Vietnam to evacuate 80,000 tourists after three people contract coronavirus in Da Nang

Vietnam has decided to evacuate 80,000 people, mostly tourists from the popular resort city of Da Nang after three residents tested positive for coronavirus.

The government was rushing to contain the virus after it recorded its first locally transmitted case of Covid-19 in 100 days on Saturday. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc demanded contact tracing be ramped up and large-scale testing conducted across the city.

A 57-year-old man who had no international travel history and had been living in Da Nang for the past month. He and two other people tested positive for the virus.

The evacuation of over 80,000 people would take place in four days, the government said. Domestic airlines are operating about 100 flights daily to 11 cities around the country

Da Nang is a tourist hotspot popular with domestic and international tourists, who flock to the city’s white sandy beaches and seafront resorts. In 2019, the city welcomed about 8.7 million tourists of which 5.2 million were Vietnamese.

Vietnam almost completely sealed off its borders to foreign nationals in March and is still off-limits to international tourists because of the pandemic. In June, the country allowed more than 400 Japanese business travelers to land on several chartered flights, in a first step toward opening borders between the two countries.

Vietnam has remained successful in containing the virus, thanks to an aggressive strategy of early screening of passengers at airports and a strict quarantine and monitoring program.

The country has not reported any deaths from Covid-19 and has confirmed just 420 cases.