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Mar 24, 2020 / 09:59

Biggest airport halts receiving overseas Vietnamese on overload

Quarantine facilities are at full capacity due to flows of overseas Vietnamese who mostly returned from Europe, Southeast Asia and China.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City will temporarily receiving flights carrying overseas Vietnamese in a week starting from March 25 due to overload of quarantine facilities in the city.

Following an urgent request by the Ministry of Transport, domestic airlines will stop flights transporting overseas Vietnamese to the airport as quarantine facilities are unable to accommodate more people.

 A large number of overseas Vietnamese flock home over the last days. Photo: Reuters

Mass quarantine establishments include military barracks, hospitals and civil buildings. Over the past days, due to the soaring inflow of overseas Vietnamese, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi need to use student dormitories for the purpose.

Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, said that it will operate the last international flights to Tan Son Nhat airport on March 24 and to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 25. After March 25, all its flights will be based on the government’s order.

Tan Son Nhat is the biggest airport in Vietnam, covering an area of 850 ha, designed to carter to 15-17 million arrivals per year, but in recent years, it has been overloaded.

The request came in at a time that quarantine facilities across Vietnam are operating at maximum capacity.

Basing on the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, the government of Vietnam has suspended the entry of foreigners and allows only Vietnamese people to enter the country. All people coming to the country will be quarantined for 14 days.

The mandatory quarantine has soon resulted in the overload of facilities as thousands of Vietnamese people flock home per day.

So far, as many as 78,241 people have been under quarantine at concentrated facilities and at home, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue of Vietnam (Vinasarcom).

At present, more than 42,000 people are under quarantine, including nearly 20,000 at military barracks and 23,000 at localities. 351 foreigners are undergoing isolation.