Vietnam will implement a pilot scheme of reopening international air routes to several regional countries to bring back Vietnamese citizens stranded overseas due to COVID-19, as well as foreign specialists, business executives and skilled workers to Vietnam.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the statement at a meeting with the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on July 10.
Major destinations he suggested include Tokyo of Japan, Seoul of the Republic of Korea, Guangzhou of China, Taipei of Taiwan (China), Vientiane of Laos and Phnom Penh of Cambodia.
He assigned the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport to work closely on the pilot scheme to ensure there will be no recurrence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Vietnam.
Vietnam has gone through 86 days in a row without new locally transmitted infections. However, epidemiologists recently found several Vietnamese returnees from coronavirus hit countries had carried the virus at concentrated quarantine facilities.
Concentrated quarantine facilities in localities must be under close scrutiny to avoid cross transmission, said the PM, adding that these facilities need to be enlarged to ensure they are capable of accommodating at least 10,000 people.
Vietnamese airlines, mostly national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, have so far conducted dozens of flights to repatriate more than 12,000 Vietnamese citizens left stranded overseas due to COVID-19, and more such repatriation flights are expected in the coming days.
The PM also asked the Ministry of Defense to collaborate with border localities to closely tighten control of borders to quarantine anyone attempting to illegally enter the country.
Over the past few days, relevant Vietnamese agencies have detected and quarantined tens of Vietnamese people and several Chinese citizens who attempted to illegally cross the border to Vietnam. These unchecked people are likely to put the community at risk if they carry the virus, said the PM.
Regarding the appeals by Vietnamese guest-workers in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport to work on a flight to evacuate them to Vietnam.