Passengers have samples taken for COVID-19 testing right at airports hinh anh 1Passengers line up to wait for procedures to be carried out at Van Don airport in Quang Ninh province (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) – Since March 15, aside from having their body temperature checked, all people coming from Europe to Vietnam must also have their samples taken for COVID-19 testing right at airports before moving to quarantine centres.

The same measures are also applied to people from the US although they have not been required to stay at quarantine centres, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) said, noting that the move was made at the request of the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control.

The firm added passengers waiting to be screened will be provided with free meals and drinking water at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat international airports.

The ACV’s data show a sharp increase in the number of people returning from Europe, where the novel coronavirus is spreading fast, over the past few days. On March 15 alone, Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi received nearly 1,000 passengers coming from countries affected by COVID-19.

In response to the surge, police, customs and health forces at Noi Bai have been increased by threefold compared to normal days to handle passengers from coronavirus-hit areas.

However, waiting is inevitable during peak hours at airports, the ACV said, adding that the waiting time also depends on the capacity of quarantine facilities and the coordination of the committees for COVID-19 prevention and control of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Therefore, passengers are asked to comply with regulations to ensure safety for themselves and assist the Vietnamese Government and people in the fight against the pandemic./.