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580 Vietnamese fly home from Singapore, Canada amid pandemic

By Quy Nguyen    July 25, 2020 | 05:00 pm PT
580 Vietnamese fly home from Singapore, Canada amid pandemic
Vietnamese passengers wait in line at Toronto Pearson Airport before boarding a repatriation flight, July 24, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Vietnam on Saturday repatriated 580 of its citizens stranded in Singapore and Canada, current Covid-19 hotspots, quarantining all upon arrival.

Vietnam’s fifth repatriation flight from Singapore, operated by Vietjet Air, landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, carrying home 240 passengers, mainly children, students, elderly and sick people, pregnant women, workers whose labor contracts had expired, and stranded tourists.

Singapore is currently Southeast Asia’s third biggest Covid-19 hotspot after Indonesia and the Philippines, recording over 49,000 infections and 27 deaths. Over the past three months, Vietnam has brought home over 700 citizens from the island state.

Also on Saturday, a Vietnam Airlines flight that departed from Toronto Pearson Airport also brought home 340 citizens. This was the fourth repatriation flight from Canada, the third biggest Covid-19 hotspot in North America after the U.S. and Mexico.

They underwent medical checks before boarding, were quarantined on arrival, and their samples have been taken for testing.

More than 16,000 Vietnamese nationals have been brought home from 50 countries and territories on 60 flights since the country started repatriating citizens stranded abroad on April 10, Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Doan Khac Viet said Friday.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said 50 more flights would bring another 13,000 people home by the end of next month.

The country has recorded 418 infections as of Sunday morning. Of them, 365 have recovered and 53 are active cases.

The pandemic has killed over 641,800 people globally.

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