Read what is in the news today:
-- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio in Hanoi on Tuesday, highlighting the two countries’ stronger relations during the diplomat’s tenure.
-- Nearly 200 Vietnamese citizens who had been stranded in the Philippines due to the country’s ban on international flights were taken on a charter flight operated by Vietnam Airlines from Cebu to Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta late Tuesday. They are now quarantined at a military facility in neighboring Hau Giang Province.
-- The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said it had directed its missions in Thailand and Singapore to urgently establish contact with about 100 Vietnamese citizens stranded in the two countries due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and to work with local authorities to arrange for them to board flights home.
-- As PM Phuc has urged citizens to “wear face masks when you go out,” Ho Chi Minh City assures its residents there is sufficient supply of antibacterial cloth masks being sold at major supermarket chains including Co.op Mart, Vinmart, Lotte Mart, Satra, and Big C. Shoppers who find such masks absent from the shelves at these supermarkets should report the situation to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade via the hotline number 028 38291670.
-- A pair of trains that run daily between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will be suspended from Thursday due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, Hanoi Railway Transport JSC has announced. The suspension of the trains SE9/SE10 is expected to last until April 28, the company said.
-- The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade on Tuesday proposed that domestic rice exporters be allowed to continue exporting rice while reevaluations are made on the country’s rice production, the volume of contractually committed rice exports, and businesses’ actual inventory of rice. Earlier, the General Department of Vietnam Customs asked local customs departments to cease clearance of rice exports following a prime minister conclusion on assuring domestic food security in times of COVID-19.
-- Dozens of Vietnamese companies are racing to buy back shares to stabilize prices amid the COVID-19 epidemic, which has sent stocks plummeting, according to a report by the official Vietnam News Agency.
-- The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism has launched ‘I love Banh mi Sai Gon’ (I love Saigon bread), a week-long event lasting from March 24 to 31 that is part of activities to celebrate ‘banh mi’ -- Vietnamese stuffed baguette -- on the ninth anniversary of its admission into the Oxford English Dictionary.
-- The novel coronavirus has infected over 421,000 people and killed more than 18,800 globally as of Wednesday morning, according to Ministry of Health statistics. Over 108,300 cases have recovered worldwide.