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440 Vietnamese fly home from Singapore, Malaysia, Africa to evade coronavirus

By Nguyen Quy   June 27, 2020 | 06:48 pm PT
440 Vietnamese fly home from Singapore, Malaysia, Africa to evade coronavirus
Passengers walk with their suitcases at Can Tho International Airport after a repatriation flight from Singapore in April, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long.
Vietnamese authorities repatriated 440 citizens stuck in Singapore, Malaysia, and some African countries over the past few days amid Covid-19 complications.

A Vietnam Airlines flight landed at Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta on Saturday, returning 310 Vietnamese passengers stuck in Singapore.

Passengers included the elderly, youth under 18, people suffering illnesses and workers or tourists whose visas had expired, according to a Vietnam Foreign Ministry release. They were sent to quarantine camps in Ben Tre and An Giang provinces in the Mekong Delta.

This is also the third repatriation flight from Singapore. In April and May, Vietnam also brought home over 500 citizens from the island state.

Singapore is now the second hardest hit country by Covid-19 in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, with over 43,000 infections and 26 deaths.

On Thursday, the national flag carrier returned 130 Vietnamese stuck in Malaysia and African countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon.

90 Vietnamese citizens from Nigeria and Cameroon were taken to Lagos where they boarded a flight operated by the Ethiopian flag carrier bound for Kuala Lumpur, and later brought home alongside 40 Vietnamese workers stranded in Malaysia.

Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, all passengers received a health examination and went into quarantine to prevent community-associated infection.

Vietnam has reported 355 infections so far, with 330 having recovered after treatment. The country has gone 72 days without community transmission of the virus.

In the last few months, several special flights organized by the government have repatriated thousands of Vietnamese from several countries including France, India, Japan, Russia, the UAE and the U.S., as also other Southeast Asian countries. Passengers have paid their own fares.

More such flights are expected to repatriate Vietnamese citizens wanting to return home to avoid facing the Covid-19 pandemic elsewhere.

The pandemic has hit over 210 countries and territories, with more than 500,500 deaths reported so far.

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