24 cruise ships give central Vietnam port a pass

By Vo Thanh   February 28, 2020 | 04:42 am PT
24 cruise ships give central Vietnam port a pass
The U.S.’s Crystal Symphony cruise ship docks at Chan May Port in Thua Thien-Hue Province on February 19, 2020. Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises.
24 international cruise ships have canceled plans to dock at the Chan May Port in Thua Thien-Hue Province over Covid-19 concerns.

Huynh Van Toan, general director of the Chan May Port Company, said 25 international cruise ships were scheduled to visit the province from now until the end of this year, but 24 have canceled their arrival.

"The cancelation has happened because the Covid-19 epidemic has spread to many areas, forcing many cruise passengers to cancel their tours," Toan said.

The epidemic has spread to 57 countries and territories and killed 2,867, mainly in China, followed by Iran with 34, Italy 17 and South Korea 13.

Toan said international cruise ships wishing to dock at ports in the province must sign contracts with the company two years in advance. Currently, the ships that have canceled their plans for 2020 have not yet informed it of their next schedule.

"According to the provincial plan, the Chan May Port is still open to welcome cruise ships from safe areas," Toan said.

Earlier, the Diamond Princess had visited Chan May Port on January 27 before docking at Ha Long International Cruise Port in northern Quang Ninh Province, home to Ha Long Bay, a day later.

The ship was placed under two-week quarantine on arrival at Japan's Yokohama City on February 3 after dozens of passengers, out of a total 3,700, tested positive for the Covid-19. So far, 705 passengers on board have been infected with the disease and four died.

Aida Vita, sailing under an Italian flag and operated by German company AIDA Cruises, was previously denied permission to dock in Quang Ninh Province over fears passengers may be infected by the novel coronavirus.

The denial of permission earned authorities in Quang Ninh a reprimand from Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc DamWarning other localities not to repeat the act, Dam said while they need to strictly implement immigration and quarantine procedures with respect to foreign visitors and vehicles coming from epidemic-affected areas, they must ensure these do not affect tourism and business activities.

Vietnam has discharged all its 16 Covid-19 infected people and not recorded any new infection for the last two weeks.

The country has suspended entry from all areas stricken by the coronavirus outbreak under a prime ministerial directive issued Tuesday.

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