Vietnam to quarantine 1,300 plus foreign oil experts on arrival

By Hoang Phong   May 5, 2020 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnam to quarantine 1,300 plus foreign oil experts on arrival
Foreigners are seen at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC, March 13, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Health Ministry says around 1,330 highly skilled oil industry experts will be quarantined in the coming days as they enter the country.

Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen said leaders of state-owned oil giant Petrovietnam should make detailed plans about bringing the foreign oil experts into the country so that the health ministry can prepare adequate solutions.

The experts are scheduled to land at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC and will be taken to the neighboring beach town Vung Tau in specialized cars.

"Our goal is to monitor and immediately quarantine foreign experts upon arrival to prevent infection from spreading among the community while still ensuring economic benefits," Tuyen said.

PetroVietnam also said that 74 experts were coming to Vung Tau by sea. However, local authorities have not yet agreed to let these experts go ashore. The 74 guests are still on two offshore rigs.

Earlier, another 270 oil experts had been given entry into the country earlier. Among them, a British oil expert who arrived in HCMC last week to work on a Petrovietnam project was confirmed positive for Covid-19, becoming Vietnam’s 271st and latest patient.

Vietnam banned all foreign nationals from entering the country starting March 22. In certain cases, as in those with diplomatic or official passports, or coming for special economic projects, are given entry, but they need to present a Covid-19 free certificate from a recognized authority in the country of embarkation.

All persons are put under 14 days of quarantine upon arrival and tested for the coronavirus. One of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic is that more than 20,000 foreigners, most of them Chinese and South Koreans, have not been able to enter the country to work, according to data released late March by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The Health Ministry confirmed zero fresh Covid-19 cases Tuesday evening, keeping the national count at 271 since Sunday evening, with no deaths. Of the total cases so far, 221 have recovered and 39 are still under treatment.

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