Vietnam Suspends All Flights to and from Da Nang

Authorities have halted passenger services for the next 15 days in response to a fresh outbreak of Covid-19.

The Merlion-inspired “carp-dragon” at Da Nang Marina. (Photo: Ngo Thanh Tung/Unsplash)

Da Nang’s post-lockdown rebound appears to be short-lived, as flights to and from the tourism hot spot are now suspended after at least 14 people tested positive for Covid-19. According to local newspaper Da Nang Today, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health confirmed 11 new cases of community transmission in the city last night, all traced to a single hospital. Four were medical workers and the remainder patients scattered across different wards.

Yesterday, the central government announced plans to evacuate 80,000 people, mostly domestic tourists, from Da Nang in an effort that was expected to last until Thursday. But a senior official from the country’s Civil Aviation Authority told Reuters this morning that evacuation flights were now cancelled, as domestic carriers had mounted 90 special flights on Monday and most visitors had already left over the weekend.

As of today, all passenger transport services within Da Nang, including private taxis, have been halted. Bus routes connecting the city with the neighboring provinces of Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue were also suspended, along with train services to and from Da Nang. Long-distance trains between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City via Da Nang remain operational, though picking up and dropping off passengers at Da Nang station are now prohibited.

A stricter social-distancing period came into force in Da Nang at midnight, with gatherings of more than two people banned in public, except at hospitals, public offices, and schools. Residents have been urged to stay home, while non-essential businesses such as entertainment venues and beauty salons have been shuttered for the next two weeks. Authorities are also enforcing mandatory lockdowns on three hospitals the patients had visited just before they were diagnosed with Covid-19.

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