43 Chinese metro experts cleared to enter Vietnam

By Viet Tuan   March 5, 2020 | 04:44 pm PT
43 Chinese metro experts cleared to enter Vietnam
A railway section of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro Line in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Forty-three Chinese experts working on Hanoi’s first metro line have been cleared to enter Vietnam, but they will be quarantined before resuming work.

The 43 experts working on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro Line will be quarantined in a hotel away from crowded areas, the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control said Thursday.

No information was released on when the remaining Chinese experts working on the metro line will receive permits to enter Vietnam.

More than 100 Chinese experts had returned to China for the Lunar New Year break, but most of them have not been able to reenter Vietnam since because the Chinese government has forbidden its citizens to leave the country since the novel coronavirus outbreak. All flights between the two countries have been suspended.

The Chinese director of the project, Tang Hong, was the first to reenter Vietnam last month, and is being quarantined until March 9. A 20-day trial run of the metro has been delayed until the experts are back.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro Line runs 13 kilometers from Cat Linh in downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia in Ha Dong District.

Work on it began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013, but loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017 and other issues stalled it for years.

Construction was completed in December last year, with the original estimated cost of $553 million ballooning to more than $868 million.

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