Saigon, Da Nang quarantine 83 from South Korean epidemic hub

By Nguyen Dong, Le Phuong   February 24, 2020 | 02:15 am PT
Saigon, Da Nang quarantine 83 from South Korean epidemic hub
Two Vietnamese women, who arrived in Da Nang City from South Korea's Daegu, are taken to a quarantine zone in Da Nang, February 24, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Saigon and Da Nang quarantined 83 people from South Korea's Daegu City, where a major coronavirus outbreak has been detected, Monday.

Da Nang, a popular tourist destination in the central coast, received a flight from Daegu carrying 22 South Korean passengers and 58 Vietnamese students and workers, besides the crew, on Monday morning, said Pham Truc Lam, deputy director of the Da Nang Center for Disease Control.

All 80 passengers will be quarantined for 14 days to prevent possible coronavirus infection, he added.

Vietnamese passengers would be quarantined at Dong Nghe Military Reserve Center in Hoa Vang District, while the South Koreans would be monitored at Da Nang Lung Hospital in Lien Chieu District, said Lam.

The crew has been instructed by Da Nang Disease Control Center to wear protective suits, undergo medical history and body temperatures checks. One Vietnamese passenger suffering fever was taken to Da Nang Lung Hospital to be quarantined and tested, Lam added.

The flight was Da Nang’s last from Daegu. The plane and its stairs, hallways and vehicles used to transport the 80 quarantined have been sanitized, it was confirmed.

Saigon meanwhile recorded three passengers, whose nationalities have not been disclosed, arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport from Daegu on Monday morning. One was coughing while the other two exhibited no symptoms of infection. The cougher has been quarantined at the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases and is being tested for the coronavirus, while the others are held at Cu Chi Field Hospital.

South Korea recently hit international headlines as one of the worst-hit countries and territories by the coronavirus epidemic, recording 231 new infections on Monday alone among a total 833 cases, many in Daegu. The country’s number of infections is second only to China.

Around 200,000 Vietnamese are living, studying and working in South Korea, of which around 8,285 are in Daegu, stated the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vietnam has sought to control travel flow from South Korea, with health declarations required for anyone coming from the country. Those with symptoms like high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties will be put under quarantine, stated the Ministry of Health on Sunday.

Several major cities have also deployed preventative measures to prevent possible infection from South Korea. Saigon's Tan Son Nhat Airport for instance has already performed temperature checks on large numbers of South Korean arrivals.

Vietnam has so far recorded 16 coronavirus cases, of whom 15 have recovered and been discharged from hospital. The remaining patient, a 50-year-old father in northern Vinh Phuc Province who was infected by his 23-year-old daughter, a worker returning from China’s Wuhan City where the coronavirus outbreak was first detected last December, tested negative on Sunday. He will need to be tested again before discharge.

The global death toll has reached 2,625, mostly in China, followed by Iran with 12, South Korea with seven and Italy with four.

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