Ambassadors to urge Vietnamese students to stay united amid COVID-19

Update: 11:10 | 29/04/2020
Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam called on Vietnamese students in Australia to stay united and support those affected by COVID-19 during a video meeting on April 28.
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Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam.

The meeting was held between the ambassador and representatives of Vietnamese students’ associations of various states and regions across Australia. It was also attended by Vietnamese Consul General to Western Australia Bui Quoc Thanh and President of the Vietnam Business Association in Australia lawyer Tran Ba Phuc.

During the event, the representatives talked about difficulties Vietnamese students are facing because of the pandemic and reported on their wishes and inquiries.

Ambassador Nam said the government and embassy of Vietnam have always cared for the Vietnamese people and students living in Australia, especially those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The government has repeatedly requested Australian authorities to support Vietnamese citizens during this challenging time during phone talks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Ministry leaders, he said.

Nam, together with other ambassadors of ASEAN member states, sent letters to governments of Australian states and regions as well as local universities to ask for their assistance for students from Southeast Asia on April 1.

He noted that the Vietnamese embassy has established a hotline for Vietnamese nationals to seek help and source information, and released announcements relating to COVID-19 on its official website and Facebook fanpage.

No Vietnamese nationals in Australia have been infected with the coronavirus so far, the diplomat said.

He advised Vietnamese students and alumni to stay in Australia, except for those in, especially difficult circumstances. The embassy will stay side by side with the students and is willing to help them ask their universities for tuition fee reductions.

ambassadors to urge vietnamese students to stay united amid covid 19
Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Ha Kim Ngoc.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview, Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Ha Kim Ngoc said there are nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students living in the U.S., 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 measures and follow regulations on entry and exit procedures and quarantine in both countries while helping those who were stuck at U.S. 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 U.S. 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 authorized offices and asked the U.S. 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, practice 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 U.S., the ambassador said it will contribute to strengthening bilateral cooperation, including in the health sector.

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

However, he noted that the U.S. 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 U.S. partners about production and export contracts.

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

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