07/04/2020 15:41 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Supporting students – top priority amid COVID-19 outbreak: Ambassador to US

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc has affirmed that supporting Vietnamese students is the top priority in its citizen protection efforts amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the host country.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Washington DC, Ngoc said there are nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students living in the US, who are among the groups most vulnerable to the disease.

The embassy has provided updated information about the disease for Vietnamese citizens, especially students, and recommended they take preventive meausres and follow regulations on entry and exit procedures and quarantine in both countries, while helping those who were stuck at US airports to fly home.

In addition to maintaining information channels and hotlines around the clock to provide timely assistance for needy students, the embassy has also coordinated with the Vietnamese Youth and Student Association in the US and its chapters in different states to disseminate information to students and help them in the fight against COVID-19.

Concerns have recently been raised about the overload of the host country's health and social security systems as well as changes to policies which would be disadvantageous for foreign citizens. However, the Vietnamese embassy has proactively worked with local authorised offices and asked the US side to take necessary measures to ensure the rights and legitimate interests of Vietnamese citizens living in the country, including the extension of their stays and the granting of new visas, Ngoc stated.

Sharing the concerns of Vietnamese parents and students in the US at present, the embassy is continuing to strictly implement instructions from the Government, and helping Vietnamese citizens to book commercial flights organized by Vietnam to return home, he added

Amid the complicated developments of the pandemic, the diplomat noted that students should strictly comply with local regulations on COVID-19 prevention, practise social distancing, and limit road and air travel to avoid the risk of infection.

The embassy will do its utmost to stand side by side with and support Vietnamese citizens, particularly students, he asserted.

Regarding the export of medical equipment, protective gear and face masks to the US, the ambassador said it will countribute to strengthening bilateral cooperation, including in the health sector.

In the context that the disease is spreading out on a global scale, the US has huge demand for medical products. Vietnam’s supply of these products shows its assistance for partners, including the US, as well as its participation in global efforts to fight the disease, Ngoc stated.

However, he noted that the US side has strict quality requirements for imported medical products. Therefore, he asked Vietnamese businesses to follow instructions from the Government and related ministries, especially the Ministries of Public Health, and Industry and Trade, on regulations related to the export of medical equipment and face masks, and at the same time discuss carefully with US partners about production and export contracts.

For its part, the embassy will continue updating information on the disease as well as the US side’s requirements for Vietnamese offices and enterprises, Ngoc added.
VNA/VNP