Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City has stopped receiving international arrivals in response to the recent detection of a COVID-19 cluster in the southern metropolis.
The suspension will last from May 27 to June 4, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said in a document addressed to airlines, the Southern Airports Authority, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security.
The decision was based on directions given by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control and the Ministry of Transport, as well as a proposal from the Ho Chi Minh City administration.
During a meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control on Thursday morning, the transport ministry mandated that the Tan Son Nhat airport turn down repatriation flights for a week in order to facilitate pandemic response efforts in the southern metropolis.
The Ministry of Health on Thursday confirmed 36 domestic coronavirus cases in the city, all linked to Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation based in Go Vap District.
Twenty-nine of the patients are members of the Revival Ekklesia Mission while seven are their direct contacts.
The patients live in Thu Duc City and seven districts in Ho Chi Minh City, according to epidemiological investigation.
The source of infection of this cluster has yet to be identified.
Vietnam has documented 6,356 COVID-19 cases as of Friday morning, with 2,853 recoveries and 46 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health’s statistics.
The country has recorded 3,295 local infections in 31 provinces and cities since April 27, including 44 cases in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam has sealed its borders since March last year but it still grants entry to diplomats, foreign experts, and Vietnamese repatriates.
The country requires all arrivals from outside the country to undergo different forms of quarantine to stem the spread of COVID-19.