Visa-free entry suspended for overseas Vietnamese from COVID-19-hit countries hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) speaks at the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed to suspend visa-free entry for overseas Vietnamese from countries whose citizens have visa-free entry unilaterally halted, firstly the Republic of Korea and COVID-19-hit nations.

That was a recommendation proposed by the national steering committee for preventing and combating the acute respiratory disease cause by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

While chairing a meeting of the cabinet's permanent members in Hanoi on March 5, the PM acknowledged the committee’s achievements in the fight against COVID-19 with no new infection cases recorded over the past 23 days.

Mentioning the complicated developments of the epidemic and the rapid spread of the novel virus in many countries in the world, the Government leader asked administrations at all levels, agencies and sectors to double efforts to combat COVID-19.

He ordered new countermeasures to promptly prevent the spread of the disease through land borders, aviation and the community.

Emphasising the importance of concentrated quarantine solution, PM Phuc asked the Ministry of National Defence and localities to to continue to prepare locations in service of this work.

Along with fighting COVID-19, he suggested measures to promote business and production and weather difficulties for sectors seriously affected by the epidemic.

The PM asked the health sector to build up plans to arrange human resources in different areas in case of the disease outbreak, while continuously conducting exercises for quick response.  He also allowed the Ministry of Health to buy 20 million more face masks for reserve and protective wear to serve the fight against COVID-19.

According to the national steering committee, the epidemic has spread to 82 countries and territories worldwide. The positive results that Vietnam has gained is just the first step and there remain a big risk of outbreak in the country.

Vietnam has quarantined 92 suspected infection cases. Nearly 16,200 people who had close contact with infected patients or entered Vietnam from epidemic-hit areas have been quarantined and monitored, of them 416 have been quarantined in hospitals./.