Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to virus outbreak |
HANOI, July 28 — Vietnam has suspended all flights to and from Danang for 15 days from today after at least 14 cases of the novel coronavirus had been detected in the city, the government said today.
The South-east Asian country is back on high alert after authorities on Saturday confirmed the first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday, all in or around Danang.
A further 11 cases linked to a Danang hospital were reported late yesterday.
All train services to and from Danang have also been suspended, the statement said. The city, a tourism hot spot, had reintroduced social distancing measures over the weekend after the government confirmed the first domestically-transmitted cases of coronavirus in more than three months.
Thanks to strict quarantine measures and an aggressive and widespread testing programme, Vietnam has kept its virus total to an impressively low 431 cases, and reported no deaths.
Vietnam is still closed to foreign tourism, but there had been a surge in domestic travellers looking to take advantage of discounted flights and holiday packages to local resorts.
Yesterday, 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.
The evacuation was expected to take four days, a government statement said.
It was not clear, however, to what extent flights specifically organised to help people leave Danang would be allowed to continue to operate following the announcement of the flight ban. — Reuters