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40 Vietnamese remain stranded at foreign airports due to COVID-19: ministry

40 Vietnamese remain stranded at foreign airports due to COVID-19: ministry

Friday, March 27, 2020, 18:02 GMT+7
40 Vietnamese remain stranded at foreign airports due to COVID-19: ministry
The spokesperson for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang speaks at a regular press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, March 26, 2020. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam has helped take around 800 citizens back home amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic but there are still 40 Vietnamese trapped at airports in foreign countries, according to the foreign ministry’s spokesperson.

Le Thi Thu Hang, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provided the figures at a regular press conference in Hanoi on Thursday.

In response to reporters’ request for Vietnamese representative agencies’ measures to support overseas Vietnamese citizens having difficulty returning to the country due to COVID-19, Hang said the ministry has continuously updated Vietnamese citizens on necessary information and issued advisories for them on travel during the pandemic.

The ministry advises Vietnamese citizens to limit traveling between countries and returning to Vietnam at this time, Hang said.

Overseas Vietnamese who choose to come back to Vietnam are advised to check for the latest updates and regulations of their host countries and airlines regarding COVID-19 preventive measures and comply with such measures.

They should also make sure that they carry with them the required documents, especially health declaration certificates, while traveling.

The ministry warned that Vietnamese citizens can become stranded at foreign international airports if they lack such required documents or if the country or territory and airlines change their regulations.

According to Hang, the ministry has directed overseas Vietnamese missions to coordinate with domestic and foreign agencies to help about 800 citizens return home safely between March 21 and 25.

Meanwhile, about 40 Vietnamese citizens are still unable to get home from international airports in foreign countries.

To deal with the situation, Hang said, the Vietnamese missions in those countries have been working closely with international airlines and local authorities to ensure medical care, provide essential necessities, arrange temporary accommodations, and assist them in finding flights to get back to Vietnam.

Overseas Vietnamese citizens in need of assistance are advised to call the citizen protection hotlines posted on the official websites of the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas Vietnamese representative agencies, or the phone number of the citizen protection switchboard.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 540,000 and killed more than 24,300 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Vietnam has confirmed 153 COVID-19 cases, with 20 having already been discharged from hospitals by Friday morning.

No death from the disease has been reported in the country so far.

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