Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyễn Thị Bích Huệ says that no Vietnamese cases in Italy have been reported so far. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Department of Consular Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged Vietnamese citizens in Iran and Italy to stay vigilant as the acute respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) spreads.
Vietnamese citizens are advised against unnecessary travel to epidemic-hit or affected areas.
People in the two countries need to closely follow recommendations, guidance and preventive measures against COVID-19 issued by local authorities with regards to travel, public gatherings, hygiene, quarantine and self-isolation.
They should remain calm, check updates on official channels and ignore unverified information. They should also stay home and refrain from travelling to public places.
The ministry also requested Vietnamese citizens to promptly contact local agencies, representative offices of Việt Nam and their relatives in case of emergency.
For support, it is recommended they contact the Vietnamese embassies in Iran +98.930.645.9865, in Italy +39.328.831.3251, and the citizen protection hotline of the Consular Affair Department +84.981.84.8484.
No Vietnamese cases in Italy
No Vietnamese cases in Italy had been reported so far, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyễn Thị Bích Huệ told Vietnam News Agency as the virus continues to spread across Europe.
Huệ said the embassy had set up a hotline for Vietnamese nationals, providing them with updates and warnings about the situation in Italy and related policies issued by the Government of Việt Nam.
The embassy has also maintained close contact with Vietnamese communities in affected areas in Italy while working with local authorities as well as Vietnamese consulate generals in Torino and Napoli to keep updated about the measures Italy is taking against the virus and the situation of the Vietnamese communities there, she noted.
The diplomat advised Vietnamese people in Italy to remain calm and vigilant, and follow recommendations made by the embassy and local authorities to protect themselves.
According to Ambassador Huệ, Italy was home to about 4,000–5,000 Vietnamese people, most of whom had Italian nationality while around 1,000 were Vietnamese students and apprentices. There were about 1,000 – 1,500 Vietnamese people and over 200 Vietnamese students living in Italy’s hardest-hit regions, such as Lombardia, Veneto, Emiglia-Romagna and part of Piemonte.
Embassy in Thailand
Earlier, the Embassy of Việt Nam in Thailand urged Vietnamese citizens there to take precautions against COVID-19, as the host country had designated it a dangerous communicable disease.
In its latest announcement, the embassy asked Vietnamese citizens in Thailand not to travel to public places. If they planned to attend workshops or events, they needed to wear face masks and prepare hand sanitiser to protect themselves.
Those who were sick or had respiratory problems should not participate in large activities. If they showed symptoms of the disease, they should go to local medical establishments for checks and treatment.
In addition, Vietnamese citizens were also asked to avoid people with respiratory diseases, and closely follow guidance and recommendations made by local authorities on COVID-19 prevention.
The embassy said it would continue following the COVID-19 situation and stay in touch with relevant agencies in Thailand for frequent updates.
In case of emergency, it is recommended people contact the embassy’s citizen protection hotline (+66) 898966653 or (+66) 2650 8979 during office hours. Thailand has recorded 43 COVID-19 cases, with one death. Of the figure, 31 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, while 11 others are still being treated.
Vietnamese citizens in Malaysia
The Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia has recently recommended Vietnamese citizens living, studying, working and travelling in the Southeast Asian country to protect their health and the community in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
The embassy suggested Vietnamese citizens avoid travelling to crowded areas and take precautionary measures as instructed. They were advised to avoid attending conferences, seminars and activities with the participation of large numbers of people, and those suffering illnesses or problems with their respiratory systems.
If they had to attend conferences or events with crowds, they should wear face masks and use hand sanitiser.
The embassy called on Vietnamese citizens in Malaysia to regularly check and follow instructions from their hosts, and avoid sharing unverified information on social media.
In case they developed symptoms like fever, coughing, sore throats, runny noses, breathing problems or sneezing, they should go to designated medical establishments for checks and treatment.
For further assistance, they can call the embassy’s citizen protection hotline (+60)1136682866.
As of Wednesday, Malaysia had reported 50 novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 cases. — VNS