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Vietnam Asks Samsung, Other Firms to Find Virus Vaccines

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(Bloomberg) --

Vietnam is asking Samsung Electronics Co. and other foreign companies to find Covid-19 vaccines for their workers as the nation grapples with a virus surge, the government website reported.

“The government is encouraging companies to find Covid-19 vaccines for their workers,” Bui Hoang Mai, head of the industrial park management board in the northern province of Bac Ninh, where Samsung operates factories making its smartphones, said by phone.

Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also asked local authorities to find a vaccine supply, the government website reported, citing information from the premier’s visit to a Samsung plant in Bac Ninh. A representative of Samsung Vietnam was not immediately available for comment.

Authorities in Bac Ninh have ordered factories to set up on-site sleeping arrangements for workers and put in place other procedures to enable operations to continue while containing the virus.

In nearby Bac Giang province, home to Apple Inc. and Samsung suppliers, officials are working to help factories reopen after they were shuttered during the closure of four industrial parks.

The health ministry has sent 200,000 vaccine doses each for Bac Ninh and Bac Giang workers to be administered within a week, according to the ministry’s website.

More than 1 million people in Vietnam, or about 1% of the nation’s population, have received at least a first vaccine dose, while just over 28,500 were fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry. Vietnam has reported 4,163 local virus cases from April 27 out of a total 7,168 patients and 47 deaths, according to the health ministry.

Vietnam’s aviation authority suspended all international flights to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport between June 1 and June 7, the regulator said on its website. The authority extended similar restrictions on international flights to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport by ten days to June 14.

Vietnam halted most international commercial flights in early December.

(Updates the story with prime minister in the third paragraph.)

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