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340 stranded Vietnamese citizens brought home from Russia

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 13:32 GMT+7
340 stranded Vietnamese citizens brought home from Russia
Vietnamese citizens wait to board a flight home at an international airport in Moscow, Russia, May 12, 2020. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday morning that Vietnamese and Russian authorities, in coordination with national carrier Vietnam Airlines, had flown home 340 Vietnamese citizens from Moscow.

Most of the passengers were children under 18 years old, senior citizens, people with pre-existing medical conditions, overseas students struggling with school dormitory closures, pregnant women, stranded travelers, and workers with expired visas and employment contracts.

According to the foreign ministry, the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia had instructed the passengers to follow necessary procedures and coordinated with Russian authorities to create favorable conditions for getting the citizens to the airport. 

The embassy also sent officials to the airport to provide first-hand assistance to the citizens during the boarding process.

During the flight, Vietnam Airlines strictly implemented measures on security, safety and epidemiological hygiene.

All of the passengers had their health checked and were quarantined upon arrival at Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh on Wednesday morning.

Vietnamese citizens wait to board a flight home at an international airport in Moscow, Russia, May 12, 2020. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vietnamese citizens arrive at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam from Moscow, Russia, May 13, 2020. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tuesday’s departure flight from Vietnam, operated by Vietnam Airlines, also carried Russian nationals en route to their home country.

Russia has reported over 2,100 deaths due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, with total infections topping 232,000 as of Wednesday morning.

Following Wednesday’s repatriation, Vietnam’s foreign ministry, transport ministry and related agencies have plans to continue arranging commercial flights to evacuate Vietnamese expatriates from foreign countries depending on epidemic developments and overseas citizens’ demands.

Vietnam has barred entry to all foreigners, including persons who hold visa exemption documents, starting March 22.

All international flights were suspended three days later.

The Southeast Asian country has confirmed 288 cases to date, with 252 recoveries and no fatalities.

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