HANOI: Vietnam’s health ministry on Wednesday (Jul 29) reported eight new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases linked to three hospitals in the central city of Danang, taking the outbreak to 30 infections since the virus resurfaced at the weekend.
The country is back on high alert after authorities on Saturday confirmed that new cases had appeared in Danang, the country’s first community infections since April.
READ: Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to COVID-19 outbreak
All flights to and from Danang have been suspended for 15 days from Tuesday, while all passenger bus and train services to and from the city have also been halted.
Until the weekend it appeared that Vietnam had managed to stub out the virus – and with lockdowns lifted since late April, domestic tourists had flocked back to the coastal city of Danang.
Vietnam reported its first locally transmitted COVID-19 infection in nearly 100 days on Saturday.
After a 57-year-old retired Vietnamese man in Danang was confirmed to have the disease on Saturday – the first community transmission since Apr 16 – more than two dozen cases have been found.
On Monday, the government said it had requested the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to allow domestic airlines to significantly increase the number of flights from Danang to 11 Vietnamese cities in order to help evacuate 80,000 people, mostly tourists.
“All evacuation flights now are cancelled,” CAAV deputy director Vo Huy Cuong said on Tuesday.
“We operated 90 flights to evacuate tourists stranded in Danang yesterday but most tourists had already left Danang on Sunday, mostly by coach or train to nearby provinces,” Cuong said.
Most of the new cases in Danang were linked to three hospitals, which will be “put under lockdown from 12am on Jul 28 until further notice”, according to an announcement on the city’s website.
Meanwhile, residents in most of the city’s districts were advised to stay home unless absolutely necessary, with a ban on gatherings of more than two people in public.
Vietnam has registered a total of 446 coronavirus cases, with no deaths. Nearly 83 per cent of the infected patients have recovered, the health ministry said.
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