Update: 14:08 | 05/05/2020
Vietnam will continue to offer support to overseas Vietnamese communities in a timely manner, an official has said. Vu Viet Anh, director of the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told media on Monday that helping overseas Vietnamese aimed to ensure the work was always central to the lives of such communities.
Anh said that amid the complex Covid-19 pandemic, the department ensured smooth and constant contact with citizens through hotlines.
The department also regularly updated news on the pandemic to Vietnamese citizens in different countries and gave them advice on travel.
Due to the complexities of the pandemic, countries constantly had changed immigration policies, trapping hundreds of Vietnamese citizens at foreign airports and ports, he said.
Vu Viet Anh, director of the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Besides directing local Vietnamese representative missions to assist these people, the Consular Department has also worked with agencies to welcome the citizens to return to Vietnam.
So far, more than 2,200 Vietnamese citizens have been brought home from India, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and Singapore.
Over the past few years, Vietnamese citizen protection in foreign countries has improved despite challenges, said Anh.
Never before has it needed the manpower and resources as it has during the Covid-19 pandemic, he noted.
Although most Vietnamese citizens abroad follow the guidance of local authorities and Vietnamese representative missions, some still refused to obey the rules.
For instance, when foreign countries tightened immigration to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, some citizens tried to return home without contacting representative agencies and not paying attention to travel advice.
This put citizens in precarious and dangerous situations at risk of infection, making it difficult to identify and protect them.
Moreover, funding for citizen protection abroad was lacking, posing difficulties for representative agencies in emergencies.
Anh said the Consular Department will continue to update data of Vietnamese citizens abroad, especially people who need to return home.
The department will work with local countries to support Vietnamese citizens.