Vietnam Air passengers quarantined on coronavirus exposure threat

A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi on Feb 21, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

HO CHI MINH (BLOOMBERG) - Twelve crew members and 51 out of 73 passengers on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Nagoya in Japan to Ho Chi Minh City were placed in quarantine on fears the carrier's employees had been exposed earlier to a Japanese traveller with the coronavirus.

The Japanese passenger tested positive with the virus after landing at Nagoya's Chubu Centrair International Airport on Wednesday (March 4) with a fever, according to Vietnam's government website, which cited its health ministry.

Fifty-one passengers on flight VN341, which landed in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday, were placed in quarantine while 22 others, all Japanese, were allowed to make connecting flights, the government said.

Two security officers and six employees at a Tan Son Nhat International Airport business lounge were also put in isolation after having close contact with the sick Japanese passenger, according to the government. The Japanese passenger had boarded a Vietnam Airlines flight on Tuesday from Cambodia's Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City before making a connecting flight to Japan.

Vietnamese and Japanese authorities are working to verify the infected passenger's Cambodia itinerary.

Vietnam's Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan Tuyen ordered Ho Chi Minh City authorities to track down and isolate five people, including four foreigners, who were on the Siem Reap-Ho Chi Minh City flight with the Japanese passenger, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

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