Vietnamese City Evacuates Tourists Amid New COVID-19 Cases

Vietnamese City Evacuates Tourists Amid New COVID-19 Cases
Vietnam has kept its COVID-19 cases relatively low, but 11 new infections were announced Monday.

Tens of thousands of tourists will be evacuated from a Vietnamese resort city after officials confirmed residents had tested positive for coronavirus. 

Over the weekend, the Vietnamese government decided about 80,000 people should leave the city of Da Nang once it reported its first new coronavirus infections in three months. The country now has 431 reported infections and no deaths. The country says the new infections are all among Da Nang residents between 24 and 70 years old and include patients and health workers from a local hospital.

According to a government release, the evacuation process will take four days. In an effort to get ahead of a potential outbreak, the government is chartering about 100 daily flights between Da Nang and other Vietnamese cities, as most of the tourists are domestic.

Medical researchers in Vietnam are also investigating the possibility that the new COVID-19 cases are a new strain of the virus. The Vietnamese Ministry of Health says this strain is "more infectious."

Vietnam is reinforcing social distancing and safety practices by requiring residents to wear masks in public and canceling sporting events. People who live near three of Da Nang's hospitals are also under stay-at-home orders until further notice.