Da Nang cancels annual fireworks festival amid coronavirus fears

By Nguyen Dong   February 20, 2020 | 09:13 pm PT
Da Nang cancels annual fireworks festival amid coronavirus fears
Fireworks light up over Da Nang during the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival in June 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
The Da Nang annual international fireworks festival, scheduled to take place in June and July, has been canceled due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

It follows Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s call to stop organizing festivals to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

The Covid-19 that has affected 30 countries and territories remains a threat and the main sources of supply for the festival are in areas hit by the epidemic, making preparations difficult, Ha Vy, deputy director of the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which organizes the festival, said.

The Da Nang International Fireworks Festival is a major event that attracts thousands of spectators every year as teams from Belgium, Brazil, China, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, and others compete with pyrotechnic displays.

First held in 2008, it turned from a two-day competition to a two month-long festival in 2017, helping the central city maintain its status as a leading tourism hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

Last year Finland, making its maiden appearance, won the competition.

The decision to cancel the event comes a few days after Hue announced the biennial Hue Festival, scheduled for April, will be delayed until August or even next year if the epidemic remains not contained.

So far Da Nang has reported 155 suspected cases of coronavirus infection, with 153 tested negative and discharged and two remaining under close observation.

Vietnam has had confirmed 16 cases of whom 14 have recovered and been discharged. A 50-year-old Vietnamese man in the northern Vinh Phuc Province is still under treatment while a Vietnamese-American man in Saigon has recovered and is expected to be discharged on Friday afternoon.

As of Friday, the global death toll had climbed to 2,247 and confirmed cases to over 76,700. More than 18,000 patients have recovered.

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