Saigon refuses entry to 286 flight passengers in anti-novel coronavirus measure

By Doan Loan   February 6, 2020 | 05:02 am PT
Saigon refuses entry to 286 flight passengers in anti-novel coronavirus measure
A staff measures body temperature of passengers arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport in February 2020. Photo courtesy of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.
HCMC has refused entry to 286 flight passengers since January 30 because they had stayed or transited in China prior to their arrival.

As of Wednesday, authorities at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport had refused to let 286 passengers enter Vietnam after they arrived in Ho Chi Minh City via 16 different flights, two of them operated by a Vietnamese airline.

Of these passengers, 218 had came to HCMC from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific flight B777. 43 of the remaining passengers came from Malaysia, 10 from Thailand and four from Singapore.

After they were refused entry, airport authorities sent the passengers to one gate area that has been restricted and set up particularly to check body temperatures before having the carriers take them back to their original destinations.

The airport so far has quarantined three people suspected of being infected with the nCoV. Two of them have tested negative and results are awaited for the third.

Since Vietnam suspended all flights to and from nCoV-hit areas in China since February 1, the Tan Son Nhat airport has canceled 40 flights each day on average on such routes.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 12 nCoV infections, including three in HCMC.

Of the patients, three have been discharged by the hospitals, one from the city’s Cho Ray Hospital.

The country has recorded 409 suspected infection cases so far, and 347 have tested negative for the virus. 349 others who had close contact with infected patients are being closely monitored.

As of Thursday afternoon, the nCoV death toll had jumped to 565 and confirmed infections to over 28,300, of whom 1,322 had recovered.

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