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Vietnam mulls resumption of int’l flights to destinations ‘safe’ from COVID-19

Vietnam mulls resumption of int’l flights to destinations ‘safe’ from COVID-19

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 07:28 GMT+7
Vietnam mulls resumption of int’l flights to destinations ‘safe’ from COVID-19
Passengers wait for medical examination after arriving at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam in this file photo. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has tasked the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control with making a list of “safe regions” for the reopening of international commercial flights.

Safe destinations are those where there have been no new cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, for at least 30 days, the prime minister said at a government meeting on the disease response in Hanoi on Tuesday.

The PM emphasized it is impossible for the country to remain completely closed to international flights, but the reopening has to be done carefully and with consideration for the disease safety level in the countries or territories involved.

Vietnam has barred entry to foreign nationals since March 22, with exceptions for those carrying diplomatic or official passports or entering for special economic projects, who must be quarantined after entry.

At Tuesday’s meeting, PM Phuc also tasked the Ministry of Transport to direct the aviation sector to arrange unlimited number of flights to bring experts, businessmen, and Vietnamese citizens stranded overseas to Vietnam.

He asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue concrete criteria and open channels for Vietnamese citizens and foreign experts to register for a place on such flights.

Since April 24, Vietnamese authorities have conducted 20 special flights to repatriate 6,001 citizens stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the official VGP News.

Vietnam has confirmed 332 COVID-19 cases, including 192 imported cases immediately quarantined upon arrivals.

Over 95 percent of all patients have recovered, while six out of the 15 active patients have tested negative for the virus at least once.

As many as 8,182 people are under quarantine due to having been in close contact with COVID-19 patients or returning from foreign countries and territories, according to the national steering committee.

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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