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Major Vietnamese port to screen South Korean ships

By Giang Chinh   February 26, 2020 | 02:27 am PT
Major Vietnamese port to screen South Korean ships
Cargo ships at Hai Phong Port in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh.
Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam will screen South Korean cargo vessels docking at its port for coronavirus infection.

As decided by the city’s chairman Tuesday, Hai Phong Port, the biggest in the north and second biggest in Vietnam after Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh City, will hold all ships arriving from South Korea at Dau Islet for medical screening. The islet is already operating as a mooring bay.

Before each ship enters port, the entire vessel will be checked by staff from Hai Phong International Health Quarantine Center, with all crew members to remain on board.

Vietnamese crew who want to disembark will be quarantined for 14 days.

Hai Phong authorities requested operators, owners and captains of South Korean cargo vessels to keep track of their crew’s health.

The port city previously applied the same routine to cargo ships from China, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

In the past 20 days, Hai Phong Port screened 245 ships carrying 4,814 crew members, all testing negative for the virus.

Its new policy follows South Korea becoming one of the worst-hit countries and territories by the coronavirus epidemic, recording 1,146 infections by Wednesday, just after China.

Vietnam on Tuesday announced it would suspend entries from all areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including those in South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.

All arrivals from countries stricken by the coronavirus, even from areas free of the epidemic, will have to submit a health declaration and submit to further procedures deemed necessary when entering Vietnam.

The last of Vietnam’s 16 coronavirus patients was discharged from hospital Wednesday morning. Over the past two weeks, no new infections have been reported here.

Covid-19 caused by the new coronavirus has affected 39 countries and territories. Fatalities have surpassed 2,700, mostly in China, followed by Iran with 16, South Korea with 12 and Italy with 11.

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