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Mar 26, 2020 / 12:23

Hanoi's airport stops receiving Vietnamese passengers on quarantine overload

Hanoi is accommodating thousands of people in mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Ministry of Transport has requested Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to stop receiving international flights carrying Vietnamese nationals from March 26 to March 31 as the city’s quarantine facilities are being overloaded.

The same request was made a day ago to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the biggest of its kind in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City.

 Passengers are served with free meal at an airport. Photo: Tien Phong

Flocks of Vietnamese returning to the home country have made quarantine facilities packed.

On March 18, for example, nearly 7,000 Vietnamese nationals returned to the country from Europe, ASEAN, and the US as the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic moves from Asia to Europe and travel options become limited.

Hanoi is one of two main localities in Vietnam accommodating people from abroad that amount to dozens of thousands, soon causing overload at quarantine facilities.

Hanoi is now able to house some 14,000 people and is working to expand the capacity to over 20,000 as per a government request.

As requested by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, all entrants entering Vietnam from March 21 need to undergo mass quarantine.

As of 7:00 pm Wednesday [March 25], the number of people in mass quarantine approached 60,000, including 24,000 at military barracks and nearly 36,000 at concentrated facilities in a number of localities nationwide, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue of Vietnam (Vinasarcom).

Except for Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports, a number of airports across the country have received Vietnamese nationals from all over the world, mostly epidemic-hit countries like China, South Korea, Europe, ASEAN, the UK, and the US.

So far, Vietnam’s carriers have stopped almost all international flights while Vietnam Airlines, the country’s national flag carrier, has ceased all international flights.