After a man in Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang testing positive for Covid-19, many people have decided to cancel tours to the city, one of Vietnam’s top travel attractions.
Da Nang authorities on Friday morning announced a 57-year-old male resident had tested positive thrice for Covid-19. The Health Ministry on Saturday morning confirmed this is the country’s latest coronavirus infection, “patient 416”.
With the country’s efficient Covid-19 containment, for 99 days there had been no community transmission and domestic tourism like many other economic activities was returning to a semblance of normality.
The “shocking” news of the infection has caused many people visiting or planning to visit the central city to immediately cancel their tours.
On Friday afternoon Ngo Thi Quynh and her boyfriend canceled hotel bookings in Son Tra District and changed their flight tickets.
“We had planned to visit Da Nang [on Friday], but after hearing information about the Covid-19 in the city, we decided to fly home.”
Pham Thi Thuy, 23, from the northern city of Hai Phong, said her family was on a vacation and staying at a homestay near An Bang Beach in Hoi An Town near Da Nang.
“After the case was announced, we were afraid and did not dare go out. All my family members wear face masks and await an official announcement from the health ministry to decide whether to cancel the trip.”
Ha Thi Kieu of HCMC’s District 1 said she and her mother had booked flight tickets to Da Nang on Sunday for a five-day vacation, but decided to postpone the trip.
“My mother is now 65 years old and vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. Besides, many parts of Da Nang could be closed off if the case is confirmed positive.”
Da Nang, home to the Golden Bridge and beautiful beaches like My Khe, was recently voted one of the best destinations in Asia by Forbes magazine’s readers.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, owner of a hotel in Lien Chieu District where the patient lives, said Friday afternoon that two groups of tourists have canceled bookings.
“This is the general situation at many hotels since the man had traveled to many places and contacted many people in the city, making tourists apprehensive.”
Industry insiders said thanks to efficient Covid-19 control, Vietnam’s domestic tourism has been rapidly recovering. Domestic travel has boomed in summer in the absence of foreign arrivals, who normally account for roughly half of all tourist spending in the country.
Vietnam has banned entry by foreign nationals since March 22 with exceptions and conditions, including 14-day quarantining on arrival. Since March 25, all international flights have been suspended, except for special cases like repatriation flights.
With the Da Nang case confirmed, Vietnam now has 51 active coronavirus infections.
Reporting by Nguyen Quy @ VNExpress.