More than 280 Vietnamese citizens, including 17 young children, have been repatriated after being stranded in Russia for several months due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Vietnamese authorities, representative agencies in Russia, and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines worked together with Russian authorities to bring the citizens home on Wednesday and Thursday.
The passengers included 17 children — many of whom are under two years old — the elderly, the sick, pregnant women, workers with expired labor contracts, stranded tourists, and students with no place to stay after their schools and dormitories were closed.
The Embassy of Vietnam in Russia coordinated with local authorities to help the citizens travel from Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg, Saint Petersburg, and some other localities to an airport in Moscow.
Strict security and safety measures were enforced during the flight to protect passengers’ health and prevent the spread of the disease.
All passengers and air crew members underwent a health check and were brought to quarantine centers after their arrival at Can Tho International Airport, located in the namesake Mekong Delta city.
Under the prime minister’s direction, domestic authorities and Vietnam’s overseas representative offices will arrange more flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens.
The coronavirus has infected almost 12.1 million people and killed more than 552,000 patients around the world as of Thursday morning, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health's statistics.
Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally is currently at 369, with 347 recoveries and zero deaths.