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Apr 10, 2020 / 14:17

Vietnam PM urges repatriation of Vietnamese citizens stranded abroad

The priority of repatriation will be given to Vietnamese citizens stranded in Japan, the UK, and the US.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to soon carry out plans to bring back Vietnamese nationals who are stranded at foreign airports.

  Vietnamese nationals brought home from Chinese city of Wuhan in February. Photo: VnExpress

The repatriation will start after April 15 when the nationwide isolation period ends and the priority will be given to the elderly, the sick and people under 18 years of age, and those living in Japan, the UK, and the US, local media reported.

Speaking at an online press meeting on April 9, Spokesperson of the MOFA Le Thi Thu Hang said that there remain dozens of Vietnamese citizens, including laborers and students, stranded at foreign airports due to traveling restrictions and border closures in a number of countries.

So far, Vietnamese agencies have assisted nearly 1,500 citizens who were stranded at overseas airports to return to the homeland, the spokesperson said.

“Vietnam’s diplomatic missions overseas have worked with international airlines and host countries' authorities to resolve visa issues, ensure medical care, and provide the stranded citizens with essentials, as well as help them find appropriate flights back home,” Hang said.

“However, it’s worth saying that not all issues could be thoroughly solved,” Hang noted.

For Vietnamese nationals who do not possess personal identification documents or valid labor contracts overseas, Vietnam’s authorities will work with foreign agencies to undertake legal procedures to come up with appropriate measures, the spokesperson said.

Any citizen in need of help should call diplomatic missions via the contact posted on their websites or citizen protection hotlines.

As the global pandemic has become complex and unpredictable, Vietnam has suspended the entry of all foreigners from March 22.

When the epidemic broke out in Chinese city of Wuhan, Vietnam Airlines on February 10 sent an airplane with 15 crewmembers and three doctors to repatriate 30 citizens.

So far, Vietnam has quarantined 188,728 foreigners and Vietnamese nationals coming from abroad, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue (Vinasarcom).