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Vietnam to halt flights from countries with new Covid-19 variant

January 05, 2021 | 07:43

The Ministry of Health has submitted a report to the Prime Minister, proposing that Vietnam stop operating and restrict licensing flights to Vietnam from countries and territories with the new Covid-19 variant.

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Passengers boarding a repatriation flight from the U.K. to Ho Chi Minh City on June 3, 2020.

Photo: People's Army newspaper.

In its report, the MoH noted that the novel coronavirus pandemic has recently evolved in a complex manner globally following the emergence of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus variant, according to VOV.

The new strain variant VOC202012/01 was said to originate from the United Kingdom and it has so far spread to 34 countries and territories worldwide, including Vietnam.

Over 40 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East have restricted travel from the U.K. and, in some cases, travel from other countries that have documented cases with the virus variant.

In Vietnam, a female resident of Tra Vinh province was confirmed on January 2 as the country’s first case of the coronavirus variant. She is being quarantined at a hospital in Tra Vinh for medical observation and treatment. She was among a group of 305 passengers returning to Vietnam by Vietnam Airlines flight VN50 that landed in Can Tho on December 22.

The patient is in stable health condition, according to doctors who are taking care of her.

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Citizens repatriated from abroad arrive at a quarantine site Photo: VNA

In an attempt to prevent the new variant from further entering Vietnam, the MoH proposed that the Prime Minister direct a number of relevant ministries and agencies to stop operating and restrict the licensing of flights to Vietnam from countries and territories that have recorded the new variant of the virus.

Since Vietnam suspended inbound international flights in late March, the government has organized around 260 repatriation flights to bring Vietnamese citizens back from 59 countries and territories, including the U.K., according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to repatriation flights, some special flights carrying foreign experts and investors have also been allowed to fly into Vietnam.

Vietnam has recorded 1,497 COVID-19 cases so far. As many as 1,339 patients have fully recovered from the disease while the number of related deaths is still kept at 35. Among the patients undergoing treatment across the country, nine have tested negative for the virus once, six others twice, and five thrice.

As many as 19,055 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined nationwide, including 152 in hospitals, 17,234 in state-designated establishments, and 1,669 at their residences.

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