Vietnam News

Vietnam to review handling of foreign deaths after cremation incident

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Vietnamese authorities and local administrations will review protocols in dealing with deaths of foreign nationals due to Covid-19, spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng said on Thursday (July 22).

She was speaking in response to reports from the South Korean Consulate General claiming a man in Ho Chi Minh City, currently the country’s biggest coronavirus hot spot, died of Covid-19 this month and was cremated without the family or the RoK diplomatic mission being notified.

“According to the Department of Foreign Affairs of HCM City, a South Korean citizen passed away on July 13, due to Covid-19, at Chợ Rẫy Hospital in the city. We are deeply sorry and would like to convey our sincere condolences to the family for this loss,” the spokesperson said.

Hằng remarked that the patient had been treated at one of Vietnam’s leading medical facilities under the attentive and professional care and treatment of the medical staff here in the best possible condition, and it’s “unfortunate that the patient has sadly not survived.”

Vietnamese authorities have been working with South Korea to make arrangements for the victim’s funeral, she said.

“In the future, Vietnamese authorities and local administrations will review related protocols and work closely with foreign representatives and diplomatic missions to address emerging issues in a timely manner, and avoid the repetition of similar incidents in the future,” Hằng said.

She stressed that it must be reaffirmed that the Vietnamese Government always pays due attention to the assurance of medical services and health of foreign nationals in Vietnam, including the citizens of South Korea, particularly amid the complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnamese health ministry’s guidelines on handling Covid-19 deaths, issued earlier last year, call for a cremation as soon as possible, with relatives not allowed to be on the same vehicle that transported the body to the cremation site. 

Vietnam News/Asia News Network – July 23, 2021

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