AFP
Wire Service
1 minute read
6 Jan 2021
10:00 am

Vietnam suspends flights from South Africa, UK over Covid mutations

AFP

Covid-19 cases in Britain have soared in recent weeks, forcing the government to impose tighter restrictions in a desperate attempt to curb infection rates.

A man selling flowers waits for customers at a street in Hanoi, Vietnam, 26 July 2020. Picture: EPA-EFE/LUONG THAI LINH

Vietnam on Tuesday suspended flights from countries with cases of new Covid-19 variants.

The communist nation, which has won praise for its handling of the pandemic, said flights from the UK and South Africa would be affected first.

The health and transport ministries will later decide if flights from elsewhere need to be banned, according to a prime minister’s directive.

ALSO READ: SA residents barred from entering Denmark over new Covid-19 strain

The two new variants, which are potentially far more infectious versions of the virus, first emerged in the UK and South Africa.

Covid cases in Britain have soared in recent weeks, forcing the government to impose tighter restrictions in a desperate attempt to curb infection rates.

But Vietnam – with a population of 96 million – has recorded just 1504 cases and 35 deaths thanks to mass quarantines, extensive contact-tracing and strict controls on movement.

ALSO READ: UK flights banned as Britain warns new virus strain ‘out of control

Most inbound commercial flights have been suspended since March but Vietnamese citizens stuck abroad and some foreigners have been allowed to enter.

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