Vietnam puts brakes on China train service amid coronavirus epidemic

By Doan Loan   February 3, 2020 | 03:04 pm GMT+7
Vietnam puts brakes on China train service amid coronavirus epidemic
The transnational passenger train between Hanoi and China. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency.
A passenger train route from Hanoi to China's Guangxi and Beijing will soon cease operation to prevent the spread of nCoV.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said Monday the Chinese government has approved Vietnam's request to stop the international train service between the countries amid the fast-spreading, fatal epidemic.

Trains will only transport those who have booked tickets in advance for the next couple days, before halting operations. Hanoi Passenger Transport Company reported selling 36 tickets, with services to depart Gia Lam Station for Nanning, capital of Guangxi Province, on Monday evening.

The company has stopped all ticketing services until further notice.

The passenger train service operates one trip a day from capital Hanoi, through Bac Giang and Bac Ninh Provinces, stopping at Dong Dang Station in Lang Son Province, from where Chinese trains take over en route to Nanning.

Two services a week depart for Beijing West station in China on Tuesday and Friday, with return journeys commencing on Thursday and Sunday. The route includes stops at Pingxiang, Chongzuo, Nanning, and Zhengzhou in China.

To counteract the nCoV epidemic, the railway industry has employed disinfectant spray at Dong Dang, Lao Cai and Gia Lam stations, while increasing supervision of incoming passengers.

Passengers and international train staff from China must have their temperatures checked when passing through Dong Dang before continuing their journey.

The death toll from the epidemic has reached 361 in China and one in the Phillipines. Over 17,000 have been infected, of whom more than 500 have recovered.

Aside from mainland China and Vietnam, the virus has spread to Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, the U.S., South Korea, France, Germany, Canada, the UAE, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, the U.K., Russia, Finland, Nepal, Sweden, and Spain.

Vietnam's government declared the novel coronavirus an epidemic Saturday. The country confirmed the eighth infection case on Monday, the same day it discharged the first person infected with the virus from hospital after she was pronounced healthy and test results all came back negative.

As of Monday, Vietnam has reported 236 suspected cases with symptoms like high fever and coughing, including some who had visited infected areas in China. Of these, 163 have tested negative for the virus and 73 are in quarantine pending test results.

The Vietnamese government has deployed various measures to combat the virus, including halting all flights to coronavirus-hit areas in China, suspending visas for visitors from those regions, quarantining Chinese workers returning to Vietnam after the Lunar New Year holiday and suspending spring festivities, while temporarily closing schools.

 
 
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