50 Italians repatriated from Vietnam

By Phan Anh   April 18, 2020 | 04:30 am PT
50 Italians repatriated from Vietnam
A medical worker disinfects a Vietnam Airlines plane in March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Over 50 stranded Italians were repatriated from Vietnam Friday night, with the flight also carrying four tons of medical equipment to aid Italy’s Covid-19 fight.

Vietnamese authorities, in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Vietnam and Italian oil and gas firm Eni, organized the flight that was operated by Vietnam Airlines, the Foreign Ministry said.

On board were over 50 Italians, four tons of medical equipment gifted by Vietnam to help Italy in its fight against Covid-19.

A Vietnam Airlines press release said that 22 crew members, including 14 attendants, six pilots and two technicians, all wore protective suits on the flight to prevent possible infections.

All passengers had their body temperatures checked prior to departure, and were requested to wear masks for the entire flight.

It was the first direct flight from Vietnam to Italy by the national flag carrier.

The return flight, which landed in Da Nang in central Vietnam Saturday morning, carried a number of Vietnamese citizens in areas badly affected by Covid-19 in Italy, who lack medical and other essential resources.

Vietnam Airlines has organized several flights to repatriate foreigners in Vietnam, including Germans, Brits and other Europeans.

Since March 22, Vietnam has prohibited entry for all foreign nationals. Only Vietnamese and foreigners carrying diplomatic or official passports are allowed in, and everyone is quarantined for 14 days. Vietnamese carriers also suspended all international flights on March 25.

Vietnam has confirmed 268 Covid-19 cases so far, of which 67 are active. The country has recorded no new infection in the last two days.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reached 210 countries and territories, and reported deaths have surpassed 154,300.

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