Bamboo Airways announced on Monday, February 24, that it will cease flights to South Korea effective Wednesday, February 26, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Affected routes include Da Nang International Airport (DAD) and Nha Trang's Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR) to Seoul's Incheon International Airport (ICN). It remains unclear how long the restriction will remain in effect for.
As of Saturday, February 15, the government has banned entry to individuals that have traveled from or transited through China in the preceding 14 days. Authorities also said that individuals showing signs of symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be quarantined. Travel restrictions to China remain in place as of February 24, with all passenger trains to and from China suspended indefinitely. Vietnam Airlines has also halted service to mainland China as a precaution.
Officials began a 20-day mass-quarantine of individuals in Son Loi (Vinh Phuc province), 40 km (25 mi) north of Hanoi, on Thursday, February 13, after six confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the area. The restriction is expected to impact around 10,000 individuals until Wednesday, March 4.
The government has also suspended festivals and sporting events throughout the country as a precaution. Similar business disruptions are possible in the coming days and weeks.
To date, 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Vietnam. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, prepare for transportation disruptions, and take appropriate health precautions.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
- Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the spread of the disease.
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