75,000 Vietnamese repatriated amid coronavirus pandemic

By Phan Anh   December 28, 2020 | 01:51 am PT
75,000 Vietnamese repatriated amid coronavirus pandemic
Vietnamese wait to be repatriated at an airport in Russia, May 12, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Over 75,000 Vietnamese have been repatriated amid existing Covid-19 travel restrictions this year, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said Monday.

At an online government meeting with local authorities Monday morning, Minh said Vietnam has succeeded in supporting its people amid the Covid-19 pandemic through organizing several repatriation flights, according to the government news portal.

Since Vietnam suspended international flights into the country in late March, it has organized around 260 repatriation flights to bring Vietnamese back from 59 countries and territories all over the globe, Minh said in a press release issued last week.

Vietnamese have been repatriated from some of the world’s most severe coronavirus hotspots, including the U.S., currently the country with the highest number of cases at over 19.5 million, India, the U.K. and South Korea.

There have been special repatriation flights, including one which brought home 219 Vietnamese from Equatorial Guinea in late July, when authorities said at first there were 129 Coivd-19 patients on board. However, later tests revealed there were only 22 infected cases among the repatriated, while the rest might have already been treated or recovered from the infection during the three to four weeks that passed before they landed in Vietnam.

Another repatriation flight in September brought back 53 infants from South Korea, unattended by their parents who stayed back for work. With some only a few months old, the children were taken into quarantine in southern Binh Duong Province, where 41 of their relatives were allowed to care for them.

A June flight had returned 343 Vietnamese from Taiwan, 243 of them pregnant.

One repatriation flight in May brought back 340 Vietnamese from India, with nearly 200 being monks, nuns and other Buddhists who had gone on retreat.

Vietnam has recorded 1,441 Covid-19 cases so far, with 100 still active and 35 dead. No community transmission has been recorded nationally in nearly a month.

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