Vietnam temporarily halts visa exemption for Korean nationals

Friday, 2020-02-28 15:59:18
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The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control convenes a meeting in Hanoi on February 28, 2020. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO – Vietnamese Government has decided to suspend the visa exemption for Korean nationals starting from 0:00 on February 29, as part of its strengthened measures to prevent the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from spreading in Vietnam.

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The information was announced at a meeting convened by the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on Friday (February 28), discussing solutions related to immigration control, especially for citizens coming from Covid-19 hit countries and Vietnamese nationals returning home from foreign countries with the epidemic outbreaks.

To prevent the disease from spreading into Vietnam, the Government has taken multiple measures to protect the health of the local people and the community, while minimising its negative impacts on Vietnam’s economy.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung said that Vietnam has controlled the epidemic well thanks to the drastic direction and the synchronous solutions. However, the epidemic situation around the world is still complicated, especially in the Republic of Korea (RoK), Italy and Iran.

In an effort against the disease, Vietnam will stop granting Korean citizens visa exemption and will issue suitable visas for them if they want to enter Vietnam. This is a temporary solution that Vietnam will officially apply from 0:00 on February 29, Deputy Minister Dung informed.

Also at the meeting, the Steering Committee members agreed to require localities to organise a 14-day medical isolation according to the regulations for Iranian and Italian citizens entering Vietnam.

Medical experts recommend that for flights from epidemic areas returning to Vietnam, it is important to organise the reception of suspected cases right at the foot of aircraft stairs and bring them to the concentrated isolation places then conduct screening and classification to perform medical isolation according to regulations.

The Steering Committee also requested the local authorities to continue closely monitoring any suspected cases who are in medical isolation in the community.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on February 28, 2020. (Photo: VGP)

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam asked the concerned authorities to continue to strictly control border lines and entries, while taking drastic preventive measures in early detection, isolation and localisation of epidemic outbreaks. Although there have been no new cases reported in the last 15 days, Vietnam must be ready to cope with the scenario of the epidemic spreading to the community, Dam stressed.

In order to increase the disease control, the Ministry of Public Security was asked to immediately notify localities of information about Vietnamese citizens returning home to screen, monitor and strictly implement commitments in medical isolation and disease prevention.

* The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has issued Official Letter No. 953/CV-BCĐ to the concerned ministries, agencies and localities across the nation on strengthening measures to prevent and control Covid-19, urging for strict medical management at the border gates and border areas to promptly detect cases of suspected signs of the disease, while organising medical isolation immediately for people coming from epidemic areas under the guidance of the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The National Steering Committee also directed the Fatherland Front units and socio-political organisations to organise meetings to exchange with families with relatives of overseas Vietnamese who are in the RoK to assure them to continue their work in the host country, while complying with and implementing well the Korean Government's recommendations and measures to prevent and control the epidemic.

For those who come from the RoK or have come to the country before entering Vietnam from February 11, 2020, local authorities should actively deploy the medical monitoring measures on them and immediately isolate cases from the epidemic areas or those who have had close contact with them.

A teleconference on "Increasing resistance to prevent Covid-19" hosted by Nhan Dan Online on February 28, 2020. (Photo: NDO)

* Nhan Dan Online hosted a teleconference on “Increasing resistance to prevent Covid-19" on February 28. Leading health and nutrition experts at the event shared with the public measures to improve their health by nutritious meals and other tips to help reduce the risk of contracting the disease at home as well as shorten treatment time.

* Also on Friday, several localities across the nation decided to extend the current prolonged school break for students to prevent the risk of Covid-19 infection. Bac Kan, Ninh Thuan, Thua Thien - Hue, Dong Thap, Quang Binh and An Giang provinces decided to let preschool, elementary and junior high school students to continue to leave school for another week (from March 2 to 8), while high school students returning to their schools from March 2.

Meanwhile, preschool children, elementary and junior high school students in Binh Thuan, Dong Nai and Dien Bien provinces will continue to be absent from school until March 14 and 15.

Spraying disinfectants against Covid-19 at Tran Hung Dao High School for the Gifted in Phan Thiet city, Binh Thuan province. (Photo: NDO/Dinh Chau)

Local Departments of Education and Training have carried out schools cleaning and disinfecting activities under the guidance of the MoH to well come back students, while also preparing adequate rubbing alcohol, soaps and hand washing place in convenient for students and teachers, as well as providing training for teachers and school staff on disease prevention and control.

* On February 28, Vinh Thuan district health centre in Kien Giang province said that the district is carrying out medical isolation and monitoring for four cases, including one Korean nationality and his Vietnamese wife, along with two Vietnamese citizens returning home from Daegu city in the RoK. Currently, all are in normal health. The district is quarantining four cases and monitoring 10 others in the community.

* On the same day, the Toyota Motor Vietnam Co. Ltd., granted medical equipment and financial support worth a total of VND 1.1 billion to supported Vinh Phuc province in the fifth against Covid-19.