Vietnam evacuation: 80,000 set to leave tourist hotspot after coronavirus outbreak

Clay Curtis
July 30, 2020

After three months with no cases, Vietnam has now recorded at least 30 cases, all linked to the central beach resort city.

Thanks to a centralised quarantine programme and an aggressive contact-tracing system, Vietnam had managed to keep its coronavirus tally to just 446 cases, despite sharing a long and porous border with China.

The move was made after the city confirmed its first new coronavirus patient in three months, along with 87 suspected cases in people displaying a cough and fever as symptoms.

The officials said Da Nang General Hospital, Hospital C Da Nang, and Da Nang Orthopedic and Physical Rehabilitation Hospital pose the "highest risk of community transmission".

On Thursday morning nine more people were diagnosed with Covid-19, eight in Da Nang and one in Hanoi, taking the total number of local infections since Saturday to 43. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) on Sunday granted permission to Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines and VietJet Air to carry out more flights from the city.

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The government has not officially linked the new cases to illegal immigration, but Prime Minister Phuc has ordered police to strengthen a crackdown on illegal entries.

On Sunday, state media said police in Danang had arrested a 42-year-old Chinese man it said was the head of a criminal group which helps people illegally enter Vietnam from China.

With the new infections, Vietnam has reported 438 cases of COVID-19 without a death. The mutated strain has a faster speed of infection, but its harmfulness compared to the previous strain is not yet known, it said. "If we trace and isolate effected areas, and people follow distance measures, wear masks, the situation will gradually be controlled", Kinh said.

The plane, which left on Monday night for 27-hour, 21,000-kilometre round trip to the town of Bata in the West African country, arrived in the capital Hanoi, where infected patients were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The country has been praised for its success in battling Covid-19, with only about 400 cases and no deaths reported since the global pandemic began.

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