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VN suspends visa-waiver program to South Korea in wake of COVID-19 epidemic

VGP – The Government of Viet Nam has announced visa-waiver program for nationals of South Korea will be temporarily suspended from February 29 in the wake of COVID-19 epidemic.

February 28, 2020 3:03 PM GMT+7

The Steering Committee for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control convenes a meeting on Friday morning to discuss the latest developments of the epidemic in the world. Photo: VGP

     >>> PM Phuc demands resolute isolation of incoming travelers from Coronavirus-hit areas

     >>> VN suspends entry of travelers from S. Korea’s COVID-19 affected areas

     >>> WHO, U.S. highly value Viet Nam's experience on COVID-19 fight

     >>> VN removed from COVID-19 community spread list

The decision was announced on Friday morning at the meeting of the Steering Committee for CODID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control.

This is part of the Vietnamese Government’s measures to contain the spread of the epidemic to Viet Nam and minimize negative impacts of the epidemic on the economy and the society.

All incoming travelers from South Korea or having travel record to South Korea shall be subjected to mandatory 14-day isolation, said the Committee.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the number of flights between Viet Nam and South Korea has decreased significantly due to the reduction of passengers and most of the domestic airlines are considering temporary suspension of flights between the two countries.

The Steering Committee also urged all local authorities to carry out mandatory 14-day quarantine for nationals of Iran and Italy entering Viet Nam.

      >>> Infographics: Viet Nam's unilateral visa exemption for 13 countries

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who leads the Committee, tasked competent authorities to strictly control the borderlines and incoming travelers and implement drastic measures for early detection and isolation of those suspected of contracting the virus.

As of Friday morning, more than 83,000 people contracted the virus in 54 countries and territories while the death toll rose to 2,858.

In South Korea alone, the number of confirmed cases of the virus surpassed 2,000 on Friday as the nation aggressively counters the fast-spreading virus with massive testing, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Korean health authorities have renewed calls for its citizens to increase social distancing and avoid mass gatherings such as religious ones over the weekend.

The 256 new cases brought the nation's total infections to 2,022, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Only two days ago, the number of infections exceeded 1,000.

So far, 13 people have died in South Korea from the virus that emerged in China.

By Hoang Ha

Last updated: 4:10 pm

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