|A ground service employee at HCM City's Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport directs a passenger to the check-in area. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực
HÀ NỘI — Aviation staff in direct contact with passengers will have to wear transparent face shields and will be frequently tested for SARS-CoV-2 as part of the efforts to stop infections after two clusters in two major international airports were detected in Việt Nam's latest community infection wave.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) has issued an emergency document demanding strengthened measures in COVID-19 prevention and control at airports across the country.
CAAV chairman Đinh Việt Thắng asked all aviation staff to strictly follow preventive and control measures including the use of face coverings, frequent disinfection, avoiding large gatherings, keeping a safe distance and submitting health declarations.
Airline passengers are required to submit e-health declarations at tokhaiyte.vn or via the app Vietnam Health Declaration.
Those failed to file proper health declarations or observe disease prevention and control measures would be refused boarding.
Thắng also asked all aviation staff to install and activate the contact tracing app Bluezone which helps detect and deliver early warnings about COVID-19 cases and potential risks of coming into contacts with suspect cases.
Passengers would be instructed to keep a safe distance when checking-in or on buses travelling from terminals to planes and vice versa.
Airport authorities and airline operators nationwide were asked to review and assess disease prevention and control activities to detect risks of infection.
From Monday, Vietnam Airlines added preventive measures on flights from Hà Nội as the number of passengers from Hà Nội to southern provinces increased sharply after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Passengers on flights from Hà Nội, Quảng Ninh and Hải Phòng would be randomly tested for SARS-CoV-2 when arriving at HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất Airport.
Packaged meals would be served in order to limit contact between flight attendants and passengers.
The flag carrier Vietnam Airlines would also disinfect all planes that depart from Hà Nội to Đà Nẵng or HCM City as soon as they land. Other planes would be disinfected when they return to Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng and HCM City.
Among 22 airports in Việt Nam, Vân Đồn Airport in northern Quảng Ninh Province has been closed since January 28 after a group of employees including security personnel were found to be infected with coronavirus. The airport is set to reopen on February 21 after all 160 staff working at the airport were confirmed negative for SARS-CoV-2 on February 9.
After confirmed COVID-19 cases at Vân Đồn Airport, the Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) on February 4 announced that employees of all 21 active airports would be tested for COVID-19.
On February 6, a lugguage handler at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport was found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2.
As of February 13, an additional eight staff members of the airport tested positive for the novel coronavirus, all of whom are ground service staff and baggage handlers under Vietnam Airport Ground Services Company Limited (VIAGS). — VNS