Vietnam proposes flight ban on nations with new COVID-19 variant

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Hanoi, Jan. 4, 2020 Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has proposed banning entry to flights from all countries where the new and more contagious variant of COVID-19 had been detected, a government statement said on Monday.

The statement requested Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to deny entry to flights from any country that had confirmed cases of the new virus variant.

On Sunday, state media reported that a Vietnamese woman travelling back to Vietnam on a repatriation flight tested positive for the new strain.

She was immediately placed in a quarantine facility in southern Vietnam.

Thirty-three countries globally now have reported cases of the contagious new coronavirus strain.

So far, Vietnam has proved a global success story in its response to the pandemic, having officially recorded just 1,494 cases and 35 deaths.

In late November, a flight attendant for national carrier, Vietnam Airlines, breached COVID-19 quarantine protocols and infected at least three others in Ho Chi Minh City.

These positive cases ended Vietnam’s 88-day streak of no local transmissions, although the outbreak was swiftly contained.

Since then, four people who entered Vietnam illegally by crossing the Cambodian border tested positive for the coronavirus in December.

State media reports on Monday said that Vietnam was seeking to buy 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Britain.

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