Vietnam outbreak returnees drop following entry suspension

By Phan Anh   March 23, 2020 | 02:57 am PT
Vietnam outbreak returnees drop following entry suspension
A woman arrives at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, March 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The number of Vietnamese returning to Vietnam from Covid-19 hit areas fell dramatically after the government halted entry for foreigners and inbound flights.

Only around 884 Vietnamese landed at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport and northern Quang Ninh Province's Van Don Airport on Monday. Noi Bai expects to receive 276 of these, arriving from Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand, local media reported.

The other 608 Vietnam Airlines passengers who landed at Van Don flew from the U.K. and Germany.

Just one day prior, Noi Bai alone received around 1,712 passengers, all Vietnamese.

As a response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, multiple Vietnamese airlines have suspended most international flights in order to curb the spread of the disease.

Vietnam Airlines for example would suspend all international flights until April 30, the national carrier announced last week.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meanwhile stated Vietnam would suspend entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers starting Sunday. The decision would not apply to those entering the country for diplomatic purposes or other special matters.

Phuc also ordered the suspension of all flights coming to Vietnam on Friday.

Vietnam has confirmed 121 Covid-19 cases so far, of whom 17 have been cured and discharged from hospital. Most active cases, now hospitalized in 12 cities and provinces, are returnees from Europe and the U.S. and those who’d come into close contact with them.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed over 14,900 people globally, spreading to 192 countries and territories thus far.

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