Vietnam calls on interpreters to talk Chinese, South Koreans into quarantine

By Le Nga   February 25, 2020 | 01:07 am PT
Vietnam calls on interpreters to talk Chinese, South Koreans into quarantine
Officials at Huu Nghi Border Gate in Vietnam's northern province of Lang Son complete health declarations for passengers coming from China, February 4, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Provinces and cities are to send staff able to understand and communicate in Chinese and Korean to border areas, as per Ministry of Health request.

The move followed reports that most border areas across Vietnam are ill equipped to communicate quarantine procedures to Chinese and South Korean arrivals and so prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

Following increasing infections in South Korea, all arrivals from the country are to be isolated, according to a Ministry of Health document issued Sunday.

Those with symptoms like high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties will be put under quarantine.

The document is currently available in English, Chinese and Korean.

A lack of staff able to communicate in the three languages hamper efforts to isolate, monitor and treat travelers from related epidemic stricken areas, as well as those with whom they’ve had contact, according to the ministry.

To cope with the situation, the ministry demanded all cities and provinces supply interpreters at all border points.

Saigon and Da Nang are currently quarantining 83 people from South Korea's Daegu City, where a major coronavirus outbreak has been detected.

South Korea is making headlines internationally after it became one of the worst-hit countries and territories by the coronavirus epidemic, recording 893 infections by Tuesday, many in Daegu. The country’s number of infections is second only to China, the epicenter.

Vietnam has so far recorded 16 coronavirus cases, of whom 15 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

The remaining patient, a 50-year-old man in northern Vinh Phuc Province who was infected by his 23-year-old daughter, a worker returning from China’s Wuhan City where the coronavirus outbreak was first detected last December, has been tested negative twice and is ready for discharge.

The global death toll has reached 2,701, mostly in China, followed by Iran with 12, South Korea with nine and Italy with seven.

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