|Flameboyant is a typical flower of summer in many localities in Vietnam. (File photo)
B: Last week VOV received 372 letters from listeners from some 40 countries and territories. About 50 of them wrote to the English sections with comments and questions.
A: I’m reading an email from Mats Westin of Sweden. It has been years since he last wrote to us. Mats has been DXing in Sweden since 1970. Some years ago he built 3 rather simple “Flag” wire antennas, and could finally hear transatlantic and Far East medium wave stations.
B: Mats told us: “I’m glad so many Asian stations are still on medium wave. Many European stations have closed down which is a bit sad but this means the Middle and the Far East can be heard better. There’s always a thrill in hunting AM signals and managing the best possible reception over noise and interference. The joy when you dig out an ID far exceeds any computer game or the like!”
A: Thank you Mats for sharing your joy of listening to shortwave with us, and the unique happiness of discovering something. Many listeners have told us about their passion for DX’ing. It’s heartening to listen to familiar voices in a very far place. The voices capture people’s imagination.
B: The fun of DX’ing is that you don't need expensive equipment, a connection to the internet, an elaborate antenna, or even AC main power. To pick up most broadcasts from around the globe, a few batteries and a pocket-sized shortwave radio are all you need.
A: Who else are fans of shortwave radio? We hope you will share your feelings and experiences with us and other listeners.
Purple velvet crepe myrtle trees blossom along Hanoi streets
B: Mats told us that he was delighted to receive a beautiful postal QSL from Voice of Vietnam in late 2019 for an overseas service on 1242 kHz. Since then Mats has heard VOV quite sporadically there. He wrote: “On January 6, I was excited to hear what I understand is your home service, a program from Hung Yen on 675 kHz and one on 549 kHz. Especially the former had a really fine signal.”
A: It’s amazing that you can catch our domestic frequency from such a long distance. We are sorry that we’re not in the position to verify programs of local stations. We only verify reception reports of VOV’s English program.
B: VOV has no longer issued paper QSL cards to confirm listeners’ reception reports since early 2020. But instead you can receive our e-QSL which is faster and trendy these days. Thank you very much for listening to VOV and giving us feedback. We hope to receive your reception report of our programs next time.
A: We received a reception report from Shivendul Paul of India, who tuned in to our frequency of 7220khz on many days in May. Last Sunday he learned more about the National Assembly election, which was widely covered on radio, websites, and social media.
B: He appreciated Vietnam’s measures to live safely in the COVID-19 pandemic – the 5K message from Vietnam's Ministry of Health is very good – wearing masks, using disinfectant, keeping a safe distance, avoiding large gatherings, and making health declarations.
A: Shivendul Paul told us that West Bengal, where he lives, has lockdown until the end of the month.
B: Lockdown is an effective way to slow the infection while vaccination is limited. We hope the pandemic in India will soon subside. In Vietnam some localities have reported an increasing number of infections but the situation is still under control.
A: Another Indian listener Siddhartha Bhattacharjee told us about the situation in his country: “Some of the states are in lockdown and have already started a vaccination program for the frontline staff and citizens.”
B: He asked: “Is the COVID-19 treatment cost covered by the government?” and “Is there any government plan to fight the 3rd wave of COVID-19?”
A: Vietnam’s Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases says that COVID-19 patients receive free testing and treatment.
B: Overseas Vietnamese and foreigners, who register to enter Vietnam, have to take 21-day quarantine either at military bases or hotels and accommodations authorized to quarantine people. They have to pay for their quarantine fees, including food, accommodations, and other services.
A: More than 1 million Vietnamese have received at least one shot of AstraZeneca vaccine. Vietnam received nearly 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday and nearly 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine on May 16th from the WHO’s COVAX program. Besides vaccines from the COVAX program, Vietnam has negotiated with many sources to buy vaccines using state budget and donations from businesses to a COVID-19 vaccine fund.
B: Apart from seeking vaccine supplies from foreign sources, Vietnam has enhanced the study and production of its own vaccines. The Ministry of Health has been working with partners and some businesses in vaccine production, hoping that Made-in-Vietnam vaccines will be available by early next year.
A: The Ministry of Health estimates that by the end of this year, Vietnam will receive about 110 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, but its goal is to have 150 million doses to vaccinate 75 percent of the population.
B: Let’s continue to check letters from other listeners. Here I have an email from Ashik Eqbal Tokon of Bangladesh. He told us that due to some personal issues, he couldn’t write to us for months. He wrote: “I have never missed your voice through my SW receiver Grundig YB 400, and the SIO was 343 on average.”
A: We’re very glad that you came back to our program and you’re doing well in the COVID-19 pandemic. Ashik listened to his favorite program, the Letter Box, and said: “I’d like to convey my thanks to you for the excellent presentation of Great Leader, beloved President Ho Chi Minh. The last Letter Box was really informative and interesting for all the VOV listeners, because of the information about President Ho.”
B: Thank you Ashik and other listeners for your congratulations on the 131st birth anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh last week.
A: Summer is the rainy season which starts in late April or early May and lasts until October. Some of our listeners ask us about the biggest ever cyclone in Vietnam. On average, 11 storms and tropical low pressures develop in the East Sea during summer of which half are tropical cyclones. These storms and cyclones then move westwards towards Vietnam. Vietnam is affected by 6 to 8 typhoons or tropical cyclones per year.
B: Every year, Vietnam suffers great losses of human lives and assets from storms and floods. Last year’s storm Molave is one of the strongest storms to hit Vietnam in 20 years.
A: The storm, which swept central Vietnam, inflicted economic damage worth around 430 million USD, according to statistics from affected provinces. The damage was nearly 1.5 times higher than 2019’s total natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides.
B: At least 33 people were killed, over 720 houses collapsed, and 177,000 others seriously damaged, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disasters Prevention and Control.
A: Time is running out on VOV’s Letter Box. We hope you will spend more time on VOV’s English program and write to us regularly.
B: We always welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVWORLD, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! Take care and be safe!