Vietnam to suspend flights to, from 7 African countries over Omicron fears

Vietnam to suspend flights to, from 7 African countries over Omicron fears

A Vietnamese healthcare worker takes a nasal swab sample from a South Korean tourist upon his arrival in Phu Quoc island on Nov 20, 2021. (Reuters photo)
A Vietnamese healthcare worker takes a nasal swab sample from a South Korean tourist upon his arrival in Phu Quoc island on Nov 20, 2021. (Reuters photo)

HANOI: Vietnam will suspend flights to and from seven African countries over concerns about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, state media reported on Wednesday.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has approved the suspension, Lao Dong newspaper reported, without saying when the move will come into effect.

The Health Ministry on Sunday asked relevant authorities to suspend all flights to and from these countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique.

First reported in southern Africa a week ago, Omicron has spread to more than a dozen countries, spooking financial markets. Governments have responded by reintroducing some travel restrictions.

Vietnam has not detected any cases of Omicron, but is seeing a steady rise in daily infections in a Delta-driven outbreak.

The country reported 14,508 coronavirus infections on Wednesday raising its overall caseload to 1.25 million, with 25,000 deaths, according to the ministry.

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