March 19, 2020 / 6:04 PM / in 10 days

Vietnam expands foreign visa ban, 85 coronavirus cases in country

A health worker sprays disinfectants in a train as a measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Hanoi, Vietnam March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam will temporarily suspend visa-free travel for citizens of Japan, Belarus and Russia from Saturday as its health ministry reported nine more coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing total in the country to 85.

The foreign ministry had already suspended visa waivers for nine European countries and South Korea. Visitors from the United States, Europe and ASEAN countries will be immediately transported to repurposed military camps for 14 days quarantine.

Weeks after Vietnam declared that all 16 of its coronavirus cases had recovered, the number of infected patients is rising once again due to infected people arriving from overseas. So far, no deaths have been reported in Vietnam.

Vietnam has a free trade agreement with Russia and Belarus, while Japan is the second largest source of foreign investment in the country.

Reporting by James Pearson and Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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