and trade ties, as well as the UK’s high import demand.At the event, Emily Beis and Erin Fair, experts from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, provided information about the UKCA mark and fielded questions from Vietnamese enterprises.Erin Fair said as Vietnam is a major exporter of the UK, the UK Government attaches importance to giving instructions to help Vietnamese companies meet the UKCA marking requirements.The UK side is ready to hold virtual and face-to-face workshops in Vietnam to provide more assistance this November, she added./.

August 05, 2022 15:47 UTC

India keen on expanding partnership with ASEAN

– India hopes to further expand partnerships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said at the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministerial Meeting that took place in Phnom Penh on August 4.He said that at the meeting, participants agreed on the viewpoint on connectivity projects and the response to COVID-19 pandemic, as well as issues related to cyber security.Writing on Twitter, Jaishankar held that the ASEAN- India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was effective, and thanked his counterparts from the ASEAN for the active discussions.He clarified that the two sides agreed to promote their partnerships in the fields of digital, health, agriculture, education and green growth.The ministers also discussed the overall situation in the Indo-Pacific region, and sought measures to further expand their relations amid complicated developments in the geopolitical situation.The ASEAN-India partnership was established in 1992 before being elevated to a comprehensive dialogue relationship in December 1995 and a high-level partnership in 2002. The relationship continued to be lifted to a strategic partnership in 2012.ASEAN has been the centre of India’s Act East Policy and its Indo-Pacific vision.Meanwhile, at the ASEAN-Australia Foreign Ministerial Meeting that took place the same day, Australian foreign minister Penny Wong affirmed that Australia wants to cooperate with ASEAN for a region that is stable, prosperous and respectful of sovereignty.Speaking to the media earlier, Wong reaffirmed that Australia hopes to collaborate with the 10-member ASEAN to form an area that benefits all parties./.

August 05, 2022 13:05 UTC

Vietnamese, Lao experts share experience in hydropower plant operation

Lao officials are introduced about the operation of Vietnam’s Son La hydroelectric power plant . (Photo: VNA)Officials from the Department of Energy Safety Management (DESM) under the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines made a working visit to Vietnam’s Son La hydroelectric power plant on August 3 and 4 to study the plant’s operation.The Son La hydroelectric power plant is the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia, with six turbines having a combined capacity of 2,400 MW. The plant generates over 10 billion kWh of electricity a year.The operation of the plant has ensured absolute safety since it was commissioned nearly 10 years ago. Besides electricity generation, the plant plays an important role in preventing floods in the rainy season and supplying water in the dry season for the Red River Delta , while creating an impetus for socio-economic development in the northwestern region.The Lao delegation has made a field trip and studied the operation of the plant with a focus on the safety of the dam and reservoir in the rainy season.DESM Deputy Director Phoukhong Sengvilay said he is impressed by the plant, and particularly the fact that it was entirely designed and built by Vietnamese engineers.He asked Vietnamese ministries, sectors and the Son La hydropower company to help Laos build regulations on dam safety and reservoir operation for hydropower plants in Laos./.

August 04, 2022 20:11 UTC

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