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May 13, 2020 / 19:22

Vietnam repatriates first citizens from Russia

The repatriation was conducted as Russia has emerged as Europe’s new coronavirus hotspot.

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on May 13 brought home more than 340 Vietnamese citizens on the first repatriation flight from Russia amid the pandemic spread in the transcontinental country.

 Vietnamese citizens arrive in the home country on May 13. Photo: MOFA

The passengers who landed at Van Don International Airport in northern Vietnam on the airlines’ biggest aircraft Boeing 787-10 are children under 18, the elderly, the sick, students whose dormitories closed, and workers with expired visa, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 Passengers check in at the airport in Moscow. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Russia has rapidly become a new epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak with 242,271 infected cases and 2,212 deaths as of May 13. These figures have made Russia the country with the second-highest number of coronavirus infections in the world, according to The Moscow Times. Russia confirmed 10,028 new cases on Wednesday.

 Russia's coronavirus infections. Photo: The Moscow Times

The passengers have been quarantined after they touched down in the home country.

En route from Hanoi to Moscow, Vietnam Airlines brought in a number of Russian visitors and medical supplies to the Vietnamese community in Russia.

Vietnam Airlines will continue operating repatriation flights as per passengers’ demand on condition of meeting protective measures and requirements by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport following the prime minister’s request.

So far, a dozen repatriation flights have been taken from Russia, the UK, Japan, US, Canada, UAE, France, Spain, Thailand, Indonesia among others.