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Vietnam: New corona virus cases arise after months, preventive measures to strengthen

Vietnam has closed the city of Da Nang to tourists after four new locally transmitted corona virus cases were recorded for the first time since April.

Tourists are banned from entering the city for the next 14 days and extra flights are being arranged to fly out up to 80,000 visitors.

Vietnam has been lauded as a success story of the pandemic having acted early to close borders and enforce quarantine and contact tracing. It has recorded just over 400 cases and no deaths. But nearly 100 days after its last locally transmitted case, four new cases emerged in Da Nang, a central coastal city popular with domestic tourists.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday ordered Da Nang residents to re-implement social distancing and close all non-essential services.

He said the response had to be “decisive” and he was not ordering a total lock-down of the city as of now.

The first new case – patient 416 – was a 57-year-old man who sought medical care on 20 July for flu symptoms. He is supported by a ventilator and the doctors have quoted on local media that he is in a critical condition.

Officials say they do not yet know where he contracted the virus and that he had not recently left the city. After Contact tracing, more than 100 people were found who had interacted with the man but all their tests were negative.

However, over the weekend, three more cases were confirmed, including one 17-year-old from neighboring Quang Ngai province who had traveled home on a coach with people who had been at the Da Nang C Hospital.

Da Nang C Hospital sealed its doors in response to the first diagnosis and Da Nang is reinforcing prevention measures.

With international travel largely impossible, Da Nang had been promoted as a holiday destination for Vietnamese people with over 80,000 domestic visitors.

Hospitals across the country have also tightened the preventative measures. The capital city, Hanoi, has begun urging people to wear masks in public again.

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