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Covid-19 impact: Vietnam to quarantine all overseas arrivals

By Doan Loan, Viet Tuan   March 20, 2020 | 06:16 am PT
Covid-19 impact: Vietnam to quarantine all overseas arrivals
An immigration officer checks the passport of a foreign visitor at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 13, 2020.
All passengers arriving in Vietnam from abroad will be automatically quarantined for 14 days starting on Saturday as authorities try to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The Transport Ministry directed the Vietnam Aviation Administration to notify all passengers of the requirement as per a decision taken by the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention.

Diplomats will be quarantined at their agency or place of accomodation under the supervision of local authorities.

Before entering Vietnam, every passenger will have to make a health declaration. The temperature of all passengers will be checked on embarking and before entering the aircraft, which will also be sterilized.

The Transport Ministry has asked all immigration, military, customs and medical authorities to complete required procedures quickly and keep the passengers in the airport for no more than 90 minutes.

International flights to Vietnam will have to land at designated airports in localities, including northern Quang Ninh Province, southern Can Tho City, and central Binh Dinh Province.

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention also said Friday that with the novel coronavirus infection becoming a pandemic, Vietnam needs to change its containment strategy. All concerned agencies should take action to prevent the risk of infection from hundreds of thousands of people who have entered Vietnam (from the first of March until now), including many from infected areas, the committee said.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said along with the quarantining of all Vietnamese and foreigners on entry, functional forces must urgently review and detect suspect cases early for Covid-19 testing.

On Wednesday, March 18, Vietnam had stopped issuing visas to all foreigners. All those who have visa exemptions, like overseas Vietnamese and direct relatives of Vietnamese citizens, as also other special cases like some experts, businesspeople and skilled workers, must have a Covid-19 negative certificate from an authorized agency of the host country and must be approved by Vietnam.

As of Friday, Vietnam has had 91 Covid-19 cases, of whom 74 are undergoing treatment and the remaining 17 have recovered.

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