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|Samsung Electronics Vietnam facility in Thai Nguyen province (Source: VNA)|
Vietnam barred all travellers arriving from or through China on February 1. On February 29, the country began requiring people arriving from South Korea to undergo a two-week quarantine. Foreigners were banned from entering the country in mid-March, with possible exceptions for certain categories such as highly skilled workers and internal travel restricted as well.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Vietnamese government ultimately decided to let in about 200 Samsung employees since late last month, waiving the quarantine requirement. They are engineers arriving to expand capacity at facilities producing OLED panels.
Samsung is among the top foreign companies in Vietnam, generating a quarter of the country's exports. Its two plants in northern Vietnam handle more than half the company's global smartphone output.
Last week, on April 13, a worker at a Samsung plant in Bac Ninh tested positive for coronavirus, and about 40 people were directed to self-isolate.
Previously, last month, 700 South Korean engineers of Samsung Display, a supplier of Samsung Electronics and Apple, were exempted from the mandatory quarantine requirement to allow the urgent preparation of the production of screens for new smartphones.
The Samsung exemptions illustrate the Vietnamese government's struggles to balance public health with economic health during the pandemic. Over the last five days, no new COVID-19 cases have been recorded. The total number of COVID-19 case in the country is 268, with 203 given the all-clear, and no death.