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161 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from US test negative for COVID-19 in first round

161 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from US test negative for COVID-19 in first round

Monday, May 11, 2020, 13:35 GMT+7
161 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from US test negative for COVID-19 in first round
Vietnamese citizens stranded in Malaysia hold printed papers to form a ‘thank you’ message to the Vietnamese government and Vietnam Airlines in this photo taken before they boarded a flight home, May 10, 2020. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

At least 161 out of 343 Vietnamese citizens repatriated from the United States on Friday last week have tested negative in the first round of testing for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A Vietnam Airlines flight from California, the U.S. landed at Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh late Friday, carrying 343 Vietnamese citizens home.

Upon their arrival, the passengers — most of whom were children under-18 years old, senior citizens, people with pre-existing medical conditions, and overseas students struggling with school dormitory closure — and cabin crew members were quarantined in line with regulations.

Of the 343 passengers, 161, including 72 males and 89 females, were quarantined at a military facility in Bim Son Town, located in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa.

They were sampled for COVID-19 testing, with their results all returning negative for the virus in the first round of testing, Luong Ngoc Truong, director of Thanh Hoa Province’s Center for Disease Control, said on Sunday afternoon.

During their quarantine period, each of the citizens is provided with necessities and daily meals.

Twice a day, camp staff visit and check on each person’s body temperature.

Two children and a pregnant woman staying at the facility will receive additional regular health check-ups as per the health ministry’s regulations.

All of the 161 citizens will be tested for COVID-19 for a second time before they finish their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

On Sunday, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia coordinated with other Vietnamese agencies, Vietnam Airlines, and relevant agencies of Malaysia to organize a flight bringing home 273 Vietnamese citizens stranded in Malaysia.

Upon arriving at Da Nang International Airport in the namesake central city on the same day, the passengers were transported to centralized health camps to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Vietnam has logged only 20 imported cases who are returnees from abroad and no community transmission of COVID-19 over the past 25 days.

The country's COVID-19 tally is at 288, with 241 recoveries and no deaths.

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