Tourism hotspot responds to new outbreak . . .
Vietnam has reported 15 community-transmitted COVID cases since July 24, ending its 99-day streak of no community transmission. As 14 of the new cases appeared in the city of Da Nang, a tourist hotspot, the provincial government has re-imposed strict new measures, including a 14-day suspension on receiving new tourists and a ban on gatherings of more than 30 people, and has cancelled festivities, religious ceremonies, and sporting events. Da Nang authorities have ramped up community testing, ordered 80,000 tourists to leave the city immediately, restricted incoming flights, suspended public schools, and placed areas visited by the new patients under lockdown.
Disruptions to economic revival . . .
The new COVID cases appeared just as domestic tourism was surging, and Vietnam was considering restarting commercial flights with China, Japan, and South Korea. The EU also urged Vietnam to resume flights with Europe after the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement takes effect on August 1. The Vietnamese government is on edge because another lockdown of the economy would shatter its 2020 goal of reaching a GDP growth rate of five per cent. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the Da Nang authorities to conduct contact tracing by “going to each lane, knocking on each house” to identify everyone who has come into contact with the new positive patients, underscoring the government’s sense of urgency and unease.
Crackdown on illegal immigrants . . .
Against the backdrop of the new COVID cases, the Ministry of Public Security and Da Nang authorities have also stepped up their crackdown on illegal immigrants. As of July 25, 53 Chinese migrants were found to have entered Da Nang City illegally. These migrants have been taken into quarantine and tested for COVID-19, and authorities are investigating how and why they entered Vietnam. The detection of these illegal immigrants has sparked condemnation on social media, where Vietnamese netizens have accused them of spreading the virus in Da Nang. The Vietnamese government will want to handle these cases with care and transparency to avoid the re-emergence of anti-Chinese sentiment during this critical period in Vietnam.
- Nikkei Asian Review: Europe urges Vietnam to restart flights as FTA takes effect
- Tuoi Tre News: Chinese man nabbed for organizing illegal Vietnam entry
- VnExpress International: Vietnam records 11 more Covid-19 community transmissions