Over 300 Vietnamese returning from South Korea quarantined

By Vo Hai, Giang Chinh, Hoang Tao   February 26, 2020 | 04:50 pm PT
Over 300 Vietnamese returning from South Korea quarantined
A medical worker sanitizes a section of a quarantine zone under the Hanoi Military High Command, February 2020. Photo by Vnexpress/Dung Nguyen.
At least 321 Vietnamese returning from South Korea have been quarantined in multiple localities with the country becoming a Covid-19 hub.

Hanoi received 102 of the returnees from Daegu Tuesday night and 72 on Wednesday, the municipal Military High Command said. They have been quarantined in a military school in Son Tay Town on the city outskirts, it added.

Despite Hanoi having not recorded any Covid-19 infection case to date, the capital had made plans to create new field hospitals in the city should the epidemic continue to spread.

The Hanoi Military High Command had named Son Tay and Xuan Mai towns as two possible locations for building two field hospitals, each with 150 beds and 120 staff members.

The Hanoi Department of Health also plans to request the municipal administration to make use of Thanh Do University in Hoai Duc District to place 500-700 beds in support of the field hospitals.

An additional hospital with 1,000 beds in Me Linh District could be built next, should the outbreak continue to spread further.

In the northern port city of Hai Phong, 82 people returning from Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province Wednesday have also been quarantined for 14 days at the Viet Tiep Hospital. 37 are Hai Phong residents and the rest are South Koreans, said Pham Thu Xanh, director of the Hai Phong Department of Health.

In central Vietnam, two women who landed at the Da Nang International Airport on February 21 and took a bus back home to Quang Tri Province the same day are also undergoing procedures to be quarantined in the province’s Tuberculosis and Lung Hospital, said Tran Dinh Cam, chairman of the Cua Viet Town People’s Committee.

Nine relatives of the two workers will also be quarantined by the Quang Tri Military Command in Dong Ha City, he added.

Da Nang has already quarantined 58 people coming from Daegu on Monday and Khanh Hoa Province, home to popular resort town Nha Trang, put five Vietnamese students from Daegu in quarantine on Tuesday.

South Korea has made international headlines as the worst-hit country after China, with 1,261 Covid-19 infections in total, many in the southeastern city of Daegu and the nearby North Gyeongsang Province.

Vietnam has suspended entry from all areas that have experienced a Covid-19 outbreak under a prime ministerial directive issued Tuesday. The new policy would apply to outbreak areas in South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran and all other countries and territories that have reported Covid-19 cases, it was announced.

Those coming from infected countries who have to enter Vietnam for state affairs or exclusive matters must follow the nation’s health declaration procedure and stay in quarantine for 14 days, the directive said.

On Wednesday, the last of 16 Covid-19 patients recorded in Vietnam so far was discharged. The country has recorded no new infections over the past two weeks.

The global death toll of the disease has reached 2,773, mostly in China, followed by Iran at 19 and South Korea and Italy both at 12.

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