The Vietnamese Ministry of Transport announced on Monday, July 27, that effective from midnight (local time), movement will be restricted into and out of Da Nang following the identification in the city of the country's first locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since April. Apart from outbound flights of some 80,000 mostly domestic tourists back to their home cities, all other flights from Da Nang International Airport (DAD) will be suspended for at least 15 days. Those returning home from Da Nang will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Additionally, all public transportation, including trains, buses, and taxis will be restricted from entering and leaving the city. Residents in most of the city's districts have been advised to remain at home unless absolutely necessary. A ban of gatherings of more than two people in public will also be in effect until further notice.
The Vietnamese government adopted strong lockdown measures early in the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a low number of cases compared to other countries in the region. International commercial flights to Vietnam are banned, and Vietnam's borders with China, Cambodia, and Laos remain closed to all but essential traffic. Visa waivers and the issuing of new visas have been suspended, although foreign experts and skilled workers may enter provided they undergo mandatory quarantine measures, lasting at least 14 days, and pass certain requirements. Exemptions are judged on a case-by-case basis.
Outside of Da Nang, the majority of measures within Vietnam have been lifted and travel within the country is unrestricted. The wearing of masks is no longer mandatory in public, although may be required at hospitals and on some public transport. Social distancing measures are encouraged. Restrictions may be reinstated should new COVID-19 outbreaks be detected.
As of July 28, 431 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Vietnam, with no associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
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 a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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