Vietnam to bar all inbound flights

Vietnam to bar all inbound flights

Vietnam Airlines and VietJet services already sharply cut back

A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines plane at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi. (Reuters Photo)
A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines plane at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi. (Reuters Photo)

HANOI: Vietnam will suspend all inbound international flights to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, the government said in a statement on Saturday.

"(Vietnam) will suspend all the flights carrying foreign passengers to minimise the number of people coming to the country," Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in the statement, without giving a time frame.

The flag carrier Vietnam Airlines earlier announced it was suspending all international flights until at least April 30 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Flights to Southeast Asian destinations including Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar were suspended from Saturday. Flights to Britain and Japan will be halted from Monday, and services between Vietnam and Germany and Australia will be stopped from Wednesday. 

As well, the budget airline VietJet suspended its flights to major Southeast Asian destinations including Thailand from Friday.

Vietnam's coronavirus cases rose to 92 as of Saturday, with no deaths, according to the Ministry of Health. It called on all healthcare workers, including medical students and retired doctors and nurses, to join hands in the fight against the virus.

“The fight against Covid-19 has entered a new phase that is full of difficulties and challenges, requiring more efforts and determination to contain,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The ministry called on retired medical staff to take care of the elderly, and on medical students to join volunteer activities when needed.

The ministry said on Friday that all foreign arrivals would be quarantined for 14 days.

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