Ministry proposes suspension of inbound flights to prevent new COVID-19 variant hinh anh 1Illegal immigrants sent to quarantine in Quang Binh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has submitted a report to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, proposing that inbound flights should be suspended or limited from countries and territories where new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are found.

In the report, the minister noted that 34 countries had announced the detection of new COVID-19 variants as of January 3.

On December 18, 2020, the World Health Organisation reported that a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus was found in the UK, which is said to be 70 percent more transmissible than the old one. It is spreading to other countries rapidly.

So far, more than 40 countries territories have restricted travel from/to the UK and other countries that have reported cases with the virus variant.

Germany and the Netherlands have been the first to close the border with the UK, while France has requested travellers to take quarantine and show proof that they have been tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

Meanwhile, Spain and Turkey have banned immigrants from the UK until the end of January. The US and the rest of Europe have also reduced the number of flights to the UK.

Japan has announced the ban of all entries until the end of this month, while Indonesia has refused to receive travellers from the UK.

In Vietnam, Patient 1,435 returning home from Britain and quarantined in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh upon arrival on December 22 was confirmed to be infected with the new virus strain.

So far, Vietnam has reported 1,497 COVID-19 cases, including 693 found in the community./.