Vietnam brings 129 Covid-19 patients home from Equatorial Guinea

By Doan Loan   July 30, 2020 | 07:30 am GMT+7
Vietnam brings 129 Covid-19 patients home from Equatorial Guinea
Vietnamese on the repatriation flight from Equatorial Guinea that lands at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, July 29, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Airlines.

219 Vietnamese workers, 129 of them positive for the coronavirus, arrived home from Equatorial Guinea on a special flight Wednesday afternoon.

The Vietnam Airlines direct flight from Bata International Airport in Equatorial Guinea took more than 12 hours to reach Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at 3:20 p.m.

During the flight, two Covid-19 patients developed breathing difficulties and were provided emergency support.

On landing, a special vehicle took all passengers and the flight crew to Hanoi’s National Hospital for Tropical Diseases where they will be quarantined for 14 days and tested for the novel coronavirus.

All the infectees will be treated at the hospital, the highest number of Covid-19 patients it has had to tend to at the same time.

The repatriation flight cum medical evacuation was an unprecedented effort for Vietnam, which has no direct flights to Equatorial Guinea in central Africa, a conflict-ridden nation with poor infrastructure.

Over the past days, patients treated at the Hanoi hospital were discharged and transferred to other facilities to reserve most of rooms for the returning patients.

Arrivals from Equatorial Guinea are disinfected at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, July 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tuc.

Arrivals from Equatorial Guinea are disinfected at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, July 29, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tuc.

Early in July, over 200 Vietnamese workers in Equatorial Guinea had sent a letter to Vietnamese representative agencies in Angola, asking for help. Many were confirmed to be carrying the virus.

They were working at the Sendje Hydropower Plant in Equatorial Guinea under labor contracts signed by Duglas Alliance Ltd of the U.K. with three Vietnamese companies.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered relevant agencies to arrange a special flight to bring the workers home, including those that were infected. Only non-infected persons had been taken on previous repatriation flights.

More than 16,000 Vietnamese have been brought home from 50 countries and territories on 60 flights since the country started repatriating citizens stranded abroad on April 10, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vietnam has confirmed 459 Covid-19 cases so far, 90 of them active.

The nation’s 99-day streak without a case of community transmission ended last Saturday when a 57-year-old man in Da Nang was found infected.

 
 
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