A child passenger waits to board a flight back to Việt Nam at Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, US on May 15 (local time).— VNA/VNS Photo Đặng Huyền
HÀ NỘI — Government is making good on its pledge that “no one will be left behind” as it repatriates hundreds of Vietnamese citizens from all over the world.
In the past few weeks, planes carrying Vietnamese from Russia, Europe, the UAE and the US have all touched down on home soil.
Inevitably some of those onboard have tested positive for COVID-19, but with strict guidelines in place, each passenger was immediately quarantined after disembarking, vastly reducing the risk of spreading the virus.
On May 13 a flight from Moscow landed at Vân Đồn airport in Quảng Ninh bringing home more than 340 people, many of them children and the elderly.
Moments after clearly immigration at the airport, each person along with the Vietnam Airlines crew, was taken into quarantine.
In the days that followed, they were all tested for COVID-19 and so far 29 people from that flight have been confirmed to be carrying the virus.
At the beginning of May, a flight from the UAE touched down at Cần Thơ International Airport in the Mekong Delta bringing home almost 300 people.
To date, 18 people including a baby under the age of one, have tested positive from that single aircraft.
As these flights continue to bring home people from countries where COVID-19 has hit hard, it is expected that more cases will emerge.
But with strict rules in place to ensure each passenger is quarantined as soon as they arrive, risks of community infections remain low.
This can be reflected in the news that for more than 30 days, not one locally transmitted case has been detected.
And on Sunday morning, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said there have been no new cases recorded in the last 12 hours.
More and more people have returned home to Việt Nam on specially arranged flights in the past few days.
A teenager on a flight from the Philippines has tested positive and tests are being conducted on more than 500 passengers who arrived back to Việt Nam from the US and Europe.
On Friday, PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put plans in place to bring more Vietnamese home from overseas.
But he did stress that where possible, people should look at the option of staying in the countries they are now living in to not put added strain on Việt Nam’s healthcare system.
Meanwhile on Friday for the first time in three months, Hà Nội’s pedestrian street reopened to allow people to enjoy a traffic-free weekend around Hoàn Kiếm Lake.
It may only be one small gesture as the country gets back to normality, but opening up the walking streets is clearly a step in the right direction. — VNS
A father takes photo of his children on Tràng Tiền Street near Hoàn Kiếm Lake on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Đạt