Vietnam stops flying to coronavirus-stricken areas in China

By Doan Loan   January 29, 2020 | 07:11 pm PT
Vietnam stops flying to coronavirus-stricken areas in China
Chinese tourists leave Da Nang Airport on January 27, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dong Dung.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam suspended all flights to and from coronavirus-hit areas in China starting on Wednesday.

Outbreaks of a new coronavirus (nCoV) have so far affected 30 out of 31 direct jurisdictions in China, including the epidemic epicenter, Wuhan, and major cities Beijing, Shanghai.

Besides, the aviation industry has been tasked with screening all arriving passengers and quarantining anyone found with symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Regional airports and Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), a state-owned company that runs 21 airports, have been ordered to allocate personnel and coordinate with local health agencies to deploy body temperature scanning equipment.

On January 23, Vietnam cancelled all flights to and from Wuhan, where the disease first broke out last December.

The virus has spread from mainland China to Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, the U.S., South Korea, France, Germany, Canada, Vietnam, UAE, Nepal, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

Chinese authorities said 170 people had died of the disease as of Thursday morning. The number of confirmed cases of infection has topped 7,700.

No Vietnamese has contracted the virus yet, with the two confirmed victims being Chinese nationals.

The government has been deploying various measures to keep out the epidemic like keeping out tourists from China’s epidemic-hit areas and quarantining Chinese workers returning to Vietnam to work after Tet.

Vietnam will temporarily stop granting tourist visas to Chinese nationals from epidemic-hit areas except in case of emergencies.

New coronavirus fears have prompted Vietnam's top destinations Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Lao Cai to turn their backs on Chinese tourists, a mainstay for all of them.

As of Wednesday Vietnam had 64 suspected cases with signs of fever and cough, all of whom came from affected areas. Of them, 39 are in quarantine pending test results.

Li Zichao, 28, one of the two Chinese nationals infected by the virus in Vietnam, recovered by Tuesday morning. But his father remains on a ventilator, doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC said Wednesday.

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