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Vietnam set to resume flights to China

A Vietnam Airlines aircraft takes off at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou, China. Photo by Shutterstock/Markus Mainka. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Jul 13, 2020, VN Express. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has allowed the resumption of commercial flights to and from China after five months of shutdown to contain Covid-19. Aviation authorities in Vietnam and China still need consensus on the frequency and conditions of transporting passengers, the Government Office stated Sunday, citing a prime ministerial directive, VN Express reported.

The exact date of resumed flights has not been revealed.

Since early February, Vietnam suspended all flights to China after the first Covid-19 infections were reported last December in Wuhan, before halting all international flights from March 25 in an unprecedented move to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chinese capital, Beijing, faced a second Covid-19 outbreak last month, linked to the Xinfadi wholesale market, a food distribution center. Chinese authorities said it has since brought the new Covid-19 threat under control.

In the latest directive, the PM also assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport to increase repatriation flights and reopen commercial services to South Korea’s Seoul, Japan’s Tokyo, Taiwan, Vientiane in Laos and Phnom Penh in Cambodia to bring Vietnamese abroad home.

Vietnam Airlines has been tasked to urgently organize a repatriation flight to bring Vietnamese in Equatorial Guinea home as soon as possible. Half of the over 200 stranded workers have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The PM also instructed authorities to bring home around 14,000 Vietnamese from overseas in the coming months. Since late March over 11,000 people have been brought home on 55 repatriation flights from various parts of the world.

Vietnam has gone nearly three months without community transmission caused by the novel coronavirus. The country of 96 million people has reported only 372 infections and not a single Covid-19 death.

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