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BackStories » Vietnam » Da Nang Monitors South Korean Visitors' Health Status; Vietnam–Daegu Flights Suspended

South Korea is in the midst of a rapid surge of Covid-19 cases, and now has the most confirmed infections outside of China: 763 cases and seven deaths at the time of writing.

The epicenter of the outbreak is in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city. South Korean authorities have declared a "special management zone" around Daegu. The city mayor has encouraged residents to stay home and, if possible, wear masks indoors.

With South Korean visitors accounting for 56% of international arrivals in Da Nang, city authorities are taking measures to prevent being impacted by the worrying situation in Daegu, Tuoi Tre reports. Nguyen Tien Hong, the municipal Department of Health's deputy director, said that South Korean tourists will be required to fill out in-flight health declaration forms and have their health status closely monitored.

Tourism authorities have also been ordered to prepare to manage and monitor the number of South Korean tourists coming to Vietnam. They will scrape flight information from South Korea, especially areas where there is an ongoing outbreak, or those that are close to regions that have been hit by the virus.

Since the Covid-19 epidemic was announced, there has been a 60% drop in the number of South Korean tourists visiting Vietnam, according to the news source.

According to Vietnam's Civil Aviation Administration, many flights connecting Vietnam and South Korea have been suspended due to dwindling demand while remaining routes are using smaller planes.

Representatives from the Ministry of Transport said that most carriers have stopped operating the Vietnam–Daegu route, except for VietJet. South Korea is the second-largest source of foreign tourists to Vietnam, after China.

On February 21, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised emergency alerts for Vietnamese currently living in South Korea, encouraging them to stay updated and avoid traveling to regions that have been impacted by Covid-19. There are about 200,000 Vietnamese students and workers currently living in South Korea.

According to Zing, schools and universities in Daegu have extended their closing time until the middle of March, instead of opening at the beginning of the month as planned. Many Vietnamese students attending these schools have said they want to go home for fear of being infected by the virus.

[Photo: Workers wear protective suits while at a subway station in Seoul/Washington Post]