The Vietnamese government has ordered the lockdown of Da Nang, immediately affecting more than 1.1 million residents and an estimated 3,000 ~ 5,000 tourists who have not yet been able to book flights out of the central coast city.
According to a directive from the Ministry of Transport, all public transport vehicles, which include airlines, cannot enter or leave Da Nang for the next 15 days. Ships that transport people from the city to nearby islands are also prohibited from operating during this time.
The only exceptions will be for official vehicles and those that carry foods, sick patients, workers and materials for construction.
Three hospitals in Da Nang are now considered the epicenter of the Da Nang Covid-19 outbreak, and the neighborhoods around them have been locked down since the new cases had either been to these places or come into contact with someone from there.
Da Nang city authorities also ordered 14 days of social distancing for residents of the city, starting on Tuesday. The city’s directive requires people to maintain a distance of at least one meter from each other and prohibits gatherings of more than 20 people in public, except in offices, schools and hospitals.
Da Nang’s residents are being encouraged to stay at home and events, festivals, religious ceremonies and sports that gather a large number of people are banned during the lockdown period; and "non-essential" businesses like bars, beauty salons, cinemas and theatres, karaoke parlors and massage studios have been ordered to close.
On the weekend the Ministry of Transport had ordered approximately 80,000 tourists who were visiting Da Nang to immediately evacuate the city and Vietnam’s various domestic airlines were reported to have flow more than 500 flights between Saturday and Monday, effectively moving about 75,000 people out of the city.
It was estimated that as of Monday night, between 3,000 ~ 5,000 tourists were still stranded in Da Nang, said Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam and it is assumed that these people will have to stay in Da Nang during the 14-day period before they allowed to return home.